It won’t be long before the holiday season is here. For the retail or hospitality industry, that means increased staffing requirements. Partnering with a trusted staffing company can help your organization recruit high-quality, reliable workers to provide the service your brand is known for.
If you’re new to working with staffing companies, it can help to have a set of questions to ask to make sure they’re a good fit for your needs. Here are the top eight we typically hear from customers.
How will you communicate with me and the workers you send? This may sound like a simple question, but clearly understanding how you and the staffing company will communicate is crucial to a successful relationship. Who will be the dedicated company representative? What hours will they work? How often will they communicate with you about orders or other requests? What method will they use — email, phone, text? Evaluate your own communication methods so they align with the agency’s methods.
What kinds of jobs do you staff? Different staffing companies have different specialties and geographic reach. Talk with a representative and consult the company’s website to find out if their profile lines up with your needs. Some staffing companies provide management and executive placement services as well, so keep your future needs in mind as you choose a long-term staffing partner.
How long does it typically take to fill jobs? If your business often needs workers to fill last-minute gaps, make sure the staffing company knows. If they’re not equipped to meet last-minute requests, they may not be the best fit for your business. If you can accommodate longer lead times, other staffing agencies may be able to meet your requirements.
Do you have the capacity to fill my company’s needs? This is a fair and important question to ask. Not every staffing company has the depth of bench to supply the quantity of employees you need. But it’s also not just about volume. A legitimate staffing partner will want to know more about the types of positions you’re filling, any special skill sets required and the length of time workers are needed before they can truthfully answer this question. Remember, you’re looking for a partner for the long-haul, not just someone who will make short-term promises they can’t sustain.
How do you handle problems? Staffing is an industry built around human beings. That means glitches occasionally happen, for whatever the reason. A reputable staffing agency will be transparent about potential problems — early — and will work to find options to meet your needs. It’s wise to be wary of a staffing company that provides unrealistic expectations. Healthier long-term relationships between clients and staffing agencies are built on open communications and the willingness to work through problems together.
How do you find candidates for open jobs? Agencies that leverage staffing technology can speed up the process to find available candidates. These tools send shift notifications to an agency’s gig workforce where potential workers can claim their own shifts based on eligibility. This means that shifts can fill in hours or even minutes. Agencies that rely on the traditional model of manually assigning workers to shifts can take much longer to fill a client’s orders.
How do you vet candidates? You’re not just looking for warm bodies to fill your open positions. Ask your staffing agency representative how they choose the best candidates. Let them know any workplace requirements you have for specific background checks, drug screenings or certifications. A reputable staffing agency will be transparent about their process and will accommodate your specific screening criteria.
What is your billing structure? In your initial meeting with a staffing agency, have a clear and frank discussion of all costs involved. Ask about things like overtime and time-and-a-half, even if you’re not sure they will come into play. If you have these questions answered up front, there should be no surprises on your invoices.
You’ve worked hard to build your company and your brand, so you want employees who will represent your business well. A partner who communicates clearly and works to meet your needs can take a load off your shoulders and help you maintain the high-quality service your customers have come to expect.