A Closer Look on How Staffing Agencies Work

Episode 65

Episode Overview

In this episode of the Hire Calling Podcast, hosts Pete and Ricky offer an in-depth exploration of how staffing agencies work. Despite their negative perception, Pete and Ricky prove how they can be valuable allies in recruitment. They start by explaining how staffing agencies and human resources departments can work hand in hand to streamline hiring processes to get faster and better results. Which ultimately leads to a more cost-effective alternative to exclusively in-house hiring.

Additionally, the hosts discuss important questions to consider when contemplating the engagement of a staffing firm, which includes the type of services they offer. Pete and Ricky explain and compare the pros and cons of each service to help you make the right decision.

Lastly, they highlight signs of a successful partnership, which include proactive problem-solving, effective communication, and flexibility. If you’ve ever considered partnering with a third-party agency, this episode is a must-listen and will answer all of your questions!

52 minutes

View transcript

How Staffing Agencies Work

  • Client Needs Analysis: Staffing agencies first identify their clients’ hiring needs by understanding the skills, experience, and qualifications required for the job vacancies.
  • Candidate Sourcing: They use various sourcing techniques to find potential candidates. These include job postings, networking, headhunting, and searching through their existing candidate databases.
  • Screening Process: Staffing agencies screen candidates through resume reviews, interviews, and sometimes skill assessments to ensure they are a good match for the client’s needs.
  • Candidate Shortlisting: They present a shortlist of qualified candidates to the client company for consideration.
  • Interview Arrangement: Agencies often coordinate interview schedules between the candidates and the client company.
  • Job Offer and Negotiation: If the client company selects a candidate, the staffing agency may handle job offer negotiations on behalf of the client, discussing salary, benefits, and other employment terms.
  • Onboarding Assistance: Once the candidate accepts the job offer, the staffing agency may also assist with the onboarding process, handling paperwork and administrative tasks.
  • Ongoing Support: Staffing agencies typically maintain an ongoing relationship with both the client and the employee, providing support and assistance as needed.
  • Payment Structure: Staffing agencies usually get paid by the client company, either a flat fee or a percentage of the hired candidate’s first-year salary.

Additional resources

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the president of 4 Corner Resources, the nationally acclaimed staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. His mission back then was the same as it is today: to do business in a personal way, while building an organization with boundless opportunities for ingenuity and advancement. When not managing 4 Corner’s growth or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his sales and business expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Hire Calling podcast.

Ricky Baez

About Rick Baez

Efrain “Ricky” Baez Jr. is a published human resources professional specializing in strategically aligning HR competencies to business goals with a down to earth, common sense approach. Ricky is a four- year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and holds a Masters degree in Human Resources (MHR) from Rollins College and an SPHR certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute. Ricky is also a faculty member for the Master of Human Resources program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.


Pete Newsome: 0:01
You’re listening to The Hire Calling Podcast I’m Pete Newsome, I’m joined again by Ricky Baez and we are your source for all things hiring, staffing and recruiting. Ricky, how are you today?

Ricky Baez: 0:11
I am doing great, Pete, living the dream. My friend, living the dream, the dream, the dream. You are the dream. I don’t know, man, I can be pretty free to some people. Well, I didn’t say you were a good dream, just said you’re the dream, so that’s what we’ll go with.

Pete Newsome: 0:31
So, Ricky, today we’re going to talk about staffing agencies, and now I’m a staffing company owner, you’re an HR professional, so let me just get this out of the way. Why do you hate us?

Ricky Baez: 0:46
Whoa, you just kicking the door down there in the UBC. Look, I don’t hate you guys. I just I’ve had bad experiences and maybe I’m going to talk myself out of it because I hate you guys. I just I’ve had bad experiences and maybe I’m going to talk myself out of it because I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I hate you guys. I don’t know what you’re thinking right now. I don’t know what you’re thinking right now. As far as I know, I’m the only person who thought of it, because I’m one of the first to say you should never treat a future relationship based on previous experiences right.

Pete Newsome: 1:30
I don’t think I know that a lot of HR professionals see us as the adversary instead of an ally, and that is a source of frustration to a lot of staffing professionals, and it’s a perspective that I’d like to try to change. I do try to change wherever I can. I think I’ve been successful a number of times throughout my career, but it’s still a prevalent thought and it’s one that I understand at some level, but I also completely reject that idea because we’re here to be an asset. We’re here to be a resource and an ally of HR, never the adversary.

Ricky Baez: 2:22
So is it HR that has an issue or, more specifically, corporate America recruiters that have an issue with?

Pete Newsome: 2:27
Staffing agencies. That’s right. Okay, so HR broadly right, depending on the size of the organization, talent acquisition professionals in particular, and not all this is. You know, I’m having fun with this. Of course, it’s a general statement, but there’s also a lot of truth to it as well.

Ricky Baez: 2:47
Yeah, there is there is, and again I’m here to say that there is not. I think it’s fair, because the person might be listening right now, that I explained the full story, because as soon as I said I’m like, oh man, she’s going to hate me. No, but look, I was overseeing the HR operation for a huge call center in the city north of Orlando, lake Mary Florida, and it’s a call center that’s in five miles radius of five of the call centers. So we needed to hire 200 people relatively quickly and we were having a hard time. I had a recruitment team.

We were having a hard time picking from the same well as four other businesses were Sure, but the staffing. we just came and made all these promises we have. You’re going to need help with the amount of people within the same year away. You’re onboarding, ready to get all this ready man. We pulled out all the stops, I think. I think we got maybe 30% of the people that we were promised and about 50% of them stayed for about half of the time. So it was a huge failure. And, oh, my boss, let me tell you, Pete, I’ll take my liquor man, my boss, and before I gave her an opportunity to come talk to me in my office, I went to her office. I’m like Lena here’s what I’ll say her name, because she and I get along great. I’m like I messed up. Here you go, here’s what happened. So, yeah, I had a big big, a big learning opportunity.

Pete Newsome: 4:18
There you go, that’s what I’m going to call it. So we know that. That not all. First of all, I will say to I’ve never made a promise other than if we work together long enough, things will go wrong. That’s the only promise I’ve ever made, because when people are your product, as as as they are for a staffing company, you don’t control a lot of things that happen, but you do control what comes out of your mouth, and so if you promise anything, you better be able to back it up. But I think today I’d like to spend time on what makes a staffing company valuable to an organization, because we serve a very important purpose as a supplement to what the internal team can do, as you just described, and we certainly don’t want adversarial relationships. We want to be seen as a partner Now that word gets overused, we know that.

But it really is a partnership when it’s done right, because the staffing company is an extension of the organization. We are representing our clients out in the market, and so if that’s not a partnership in the business world, I don’t know what is when we’re recruiting on behalf of another company. So let’s, let’s spend time on that today and just start with the basics of what a staffing agency really is. Now we go by a few different terms depending on who you are, sometimes organizations and times all these phrases are blended together.

Now I could do a whole show and I could talk for an hour about what differentiates a headhunter from a staffing company, from a recruiting firm from a temp agency. To me, these all have their own time and place to be used, but for this purpose, let’s just call staffing company an organization who works on behalf of a third party or on behalf of their client to recruit candidates for a need, be it direct employees or contract employees. So we’ll use we’ll just use it in that phrase, if that’s okay, perfect.

Ricky Baez: 6:29
I’ll give you the HR director’s definition, and it’s this, thank God, right, because the last thing I want to focus on is the five representative from engineering that just got to my desk and never told me about. The should have been filled five months ago and all these other things coming in. So now, seven years later, owning my own business now and dealing with clients, I see how this, this can be a lifesaver. It can be a lifesaver for small to medium sized businesses who just don’t have to ban it.

Pete Newsome: 7:01
That’s right, yeah, and there’s a number of reasons why we’re needed. One is exactly what you just said time Recruiting, when it’s done right, is it’s quite an effort and you may get lucky, which you can’t rely on. You may be Google, which you’re probably not in terms of having a line out the door. So even in a candidate’s or even an employer’s market where you can post and add and receive hundreds of applications we know that happens today. We talked about it the other day on our last podcast about resume reading. But that’s the problem. You receive so many applications. You can either ignore them, which doesn’t help fill your job. You try to look at all of them individually.

You don’t have time to do that not effectively. So the first thing I would say that a staffing company contributes in terms of value is saving time to those who don’t have it, because this is all we do All day. Every day, we recruit. The other thing that we do is provide expertise that you may not have, and if this engineering job that you mentioned, well, you’re going to have to get your arms around the criteria for it, understand what a qualified candidate really looks like in that space. Well, if you’re an HR professional and you wear a lot of different hats. It’s understandable that you wouldn’t have much depth of understanding of these individual roles and so you’re starting from scratch, and that’s a learning curve.

That can be a painful process. Right, and again, add time to the equation where, if you bring in a staffing company, this is what we do all day. Every day, we take new positions, we work to understand the criteria involved in the hiring process. We look to understand as best we can what a qualified candidate looks like, and then we go. Now the third thing I’ll say that it’s valuable that we contribute is the tools and resources. This is the world we’re in all day, every day. So, even if you’re a competent recruiter in an HR department, a corporate HR department, you still get pulled in lots of other directions. You go to corporate meetings.

You have to do all the good corporate citizen stuff, whatever. That is right. You know this world better than I do. Well, we have blinders on right. Our team in an organization like Four Corner Resources that is a staffing company. This is what we do, right? This is all we do. We don’t get involved in all the other HR stuff, right, that comes along not when things are going well, anyway, we don’t. So there’s a lot of efficiencies to be gained and the goal is to deliver as few resumes as possible, as few candidates as possible, as few interviews as possible, to get that higher. And that is what we do, because we screen candidates at a very deep level, only giving you the right one, hopefully as few as possible. Ideally, that is one in return and get to know that role.

Ricky Baez: 10:25
Now, from a staffing perspective, is it one company has different departments and who recruits for what? Or is it like a generalist style type of business model? I’m not that familiar with that.

Pete Newsome: 10:40
So every organization it works differently. There’s some very niche companies that may only work for one specific job title that is common out there. I’ll just use one that’s obvious to everyone, which is nursing. There are companies that do nothing but nursing. There’s companies that only do travel nursing in particular. There are companies that only do nurse and desktits, for example. Right, that can be its own specialty. You look in the IT space there are companies that do one specific kind of developer.

That’s all they’ll recruit for and that is their whole business built around that niche. So it depends. Usually companies I would say for the most part those that aren’t that specific tend to stay in a number of places, either like IT, for example, or finance or marketing. Or there’s blue collar recruiting firms that do day labor work or construction positions, that’s usually. Those don’t cross over. So there is a baseline of expertise that exists in that department or industry generally when you start recruiting, because the important thing from that is that you’re not starting from scratch.

You’re starting with the car already rolling down the road, so to speak, versus having to figure out how to get into first gear, which is where that efficiency comes from. So staff and companies usually have a large database that they’ve been in business for any length of time, I think. For us, we have close to a million resumes in our database right now, with notes on the candidates, with details of what their compensation looks like, what kind of job that they would leave the one that they’re in for, what their career goals and objectives are, what kind of commute they’re interested in, whether they want to work exclusively, remotely. So these are all the things beyond the resume that, when done right, the recruiter, the staff and company is already in tune with, and that’s why there’s such an advantage of speed when it comes to starting from scratch as a corporate recruiter.

Ricky Baez: 12:59
So I think I have the best way to describe that. So if I go to my kitchen right now, I got a leaky faucet, I’m not a plumber. Instead of wasting five hours on YouTube trying to figure it out, making five to six trips to Home Depot because I bought the wrong tool, I just sell out the money for an expert to come in and he or she knows exactly when needs to happen, does the job and leaves.

Pete Newsome: 13:24
Yes, that is well, we’ll take it Now. You mentioned something else that I want to touch on before we go too far by it, in terms of what the advantages are of working with a third party In this scenario. You described in your former life of having the staff, a call center where four others probably similar pay, similar schedule, similar work environment. You were competing against all of them Due to professional courtesy. Maybe now you could tell me I’m wrong in this, but generally speaking, you probably couldn’t aggressively pursue those employees who were working at those other places. You couldn’t call in there, you couldn’t go right to their doorstep, so to speak. But a staffing company can, because we are incited to aggressively recruit on behalf of our clients and we don’t have to apologize for that. We don’t have to consider those professional courtesies. So that’s often an advantage.

Ricky Baez: 14:24
Look, I’ll say this here we may or may not have been involved in guerrilla marketing and because we’ve heard through the great lines that there was a call center down the street who just not getting their employees right, and I may or may not have gone to Staples and bought some five by sevens and put them in 500 cars in the parking lot.Pete Newsome: 14:42

Well, good for you. If you did that, most won’t right. So that is like I said. It’s typically a value that the third party recruiting company can deliver, but not always. I used to be asked all the time when I was selling where do you get your candidates right, where do they come from? And my answer would be from everywhere. That isn’t a client today. That’s it. That is where my candidates come from. That’s a place. That’s a place Anywhere. That’s not my current client. That’s where we’re recruiting from right, because we are very proactive. What’s that?

Ricky Baez: 15:24
Isn’t that a wide net? Because didn’t you say now, okay, look, you know what. Let me ask this, let me ask about four corner resources.

Pete Newsome: 15:31
Okay, at 4 Corner Resources.

Ricky Baez: 15:34
It’s now. I know the recruiters very well, I know the managers very well, but primarily it’s IT staffing right and is there a niche for four-corner resources? Primarily that they staff for.

Pete Newsome: 15:49
I thought it was IT. Right, yeah, we do. We do a lot of IT. That’s what we were founded to do. But as our business has evolved, we’ve branched out into other areas. We do a lot of finance, we do a lot of marketing, we do a lot of call center, we do a lot of administrative, we do legal, we do HR so pretty much anything you would find in a corporate setting. That’s what we recruit for, but our core has always been IT.

Ricky Baez: 16:14
So now that said, this is something that I learned once I started working with you is I thought it was just staffing, but there’s a lot more to it from a staffing perspective, because they’re staffing, which means that you hire them, so you hire the employees under your contract, and then you put them to work over there, so they’re a contractor for your clients, but you take the payroll and tax burden for that employee.

Pete Newsome: 16:40
That’s right. So contract staffing, it works exactly that way where by any I was going to say technically, but it’s not really technical at all it is by any standard of measurement the employee, the contractor, is our, they’re our employee, they’re our W2 employee more often than not. So we take care of, we have all the responsibilities that any employer would when it comes to payroll, taxes and insurances and healthcare.

So any government mandate and requirement, we have that burden and responsibility. So that is the nature of the relationship between the contract employee working on the at the client side, or a lot of those are virtual now, of course, and so the way we make our, where our income comes from, is this in our profit is effectively the difference between what we pay the the contract employee, plus taxes and fees that we have to add on to that, of course, like any employer would, subtracted from the hourly rate that we bill our client, and you know that’s where our profit comes from. So we pay a labor rate and we have marked up bill rate and the difference again is how we earn a living.

Ricky Baez: 17:58
So Well, I was going to say that may sound a lot to some people, but that is the huge pro for the organization, right? Because if I have a, if I own a business I own an engineering business and I have a project that I need labor for, right, and I’m only going to use people for about six months, why not go to experts and say, look, I’ll pay you extra amount of money, I don’t have to worry about taxes, benefits, nothing, and if I don’t like how they work, I’ll just cancel a contract. Right, there’s no. No progressive discipline possibly would have to follow because they’re not an employee. So I know that sounds like it’s a lot of money changing hands, but to the size of the business owner, that’s the huge cost savings and huge headache that they don’t have to deal with.

Pete Newsome: 18:41
No, you’re at your 100% correct. There there’s a big convenience factor is probably the, the. Did you record that? Pete said I’m 100% correct.

Ricky Baez: 18:51
I need that amplified through everybody’s speakers in my zip code.

Pete Newsome: 18:57
Thank you, thank you, sorry, did we cover that? Are we good? Yes, sir, but but you are, you’re 100% correct. That convenience factor, we’ve got it. It’s on record. It is an unfortunate part of the scenario, but it is reality that not every employee who’s hired is going to work out. Not every duration that was expected on the front end is going to come to fruition that way. And no one likes to be fired. We know that no one likes to do the, do the terminating either. Well, you don’t have to. When you, when you’re an employer using a contract staffing company, you make the call to the third party, to the staffing company, the staffing company has to handle the terminations.

Ricky Baez: 19:48
So I have an amazing idea, pete. I think you and I should do a LinkedIn webinar right Talking it, but it’s not called the apprentice, it’s called the contractor, and when somebody, they’ll do all these different activities and if they come back to the table, you and I will review and instead of saying you’re fired, we’re going to say you’re canceled.

Pete Newsome: 20:11
You’re canceled, I don’t. I don’t know. I don’t know if I want to be associated with that word in particular right now, but or or I don’t know if I want, so you’re going to play the role of Donald Trump in that, because I don’t know that I want that. That was popular, that was. That was a popular thing 10 years ago. Right now, for something, Something tells me it wouldn’t be quite so popular. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.

Ricky Baez: 20:36
Obviously I’m joking, but it’s. It is easier, though. It is easy for an organization to just say you know what I’m done, this is not working. And when I first started working with you, that wasn’t new to me, right? Because when I worked, when I worked in corporate America, you don’t just do that, you’ve got to go through a process, and that was a huge learning curve for me. I’m like, oh, that’s right, this is a contract, you can cancel it for whatever reason.

Pete Newsome: 21:03
I just wasn’t used to it. Those are those things where everyone knows the deal right and it doesn’t happen most of the time, Thank goodness. But in uncertain economic times like we’re in now, budgets get cut and those phone calls come. There’s been periods where I didn’t want to answer by phone because I knew any call that came was going to be bad news. I didn’t want and I’m referring to 2008, March timeframe when COVID hit, when contractors were getting cut left and right because employees, employees everywhere were getting cut, and so those are.

No matter how many times you do it, it’s a call that no one likes to make, but I have to say it is a pro of using a contract staffing company because you don’t have to deal with it. It is one less burden on you as an employer when it’s just a phone call away without any reason. Now we still like to give those reasons and, truth be told, as the staffing company in this, we lose out to. So the employee loses their source of income, we lose our source of income as well, and so believe me when I say we don’t make a habit of working with companies who would do that regularly. We would avoid them at all costs. We understand circumstances. What we don’t want to get involved with is an organization who doesn’t realize the true life impact of that kind of behavior.

Ricky Baez: 22:35
So that’s contract staffing. So how much, how big of a difference is contract to hire? Now I understand what it is right Contract to hire you start at a contract and then, if they like, you, they’ll keep you.

Pete Newsome: 22:46
Yeah, so there’s a couple of different ways to look at that. One is what I consider to be project based work, or seasonal work, where there is an end time that is hard and fast, or at least it’s known to everyone. When the project’s over, the work is finished, when the season ends whether it’s a holiday season, a summer season we used to do a lot of recruiting for a company that used to have to ramp up for hurricane season it doesn’t matter what the season ends is. When it ends, so does the work, and so a lot of contracts operate that way Now. Some could be very long, some could be years in duration, but there is no expectation that there will be a I hesitate to use the word permanent, because we know it’s not actually permanent but direct employment at the end of the contract period.

On the other hand, there is very often where, rather than hire the employee directly to the company’s payroll, they’ll Start that individual out as a contract employee through the staffing company again. Sometimes every every variation of this exists. Sometimes it is a hard and fast time frame, a Three to six or nine or twelve month contract, at which point that individual will be expected to convert to a direct employee. So in those scenarios the contract employee understands a deal going in and is expecting in those cases to have the opportunity to convert to be a permanent employee and the employer is expecting that individual to To come on their payroll after the contract period. So the reason to do that you, if in case you were going to ask is it’s, it’s it’s a great on ramp For a number of reasons.

It’s, you know, call it a try and buy period. That’s kind of a crude term but that’s used a lot. Or it’s an opportunity for the staffing company to be paid Incrementally rather than in a lump sum, which is what would then be considered a direct hire scenario where right off the bat, the the employee who selected is hired directly on to the employer’s payroll, never on the contract staffing companies payroll, and so the staffing company knows cases make their money With a lump sum fee. That’s often a big check to write. That’s when we get into these other terms of headhunting, for example, or retain searches. It’s a different world than then contract staffing, and so it’s. It’s it’s sort of a best of all worlds scenario at times for that contract to hire scenario to work and that that happens a lot too, where the situations do change, as we talked about a few minutes ago, and sometimes it’s open-ended, right.

Sometimes that’s con, what I call contract. It may be higher, right, like we don’t have headcount. We think we might at some point. We have the need. Right now we can hire as a contractor and let’s see what happens. Where, in those scenarios, there’s a lot. It’s a lot more uncertain, there’s no Hard and fast expectation on either side, and so what’s important in these scenarios is open communication, where what you don’t want is for the individual whose livelihood revolves around this. Forget the employer, forget the staffing company.

There’s a real person involved who needs to know the deal going in and make a decision accordingly. So if I’m recruiting you, ricky, and I say, hey, you’re gonna work a contract for six months, at which time you’ll be able to convert to a direct employee of our client, and we talk about the salary you would be converted at and everyone’s happy, well, you’re going to count on that right, and that’s going to weigh in to whether you accept the job or are interested in moving forward In with the opportunity. So you don’t want to say it. If you don’t mean it, obviously, the other scenario could be though.

Hey, Ricky, we think there’s an opportunity for you to convert to a direct employee. Their client has budget and can foresee work for the next six months. It’s kind of cloudy after that, and so, depending on your situation, that may still sound appealing to you, or it may be reason to to turn down the opportunity if you’re gainfully employed somewhere and that’s a risk you may not be willing to take. But, man, if there’s myriad situations and examples of that. And so I’ll say again, it really just comes down to being open on all sides and communicating accordingly, so nobody is surprised by how things work out.

Ricky Baez: 28:04

Thank you. That really does help right, Especially for everybody listening and for me now that I’ve got to work with you for a few years and I better understand the different tentacles that the octopus has.

Pete Newsome: 28:18
Well, I’ll touch on a couple of things since I mentioned, and then we’ll move quickly past, or we can stay here all night. I mentioned retained search, and so that is a service that a company like ours will offer for executive positions, so hard to niche, positions where you know going in. Everyone acknowledges that the candidate pool is small. Sometimes it’s an executive search that phrase gets blended in a lot too. So you can have a retained search that’s not executive right. You could have an executive search that’s not retained, but oftentimes it will go together. And the way a retained agreement works or a retained search is the employer pays a percentage of the fee upfront for the search to be initiated, and so if the recruiting firm is going to invest a lot of time in that effort more than normal, right, because the candidate pool is small then it makes sense that they would require some portion of the payment upfront.

Because what you run the risk of in the world of contract staffing, everything you do almost, is on a contingency basis, meaning I’m working for free, effectively as a staffing company, until I deliver a candidate, not just that you’ve hired, but they’ve walked in the door and they start working. So if you just run that out, there’s a lot of time that can be spent and there’s a the likelihood that you’re not even successful If your client doesn’t end up hiring your candidate. All that work has no income behind it. So a retained search is one where you ask for a portion of the payment upfront, and that’s been really prevalent more so in the last six months as it’s been a really tight candidate market.

You’ve seen that happen in for lower level jobs. There’s something that’s called recruitment process, outsourcing or RPO, where the organization effectively hands over the recruiting effort to the third party, where they take that on and they really truly act as an extension of their client, representing them in the market. And then the last thing I’ll mention is payrolling, and payrolling is effectively for various reasons at times where there’s a known individual who our client wants to hire but they don’t have the means of carrying that individual on their payroll. Maybe it has to do with benefits or compensation or whatever headcount issues they have internally where we as a third party can take on that person as an employee who then works on our client’s site. So a lot of different flexible options. I know that’s a lot at once, but I want to do at least put them out there, since we alluded to them earlier.

Ricky Baez: 31:14
So let’s say I own this huge corporation. I’ve got 400 employees, but I got 400 employees I need to recruit. I know that I’m about to get busy here in a bit. What are some of the things? How do I know I need a third party staff in the industry?

Pete Newsome: 31:33
Well, when you’re hiring, needs can’t be met right and there’s a lot of things that could lead to that it could be a spike, as I think you were just describing. I just picked up a big project that requires resources and talent that I don’t have. Do you have the means to fill those positions internally? If yes, great. You don’t need a staffing company. If no, well, you probably do, because if it means lost revenue or a decreased customer service or putting too much burden on your internal staff who’s already working for you, well, there’s a big downside to each of those things.

So, if you can’t keep up with your hiring needs, you need it sounds like a what’s the Jeff. If you might be a Redneck guy, you might need a staffing company if you can’t keep up with your hiring or project-based needs. Ricky, if you have a new project that’s coming online and you need technical talent to do it that you’re not going to need indefinitely, right, once the development effort’s done, you don’t need those people anymore. That would be a great reason to reach out. Or if you just don’t have the expertise right, there’s so many reasons why a position may stay open longer than the business would like for it to, and for any of those reasons, you should ask for help, because you’re losing money. If you don’t, odds are.

Ricky Baez: 33:05
That’s interesting. So now here you talk about it and just dice it down like that and dissect it the way you did. You’re selling time.

Pete Newsome: 33:14
Sure, that’s where you’re selling Time and expertise. Well, yeah, I mean expertise, which I mean could equal time, ultimately. Yeah, with time, somebody could become an expert, but they don’t have time for that. That’s such a great way to put it right Back to what we were talking about in terms of we’re in this mode all day, every day, and if you’re only going to put on this recruiting hat intermittently, you’re starting from scratch, and that is going to take a huge investment of time just to catch up. Right, and why would you want to expend that time? You wouldn’t so. And we haven’t even talked about the resources and tools at our disposal as a third party, because this is all our business.

Does we’re suited for that? I always use the oil change analogy in these scenarios. You could change your own oil, but you’re going to make a mess. You may not do it right, it’s going to take you longer. Is that worth the? I don’t know what is an oil change these days? Is it, I don’t know, like 40, 50 bucks? Gosh, I remember when they used to advertise $14.99 for Jiffy Lo, I guess. I guess I don’t. What’s the organic fuel that has means?

Yeah, well, I drive an electric car, so I don’t have to worry about that very much. But so times have changed. But yes, do you want to change your own oil right and get messy and take time and maybe do it wrong, or do you want to go to an expert who can do it very efficiently and so do you have to hand them the money to do it? Yes, but if you value, put a value on how your time would otherwise be spent, you probably would work out in a way where you shouldn’t try to do it yourself. Same thing with recruiting. That makes sense. That makes perfect sense. Wow, how do you find them?

Ricky Baez: 34:59
Though I mean because I know you got LinkedIn right and let’s say I’ve got that product and I know I don’t know if I say it right now, people are going to know I’m not going to look at the yellow pages. And for those of you who don’t know, years ago we used to get these big blocks of paper and book with little thin papers. And I know that you’re going to get a lot of money and I know that you’re going to get a lot of money, and I know that you’re going to get a lot of money and I know that you’re going to get a lot of money and I know that you’re going to get a lot of money and I know that you’re going to get a lot of money. No-transcript. So what are some of the things I need to look for to know this is a legit organization.

Pete Newsome: 35:38

Sure Well, ask for referrals that’s always a great thing to do of others who’ve used staffing companies before, had good experiences. Look at who is providing thought leadership in the space, who is out there publicly. Look go to companies’ websites, if you find them, and you can tell pretty quickly the quality of an organization based on their digital presence. So look at that. See who their candidates are, ask what kind of companies they work with today. Do they have testimonials on their site? Do they have the company logos on their site?

That’s a pretty big indication of how well a company is doing and a good indication of how well they could do for you. And then I always recommend going to clearlyratedcom. Clearly rated is a site that exists to rate staffing companies. They do some other things, but that’s one of their core objectives where it is independent. Are you looking it up right now? I can see that you’re looking it up, but clearly rated the way they work is. They allow candidates and employers who’ve worked with staffing companies to rate them independently. That’s probably as good as any of a source to go to to find out who’s good in your market, who’s good in your industry. You can slice and dice it that way. Or, if you’re listening to this, just use four corner resources. That’s probably the safest route to go.

If I’m being completely transparent, here’s what I’ll commit to anyone listening. If we’re not a good fit for you, we’ll give you guidance on who is. Because one of the things that we operate based on is we don’t take on any position we don’t intend to fill. That means we end up turning down a lot of business if it’s not a good fit. Because, if you think back to what I said earlier, most of the time we’re working on a contingency basis, so it does us no good to take on a role that’s not going to lead to revenue. That doesn’t help our reputation, it doesn’t help our expenses internally.

It’s not why we’re in business. I will also back that up by saying don’t call a staffing company unless you’re serious about using them and ready to hire. Because when we’re asked to fill a job, we spend a lot of time qualifying the prospect, the prospective client, to make sure that they’re committed and serious. Because once we say go, once they tell us to go, we’re heads down until we produce the candidate. That’s how we operate, because we intend to fill every position we take on. Just know that it becomes a very serious thing when you ask a staffing company for their time and effort, because that’s the only way they make money.

Ricky Baez: 38:43
So you said something that I drill into the heads of my students every semester. When we start talking about filling that business need, how to start a business, how to become an entrepreneur, I always tell them find, solve a problem, but don’t look to get a sale. Look to help your customer. If you look to help your customer, the sale will come organically. If you look to sell first, you are going to put some people off. You know who was good at that? Tony Shea. It’s the late Tony Shea, because he has since passed away. He was the CEO of Zappos.

Pete Newsome: 39:25
Oh, of course.

Ricky Baez: 39:26
Yeah, when he was at a conference back before Amazon bought Zappos, he was at a conference with other CEOs and he was telling his other CEOs how his company would help employees with whatever they were going back and forth. And one of the CEOs called it. Like if I call it 800 number right now and I ask for directions for pizza, they’re going to help me. Now, this was at a time before smartphones weren’t as good as they are right now to find something. So yeah, they’ll do that. So he called the 800 number and says, hey, I’m interested in some Nikes. To what size? So look, I’m in San Francisco. I don’t have access to a phone book. I’m looking for a piece of joint. Here’s my hotel. Can you help me? The guy helped him out.

Pete Newsome: 40:11
That’s great, come on.

Ricky Baez: 40:12
If you do that with any other organization, I’m like I’m not going to and then hang up yeah, you’re not focusing on your customer, but that shows if you’re there to help the customer, regardless of the sale, the right customer will pay more for your services than what you have to buy, than anywhere else because of how you view the customer.

Pete Newsome: 40:34
I love it. That is beautiful. That’s a great story. So, ricky, is from an HR standpoint, what do you think are some? What do we say, are some misconceptions? Is there anything that I’ve mentioned today that that has surprised you? Maybe not you in particular, because you’ve worked with us so closely, but other HR professionals may think we operate in a different way than we do. Or maybe I could ask what misconception did you have prior to working closely with us a couple of years ago when we first connected?

Ricky Baez: 41:10
So the first misconception I’m going to I said it earlier is from the recruiter’s perspective. Right, when the recruiter comes in, when a recruiter is, it’s working on something and help is brought in, from a leader’s perspective, you should have a conversation with that recruiter. That way he or she doesn’t feel like they’re being put to the side. So that’s one misconception is that they think that the current recruiter is not working with it. At the end of the day, it’s a tool, it’s a systems, and if you bring in a third party agency to help out with a class that you need to start in a couple of months, it allows you to recruit it to focus on other things. Again, you’re being bought time. So that’s to me that’s one of the biggest misconceptions formed from an HR leadership perspective. I don’t know if I had a misconception. I’m just being honest here. I just had a bad taste in my mouth from my previous experience.

Pete Newsome: 42:02

Ricky Baez: 42:03
I know that’s not all of them right, but I’m not going to forget, because I learned a valuable lesson, Pete. I learned that if the offer is too good, right, too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true and I should have asked more questions. I’m like where is this magical well of candidates that you have access to that I don’t Help me understand. So it’s, I think. Again, it’s not a misconception, it’s more of a learning opportunity of what questions to ask later on. And now I know working with you.

Pete Newsome: 42:35
I know exactly what that is. When you look back on that scenario where they didn’t produce do you have a? Where do they go wrong?

Ricky Baez: 42:43
I think they were so excited to get this contract that they started throwing anything to the wall. It was a lot.

Pete Newsome: 42:51
It was a lot. So were they sending bad candidates, or were they not sending candidates at all? Nothing, nothing. You said crickets earlier, so I guess yeah, crickets.

Ricky Baez: 43:02
Crickets I mean just a few showed up and I pulled out all the stops. I pulled out all the stops and I had egg on my face and I’m glad that happened, because now I know going forward, for what to ask and I’m not doing this contract, All right.

Pete Newsome: 43:18
So what would you ask differently In that scenario, knowing now, right, what you didn’t know? Then, if you went back with all the knowledge that you have, other than just saying hey, I know you’re not going to produce, what could you have said to vet them better?

Ricky Baez: 43:34
What I would have said is maybe we signed this contract a month ago and I need 50 resumes right now. Let me see them, Let me see them, Let me have my team take a look at them and if they’re more relevant to the role that we’re looking to hire for, then yes, you’ve got legit people right. But if you have a hard time producing a sample, you’re going to have a hard time doing the job.

Pete Newsome: 43:57
Yeah, no, I mean I guess in a scenario where an organization says I want you to help me fill this position or positions, right, doesn’t matter whether it’s one or 50. It’s all relative that no one else has been able to fill that I haven’t been able to fill. I’ve used this company and that company, I’ve exhausted my resources. Now I expect you to pull a needle out of a haystack? That’s not the business we’re in. I would tell you. I would say you have a problem that I may not be equipped to solve. So I would need to dig into that. And I would dig into that by saying, okay, tell me exactly what you’ve done.

Well, I posted it on Indeed. Okay, that I can note no surprise there, right, that you haven’t been able to fill the position. If it’s just been a matter of posting job ads, who else did you use as a? I already tried to use staffing companies. That’s a common one that we hear with companies coming to us for the first time. Depending on who they tell me they’ve used, I’ll make a determination on how good of an effort I think that has been applied. All staffing companies are created equally. So if they give me a reputable company or two and say they’ve done everything they can. I’ve done everything I can. Now I expect you to deliver. I’m out right Like that’s not.

Again, we’re not magicians. I would say you probably aren’t paying enough. You probably have a broken process. Your expectations aren’t in line with the market. I don’t know what’s wrong yet, but I know something’s wrong and I’m not here to spend my wheels trying to solve it. That’s not a reason to use a new staffing company. That’s a reason to check yourself and what you’re doing. So use us when you at the forefront of the scenario right. Use us when you’ve anticipated a problem, anticipate a limitation on being able to fill the positions that you have open with the right quality and the right time frame. Don’t come to us after you’ve exhausted all your options and expect us to clean up your mess. We’re not doing it.

Ricky Baez: 46:14
I just want to tell you, from any chart perspective, same thing. Hey, I need some help. I’m like, oh, so what happened? I don’t know. So we’re halfway through a lawsuit.

Pete Newsome: 46:24
Exactly. It’s too late for me, man. Yeah, exactly. Okay. So do we miss? Do we cover? I know we’ve covered a lot. We could probably drill down into any of these things individually. Any more questions that you think we may have missed?

Ricky Baez: 46:41
I’m looking. The only one I really wanted to drive home is to differ between contract to hiring and contract staffing.

Pete Newsome: 46:49
Okay, I think I get that question so much in class, really Interesting.

Ricky Baez: 46:55
I do well in my recruitment, selection and retention class. Right, I do get that a lot and I do a good job at explaining it. I haven’t had that much experience in it, but I know what it is. That’s what I’m saying for the next recruitment, selection and retention class. I know we keep talking about it. We’ve been talking about it for years for you to come to class and you talk to my students I’ll be there.

Pete Newsome: 47:16
Yeah, so it’s really intention. I think that’s. If you had to sum it up in one word, is the intention for this relationship, this working relationship, to end after the contract period? Whatever the contract period is based on is over, or is it intended to be indefinite or maybe ultimately result in the individual converting to a direct employee? So that’s really. It starts off the same. The parameters are the same. It’s really about what happens at the end of the contract. Do they go on, or do they go on about their way somewhere else, or do they stay on as a direct employee? So once you get your arms around the concept, I think it makes a lot of it’s easy to understand.

Ricky Baez: 48:07
It’s an awesome world man. I gotta tell you now that I see it from both sides, especially how many different services an organization like this can offer. It can offer. I think it’s a huge headache saver.

Pete Newsome: 48:22
Headache saver. I like it Well, it can be and it should be, if the perspective is the correct one and the role that the staffing company plays versus the role that they don’t play. We’re not trying to take anyone’s job, we’re trying to be. We exist to be a supplement, an extension, a resource, a partner, all of those things. And when a relationship’s healthy, it’s seen that way and it flows that way. There’s open and transparent communication and each party’s accessible and each party respects the position of the other. So, and I think what I’m just described as any healthy relationship that those things have to be in place for. But I think the point of all of this is there’s a great need at times to call a staffing company, identify when those needs exist. Try to do that as early in the process as possible.

Develop relationships that can become partnerships. They don’t have to start off that way. It has to be earned that trust has to be earned in reliability, because that’s really what our value is. You have to be able to trust us and rely on us. You experienced the organization that you couldn’t trust or rely on. Okay, I contend that they that’s probably because you said it they were too excited with the opportunity without stopping to realize that they have to deliver to make any money. They have to deliver to continue. It’s not about getting a contract signed. That’s where too many make a mistake early on is hey, I have an opportunity to fill these positions. Well, that’s meaningless right until you actually fill them. So make sure you have a mechanism and a path to actually fill them, not just the potential to fill them, and that’s how success happens.

Ricky Baez: 50:24
Excellent, excellent, excellent. And you know what, for the record, I get along with the person. He was still today, because we still talk about it today, and I’m going to call after this and say hey, I talked about you.

Pete Newsome: 50:35
Well, is she still in staffing or is she moved on? Okay, well, maybe she maybe shouldn’t call her. Yeah, I mean, I think I should give her a heads up. I ain’t said no names. I ain’t said no names, so I don’t even know who it is. I’m going to find out when we hang up. So let’s do that now. We’ll say goodbye so I can figure out who this, the villain of the story, is. So, all right, well, ricky, we did it. We beat the horse on this. I’m sure there’s more to come, so long without beating a horse. Well, we, we were due. We were due, so we did not cancel that word yet. But if you have questions, hit us up please. If you have comments on this show or topics that you want us to talk about going forward, we’d love to hear from you, and that is higher calling H I R E C A L L I N G at f4cornerresources.com. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again.

Recent Episodes

  • Episode Overview On this episode, special guest Diane Prince shares her secrets of entrepreneurial success in the staffing industry. From her start as a temp to selling her thriving business, Diane’s story is all about vision, grit, and chasing your dreams. In our conversation with Diane, we explore her unique path as a solo founder,…

    Listen Here

  • Episode Overview Are you struggling to find and hire exceptional IT professionals? Sioux Logan is our special guest on this episode of the Hire Calling Podcast! She is the visionary founder and president of RedStream Technology, an IT staffing firm located in New York City. Immediately, you will be whisked into Sioux’s world, revealing the…

    Listen Here

  • Episode Overview Wondering how to build an effective team in today’s digital landscape? Kate O’Neill, CEO of Teaming, joins Pete today with an insider’s perspective on how their team intelligence software revolutionizes how managers foster high-performing teams. From providing personalized communication coaching to enhancing interaction within diverse teams, Teaming’s AI-driven platform is making waves in…

    Listen Here