This is the fourth installment in our Starting a Staffing Company series. Bookmark us and follow #startingastaffingcompany on Twitter for more information about starting your own temporary staffing agency.
Once you’re ready to begin placing temporary staff with your clients, it is more important than ever to use your best judgment. Demonstrating a shrewd understanding of your clients’ needs and your staff’s goals will inspire loyalty in both and will go a long way toward generating positive word of mouth – the best and least expensive marketing there is!
With that in mind, here are five tips for facilitating great matches between your clients and your talent pool:
- Weigh client and employee objectives – Earlier posts in this series underscored the importance of fully understanding your chosen industry and niche. Extend the same effort to understanding the individual companies who come to you and what they want in a temporary employee. Learn all you can about the position – timetable, qualifications, and potential for hiring in – so you can identify the perfect employee.To make a good match, you must consider what your employees are looking for as well. Some employees may be content with short-term positions in a variety of companies, but others will be looking to get their foot in the door for an eventual hire. Likewise, not every employee will be satisfied with a part-time schedule.Be fair to your employees and, when you can help it, do not place them with companies looking for the type of employee they are not. Doing so will lead to a disgruntled employee and, of course, an unhappy client.
- Manage expectations – When you do place an employee, share everything you have learned about the position including salary, office environment, supervisory structure, and other important details that your employee can use to prepare herself for Day 1. If the company provides orientation that will cover your employee’s position, try to have your employee included in that training.
- Location is still important – Unless you specialize in traveling staff or an extremely limited geographic area, take travel times and routes into consideration before placing an employee. The employee who has a 90 minute commute involving three buses and inconvenient waits is probably not a good choice for the company that wants to call in employees at a moment’s notice. Demonstrating sensitivity to the role of the commute in an overall work experience is one underrated way to place yourself ahead of the competition.
- Look for good culture fits – Every company has its own personality. Whether your client runs a small, laid-back office or a 200-person cube farm, has a laissez-faire attitude about dress code or requires strict adherence to a specific list of wardrobe requirements, there is no faster way to undermine confidence in your abilities than to send in an employee who clashes with the culture.Take the opportunity to visit your clients in their office, if you can, to see how their day-to-day operations run. Pay attention to the office hierarchy, amenities, and yes, the dress code, and use that information when interviewing candidates. A good culture fit puts the client and the employee at ease with one another and can, in some situations, be even more important than a perfect skill set match.Speaking of skill sets, though…
- Match employees’ experience to the position – In temporary staffing, even in a narrow niche, one job is not necessarily interchangeable with another. Your employee’s skill set might not be perfectly aligned with the company’s requirements, but if they are not even in the same field then you need to go back to the talent pool and try again. Place a candidate with writing experience in a writing position, and a strong bookkeeping employee with the company looking for a bookkeeper. The company will train the employee on proprietary systems and company-specific information, but they are paying you to eliminate the larger learning curve.Along a similar line, if a client requests an employee who can work remotely then matching them with an employee who has remote work experience will give the company an added layer of confidence.
Above all, remember that you are in the business of customer service. Be available to address concerns on both sides of the staffing relationship and be willing to work toward a mutually beneficial solution. Every placement will not be perfect, but strive for the best possible fit for each one.
Factor Finders provides funding support to temporary staffing agencies in a variety of industries. Learn more about our factoring programs for staffing companies.