Updated: Jul 12, 2022
Job agencies can free up your time while accomplishing vital tasks for your organization. But before diving in and signing up with a job agency, decide on what you really need, and carefully research your options before choosing the job agency that’s the best fit for your organization.
Ready to find a hiring partner now? Download our free guide for 5 key questions to ask to make sure you've found your ideal staffing agency.
What is a job agency? How do temp agencies work?
A job agency can help employers with two aspects of employment: hiring and HR. Whether you need temporary or permanent placements, job agencies are designed to do the recruiting, screening, and hiring for your organization. And if you want to outsource your HR, job agencies can manage a variety of HR roles from managing benefits to onboarding new hires.
Job agencies can help your organization with recruiting talent and then screening talent. They will find a match for the position, as well as for the organization’s culture. Freeing you up to focus solely on in-person interviews with the top candidates, recruiting agencies handle the time-consuming aspects of hiring.
If you’re short on time or if you don’t have the staff available to recruit candidates, then a job agency is your best way to find employees. Hiring the right employees comes down to locating talent and recruiting that talent to fill roles at your organization. The top recruiting firms are experts in both finding the right candidate and helping your organization convince them to work with you.
Job agencies can also help with HR duties in addition to recruiting. They can coordinate and manage your benefits, as well as handle the grievance process and conflict resolution at your organization. In addition to onboarding new hires, they can provide an HR audit and advise on best practices for your HR department.
Here are a few HR tasks that job agencies offer:
Benefits Job agencies can coordinate and manage your organization’s benefits. They also know what your competitors offer and can help your organization retain employees by keeping your benefits package competitive.
Conflict Resolution Job agencies have a wealth of knowledge about employment. They can assist with your grievance process by following best practices resulting in a satisfactory resolution for all employees involved.
New Hire Onboarding By creating and following a streamlined onboarding process, job agencies can help your organization set up new employees for success, as well as minimize the impact of training a new hire on current employees.
HR Audit Leverage a job agency’s experience in working with a variety of organizations by having them audit your HR practices for the best solutions for your employees.
HR Coaching Create an ongoing partnership between your HR team and a job agency by leaning on the agency to advise and coach your HR staff when they need expertise in the various roles HR plays in your organization.
Why work with a job agency?
Whether you’re crunched for time or you need your team to work on other priorities, you can leverage the expertise of a job agency to expedite the hiring process, as well as to find the top candidates for your roles.
There are a number of reasons employers partner with job agencies:
Saves time Posting a job usually results in hundreds of applications. While some candidates may be qualified, others will not be. Job agencies save your organization time in sorting through applicants. They will also screen candidates for you via phone, allowing only the most qualified candidates to schedule in-person interviews with your team.
Specialists in Recruiting Job agencies focus solely on recruiting talent. Their vetting process is robust and thorough. By screening candidates with phone interviews and assessment tests, job agencies can find the right fit for your organization. Job agencies can also take the necessary time required to qualify candidates for your open position.
Broad Network With a wide-ranging network and robust database of candidates, job agencies can find the right fit for your organization. They also know where to look if they don’t currently have the right fit.
Understands Your Market When a job agency specializes in an area, they know the market. Starting with average salaries and benefits, job agencies can tell you what your competitors are offering. Not to mention, they know where to find candidates for your industry.
Sells Your Organization A job agency will communicate to candidates what your organization has to offer, as well. By explaining the merits of your company culture and benefits, a job agency can help your organization communicate your value to candidates.
Negotiate for Top Talent For senior level and high-demand positions, job agencies can help organizations effectively compete for hard-to-find talent. In negotiating with top talent, job agencies can leverage their experience to bring the best to an organization.
Interested in collaborating with a staffing agency?
Get the free guide on the Top 5 Questions to ask and ensure you've found your perfect staffing partner.
The Staffing/Recruiting Process
Job agencies approach recruitment very much like employers do. Under some circumstances, job agencies are looking to build a network of talent for future placement. And other times, job agencies will recruit in real time for a new opportunity. They recruit, screen, and often assessment-test potential candidates to ensure that their talent pool is properly vetted for clients.
How do Job agencies find the right fit? How does recruiting work?
Job agencies can vary in their recruiting and screening methods. Some agencies pre-screen candidates online while others do so over the phone.
They can source candidates using a variety of approaches. Some leverage online platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. Job agencies can also post your specific position and screen those applicants, or they can source from their current database.
Some job agencies take recruiting one step further than reaching out to candidates who are looking for a position: Some reach out to professionals who are not looking for a job. And it’s those candidates who qualify for in-demand positions.
During your organization’s screening process (covered below), be sure to ask if the job agency has methods to find top talent not currently seeking a new position.
What to look for in a job agency
When looking for the right fit in a job agency, your organization will need to do some research on your options (consult our free guide here.) Start with their LinkedIn profile to see if their experience matches your industry or the roles you need to fill. Then, search for reviews from both employers and from job seekers.
What does the job agency offer
In the beginning stages of your vetting process, visit a job agency’s site to determine what exactly they offer. While some agencies offer soup to nuts in job placement, you don’t have to sign up for everything. But knowing what’s out there can help you with your current needs, as well as with your future needs.
Here are some examples of what you can choose from in a job agency:
Direct Placement Top staffing agencies can help your organization hire new permanent employees, allowing you to skip the initial screening phases and go directly to in-person interviews with the top candidates. It’s the best way to find employees in partnership with a job agency.
Long Term Contracts If you need to fill vacancies without committing to long-term employment, job agencies can fill the role while covering payroll and benefits. You’ll enjoy the flexibility of working with independent contractors. Whether you’re experiencing a freeze on hiring or you simply need to fill a role for a project, long-term contracting is a quality solution for a variety of employment challenges.
Short Term Contracts If you have a short-term project or if you have a time-sensitive employment situation, short term contracts can help bridge the gap. Similar to long term contracts, a short term employee can help quickly solve a short-term employment challenge.
Contract-to-Hire If your organization wants to evaluate a candidate’s skills before hiring, job agencies can offer contract-to-hire employment to assist both your organization, as well as assist the candidate.
Statement of Work (SOW) Some organizations need contingent employees for a specific project or certain amount of time. Staffing agencies can provide an SOW that sets clear expectations for employment, as well as clear expectations for a successful project. The job agency can track the progress for your organization via a comprehensive SOW management solution. Often an SOW is useful when organizations are dealing with strict state government regulations and employee rights and protections.
Finding a job agency that understands your needs
When your organization begins the search for a job agency, treat it the same way you would a search for a candidate. You’ll need to know what you’re looking for and what is appropriate to expect. And you’ll want to interview job agencies as you would interview a candidate.
Here are some questions you’ll want to ask during your screening process:
Starting with the basics, you’ll want to know if they already have candidates who are a good fit for your position.
You’ll want to know how they’ll communicate progress on filling the position.
And you’ll want to know the timing. How long does it typically take to fill a role of this type?
Narrow your search to the best job agencies
While job agencies are also salespeople, they should take the time to listen to you in order to know what you need. Only then can they find someone who will fit the role.
Look for the following in your search for a job agency:
Experience You’re looking for a job agency that’s spent years building a network of talent. You’re leveraging their access to candidates whom you can’t find on a job board. Their reach is worth the money you’ll pay per hour or per contract to both save time and to find candidates you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
Industry-Specific If your organization is filling a permanent placement, you’ll need a job agency’s expertise in your industry. You’ll want to ask when did they most recently fill a role in your industry, how extensive is the agency’s network, and by extension, how large is the agency’s database.
Passive Candidates As mentioned in How Do Job agencies Find the Right Fit, your organization will want to also ask how does the agency find passive candidates.
Fresh Candidates Ask how often does the agency update their talent records. And what is the cadence of finding new talent.
Terms Also ask job agencies about their contracts. You’ll want flexibility in finding and retaining talent. If the terms make it too difficult to keep good people, find a job agency that offers a better contract. Usually, job agencies charge a percentage of the first year’s salary of the placed candidate, or they charge a per-hour fee for temporary placements.
Tips on working with a job agency
You’re free to work with a job agency on a one-time basis. Or you can work with them on a recurring basis. You’ll meet with the job agency to discuss your needs and to fill out paperwork. Then, the job agency gets to work finding candidates that match your position. Once they find qualified candidates, you’ll get the chance to meet those candidates.
Clearly explain your organization’s needs to the job agency. Before contacting an agency, prepare answers to the following questions:
How many positions do you need to fill? It’s appropriate to contact a job agency if you only have one position to fill
What position or positions do you need to fill?
Are the positions permanent or temporary roles?
Are the positions entry-level or management positions?
What are the experience requirements for the positions?
Be clear about what you need in a candidate. While you may have one idea of what “intermediate” means in terms of Excel, your job agency may not define it that way. Find the best way to communicate your needs.
Provide the job agency with details about your organization, including the following:
Mission and vision statements
Description of the organization’s culture
Description of the work environment
Background of the organization
Taking the time to compile and provide these details to the job agency will empower and enable them to find the ideal candidates for your positions.
Optimum Staffing Solutions is a full-service staffing and HR agency serving both companies and job seekers alike. Optimum takes the stress out of the job and employee search–with over 50 years of combined hiring experience, we understand the business elements and bigger picture of staffing. We develop a deep comprehension of both client and candidate needs in order to find the right fit for you, lower time to fill, and continue to act as advisor and guide throughout the hiring process.
Whether seeking jobs or employees on a contract basis, temp, short- or long- term, remote or in-person, freelance projects or even outsourcing your HR department entirely, Optimum has the insight and expertise to destress staffing and help you succeed. For accounting, finance, IT, legal, marketing, HR, and engineering, Optimum is staffing…reimagined.
Curious how a staffing agency could help your business? Schedule a free, 30 minute Discovery Call with Optimum to learn more.