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Is Your Business Ready for Professional Staffing Services?

Man holding out his hand "holding up" several different professionals and one circled

Handling all of your recruitment and hiring initiatives in-house can be a challenge, especially for smaller businesses. Deciding to partner with a professional staffing agency or headhunter can be a great solution, but it is also an investment — one many business leaders are not willing to make before they are ready for it.

So, how do you know if your business is actually ready to leverage professional staffing services? We will share six signs it might be time to turn to a professional staffing agency and provide more information that will help you decide exactly which professional staffing services might be the best use of your budget. 

First, though, let’s have a quick refresher on the differences between in-house recruiters and third-party staffing agencies. 

Internal Versus External Recruiters

An in-house recruiter is on the payroll of the company they recruit for. An internal recruiter:

  • Ideally has a strong understanding of your organizational culture
  • Is thorough during the recruitment and selection process
  • Has a vested interest in hiring high-quality candidates as their future colleagues

While these are significant benefits, there are also many advantages to using a staffing firm for your recruiting and staffing needs. A staffing agency is frequently:

  • More cost-effective than hiring a team of in-house recruiters
  • Highly experienced in the recruitment and selection process, which makes them fast and accurate
  • Cultivating a pipeline of active and passive candidates
  • Following proven recruiting and hiring strategies
  • More likely to provide a greater number of qualified candidates

It is ultimately up to you to decide which is more suitable for your organization, but if you are experiencing any of the pain points below, working with an external staffing agency can help solve them. 

Signs You Are Ready For Professional Staffing Services

Sign #1: You are having trouble finding qualified employees

Maybe you are in need of a niche skill and candidates who have it keep getting snatched up by the competition. Maybe you live somewhere that is tough to convince candidates to relocate. When you have to compete for top talent so fiercely, finding qualified employees can become a huge challenge.

Working with professional recruiters is a simple way to overcome a talent shortage. A high-quality professional staffing agency attracts top-tier talent, with recruiters constantly working to expand and maintain their professional networks. They can then reach out to their candidates on your behalf, taking the majority of the burden of finding qualified employees off your shoulders. We often source and screen hundreds of resumes for a single job opening to find the best possible fit.

Sign #2: Your open positions are vacant for too long

What is worse than attracting the wrong candidate? Attracting the right one and squandering the opportunity to hire them due to a slow recruitment and selection process. We wish we could say this happens infrequently with in-house recruiters, but the truth is that this happens more frequently than many employers care to admit. There are many hidden costs of a vacant position — but the longer a position is open, the greater the lapse in productivity. 

One of the greatest benefits of working with a professional staffing agency is the ability to get talent up and running more quickly. Professional recruiters will screen out all the under-qualified applicants on your behalf, then present only the most qualified candidate(s) directly to you. Then, all you have to do is conduct any further interviews and reach a final decision.

This expedited and streamlined hiring process means you can be confident you’re filling your open role with the best candidate — without having to manually sort through a pile of resumes yourself. In fact, at 4 Corner Resources, our goal is to have a fully screened and qualified candidate for non-leadership roles within just 48 hours. This frees up your time to focus on other business initiatives while allowing your new hire to be onboarded and start producing value for your business sooner — a double win for your bottom line.

Sign #3: Your Company Hires Infrequently

If your small to midsize business (SMB) hires infrequently, you may end up hiring new personnel only a couple of times per year. As such, it would not be cost-effective to pay the full-time salary and benefits for an in-house employee whose services are needed so infrequently. In this case, using a recruiting agency to perform hiring duties can be highly cost-effective.

Sign #4: Your Company Hires Frequently

On the flip side, if your organization hires frequently and the workload is becoming too much for your recruiter (or team of recruiters) to handle, it may be time to consider a staffing service. Overloaded recruiters are unable to give each prospective employee the attention and diligence that they — and your company — deserve during the hiring process. 

This lack of focus can lead to:

  • Bad hiring decisions
  • Inefficient hiring practices
  • Poor communication
  • Loss of candidates due to a slow recruitment and selection process

None of these are ideal if you want to maintain your competitive edge. 

When you hire a professional staffing agency, you can utilize their large team of experienced professional recruiters — without all of their salaries and benefits being on your payroll. Additionally, if you experience unexpected or volume-based needs, a recruiting agency will have the manpower to address them almost immediately. For example, at 4CR, we can have an entire team of recruiters working to fill a position for you within hours.

Sign #5: You’re experiencing high turnover 

You may be able to fill your open positions just fine, but if you are not able to actually retain those new employees, it is likely time to leverage professional staffing or headhunting services. New hire turnover is incredibly expensive and a cost that your business should prioritize avoiding. It takes a lot of time and resources to hire and train a new employee. If they do not work out, you have to repeat the process while a full workload is sitting untouched.

If employees continuously leave your company, it could be indicative of a larger issue, such as:

  • Hiring under-qualified candidates
  • Hiring candidates who are not a good culture fit
  • Low employee morale
  • Employee burnout
  • Low wages
  • Employee safety concerns
  • A lack of room for professional growth

The cost of turnover can be crippling for some businesses — particularly SMBs. Depending on the position level and skills of an employee, the cost of turnover can range from 5.8% to 213% of their salary, according to the Center for American Progress.

A staffing agency can help you attract and retain more qualified candidates. Experienced professional employment agencies consider specific factors for both the candidates (cultural fit, skills, accreditations or certifications, and experience) and the employer (the company’s talent gap or missing skills, culture, and industry) to attract, screen, and place the perfect employees.

Additionally, turning to a professional staffing agency can drastically boost your employee retention rates. Professional recruiters have experience, expertise, and familiarity with the most current and effective employee recruitment strategies. All of these tools enable them to identify and place qualified candidates in the right roles the first time around. When your new employee is the best possible match for both the job role and your company culture, they are more likely to actually stick around long term.

Sign #6: You’re looking to make strategic hires that will help grow your business

You cannot grow your business and meet your future goals without the right employees. Let’s say your main goal is to introduce a new product line in the next year. If that is the case, you will need more manpower. You may have to hire new customer service reps, salespeople, and warehouse staff. A staffing firm can help you identify what kinds of professional staffing services you will need to achieve those goals.

For example, you may want to make some direct full-time hires while also utilizing a mix of contract employees for project-based needs. Professional recruiters and headhunters have valuable knowledge and experience from working with clients across various industries that they can bring to your business. Then, instead of simply hiring just to fill open roles, you can determine which new positions you actually need and in what order they should be filled. When you are focused on strategic hiring, it becomes possible to align the size and skills of your workforce with your overall business objectives.

What Type of Professional Staffing Services Do You Need?

If you have decided now is the right time for your business to turn to professional staffing services, your next question is probably: “What services do I need?” Here are the benefits of four major professional staffing solutions.

Direct hire staffing

Direct hire staffing, often referred to as direct placement, is typically performed by permanent placement recruiters at professional staffing agencies. While they will handle up-front recruiting tasks like sourcing and screening candidates, the end-user company conducts final interviews and ultimately makes the hiring decision. Once an offer has been made and accepted, the new hire will go straight onto the company’s payroll.

Direct hire professional staffing services are ideal for hard-to-fill roles, such as leadership positions, or when your internal recruiting team is at or over capacity. There are numerous pros of direct hire staffing — here are a few highlights:

  • The candidate is on your organization’s payroll from day one. This allows you to avoid the annuity costs associated with contract-to-hire candidates.
  • Direct hire positions attract a broader pool of candidates. This means that you are more likely to see a greater number of highly-qualified candidates.
  • Candidates placed through direct hire staffing tend to be more committed. Employees recruited for full-time, permanent positions will typically have a stronger sense of loyalty to your organization.
  • Direct hire staffing helps you to source hard-to-fill positions. Professional staffing agencies will have access to a vast network of candidates, as well as the means and tools to connect with them on your behalf.

Contract/temporary staffing

Contract staffing gives businesses the ability to “hire on-demand,” whether they are a start-up or are at the enterprise level. This allows you to meet your exact capacity at any given time, providing limitless options for both the short and long-term. With this kind of staffing model, you are able to pay for what you need; scaling your workforce up and down.

Rather than being over-staffed and paying for salaries and benefits for stagnant employees, or being understaffed and unable to complete your current workload, contract/temporary staffing helps your business:

  • Fill project-specific capacity gaps. If you have a unique or one-time project that requires additional brainpower or more hands on deck, contract/temporary staffing can fulfill that immediate need.
  • Combat seasonal ramp-up challenges. Particularly in the hospitality and retail industries, scalable staffing makes it possible to bring in additional employees for busy seasons that you would not need on your payroll during slow seasons.
  • Stay productive during times of unexpected growth. Has your business just secured new clients, extended contracts, or added to statements of work? Hire the help you need when business is ramping up.
  • Handle rapid expansion. Are you expanding your business into a new territory? Introducing a new product or service? Fill immediate capacity gaps with contracted employees when full-time employees are unable to take more on during times of expansion.

Contract-to-hire staffing

In a contract-to-hire process, the selected candidate begins their employment contract on the staffing agency’s payroll, not the client’s — which is the main difference between contract-to-hire and direct hire staffing. Contract length can vary from short-term to indefinite — but is most commonly between three months and one year. In nearly all situations, the client will have an opportunity to convert the contractor to a full-time employee if their contract period was a success.

Contract-to-hire staffing is a great solution when sufficient employees are not immediately available, the current budget does not support adding permanent headcount, future workload is hard to project, or an employer wants a “trial period” before making a long-term commitment to hiring a full-time employee with a salary and benefits. Here are just a few of the benefits of contract-to-hire staffing:

  • Contract-to-hire professional staffing solutions provide unlimited flexibility. The contract-to-hire process offers flexibility with the ability to customize contract lengths and an option to hire the contractor directly after the contract period ends.
  • Employers are able to experience a “trial run” with a candidate. Contract-to-hire staffing gives you the chance to assess a prospective hire in action without committing to putting them on your payroll.
  • Contract-to-hire staffing often results in an expedited interview process. Hiring a contractor is typically perceived as less risky than a full-time employee, which often reduces the complexity and duration of an interview cycle.
  • Save on up-front hiring costs. Contract employees are paid only for their hours worked and do not go on your benefits plan until they are offered a full-time position at the end of their contract.

Payrolling services

Professional staffing solutions often include payrolling services. This allows clients who select a candidate in advance to experiences advantages such as:

  • An expedited on-boarding process;
  • Flexible compensation options, especially for new or unique job roles; and
  • A more efficient and effective payroll process.

When you leverage professional staffing agencies to handle your payrolling services, it frees up time for your in-house employees, particularly in accounting or HR, to focus on other tasks.

This professional staffing service is also a pro for your employees by leveraging payrolling services to provide a more efficient and seamless onboarding experience. Your employees can feel like part of the team from day one and start providing value for your business sooner. They can work with the confidence that they will be paid correctly and on time.

Your Next Steps For Utilizing Professional Staffing Services

Now that you have a better understanding of which professional staffing services your business needs, the next step is choosing a staffing agency. This could depend on factors such as your size, industry, and budget.

Do you feel like you still need additional guidance when it comes to identifying which professional staffing services your business truly needs? While there are certainly pros and cons of using a staffing agency compared to in-house recruiting, perhaps one of the greatest advantages is the expertise and experience professional recruiters can provide. 

From initially identifying hiring needs to forming a cohesive strategy to sourcing and screening candidates, professional staffing solutions can make a difference for your business. They can enable you to achieve your workforce goals, especially if you do not have the in-house resources, capabilities, and expertise to make hires aligned with your strategy.

Partner With The Right Professional Staffing Agency 

Leveraging professional staffing services will not yield positive results for your business if you are not partnering with the right agency. That is why at 4 Corner Resources, we take the time to understand your business, industry, and needs; so that we can align our staffing solutions to match.

4CR is a professional staffing agency that is passionate about recruiting the best candidates for our clients. With years of experience, access to extensive resources, and a vast network of qualified candidates, we are here to provide the professional staffing service your company needs.

Contact us today to see how our team of recruiting experts can help you further uncover the benefits of direct hire staffing, contract-to-hire staffing, contract/temporary staffing, and payroll services, and realize which is best for your current needs.

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn