Staffing firms—Need for better relationships–Revisited

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Staffing firms have an outside perspective on what companies want. There's a saying—"others than us better observe our mistakes". So, sometimes we can't identify our own shortcomings, because we are lacking an extra "outsider view".

I had a chat with my manager last week about "Blog Writing tips". She is the director of operations in our staffing company and is busy managing lot of things. There I was—getting tips about few things. Realizing that she has a lot to take care off, I asked her- "I hope I am not bugging you". She replied—"It's better that you do it, otherwise you would remain in a shell".

Why do staffing agencies provide the client with the wrong people? And the companies end up hiring them (lots of times). Why are the candidates not happy with their jobs? How is it related to client-staffing firm relationships? The question has many caveats that will need to be looked in to, before coming up with the answers. But often, it is our "shell" that hides us from the things that can be observed and dealt with.

Many times, employees who are hired are not happy with the company. They take up the jobs expecting something and end up experiencing something else (not a rare case isn't it?). Of course, lot of times the job is taken up by the candidate under external circumstances (outside the control of the staffing firm or the client, e.g. peer pressure). But rarely the employees communicate their resentments to the company (mostly fearing a jobless situation!!).

Thinking about it, the above scenario is a perfect example where the staffing firms can jump in and communicate with the candidates who were hired via "them". Staffing firms can take feedback and identify the problem areas, so that they can be in a better position to tackle these things next time. So the need for relationship is not only between the staffing firms and client, but also between the staffing firms and the potential candidates/employees.

That is where staffing firms can go an extra mile. Talking about need for better relationships, this can be an innovative way that will pave way for stronger and dovetailing (since it almost leads to merger) relationships.

We all know that the staffing firms rarely constitute of people who have got "domain experience". Obviously, an IT staffing agency would not be filled with programmers and designers. The composition in such a firm will include more MBA's, mostly. So having such people at the client site as an interface between the manager and the "hires" will bridge the communication gap between staffing company and the client. How? Staffing firms would now have "inside" information on what the client requirements are, and what exactly the client is looking for.

One would think that the distribution of responsibilities between the staffing firm and the client company, in hiring candidates, is not up to mark, or can be handled better. The clients forget about their responsibilities towards employees, staffing firms forget about clients after the candidate is hired, and there is no picture in which the candidate and the staffing firm are playing together!!

What should constitute the responsibilities on each side will be another post. But, a bit of thinking on either part would not do any harm. Staffing firms need to go travel extra distance and extend their services from just staffing to "staffing + "relationship staffing""!
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