A strong staffing agency partnership relies heavily on the agency’s ability to perform. How you measure this performance can often be a source of confusion.
Some companies evaluate performance based on limited parameters such as order fill rate, cost-per-hire, or simply the number of candidates submitted. For many others, quality is a key measure. We often hear prospective clients say, “my staffing agency doesn’t deliver quality candidates”. It's important to understand what aspects of quality your agency should be held accountable for.
To get your staffing agency to help find quality talent and work in your best interests, you should think of them as an extension of your own HR department.
What Does ‘Quality Talent’ Mean Exactly?
There are numerous ways to define talent quality, but often it can come down to the ‘eye of the beholder’. For a more precise measure, there are several parameters that can be considered:
- The ability to meet specific competencies or skills
- Personality and Cultural fit
- Job performance
- Hiring manager satisfaction
- Conversion from temporary or contingent to permanent status
- Ramp-up to productivity
Different companies (and perhaps different departments within those companies) may use several of these parameters to assess quality. To compound things, there can also be many opinions on what drives quality, or who is responsible for engaging and retaining quality talent.
What Engages Quality Talent?
There are many factors under a company’s control that influence the ability to attract and retain quality. These include crucial things like competitive pay, good working environment and onboarding support.
Your staffing partner can play a big role in helping to engage the right talent. How well is your agency performing the following tasks?
- Doing a deep dive on getting to know your company and its culture
- Understanding (and delivering on) what is most important to hiring managers
- Spending quality time on upfront candidate assessment for skills and culture fit
- Submitting well-vetted candidates in a timely manner
- Assisting with onboarding and the helping the candidate toward permanent status
Strong Agency Communication is Critical
To get your staffing agency to help find quality talent and work in your best interests, you should think of them as an extension of your own HR department. Have discussions up front in terms of timelines, volumes and expectations. You should also be open to hearing feedback from your agency on what’s possible and realistic given market conditions and other factors.
You should provide constructive feedback frequently, highlighting what’s going well and what isn’t. Ongoing and transparent communication with your agency is also essential to make sure your best interests are met.