How companies find and choose staffing firms

November 4, 2020

Three of the biggest pain points across all industries, for recruiters and hiring managers of all levels, include cost and time to hire, finding the right candidates with the right skills, and in 2020, economic uncertainty. Staffing firms can play a large role in alleviating these issues, especially when it comes to niche or specific skill sets and offering temporary talent, but it’s important to connect with companies and their internal hiring managers in the right way to win their trust and hire the right talent. 

Hiring managers prioritize digital resources and their networks when vetting a firm 

When the time comes for a company to work with a staffing firm, more than 75 percent of hiring managers agree on the top five tactics and strategies to find a partner: 

  1. The firm’s reputation in the company’s industry  
  2. Staffing firm’s website  
  3. Online searching 
  4. Reading reviews online 
  5. Asking peers in their professional network for a referral 

Only 52 percent of hiring managers utilized staffing firms they have used in the past at different jobs or companies, and positive online ratings had twice the impact as price when determining whether to stick with one primary firm. 

Plus, the vetting strategy changes when the needs become more specific: 

  • For temporary staffing, hiring managers relied on their professional network for a referral. 
  • When looking for a permanent placement, a company will rely on the staffing firm’s reputation within their industry. 
  • In professional or executive searches, the hiring manager’s previous experience in their own job search influenced their decision. 

Online research is strongly preferred above engaging with a salesperson or recruiter 

On average, 60 percent of hiring managers said they would prefer to research online to learn more about a staffing firm, rather than engage with a salesperson. This was tracked across three generations – Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials – and there was little difference in preference. 

However, when diving into how hiring managers and companies prefer to engage with staffing firms at various levels, the generational gap starts to widen, and Millennials are shaping up to be a tough crowd. About 55 percent of this age group agreed they would rather place a job order online than talk in-person or on the phone, that recruiters will play a smaller role in talent acquisition strategies in the next 5 years (because of technology), and during that same time frame, technology will also replace much of the value staffing firms offer to companies. 

While Gen X and Baby Boomers agree with these sentiments far less – closer to 40 percent or lower – Millennials are the future of company leadership, as older generations start to retire. One way to connect with this digital-first generation? Quality thought leadership content on a blog, website or social media platform. These hiring managers are almost 10 percent more likely to engage with and value this content. 

Technology leads to client satisfaction 

Technology is the third highest determining factor in a client’s perception of their staffing firm’s success, after service (the top spot) and the logistics of open job orders. About 65 percent of clients believe their staffing firm is better than others because of the technology that firm leverages, with a major difference in satisfaction is that client believes the tech being used is delivering better results. 

The takeaway? Make your digital presence sing, provide value to the decision makers and use the right tools to connect to talent. 

For additional data and insight, dive into our webinar that covers this data – and more.  

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