Dear Employer: We’d Really Just Love to Make This Easier For You!

With thanks to STAFFING TALK columnist, Kevin Prow, we have some ideas for employers to improve their use of staffing firms …

Sad, but here’s how he began a recent column:

“As a Director of Support Services, I work hand-in-hand with dozens of staffing agencies every day, assisting them on all aspects of their business. I work with light industrial, medical, professional, technical and specialty staffing agencies. Because of this, I know how successful they can be and how large their operation can be. So when I have a job opening and an agency refers a candidate to me, why does a small piece of me die inside?”

Our thoughts on how to avoid “dying inside”:

Employers complain that candidates are either over- or under-prepared for their interviews. In a professional, niche staffing company like ours, there may be less of this. We prepare our candidates by providing insight from you, our client, into the specific job and aspects of the company that aren’t easily apparent by searching their peers, past employees, and trade media. We make it easy for the candidate to get to your door (it’s nerve-wracking enough to interview without getting lost and risking being late), but we never tell them how to behave.

It is a “first date”, however, and no one (neither employee nor employer) brings out all of their baggage in the first interview. Employees with minimal experience usually can’t even know what their shortcomings are. This is exactly why we encourage multiple interviews, with multiple staff. The ideal is for their true self to fit into your true culture and it takes time for both parties to learn that.

There are many stories we could tell: the employer who started the interview with “What job are you interviewing for?” or the candidate who called the employer by the wrong name not once, but every time. The interview process is unwieldy no matter the amount of candidate prep we do, because we are dealing with people, not machines parts. But I digress…

Recruiters ask stock interview questions, not the right questions. At LandaJob, we conduct conversational interviews with our serious candidates and invest a lot of time getting to know them. If all we did was get answers to questions about specific duties of the position, we wouldn’t know if the soft skills (characteristics like adaptability, competitiveness) were in alignment with the employer’s culture and job demands.

Staffing firms have little integrity and attempt to recruit my employees. Ask your staffing firm about their policy and request it in writing. Because we serve the narrow niche of marketing and creative in the Midwest, we have been vigilant about our policy: we never recruit from a client company (defined as active in the past twelve months). Period. When we receive calls or resumes from employees within those client companies, we require a signed non-solicitation statement from the job seeker.

There’s more, but we are happily busy with new contract/temporary jobs and full-time search assignments, so we’ll leave you with this:

Tell us what you expect, let us know when you don’t get what you want from us, give us more information to help us find, prepare, and background check employees. The more you let us know, the better we are able to serve you.

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