Top 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Staffing Firm
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Top 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Staffing Firm

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No two staffing firms are the same. Ask these 10 simple questions before hiring a staffing vendor/partner identify the one staffing partner you know will meet your staffing and recruitment needs.

No two staffing firms are the same. Ask these 10 simple questions before hiring a staffing vendor/partner identify the one staffing partner you know will meet your staffing and recruitment needs.

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Top 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Staffing Firm Top 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Staffing Firm Document Transcript

  • The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Staffing Firm What to ask a staffing firm before you hire them for your company’s recruitment needs. PDF Download Available on last slide
  • The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Staffing Firm What to ask a staffing firm before you hire them for your company’s recruitment needs. By RAEGAN HILL July 13, 2014 I’m going on 8 years now as a professional Recruiter and have worked with companies of all shapes, sizes, industries and needs. When I hear about a company hiring a staffing firm that I know to have a below average (at best) recruitment strategy, I cringe. Why? Because of the damage that can be done to a company’s employee brand after an untrained recruiter attempts to pitch their open position to passive, in-demand talent (who, by the way, has many options today). And let’s not forget about the candidate. How do you think they feel when a recruiter sends them out on a job interview for a job that is nothing like it was described? There you are, the hiring manager, sitting for 45 minutes with a professional that your staffing firm assured you was a great fit. Talk about an awkward moment, plus it’s time wasted interviewing unmatched candidates while waiting on your staffing firm to present more wrong candidates. I compiled a list of questions that companies should ask when choosing a staffing firm. Make this part of your company’s staffing vendor vetting process and you won’t need to work with three, four or five staffing firms to help fill a position. You’ll know up front what kind of relationship you’re getting into and what the staffing firm and its’ recruiters can offer. Interview Questions for a Staffing Firm: 1. Why should I choose your staffing firm? Someone new will jump right into the staffing firm’s features/benefits. A professional recruiter will jump right into examples of what other clients have shared about their experience, their firm’s key differentiators, and their personal expertise and experience. 2. Tell me about you and your team’s recruiting experience: Ideally, you want to work with a staffing firm that has recruiters with 5 or more years in staffing recruiting. If there are Junior Recruiter’s on the team, they should have a structured training program designed to help them learn the professional art of recruiting and shadow a Senior Recruiter for at least the first 6 months to a year. PDF Download Available on last slide
  • 3. What is your expertise in the subject matter of this position? To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a Bachelor’s in Recruiting. Most successful recruiters were once in the vertical that they recruit for i.e., a recruiter who recruits marketing professionals was a marketing professional prior to becoming a recruiter. You want to know if the recruiters understand the skills and expertise listed in the job description and what to ask to qualify candidates. Recruiters who specialize should be fairly up to speed on their subject material. 4. How well do you know the local market and the talent available? This is a critical question and is the biggest differentiator between new recruiters and senior, well known and respected recruiters. If they are going to be successful finding you the right candidate quickly, they have to have knowledge of the talent landscape (how likely will the talent be found locally vs nationally), the great candidates, the good candidates and the not-so-good-but-look-great-on-paper-candidates. They need to have a pulse on where the best talent is working, which companies are rumored to be re-organizing or laying off, and the networking events they attend. I once had a Sales Manager promise a client a Senior Paid Search Specialist (PPC) in 24 hours at a pay rate equivalent to $30 an hour. I nearly fainted since I knew the Houston market had almost no talent available at that level and certainly not for $30 an hour. 5. How would you describe your staffing firm’s reputation in the local/national market? No one is going to say their staffing firm isn’t well known or well respected if it’s not. Don’t focus on what they say in response to this question. Focus on how they say it. Listen for abnormal pauses, lots of “ums”. If their response sounds cheesy or scripted, you might want to do a bit more investigating. 6. What kind of communication/customer service should I expect through this process? You want to work with a recruiter who sets milestones, touch-point check-ins, listens to your feedback and redirects their strategy accordingly and sets a deadline of when they intend to present fully vetted candidates to you. Your calls and emails should be answered promptly. Are they are 9 to 5 recruiter or would they take your call at 8:45PM while walking their dog? (Yes, I did). Remember the fee you agreed to pay if they found you the winning candidate? Well it’s not just for finding the candidate; you’re paying for a great customer experience and to have someone else handle all of the noise so you can focus on doing what YOU to best – running a department. A professional recruiter will lead a hiring manager through the process. A hiring manager should never have to chase the recruiter down to find out where things are. 7. What is your recruiter attrition/turnover rate? Some staffing firms are like revolving doors and the average recruiter might last 1 to 2 years. Most new recruiters won’t make it till their first year, depending on the quality of training they receive when hired on. What you don’t want is a new recruiter/relationship every 6 to 12 months. Recruiting is a relational-people-business, not a transactional business. 8. Tell me about a recent position that you were not able to fill and why. Sure, no one’s perfect. But how willing is this staffing firm and its recruiters to learn from their mistakes? How this question is answered is very telling into their confidence level in what they do. View slide
  • 9. What is your Present-to-Client/Client-to-Fill ratio? Do you want a staffing firm to present you 20+ candidates before you see the one you want to hire or 3 candidates that all meet the requirements and one of those three is a sure fit for the job? Find out on average how many candidates their recruiters present. If it varies by recruiter, ask for the one who fills positions within 2 to 4 candidates presented. 10. If you don’t have candidates in your current pool of talent that meet the requirements, what is your strategy for finding them? If your position is very specialized or unique, this question is important. No two jobs are alike and some roles are in such high demand that the ideal candidate isn’t likely to be checking out job boards. A professional recruiter will have a solid outbound recruitment strategy and can walk you through their process. If it sounds made up on the fly or all over the place, consider calling someone else. About the Author Raegan Hill is a 24-year Houstonian with 8 years of experience in the recruitment and staffing industry. Her specialization is in the placement of traditional and digital marketing, communications, creative, UX/UI and digital sales professionals for companies ranging from start-up to Fortune 4. She’s also a job strategy coach and works with highly in-demand candidates to lay out their job search and personal marketing strategy. To learn more about Raegan, go to linkedin.com/in/raeganhill. Download this article in PDF form: View slide