For staffing companies to be successful, the “partnership” aspect of the relationship must hold true. They are essentially your outsourced recruiting arm.
I’ve been in the staffing business for 16 years and every time I ask customers, “What are the critical factors to your success in the upcoming year?” people typically ranks number one.
Jim Collins proved this in his bestselling book: Good to Great, when he said, “Leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with ‘where’ but with ‘who.’ They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”
Knowing this, your staffing company can have a serious impact on your success.
Yet, many clients send out two-paragraph job descriptions to 10 to 15 agencies, expecting the perfect candidate in 24 hours. This creates a “race” between their vendors who will submit the first reasonable candidate they find.
How can staffing vendors truly compare candidates and vet them when they are not allowed the time to do this?
1: Create a detailed job description, and then create a mechanism for your vendors to talk to your Hiring Manager
- This can be a conference call to limit the number of times the Hiring Manager needs to answer the same questions. (Remember, minutes on the front end, save hours on the back end.)
- Follow up questions can be submitted by phone or email.
2: Work with no more than three vendors on a single opening
- If you don’t think that’s enough, you don’t have the right vendors.
- Obviously, your request and pay rates need to align with the market.
3: Give them time
- Tell your vendors you won’t accept any resumes for 72 hours.
- Give them a few days to go through a couple candidates, chase down passive candidates, and do their due diligence.
While most companies want candidates within a couple days, their average fill time is 21 to 40 days.
“if you have the wrong people, it doesn’t matter whether you discover the right direction; you still won’t have a great company.”
4: Limit submissions
- Tell your vendors you want their top three candidates. (Since you are giving them time, make them choose their very best.)
- If you need more candidates after a first round, you need to discuss why and reset.
- No one wants to lose a great candidate because it took a week to schedule an interview, and an additional week for the next one.
- If you like a candidate, you need to wrap up your process in 10 business days or less (5 days to a decision is ideal).
- If you need more time, you’re not working properly with your staffing vendor, as candidates being presented should be a good fit already.
Lastly, take the time to provide feedback. Since you are only working with three trusted vendors, and they are sending you a total of nine candidates, you can offer insight about your preferences. This is how they get better and make your life easier in the long run.
You can also tell them how their successful candidates solved your problems so they can focus their recruiting conversations on that in the future. Working with firms that fully understands your needs is a benefit to you, as the Hiring Manager.
And of course, each staffing firm has many internal recruiters that can work on your openings. Some of them are better than others at that firm. Want the attention of their best recruiters? Follow this process and you will get it!
The “War for Talent” is real and it’s in full swing. Want to be successful? Create an effective partnership with your staffing vendors, and you will see the dividends.