Ten years ago, we witnessed one of the worst recessions in modern history, which in turn forced many companies to shut down or impose massive layoffs. It goes without saying that unemployment rates skyrocketed and created an unprecedented labor pool.
For companies that survived the recession, finding employees became easier and the use of staffing agencies dwindled. When this happened, many companies starting using their HR departments in place of talent acquisition teams, which at the time worked out well.
Today, the labor pool has been completely flipped on its side for many reasons. However, two of the largest factors are that the Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day and long gone are the days of shop class. In other words, there simply is no pipeline to compensate for labor demands.
But if you’re reading this article, I’m not telling you something you already don’t know. What you may not realize however, is that by overwhelming your HR department with recruiting tasks and on-boarding, you’re creating a much larger problem.
When HR gets over tasked, it creates delays in filling job vacancies. In turn, delays in on-boarding create machine downtime and machine downtime creates loss in revenue.
So, what can you do to reduce workload, fill jobs faster and become more efficient as a company? The answer is partnering with a staffing firm to do all the heavy lifting for you.
Benefits of partnering with a firm
· Try employees before committing to hiring them direct
· Reduced costs
· Avoid unemployment claims
· Manage HR workload and increase flexibility
Try & Buy (AKA contract to hire)
There are several reasons why you may want to hire an employee under a contract period. This is especially important with some higher-level positions as hiring the wrong person can be a costly endeavor. But ultimately, you want to make sure the chemistry is right and that the employee can do what they say they can do. Agencies do very well at screening candidates efficiently, however sometimes a bad apple can squeeze through cracks. Additionally, if you choose to release a contract employee, the agency can handle the termination with little or no intervention from the employer.
When you hire an employee through an agency, you are relieved of providing health benefits. In addition to that, contract employees do not get paid sick leave, PTO and cannot file unemployment claims against the employer. Finally, your current employees will not have to spend time filtering candidates which will keep your human resources costs down.
Increased Flexibility and Managing workload
During the second and third quarters of the year, oftentimes business ramps up. When new contracts come in, you’ll have an increased workload for your current employees. It might be a good idea to hire temporary labor to fill these gaps and not overburden your employees with excessive overtime. Working employees 60-80 hours per week can become strenuous and you may risk losing a good employee. Temporary labor can also assist in filling employment gaps when direct employees take time off.
Now that I have provided you with reasons to use a firm, I’d like to guide you on how to have a successful relationship. I’m sure you have noticed that throughout the article, I used the word “partner” and I did that for a specific reason. While the firm is getting paid by the employer, the relationship works much like a marriage. There will be negotiations, compromise and clear expectations on both ends. See below a few useful tips.
In today’s market, I do understand the thought process of using multiple agencies. But like a marriage, it is preferable to have a monogamous relationship. When using multiple agencies, we often step on each other’s toes, confuse candidates and get into client ownership debates.
For example; who submitted John/Jane Doe first, who owns the candidate and how long is the cut off from date of presentation to ownership. These debates tend to get ugly and nobody really wins. More often than not, an employer will choose not to hire a candidate rather than get in any sort of legal dispute. This hurts the candidate and the employer because the candidate misses out on an opportunity and the employer leaves a gap unfilled.
Give the Agency Direct Access to the Hiring Manager
It is imperative that we keep open lines of communication between the firm, the HR department and the hiring manager’s directly. Oftentimes when presenting candidates to HR, there can be a disconnect between what is presented, and what is actually expected of the hiring manager. The hiring manager is extremely well versed in their department and knows exactly the skill set they are looking for. An HR manager might miss something on a resume that is imperative, simply because he or she is not exposed to that department or even new to that industry.
Understand the Market
Having a full grasp on the market and understanding what is available is essential when setting your expectations as an employer. Agencies will often get asked to find what we call a “purple squirrel”. A purple squirrel is basically a non-existent candidate. When we get job descriptions that are too demanding and cover a wide variety of areas, the job will usually go unfilled until the employer gets a realistic expectation. It is a much better option to split a position into two specific areas or hire a less talented individual that can be trained on the job.
Do Not Make Low Ball Offers!
I cannot begin to express the importance of offering an appropriate wage for the current market conditions. We are not stuck in 2009 and candidates shouldn’t be treated as such. When you have baited a good candidate, it is time for you to set the hook. By offering them a lower wage than their current role, it is not only insulting to the candidate, but also makes the agency look bad.
When you provide the agency with the job description, one of the crucial steps is to provide a realistic wage range and stick to it. Do not think for a second that a new employee won’t leave within 3 months after accepting a low-ball offer to bridge an unemployment gap.
Make an Offer Immediately
It pretty much goes without saying that we are in a candidate driven market. If you do not make an offer within a week or two of hooking a candidate, expect them to accept a position elsewhere. Employers are not in a position to be dragging their feet during a skilled labor shortage. This is an all-encompassing point that leads back to why you should be working with an agency in the first place. It expedites the hiring process by aiding your HR department.
Concluding the article, I would be remiss if I didn’t put in a shameless plug for myself and my firm. If you are looking for good talent and a great team to work with, consider CNC Jobs Staffing & Recruiting. www.cncjobsinc.com