The main reason businesses turn to IT staffing agencies is to make the task of assembling a highly competent IT team easier. An IT staff augmentation service can be invaluable for a time-sensitive project or immediate hiring need.
While it’s true that IT skills are becoming popular, not every company has the expertise or capacity to effectively source and screen candidates with these specialized skills. IT staffing agencies bridge this gap by leveraging their industry knowledge and extensive networks to connect businesses with qualified IT professionals.
In this article, we explain how staffing agencies work to help you recognize their benefits for your current or future IT staffing needs.
What is a staffing agency?
A staffing agency is an organization that operates as a middleman between hiring managers/companies and job seekers. They facilitate a contractual relationship between the two entities, which usually goes beyond recruitment to include administrative tasks such as payroll and taxes until the employment is terminated.
In a broad sense, staffing agencies perform two significant functions. One is to help companies find suitable candidates for their openings. This includes job advertisements, interviews, salary negotiation, and background checks. The second is to assist job seekers in finding suitable employment opportunities, including training, certification, and onboarding.
According to history books, the importance of staffing agencies first became apparent during the second world war, which drove many workers to the war front. Millions of workers in the US were recruited to the army at that time. Since then, staffing agencies have become indispensable when private or public companies need urgent or massive recruitment for short or long-term projects, temporary or permanent positions.
In the United States, more than 20,000 of these agencies assist companies in their recruitment process. And yearly, staffing agencies provide more than 13 million employees in the country with job and career opportunities.
What are the advantages of using a staffing agency?
Quick hiring process: A staffing agency is ideal for large-scale hiring needs. When hiring to fill hundreds of new positions, staffing agencies can save time because of their readily-available resources, such as their wide-reaching network, extensive candidate databases, and efficient applicant tracking systems.
Lower legal risk: A staffing agency is usually responsible for meeting legal obligations and compliance requirements related to employment. That includes labor laws, tax regulations, and insurance coverage. This saves the hiring companies or managers the burden of navigating complex legal frameworks, especially in the IT industry, known for its rapidly evolving regulations, frequent technological updates, and specific skill requirements.
Expertise on-demand: As a specialized staffing agency, scouting for talents in the industry becomes seamless and efficient. For example, an IT staffing agency can quickly tap into its vast network of skilled IT professionals to meet the specific demands of clients needing tech-savvy experts.
What are the disadvantages of using an IT staffing agency?
Less control: Hiring through a staffing agency means that the company will have less control over the screening process. This might cause mismatches between the candidates’ skills and the company’s needs. The staffing agency, while experienced in talent scouting, might not fully grasp the intricacies or nuances of the hiring company’s culture, objectives, and unique requirements. That’s why retaining enough control over the hiring process is always recommended.
Challenges with transition: Staffing agencies specializing in a single industry may not be able to help people who want or need to transition to another industry.
How much does a staffing agency charge?
Multiple factors affect the cost of a staffing agency because it usually involves negotiating the pricing model, the level of service required, the complexity of the positions to be filled, and the specific industry.
As for the pricing model, the most common ones are the percentage-based and retainer models. The percentage model requires the agency to charge a percentage of the employee’s salary. This percentage can be between 20% to 30% depending on the position or the candidate’s salary.
The retainer model is usually considered when staffing agencies are responsible for recruitment, salary payments, and other overhead costs, such as providing office space and work tools. Payment in the retainer model often occurs in two stages. Firstly, a partial payment is made upon contract signing, and the remaining payment is made as long as the staffing agency is retained.
Finding the Right IT Staffing Agency
1. Identify your IT recruitment needs: What are your specific IT needs, the type of roles you want to fill, required skills and experience levels? Those are the preliminary steps to get out of the way before searching for or consulting any IT staffing agencies.
2. Look for IT-Specific Agencies: The IT industry is highly specialized in that it requires a deep understanding of emerging technologies, agile development methodologies, and the ability to adapt to rapidly changing digital space. For these reasons, it is better to search for staffing agencies specializing in IT and technology-related roles. These agencies will better understand the industry and be more equipped to match the right candidates with your IT needs.
3. Assess their Recruitment Strategy: As mentioned earlier, having less control over the recruitment process opens the door to misalignment. That’s why a hiring company must investigate IT staffing agency recruitment methods. Ask about their technical screening and assessment process. A good IT staffing agency should conduct thorough technical evaluations to ensure candidates’ skills meet your requirements. To make it even more effective, an internal staff with IT expertise should participate in creating the recruitment strategy.
If you’re considering augmenting your IT team, leap and explore the vast opportunities that IT staffing agencies can offer. Embrace the advantages they bring, and remember that finding the right fit for your company requires careful consideration and communication throughout the process.