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Apr 1 2021

Staffing Value Expansion: How to Measure the Increasing ROI

Signature Consultants General

Staffing is changing. In addition to specialized recruiting, staffing agencies today are well equipped to handle a variety of additional talent acquisition and employee development imperatives.

The staffing agency model of yesteryear was centered solely around the delivery of sourced and screened candidates; interview coordination and logistics came standard, for the most part, and still do. Traditional internal talent acquisition metrics, like time-to-fill, submit-to-interview, and interview-to-hire ratios, did not apply. Staffing agencies—most operating on a contingency fee basis—were, and still are, largely self-managed. If an agency doesn’t find a candidate the company is interested in hiring, they don’t get paid. Other than the relationship, there’s no liability or obligation.

Technology is changing all of that. Companies can now quickly and easily access the same raw databases of candidates as a staffing agency—they can run their own searches on the major job board sites, on LinkedIn, and on other social media platforms. If they prefer to, they can also easily plug in a piece of technology to handle top-of-the-funnel activities, including sourcing, screening, and coordinating. Why use a human recruiter? Why use a staffing agency?

The answer, simply put, is people. If partnered with a strategic staffing agency, one that prioritizes the candidate and hiring manager experience and provides white glove, highly specialized staffing and recruiting solutions, the value—and return on investment (ROI)—is measurable both in tangible, like contractor turnover rates and employee retention, and intangible outputs, like trust and agility.

More Than Recruiting: The Expanding Value and ROI of Staffing Agencies

While it’s true that the value of staffing agencies is changing—and arguably increasing—there are still a number of evergreen deliverables that remain critical to agency usage ROI. Separated out by standard deliverables and new deliverables, here’s how the value of a staffing agency is measured today:

Standard Staffing Agency Deliverables

  • Market and Industry Intelligence: Even before the myriad technologies, staffing agencies could be counted on to provide formal and informal market and industry intelligence. Gathered throughout the sourcing, screening, and general recruitment process, staffing agencies are privy to salary information, skill trends, job openings, and other critical pieces of intelligence. The commentary and general color they can provide, both about the location(s) where they primarily recruit and the sector they specialize in, can make the difference in writing a compelling job description, targeting the right candidate and salary, and countless other imperatives.
  • Qualified Talent: Companies today can easily access the same sources for candidates, including social media, job boards and the like, but that’s not the same thing as the network of vetted candidates a staffing agency maintains. Specialized talent communities are carefully curated and built over time. From passive to active candidates, a staffing agency will know the details about who is available and qualified, rate information, push and pull factors and countless other talent vitals to zero in on the best possible candidates, faster.
  • Manpower: Staffing agencies provide critical manpower to support internal talent acquisition and human resources teams, as well as provide direct support to hiring managers. The extra set of hands during seasonal hiring, ramp-ups, and for project hiring serves as not only an extension of the internal team, but means that dedicated recruiters are committed full time to sourcing, screening, and recruiting on prioritized open jobs.

Read about how Signature Consultants provided on-boarding and management support for a financial services client, including end-to-end process, support, and tracking of all consultants in this case study.

  • Flexibility: At their core, staffing agencies provide contingent resources that enable organizations to be well equipped and agile. An important source of talent, growing only in relevance, the contingent workforce provides an array of benefits to companies, including flexibility, first and foremost. Because of the nature of the work they do, sourcing and qualifying temporary talent requires constant maintenance—fortunately, this is all part of the regular activities that go into a staffing agency’s talent community. Proactive networking means flexibility and optionality for client companies.

New Staffing Agency Deliverables

  • Training, Upskilling, and Reskilling: Staffing agencies are no longer only brokers of talent. In fact, they’re in a unique position to help close the skills gap, which is especially prevalent in IT. Although not historically thought of as developers or creators of talent, staffing agencies are developing a number of products in response to this area of opportunity, including corporate training programs and compensation-subsidized boot camps. There are also hire-train-deploy and work-readiness programs—developed partnerships between universities and staffing agencies—where agencies hire graduates with specific degrees, put them through a training program, and then place those individuals out on long-term assignments. The ultimate goal of these solutions and programs is to reduce or eliminate the hiring friction new graduates face. Employers are increasingly expecting candidates who are ready to do the job on day one, and staffing agencies can help make that happen.

Signature Consultants strongly prioritizes training and has since its inception. Learn more: Learning and Development: A Signature Consultants Way of Life.

  • Solutioning: It’s no longer enough to only provide staff augmentation. Consumers of staffing services are looking for consultative care, solutioning, and expert recommendations. Specialization by vertical and market is still important, but so is providing ancillary services like managed service provider solutions (MSP), direct hiring, and executive search. Client organizations are looking for thoughtful, experienced, and resourceful staffing partners to guide them through the best options for their hiring needs.

For one financial services client, Signature Consultants identified an opportunity to reduce risk and generate a cost savings by moving their staffing projects and resource pools from statement of work (SOW) arrangements to a managed services environment. Learn more here.

  • Employer Brand Support: An organization’s employer brand, as opposed to revenue or consumer brand, describes what that company’s reputation is as a place to work. As a steward, a staffing agency plays a critical role in supporting and representing an organization’s employer brand. Sourcing talent today is not a transactional process; instead, it’s a series of touchpoints that strategically and creatively cultivate engaged candidates interested in the company and the brand—not just the job. This is especially true when it comes to recruiting niche and highly skilled technical professionals. Staffing agencies today shepherd employer branding strategies while also serving as one of the critical touchpoints, or series of touchpoints, to generate enthusiastic candidates and loyal employees.
  • Technology Consultation: Staffing agencies are some of the primary consumers of talent acquisition and human resources technology. From applicant tracking systems to customer relationship management systems and chatbots, staffing agencies have read up on, tried, and purchased from some of the major cutting-edge technology providers. As such, they’re able to share helpful information to reduce the time spent vetting technology tools and providers.
  • Measurable Business Outcomes: Staffing agencies today are able to deliver and report on recruitment performance that ties to business objectives. Metrics like increasing fill rates, decreasing turnover, and reducing time-to-fill are important to measure—and they can be tied to revenue and real business value, like decreasing expensive overtime when jobs go unfilled and increasing employee satisfaction and thus retention and output. Having the right people, full-time and on a project basis, can mean the difference between meeting project delivery dates and revenue goals, or not. Having a health check in place that measures staffing agency performance means data and results that matter for the business.

Post-2020, agility continues to be key, which means the need for contingent staffing and flexible talent solutions is on the rise. Quality contingency staffing is providing immeasurable value, and increased ROI, to organizations trying to plan and normalize in a non-normalized state.

About Signature Consultants, LLC

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 29 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit https://www.sigconsult.com. Signature Consultants is the parent company to Hunter Hollis and Madison Gunn.

Signature Consultants General