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Depending on where you live, there may be dozens of staffing agencies in your area. Some will be better suited to your needs than others, but it may not be obvious which agency will be most helpful at first glance.

So, how do you choose the right local staffing agency?

Read on to find our advice for employers and job seekers.

Picking the Right Local Staffing Agency as an Employer

To find the right staffing agency for your needs, you will want to check out several local firms and conduct interviews to narrow down your list. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Look for a staffing agency that specializes in your industry

Many staffing agencies specialize in certain industries or types of positions. Others are general and maintain a large database of candidates without focusing on the needs of any one industry.

At first glance, the agency with the largest database may seem like the obvious choice. A larger selection of workers might appear to offer a better chance of finding the right talent. However, that large database may not include anyone with the skills and background you are looking for, especially if the staffing agency doesn’t specifically seek those workers out.

The recruiters at a general staffing agency may not be familiar with the requirements of the position you are filling, or the local market conditions in your industry. You may be more likely to end up disappointed with the candidates they put forward.

Rather than choosing the general staffing agency with the largest database of workers, look for an agency that specializes in companies like yours, or is deeply connected to local markets. Recruiters who focus on your area of interest or area are more likely to know how to find talent with the skills and capabilities you need quickly and affordably.

Ask how the staffing agency evaluates workers, and how long the process takes

The role of a staffing agency is to help employers find the right candidates in a timely manner for each open position.

To complete this role effectively, a staffing agency must be able to identify workers’ strengths and weaknesses relative to the requirements of each job — and find talent in the required timeframe.

Depending on the role, identifying workers’ skills may require anything from a simple resume review to a comprehensive screening or testing process. Some staffing agencies that focus on high-level roles use an initial skills test to screen candidates, while others focus on placing candidates as quickly as possible for immediate human resource needs.

To see if an agency is capable of finding the right workers for your company, ask what they do to evaluate or train workers and how long the process takes. Look for staffing agencies that align with your candidate quality and timeline needs.

Learn how the staffing agency recruits and retains workers for temporary and contract positions

The quality of candidates that an agency puts forward depends on the agency’s ability to attract the right workers.

Some agencies offer more attractive compensation to temporary workers than others, which makes them better able to maintain a database of quality talent. Others do not offer competitive compensation, which may mean their temp workforce is lower quality.

If you are hiring for temporary or contract positions, you will need to make sure the staffing agency offers sufficient compensation and benefits to attract the kinds of workers you need. Ask how much they pay temp workers in the roles you are hiring for and compare that to what other staffing agencies pay.

While working with an agency that offers competitive worker incentives may be more expensive, you will be rewarded with higher quality job candidates — and a more productive workforce.

Consider the staffing agency’s additional services

Some agencies offer additional services on top of worker placements. This can include specialized insurance, workers comp benefits, and even payroll services. Before committing to a staffing agency, ask what additional benefits a partnership can bring.

Evaluate your interactions with the staffing agency

Above all, a staffing agency’s success depends on the quality of its relationships and communication.

Before hiring an agency, evaluate the quality of your interactions with them. The agency’s professionalism and communication style over email, phone, video calls, and more will give you clues about its capabilities.

Choosing the Right Staffing Agency as a Job Seeker

Working with a staffing agency is often a great way to find a job, especially during difficult economic conditions. However, not every staffing agency will meet your needs, even if you are open to most work opportunities. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you search for work:

Look for a staffing agency that focuses on the industries or job types you are most interested in

Not every staffing agency will expose you to the kinds of jobs you are looking for, especially if you are looking to work in a specific role or industry.

Many staffing agencies specialize in certain job types, such as warehouse and shipping roles or creative professions. Larger, more generalized staffing agencies may also offer these roles, but that isn’t always the case.

Before applying to a staffing agency, find out what kinds of positions they typically have open. You may be able to look on a job board or contact a recruiter for more information.

If a staffing agency does not offer anything that meets your needs, you can usually find another staffing agency that does.

Ask About the Staffing Agency’s Job Placement Statistics

Some staffing agencies seek to recruit far more job candidates than they actually have positions for. Others may not do a good job of matching workers to employers who are looking for their skills.

If you are a highly qualified, experienced worker with decent interviewing skills, you may not need to worry about receiving placements. However, inexperienced or less qualified candidates may find that they aren’t offered opportunities.

Ask recruiters about their job placement statistics, including whether they think candidates like you have a good chance of placement. If you have had trouble getting work on your own and are looking for a more skilled role, you may also want to consider whether the staffing agency offers job or interview training that can help you improve your chances.

Be open to temp, contract, and temp-to-hire opportunities

If you are like most job candidates, you probably prefer stable, long-term work. However, you may not always be able to get the kind of job you want. In our current gig economy, many employers prefer to hire seasonally or on an as-needed basis.

Fortunately, there’s an easy and profitable way to improve your chances of getting the long-term job you want: temp and contract work.

Many companies with long-term talent needs prefer to hire workers on a temporary basis so they can verify fit before making a permanent hiring decision. Even if your temp gig doesn’t turn into a full-time position, you will still be gaining experience and skills that will help you get the job you want later on.

Regardless of your goals, it’s a good idea to stay open to temporary opportunities. Temporary work is always better than nothing!

Don’t be afraid to say no to an offer

Signing up with a staffing agency doesn’t place you under obligation to accept any opportunity you are offered. If a recruiter contacts you about a job that doesn’t meet your commuting, compensation, or career development needs, it’s alright to say no.

Remember, a staffing agency is a resource for finding work. Only you can decide whether to take an opportunity or wait for something better. If the job isn’t the right fit for you, you aren’t doing yourself or anyone else any favors by trying to be somewhere you shouldn’t.

Looking to Work with a Staffing Agency?

LG Resources places qualified candidates at Utah job sites, often within 1-2 business days. We specialize in an industrial warehouse and administrative roles, including shipping/receiving, quality control, clerical, data entry, and equipment operation.

With a 76% retention rate, we are the best Utah staffing agency for your staffing or employment needs. Create a jobseeker account or request an employee with us today.