Top 10 Attributes of the Best External Staffing Companies

These days, it takes real talent to be a great staffing company. Finding qualified candidates isn’t just about resume searching anymore. Not only do the best staffing companies know how to find top candidates, but they are also flexible to the changing economic environment, tech-savvy, and amenable to their clients’ particular and varying needs.

In order to help you make the right choice when hiring a staffing company, we provide you with the following list of the Top 10 Attributes of the Best External Staffing Companies.


The Best External Staffing Companies…

1. Don’t just use job boards
A good recruiter will use job boards such as Monster, Indeed, and Dice, but they will also join user groups, network and source from other companies.


2. Create a database filled with candidates.
Over time, a staffing company will have amassed a healthy database of top talent. Top recruiters understand that the best candidates are the ones who are not even in the job market yet; they may only be passive seekers and feel secure where they are currently.


3. Adjust to the current economic climate.
When hiring a staffing company, make sure they understand the restrictions of the economic climate and have become nimble and agile for quick adoption to fit many scenarios. The typical IT staffing firm only gets paid upon a successful hire, so they must adjust to the changing environment by revamping their costs and expenses. For example, the firm with the lower overhead may be in a position to drop their bill rate to the client significantly. We are also seeing more flexible hiring processes, such as 3-month temp to perm in lieu of 6 months. Some are even spreading out payments on direct hires as additional incentives to their clients.

During this poor economic climate, recruiters also have to make a case to the candidates themselves for why a job is better, even if it’s for less money, which is not always easy.

4. Are constantly updating their technologies.
Contrary to popular belief, a good staffing firm doesn’t just look for candidates. They are also constantly improving upon their methodologies for finding these candidates by searching for better recruiting pools, better job boards that are popping up constantly and also, adopting the latest technologies that help to track those candidates. With the proper usage of the latest technology, a robust staffing firm can pull candidates from multiple sources while simultaneously saving time and money.


5. Understand the pains of their customers.
The best external staffing company will listen to their clients. It is more likely for a smaller staffing company with less “red tape” to tailor their business to meet the client’s requirements. Learning to be flexible, move quickly, expertly and adapt to the latest hiring trends is paramount and necessary for success. Efficiency is key now. The top recruiting firms should have an edge by consistently maintaining contact with their resources.


6. Understand their clients’ cultures.
A recruiter’s job is to create a family for their clients, and part of that task requires inquiring into the culture of these companies. This also means fitting the cultural situation the candidate wants with the potential client’s culture. The sun, the moon and the stars must always align in order for a company and future employee to create a successful relationship. You are selling individuals, not widgets. It is very essential not to waste your client’s time by introducing them to a prospect who does not remotely fit within their culture. A solid recruiting firm does their homework.


7. Also understand the pains of job candidates.
A great staffing company understands what candidates need and want and the importance of job stability. In the past, it only took a few more dollars an hour for a candidate to switch positions. Now, candidates are looking for a more stable and sustainable environment. Programs are being canceled on a daily basis by the government, leaving employees jobless. It is of paramount importance that the recruiter researches the longevity of a program prior to pulling a candidate from a secure position. Whenever possible, the recruiter should research the program they are recruiting for.


8. Have highly trained recruiters.
When using a reputable and outstanding firm, the recruiters will be highly trained to locate candidates that may not be available to internal recruiting resources. They go to market faster and are trained to ask the right questions. Training always continues because that is the core competency of the agency. Priority number one is making sure your recruiters are constantly upgrading their skills because in almost every case, they are paid based upon billable headcount. As a result, the best in breed want all of the knowledge available to them. A remarkable recruiter requires the aptitude, attitude and the tools for their trade.


9. Retain their recruiters.
While most internal recruiters are salaried, the recruiters at a good external staffing firm will work on commission and receive excellent benefits. They will be provided with the latest and greatest tools to make them succeed. The “A” players are constantly searching for different ways to separate themselves. They make phone call after phone call until they find the perfect match.


10. Manage the entire process from start to finish.
An exceptional IT staffing firm will teach its staff to obtain all of the necessary information to make the hiring process as painless and efficient as possible. The firm should ask their client all of the questions prior to beginning their search. For example, “If we find you the right candidate today, will you interview he or she immediately?” The recruiter should know their bill rate up front, so they don’t waste time providing someone too expensive. They should make sure the position is “real” and not for a situation where the work has not been officially awarded to their client. Lastly, the recruiter should never submit candidates unless they have been thoroughly screened and vetted.