Staffing Agency Problems (and How to Solve Them)3 min read
August 10, 2018 • Industry Insights
Looking for a little competition? Get a job as a staffing agency recruiter. With about 20,000 staffing firms in the U.S. vying for candidates amid historically low unemployment, these unsung heroes have one of the toughest jobs in talent acquisition. Sourcing great candidates for multiple clients is no small task, and current industry norms and practices don’t always help.
Here are the top staffing agency problems identified by recruiters:
Our ATS is a candidate graveyard.
Many staffing agencies use a homegrown Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which is often archaic and clunky. Since recruiters don’t source past candidates from their ATS, what could have been a goldmine of talent becomes the place where once-promising candidate profiles go to die.
“If I have to dig through one more Excel spreadsheet…”
Without a Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) system in place, individual recruiters manage their personal candidate pipelines the old-fashioned way by maintaining their own Excel files. The lack of a shared database across the agency means thousands of leads are sitting at arm’s length locked in a spreadsheet on someone’s desktop.
Help! I’m addicted to job boards.
Staffing agencies have become reluctantly dependent on major job board websites. Access to a single job board can cost $400,000 a year — an obscenely expensive way to acquire new candidates. Utilizing your own job board software saves money and streamlines your own application process.
She left and took her network of talent with her.
One of the industry’s biggest issues is recruiter turnover, a serious problem that leads to gaps in client submissions that directly impact the agency’s profit margins. Worse, when a recruiter calls it quits, agencies often lose out on all the candidate relationships they fostered at the company through emails and spreadsheets that leave right along with them.
Three great candidates, same-day turnaround… and we still lost.
The staffing industry is extremely competitive. Many employers use several different agencies, and they open submission requisitions to all of them at once. That sets up a race to submit better candidates faster than your competitors. Speed to candidate becomes paramount to success.
“Wait, you already emailed him?”
Agency recruiters typically have email templates that they manually send to candidates one by one, and there’s no centralized place to track outreach attempts. Duplicate messages to candidates happen far too often because recruiters don’t have insight into the candidate’s qualifications and/or the agency’s history with him or her.
The VMS is a hot mess.
Most agencies submit candidates through a Vendor Management System (VMS). With only 24 hours to submit their three best resumes to an open requisition, recruiters usually start a brand new job board search rather than mining historical candidates from an agency database. The wheel, reinvented.
Happily, many of these long-standing problems can now be solved with the right talent acquisition software, tailored to the needs of a staffing firm:
- A Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) tool brings all those disparate candidate profiles together under one roof for the benefit of everyone — especially the agency’s bottom line.
- Talent communities foster relationships with your pool of top candidates, keeping them engaged until the right opportunity comes along.
- Candidates can self-schedule interviews to cut back on recruiters’ administrative time.
- Mobile apps offer a quick and easy way to capture information from walk-in candidates, and candidates love the convenience of applying via smartphone.
- Text recruiting delivers faster response rates and higher degrees of candidate engagement, vastly improving speed to candidate. All those text messages are tracked in your centralized CRM.
- Job board aggregation and automated search reduces time spent manually scouring job boards and lessens agency dependency on them.
Breathe a sigh of relief, agency recruiters. Your problems aren’t insurmountable anymore.