Your company is growing in a competitive market, and you need employees. Not just any employees, either: you need top creatives, from UX designers to copywriters, to keep your business endeavors moving forward fast. So you hire the biggest staffing agency in town to find the best creative professionals.
You’re surprised to hear your competitors contract with a smaller, specialized staffing agency. You watch as their recruiters send them the best candidates in the industry. Meanwhile, you are unimpressed with the job seekers sent to you by the bigger recruitment firm. While you are still scrambling to find new hires, your competitors are actively growing their business.
Why Smaller is Better
To avoid being the former company in the above example, consider the benefits of hiring through specialized recruiters. Boutique staffing agencies know more about your business, have access to a larger talent pool, and can help you boost employee retention rates better than large recruitment firms.
Boutique Agencies Know Your Business
Larger staffing operations tend to have a jack-of-all-trades, master of none problem. Specific recruiters might only handle cases in your industry, but eventually you reach a level in the agency where the staff is out of tune with your trade. They are more concerned with hiring in general than hiring talent for your area of specialization.
Imagine the staffing process from a job seeker’s perspective. A web designer perfect for your open position submits his resume to the large San Jose staffing firm you contracted. His experience and skills make him an outstanding candidate.
The large staffing agency misses this. The job seeker’s expertise is lost on the recruiters, who handle candidates from multiple industries. These recruiters staff creative talent but also finance, legal, and tech professionals across Silicon Valley. They don’t understand the finer points of finding and hiring a great web designer. So you and your ideal employee are being handled by the same agency, but you are never matched with each other.
Now reimagine the scenario at a boutique staffing agency for creatives. The same applicant submits his resume. The recruiters recognize creative talent coupled with the marks of a great employee when they see it. The recruiter handling your case gladly sends the web designer to you for an interview and a perfect match is made.
Larger Firms Have Smaller Talent Pools
Yes, you read that right. Larger recruitment firms typically have a smaller talent pool to hire from. Why? They can’t hire employees from companies they are contracted to hire for.
Jerome Young, a senior technical and diversity recruiter, notes how legal conflicts shrink a large recruiters’ talent pool. “A large staffing agency with a substantial client list is hampered by conflict of interest. They are legally prohibited from contacting any employees of their current clients. In many cases they cannot contact the most qualified job candidates because those professionals are currently working for a company that is currently on the Agency’s client list.”
Smaller recruiter agencies tend to have a broader and more diverse talent pool. They hire for a more selective client list and are not limited by as many, if any, conflicts of interest.
Niche Staffing = Better Employee Retention
Employee retention is a growing challenge in markets where the demand for workers is higher than the labor supply. With higher than usual turnover, culture fit is one companies can ensure new hires stay for the long haul. The Society for Human Resource Management found a good culture fit is one of the top three reasons an employee becomes “embedded” at a company (in other words, willing and happy to stay).
Your staffing agency needs to know your company culture in order to select candidates who will stay. Katie Bouton at Harvard Business Review connects smart recruiting with employee retention: “If you assess culture fit throughout the recruiting process, you will hire professionals who will flourish in their new roles, drive long-term growth and success for your organization, and ultimately save you time and money.” Niche staffing agencies know your industry and will spend time vetting candidates to find out who will endure and thrive at your organization.