Among many factors, evaluate for these differentiating 5 factors when choosing a staffing firm. There are many vertical industry factors, of course, but the critical factors are fundamental operational factors upon which both clients and temporary employees that work for staffing firms, must rely. Look for staffing firms that meet this baseline,
- Operational model. Consider that you will rely on the staffing firm you choose, to handle everything you don’t want to handle. From payroll and unemployment to workers compensation claims and safety training. As your firm about systems, processes and policies. Compare these with your own systems, processes and policies for parity. You don’t want to find out there’s an issue by encountering a problem. Reputation is easily researched.
- Infrastructure – back office. In today’s technology-centric business environment, it’s impossible to run a business without a back-office and front-office system. Back-office systems integrate the supply chain, payables, and receivables. In staffing, that means the management of temporary staffing assignments, invoicing clients (you) and paying the temporary staff working at your site. Any issues with your agencies infrastructure, and your business will have issues.
- Infrastructure – front office. The process for identifying, qualifying, and preparing talent for your business needs has changed dramatically in the last decade. Largely driven by online talent databases like career builder and indeed.com, other social media sites like LinkedIn have also changed the landscape. Even with these revolutions, every staffing firm must have a front-office database, or applicant tracking system of its own, to track and manage skilled people available to be assigned.
- Customer engagement. When you meet with your staffing agency, are they your partner in the room, or are they just selling? It’s easy to tell. Ask them who will be servicing your account. If it is a team, of skilled people that cover safety, operations, recruiting, finance, and other aspects synced with your own organization, they can provide real customer engagement. If you never see or hear from your staffing agency, or they are located in another state, that’s not engagement.
- Value-based pricing. Any staffing agency can lower their price (margins or mark-up) and gain your business. Seems like a good idea, until the short-term gain is exceeded by the longer-term costs of turnover and the subsequent issues that develop from low retention. Turnover reduces the experience and skill level of your temporary workforce, which in turn drives down quality, production, and results. A staffing firm that defends the value of their pricing may well have a better workforce to meet your needs.
From time to time, economics and other market drivers cause a review of staffing firms – that’s a good thing. But the evaluation should take into account the whole offering quality staffing firms can deliver. The better ones have invested in back office and front office IT systems to manage the business. These systems are customized to the unique value-proposition and operational model of the better differentiated firms.
Staffing firms like Barton Staffing Solutions have an operational model, front/back office IT systems, of course, but also take great care in personalized customer engagement and partnerships with clients to ensure business goals are met and success is achieved through the use of temporary staffing. As a partner, that means in down times as well as economic boom times. If your firm stands by the value of its pricing, you may have found the best firm in the market.
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