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How to tell a good staffing agency from a bad one
Staffing & Recruitment

How to tell a good staffing agency from a bad one

How can you tell the difference between staffing agencies that will help grow your business, and ones who will just add to your stress? The recruitment market is saturated with staffing companies that are willing to fill your position, but do they do it in the best way? Pixoul can help.

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Devon Fata
June 16, 2022

While the staffing industry has grown exponentially over the past decade, there are still some agencies that are not worth your while. Today, we’re going to tell you how to spot the good from the bad.

They should be leveraging AI to source candidates in a way you can't already do yourself.

You should be able to ask your recruiter what they are doing to source candidates for you that isn't already being done by your existing recruiting strategies. For example, firms that use AI can help recruiters find candidates who are a good fit for the open positions, who have the right experience and skills, and who will fit into your company culture. It's also helpful when recruiters use AI to find people who share your values as an employer. But, leveraging this type of technology isn't always common.

If the staffing agency doesn't leverage high-tech tools with classic recruitment strategy, then it's probably not using modern methods of sourcing talent. And while everyone has their favorite way of finding new hire, there are definitely more efficient ways to improve your hiring success rate using data-driven methods like machine learning algorithms or natural language processing techniques.

They should have testimonials from satisfied clients and candidates.

Look for testimonials on the company's website and see if they have any. If not, ask them about them (and be sure to ask about the last client or candidate). You want to see that clients are happy with their experience working with this agency.

Testimonials from satisfied clients will be a good indicator of how well a staffing agency can do its job—but only if those testimonials are from people who aren't related to, or otherwise affiliated with, the agency itself. It also helps if these testimonials come from candidates who have worked at the company for several years—these types of people generally have more perspective than someone who's only worked there for a few months.

Their interviews should be in-depth, behavioral-based, and highly detailed.

The interview process is a great place to start when evaluating a staffing agency. Good agencies typically have thorough interviews that are structured, behavioral-based, and highly detailed. The interviewer should be trained in interviewing for cultural fit, technical fit, and more.

A good place to start your search is by looking at the website of the staffing agency you’re considering working with—if they don’t mention their interview process on their site or during an initial call with you (see how important it is not to settle?), ask them about it directly. If they give vague answers like “our interviews are customized based on your role” or something similar that doesn't explain what type of interview process they use (or if there isn't any mention of one at all), move on to another agency!

They should have a blog with valuable content.

The best staffing agencies have a staffing blog that is full of interesting, valuable content. The blog should have posts written by experts in the field and should also feature client success stories and testimonials. The blog should include articles written by employees at the agency, as well as current and former candidates for both clients and employers.

This gives you an idea of what kind of business it is and how they operate on a daily basis.

They should focus on the quality, not the quantity of their candidates.

When interviewing a staffing agency, you should get an idea of what they do, and how. If they are unable to give you specifics about their process, this could be a sign that they are not very good at what they do. Also, if a staffing agency can't tell you how many candidates they interview per day or week, it could mean that the quality of their candidates isn't as high as other agencies who focus on quality over quantity.

In addition to these questions about their process, ask about what happens in case things don't work out with one of the candidates provided by their company. The best recruiters will have a dedicated staff member for resolving candidate issues, and a guarantee in their contract replacing a bad candidate. In today's economy, finding the right fit for the right job should be an agency guarantee, not just a goal.

They should have a large pool of talented candidates.

To ensure you’re dealing with a good staffing agency, make sure they should have a large pool of talented candidates. An experienced and reputable staffing agency will be able to find candidates for any role in any industry, and even at companies that aren’t necessarily hiring right now. They may also be able to offer advice on how you can attract qualified talent if your organization is not currently hiring.

If a company is unable to find quality candidates for your position or role, it may mean that their candidate pool isn't very deep. A good staffing agency should have access to an extensive network of qualified professionals who are ready, willing and able to take on new positions immediately—and those individuals should be eager about the possibility of employment with your organization!

Bad staffing agencies don't offer much value, but good ones will work with you to find the best candidates for your open positions.

Bad staffing agencies won't offer much value to you and your company. They'll send you (a lot of) resumes and say "good luck." The worst ones will leave you to find candidates for the position on your own and then take a cut of whatever money is paid out by the candidate.

Good staffing agencies, on the other hand, will work with you to find the best candidates for your open positions. They'll help make introductions between companies and potential employees so both can benefit from each other's services. They'll work to understand your corporate values, vision, and will align those goals with the personalities of the candidates they send your way.


Best-in-class recruiting and staffing agencies will always put your company first and treat you like a partner in finding top talent. They'll use AI to source candidates in ways you can't already do yourself, they'll be experts in behavioral-based and technical interviewing, and they'll work to understand your corporate culture, values, and needs. If you're looking for staffing help, Pixoul has testimonials from satisfied clients and candidates that show how much value we've provided for past clients over time.  Get in touch and let's talk about your recruiting needs.

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Devon Fata

Devon is the Chief Executive of Pixoul LLC. He works closely with clients to explore new ways to capture key performance objectives, build habit-forming products, and improve digital product ROIs.

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