Staffing agencies face similar challenges to those of in-house recruiting teams. The difference is in what staffing agencies can offer to solve those challenges.

  • As a member of a staffing agency, you typically hire for a variety of clients, and therefore, you can provide more candidates for consideration than a company’s in-house recruiting team can.
  • You see trends across clients, and you speak to more candidates, so you have a better chance of success than the client.
  • You can also amortize the cost of HR tools like assessments, LinkedIn recruiting licenses, applicant tracking systems, and research databases, across more roles than many in-house hiring staff can.

So staffing agencies have an advantage, but to stand out in a competitive market, staffing agencies like yours will need to add even more value beyond what your competitors offer to clients and candidates to expand your business.

Here are four of the most challenging issues facing staffing agencies and recommended resources for solving them:

1. Keeping up with talent trends

You know that today business moves at a fast pace. For a staffing agency, like yours, to stay relevant and meet their customers’ needs, you have to keep up with talent trends[. That is a tall order. To offer the best possible service, you have to know what’s happening with the makeup of the labor pool, your client’s competitive landscape, new legislation, workplace flexibility, the use of artificial intelligence, and more.

Clients want to work with knowledgeable staffing agencies who won’t put their company at risk because they follow the best practices for recruiting talent. The American Staffing Association is a great resource to learn about trends and best practices for staffing agencies.

2. Low unemployment rates

The currently low unemployment rates across the United States, present a recruitment challenge. When unemployment is low, organizations have to work harder to get candidates to apply, so staffing agencies must innovate ways to find and grow talent pools.

A best practice is to assess your candidates and find out, in advance, whether they will be a fit for the job.  Pre-employment skills testing [is a great way to find out if candidates have the aptitude to succeed.

For example, if your client needs an operations analyst, identify the skills required for that specific role and then look for those same skills in a different job function. You may find the foundational skills you need in administrative candidates who have had to keep up with all movements, tasks, and incoming and outgoing information within an organization.

Once you’ve found a talent pool with responsibilities that could transition smoothly into the operations analyst role, conduct skills testing with those candidates.  You can use pre-employment assessment tests to verify if the job function has prepared these candidates for the operations analyst positions you need to fill. Then you can help the best of those candidates make the transition to the new role.

3. Performance management

With many new hires or temporary employees, performance monitoring and management can be a challenge. For example, because your client can’t follow your temps to their work sites, it is hard to monitor the quality of their work beyond your clients’ feedback. Too often, a client manager will provide a positive update or a few comments to check a box and move on.

When you use pre-employment skills testing to measure a candidate’s baseline abilities, you can have meaningful conversations about job expectations and performance. The assessment process will enable you and the client to determine job fit in advance. When there is a good job fit, it reduces the need for constant monitoring and increases the chances for candidate success in the role.

4. Making sure candidates are a fit

Nothing is more frustrating for a client than accepting one of your candidate recommendations and having the client fail in the position just after the trial period ends. They will have made an investment with no return. The key to ensuring more placements is to find candidates that are a long term fit.

This challenge is another area where pre-employment skills testing can be incredibly valuable. By identifying the skills required for the role before interviewing, you will know what kinds of questions to ask. By leveraging skills testing, you won’t have to take the candidate’s word for it; you will experience whether they can perform the tasks required for the role.

Staffing agencies face these challenges today, but the mission you fulfill is a critically important one. Matching candidates with a great fit ensure the expansion and success of your clients’ businesses. Leverage these recommendations for solving the three most significant challenges facing agencies today.

Contact us for help with pre-employment assessment tests. We’d be happy to help you take your placement rates to the next level. Request a complimentary demo today. 


Kristina Minyard

Kristina Minyard is currently the Director of Ignite Education in Huntsville, AL. She has over 11 years experience in HR, Recruiting, and Business Development. She utilizes her skills and experience in HR Consulting, Technical Recruiting, HR Policies, Staffing Services, and Labor Relations to create content on her blog hrpockets.com and other platforms.

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