Do you hire staffing agencies last minute or do you forecast your hiring needs for the year?
I would love to understand when companies are hire staffing agencies. At what point does it become necessary to bring a partner in to help grow, expand or replace your workforce? Do you wait until you have multiple pain points or do you cultivate a relationship with a firm in case needs arise for one in the future? I ask this question so my team can better help our clients moving forward.
I would suggest you do staffing need forecast based on knowing the volume of work or value you need to deliver.
I hope that I can provide you with some useful information:
Staffing agencies, like shoes, come in all shapes and sizes(Retained, Contract, Direct...). If the staffing agency is (credible) it is a good idea to partner with them for your staffing needs in one capacity or another. That way your HR department can focus on other HR functions like benefits, payroll, and employee relations and not be boggled down with hiring and on-boarding the right employees (full time position).
Think of your HR department as a primary care physician and a credible staffing agency like a specialist. If you had a special medical need that was unique it is best to see a specialist and not go to your PCP, correct?
As for the second part of your question it is best to partner with a reputable Staffing Agency before the staffing needs are urgent? In my opinion the answer is yes, partner sooner than later. Reason being, is so the agency has adequate time to present you a couple solid candidates and you have to select an applicant that is the right fit not just a fit and you can gauge the agencies ability to perform. (Like love- finding the best fit can be instantaneous or take a while.)
My advice is to give yourselves enough time to find the right agency for your companies needs and cultivate the relationship by learning more about the staffing companies values and mission before the companies hiring needs are so great that you end up with a marginal employee - instead of an exceptional one.
I hope my answer was helpful and I wish you the best - Rachel