WHY CHOOSING STAFFING AGENCY AS AN EMPLOYER & JOBSEEKER
There are many staffing companies, how does one choose? It really depends on the type of work you are looking for and a staffing company you can trust. Chose one that best fits those needs. For instance, if you are looking for work as a general laborer, then it doesn’t make any sense to contact an agency that specializes in executive recruitment.
You should also know that staffing agencies are paid by their clients to find them, temporary workers. Some companies operate in peaks and valleys. That is, they have periods when they are busy and other times when they are not. Rather than getting involved in annual layoffs, it becomes less of a headache to hire people on a temporary basis. Since attrition happens regularly, and companies’ businesses increase, there is always a need to hire additional people. Typically, they will hire from the temporary pool, as they are already familiar with them.
You must remember, the staffing agency will be your employer. You want to make sure that they operate with integrity and within the law. There are also a few that work under the radar. It suits those temporary employees that are trying to avoid paying taxes or detection because they are not eligible to work in the country, or, are on social assistance or employment insurance. At the same time, it also suits these agencies to not pay the taxes they would owe to the government. Most, however, are looking to work with a reputable company. So, how do you find them?
Let’s start by asking some basic questions: what was your impression of the staffing agency you called? Were they friendly? Did you ask where they typically send their temporary employees: how about the length of assignments, chances to be hired full time; or what sort of checks do they conduct with companies to ensure that the company is a safe place to work? What do online references say about the staffing company? How about your friends, what do they have to say of staffing companies that they have interacted with? Did they have a good experience? Do they recognize good attendance and value productivity?
If they don’t do any of these things or only some of them, then perhaps you should consider another agency. You should probably call several agencies to get a feel for which one is the right fit for you. Look at how they communicate with you. Do they promise to place you and then you don’t hear from them for weeks on end? That is probably a sign that that agency does not have enough clients to properly place you. You want to be in a position to be placed within a week or two of signing up with that agency. You should also look to see the types of assignments you are getting. Do you get sent to one company for a long period of time or do you get bounce around? Being moved to different companies may be part of the temporary employee experience, as some companies only need to have a vacancy filled for a short period of time. Some agencies also recognize seniority. That is, the longer you have been with an agency, the greater the likelihood that you will get longer assignments. Of course, that is also predicated on your attendance and performance.
You may also wish to check out Career1. They look after their employees and provide recognition for good attendance and work performance. You will also receive your payments through direct deposit and your paystubs will be emailed to you. If you need help with writing a resume or what to expect during an interview, we can assist you with that as well.
IF YOU ARE AN EMPLOYER
As an employer, you have the responsibility of ensuring that the agencies follow the rules. You too have to perform your due diligence. There was a time when you could say that you only wanted “temps” and how the agency got them or what they paid them was immaterial to you. That is no longer the case. In some cases, your customers will want to audit you to ensure you are in compliance with all government regulations. The government may also want to ensure that you are properly utilizing staffing agencies. Finally, if a staffing agency is not paying its employees properly, you may be liable to pay those temporary employees that worked for you, what is owed to them. Even though you may have already paid the agency for the labour that the temporary employees provided, the law indicates that you may need to pay the employees directly, should the agency not do so. You will also need to make sure that the agency you pick has kept up to date with their WSIB payments, otherwise you may be on the hook for the injury that occurs on your property.
With all of these minefields to navigate, you may wish to consider a reputable agency that pays its employees correctly and deducts the proper statutory requirements. Ask them if they follow all the regulations. Ask them if they have temporary Social Insurance Numbers for non-residence and if they have a way of checking their expiry dates. They should have an automatic reminder in their system, otherwise these can be overlooked. Temporary SINs start with the number 9, and are issued to non-Canadian Citizens and non-permanent residents. These documents should also indicate and expiry date.
I have noticed, being a former employer, that staffing agencies tend to drop by to get your business. Not that there is anything wrong with that. They show me their wonderful brochures and how they can solve all my staffing needs. When they were engaged, they never seemed to fulfill their promises. We would either have too many or not enough. For us, neither was acceptable, as there were employees that had to be sent home. It was not fair to the employees either as they were looking to work so that they can earn money to feed their families or pay the rent. Not having enough employees created an issue on the production lines. We told the agencies if we needed 10 employees, it is because we needed them, not because we picked a number out of the air.
I admit, it is difficult to know what agencies to pick. As a company, there needs to be some investigation. Perhaps these agencies can supply references; you can check with those references what issues they have had; what percentage of the time you received what you asked for; how long had they engaged the agency and typically how many temporary employees they use at any given time. This will help you decide. There are communities of executives that know each other as well. If appropriate, check with them. Ask if they have had a positive experience with the agency you are contemplating.
Finally, I would say don’t use the cheapest agencies, as I find that that old adage, “You get what you pay for” applies to agencies as well. Some agencies charge way too much and provide the same low level of service. You should inquire why they charge so much. Agencies also have overhead costs which they must cover. And that is fair. With the higher charges (in the 38% to 40% range), I want to know what the difference is. I have heard of great things that some agencies do, but at the end of all they have to say, the question remains, can they deliver and what additional qualities do their employees bring for the increased price? Then you have to decide what is most beneficial to you. Some agencies will allow volume discounts or rebates. You should ask if they do that.
Why not check us out? We have the right mix and prices. Our clients are satisfied with the service we provide, and you may be too. In addition, we offer services for employees that may be surplussed. We can assist with resume writing, interview skills and offer advice on how to handle the period of transition.