Good temp staffing agencies can save you a lot of time and aggravation. They can provide you with competent workers in a pinch, screen workers for specific skill sets, and send in a temporary workforce to help you with special projects. But how do you know if your temp staffing agency is putting you at risk? Keep your eyes open for these three important signs.
1. They Don’t Keep Track of Details
The temp agency business is all about details, so you’re in trouble if the temp agency you hired can’t keep track of them. Your temp staffing agency should keep track of your company’s needs, working environment, business hours, and work attire (including Personal Protective Equipment – PPE). They should know which of their temps have worked for you in the past, and how those workers performed for you. They must keep track of the qualifications and training of the positions you need filled, and know all about the temps they send to you. They should also follow up after each job is completed to learn how it went, and what they could do to perform better next time.
In addition, your temp staffing agency must keep track of the dates and times of hours worked, and tax and personal information of their employees. If you hear these words, “Oh, I’m sorry for the confusion. I must have written down the wrong date,” red flags should go up.
2. They Don’t Communicate Well
Temp staffing agencies are the link between their temporary workers and clients, and as such, they must communicate well with both parties. They need to communicate well with temporary workers to learn as much as possible about their skills, education, personalities, past experiences, and comfort level with specific tasks. If they don’t communicate well and ask hard questions of their temporary workers, they won’t be able to match them well with jobs the client needs fulfilled.
The temp staffing agency must also punctually deliver to their placed staff any changes in work schedule, job duties/requirements or working conditions given to them by the client, as it is the temp agency’s responsibility to communicate this to the temp workers, not the client’s.
On the other hand, staffing agencies also need to communicate well with you, the client. To really understand your needs, the agency must be familiar enough with your industry to ask the right probing questions about what you’re looking for in the workers you need. They should also check up with you during the engagement to find out how their temp workers are doing, have their duties changed, and follow up afterwards to evaluate their failures and successes.
3. They Don’t Understand Your Industry
Not every temp staffing agency has experience in and understands all industries. A particular staffing agency may be very familiar with medical billing but not at all aware of the details of warehousing or data entry. A temp agency that doesn’t know your industry will not be able to make good choices when it comes to sending temps to your company. You can usually tell during the initial consultation whether or not the agency is accustomed to working with companies in your industry. If you’re not sure, ask a few questions about their past experiences with companies like yours. If they don’t have any experience to report, it’s wise to look for a different agency. You’ll find great comfort in working with a temp agency that knows all about the kind of business you run.
Keep your eyes open for these warning signs, and address any problems with your temp staffing agency as soon as possible. If you’re having ongoing problems, look for a new agency, and be upfront about what you’re looking for. If you aim for a temp agency that is detail oriented, communicates well with both the temp workers and with the companies they serve, and understands the ins and outs of your industry, you’ll enjoy considerable peace of mind and get the temporary help you need and deserve.