6 Questions to Ask a Staffing Agency

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Posted by: David Garcia June 21, 2023

It’s no secret that the hiring process can be arduous and time-consuming. This is why many companies seek staffing agencies to offload some of the labor and energy. Staffing agencies can help companies find skilled workers who can be placed right into full-time tracks much faster than internal employees who have to balance other duties. 

But not all staffing agencies are created equal. If you’re considering contracting with a staffing agency to meet some of your hiring demands, make sure to ask these six essential questions for an informed decision. 

1. What industries does your agency specialize in?

90% of Fortune 500 companies utilize staffing agencies to fulfill temporary and contract staffing needs. But not all staffing agencies are qualified to recruit for all fields. You wouldn’t hire a candidate with engineering experience for a sales position. So why would you contract with a staffing agency that doesn’t specialize in your field?

Make sure to vet agencies before you meet with them, and ask them specific questions about their particular experience in handling your industry. 

2. How are poor placements handled?

No amount of money, expertise, and vetting can save you from bad hires. Every once in a while, a bad hire simply slips through the cracks and gets hired. You often won’t know they’re a bad fit until the decision has already been made. 

So how do staffing agencies respond when their placements don’t work out? You should look for an answer that’s both practiced and honest. If they seem caught off guard, they may not be consciously learning from their mistakes – or even aware of them. If they sound too polished in their response, you might be dealing with a dishonest entity. 

3. How do you approach sourcing and screening?

What type of strategies does the agency lean on to source and screen potential candidates? Do they employ background checks? Do they individually interview all candidates? Do they only offer temp workers, or can they scout contract and permanent placement employees?

Make sure you understand not just what the agency is capable of doing for you, but how they plan to do it. 

4. How large is your talent pool?

Over the years, the hiring process has gotten more complicated and harder to execute. Research compiled by the Harvard Business Review found that 40% of all U.S. companies have outsourced their hiring processes to “recruitment process outsourcers” who have no internal knowledge of their specific needs.

Contracting with a staffing agency with access to a large talent pool is essential. 

5. What is your agency’s placement success rate?

The agencies that you’re considering should be able to provide a record of success. It’s not enough to be able to talk competently about sourcing, screening, and recruiting. They should be able to prove their efficacy for companies like yours. 

6. What are your rates?

Don’t get lost in process questions. How much agencies charge for their services is just as important. Shop quotes around to ensure you’re getting the best service-to-substance ratio.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Questions Should I Ask a Staffing Agency?

There are dozens of questions you can ask a potential staffing agency, including the six listed above. Identify what’s essential to your company’s hiring process to a few points and convert those points into questions. That way, you’ll know you’re getting crucial information. 

How Do I Prepare for a Staffing Agency Interview?

Prepare for a staffing agency interview by doing two things: researching their company and understanding your own. Without knowledge of your own needs, you’ll be unprepared to assess their competence in assisting you with hiring. 

Final Thoughts

Working with a competent and targeted staffing agency can be a game-changer for any human resources department or hiring manager. But it’s crucial to thoroughly vet staffing agencies to ensure they’re compatible with your company’s niche, their policies are appropriate, and their services are legit. And as we all know — finding the right candidate is just the first hurdle in the hiring process. That’s where we can help lighten your load. For all your background check needs, contact ScoutLogic. We’ll provide you with comprehensive and suitable background screening services. Work with one of our dedicated Scouts to get first-rate support during the screening process and bring you one step closer to onboarding your perfect hire.

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