Questions to Ask Your Staffing Agency


What is your strategy and philosophy for finding the best candidates?

Each staffing agency has different methods for sourcing candidates. Some use traditional methods, others use more modern ways, and a good number use a blended approach. Consider this and determine if this is a good match for the way you’ve found candidates in the past.


How do you determine if a candidate is right for my business?

This question gives you a chance to find out if the staffing agency has done some research into your company background. It can also be a way to determine if the staffing agency is truly familiar with your industry challenges in recruitment.


What types of industries do you specialize in?

If you will be working with a temp staffing agency, you will want to first make sure that this is a company that has a good understanding of your industry challenges. If you want to take this a step further, ask for at least 3 client references in your market.

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Can you explain your fee structure?

Knowing ahead of time what to expect in terms of the fees you may incur as a client of a staffing agency helps to prevent any unpleasant billing surprises later on. Some staffing agencies charge by the hours worked by temps, while others require a deposit for services upfront. In direct hire situations, some staffing agencies will seek a percentage of the new hire’s salary in full.


If I needed an employee right away, could you accommodate me?

This is critical to know because in some cases you may need to hire someone in a hurry. If you have a large project that comes in suddenly or have to replace a permanent employee due to something unexpected, time is of the essence.


Are there flexible contract terms available?

Find out if the staffing agency offers a variety of staffing contracts from one day assignments to longer term work arrangements. You may be surprised that some agencies offer flexible terms that put you in the driver seat.


If I am not happy with a temp worker, what is your policy on replacing him or her?

It happens sometimes that a temp worker may not be a good fit for a job or may fail to meet expectations. If this occurs, you will need to replace him or her soon. Ask the staffing agency what their policy is on temp replacement and if there will be a lag on time or extra fees associated with this request.


What happens if I choose to hire a temp worker before the contract ends?

Many times, you will be so impressed with the performance of a temp employee that you wish to hire them for a permanent job at your company. Staffing agencies have policies in place to deal with this scenario, which may include the requirement to “buy out” the rest of the temporary worker’s contract.


What other services do you offer (background screens, payroll and benefits administration, skills testing, etc.)?

Staffing agencies are not only wonderful for recruiting new employees. They also offer a wide range of HR services that can benefit your business. These can include payroll and benefit support, employee assessments, on-boarding services and background checks of new hires.