Inside a Staffing Agency and How it Works (from a client’s perspective)

From a client’s perspective, if you are paying a staffing firm a direct hire fee (15 – 25% average fee of the candidate’s annual salary) or honoring a temp to hire policy (640 – 1000 hours on the staffing firms payroll) to hire a new employee, you obviously expect an excellent employee.  Candidates submitted to you should be superior to the interviews your firm can schedule on their own.  Review the candidates you recruit against the candidates a well experienced staffing firm is able to find and you should notice a difference.

Keep in mind, staffing firms hire each and every day.  In one office of 3 recruiters, my staffing firm interviewed an average of 75 – 100 candidates each week through telephone screening, online applications, walk-ins and referrals.  You typically hire when you need to fill an open position at your firm.  A good recruiter will have a large network of passive candidates which will not only provide for better applicants, but will allow them to find top people quickly.  And, with unemployment the lowest it’s been in 50 years, passive candidates make up the majority of the talent pool.

Staffing recruiters are paid on their results in placing a good candidate and are able to work for applicants by reviewing potential openings at multiple firms. Smart job seekers utilize a staffing firm to keep an eye out for the best opportunity available, whereas corporate recruiters represent one firm.  Corporate recruiters spend a lot of their time looking for candidates who are available immediately.  It takes more time to convince someone to leave their current role than to employ someone who is available immediately.

A staffing agency recruiter is measured first on their number of placements and then on activity, such as resumes submitted or number of client interviews held with multiple firms.  This is a plus for the hiring firm as you should be able to meet the top two to three candidates from a staffing firm and know these are the best.  Recruiters focus first on a successful placement, especially knowing other staffing firms may be submitting their top candidates as well.  Just as an employee can utilize more than one staffing firm to find the best work assignments, a client surely uses more than one agency to find the best employees.

Upmost recruiters will work with fewer but better quality job candidates and manage the interview process rather than send over multiple people to interview.  If you ask to interview four or more candidates, it’s likely there is only one or two good enough to fill the role, the rest will fill time slots to meet your request.  When a good working relationship is established between the recruiter and you, this honest piece of information will be shared and you should come to respect and trust that is true.  This is only the tip of the iceberg.  The benefits in working honestly and candidly with a quality recruiter far exceed being told there’s only two quality applicants for your opening.

Another advantage is the insight of the temporary employee working for your firm.  Most temporary employees will be quick to share the pros and cons of their role and the firm they have accepted a work assignment with.  But, the employee will share this information with the recruiter who placed them, not the client.  If you connect well with your recruiter, they can share this information with you.  As you are their client, your recruiter will be hesitant to share any negative information, so make sure you explain how open you are to hear and learn from them.

If you have high standards for your firm, use this information for its betterment.  If you paid a consultant to review your company’s culture and practices, it would cost a considerable amount and take quite a bit of your time.  Having a solid relationship with your recruiter is similar to hiring a consultant where temporary employees can provide a great insight and review of your company and what it’s like to work there.

Managing thousands of clients, applicants and employees is no small task.  COATS Staffing Software has been achieving this mission for 25 years.  By listening and learning from our staffing agency clients, we constantly upgrade the latest version of our software with new features that apply across the board to all users.

COATS Staffing Software 1-800-888-5894



303 Lynnhaven Pkwy Ste 200 Virginia Beach, VA 23452-7400 • Tel: (757) 499-7652

COATS Staffing Software is your fully integrated software solution; combine all your staffing front- and back-office needs into one interface. It is a comprehensive – and secure – system to manage employees, client sales, job orders, payroll, accounting and banking, and general ledger. Everything you handle is right here: ACA Tracking; Resume Parsing; Online Apps; Electronic Onboarding; Job Ads; Portals, and more. And, most of all, we have expert customer service and staffing knowledge to help your staff be as efficient as possible. We provide hands-on training and are always available to offer immediate responses to your technical questions – answering all calls personally. Our software is designed by staffing professionals for staffing professionals. With COATS, you will enhance your customer service, amplify productivity, invoice clients quicker, pay employees faster, and more. Call 1-800-888-5894 or visit to find out all the ways COATS can help your business.