At some point in every human resource manager’s life, a time comes when there are not enough employees available to manage a time sensitive project or a new role. This is when most HR pros turn to a local staffing agency for support. Yet, far too many hiring managers take for granted what services the staffing agency can provide, causing this relationship to fail.

For this reason and many others, it’s important to understand a few areas before working with a staffing agency. Here is a checklist that can help prepare you for a positive experience with a staffing agency:

  1. Provide a written job description that includes the requirements of the job, including background, experience, education, certifications or special licenses, and security clearances. Also provide a detailed overview of the job duties so that the agency can find you the best match in a candidate.
  2. Ask for a contract that includes the terms of the contract with the staffing agency. Get all information, including rates, paperwork/timekeeping requirements, and length of service in writing. Review this with your company legal counsel before agreeing.
  3. Find out what happens if you are not happy with the performance of a temporary candidate. Get this in writing with the steps you should follow if you need to dismiss a temp from your job site for an infraction or to request a replacement.
  4. Review your corporate handbook with the recruiter or at the very least provide  copy of this document so that the temp workers can be briefed about any special conduct or security needs.
  5. Get parking and building access set up for the temps before they start work at your facility. Make sure ID badges and orientation materials are ready for their first day.
  6. Schedule an onsite meeting with the recruiter so he or she can get a better idea of the working environment, job requirements, and your goals for this assignment. Arrange follow up visits in advance of candidates’ start dates.
  7. Ask about payroll information and obtain a few extra copies of the staffing agency’s paper time cards, or how to log into the online payroll system.

By taking the above steps, you will be off to a more productive start working with the staffing agency, and you are likely to get higher quality candidates to work for you. This can be a positive experience for your company and you may decide to hire a few of the temps on for long term employment.

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