Bringing aboard new employees is time-consuming and expensive, and these costs increase if you make a bad hire. Engaging the services of a talent solutions firm such as Robert Half may be just what you need to help hire better, faster and, in the long run, more cost-effectively. You can increase your chances of finding a candidate, local or remote, who’s the best match for the job and your organization — on the first try — by choosing a reputable employment agency that specializes in the field where you’re looking for talent.
There are benefits of using a specialized recruiter for companies of all sizes. Small businesses, for example, can compete more effectively for top talent. These businesses often lack a human resources department or even an HR professional on staff, so they don’t have people dedicated to finding and securing great hires.
Employment agencies help bigger companies save time and money by letting them tap into the broad networks of job candidates the specialized recruiters cultivate. Those connections are particularly important in hiring environments where skilled talent is in high demand and hard to find.
Although there are fees associated with using an employment agency, working with recruitment experts to hire the right person in a short time frame can be more cost-efficient than engaging in a long, drawn-out hiring process — or making a hurried choice. The ripple effects of a poor hiring decision can be especially disastrous for companies or departments where there are fewer employees to pick up the slack.
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The potential to build a long-term relationship
So, what are other benefits of using an employment agency that your business might expect? A recruiting firm not only helps you find the best available candidates but also advises you on staffing strategies to support your company through inevitable ups and downs in workload. By working with the right agency, you have the opportunity to gain a long-term partner for hiring — one that truly understands your business. That’s true whether you’re looking for employees who are contract or permanent or who are remote or will work on-site.
Project-based or seasonal placements — Contract employees are a go-to talent solution for many companies when they don’t need to hire permanent staff. You might engage skilled professionals to cover for team members who are on medical leave, for example. Or you might want to provide extra support to your core team during hectic and work-heavy times of the year, like tax time, year-end or summer vacation season.
An employment agency can also connect your business with potential contract-to-permanent employees. The arrangement begins with a short-term assignment that has the possibility to lead to longer-term employment. During this initial trial period, your company has a firsthand opportunity to evaluate a worker’s skills as they tackle your projects. And you also see just how well the person fits into your office culture. This approach is another way that a recruiting firm can help your business avoid making a costly bad hire.
Permanent hiring — When you need to expand your roster of permanent employees quickly, a specialized employment agency makes the hiring process more efficient. Recruiting specialists help your internal hiring team (even if that’s just you!) cover more ground, and faster. They can launch a search for skilled candidates, evaluate applicants, and reduce the time and stress caused by many other aspects of hiring a new employee. They even assess organizational culture fit to help your firm find a candidate who’s a solid match with your team.
Whatever your hiring needs might be today — or in the future — apply the following strategies to reap the most benefits of using an employment agency:
1. Be direct about your needs
Clearly communicate your company’s requirements and timetable for bringing someone on board. It’s also a good idea for your agency representatives to see your workplace firsthand, if possible. This experience gives them a better sense of the work environment, your corporate culture and, most importantly, the type of person who’s likely to excel with your organization.
That knowledge also helps the recruiter advise you on whether contract, part-time or permanent employees will best suit your needs. Some agencies are uniquely qualified to provide guidance about a flexible staffing strategy. Not every job requires a permanent worker. Engaging interim professionals through a reputable recruiting firm allows you to address workload peaks and gain access to people with specialized skills — and pay for them only as long as you need them.
2. Look for insider expertise
If you’re an accounting firm, you’ll get the most from an agency that focuses on placing accountants, bookkeepers and tax professionals. And if you work at a creative firm, you want to find designers, developers and marketers with industry experience. Often, an agency’s recruiters are people who worked in positions similar to those they now place. Their industry knowledge and expertise helps them find great matches between employers and candidates. A candidate from a specialized firm often does the job more quickly and accurately than a lower-cost candidate from a general recruiting firm.
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3. Streamline your hiring process
It’s possible a great potential employee may never come across your job posting. Among the key benefits of using a recruiting agency is the fact that the best firms have broad networks and keep the resumes of thousands of skilled professionals on file — including people in your market and those outside of it who prefer remote work. That’s why, upon seeing your needs for a position, agencies can provide you better odds of finding a candidate who’s a great fit than you likely could on your own. They also save you the time of wading through dozens of resumes from unqualified applicants.
In addition to seeking out your perfect employee, recruitment firms handle the most time-consuming aspects of the hiring process, including the initial interview, skills testing and reference checks. And because these specialists devote their workday to finding talent solutions for you, they’re able to move a lot faster. If you go it alone, the job search proceeds only as fast as your schedule allows. When you use an employment agency, you don’t have to take valuable time away from your core responsibilities until you’re presented with A-list candidates.
4. Stay in touch
Your work with an employment agency shouldn’t end when an employee accepts your job offer. After an employee comes on board, review their progress with the agency several times during their first weeks on the job. Plus, agencies have a stake in the success of both parties, so it’s wise to keep recruiters informed of any changes in your requirements. Maintaining communication and providing feedback allows the recruiter to better understand how to serve you and make the right hires for your company.
5. Take action if things aren’t working
In many cases, employment agencies have already worked with a candidate on a contract basis. That gives recruiting specialists a good idea as to whether the potential employee can perform to your standards and mesh with your office culture. Despite everyone’s best efforts, sometimes a hire will not work out. In this situation, first determine whether the worker wasn’t a match or if the agency itself was a bad fit for you.
How an employment agency responds to such problems will tell you a lot: Does it shirk responsibility? Or do they work with you to find a solution? Robert Half, for instance, offers a service guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, contact your recruitment manager within the first eight hours of the assignment and we’ll send you a replacement. And you won’t be billed for the unsatisfactory hours.
6. Tap employment agency resources
If the agency provides training resources to its registered candidates, encourage your employees to make use of them. This training helps you get a capable worker with a wide-ranging skill set and industry specialization. The professionals can augment their on-the-job skills for free, and that benefits everyone involved. New people in the office can infuse new ideas and perspectives. A contract worker brought in for skills not available internally can impart a degree of specialized knowledge to permanent staff as they go about their job.
There are myriad benefits of using an employment agency your business can experience. But the overall value of building a solid working relationship with a reputable firm is that you have access to talent solutions specialists who not only help you find the right mix of people to achieve your business goals but also save you time and money.