Tips for Choosing a Staffing Services Agency

lots of question marksAs more companies are using Staffing Services Agencies in order to manage their workplace needs in our currently tight labor market, we thought it would be helpful to offer some tips on what to look for when choosing your next agency.

Length of Time in Business

What’s true in other industries is true in the employment business: An agency who has been around for a while has demonstrated that it can provide great employees to their clients, has a solid number of candidates in reserve from which to choose, keeps up-to-date with technology and understands what it means to be in business by providing great staffing services in good times and not-so-good times.

Employee Professionalism and Turnover

There is no better indicator of what kind of candidates you will be getting from a staffing company than the quality, competence and professionalism of the people who answer the phone and respond to your emails. Also consider the average employee length of service and rate of employee turnover. One can’t expect an agency to provide great employees for their clients if they don’t know how to find them for themselves.

Areas of Specialization

A key criterion for finding good matches is for the staffing services agency to fully understand the businesses that their clients are in. A staffing company that specializes in placing health-care workers may not have the same expertise as one who staffs IT positions. Look at the agency website or ask for references from companies who are in a business segment similar to yours.

Candidate Screening Process

What sort of screening process does the staffing services agency provide to assess workplace skills? Do they use validated assessments to determine a candidate’s skill level? Do they perform background checks? What about drug screening? An important factor in reducing your costs of onboarding is having a high degree of confidence that the candidate has the required skills and will not pose a risk to your business.

Employee Benefits

Great employees, even temporary employees, are attracted by great benefits. Does the staffing company have a comprehensive benefit program? Does it include medical benefits? Vacation time? Incentives? Ask to see a copy of their benefits program or check the agency website.


Membership in the American Staffing Association is an indicator that your staffing services agency maintains a superior professional reputation and is committed to high standards of legal, ethical and professional practices in the staffing industry. Check to verify if your prospective agency is a member.

photo of Ellie Patterson, The Temp Connection


Ellie Patterson has been in the staffing industry for twenty-seven years and is a co-founder and partner at The Temp Connection in Tucson, AZ. She can be reached via email at



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