Why Work with a Staffing Firm?
By now, the debate whether to develop a candidate list in-house or to contract that effort to an outside staffing firm has been had way too many times. The downside of using a hiring agent fades to nothing once a corporate human resources team finds the RIGHT staffing firm to work with day after day.
To begin with, by delegating what can be a tedious and arduous task, in-house human resources departments can be freed to perform other vital tasks, like employee management and people/ employee development. When that role is fully embraced, the need to hire externally diminishes greatly. Company efforts (and resources) can be poured into developing their own mid-level managers to take on bigger roles at executive levels. Additionally, junior employees will not only see room to grow, but they will be exposed to more exciting, growth oriented tasks every day.
The added value of keeping and growing a powerful force of employees who grow together in the same corporate environment and create a cultural history together where they are exposed to great employee development is beyond measure. As hiring is delegated to a trusted team year after year, costs actually decrease. The revolving door and expense of headcount and training becomes far less draining on a corporation.
Another key element that an outside staffing firm brings to the table is objectivity. By working with the corporate HR team, an agent can be well versed in the skillset and background needed for a position, as well as providing an outside point of view regarding personality, corporate fit, and performance under pressure. These are the four legs of a great hire: skillset and background, corporate fit, personality, and poise.
It is often simply too difficult to flush out all four when challenged with a) an endless list of applicants, and b) the multitude of other tasks that any corporate HR team must accomplish. The process of finding candidates, pre-qualifying them, interviewing, etc., etc., as well as background, corporate fit and reference checks can be mind boggling. In this shaky economy, just one ad can get hundreds of applicants ranging from Ph.D.s to high school grads. Sorting through those applicants to determine who might be right for the position and their reasons for looking for a new position to begin with is well delegated to a trusted partner.
And that is definitely what a staffing firm should be. Parsing out needed positions to five or six agencies is not only chaotic, it is also ineffective. It still leaves the corporate HR team interviewing many candidates from a variety of sources – an effort not so different from conducting the search on their own would have been.
Working with one “partner” with a great reputation and a long-standing presence in the employment industry is a risk well worth taking. By cultivating that relationship over years, an outside hiring specialist can become a valuable asset and, ironically, a cost-saving tool to any business, and allow the internal team to cultivate and grow great human beings to fuel their company for years to come. Finding that partner and developing that relationship definitely takes time, but like all great teams, once it takes hold, it’s magic.
Catherine Palmiere, CEIC, CPBA
President of Adam Personnel, Inc.
Phone: 212 557-9150 ext. 208