All about staffing agencies

Staffing agency business overview

What is a staffing agency?

A staffing agency is a business that searches for workers on behalf of other organizations. They help these clients with temporary and/or permanent roles. (And they help job seekers find jobs.) Personally, I find this definition from Law Insider to be the most helpful:

“Staffing agency means any person who undertakes, with or without compensation, to recruit, refer or place individuals for employment, or to procure opportunities for work, or to with an employer.” – Staffing agency definition from Law Insider.

For temporary jobs, the staffing agency acts as the “employer of record” or legal employer and provides workers wages and benefits. For permanent jobs, the staffing agency operates as an extension of the HR team by helping them recruit, screen, and interview talent for permanent jobs within the company. This model, often called “direct hire,” is different in that the recruited person is never an employee of the staffing agency.

Staffing agencies tend to specialize in a particular kind of service or talent. For our part, we mostly focus on office and professional roles.

What else do you call staffing agencies?

Staffing companies are called many different things, some of which include:

  • Employment agencies
  • Recruitment companies
  • Consulting companies
  • Staffing firm

All of these terms are interchangeable and it’s mostly a matter of preference which label a staffing company prefers using.

Additionally, the service performed, staffing, is itself sometimes called different things, such as:

  • Staff augmentation (often associated with information technology staffing projects)
  • Consulting services (often associated with IT when the workers are 1099 contractors, not employees)
  • Temp service (usually associated with short term, less experienced positions)
  • Contingent labor (often associated with project-based staffing)
  • Employee leasing (this is a somewhat outdated term referring specifically to temporary employment)

These terms are also all interchangeable.

How much do staffing agencies cost?

Staffing agencies make money through temporary staffing, temp-to-permanent staffing, or direct hire staffing. Each of these models generate revenue for the agency a little differently.

  • Temporary staffing: the client is charged an hourly “bill rate” that accounts for costs associated with the employed individual. These include: wages, benefits, insurance, risk, operating costs, and profit. Costs might also be expressed as a “markup rate” or “markup percent.” For example, an employee makes $50 / hour and the markup rate charged by the agency is 50%. The bill rate is therefore $75 / hour ($50 + $50*.5).
  • Temp-to-permanent staffing: the client is charged an hourly “bill rate” as they are in normal temporary staffing. However, the client can hire the person on directly if they’re a good fit for the organization. If this happens, the client is charged a placement fee that decreases over time the longer the employee works temporarily.
  • Direct hire staffing: the client is charged a percent of the first year’s annual salary for the selected candidate. This is sometimes called a “placement fee” For example, if a person makes $100,000 / year and the placement fee is 25%, the amount charged is $25,000. Sometimes, a client asks for “executive search services.” This model is virtually identical except is usually a harder and more involved search reserved for leadership roles. It also typically costs more.

Actual out-the-door costs for staffing vary within the industry and is subject to negotiation based on a range of factors. The good news is that it usually doesn’t cost anything to have a staffing agency look for talent. It only costs if you decide to bring someone on board.

For our part, you can schedule a time to go over pricing with one of our business development team.

Is temporary or direct hire better for me as a client?

Different organizations will prefer various staff augmentation models. Generally, there are several key questions to ask yourself:

  • Is this project-based or short term? If so, I recommend temporary staffing.
  • Do I want to try the worker out? If so, I recommend temporary-to-permanent staffing.
  • Do I want help recruiting for internal roles? If so, I recommend direct hire.
  • Do I want to pay up front or spread out the cost? If up front, I recommend direct hire as a straight forward, one time fee. If spread out, I recommend temporary-to-permanent.

Who uses staffing agencies?

Many organizations use staffing agencies. Government, companies, nonprofits–most organizations use or have used staffing agencies to solve business needs such as finding talent quickly or completing projects.

Why hire a staffing agency?

This is the question I get asked the most: “Why would I hire a staffing agency when I could just recruit myself?

 

Some of the top reasons organizations hire staffing companies include:

  • Try before you buy: if you want to try out someone on a temporary basis before committing to hiring them, this can be a great reason to utilize temporary or temp-to-permanent models.
  • Unable or too busy to find talent yourself: sometimes you need help finding someone. Whether you need a whole bunch of people for a time sensitive project or are struggling to find a hard-to-find candidate, staffing agencies act as an extension of your HR to find and send you talent.
  • Cost effectiveness: it can actually be cheaper to bring on temporary personnel instead of paying staff by the time you account for wages, benefits, cost to train, and other hidden employment costs. This is especially the case if the work is not constant and you’d be struggling to find things for another extra employee to do. Similarly, it can be cost effective to utilize direct hire if not having someone in role is costing you money. In both cases, utilizing these services can also cut down on costs related to advertising jobs and employing recruiters.
  • Reduced organizational risk: whenever you employ someone, you’re taking on risk. A staffing agency absorbs the cost of workers compensation and health insurance. They’re also liable for unemployment claims. Finally, should any labor disputes arise, it is usually the staffing agency that is held accountable.
  • Access to their talent pool and expertise: staffing agencies spend all day, every day recruiting. Your HR team, by contrast, may only do it once in a while. When you sign up with a staffing agency, they often have recruited for similar previous roles before and perhaps have some candidates already ready to go. They can often find talent faster than you can and access talent that was not visible to you.

Need staffing help?

Our recruiters are ready to assist. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation. You can also check out our guide to picking the right staffing agency for you.

Largest staffing agency in Austin award 2022

Peak Performers recognized in Austin

2nd largest staffing agency by hours billed

Peak Performers Staffing Agency is pleased to announce that in Austin Business Journal’s recent survey of staffing agencies, we are the second largest staffing agency in Austin with 863,696 local hours billed by temporary personnel in 2021.

Comments from Bree Sarlati, CEO:

Peak Performers is honored to accept this recognition as the second largest staffing agency in Austin. We are changing the world one job at a time by hiring professionals with disabilities. A big thanks to all of our customers who are helping us hire–we could not do this without you. Also, thanks to all of the talented, professional job seekers who seek us out looking for their next opportunity. We appreciate your trusting us to help you with your career transition.

If you’re hiring in Austin, we can help. Find out why we’re an award winning staffing agency who can help you find great talent and advance your DE&I goals through diverse hiring.

And if you’re looking for work, we can help you find Austin jobs.

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Media contact: myles@peakperformers.org – (512) 453-8833 X 116

2022 Peak Performers Employee of the Year

Employee of the Year

Peak Performers is proud to announce our employee of the year award. This year we’re recognizing Vincent H.

Vincent has been a dedicated Peak Performers associate for three years. He has been recognized by multiple clients for his personal initiative and can-do attitude.

Feedback from the clients:

“Vincent is an exemplary associate…a top performer doing great!”

We’d like to say a very special thanks to Vincent and recognize the hard work he does every day.

Did you know:

Peak Performers has an employee of the month program as well? We are looking forward to re-starting this program to recognize the hard work all our associates do each day.

Competitive, Integrated Employment for People with Disabilities

Sheltered Workshops vs Competitive, Integrated Employment

When you hear hear “employment for people with disabilities,” what do visualize? The first picture that enters many people’s head is a sheltered workshop. In sheltered workshops, groups of individuals with disabilities work side-by-side. Often these people with disabilities have similar disabilities to each other. Sheltered workshops help many people but are not competitive, integrated employment situations.

Sheltered workshop image
Light assembly work being performed by people with disabilities in a sheltered workshop
  • Sheltered workshops are often run by nonprofits to employ people with disabilities.
  • Employment in sheltered workshops is often based on their disability.
  • Their work is often light assembly.
  • Pay to people with disabilities in sheltered workshops is usually very low, sometimes even below minimum wage.
  • People who participate in sheltered workshops can often only earn up to a certain amount before they become ineligible for state assistance.

My great aunt participated in a program like this. Due to the extent of her intellectual disability, this was a good environment for her to do something during the day. Also, it gave time back to my grandparents, who were her full time caregivers. For this reason, I would argue that these programs do have an inherent value in our society and are appropriate for some people with disabilities.

Competitive, Integrated Employment Matters

When sheltered workshops are the only thing society envisions when they picture “work for people with disabilities,” we are discounting the abilities of many people.

Every person with a disability also has a unique range of abilities. We cannot make assumptions about a person’s ability because many people with disabilities are capable of competitive and integrated employment in the regular workforce.

Competitive and integrated employment means:

Competitive: Their employment is primarily contingent on their ability to perform the work.
Integrated: They are working side-by-side with people who do not have disabilities.

Peak Performers Staffing Agency was established to help people with disabilities find competitive, integrated employment. This means:

  • The most qualified applicant who has a disability gets the job. (We cannot help every job seeker with a disability find work.)
  • Some if our employees we have to terminate for failure to meet expectations.
  • Our employees are paid competitive wages and offered competitive benefits.
  • Some of our employees will work for Peak for multiple assignments.
  • Many of our employees will go onto get hired by the client or find other competitive jobs.
  • Sometimes a client will know an employee of ours has a disability (since it is visible) and sometimes they won’t (if it’s an invisible disability).

People with disabilities are a large group of people with varying abilities and also varying limitations–just like people without disabilities! If you are ready to hire people with disabilities, first look at the person and then at the disability. If you utilize this mindset, you’ll be surprised by what they’re capable of.

If you’re not sure how start but are interested in employing people with disabilities, we can help!

Best Staffing Agency Pflugerville

Finding the Best Staffing Agency Pflugerville

Picking a top rated staffing agency in Pflugerville is important  for both job seekers and employers. Staffing agencies are important partners to finding talented personnel. Here are some of our tips for picking a top rated staffing agency in Pflugerville, Texas.

Staffing Agencies: What to Consider

Specialization of Staffing Agency

Industry specialization is important for picking the best staffing agency. Many staffing firms will specialize in particular kinds of recruitment. Staffing firms often have experience recruiting for that industry and many connections in the industry. Furthermore, the search process for an administrative assistant or enterprise architect may look very different than recruiting for a groundskeeper–the staffing firm will need to look different places to find those workers.

And if you’re looking for work, seeking out a staffing firm that specializes in your area of expertise means you’re more likely to find a job faster.

You may also want to pick a company that has the kinds of recruitment service offerings you’re seeking. Peak Performers, for example, offers temporary, temp-to-perm, and direct hire opportunities in Pflugerville.

Key Metrics: Retention and Re-deployment

Some staffing firms, even top-rated ones, have a “revolving door” reputation.

As a job seeker, you don’t want a company that doesn’t value your hard work and company loyalty. And as a business, having employees constantly turning over costs you time and money.

Ask the staffing agency about their retention and re-deployment rates. Both are key to Peak Performers success and our nonprofit mission. We have a turnover rate that is half that of the industry average!

What Benefits are Offered?

Benefits keep employees happy, retained, and happy. Many staffing agencies have little-to-no benefits that they offer, or their benefits are poor. Obviously, their employees will keep looking for other work and ultimately the staffing agency will struggle to hold onto talet.

We offer health, dental, and vision insurance after 60 days. We have an Employee Assistance Program. Finally, we recently rolled out a 403(b) retirement program to help employees save for retirement. This helps keep our workforce engaged and committed to their current assignment.

Ratings and Reviews of Staffing Agency

Every staffing business in Pflugerville is rated online (you can find our Google ratings and reviews here). If you are looking for work, this is important so you can hear honest feedback and gain insights into the company. It’s equally important for businesses to use in evaluating potential staffing agencies. Staffing agencies are acting as an extension of your brand and representing your open jobs–so their reputation rubs off on you.

It also might help to ask for referrals from your network.

Costs for Staffing Agency in Pflugerville

If you’re looking for work, a staffing agency should never, ever charge you to consider you for employment. This is probably a scam.

If you are an employer, consider staffing agency cost through multiple lenses: hourly bill rate, conversion cost, direct hire fees, and other add-on fees. Also ask about their “placement guarantee,” which is basically insurance on your direct hire employees. Keep in mind that you may not want to pick out the “cheapest” staffing agency–sometimes you get what you pay for if you pick out a cheap staffing provider!

 

Are you a job seeker? If so, browse our jobs or join our talent pool. We’re happy to consider you for one of our many open jobs.

Are you looking to hire a top rated staffing agency in Pflugerville? Peak Performers has temp, temp-to-hire, and direct hire staffing solutions. We service both government customers and private companies.

Best Employment Agencies in Austin

Picking the Best Employment Agency in Austin

If you’re looking to work with an employment agency in Austin, you have many to choose from. ResumeSpice lists at least 100 of them!

So if you’re looking to compare agencies, here’s our tips for doing so:

Tips for Comparing Employment Agencies

Look at their jobs

An employment agency isn’t going to do you much good if they don’t have a job that aligns with your skills and career goals. Also, many employment agencies will specialize. For example, we don’t often staff for warehouse or janitorial roles and many of our positions are office and professional jobs.

However, as opposed to taking one look at the company’s job board and moving on, it’s important to get an assessment of the kinds of jobs they have and check back in periodically if it looks like they may have jobs in the future.

Look at reviews online

Fortunately, many people are eager to tell you about their experience with an employment agency. Less fortunately, you have to take this feedback with a grain of salt–people will be inclined to leave bad reviews for many different reasons, especially with something as important as employment. Read the five-star reviews as well as the one-star reviews.

That said, these reviews can give you a good benchmark. I recommend looking on multiple platforms such as Google, Glassdoor, and even Facebook to assess how positive people are about working for an employment agency.

Look at the culture

Employment and staffing agencies can get a bad reputation. Sometimes, they fail in taking an interest in looking out for their employees’ well being and growth and are more interested in just making a profit from their human capital. You can often get a sense for the ethos and culture of a company by its mission statement and social media.

As a nonprofit employment agency, we help professionals with disabilities find careers. We encourage a transparent and agile culture and a commitment to treating all clients, employees, and future employees with respect. We encourage employees to keep in contact with our staff and also issue an employee of the year awards. Furthermore, we have a redeployment rate of about half of our personnel, about 5X the national average for employment agencies.

Look at their clients

While you are an employee of the employment agency, often it will feel more like you are an employee of the client. Therefore, it’s important to partner with an employment agency who has refutable clients for whom you would be happy to work.

This may not always be obvious since many job descriptions leave it off. But you can often get a general idea from reading the job description and reading online reviews.

For our part, most of our clients are government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations who are committed to disability hiring as part of their DE&I efforts.

Look at their benefits

Benefits are expensive. Sometimes, evaluating an employment agency is a simple as asking them to “put their money where their mouth is.” Some employment agencies skimp, offering little or no benefits. (Especially avoid companies where you are “independent contractors” and not actual employees.)

Peak Performers offers health, dental, and vision insurance covered at 80% by the employer. We also have an Employee Assistance program and just launched a 403(b) retirement program.

Are you looking for the best employment agency in Austin? We would be honored if you considered Peak Performers employment agency! You can find our open jobs here.