WHY USE A PROFESSIONAL STAFFING AGENCY ?

A study conducted by McKinsey Co. in 1997, predicted that the most important corporate resource over the next 20 years would be talent. The study went on to state that this would also be the resource in shortest supply and the search for the best and the brightest would become a constant, costly battle, a fight with no final victory.

Talented professionals are in extremely high demand today, with every employer seeking to attract and retain the same talent pool. The other day we hired a great senior executive for one of our clients and 5 months into the job, another company approached the same candidate for whom our client was really pleased with. The company gave them an offer that our client could not match. And so, as the battle for the best talent continues to intensify, it has become clear that companies need to increase their efficiency and effectiveness regarding recruitment.
Staffing agencies can help you score better in the battle for talent. You don’t need to go through hundreds of curriculum vitaes (CVs) that have no relevance to the role you are seeking to fill. When you use a staffing agency, the agency ensures that you don’t meet any candidate unless they satisfy the criteria for the role that you are seeking to fill.
Staffing agencies also conduct preliminary screening and testing. When you are busy investing in your company’s Strategic Business processes and tools that will help you grow your core business, staffing agencies on the other hand are busy investing in tools that will help them get the right fit for every role they are asked to fill. These tools range from interview techniques, psychometric assessment centers, document verification processes, to reference and background checks, application tracking systems and other strategic tools.
The advantages of seeking the services of a staffing agency include;

1. The recruiter will give you critical insights that will enable you to make the right hiring decision. Before they can support you, a reputable staffing agency will want to know why you are hiring. They will want to know if the position is new or why the position holder left. They aim to understand the context of the assignment as this guides them to the right fit for the role. They may also share insights around market trends, correct remuneration and benefits for the role. They normally will act in the best interests of both parties, therefore ensuring the right move for the candidate and the right hiring decision for the employer.
2. Saving time and money. A reputable staffing agency ensures only the best 3 or 4 candidates- those whose profile closely matches the role a client is seeking to fill- are considered for the face to face interview with the client. This saves you great amounts of time as you only get to meet the best fits. When you compare the cost implications of maintaining an in-house recruiter, including salary, benefits and leave, the benefits of using a recruiter far outweigh the fees that they charge. Recruiters have access to a wide pool of talented professionals who are not actively looking to change jobs, but if an attractive opportunity comes up they are always willing to discuss the details with the recruiter.
3. Recruiters know where to look for talent. They have dedicated resources whose primary role is to headhunt for talent. Every morning when they report to work they implement creative ways to narrow down to the right candidates, even if these candidates have not applied for the position. Assuming you sought to headhunt for a strategic role, can your HR Manager call your competition to invite potential candidates for an interview with your company? Of course not, as the competition would immediately know what you were up to. We therefore recommend that you release your HR teams to focus on optimizing organizational performance – this enables you to achieve desired output whilst leaving the staffing agencies with the task of finding the right candidates.
4. Access to application tracking systems. Technological advancements have revolutionized the way we do business and if you are still sieving through applications, you need to pay attention to this point. Top notch recruitment agencies have access to application tracking systems that allow for the automatic sieving of candidates as they make the application. The application tracking software allows the recruiter to customize questions that the applicant must fill as part of the application process. The questions are derived from the job advert and specific to the job being advertised. As the prospective candidates are applying, the system sieves the candidate who has the most perfect/ideal answer and ranks them on top. For example, if a position attracted 250 applications, the recruiter can quickly download the 10 or 20 strongest candidates and only cross check the CVs for this selected group and further decide which candidates to invite for pre- screening. Believe me, it works like a charm.
5. Reduction of administrative tasks. Whatever your industry, be it energy, gas and oil, mining, construction engineering, research, etc. outsourcing part of your human resource management function allows your HR teams to focus on the project deliverables and optimize hired staff to achieve expected output. This gives you complete peace of mind and releases your internal HR teams to focus on the big picture and not the mundane administrative duties arising thereof.

The business dynamics of today demand that organizations explore strategies that will give them a competitive edge. And by seeking the support of staffing agencies, organizations can gain the necessary advantages needed to propel them to victory in the war on talent.

The Writer is the Managing Director of Flexi Personnel, Ltd. www.flexi-personnel.com. Email alice@flexi-personnel.com

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