What to Look For When Hiring a Temp Staffing Agency

The temporary staffing agency you hire can have a profound effect on your business so you must be careful when choosing an agency.

A temporary staffing agency provides services that are beneficial to businesses. These agencies work with business owners and human resource departments to supplement their work forces during busy times of the year, temporarily replace an employee on extended leave or “test” out an applicant before hiring. Here are a few of the things you should look for to determine if the agency you are doing business with is right for you.

Detail Orientated

The recruiters at an agency must be detail orientated. When they are contacted by a business they need to find out as much as they can about the position and the business’ needs. A quality agency will ask questions about your working environment, hours of work, typical experience required, expected duties and duration of employment. This information may be gathered during an initial consultation, follow-up consultations or during regular interaction between the agency and business. A good agency will not be afraid to ask hard questions to really pinpoint the right candidate for the job based on their personality and background.

Industry Knowledge

The temporary staffing agency that you choose should have demonstrated experience working with other businesses in your industry. This experience indicates that they understand the terms used in your business, typical training required from applicants and the characteristics needed to deal with common challenges. If the agency has this background, they will be more likely to recruit applicants in your field and maintain a pool of solid candidates without the need for a lengthy recruitment process.

Customer Service

customer-service-centerFinding and placing an applicant is the first responsibility of an agency. Once placed, they are responsible for ensuring that the applicant performs according to expectations. A quality agency will monitor the performance of the applicant by requesting regular feedback. If the performance of the applicant is unacceptable, they work with the applicant to try to improve performance. In some cases the agency will remove and replace the employee. The ultimate responsibility of the agency is ensuring quality work from quality candidates. If this is not what occurs, the staffing agency should take all necessary steps to mitigate risk and ensure customer satisfaction.

Quality Applicant Pool

A temporary staffing agency is only as good as the individuals that it hires. Ask about their hiring procedures. All applicants should be thoroughly screened by recruiters and have current background checks. Screening should include confirmation of education, review of skills, and documentation of experience. Check into how many of their applicants actually get hired by the agency. Once placed, ask  how many of their applicants progress to full-time, permanent employees with their placement position.


If you expect quality staff, you should also expect adequate compensation. Check with the agency to see what hourly wages they typically pay to their employees for similar positions you require. Compensation should be fair for temporary workers as well as fair and commensurate for the industry. If the agency does not provide fair wages, there is a good chance that their staff is not as qualified and successful as peers in their industry.

If you are looking for a staffing agency, review the five areas of quality listed above. If they meet these criteria, the chances are good that they are a reputable agency. Evaluate the facts and consider your gut feelings about the agency. If you are impressed by the employee pool and can see demonstrated success in your industry, this may be the right agency for you.

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