Temporary workers are one of the fastest growing workforces. Most employers have made use of temporary employees at one point or another. Whether it’s to fill in for an ill employee or to bolster numbers during a busy season, employers find that temps are a crucial supplement to their permanent workforce.
The increased demand for temporary workers has given rise to a growing number of temp agencies. The large number of agencies presents a problem for employers. How do you know that the agency you’re working with is a good one? While there is no simple answer, there are three basic criteria you can use to judge a potential staffing agency.
Do they know what you need?
As a business owner or manager, you know that communication is key to any business relationship. This has never been truer than when dealing with a temporary staffing agency. If the agency doesn’t know exactly what you want, how can they possibly provide it?
A temporary staffing agency should be in constant contact with your HR department or hiring manager. They should be continually making sure they know exactly what you’re looking for in a temporary employee. There should be no misunderstandings about experience, training, or expected duties. These are all details that should be covered in an initial consultation and subsequent communications. If your staffing agency isn’t in frequent contact, they’re probably not an agency you want to keep.
Do they understand what you need?
A staffing agency can ask you all of the questions in the world, but, if they don’t understand your industry, they won’t really understand your needs. You want to be sure the agency you’re dealing with is well versed in the specifics of your industry. A quality staffing agency will have representatives who are experienced in the fields you’re trying to fill.
A quality agency should also have representatives who have experience in specific industries. Some agencies claim to have agents who are experienced in “accounting.” If their experience is limited to construction contracts and you own a medical billing agency, they won’t really help you, will they? This is not to suggest that agencies that deal with a lot of various industries are less qualified. It is only suggested that you check the qualifications of your particular agent and make sure that they have specific knowledge of your industry.
Are they willing to make things right?
As a reputable business, you probably offer your customers a guarantee on the work/services you perform. Should you expect any less from your staffing agency? If the agency sends you a temporary employee, and they don’t work out, what is your liability? Quality staffing agencies will make every attempt to replace an employee who doesn’t work out through no fault of your own.
If an agency can’t or won’t offer a guarantee on the services they provide, it’s time for you to move on to a new agency. Professional agencies want to give you the best temps, and are willing to stand behind their choices. If an agency won’t stand behind their choices, they probably aren’t interested in sending you the best.
A Straight Forward Business Decision
Any or all of these criteria will help you weed out unqualified agencies. However, the ultimate test is whether an agency delivers the help you need when you need it. If not, you need to treat them like any other supplier and move on.