28 January 2021

How to Choose a Staffing Agency for Your Company’s Unique Requirements

Wayne Burgess
Wayne Burgess

An increasing number of businesses are utilizing staffing agencies more than ever before, helping them to access talented contingent workers, beat industry skills shortages, build flexible workforces and save money.

In fact, a recent Gartner survey revealed that 32 percent of organizations are replacing full-time employees with contingent workers as a cost-saving measure. The report claimed that “utilizing more gig workers provides employers with greater workforce management flexibility.”

Trusting your staffing requirements to a third-party can be a difficult and important decision. Your company is only as good as it’s employees, and you need a staffing agency who is able to place the right non-employee workers, in the right positions at the right time and price point. 

That’s why it’s crucial that your company takes some steps to find out exactly what you will be receiving from your chosen staffing agency. 

So, how exactly do you evaluate staffing agencies and find the right one for the unique staffing requirements of your business? Conexis VMS has listed a few tips here that will help you to evaluate potential vendors.

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Start by defining your staffing needs

The first step to choosing the right staffing agency is to internally define your company’s non-employee staffing needs. Do you need short-term help that allows you to scale up and down depending on seasonal demand? Are you looking for specific experience or skills that will ensure you can complete projects when they come through?

There’s no way of properly evaluating the right staffing agency for your business and how they perform when working with your company, if you aren’t able to clearly communicate to them your staffing requirement. 

Is the staffing agency experienced in your industry?

Any staffing agency that you choose to work with should have experience working in your company’s specific industry. This will ensure the staffing agency has a better understanding of what your business needs to fulfill its workforce targets, as well as having better access to talented and experienced contingent workers. 

Staffing agencies should be able to provide referrals to companies that ask. Contacting these referrals will give you some first-hand insights and opinions from businesses that have previously worked with the vendor - although keep in mind that agencies will only ever provide you with referrals who were happy with their service, not the ones that weren’t. 

What costs are included in their bill rate?

Markups can vary substantially between staffing agencies, so before partnering with a vendor it’s important that your business understands exactly what costs are included in the advertised bill rate. Take your time to understand what percentage of the bill rate is going to the worker, how much is going to the government and what percentage of a cut is the agency taking. 

What is the vendor's response time?

One of the main reasons that businesses use contingent workers is the ability to create flexible workforces that can be scaled up and down rapidly depending on demand. That’s why you need to make sure you work with a staffing agency that has fast response times. Look for a vendor that is able to respond to your queries in a matter of hours, not days. 

Whatever staffing agencies you chose to work with, ensure you manage them with a VMS

Once you have chosen the staffing agencies that will fill your non-employee staffing requirements, it’s crucial that your company properly manages, tracks and analyzes their performance to ensure they are helping your business achieve its workforce targets and that they are operating inside your workforce budget.

It’s simply ineffective to use manual and time-consuming methods such as spreadsheets, in-house databases or Sharepoint-like websites, to analyze your vendors. 

Instead, your business should be using a vendor management system (VMS) to automate and consolidate your staffing agencies into one centralized location. This will help you to properly monitor and track the performance of your vendors, allowing you to measure your staffing agencies against key performance indicators (KPIs) such as time-to-fill, time-to-submit and turnover.

These KPIs will ensure that your staffing agencies are helping your business meet its contingent workforce targets, while saving money. 

Want to learn more about the benefits of a VMS solution and how the use of technology can help you effectively manage your staffing vendors? Contact Conexis VMS today. Our team of non-employee workforce experts would love to answer your questions. 

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Wayne Burgess

Wayne Burgess

Prior to starting Conexis, Wayne was a tireless champion for clients within Accenture’s Procurement practice with specific experience across the Services and Contingent Labour spectrum. Wayne has run programs from as small as $5m to as big as $2bn. Wayne has deep consulting and operational delivery experience. He is a talented leader of organizations and has a proven track record of driving significant customer value.

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