As you probably know, using staffing agencies to find interim workers can save you time and money, but not all agencies are created equal. Watch for these five red flags when turning to a staffing agency for your small business needs.
- The staffing agency doesn't have a strong local presence. Small, local businesses are tightly networked, and a staffing agency that isn't part of your community is much less likely to be tuned in to what you're trying to accomplish and what your customer base is like. Ask other small business owners in your area for recommendations on staffing agencies they've worked with. These agencies will already have a pool of local candidates to draw on.
- Its client base is primarily large firms. A staffing agency that mostly serves FP 500® companies may not understand your small business needs or the unique selling points of a smaller enterprise or startup. Look for staffing agencies with a proven track record of working with businesses similar in size to your own.
- The recruiting staff lacks experience in your market. Check out the bios of the recruiters at the staffing agency you're considering. How long have they worked in your industry? What's their background in the accounting industry? Choose an agency with recruiters who themselves have experience in accounting and finance.
- It has an unusually high recruiter turnover rate. Successful recruiters have years of experience, during which they build a deep network and solid relationships with job seekers, workers and employers. A staff made up entirely of inexperienced recruiters is a major red flag. Look for an established recruiter who will get to know you and your small business needs.
- Its evaluation procedures are inconsistent or vague. If you can't find specific information on candidate assessment procedures on the staffing agency's website, be sure to ask for details. Make sure their systems for resume and cover letter evaluation, skills testing and reference checks are sound.
Temporary workers can be a valuable addition to your team. You can easily staff up and staff down to match workload fluctuations. And, if you're looking for a full-time employee and need more time, using interim staff just might save you the cost of making a bad hire. Specialized staffing agencies are often a lifesaver when it comes to finding the best fit for your small business needs – just keep your eyes peeled for red flags.