News & Advice

Industry insights, staffing news and job search advice.

How to Find a Staffing Expert in Your Industry

Industry data shows that a bad hire can cost over 115% of the employee’s annual salary. So, here’s a scary question: What if you choose a staffing agency designed to deliver you bad hires?


Nobody Knows Your Industry Better Than You

It’s important that the staffing agency or recruiter you hire knows how to find talent for your industry. To determine their industry experience, you’ll need to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you have industry competitors in the staffing agency’s territory?
  2. Do you have strategic partners that utilize similar types of people in the staffing agency’s territory?
  3. Are there educational institutions that produce the type of employees you seek, in the staffing agency’s territory?

This will give you an idea of the agency’s talent marketplace. Next, make sure to identify the type of people you employ or desire to employ. You’ll then have a baseline of the industry workforce, and an overview of what talent looks like to your company. To get started on your company’s candidate profile, try answering these questions:

  1. What skills do your most successful employees possess?
  2. What education or experience do they have?

Evaluating Staffing Agencies in Your Industry

Don’t use the low cost filter here. Focus on level of expertise and the value they deliver. The least expensive agency can quickly become the most expensive if they can’t deliver the talent you need to grow your business.

  1. Assume all staffing agencies can deliver the people you desire. This will help you remain objective.
  2. Drill down by asking a series of control questions to uncover their expertise. Employers tend to interrogate an employee to ensure they possess the expertise to do the job, yet employers don’t question their staffing vendors with the same rigor.

Do Agency Recruiters Have Experience With Your Industry?

Questions to identify the recruiters’ experience:

  1. Ask to see the credentials of the recruiter(s) that will be handling your placements.
  2. Have they worked in any role in your industry?
  3. Have they recruited for talent in your industry?
  4. Ask to see credentials of the leadership team that will be supervising those recruiters.

To identity what level of experience the staffing agency has with your industry, consider which school of thought you subscribe to below:

  1. Does the staffing agency currently service any of your competitors? Would this be a conflict of interest to send the best candidate to your competitor because of a stronger relationship or higher rate?
  2. Do you consider staffing for your competitor an advantage, because of the experience within your field?
  3. Does the agency service any of your strategic partners? Are there enough good candidates to go around?
  4. Does the staffing agency have strong ties to educational institutions that produce the type of employees you desire?

Is Your Industry the Only Industry They Service?

Have you heard a salesperson say that their company services all industries? Sure. But if they’re the jack-of-all-trades, how could they be master of any? Of all the industries the agency services, what percentage does your industry fall in? If your industry is the minority, then you may want to do a little more digging. Don’t eliminate an agency on this point alone; you may just be in a niche industry.

Inspect What You Expect

What kind of content does the staffing agency post on their website? It should tell about the industries they service and the type of employees they attract. Also, review their job postings. If told your industry comprises a large portion of what they service, yet you don’t see job postings to back it up, it may be a red flag. If you see a job posting within your industry, ask about the success rate of recruiting for that position.

This will give you a clear picture of the staffing expert in your industry, and more importantly how to find talent for your industry. Taking the time to ‘interview’ staffing vendors will save you money and hassle down the road.

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