As with any professional service, it’s helpful to launch the relationship when you’re not under the gun and time-pressed for an immediate solution. Sure, companies can help you out at the last minute if necessary, but consider how much more specific and beneficial their help can be if they already understand you, your needs, preferences and schedules. Not to mention the decrease in stress for all involved.
Staffing companies are no different. Taking some time to build a relationship before you find yourself with empty chairs to fill can help ensure those chairs get filled by someone who is perfect vs. someone who is just okay.
If filling open positions is one of your roles, think ahead and review your options. Set up an in-person or over-the-phone meeting with a staffing firm you might use. Then do the following:
- Find out who your go-to person would be if you were in immediate need.
- Make sure this person assigned to you is someone you like and who really understands what it is that you do, because you don’t have to work with them at this point.
- Talk about the type of person you typically like to hire as a temp.
- Provide a brief job description, if possible.
- Tell them as much as you can about your company culture.
- Discuss your needs as far as scheduling and timing.
- Share any specifics as far as what type of technology or software a temp should know.
- Ask what sort of HR support can be provided.
- Get any and all paperwork out of the way, such as confidentiality agreements, contracts, tax forms, etc.
- And finally, tell them not to call you until you are ready.
Why that last part? Because some companies can get aggressive when you reach out to them. Just let them know, if things go well, that the business is theirs but only if you make the next move. You know your business better than anyone. You know when you need assistance. You know what you need. Just let your staffing company know what you need too, ahead of time, to save time.
This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included. ©2012 Catherine Lang-Cline, Portfolio Creative, LLC.