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4 min read

How Can I Get the Most Out of My Relationship with My Staffing Agency?

How Can I Get the Most Out of My Relationship with My Staffing Agency?

According to McKinsey, the demand and supply for contingent workers is booming, with some going as far as to say that a contingent workforce can be the X factor for organizational agility.

But getting the right workers in for the right job comes down to more than just making an order. A strong staffing agency partnership is needed to ensure companies get the contingent workers that work best for them.

Arthur Ransier has been a Staffing Strategy Leader with nTech Workforce for nearly a decade and has seen first-hand the impact that a strong staffing partner relationship can have, and this is what he has noticed.

 

Why Is It Important to Have a Strong Relationship With Your Staffing Agency?

There is wisdom in the idea that successful business comes down to good relationships. As Ransier notes, “A strong relationship with your staffing partners improves communication – such as the flow of actionable information about workers and their assignments – and inspires them to catalyze your objectives.”

A little bit of extra time spent cultivating that relationship can also lead to material savings since even contingent worker turnover costs $24,000 per person. As well there is time and effort spent in hiring and training, and rapid turnover can take an emotional toll not only on the affected workers but also on the permanent staff and overall company culture.

Working toward good supplier engagement includes continual and meaningful feedback, which Ransier says “improves your staffing partners’ service-level performance, including abilities to retain workers, redeploy workers, and meet client-culture expectations.”

Overall, better relationships with staffing agencies lead to stronger relationships with the workers themselves. One of the major reasons is that more fulsome supplier engagement can lead to greater insights and data. This information provides meaningful insights, which Ransier says “improves an ability to identify trends, head off negative attrition, and improve inclusion, belonging, and the connection to meaningful business outcomes.”

 

How Can a Good Relationship Help Your Staffing Agency to Better Understand Your Hiring Needs?

 

Building a true partnership with your staffing agency will help ensure your hiring needs are met successfully. This level of relationship is built through strong communication, and it starts with the service-level agreement. During the initial intake call, suppliers are looking for as much information as possible to best serve the company’s needs. 

Clarity is key because a lack of direction can be overwhelming. The give and take that occurs in those initial conversations, as well as periodic feedback, can define what is working, what is not working, and why.

Hiring managers can learn a great deal from their staffing company’s market insights too. As Ransier notes, “Feedback and market data from staffing partners early in the hiring process can be the difference between a hiring process that takes weeks versus one that takes months.”

 

Should Companies Have An Internal Review Process For Staffing Agency Recruits?

Companies should have their internal review process for staffing agency recruits. At the crux of the need for internal review is the fact that, as Ransier puts it: “neither staffing agencies nor recruiters are typically experts in the fields for which they recruit. While screening candidates is part of the hiring process, and recruiters can determine whether a candidate meets pre-established requirements, recruiters may not be able to identify, for example, if a software engineer describes the most efficient way to solve a problem.”

The main solution is a thorough internal review can improve the likelihood of a successful hire. 

Ransier has some more advice for hiring managers too, noting that when procuring a staffing agency partnership they might want to look into “the benefits they offer workers, reading their reviews online, asking for referrals from businesses like yours, reviewing any awards they’ve received and asking them for customer/value stories which demonstrate alignment to your needs.”

 

Are There Any Success Stories of Supplier Engagement at nTech?

Ransier and the team at nTech know what it means to put words into action when it comes to building good client relationships and cultivating a culture of supplier engagement.

Ransier tells a story about a time when he went the extra mile for a client:

Three years into my staffing career, I earned an opportunity to manage a payroll outsourcing, agency of record, and direct-sourcing program. Still at nTech, I left the comfort of our office to work onsite in Owings Mills, Maryland with one of our most highly-valued clients, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. It was a scary experience. 

Despite being a confident recruiter, and having strong technical competencies, cultivating client relationships was new for me. Managed direct-sourcing and agency of record (AOR) services are different than staff augmentation. There’s a greater expectation for efficiency than the effectiveness of engaging skilled people, since candidates are referred or otherwise known by the client. Working for a small, minority-owned business, I didn’t have a huge team or support system in place. I will forever be thankful to Brandee Roberts, Kayla Raynor, Mahesh Manchikatla, Sridhar Kunadi, and Surajit Sengupta for their flexibility and compassion as I figured out how to navigate those new complexities.

On my first day on the job, I remember when Anthony McKenzie told me about a large migration of workers moving onto nTech’s contract as part of the sunsetting of an existing staffing partner’s contract. I remember feeling excited about the new job, overwhelmed by the immediate & urgent nature of the tasks at hand and calmed by Anthony’s demeanor. Anthony, Kat Chase, and Theresa Gambino made CareFirst’s needs clear; I was asked to audit around 30 assignments to ensure data integrity, conduct outreach to all 30 workers to inform them of the change and negotiate a subcontracting agreement that wouldn’t jeopardize relationships with the vendor.

I remember thinking, “Okay, let’s go. I got this.” The clarity, timeline, and overall success of the initiative may not have been possible without the strength of relationships on CareFirst’s “ELMO” (External Labor Management Office) team. I relayed the needs and proposed solution along to nTech’s Human Resources and Accounting teams, and we all got to work.

Not only did we successfully meet CareFirst’s needs, but I have a great relationship with the subcontractor to this day. We’ve worked together on several projects since then.

With the team at nTech Workforce, companies are getting the most out of a staffing agency partnership, to ensure that their needs, concerns, and questions are met with active and ongoing engagement.

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