Staffing Vendors vs. Staffing Partners

–Adam Arnold, Sr. Vice President – Go2 Staffing Solutions

Over the years I have spoken with hundreds of hiring managers about their hiring and recruiting strategies. The vast majority of these managers expressed a high level of frustration when it comes to attracting the best candidates in their market place. Not to mention, recruiting enough talent to meet their overall recruiting needs.

With the national unemployment rate at 5.0%, this frustration has only grown louder and more desperate. Companies that have never used staffing services in the past, now find themselves contacting their local recruiting firms for help. Likewise, companies who have traditionally used a single staffing service to support their recruiting efforts are now engaging two, three, four and sometimes more staffing services to meet their recruiting needs.

This is driving competition not only between employers in the same market place, but also between staffing firms in that same market place.

Let’s take a look at a number of factors that are driving these frustrations.

  1. Staffing Vendors vs. Staffing Partners
  2. What does it mean to be the Preferred Employer in your market?
  3. The “Old Way” of thinking I just that, Old.

For those companies who have never used staffing services before, it can be difficult to know what questions to ask and how to tell if the company they are talking to is a “staffing vendor” or a true “staffing partner”.   There is a HUGE difference!

What is this difference?

A “staffing vendor” is a company who does not take the time to truly get to know your business, your culture and what is at the root of your recruiting challenges. They simply use the “Spaghetti Method” of staffing. They throw candidates at you until something sticks. This does nothing but waste your time and money. Not to mention increase your level of frustration. Let’s look at the textbook definition of a vendor:

Vendor – noun – a person or company offering something for sale, especially a trader in the street.

Sound familiar?

A “Staffing Partner” is a company that takes the time to dig deep into your business. They will ask questions about your culture, current and prior recruiting strategies, your current challenges and your future growth plans. They will ask how the positions you are currently recruiting for will impact the overall success and growth of your organization. A Staffing Partner acts as a consultant to help you and your organization meet your goals. They will ensure that they are recruiting, screening and hiring to your organizations standards. Now let’s take a look at the definition on a Partner:

Partner – noun — a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, especially in a business or company with shared risks and profits.

“Shared risks and profits.” Now that sounds like someone that is truly invested in you and your company’s success. Partners have a Win/Win and Lose/Lose mentality. They are focused on building a long term relationship built on trust. A staffing partner will work with you to form a plan to help you and your organization reach your goals.

So which type of staffing provider would you want to work with?  A Vendor who is simply interested in their own bottom line or a Partner who is invested in you and your company’s growth and success?

It is vital that you choose wisely when it comes to your staffing provider. Not only is there the obvious financial risk, but there is also the long term cultural impact to consider.

What happens when you choose the wrong staffing service?

Imagine a revolving door in the lobby of your building. Now imagine new employees walking through that revolving door, picking up bags filled with your profits ($$$), pieces of your company’s culture and moral and simply turning around and walking back out the same revolving door.

That is what happens with a “staffing vendor”. Since they are not truly interested in YOU or YOUR COMPANIES SUCCESS, they often do not take the time to learn what the best candidates for your company look like. Unfortunately, by the time you realize you are working with the wrong staffing provider, you have already sacrificed countless amounts of time, energy and money.

It is usually easy to determine if you are working with a “staffing vendor” and not a “Staffing Partner”. Simply ask yourself if you are having the following issues with your current staffing provider:

  1. Turnover
  2. Attendance
  3. Productivity
  4. Safety
  5. Responsiveness from Management at your staffing provider

Did you answer yes to any or all of these? If so, the odds are that your staffing provider is nothing more than another “Vendor”.

My next two articles will explore what is means to be the “Preferred Employer” in your market and how the “Old Way” of thinking could be holding you back from meeting your company’s goals.

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