Monster’s State of Recruiting Survey 2018 presented some interesting yet worrisome findings. Of the more than 400 respondents who participated,
- 67% found their jobs more difficult than it was 5 years ago
- 62% said it’s tougher to find good candidates than it was 5 years ago
- 59% acknowledged that there was a shortage of skilled labor
- 52% considered competition from other recruiters a huge problem
These facts tell us what we already know. Recruitment is a tough business and it’s becoming more so in the last few years. The technological advancements in the last decade have added more layers of complexity to the task. Recruitment has become as much a science as it is an art; one that needs specialized knowledge and mastery in equal measure. Not something in-house recruiters can handle on their own anymore. This is why recruitment agencies or staffing agencies have assumed significance in recent years, especially in the IT sector. Before we proceed to establish the need for staffing agencies and highlight the advantages they bring, we need to address a more basic question.
What is a staffing or recruitment agency?
A recruitment agency is an independent entity that takes up the recruitment function of an organization and connects job seekers and employers. The employers give the recruitment agencies the job descriptions of the positions that they need to fill. The staffing agencies make use of their existing database and the tools and techniques they have acquired to fill the positions. They screen resumes, shortlist candidates and send them for interviews with the employer until they find the perfect match
A staffing agency is different from a recruitment agency. It has in its payrolls, employees who can be hired out to other companies or organizations for temporary or long term work. But most recruitment agencies also provide temporary staffing solutions so these days the two names are used interchangeably.
Why do we need these recruitment agencies?
There are constant changes happening in the hiring landscape. These days interactions over job applications and even interviews happen over video calls and mobile apps. Specialized recruitment tools and software have been developed that allow the use of metrics and data to measure recruitment success and evaluate the best sources of talent. Recruitment agencies are more likely than hiring companies to keep pace with these changes. The efficiencies in cost and time that these agencies have acquired through experience will be passed on to their clients and candidates. So using recruitment or staffing agencies is undoubtedly beneficial for both the employer and the job-seeker. Let us look at some advantages that Recruitment or staffing agencies offer in detail.
Benefits of Using a Staffing agency
1. Saves cost
The most important advantage that comes with a staffing agency is the huge savings it brings in costs. Companies can save on costs incurred in
- Advertising their vacancies in different media,
- Pre-employment testing, background testing, and drug screening
- Creating payroll databases
- Training and onboarding
For a business that is sporadic like in the IT domain, laying off people now and then when the business is slow can have ill-effects on the balance sheet and reputation. So maintaining part of your workforce as temporary through a staffing agency can save unemployment costs. The Affordable Care Act mandates that a company must provide health insurance for its workers when the number of employees exceeds 50. But if you are a startup unable to bear such costs at such an early point then using temp staff from IT Staffing agencies can be a cost-effective solution!
2. Increases Hiring Speed
Recruiting for a position that needs exceptional skills can take months. Advertising in different channels, searching through thousands of resumes, interacting with prospects, screening them, setting up interviews and finally facilitating the negotiation for an executed offer letter may sound like a lot of work for the hiring manager or an HR department of a company. But a staffing or recruitment agency has the resources, techniques and a ready base of candidates to shorten the hiring cycle to a few days. The staffing agency also handles all the paperwork and hassles entailed in the recruitment process.
3. Access to specialized knowledge
A recruiting decision is a make or break decision. If you don’t match the right job with the right person, the company will soon have a draining hole in its money bag. Staffing agencies have the expertise and specialized knowledge needed to get this crucial decision right. In contrast to an in-house recruitment team, recruiting agencies tend to come in contact with more number of people from a wide range of industries and easily pick up on the trends and changes in the job market. The scale they operate in allows them to more readily invest in the latest technology and software related to recruitment.
4. Access to a wider, better quality talent pool.
Staffing agencies are always recruiting so they must have a ready database of candidates they have screened and assessed. So when a new requirement is given to them, they can tap into this wide network they have already built to find a suitable candidate more easily. They also have in their pool, hard-to-get passive candidates who are already employed and not looking for jobs. Since they have a deeper knowledge of each candidate’s profile, the quality and employability of the candidates are much higher than one would normally find through job portals or in response to advertisements
One major appeal that staffing solutions from a professional agency have is the flexibility that it offers to employers. A new project may need high skilled professionals for the short term. When sourcing them through a staffing agency, the employer need not worry about making long term commitments to retain them once the project is over. Even for permanent positions, staffing companies give employers the option of trying out an employee before hiring him or her.
6. Higher chances of getting hired
The staffing company has a wide circle of clients and more number of jobs that they are working to fill. They also recruit for different industries and different kinds of jobs ranging from very short-term to permanent positions. So the candidate has a wider choice of positions he or she can apply for.
7. Saves time and effort and money
The candidate can apply for several jobs in a single application with the agency. This saves time and effort in filling multiple forms and attending multiple screening tests. What is more appealing is that this valuable assistance that the candidate gets mostly comes free of cost.
8. Career mentorship and advice
When approached for placement assistance, most good staffing agencies thoroughly assess the candidate’s skills, interests, and career aspirations. They also provide valuable tips and feedback all through the recruitment process right from writing winning resumes to attending interviews and negotiating pay once placed. So candidates who go for interviews through a recruitment agency tends to feel more confident and prepared than those who go directly.