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How does an employment agency work when hiring hourly workers?

It’s no wonder that, for a small business owner, taking on the hiring process on top of all the responsibilities involved in running a company can often be a step too far. Thats why so many business owners look for the help of employment agencies to take the burden out of the job search.

What is an employment agency?

A recruitment agency, also known as a staffing agency or employment agency, helps companies recruit the best candidates, and helps their candidates get a job. They help out with various stages of the hiring process, from writing the job description, finding job seekers, connecting them to job openings, reviewing resumes, vetting and interviewing applicants, and recommending finalists to companies. Hiring managers working for a recruitment agency - more colloquially known as headhunters - help companies find applicants for all kinds of positions, full-time position or part-time role, permanent positions and temporary.

What is a temp agency?

Some recruitment firms specialise in finding staff for temporary jobs. Temp agencies commonly have a roster of employees on their books that are recommended to temporary staffing positions based on their experiences. Temp agencies can help companies that don’t have the resources or need to employ full time employees, such as small businesses who need temporary workers for customer service, or seasonal hospitality venues.

How do employment agencies work?

Hiring from a role is more than posting the job on LinkedIn and hoping for the best. Managing the hiring process for a small business usually results in a huge amount of work on one or two people. Hiring managers have to list jobs on job boards, search for the best applicants on the job search, read through resumes, conduct interviews, references and background checks, and send out job offers, alongside all the admin that those actions create. For small business owners, hiring can quickly become a huge time sink that takes attention away from running and growing the business.

How does an employment agency make money?

Employment agencies can make their money in two ways. Firstly, by charging a fee for their time spent finding the perfect candidate. This can be based on the role’s income; for example the hourly fee for the recruitment agency equal to the hourly fee of the role they are recruited for, or with a 25% markup. The second way a recruitment firm can make money is by charging a fee upon a successful hire. This could be a flat rate, or a percentage of the role’s income. What a recruitment firm chooses to charge - one of these options, or a combination of the both - can depend on their business model, the nature of the role, or the resources of the client company.

How do you find a recruitment agency?

Finding the right staffing agency for you is an important part of the hiring process. In many ways, the choice depends on what you’re looking for. Hiring short-term hourly workers for a small business requires a different approach than hiring a full-time permanent position at a bank. You should make sure find an agency that hones its practices around the kind of role you’re hiring for.

At the same time, there are some things that every good recruitment firm should be able to guarantee you. A quality staffing agency should be able to find only the best applicants for a role. They should understand your requirements in detail and be proud of all applicants they present to you. They should be communicative about the hiring process and engage you, the business owner, in any important hiring decisions. All of these aspects should fill you with confidence that they will be the best firm for the job.

What is the benefit of having an employment agency find you a job?

Enlising a staffing company in your hiring process can save you a lot of time. With thousands of companies looking to fill roles, finding candidates for a role on online job sites like LinkedIn can be difficult. Even if you do get a lot of applications, you may find that, without someone performing some basic vetting, you may end up rejecting the majority of your applicants because they don’t meet the basic criteria. When you are a small business owner, all of this time invested in hiring diverts your attention from growing your business. An employment agency saves you that time, allowing you to focus solely on your business.

On top of this, if you have little experience of human resources, working with an employment agency can help you make more educated decisions about who to hire and how to hire. Choosing the right candidate the first time and understanding all of the laws and policies involved in onboarding a new hire can save you time and money down the road. A recruitment firm can have years of cumulative experience surrounding what makes a reliable, long-term hire.

What are the disadvantages of using an employment agency?

Naturally, the main advantage of managing the hiring process yourself is saving money. Working with a recruitment firm costs money, and for many small business owners with little resources this can be prohibitive. If you have a tight budget, it’s important to find a staffing agency that is able to deliver at your level whilst still accommodating your needs.

Another disadvantage of working with a staffing firm is that you no longer have complete control over the hiring process. Some business owners are determined to have absolute control of every element of the candidate search, as they do other parts of the business. If that sounds like you, it’s important that the employment agency you work with is able to closely involve you with every step of the hiring journey.

Should you use an employment agency?

An employment agency is a great choice for small business owners who feel like they don’t have the time to dedicate to managing every step of the hiring process. Working with a great staffing agency can help you find quality candidates quickly, and even teach you a little bit about the hiring process itself. Of course, it’s important to consider the costs associated and the values of the recruitment agency in question. If you can find the right match, finding the right candidate can be fast and easy!

Tom Quinn |
Tom (he/him) is a growth marketing manager at Snagajob helping small businesses find hourly workers.