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What to Look for in a Staffing Partner

A staffing partner can be an incredibly valuable asset for businesses hoping to find the best talent. However, not all recruiters are created equal and you will only be as successful as the firm you choose to partner with. So how do you decide who to partner with? There are several simple ways that you can use to determine whether a firm is right for you.


This is a very quick way to gain insight into the staffing partner you’re considering working with. When you partner with recruiters, you want to know that you are getting a partner who has the time and resources to make you a priority. Pay attention to how quickly you receive responses from them via email. Try calling the office to speak to someone. If you get voicemail every time and don’t hear back quickly, chances are that your potential partners have bigger fish to fry and won’t be able or willing to make you a priority.


Increasingly, recruiting firms have grown more and more specified, some focusing on specific industries or functions. To find the most relevant partner for your business or immediate talent need, you may want to start by looking for firms that specialize in finding the talent you are looking for. Even the best recruiting firm won’t be as successful if their focus is not relevant to your needs. The firm with the best pipeline of talent that fits your needs will be the most successful in the least amount of time. Ask potential staffing partners about their last five searches, where they typically focus, and what types of roles they are the most successful in filling.

Track Record

You obviously want to partner with the most successful recruitment professionals. You should come prepared with questions to ascertain their track record before engaging them. Ask about their metrics, such as time-to-fill and offer acceptance ratio, to determine how successful they are. Don’t be afraid to ask about references and recent successful searches to get an idea of where they are the most successful and how successful they are.  

Fee and Guarantee

Depending on your specific needs, there are a variety of fee structures that might work for you. Some staffing firms use only contingent search, some only engaged, and others may offer both. If your talent need is crucial and urgent, you might be better off working with a firm on an engaged basis – meaning you pay a portion of the fee up front in exchange for dedicated resources. If your concern is more about the budget, then you may want to use a contingent model – meaning you pay only once a hire is made. Whichever model you go with, it’s also important to understand your staffing partner’s guarantee. Find out what their replacement guarantee is, in case their hire doesn’t work out. Ask about what guaranteed resources they offer, such as search channels they use and places where they advertise.

The proper staffing partner can be a great resource for businesses looking for top talent. Knowing what to look for and the right questions to ask can help you find a partner who will get you results within your budget and without much ado. Make sure that you vet your potential partners before agreeing to anything so that you can find the firm which works best for you and your company.

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