Previously I wrote about mistakes job seekers make when partnering with a staffing agency. But businesses that want to use a staffing company have their own pitfalls to watch out for. Whether your business is new to staffing or not, avoid these mistakes when using a staffing agency to find and keep talented candidates.
1. Price Isn’t Everything
Labor costs are a big chunk of any business’s operating costs. In the construction field, labor costs are 25% to 35% of the total project. Every company wants to maximize profits by keeping labor costs as low as possible. But there’s no escaping the old saying, “You get what you pay for.”
Staffing agencies want to find you the best candidates and get them working for you as soon as possible. But there’s another side to that equation. Talented candidates, especially ones with sought-after skills, want to maximize their wage.
If a staffing agency promises a highly-skilled professional at a bottom-of-the-barrel price, an employer’s first reaction might be to jump for joy. But it pays to dig a little deeper.
Ask hard questions. Make sure the candidate’s pay for the position is appropriate for the job market. That way, a candidate will stick with your company instead of jumping ship to a competitor who is willing to offer a wage that’s closer to market norms.
Hiring and training new workers is expensive. So ask yourself up front if the deal might be too good to be true. A little market research can set you up for success in keeping a job filled for as long as you need rather than leaving you in a lurch.
2. Don’t Supersize It
Another mistake businesses make when using a staffing agency is to combine too many diverse skill sets into one position.
An example is a company that distributes flooring products. The owner might have open jobs for a delivery driver, a counter salesperson, a tile installer, and an order puller in the warehouse.
This business owner might think that a good way to keep costs down would be to hire one worker who can do all four jobs. But the more skills an employer combines into one position, the longer it’s going to take a recruiter to find someone who’s experienced enough to handle all of the tasks well.
Holding out for the best candidate for a job is the right move. But what if job vacancies are costing your company money right now? Consider hiring 2-3 candidates with more focused skill sets. This type of worker can often be found more quickly and can focus on excelling at their core abilities when they start working for you.
3. Letting Time Slip Away
Employee turnover can have no rhyme or reason. And it’s hard to predict when and in what direction your business is going to grow. That’s why it’s smart to set up a partnership with a staffing company before your need for workers becomes dire.
After Tropical Storm Hermine in 2016, many construction and renovation companies in central Florida had more work than they could handle. They suddenly had an urgent need for water damage technicians, carpenters, and demolition laborers to help with the influx of repair projects.
But by the time these companies realized how desperately they needed the extra workers, it was too late. They were managing multiple crews and swamped with phone calls from customers. They had no spare time to put together a staffing plan and compare rates.
Getting a staffing agency on board before your hiring need is greatest is a smart move. Then when your business gets in a bind, good candidates will only be a phone call away.
4. Speaking Of Letting Time Slip Away…
Timing is everything in business. Not jumping on a good opportunity can have lasting consequences. The same is true when using a staffing agency. If an agency finds you a great candidate with the right skills and experience, get them working for you as quickly as possible.
Once you have that perfect candidate’s resume in-hand, don’t delay on setting up a meeting. The job seeker could be a great fit for you and for your company. But if you drag your feet on getting them started on the job, they might have no choice but to start looking elsewhere.
Whether your business is already partnered with a staffing agency or you’re considering using one for the first time, keep these tips in mind. Let both your expectations and the job market guide your decisions. You’ll set yourself up to get the best candidates, and to start them working for you and for your customers sooner rather than later.
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