Grilled: 6 Questions Every Business Owner Should Ask a Staffing Agency
By Tim Walker,
An account manager’s job often times involves asking lots of questions. And I mean LOTS of questions. What kind of employee are you looking for? How soon do you need someone to start? What specific qualifications are you looking for in an employee? They’re all important questions and help us get to the heart of a client’s job opening. And with better information we are able to find candidates that more accurately meet their needs.
But it’s just as important that our clients ask US good questions. After all, you’re entrusting us with an essential part of your company. So we asked around the office and came up with six questions that EVERY hiring manager should ask their account manager or recruiter.
How soon will these candidates be available to interview or start work?
It’s important to ask this question because everyone involved should have an expectation for when you want a new employee to start. That will determine how long the process as a whole will take. We work with clients across a wide spectrum of needs. Sometimes a client will need a new employee TOMORROW. We are able to accommodate those requests, while other businesses are looking down the road and want a candidate to go through several rounds of interviews. We are able to accommodate those requests as well. Either way, it’s a good question to ask, because it helps the account manager get a handle on how quickly you’d like the process to move.
When will I start seeing resumes?
This is a question that sets lots of recruiters apart. Because we maintain an internal database of people looking for work we have the ability to be proactive, rather than reactive (see our article about Spring Training for more on that). If, as a hiring manager, you want to start seeing resumes and interviewing candidates the next day, we’ll work hard to make that happen! Any recruiting firm worth its weight should be able to provide you with candidates that are “on the bench” and waiting for work. Think of it like a baseball manager calling in a pinch hitter. The player who has been warming up and taking swings in the batting cage will be much more prepared to play than the guy who’s been sitting on the bench all day not paying attention. In other words, we work hard to have candidates prescreened and ready to go, before you call us with a job opening.
What steps do you take to recruit candidates?
This is a good question because it will help you understand the internal process recruiters go through before submitting a candidate to you. It’ll also tell you a lot about the company you’ve chosen to work with. As soon as one of our account managers gets a new job to work on, it goes in our system and up on our big board (yeah, we really have a BIG board!). Then he or she will talk with a recruiter about exactly what the employer is looking for in a candidate. Then the recruiter will get to work! He or she will look in our database for qualified candidates, promote the job on social media and make calls looking for the right person. The phone calls are a huge part of the process. Yeah, we’re in the digital age, but there is still no substitute for talking with someone on the phone. That’s where the recruiter can ask specific questions that will determine whether or not a candidate meets your specific needs. Once the recruiter has found a pool of candidates that meet a company’s criteria (price, experience, still, etc.), he or she will give those names to the account manager for review. That’s when the account manager will submit those candidates to the hiring manager for evaluation.
How do you find candidates outside of the job boards everyone has access to?
This is a great question to ask a staffing company, because it will show what they’re really made of. Our recruiters utilize every available avenue to source and contact great candidates. Besides job boards, we also use social media channels (check out our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ pages). However, our biggest asset is our internal employee database. This includes a huge number of job seekers we’ve talked with and worked with in the past. By using our database, we’re able to find and speak with people who aren’t necessarily looking for work. We also understand the power of referrals. Our recruiters and constantly speaking with job seekers, and we know that good candidates know other good candidates. Many of our placements begin with a referral. In the digital age, it’s easy for a job seeker to put their resume out there and apply for jobs. But job boards, though valuable, can’t build relationships. That’s what we work really hard to do every day.
Do you hire employees away from companies that you have placed employees?
NEVER! We value our clients, and would never steal employees from them to place with another client. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!
How much will it cost?
Costs vary based on the kind of placement you need. But it’s an essential question to ask! Here at M Force we provide our clients with a interactive spreadsheet that helps them calculate costs based on a variety of payment options. Here’s the bottom line, we’ll work with you to craft a payment plan that meets your budget. It’s our job to save you money!