Get the Most out of your Staffing Agency
If you’ve ever worked with a staffing agency, then you already know how amazingly efficient they are at finding placements. If you want to get the most out of your staffing agency you hire, prepare ahead of time. But, like most things, there are ways you can get even more out of your staffing agency experience. Take it from an insider who’s been doing this for quite some time. With a little insider information, you can really get your staffing agency to work for you in ways you never before imagined and here’s how:
- Work with a specialized staffing agency
There are two main types of staffing agencies. The general staffing agency is best suited for the skill-less or the wanderlust. If you have no specific or specialized skills, or just prefer to dabble in this and that at an entry level position, then a general staffing agency will work out nicely for you.
However, if you have on the job training or a degree in a specialized field, then your best option is to sign on with a specialized staffing agency. These agencies work much like head hunting firms, yet they are not only for executive level positions. Essentially, a company looking for a specific talent (and willing to pay for a specialized skill) will most often turn to a staffing agency specializing in that field. The agency in turn reviews their list of candidates and makes recommendations based on what the client is specifically looking for.
- Know your objectives going in
When it comes down to it, getting the “most” out of your staffing agency experience is, to some degree, subjective. The best advice I can give you is to understand your objectives going in and make them clear to your point of contact. It helps if a recruiter understands a few fundamental things about you before they start matching you up. Here are some things, you want communicate:
- Do you prefer temporary work, or are you using the agency to expedite the search for a permanent position?
- Do you prefer to enter into an established role that has seasonal volume needs, or do you prefer to work projects and beta roles?
- Are you looking to gain experience with a small business, large corporation, or a non-profit?
- Is there a specific role you are after or a role you’d like to avoid? (For instance, if you have a marketing background, but absolutely had social media management, that’s important info!)
- What are your pay and benefit requirements? How far are you willing to drive?
- Build a rapport with your main contact
How to get the most out of your staffing agency sometimes comes down to time. The more time you can provide an agency in helping them understand your needs and culture, the better the job they can do for you. With many staffing agencies, you’ll find you will be primarily working with one individual. It is in your best interest to build a relationship with this person. A big reason is the obvious likability factor. People will work harder for you if they like you. But also, building a rapport allows your contact to get to know you on a personal level and as they look over openings, they’ll instinctively know which positions would best suit you and you’ll always be in the front of their mind, rather than at the bottom of a stack of papers. Building rapport means more than just swinging by the office with donuts. You also want to be on top of your game. Don’t wait for an e-mail asking for an updated resume or portfolio samples. Make sure your contact has everything they need to match you up with a great position. Remember, staffing agencies pride themselves on the professionals they bring on. Their business depends on impressing the heck out of their clients with the talent they have to offer. You want to show the agency that you are the candidate that is going to make them look good and nothing shows this more than being on your “A” game before you’ve even interviewed for a position.
Remember, do your homework about what your needs truly are first. This is as much about how to get the most out of your staffing agency as anything. Being specific on responsibilities and requirements of the job is key, as well as compensation and benefits available to a new hire.
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