10 Questions to Ask Your Potential Staffing Partner

Posted on November 26, 2018

You’re ready to take the plunge and work with a staffing company. You may even have some meetings lined up with a few staffing companies to learn more about how they can help your organization. But you don’t know exactly what to expect, let alone what to ask to make sure you’re making the right decision. Don’t fret! We’ve made this super easy for you. Ask the questions below, and the right staffing partner will be obvious.

  1. What is your markup, and do you charge any extra fees such as for software, workers compensation, implementation, or temp-to-hire?

    Why you should ask this question: Staffing companies typically charge a standard markup or percentage, and they add it to the base pay rate of a position. However, some companies aren’t transparent about their markups and add additional fees such as 3rd party software fees, or even worker’s compensation coverage. Some staffing companies also charge a temp-to-hire fee if you want to hire one of their workers full-time. This is common but still important to fully understand. It’s important you have a very clear understanding of any and all fees. You don’t want to be blindsided with a large bill full of hidden fees you didn’t expect.

  1. How do you ensure the quality of your workforce? How do you know they’re going to show up and do a good job?

    Why you should ask this question: The quality of workers can vary greatly with each staffing company. Make sure you understand where and how they hire their workers, what their screening processes look like, and all about their discipline processes. What actions do they take if a worker doesn’t show up and do a good job?

  1. How do you keep your workers engaged and happy?

    Why you should ask this question: This will give you insight into whether they genuinely care about their workers. Workers who are treated well feel valued and, as a result, will be more positive and hardworking on the job. Ask what worker benefits they provide. Do they offer workers comp, professional development opportunities, or mentorships? You can also do some research online by looking at the company’s social media and Glassdoor account. You’ll be able to tell pretty quickly if they value their workers based off of their reviews and comments.

  1. What kind of training do you provide to make sure your workers are prepared for the job?

    Why you should ask this question: The last thing you want is for workers who show up, have no clue what to do, and have zero experience in your industry. This means more work for you and your team, which is a big reason why you’re looking for a staffing company. Find out exactly what training they provide and how they’ll work with you to make sure their workers are prepared for your jobs.

  1. What does your implementation process look like? What first steps do you take after the contract is signed?

    Why you should ask this question: Implementation refers to the steps the staffing company takes to make sure you’re prepared to work with them and they with you. There will be a messy start if the company doesn’t have an implementation plan they can share with you. There should be processes and actions in place that put everyone on the same page when it comes to the qualifications of the job, billing, training, communications, and more.

  1. What do you do if a worker doesn’t show up for the job?

    Why you should ask this question: Their answer to this question will let you know if they have a large enough pool of workers and the tools necessary to get jobs filled quickly if a worker doesn’t show. Ideally, they should fill the job immediately or at least within a couple of hours. If they can’t, then move along. The last thing you need is to have an open job or have to lean on your team members to work the job.

  1. What kind of technology do you use?

    Why you should ask this question: Technology use is going to be your key to lower pricing and a more efficient relationship with the staffing company. Technology use means accurate time cards and jobs being filled quickly at the scheduled time. Lack of technology usage is a bad sign.

  1. How do you track the time your workers work?

    Why you should ask this question: Tracking time worked on paper is typically full of errors. What keeps a worker from fudging their time worked (which is pretty common)? Who reviews the time, how many hands does the timesheet pass through, and what happens if the timesheet gets lost? Look for a staffing company that has their workers use technology (we can’t stress this enough!) to track their time. This means more accurate timekeeping and fewer billing errors.

  1. How are you different from other staffing companies?

    Why you should ask this question: This is a pretty telling question. They need to be able to speak to exactly what separates them from their competitors. This answer, along with the answers to the questions you asked above, will help you greatly in your decision and ability to compare and contrast.

  1. Can you provide me with references of companies who have worked with you for a couple of years?

    Why you should ask this question: This is one of the most important questions to ask the staffing company. Reviews greatly sway our opinion on things we order online and restaurants we eat at. Why would choosing the best staffing company be any different? Get a list of references with emails and phone numbers, and talk to each of them. One of the best questions to ask a reference is, “what is one thing you would change about the staffing company?” This will give you insight into any red flags without putting the reference too much on the spot.

Working with the right staffing company can help you save money, remove administrative burdens, and focus on growing your organization. Your staffing partner should be there to give you advice on pay rates, guidance on attracting the best talent, and more to improve your operational efficiencies. Use our handy checklist when you meet with a staffing company to help you make the right choice for your organization.