From a deep bench to a thorough vetting process, here's what the best skilled trades staffing agencies always do best
As of 2021, 90% of US general contractors are worried about a possible labor shortage. There are more worrying statistics as the construction industry grows, yet positions aren’t being filled. With projects ramping up, the last thing contractors want to do is turn down work because they can’t find skilled workers.
If you’re struggling to find skilled trades, outsourcing your recruitment efforts to a staffing agency would be one option. You might be wondering what staffing agencies can offer and whether it would be the best option for you.
What should you look for from a staffing agency?
The Best Skilled Trades Staffing Agencies Always Deliver
If you’re used to hiring skilled trades through in-house recruiting, you might be wondering how a staffing agency manages to fill positions with qualified, skilled, and reliable workers.
People are your most valuable asset, so it’s no wonder you have concerns.
The best staffing agencies could be the missing link in your recruitment process. You need a workforce that can support your entire project and skilled tradespeople with the experience to support a safe work environment, and staffing agencies can provide them.
We’ll highlight what the best skilled trades staffing agencies should consistently deliver.
A Deep Bench of Skilled Trades
The best staffing agencies have an extensive network of skilled trades built up over the years, but their workers are vetted and team-oriented candidates ready to work.
Hiring skilled tradespeople is difficult enough in the current labor climate, and in-house recruiting can be costly and take time and resources away from more critical HR tasks.
Job postings, qualifying candidates, and convincing them that your offer is the best are drawn-out processes, so it makes more sense to place those burdens on a staffing agency.
With a large or small non-specific talent pool, you’ll either struggle to find workers who fill all requirements, certifications that fit your working environment, or you’ll make rash decisions to hire workers based on scarcity.
Excellent staffing agencies have highly qualified, trained, and skilled professional tradespeople on their books to alleviate the stresses of hiring under-qualified candidates from multiple job postings.
Above all else, the best skilled trades staffing agencies have scale.
They aren’t looking for 1 or 100 of these positions per year, they are looking for thousands of them. This means they invest more in the team, training, technologies, etc. because it results in a stronger ability to find and keep talent.
A great example of this would be job boards. The typical monthly job board budget for the best staffing agency is going to be greater than any contractor because the agency is hunting for more positions. With this, a wider net is cast and that agency is seen more frequently than an average skilled trades agency.
They Should be Industry Specific
A deep bench of qualified candidates ensures flexible hiring. The reality is, to staff any project, you need to recruit early.
To have skilled trades when you need them and avoid last-minute scrambles, a niche staffing agency focused on specific industries will validate your recruitment plan so you can hire quickly and efficiently.
Niche recruiting facilitates high-quality construction projects on time and within budget. A staffing agency should know what you’re looking for; safety-conscious and experienced workers who can step in quickly and add value.
They can hunt down the right talent and deliver when you need it, and safety and quality issues are reduced when the agency has expertise in the trade and projects you’re staffing. Workers will be fully qualified, certified, and come with a work history because industry-specific agencies will ask the right questions and know the skill sets they’re looking for; a general staffing agency won’t.
On the flip side, when a contractor’s job is complete, there’s no need to worry about severance pay, unemployment insurance, or finding a replacement.
They are Open About Their Reputation
The best staffing agencies will have a history of projects they’ve helped staff. Their recruiters will have experience hiring the types of workers to fill your needs, and they’ll have a vibrant online presence.
They’ll also have credible word-of-mouth reviews on Glassdoor and Monster, as well as testimonials on their website.
You should be able to ask any questions and receive honest answers about their processes, how successfully they adhere to timelines and key performance indicators that are important to you. The best staffing agencies regularly follow up with your HR department and management to ensure they’re sending the right people and hitting targets.
Their Vetting Process is Thorough
How thorough are they when vetting potential candidates? The last thing you want is to hire a worker and come across problems.
The onboarding process must include:
- Background screening
- Drug testing
- Experience and skills
- Certifications and licenses
A less than ideal vetting process will lead to losses of time and money and safety on site.
They Take Care of Workers
Some of the biggest headaches your HR departments have to deal with include legal responsibilities and managing employees’ day-to-day lives.
Highly competent staffing agencies cover certain taxes, provide insurance coverage and compliance. Some offer health insurance. The best staffing agencies invest in their employee’s happiness.
Agencies assume the responsibility for liabilities surrounding firings or workers leaving their positions, including finding the employee other work.
From Start to Finish
The best skilled trades staffing agencies work with you from the beginning of your project. They aren’t an afterthought or stopgap, and they want to be involved from the start to ensure a long and fruitful relationship.
Planning together allows the agency and your company to identify risks, budget effectively, and find the right people early.
Their community of skilled tradespeople will know how to work in a team environment, and in the right community, pride in workmanship and safety run deep.