The Truth About Recruitment Agencies: How to Find a Good Trade Labor Recruiter

May 24, 2021

Manual workers cooperating while measuring metal in aluminum mill.

As a skilled labor employer in need of workers, it can be tempting to think that staffing agencies suck. Many employers looking for trade labor don’t like dealing with recruitment agencies and believe that staffing agencies are a waste of time.

Maybe you’ve had a poor experience with a recruitment agency that left you thinking, “Why are recruitment agencies so bad?”

Or, perhaps you’ve recently started considering hiring alternatives and have wondered, “Are recruitment agencies any good?”

In general, staffing agencies don’t have a great reputation, especially when it comes to trade labor recruiting. However, not all staffing agencies are the same. We believe that there’s an excellent alternative to traditional trade staffing

If you’re interested in what makes trade labor staffing agencies good or bad, we’re glad you’re here. Keep reading to learn more about skilled labor staffing and how to find the best recruiter to help fill your staffing needs.

The Truth About Recruitment Agencies

To start our discussion on staffing agencies, we thought it would be beneficial to provide some background information on recruiting and answer some of the most asked questions. 

What Is a Staffing Agency?

A staffing agency is a company that serves two groups:

  1. Individuals looking for employment
  2. Companies that have employment needs

The staffing agency (also called a recruiting agency or temp agency) acts as a bridge between people looking for jobs and companies looking to hire new employees.

A recruiter’s job is to understand the person or company they’re helping. By talking with a person or organization, they can get a better feel for the job an individual is qualified for or the position a company needs to fill.

Ultimately, a staffing agency’s goal should be to find the best fit for an employee or business.

How Do Staffing Agencies Make Money?

There are a few ways that staffing agencies make money. There are usually some flat fees for general services like:

  • Recruiting candidates
  • Screening candidates
  • Testing candidates
  • Placing candidates

The business receiving the employee will then pay a percentage of the employee’s salary to the staffing agency. If the employee receives an hourly wage, let’s say $10/hour, the staffing agency might charge the company $15/hour. The employee will receive $10, and the staffing agency will receive $5.

When the candidate is a salaried employee, the staffing agency will receive a percentage of the employees’ salary from the company. If the employee is salaried at $50,000/year, the staffing agency may receive 5%, or $2,500.

Why Do Companies Use Staffing Agencies?

Staffing agencies can provide many benefits to companies. 

1. Complements Internal Hiring

First, using a recruiting agency is a way to outsource recruiting and hiring. It provides another set of eyes and hands to the company to fill staffing needs more quickly. Used in tandem with an internal hiring process, a staffing agency can bolster a company’s hiring efforts.

2. Larger Pool of Candidates

Utilizing a staffing agency can also increase the number of potential candidates a company can access. Recruiters often have a more extensive network of employees than a single business has. In theory, this large pool of candidates can provide greater access to skilled workers.

3. Saves Time and Money

Staffing agencies also help businesses save time and money. The recruiter does the legwork of finding and vetting candidates for a company. Instead of spending their own time and money on hiring, companies can wait for their recruiters to send them potential candidates.

But are recruitment agencies any good for skilled labor employers? 

Are Staffing Agencies Good or Bad for Skilled Labor Hiring?

Answering the question, “Are staffing agencies bad or good?” is complicated. Some employers have had great experiences, while others haven’t been as lucky. Having a good or bad experience with a staffing agency comes down to the individual staffing company and the recruiter.

Recently, employers have grown tired of using traditional staffing agencies because they feel that recruiters:

  • Don’t know their clients’ industry well 
  • Seek quantity of hires over quality
  • Communicate poorly with their clients
  • Can act dishonestly
  • Have their interests in mind instead of their clients’

These characteristics aren’t true of every staffing agency, but they influence how employers think about recruitment companies. 

However, we believe skilled labor staffing is a valuable hiring practice, and finding a good skilled labor recruiter can be done—you simply need to know what to look for.

What Makes a Good Skilled Labor Recruiting Agency?

Good skilled labor recruiting agencies do exist.

Here are three marks of an excellent skilled labor recruiting agency that you can look for and trust with your employment needs.

1. Knows the Industry

Right off the bat, you want to work with an agency that knows and understands the trade labor market and industry. 

As a skilled labor employer:

  • Your hiring needs are specific. 
  • You require experienced workers.
  • You want to hire someone who can step in and add value quickly.

For these reasons, it’s essential that your recruiter knows you, your industry, and your needs. If they already have experience in your industry, you won’t need to worry about potential candidates. Instead, you can trust the recruiter to do their job well and find the right workers. 

2. Values the Client

You probably know that old business saying, “The customer is always right.” There may be unique instances where this doesn’t hold. But in general, someone who cares about the client will do whatever is necessary to please them.

As a business owner, your needs and business are valuable. You want a staffing agency that values you and works hard to ensure quality service. 

  • Does the recruiter take the time to get to know you and your needs?
  • Do they communicate regularly and keep you updated on the process?
  • Have they shown signs of honesty and integrity?

Take your time and find an agency that values you and your needs.

3. Uses a Comprehensive Vetting Process  

Lastly, does the staffing agency have a multi-step recruiting process for finding and placing suitable candidates?

Too many recruiting agencies take a quick, generic approach to hiring. You want to make sure that the agency you choose takes its time to vet, process, and test candidates. Otherwise, you may receive candidates who aren’t suitable for the job, which can waste time and money.

The key to hiring and retaining top skilled labor is getting the right hire the first time. A skilled labor recruiting agency with a tried-and-true recruiting process can ensure quality candidates at a high rate.  

Top Skilled Labor Staffing Agencies Aren’t a Waste of Time

If you’re a skilled trade employer in need of hiring help, don’t start thinking that staffing agencies suck just yet. It may seem like they have a bad reputation when you hear people ask, “Why do staffing agencies lie?” However, the truth about recruitment agencies is that good skilled staffing recruiters do exist and can help by:

  • Complementing your internal hiring process
  • Providing a larger pool of candidates
  • Saving you time and money

That said, you can’t simply use a generic staffing agency for your skilled labor needs. You should look for an agency that:

  • Knows your industry and needs
  • Values you and your business
  • Performs a comprehensive vetting process

How do we know that these characteristics embody a good staffing agency?

At Skillwork, we make sure you encounter these recruiting values when using us as your skilled labor recruiter. We’ve worked in the manufacturing industry, so we know the need for skilled workers is high. Using our 8-step vetting process, we can take hundreds of qualified candidates and hand-select those that fit your specific needs. We desire to expertly handle the hiring process so you can grow your business, improve your bottom line, and reduce risk.

Schedule your obligation-free consult today to start getting the skilled workers you need.

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