From time to time, we are asked this question. Both new clients and past clients (that tried a national firm, and want to come back to Barton Staffing Solutions) that ask: “Why are local staffing agencies better than national providers?” There are some simple reasons, backed up by common sense, simple logic and the evidence that is only possible through first hand experience.
The big national providers will gain favor with procurement and finance managers by suggesting that companies benefit from the following false factors.
- Economies of scale.
- One “prime” staffing supplier.
- Corporate account management.
In one respect, these sound like good ideas, and they do resonate well with remotely-located internal corporate procurement, controller or CFO decision makers. But the good idea stops there – these decisions cannot be made in a vacuum and must be made with the local facility operations managers involved. Global RFP systems in big ERP back-office software systems at the home office are not effective when it comes to temporary staffing in your organization.
In reality, corporations have learned of the hidden costs that ultimately result. Selecting a national provider initially appears like a financially attractive decision when focused solely on hard costs. The lesson learned is that these savings often are never realized as standard global-markups and fees are billed for all facilities without regard to local variations.
Local providers, on the other hand understand local dynamics, people and even regulations that ultimately have an effect on the false promise of standardization. Local Operations Managers, Directors and VPs need to have control over who is doing the work, their individual productivity, and quality, if corporate goals are to be met.
Just last month, Barton Staffing Solutions received 2 customers that came back after trying out a national provider. They had learned the hard lessons of unrealized national provider promises made at the initial sale.
When thinking about selecting an staffing agency to provide qualified temporary workers aligned with your operation’s local objectives, goals and standards, consider the following criteria that local agencies like Barton Staffing Solutions can deliver:
- Immediate Response. Local providers are there, and can provide immediate service. National providers are gaining by having account management, recruiting, or other functions centrally located – not where your company is, but somewhere else. Some recruiting is even done offshore.
- Personal Attention. Local staffing agencies are attached to faces of real people you can count on, call up, and meet to discuss the specific needs your operation has to achieve business results. Only your local operations manager (VP or Director) can interpret that locally, to your local staffing agency.
- Direct Access. Local providers have recruiters that your firm can directly access, meet, and are available to tour your facility, meet with your hiring manager and ultimately deliver better skilled temporary staff by intimately understanding your operation, your needs for skilled temporary employees, and ultimately your long-term organizational development and business goals.
- Better Employees. Local staffing agencies are the preferred employer of temporary workers for obvious reasons. They can meet and know the people they are getting a paycheck from. And, many local staffing agency providers invest in their people with benefits, vacation pay, and other personal connections that improve results for your company.
- Flexibility. Local staffing agencies can respond to changes in your company’s needs, both immediate changes, medium term changes and long-term changes that result from building up a history with a consistent set of recruiters and staffing managers.
- Production and Quality. Local agencies are your partners, and deeply share your company goals. National providers can’t relate as deeply causing a decline in production and quality. Unfortunately, local managers (not the corporate finance or procurement decision maker) are usually held accountable for the end of year declines.
- Relationship with the Workforce. Local skilled temporary workers are personally known by local staffing firms. This relationship reduces turnover, and ensures the training investment in temporary workers is maximized.
- Safety. Local staffing agencies are as focused on safety as your company. Barton Staffing Solutions partners with you with safety resources to ensure that you temporary workers are trained and ready. This requires direct employee contact. Remote recruiting by a national firm creates a gap in the on-boarding and safety baseline training of temporary workers to work at your facility. This creates risk, and ultimately cost for your company in terms of accidents, workers compensation liability insurance, and ultimately claims costs.
- Fees. Local staffing agencies make a profit, to be sure. However, local firms can, and generally do, beat national firm fees. Why can they consistently do this? The reasons are all of the above. The distance and lack of touch by national firms, creates gaps, and creates overhead and cost that must be, and are, passed on to you.
- A Phone Call vs. a VMS. Every manager we ask tells us that when they need a skilled temporary worker, the biggest barrier they experience, if they are using a national firm, is to spend hours navigating a procurement system and vendor management system (VMS) online. The delays are painful, and the added cost to productivity over the year is counted in days and weeks. Your local staffing firm, like Barton Staffing Solutions, is only a phone call away, and your skilled temporary workers arrive without delay.
The fundamental observation is to consider carefully the detailed value you are receiving from your staffing provider. Local firms will always be close, available and therefore not stretched across clients in multiple states. This means they can provide more and consistent value with personal service.
But be a good client. With social media, reputations are not hard to uncover. Local firms know which companies only care about price. When price is the driving factor over value in the decision process, no one wins. Local staffing firms are first to understand a client’s reputation for labor, pay scale, and partnering for value. It is, and must be, a fair exchange if there is to be value.
These finer points are the basics of any Operations Management course taught in any business school today. Unfortunately, decisions are often made without essential information. Asking these questions of your procurement and financial business partners can help you avoid these downstream costs to your operation’s end of year results.
Centralized staffing from a national provider initially looks like a good idea – but can build false confidence in the end.
When costs don’t come down, and declines in efficiency, worker effectiveness, and other costs result because they were not considered in the decision process. At this point, it may be too late.
Barton Staffing Solutions is your local provider and is ready to help you explore these factors with you. Our goal is to help you achieve your goals for organizational development, and ultimately business results. Call or contact us today.