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Top Things You Need to Know When Evaluating Local IT Staffing Firms

You are considering hiring a local IT staffing firm. Understanding how to evaluate a potential firm and knowing the questions to ask, will ensure you maximize the return on investment when utilizing a local staffing firm.

The Basics

There are primarily two types of staffing firms, retained and contingency.  During a sit down with Scott Moore, career services manager here at OpenArc, he shared some insight into the contingency model. “One of the things we always want our clients to understand is that as a contingency firm there is zero cost to you if we don’t find you the best candidate,” said Moore. “When we do find exactly the best candidate for your position and organization you’ll see a boosted return on your investment, especially when comparing to retained search which requires an upfront fee.

Tip: The upside to working with a contingency firm, like OpenArc, is that they become an extension of your organization which results in you saving time, money, energy and the biggie, avoiding bad hires.

The Meeting

You should always meet with a local IT staffing firm before enlisting their services as there are many considerations unique to your staffing challenge. A trusted local staffing firm will want to understand your business and business goals, so they can tailor an approach that is right for your situation.

It’s important that you are prepared to discuss what level of service you expect from a local staffing firm. If you are simply looking for an influx of resumes which is the primary service provided by most firms, your time and money would best be invested in recruiting tools such as monster, dice, etc.

Now if you are looking for a partner to understand your technology/cultural needs, an organization that thoroughly vets candidates before a resume is sent and access to higher-skilled candidates, then a contingency firm is the right choice for you.

The Question

Question 1: “By engaging with your firm how will we improve our candidate experience?” This is a great kick-off question, and if the firm doesn’t have a good answer or their response is “it won’t” then you will know right away this isn’t the right local IT staffing firm for your organization.

Keep this in mind during the line of questioning, a top-notch local IT staffing firm will provide you the best candidates and act as your brand ambassador, further promoting your organization in a way that positions you to be the employer of choice for candidates.  

The Mistakes

Reputation, reputation, reputation. It only takes one negative experience with your organization and a single candidate could potentially taint your company’s reputation. Today’s candidates can amplify their voices via their social networks, and a negative reputation may potentially keep your organization from landing that future right candidate. Moore shared, “As someone who has been speaking with candidates for years this is one of the most common reasons a candidate does not want to pursue an opportunity. Not money, not location, not benefits but that they heard bad things about that place.”

Another undesirable situation organizations find themselves in is employing too many staffing firms. More is not always better, and it is evident when candidates begin receiving calls from numerous firms for the same position. At this point, the candidates begin to undervalue the opportunity and view the organization as desperate. Additionally, this creates a whole host of issues as it relates to coordinating with multiple firms, double submissions, candidate disputes, and confused candidates.

Bonus Tip: Find one or two non-overlapping firms that provide the service you want, that will represent your brand well, and you’ll be presented with the best-aligned candidates.

The Takeaway

Working with the right local IT staffing firm that has a proven track record will enhance your overall hiring strategy. Solving your staffing challenges takes a team, including trusted recruiting exerts that can deliver you the best resources and support.

If you would like more tips or to continue the conversation, reach out to Scott Moore scott at open arc dot net.

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