In a previous post (Understanding the Staffing Industry), we discussed the most common services offered by staffing companies. These services can be broken down into four main categories: temporary and contract staffing, recruiting and permanent placement, outsourcing and outplacement, and human resource consulting. However, as temporary and contract staffing is by far the largest of these categories, accounting for about 89% of the industry’s total sales in 2013, in this post we will concentrate on sourcing temporary and contract staffing services.

As discussed in the previous post, the reasons for working with a staffing firm to fill temporary or temp-to-perm positions in your company are plentiful. But with more than 17,000 firms throughout the United States claiming to all provide the same service, it is important to choose the right staffing firm to partner with; an ideal staffing firm will understand your needs and requirements and will have experience finding the types of candidates that you are looking for. Below are some key criteria to consider when deciding what staffing firm your company should work with.

Location of Your Company
For companies with multiple locations throughout the United States, or abroad, it’s important to consider a multitude of options when choosing a staffing firm. Staffing firms come in all shapes and sizes- there are local firms with only one office, regional firms with multiple offices throughout a state or a region, and national firms with hundreds of offices throughout the country. All of these types of firms offer their own advantages and there is no standard strategy to choosing a type of firm to work with that works best for every company. While partnering with one national firm may make relationship management easier, these firms oftentimes do not have a presence in rural areas, so a company with facilities in rural areas may need to partner with several local firms in order to receive the best service and candidates. Some companies prefer to partner with one firm for all of their temporary staffing needs while others partner with multiple firms throughout the country. Neither approach is wrong but it is important to think about what makes the most sense for your company.

The Types of Temporary Employees that Your Company Typically Hires
If your company only hires temporary staff to fill administrative or professional roles, it might make sense to work with a firm that specializes in these fields (like Robert Half or Kelly Services). These firms specialize in staffing these kinds of positions and usually have an established pool of candidates ready to be staffed in these positions. There also firms (like Manpower) that specialize in staffing employees into light industrial and skilled industrial roles. If you know that your company only needs to fill these kinds of positons, working with a firm that specializes in them makes sense. Finally, there are companies (like Adecco, Aerotek, and Randstad) that staff all kinds of positions. If your company needs to fill various positions throughout the year, including administrative, professional, and industrial roles, working with one of these firms may provide an opportunity to work with only one firm to meet all of your temporary staffing needs.

The Number of Temporary Staff that Your Company Hires Annually
It is very important to be able to project your need for temporary employees before choosing a staffing firm to work with. Companies that hire a couple of temporary employees per year may only need to work with one staffing firm to meet their needs. However, if your company hires hundreds of temporary employees every year, it might make sense to have a bench of approved staffing firms that you can always call on to fill a position. This way, if a certain firm is ever unable to find a qualified candidate for a position that you need staffed, you always have a backup plan to get that position filled.

If your company needs to find a staffing firm to partner with, but you’re not sure how to start the searching process, you can work with a service provider who can consult with your HR and procurement departments to source ideal staffing agencies and negotiate best-in-class contracts and pricing. These procurement consultants often have worked across multiple industries, understand how to optimize temporary labor service provider relationships, and can tell whether or not there are savings opportunities that your company is not taking advantage of.

For more on Source One's expertise for staffing, please also review our solutions for procurement, supply chain, and sourcing staffing
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Boris Kopylov

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