A couple of months ago I read What Drives Me Nuts About Staffing Agencies, and many of the points made by author Matt Lowney really stuck with me. I also have 20+ years of experience in the staffing industry but I’m on the other side of the table from him. I might even be one of those folks driving Lowney so nuts, but I don’t think I am and here’s why. I agree with him.
One of my colleagues, Bryan Harter, brought to my attention an article on RecruitingBlog by Debbie Fledderjohann entitled “The Secret to Hiring for Attitude.” The post references a Forbes online interview by Dan Schawbel with Mark Murphy, the author of Hiring for Attitude. The interview covers a number of topics including why so many new hires don’t work out, and so quickly (46% of them fail within 18 months), the differences between technical, soft skills and attitude, and the ways that screening for these attributes are driving changes in the interview process. Ms. Fledderjohann points out that testing out a worker’s suitability on the job is a great way to ensure that they are a good fit as it reveals things the traditional interview does not. I couldn’t agree more: contract-to-direct, temp-to-perm, “try before you buy,” whatever name it goes by, can be a great way for both the prospective employee and the company to test things out and make sure both are happy before making a longer term commitment.
Flexibility: Staff fluctuations happen for a variety of reasons including special projects, seasonal periods, and economic cycles. Temporary employees can be deployed quickly to address these challenging times.
Fill in: Sometimes regular employees are out for an extended period of time due to illness, vacation, maternity leave or other reasons. Temporary workers are a great way to ensure that these absences don’t slow down company productivity.
Evaluate Workers: Utilizing temporary workers allows a company to evaluate whether a worker has the necessary skills to succeed at the position, fits the company culture, wants to commit to the company, and enjoys the position and environment.
Save Time: Staffing firms typically have a pool of candidates that allow them to fill positions quickly. This can be especially helpful when you need someone right away.
Save Money: Staffing firms manage all government mandated payroll taxes, provide training, administer benefits and recruit, screen and test candidates. This lessens the burden on internal staff and saves on administrative costs.
Find Unique Talent: Most staffing firms have recruiters that specialize in finding talent with specific or unique skills. A good recruiter has a network of talent they can draw on to find the perfect candidate.