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By Michelle Matheny; Account Manager with TempExperts

Over the last two years, the labor market in the US has experienced unforeseen challenges.  The pandemic and the “Great Resignation” have seen millions of Americans in employment-transition, whether by choice or not.  These changes have created a monumental necessity for employees in many fields, causing many companies to turn to staffing firms to assist them in managing the dynamics of this new labor environment.  As such, it becomes more important than ever to understand how staffing firms operate and how they help employers navigate the new rules for acquiring talent.

Understanding What a Staffing Firm Does

Staffing firms, such as TempExperts, offer a key value-proposition: “we will be an extra set of eyes on the front line, streamlining the recruiting process”. This saves time for the hiring company (particularly their Human Resources Department) by taking many of the time-consuming, front-end tasks for talent acquisition off the HR Department’s plate.

Staffing firms save their clients time by taking on some of the most time-consuming, critical missions in the hiring process. Here are a few examples:

  • Screening resumes and conducting first stage interviews to find the best candidates for a job.
  • Maintaining open communication with a wide variety of potential candidates.
  • Employing temporary or temp-to-hire staff on the staffing firm’s payroll.  This distinction allows the client an advantage to limit the organization’s appearance of elevated turnover if an employee does not work out.
  • Maintaining a bank of reliable candidates for an organization to tap into, while playing “matchmaker” for the client and potential employees.

Understanding What You Need

There are several different types of employees a company may be looking to hire, either short-term or long-term.   Staffing firms help to fill any (or all) of these positions.  There are three primary hiring methods a company will utilize through their staffing partners.

  • Temporary Positions: These candidates are hired for a finite amount of time to complete a project. They are on the staffing firm’s payroll throughout the assignment. These positions can last for days, weeks, months, or even years. Temporary hiring is a go-to choice for a company that has peak seasonal periods for staffing, important special projects that require outsources resources, or specialized FMLA needs.
  • Direct Hires: A more traditional interviewing process; employees are hired for a permanent position and brought on-board right away.  This is accomplished without a temporary or probationary period.   With unemployment hovering between 3-4%, companies will oftentimes hire through staffing agencies to concentrate access to a limited pool of available candidates. This method of hire is frequently used for more highly specialized roles such as paralegals, executive assistants, and finance managers.
  • Temp-to-Hire: These positions supply the best of both worlds for a hiring company.   Potential candidates are put through a probationary period of employment before being made a permanent part of the company.  The hiring focus here is “try before you buy” and it is used for positions where it is important to ensure stability, continuity, and a suitable match.

Obviously, there are decided advantages any time an organization can mitigate risk in their hiring portfolio.  And that is the primary benefit of using outside staffing resources.   A staffing firm can greatly ease the hassles and unexpected costs that come with administering the hiring process while also helping manage internal commitments, expectations, and timelines.

Administering the hiring process is especially difficult when the labor market has fundamentally changed, and dedicated resources are often constrained.

In Part II of this series, we will look at the various staffing strategies that can be used to manage a challenging labor market effectively, as it exists today.

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