Staffing has become a popular cost-effective method to manage non-essential functions while maintaining focus on a company’s core competencies. What is staffing? Simply put, staffing is having an outside company take over the find, hire, and placement function of your human resources department.
Some business functions are more routinely involved in staffing. Event planners, administrative assistants and marketing professionals are often hired by staffing agencies due to their local connections and selection process. The difference now is that companies are taking a hard look at their business, and determining which functions are most critical to their success. All the non-critical activities are then turned over to an outside agency (or agencies) who can staff the function either at lower cost or with greater productivity.
Many market forces continue to drive the need for staffing:
- Accelerating technology has provided new product and systems capability. Taking advantage of this phenomenon, however, requires ever-increasing levels of understanding and expertise.
- Heightened customer expectations in areas of quality, service and price performance have required increased attention to detail.
- Declining product and service life cycles and an increasing need for customization has produced a host of added headaches for business.
- Globalization has created new challenges as well as new markets and new economic rules.
In short, competition and a changing marketplace are squeezing business from all sides.
Companies must spend more time concentrating on the specific products or services they represent. They must reduce costs, optimize headcount, properly structure the organization, and redirect and focus management to increase profitability.
Staffing offers one way to reduce management involvement by removing specific hiring activities.
The staffing partnership between company and provider can:
- Reduce the cost and hassle of labor-related costs. For example, customer success may be an important part of a company’s marketing strategy; however, it is a type of work that is known for high turnover. Rather than suffer the expense and morale problems that can result from frequent turnover, this function could be successfully routed to a company that specializes in recruiting ideal candidates specifically for this role.
- Lead to improved performance in areas impacted by improved scalability. For many small to mid-sized companies, human resources investments can be cost prohibitive. Through staffing partnerships, the costs of hiring are shared with the other candidates to find the best fit. Especially for larger companies, the staffing firm’s expertise with the hiring process helps assure greater efficiency.
- Add extra value through a risk-sharing relationship. For instance, staffing a business development team would allow your company to vet multiple potential hires using existing qualified professionals. By staffing office teams for other firms in need, the staffing agency can turn your human resources function into a long-term profit center. The risk and the reward may be shared through a partnership or strategic alliance between the employer and the staffing agency.
To determine if staffing is a viable alternative for your company, you must create a well-defined plan. Conduct an internal assessment to define your firm’s core functions. In doing so, you may discover non-core functions which are appropriate for staffing.
If you discover areas for new talent, the next step is to determine which staffing firms offer the expertise you require. In selecting a staffing agency, you are choosing a partner for your company. Be very selective! Find a partner with experience and culture that blend well with your company.