Staffing Companies: What MSPs Should Know

More often than not, MSPs turn to staffing companies after failing to fill available positions using internal resources. The fact of the matter is this: Many MSPs aren’t large enough to dedicate their teams to hiring. The process takes time, money and manpower. While recruitment firms can be intimidating at first, they don’t have to be — especially after understanding how they operate, the services they provide and fee structures.

How do recruitment firms charge clients? Before partnering with a recruitment firm, understand its fee structure. There are two main fee structures in the staffing industry: retainer and contingency. Recruitment firms charging clients retainers want money upfront before delivering services (e.g., conducting candidate searches). On the other hand, recruiters working on a contingency basis (such as Bowman Williams) charge after a candidate is hired (of course, the client only pays if the firm provided the candidate).

Consider the employment type you’re offering to candidates. Unlike some firms, Bowman Williams is a permanent placement recruiting firm. This means the following: After the right candidate is found by us, the client then hires the candidate directly (the candidate becomes an employee with our client, not us). Other staffing firms also offer temporary or contract placement services to their clients. Some clients only want temporary help. Temporary employees typically don’t get added on to client payrolls. Instead, traditionally, staffing companies hire and pay all temporary candidates. As for contracting, from our experience, the candidate pool for full-time employment often exceeds the hiring ROI when compared to the contracting candidate pool. Basically, good candidates don’t stay unemployed for long. Usually, contracting candidates for one reason or another don’t have the personality traits that lead to long-term engagements.

Be accessible to your staffing company. Candidates typically don’t stick with one staffing company; they become involved with several recruitment firms to increase their odds of finding a job — plain and simple. This is why it’s imperative for you to be accessible to the recruitment firm you’re working with to fill a role at your business. If you take too long to respond to your staffing company’s inquiries, you could be missing out on ideal options;  candidates we work with are typically considering multiple opportunities when they’re conducting employment searches. We find the best way to beat out competing offers from other companies is by achieving speed to market by conducting interviews with desired candidates in a timely manner, so do your best to maintain a quick pace when scheduling interviews with potential candidates of interest.

A verbal agreement isn’t an agreement. People change their minds all the time, so don’t assume the deal is done after a candidate commits to working for you verbally. Things do come up. For example, another opportunity or a counteroffer from a current employer sometimes persuades a candidate to take another direction. This is why it’s so important for you to stay in close contact with potential hires before their given start dates. We recommend inviting potential hires to company outings, so they become familiar with company culture and can start to build relationships with future employees.

Partnering with a staffing company could be your best bet if you’ve been having a hard time with hiring. Instead of draining your resources — including time, money and manpower — assess recruitment firms for your hiring needs. Not all staffing companies are created equal, so do your research ahead of time to understand what they’re selling.