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What is a staffing agency? Why do I need one?

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Finding talented and suitable employees is a big challenge for many large, small, and medium-sized enterprises. With greater competition and a more saturated market, companies are looking for more reliable and cost-effective ways to search and find talent. 

A staffing agency partners with internal teams to provide flexible and effective staffing solutions that, together, double down on talent search efficiency, quality, productivity, and agility. Meanwhile, the business can focus on other essential functions. Staffing agencies broaden access to talent by working with several partners and solutions to ensure that their clients get their work done as they need. In times of high-paced competition and a shortage of qualified workers, staffing agencies help companies to access the best talent from all possible directions. They do this by providing advise to your business on where to look, what to offer and how to engage job seekers for your specific vacancies and ongoing hiring needs. 

In a competitive labor market, businesses are looking for suitable temporary and part-time workers that cater to their business needs. At the same time, the younger workforce seeks organizations that value flexibility and a healthy work-life balance. As such, staffing agencies become a valuable medium for bringing workers and businesses together. 

There are many different kinds of staffing agencies that solve different problems. Arthur Ransier, Director of Business Strategy at nTech, says, “The core differences between staffing agencies are about the problems being solved: the magnitude, purpose, frequency, industry, and difficulty of hiring help to orient providers towards the right solution. Further, there are constraints when commercializing a solution, such as cost or rules, and stakeholder requirements that are included in solution design. Payment terms, level of effort, warranties, and other expectations can vary considerably between services.”

 

Services Offered by Staffing Agencies 

 

Staffing agencies offer a variety of services, some of which include: 

  1. Agency of Record (AOR): Managing subcontracted workers. They negotiate, establish, manage, and govern subcontracts with workers and/or services companies to augment your teams. As your point of contact for outsourcing to suppliers, they will hold a master agreement with your firm that enables them to manage downstream contracts with all other staffing suppliers.

  2. Direct-Hire (Permanent Placement): Offsetting an influx of job vacancies as needed. Staffing agencies complement internal recruiting during high growth or other periods when those responsible for hiring could use an extra set of hands. 

  3. Managed Direct-Sourcing: Re-deploying workers from your databases. You have a multitude of workers throughout your databases. They will curate known workers into meaningful lists and efficiently (re)deploy them into forecasted jobs. 

  4. Managed Staffing Services (Managed Service Provider or “MSP”): Managing all aspects related to staffing, recruitment, and assignment management as an intermediary between a customer and contractors. Applying staffing industry standards and engaging dozens of contractors & thousands of workers requires focused expertise. Alignment to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) Contingent Workforce Program Maturity Model ensures project goals are met.  

  5. Payroll Outsourcing (Employer of Record/EOR): Referral management for contract workers. You know who you want to hire, but you’re not hiring them directly. You refer them and pay the staffing agency an all-inclusive hourly rate. The agency becomes responsible for all HR matters, spanning timekeeping, compensation, performance management, and associated tax/legal implications. 

  6. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO): Outsourced recruitment for a defined time period. Whether you need to hire 1 or 100 people in a month, they ensure you have reliable recruitment support to deliver fully-staffed, winning teams and get work done in a timely and economical manner. 

  7. Retained Search: SIA defines Retained Search as “Service provided by an executive search firm to locate a candidate for a specific position at a client company. Under a Retained Search arrangement, a fee is payable whether or not a hire is made.” 

  8. Staff Augmentation: Outsourced workers for a defined time period. Your objectives include projects that are temporary or fulfilling seasonal demands: software development, marketing campaigns, IT infrastructure, year-end closing, customer care hiring, and more. Outsourced, temporary works add to your existing team to get the job done. 

  9. Temporary Help: SIA defines temporary help services as “a staffing firm recruiting and hiring its staff and assigning those staff to perform work at, or services for, other organizations that need the services of those staff. 

What do Staffing Agencies Offer? 

 

Staffing agencies have many benefits for job seekers and companies looking to hire. Companies save on hiring costs by streamlining hiring efforts and getting relief during busy projects by delegating the hiring responsibility to staffing agencies, thus creating a more diverse workforce and accessing talent networks and industry knowledge and data. 

Similarly, job seekers also get access to a wide range of employer networks cultivated by staffing agencies. For potential candidates, working with a staffing agency is a way to accelerate networking and job exploration. Passive candidates (those comfortable with their current job) can put feelers out with multiple staffing agencies to broaden their search, compile market data, and understand the competitive landscape for their work. Once they’ve exhausted contacts in their existing network, active job seekers can use a staffing agency to enter new circles and gain access to employment.

 

Remote Worker

 

Internal hiring and working with a staffing agency can go hand in hand. As Ransier puts it, “It’s not binary, whether a company should work with a staffing agency or build an internal team to hire workers. Staffing agencies work alongside the business to design solutions, which most often results in hybrid solutions – contingent and permanent workers, contractors and employees, part-time and full-time workers, in-house talent acquisition, and recruitment outsourcing. The key is to design a purpose-built hiring solution for continually getting work done in a way that is both economical and practical.”


At nTech, we have innovative and customized staffing solutions that cater to businesses of all sizes. Our services include direct hire, staff augmentation, LEVEL-UP, direct sourcing, payroll outsourcing, and agency of record (AOR). We go beyond finding the right people by retaining productive workers, providing growth opportunities, and making a real impact at your company.

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