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Hiring a Temporary Staffing Agency? Six Questions to Ask

Posted by Gil Oliva on Wed, Jun 03, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

There are many reasons to consider hiring a temporary staffing agency. Hiring temporary staff allows your company to adjust quickly to workflow fluctuations, and offer flexible work situations. There is a temporary staffing agency out there to cover just about any position in any industry you are looking for; from secretaries and file clerks, to lawyers and IT professionals. But how do you make sure you get the best temporary employee for your specific business requirements? Start by considering these six questions and then evaluate the answers. 

  • What screening techniques do they use? You want to make sure you are getting the most qualified candidate for the job, even if it is for a limited period of time. Find out what testing they utilize to qualify candidates. This can be anything from initial skills tests to specific skills training. Also, does the agency offer background checks and drug tests where appropriate? 
  • How well do they know their candidates? Do they know the staff they are sending out to temporary positions? If there is no personal contact, you may well be able to find similar candidates through simple Google search. You do not want to hire an agency that is just playing the numbers game. Try and establish the level of contentment pertaining to their temporary staff for hire. An interesting survey from the ASA, conducted at the end of 2014, indicates that 9 out of 10 staffing employees say they are satisfied with their staffing company.

temporary staffing

  • Ask questions about their fee structure. Make sure the agency is transparent about their fee structure. If they can explain exactly how you are charged, and it makes sense, you will feel reassured that you are getting value for money. Also find out about when they pay their temporary employees. Remember, you pay the agency and they pay the individuals. Your temporary staff may be extremely happy working at your company, but they will become quickly disgruntled if they are not being paid on time through the agency.
  • Do they understand your business? Make sure the temporary staffing agency you use are experts in your particular industry. A deep understanding of the temporary roles that need filled means that that your temporary staff will be up and running extremely quickly. This involves understanding your day-to-day operations as well as the environment in which the temporary employee will be working. It is tremendously helpful and more productive when your temporary staff feel comfortable, and fit in to your company culture. They will also want to come back the next time there is a temporary opening.
  • Are they a member of the American Staffing Association? While there may be excellent temporary staffing companies that are not members of the ASA, it is worth asking the question. ASA members do pledge to adhere to a code of ethics and best practices.
  • How well run is their organization? Check their organization practices as thoroughly as possible. It does not hurt to question employees in various roles to find out why they like working for the agency. Are there seasoned employees who really understand your business, or are there many entry- level graduates who may not necessarily have an understanding of the industry and your specific requirements? Length of time with a company also indicates a stronger level of commitment. 

Finding a temporary agency that provides quality and accommodating service means you know that they understand your needs and this goes a long way towards establishing an exclusive relationship. This makes it much more simple to fill temporary positions at short notice, as well as potentially find the right candidates for full time positions.

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Topics: Temporary Staffing Agency Financing, Staffing Industry

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