Your Staffing Firm: Adversary or Partner?

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Burt was frustrated again. His company, Alpine Industries, had an increasing problem with employee turnover, and it was costing them big. Now they urgently needed another employee, and Sue in HR hadn’t had any luck finding the right candidate. Burt really didn’t want to have to cough up a contingency fee, but finally, out of desperation, he called Pete at ABC Staffing Agency.

 After assessing the organization from an outsider’s point of view, Pete observed that Alpine’s symptom—turnover—was mainly caused by management’s making the same mis-hire over and over again. Burt’s authoritative personality carried over into his interviewing style and led him to choose only employees who would agree with him and who were too inhibited to share ideas or speak up about problems. Sue in HR furthered the problem by interrogating candidates instead of interviewing them. Employees felt uncomfortable and unable to please, and they consistently chose to leave after a short time with Alpine.

 Right away, Pete could tell that Burt resented having to use a staffing agency. Finding himself in the tough spot of wanting Burt to know how a search firm could benefit him, yet not wanting to step on his toes, Pete came up with a few facts he would like all of his clients to understand:

1)      We are on the same side of the desk as you. We want what you want, and maybe even more because we are experts at hiring. When you partner with us, we work to achieve your goals and what’s best for you.

 2)      We can see things you don’t, and we want to help. Take advantage of our objectivity and experience. If you let us take a good look at your organization, we can help you not just with your symptoms but also with your problems.

 3)      We want a long-term relationship with you. It does us no good, either now or later, to place a mediocre candidate at your company. We want you to get a winner with every hire. You win, we win, and so do our candidates.

 4)      We can do things you can’t do. As the middleman, we can do things like discuss salary ranges right from the start. You can waste a lot of time evaluating a candidate only to discover after the second interview that he wants more than you’re willing to pay. And since we have a variety of open positions, we can converse candidly with candidates about their true career objectives and strengths–conversations that you may not be able to have because candidates tend to focus solely on your position’s needs.

5)      We can save you time, money, and energy. You get what you pay for, and probably more. As your staffing partner, we expertly handle all the activities you would normally do: sourcing, recruiting, screening, testing, interviewing, and hiring employees. And for contract workers, we administrate everything from payroll taxes to terminations so you don’t have to. This frees you to keep your focus on the work that makes your company profitable. Partnering with us also prevents the delays in hiring often felt by HR personnel who have less resources and time.

Ultimately, the story of Burt and Pete remains unfinished. ABC Staffing Agency is currently searching for that urgently needed candidate, and the search process has had its rocky moments. Establishing trust and credibility takes time, something that Pete has spent his lifetime doing. Candidates can be unpredictable, making it difficult to wrap up hiring stories in neat little packages. But through the hiring process, Burt is starting to see that Pete, along with ABC Staffing Agency, is truly his partner and not an adversary, and that there may eventually be a happy ending for everyone after all. 

By Marcianne Kuethen.© Amtec 2010

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