How to Evaluate a Temporary Staffing Agency

How to Evaluate a Temporary Staffing Agency

What You Need to Know About Philadelphia Temp Staffing Agencies

Today, Philadelphia businesses, particularly small businesses, are turning to temporary staffing agencies to deal with the challenges and uncertainties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The many disruptions caused by the pandemic have made it more important than ever for every hour of labor to be as productive as possible. This standard applies to salaried administrative, technical, and support personnel as well as hourly production and operations workers. 

Utilizing qualified temp workers are an ideal way to add talent for a specific project or to accommodate surges in demand without the hassle and liability of adding to your permanent headcount.

Balancing labor with demand is a primary benefit offered by temp staffing companies. But it has been a while since you last used one, or if you have never used one, there are things you need to know about how to choose an agency before investing in their services. 

black and white image of philadelphia

Temp Staffing Agencies Have Evolved in Philadelphia

The first thing you need to know about temporary worker companies in Philadelphia is there are very few generalists offering “white collar” or “blue-collar” workers still in business. Temp staffing agencies have specialized and typically offer specific skill set workers. Innovo Staffing focuses on Finance and accounting staff while others specialize in a wide range of services such as IT, logistics, healthcare, legal, light industrial, sales, and dozens more. 

Specializing allows agencies to bring a whole new level of expertise to their customers and makes them much more attractive to candidates looking for specific applications of their skills. Specializing also attracts agency management and recruiters with specific industry experience putting them in a better position to fully understand a customer’s requirement and to more effectively communicate that requirement to candidates.

Specializing increases instances of meeting or exceeding customer expectations, but it also means that you may want to develop relationships with more than one temp agency to cover your varied temporary work needs.


Evaluating a Temp Staffing Agency

Choosing a temp staffing company to partner with should be approached with the same care as selecting any other critical third-party business partner like a bank, law firm or tax advisor. Take the time to do a proper investigation to ensure a sustainable mutually beneficial business relationship. 

The best way to start your search is by asking vendors, customers, and other trusted sources for referrals. They know you and how you operate and are in the best position to give relevant information regarding the agencies they have used.

You can of course expand your search using Google or professional organizations like the American Recruiters Association or the Chamber of Commerce.

The best time to start your search is before you need temp workers. This eliminates the pressure of needing to make a quick selection and also lets you see how you are received and how responsive management is even though you don’t have an order to place. That said, be prepared to provide a comprehensive overview of your business, its operating method, and culture as a starting reference point for recruiters assigned to your account.

As to specific evaluation, consider the following:

    • The Basics of Business. The staffing agency will be the employer of record relieving you of most employer liabilities such as payroll, FICA, SUI, workman compensation insurance, and benefits. Ensure they are qualified as an employer and have the appropriate business licenses and insurance coverages (particularly workman compensation) to minimize your exposure. A quick check of the BBB or public records will reveal any pending or past litigation.
    • Well structured management team. Both management and recruiters should have credible, first-hand experience in your industry. Agencies who assign a single Point of Contact for a customer typically develop better communications resulting in better placements. 
    • Proven recruiting processes. Professional temp agencies will have no problem demonstrating their recruiting, evaluation, and vetting procedures for candidates. Ask specifics about how recruiting is accomplished during a pandemic. What technology do they use and how do they present the candidate to the employer? Do they offer benefits or career training for temp workers? Ideally, the agency will know and care about their employees and understand their goals with the same emphasis as given to the client.
    • Reputation and references. As with any business relationship, take the time to check on the agency’s references. In addition, using a variety of review sites online, you can check the rating of the company by employees. While these may or may not be accurate, they will display a trend. Happy temp workers potentially will deliver greater productivity when assigned to your site



two people interviewing a temp employee

Final Evaluation Rounds with Temp Staffing Agencies

After you have done your initial due diligence and you have narrowed your choices down, it is time to have the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) discussion. This is where you start to get specific. Be prepared to discuss the KPIs that are important to you including time-to-hire, cost-to-hire, quality of worker, accessibility of Point of Contact, and submittals per position. 

This is going to be the discussion that allows you to measure the agency’s strengths against your specific requirements. 

If you have more than one agency that you believe is a fit, don’t let price be your only consideration in making a decision. Try them both out and let the ease of communication, timeliness of response, and quality of performance be the deciding factors.

Remember, utilizing temporary workers allows you to optimize labor utilization increasing productivity. Additionally, a temporary worker agency relieves you of spending time and resources of recruiting, vetting, and onboarding and the liability associated with being an employer. Letting a third party agency who is fully tuned in to your needs provide the staffing you need allows you to focus on your core business activities that foster continued growth.

There is no shortage of temp staffing agencies in Philadelphia. There is undoubtedly an agency for any skill set you are seeking. Follow these tips on evaluating temp staffing companies and you can ensure a flexible and agile labor response to any challenge or disruption that the pandemic can present.

If your needs are for professional financial and accounting staff, give the specialists at Innovo Staffing a call. We will be delighted to share our story and capabilities with you.

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