5 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Use a Staffing Agency
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5 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Use a Staffing Agency

May 31, 2012 by Eric Taubert

Staffing Agency

Photo By Melissa Marques

When it comes to locating skilled individuals to complete digital creative jobs for your company - there are a few different options available to you. Full service traditional agencies, network agencies, lone-wolf freelancers and staffing agencies.

To the uninitiated, contracting for talent from staffing agencies may seem like a hassle-free and convenient solution to your problem...but have you considered this decision from all angles?

Here are 5 Reasons Why You should NEVER Use a Staffing Agency:


Big Hype, Little Talent

Let's face it, more often than not, those workers relying on staffing agencies for their income are bottom of the barrel talent who can't find a job and don't have the wherewithal to garner their own clients.

Staffing agencies do an AMAZING job of making their contractors sound talented. This isn’t tough to do, since most of the skills are intangible and difficult to measure. It’s just a matter of making vague claims that every one is an "expert" in whatever their area of "expertise" is.

Dig beyond these marketing claims with a few direct questions and you’ll likely discover that most of their “talent” does not possess the experience or skill levels you were initially led to believe.

Zero Guarantees

Have you ever heard the story about the company with the unfinished website?

They should have hired an agency willing to stand behind their work with a satisfaction guarantee!

Staffing agencies make zero guarantees that the person they’ve connected you with will complete the requirements of your project professionally, correctly and on time. They simply throw workers at you and say, "Good luck!"

When problems arise and work goes unfinished -- you may find you have no options for recourse. You may become that company with the unfinished website.

Zero Management - At Full Service Prices

If you’re paying premium prices, shouldn’t you expect premium services?

Not if you're paying those prices to a staffing agency.

You see -- unlike other types of agencies, staffing agencies offer zero management of the workers they connect you with. Once you sign the contract, it becomes your responsibility to understand the availability, work habits and idiosyncrasies of the workers you’ve just hired - and begin to manage them accordingly.

Sophisticated clients may be concerned at the fact that staffing agencies charge just like normal agencies - without offering you any guarantee of the work or assistance managing the workers.

You may end up asking yourself, “What am I paying for?”

Overpriced, Underpaid

Staffing agencies mark up their workers about 150% on average. That means that if the worker gets paid $30 / hour, the staffing agency will charge you $75 / hour.

These margins create big problems for several reasons. Firstly, since the worker is underpaid, they’ll generally log double their time to make up for the low hourly pay. What this means is that a 10 hour job ends up being billed at 15 - 20 hours.

And since the staffing agency offers no management, you’ll be forced to incur the additional costs of hiring your own internal management team - even though you are paying a rate for the worker that is parallel to what full-services agencies would charge.

Buy-Out Not Worth It

There’s an exception to every rule. That’s why, even at the staffing agencies, every so often you’ll come across a diamond in the rough.

Say you happen to stumble upon some good talent through a staffing agency. Now what?

If you want to hire that talent full-time, you’re screwed.

For average market-rate talent, you’ll have to pay the staffing agency approximately $15,000 -- as a fee -- just to have permission to hire that person. Then you have to make the worker a competitive salary offer with benefits.

Before you’ve even gotten serious -- your net cost is so high that the numbers don’t justify taking action -- and the whole process is botched.

The Solution

It's easy enough to find talent out there if you just put a little effort into it. Sites such as LinkedIn, and even Facebook, offer a plethora of eager workers that you don't have to incur ridiculous fees to hire.

And if you don't want to manage your own talent, you can work with Network Agencies such as Pomegranate that offer competitive rates on a wide array of talent WITH quality control AND guarantee of phenomenal work.

Learn more about Pomegranate by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

That way, the next time you need anything done in the digital creative and social media realms - you’ll already be familiar with the caliber of our work. All you’ll have to do is make the phone call.


Written By Eric Taubert





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