Tips & Questions to Pick a Winning Staffing Agency to Deliver Top Talent

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Choosing the Right Staffing Agency, the First Time

You’ve decided to take the leap and put the hiring of your team into a staffing agency’s hands. Now comes the fun part: choosing the right staffing agency. You have outlined the risks and benefits and now you are doing the research on the who and how behind hiring the right team of professionals. Now you are bombarded with a handful of burning questions  such as: How do I hire the right team? How do I know they will attract the right candidates? Will they properly represent my brand’s mission and values? Will they deliver on time? Below we have provided you with a few quick tips on choosing the right staffing agency and questions you can ask when you meet with a new team.

You Get What You Pay For

This age-old saying rings true as with any investment. You get what you pay for so never make your decision purely based on price. Yes, you have a budget and don’t want to exceed it, but that doesn’t mean the lowest-priced staffing agency is your best option. Much like purchasing a car or a house, it is usually in the buyer’s best interest to spend a little more on something that will not frequently require work or replacement. One of our favorite quotes is from Larry Bossidy: “If you think hiring professionals is expensive try hiring armatures.”

The expense of hiring the wrong person can and most likely will be huge. According to a recent survey, 41% of hiring managers and other HR professionals who’ve made a bad hire believe it cost the company well over a few thousands of dollars. The U.S. Department of Labor recently reported that a bad hire costs the company 30% of what would have been that employee’s first year’s salary.

When relying on a staffing firm you are letting go of the hassle of the recruitment process because it means you’ll have a team of staffing specialists using their expertise to shortlist suitable candidates. This not only frees up your time to do other tasks, but it also ensures that you will have more qualified and suitable applicants for the position you are looking to fill.


Do your research. Google the company and see if they have any negative reviews, check their references, and read up on any press releases they have published.

Alongside their online/public reputation, also consider how long the agency has been around and how many potential candidates they may have for you. Nothing is worse than an old, dried up agency that candidates no longer turn to. 

If you feel you’ve already tapped your local market for the right candidate and come up dry, you may be surprised at what a specialized staffing firm can do. The best firms have access to candidates you don’t. This includes professionals who may not have seen your job posting – or passive candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new job but are open to the right opportunity. In fact, this is one of the biggest benefits of a staffing firm, the candidates that are already taken. Why is this, you ask? Candidates that are currently employed show strong work ethic and value, think about it.


The more specific the role you are looking to fill the more specialized your staffing agency needs to be. Candidates that hold specific experience are typically in high demand and harder to find. Staffing agencies have quite the Rolodex of candidates that are also looking for specialized positions. Before choosing a firm make sure to outline what you are looking for and ask them how many potential candidates they expect to find to fill your vacancy. Also, because these candidates hold a special value card they know their worth and are consistently seeking new opportunities for growth.

Questions to Ask

Once you’ve found a strong potential staffing agency to meet with, use these questions in your initial conversation. Depending on the answers they provide you’ll know whether you are dealing with a team who can meet your specification or if you should pass. 

  1. What expertise do you have with recruiting in my industry?
  2. How do you measure your client satisfaction and what is your most recent satisfaction score?
  3. What was your turnover rate for internal staff last year?
  4. What is your most recent satisfaction score for your permanent and temporary placed talent?
  5. What current trends and recruiting issues should I be aware of?
  6. Do you expect your rates to be higher, lower, or about the same as other agencies we may consider?
  7. What are your expectations of me in this partnership?
  8.  Do you hold any accreditations or awards?

These tips and questions should help position your company closer to finding the best staffing agency for your hiring needs. If you have any questions about locating the best staffing agencies or want to learn about Core Staffing’s hiring solutions, contact us today.