Get Better Temporary Staffing Results--Permanently!

Get Better Temporary Staffing Results--Permanently!

No less an authority than The New York Times recently trumpeted, “The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy.” While so many other industries have faced downturns, the staffing industry has been on the upswing as many companies realize the value of the contingent workforce.

But like so many other tools, a staffing agency is only valuable if you know how to use it right. To ensure you get the best results from using their services, follow these 10 best practices.

  1. Shop Around.

    People are your organization's most important asset, and that includes temporary employees. Treat temporary staffing as an investment, not an expense. This is not a time when cheaper is better! Instead of going for a cut-rate service that will promise you anything just to get your business, find a firm that takes the time to fill your needs correctly.

  2. Be Descriptive.

    Temp positions need job descriptions, too! And those descriptions should be well-defined, prioritized, current and submitted, in writing, to your staffing firm. They should include your expectations for candidate abilities and experience along with specific performance goals and standards.

  3. Educate Your Account Rep. 

    Make sure to tell your staffing agency everything you can about your organization's mission statement, goals, culture, history and current performance. Tell them what types of work styles or personalities will fit best in your organization. Familiarizing your representatives with your company's needs and preferences will help them become a more knowledgeable extension of your human resources department. 

  4. Educate Yourself.

    You should also take the time to learn about your staffing vendor's full range of capabilities, so you can take maximum advantage of their resources. A good vendor not only provides qualified candidates, staffing flexibility and cost savings, but they can also offer a great deal of staffing expertise and employee relations support. 

  5. Take a Closer Look. 

    Today's temporary workforce consists of many amazingly talented people who prefer a flexible work schedule. Forget that old idea of temps being just a warm body to fill a seat; today, the types of people who are “temping” are likely to be:
    • Contract professionals who can apply their expertise to employers on an as-needed basis.
    • Highly skilled and dedicated workers who have had the unfortunate circumstance of being laid off due to the economy.
    • Students, parents, and others who need a more flexible work schedule.
    • Former stay-at-home parents who are re-entering the workforce.
    • Freelance professionals who don't want to worry about the legal issues of self-employment or who are not able to sell 100% of their time.
    • Recent college grads looking to sharpen their skills and gain experience.
    • People seeking to make a career transition (and using temporary work as a way to build skills and improve their resume).
    • Retired executives who now want less than full-time employment.

  6. Establish Expectations. 

    Start your relationship with your staffing agency off right by setting up mutually agreeable expectations for interaction. This can include development of an order-placing procedure, appropriate quality control checks and feedback methods. Setting expectations should ensure clear communication and expedient service. 

  7. Prepare Your Staff.

    Foster a positive work environment by clearly explaining to your staff where and why temporaries are being used. Open communication is the best way to encourage cooperation and keep your employees from seeing temporaries as a threat to their job security. 

  8. Provide Feedback.

    Does your staffing agency deserve praise and excitement, or do they need a gentle reminder? Give them useful feedback on their service and the performance of the employees they place with you. Meet regularly to obtain their input on what you can do to enhance interaction with them and ultimately improve quality service and placements.

  9. Be the Early Bird. 

    The most talented temporaries are always in high demand. To ensure you get the best people, plan your hiring needs as far in advance as you can, and make sure to respond quickly when candidates are referred to you.

  10. Consider a Strategic Staffing Option.

    If your business has frequent, predictable ebbs and flows in workforce demand, strategic staffing may be right for you. Ask your agency to work with you to examine year-round fluctuations in workload and identify peak demand periods. A top agency will be able to customize a staffing plan for your business that provides employees to handle your busiest times and reduces or eliminates your need to lay off employees during slow periods.
High quality staffing firms focus on more than filling orders. They want to help you save time, save money and make it easier to find the qualified people you need to get work done. Do your part, and you'll find that while all staffing firms are not created equal, the good ones can be worth their weight in gold.