What Employers Should Expect Working with a Tech Staffing Agency
To address the challenges of recruiting IT talent, employers often partner with a tech staffing agency that specializes in the field. The most effective agencies follow a structured approach, one that provides close communication with employers, leverages an existing pool of candidates, and prioritizes long-term success for both job seekers and clients.
Leslie Stalder is the sales manager at Agile, the Georgia-based IT staffing company. Here, she offers a review of what companies should expect when they rely on a recruiting firm for their talent.
1. Background Research
After an employer engages Agile for its services, Stalder or an account manager will meet with the client. Ideally, this meeting will include the client’s hiring manager, who typically has a good understanding of the roles that the company wants to fill.
Stalder says, “We’ll get to know the type of person the hiring manager wants and the company’s culture. Agile’s recruiting team will be part of the conversation so we can ask about the technologies that the roles require.”
2. Candidate Pool
Speed is the one of the top criteria that employers look for in a tech staffing agency. Stalder says that Agile will have candidates ready for a client’s review within about 48 hours for most positions in development, quality assurance, project management, and data security.
Because IT staffing firms specialize in technical recruiting, they are generally able to draw from their own reservoir of candidates. “In our experience,” Stalder states, “software engineers aren’t really putting their resumes on standard job boards. Demand for their skills is high, so they’re relying on their network. We’re part of that network.”
Certain niche skillsets may require more extensive outreach. In those cases, the agency may provide a market update, which is a report on its progress.
By way of example, Stalder says, “We might share that we’ve found fifteen candidates with the skillset, five are seeking new positions, and we’ve gotten in touch with two of them.” (For more details, please see Agile’s article on its approach to recruit top talent.
3. Resume Review
A tech staffing agency can screen candidates so that a pool of 50 becomes the top three or five people for the job. Then, in Agile’s case, the agency will go over these top candidates with the employer line by line. They’ll discuss what they like about their options — and what might be missing from the resumes.
“It’s important that we’re on the same page by day three and not day thirty-three,” Stalder says. “If the candidates aren’t right the first time, we’ll know it quickly, and we’re going to hit the nail on the head the second time.”
Once employers have a few candidates in mind, they will typically hold an in-person interview with each. Some companies will start with a telephone interview and then move to the in-person portion.
Agile generally advises employers to hold their evaluations as quickly as possible once candidates submit their resumes or express their interest. Stalder explains, “Developers don’t stay on the market long enough for this to be a drawn-out process. In truth, most companies would prefer to finish hiring as soon as they can, anyway.” Agile outlines a standard schedule for recruiting in its article, “What’s a Good Hiring Process for Software Engineers?”
In-person interviews let candidates become comfortable with the work environment, meet their direct supervisor, and, in some cases, get to know their future colleagues and upper management. These steps help ensure that the hire is a good fit on both sides.
If a position is contract-based, the tech staffing agency will typically be the one submitting the offer to the candidate. Agile can also handle background checks, drug screenings, and other required aspects of a position.
For direct hire opportunities, Agile will discuss the candidate’s salary expectations with the company and is frequently the party that delivers the employer’s offer. Stalder says, “We know the market, the company, and the job seeker, so candidates rely on our guidance in whether this opportunity is the right fit.”
The recruitment relationship doesn’t end with an accepted offer. In the case of Agile, client account professionals continue to communicate with employers and their new hires. Through this process, it stays ahead of any concerns and stays involved in the company’s ongoing recruiting needs.