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How to Create a Productive Relationship with Your Staffing Vendor

Wed, Jan 7, 2015

pexels-photo-259200.jpegACME Company has a really important position to fill.  It’s not quite at an executive level, but it’s a decision-making role, overseeing one of their most important revenue-driving teams.  They have worked with a few staffing companies in the past, and for roles like this, each firm typically provides on average seven candidate profiles.

In order to increase the likelihood of seeing quality profiles and finding a good hire quick, ACME Company considers engaging additional search firms.  So, ACME Company calls six firms, hoping to see upwards of 42 profiles ASAP.

Is this the right approach?   

The counterintuitive, but likely correct answer is, no, ACME Company is probably not getting the best people to solve their hiring problem.  

But why not?   

  • Contingent search: Given this example is a professional leadership role, not an executive role, it is likely a contingent search.  A contingent search means the search firm, and the recruiter that ultimately fills the job, is only paid upon a successful hire and start date. Which leads to our next point…
  • Prioritization: Busy, sought after staffing companies prioritize contingent searches they have the highest likelihood of filling at the top; among the factors determining the likelihood of a successful fill is how many other firms are working to fill the same job.
  • Competition: Putting staffing firms in a hyper-competitive situation will not increase their quality of work (depth of search techniques, time spent screening candidates, validity of assessments provided to the client). Instead, staffing firms will likely compete hastily to send people from the same pool of candidates as the firms they’re competing against, while overlooking the larger population of people the client really wants to see (passive candidates). 

So, what is the best approach to getting the great results from you staffing firm?

  • Value > Price: Price should not be the most important factor when choosing a firm. Of course price is a component of what drives value, but so is the quality of the service being provided.  Just like all doctors, auto-mechanics, and lawyers are not the same, neither are search firms!
  • Strengths: Every staffing company will have service strengths; some may be experts in a specific geography, others in a niche skill area (finance, IT, legal), while others may be industry specific.  Figure out what means the most to your company and align that with the strengths of the right staffing firm.
  • Trust: Work with a firm that you trust to follow through with a thorough process. Most staffing firms and their employees are programmed to say the right things, but only the best follow through and execute in a detailed manner with the focus of providing your firm a great experience and exceptional people.
  • Pick a firm: Picking one top-notch firm to partner with, as opposed to several, is beneficial. Selecting one company allows the staffing firm to invest the appropriate amount of resources required to discover great candidates.

No matter what search partner you choose, make sure to build a productive, meaningful relationship, and it will prove to be worth the investment. 


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