perfect IT staffing firmFinding the perfect IT staffing firm can be a daunting task. Where to start? Who to talk to? What is fair pricing? These are all questions that may not have simple answers.

Below you will find the first 10 questions on our list that will go a long way towards providing you with the necessary information you need to finding the perfect IT staffing firm.

1. Do they specialize in, or have a division that specializes in, the types of positions you are looking to fill?
There is a wide range of staffing firms out there. From the small boutique shops that specialize in a very narrow range of IT positions  to the large, international, full service staffing firms that do pretty much everything. These are the ends of a very large spectrum with many types of firms that fall somewhere in between. It is important to be sure that the company you decide on specializes in, or has a division that specializes in, filling the types of position(s) you need help with.

2. How long has the company been in business?
Length of business tenure is usually a good indicator of a successful business. The IT staffing industry is no exception. Make sure you go with a firm that has demonstrated success over a number of years.

3. What is their D&B score?
A Dunn and Bradstreet score is a great way to determine the economic stability of any potential vendor.

4. Will they give you a tour of their local facility?
Any good IT staffing firm will appreciate a client that thoroughly researches their business partners before engaging them. You want this to be a successful, long term business relationship so investing a little time up front by visiting their facility can result in fewer headaches down the road.

5. Are they interested in building a long term business relationship with your company or are they simply looking for job orders?
Obviously, you will not be able to get a direct answer to this question. But if you listen closely and ask the right questions like “Who are some of your long term clients?”, you can probably get a pretty good feel for where the staffing firm is coming from.

6. Are you able to meet with senior management and/or owners?
Senior management at a good staffing firm will love the idea of meeting with a potential client. This is even more true if it is a privately owned firm and you are requesting a meeting with the owner(s). There is no better way to get a feel for an IT staffing firm than meeting with those who are leading the company. If senior management or ownership does not make themselves available for a meeting this may be an indicator of lack of interest in entering into a true partnership with their clients.

7. How much industry experience does internal staff have?
It can take years to become a good IT recruiter…and even longer to be a good recruiting manager. Find out how many years of IT recruiting experience the individuals have that will be working on your orders. This is not a litmus test by any means but surely can be considered a reliable barometer for the recruiting success you should expect to see.

8. How much tenure does internal staff have?
Tenure of current internal staff is also important to consider when searching for a quality IT staffing firm. High turnover rates are always a concern within a company, but more so at a staffing firm when you consider the longer than average ramp-up time for most IT recruiters. High turnover could mean you will see lapses in service to your company.

9. How do they find candidates?
Be sure to ask each staffing firm where they find their candidates. All firms should use the most popular resources such as job boards, job postings, etc. But look for companies that are also using proprietary or innovative approaches such as resume harvesters, their own internal databases, or popular social media tools such as social networks, blogs, or rss feeds. Staffing firms that are familiar with these tools are more likely to identify those difficult to find candidates.

10. Do they understand recruiting trends (job fairs -> job boards -> social media)?
Recruiting has changed drastically over the last 5-10 years. It seems like just yesterday when job fairs were the place to be seen and find good candidates. Not anymore. Next came the job boards, which are still heavily used, but quickly losing their relevance.

Make sure the staffing firm(s) you select can explain to you where recruiting trends are headed and how they hope to leverage them.

See Part 2 here


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