By Will Hunt Jr.
September 3, 2009
With every challenge comes an opportunity. So even in the face of a global recession is an opportunity for local employers to benefit from having one of the most talented and experienced labor pools available in recent years.
Now is the time to build your company for the next economic boon. Your biggest assets are the professionals you employ who represent you. From a staffing perspective, the quality of and demand for temp professionals is extremely high today. These professionals can support an organization with a high level of skills and competitive cost.
Better yet these temp professionals generally have worked in multiple work environments, and can easily adapt to a varied workload, expectations and corporate cultures. They are hungry, motivated and could be a part of your long-term plans.
Yet here’s the kicker. Not all staffing firms are alike. The quality of temp professionals is related directly to the quality of the staffing firm providing them. Your staffing partner needs to offer you flexible staffing options.
Firms that strive to keep their employees’ health and well-being high attract the best candidates and are more likely to remain valuable partners for their clients. They offer maternity leaves, are project-focused and allow clients the opportunities to try a temp professional before a longer-term commitment.
How can you go about finding the best temp professionals? Choose the best staffing firm. Asking these questions will help.
1. How many candidates will you send me?
You and your staff have little time to sort through hundreds of applications for the temp position. And these days, you will literally get hundreds of applicants for almost any opening, most of them completely unqualified for the position. So working with a professional staffing firm that does the work for you, and recommends a small number of highly skilled and qualified candidates is invaluable.
2. How do you qualify candidates?
Resumes alone aren’t enough. Many temp candidates offer advanced software skill-sets that can only be revealed through testing. Make sure that the firm you use can provide test results for the softwares you require for the position. A thorough reference check of three previous colleagues, managers and subordinates should also be required. Your professional staffing firm should be able to easily define their qualification standards.
3. How do you price your services?
There should be consistency here so you know what you are going to spend on a temp position. Such costs should be identified up front without fear of hidden fees. Again, your professional staffing firm must be able to answer this question succinctly.
4. How quickly is your response time to my inquiries?
The answer should be within 24 to 48 hours at most. Reputable professional staffing firms already have a wide range of candidates available that could fit your specific need. Those firms that have such a large number of available are more likely to have developed good long-term relationships with those candidates. And that means a lot, because a staffing firm should consider both its paying clients and available candidates as important “customers.”
Your professional staffing firm should service both you and its candidates. Many of these candidates provide specialized skills in one or more specific industries. They are eager to work and prove their value in this job market.
If you can be confident that the firm they are with is making its best efforts to represent all involved parties, that firm can become an invaluable partner - one that can help your business thrive as the economy recovers.
Will Hunt Jr., CPA, is CEO of the Harvard Resource Group in Troy, Mich. He can be contacted at [email protected].