Should You Put Your Faith in Staffing Agencies?

By July 31, 2014

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Hiring the right people is obviously extremely important when it comes to the success of your company. You’ve spent untold time and energy to develop your product or service, yet often this time and energy doesn’t always translate to the hiring process.

For entrepreneurs, once your startup gets big enough to hire a larger team, you’re often strapped for time and overworked. You’re looking for someone, fast, and this can often lead to costly mistakes. In fact, according to research by CareerBuilder, 27 percent of U.S. companies have lost $50,000 or more thanks to a bad hire.

The answer can be as simple as utilizing a tried-and-true staffing company. According to numbers from Staffing Industry Analysts, the staffing industry will grow by six percent in 2014 and seven percent in 2015. This is probably due to a confluence of factors, from an improving economy to a continually widening skills gap.

Utilizing a staffing agency might seem like a low-tech solution to your high tech hiring needs, but it might just be the best way to save your bottom line and find the talent your company needs:

The Skills Gap and High Demand

The skills gap is a huge problem, and it’s not hard to see why in the tech job sector. Graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields are underpacing job creation. While the current economy is very much an employer’s market in almost every other sector, the skills gap looms large for STEM and tech positions.

For every job, there are about 3.6 unemployed persons vying for the opportunity. In STEM fields, however, this supply and demand paradigm is flipped. For every STEM candidate, there are about 1.9 open STEM jobs looking for talent. So it’s no wonder CareerBuilder discovered 38 percent of employers overall have open positions they just cannot find the talent to fill.

High demand and a shallow pool of talent can make it incredibly daunting to hire the right tech talent without outside help. Staffing companies live and breathe hiring. They have dedicated talent pools and know where to find and cultivate talent for the right opportunity. According to numbers from the American Staffing Association, 80 percent of clients see staffing firms as a good opportunity to find talented people who can translate into full-time employees.

Staying Lean

Huge tech companies can afford savvy and dedicated HR departments to speed along the hiring process, engage with candidates, and find the best people. For startup founders, entrepreneurs, small and even mid-size business owners, however, this isn’t often the case. Without unlimited budgets, the hiring can fall on a few already overworked employees, or even on just one person. This is a lot of responsibility to put on already overburdened shoulders.

Utilizing a staffing company can help smaller-scale organizations stay lean, while still putting together a great team. Staffing companies have the time and resources to dedicate to finding the exact perfect person for the job, an amount of time few lean organizations can afford to sacrifice.

However, it’s also important to work together closely with your staffing company. According to some figures, as many as 46 percent of small business new hires fail within 18 months, and 89 percent of the time this is due to poor company culture fit. By working closely together with a staffing firm, you can ensure the agency understands your company culture and delivers the best fitting talent to your door.

Tech for Staffing

Tech companies want to employ staffing firms that understand their specific technical needs and can speak their language. Thankfully, there are plenty of technology solutions for common HR and hiring problems, and staffing companies are now embracing cutting-edge technologies in their search for the best people.

Social media is increasingly being adopted and implemented in ATS systems of all types and stripes, from more traditional to cloud-based systems. Video interviews are allowing staffing firms to connect faster with the right people, remove time-consuming phone screens, and share interviews with clients so you can get a better feel for the best candidates.

Plus, the big data revolution is encroaching into talent acquisition, helping staffing agencies crunch numbers and crawl the web for the best coders, developers, and tech talent. With staffing companies increasingly utilizing tech tools, you can now speak to your agency using a common language. This allows great staffing firms to be more responsive to your technical hiring needs, and to really understand the depth and quality of talent your organization requires.

Whether you’re part of a large company or a growing startup, hiring can be a tricky business in today’s competitive tech landscape. Staffing companies might seem like a low-fi solution, but with an increasing embrasure of new tech hiring tools, these companies have the experience and expertise to deliver the highly skilled and great fitting employees you need.

What do you think? Do you think staffing agencies and tech companies should rely on each other more? Share in the comments.

josh-tolanAbout the Author:

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe. Learn more about using video interviewing for cultural hiring and connect with Spark Hire on Facebook andTwitter.

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