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Getting Started

Are You Looking to Hire a New Team Member?

One of the most important elements of a company’s success is hiring the right people for the job.

It also happens to be one of the most difficult and expensive tasks companies must complete.

If done wrong, a bad hire can cost more than just the surface-level costs associated with recruitment.

It can lead to long-term negative impacts including a damaged company reputation and a significant loss of profits due to poor performance of the employee.

In the current job market, it can be extremely difficult to find great candidates to join your team.

Why is that?

Well, with the unemployment rate dropping to new lows, fewer candidates are available, and the good ones are getting scooped up quickly.

What does this mean for you, as a company urgently looking to hire?

It means you may want to consider using a staffing agency.


A bad hire costs much more than the surface-level costs associated with the hiring process.

What Is A Staffing Agency?

Also commonly referred to as an employment agency, recruitment firm, hiring agency, or depending on the firm’s focus, a temp agency.

A staffing agency is a third-party organization that handles the entire recruitment process for your company.

This includes creating the job description, sourcing qualified candidates (both passive and active), interviewing and screening candidates, performing all needed skill tests and checks, presenting the final candidates for your selection, and more.

A staffing agency includes a team of professional recruiters who are highly skilled in attracting candidates to new roles as well as deciding who is better suited for the role.

The hiring process is expensive not only because of the money spent but also the large chunks of time the process consumes.

And when you aren’t an expert in it, it can quickly become overwhelming.

This is why staffing agencies exist.

These agencies specialize in the world of hiring. Recruiters are exceptionally talented in this field as well as passionate about their work.

This allows agencies to be extremely efficient and accurate in the hiring process, saving businesses time and money in the long run.

Now that you know what a staffing agency is you may be wondering what it’s like to work with one.


A staffing agency acts as a middleman facilitating the hiring process between an employer and potential candidates, helping to save time and money in the long run.


What Is Their Process?


A staffing agency exists to simplify the complex hiring process to save businesses time and money. 

Although there is a lot that goes into the process on the employment agency’s end, it is relatively simple from the employer’s side.

It can be roughly broken down into a simple 5 step process.

This process mainly focuses on the Employer and the Agency. If you are a job seeker we have outlined what the About Staffing process will look like for you HERE with all the information you need.

1. The Employer Contacts The Staffing Agency

This is where the process begins for both parties. Most of the work in this stage is left to the company as they must decide which staffing agency to use, more on that later.

Once the employer has decided on an agency they feel fits their needs they will get in contact with an agency representative to discuss their staffing needs.

There will be some preliminary discussions around expectations and the open position including, the number of employees needed, positions being filled, responsibilities of the role, timelines from both sides, and the wage or salary for the position.

Any concerns, questions, or preferences should be discussed as early in the process as possible.

This gives the recruiter the most information to work with when sourcing candidates for the role.

The more information that is shared in this stage, the more accurate the candidates presented will be when compared to your company’s needs.

2. Staffing Agencies Create, Distribute And Promote The Job Description

The staffing agency you choose to work with will create and promote the job description through their desired channels and job boards.

This will begin the process of attracting candidates who are actively seeking employment. This is also when the candidates begin applying.

However, recruiters will also contact passive candidates and those on their “roster” who they believe would be an excellent fit for the role.

This is where the staffing agency starts to get the upper hand on internal hiring efforts.

They have way more connections and increased access to potential candidates. Allowing them to source from a larger pool of qualified candidates.

3. The Agency Will Interview And Screen All Qualified Candidates

This part of the process is where it becomes especially time-consuming and the recruiter’s insight really shines, they will begin screening through all suitable candidates that applied to see which ones are most qualified for the role.

After sorting through the initial applications, resumes, and cover letters, they will reach out to their top choices to schedule interviews.

During the interview, they will be deciding which candidates are the best fit for the role.

This is where having someone who specializes in recruitment will pay off. Recruiters know what to look for and what red flags to avoid when screening candidates.

Things that might be missed by those who are less experienced in this area or who don’t have the time to fully commit to the process.

At About Staffing, we focus on more than just the qualifications on paper.

We believe in order to have a productive relationship the candidate must not only be qualified but also fit or add to the culture of the company looking to hire them.

If there isn’t a great fit between the potential employer and candidate then the chances of turnover increase significantly.

4. Presenting The Final Candidates

Depending on the agency you choose to work with and the type of hire you are looking for this part of the process will vary.

If you choose to go with a temporary employee an agency will typically choose a candidate for the role and have them arrive on the specified date ready to work.

The temporary path is typically much quicker than the permanent positions route as the cultural fit matters less for positions with short-term lengths.

If you choose the direct-hire route then a selection of candidates made by the recruiter will be made to you for your company to interview and make your final decision.

The direct hire path contains a more focused selection and usually has a longer turnaround time to find the perfect candidate for a permanent position.

5. Offboarding and Onboarding

The final step in the recruiting process is facilitation and onboarding.

If the role is a temporary position the candidate will likely remain an employee of the staffing agency.

The agency will typically take care of all paperwork surrounding new hires including taxes, payroll, contracts etc.

If the employee is placed into a direct-hire role (full-time employment) then they will become an employee of the company they were placed at.

The staffing agency will assist in the transfer process by helping with all the necessary steps to begin the transfer.

The company will then be able to begin the onboarding process.

The process will change depending on the agency you work with and the type of hire your company pursues.

Is It Worth It

What Can A Staffing Agency Do That You Can’t?

It’s a common belief that any company with a human resources department can complete the hiring process just as well or better than a recruitment firm.

The simple answer to “what can a staffing agency do, that I can’t?” is speed and flexibility.

Your HR department might be able to find the perfect candidate for a role if it is a traditional role and there are no time restraints or urgency to the hire.

However, if you are looking to fill a position quickly or the specifics of the role are unique to a certain situation say, leave of absence or a critical employee off for a week (temporary jobs) it becomes increasingly difficult for the candidates to be sourced internally.

This is where a staffing agency excels.

As mentioned, staffing agencies have access to thousands of top talent candidates for all types of roles, working durations, and staffing needs.

This means that at a moment’s notice a recruiter at an agency may be able to find the right candidate for your open position.

The world of work is becoming more and more situational with the increasing popularity of contract, temporary, hybrid, and work-from-home positions.

This new evolution makes hiring and attracting talent more difficult than ever. If you consistently have more and more job openings it becomes challenging.

Staffing agencies are more viable as the demand for finding top talent quickly increases.

Leading off of the misconception that anyone can do it just as well, let’s talk about some other common misunderstandings associated with staffing agencies, to make sure you have all the information you need.


Staffing agencies are specialists in the world of hiring allowing them to be more efficient and accurate when sourcing candidates for your company.

What are some

Common Misconceptions Regarding Staffing Agencies?


Every staffing agency is different and it will take some research before you find the one that’s right for your company. 

“Staffing agencies only have low-quality candidates available”

People often have this idea that qualified candidates wouldn’t need to use a recruitment firm as employers would have already hired them.

Therefore, the candidates using agencies must not be of the same caliber.

This is not true in fact, most of the temporary workers sent out are actually overqualified for the positions they fill.

Candidates often work temporary roles for reasons besides qualifications.

This includes flexibility, variety of experience, desire to try new things, and looking to test out new career paths.

As far as our direct-hire candidates go, they are some of the highest quality candidates available.

Many high-level candidates rely on staffing agencies to discreetly find them opportunities as they don’t want their employers to know they are actively seeking work elsewhere.

Some recruiters also seek out passive candidates, commonly referred to as “head-hunting”. This means any candidate currently working may be enticed to consider other opportunities. 

Agencies also develop connections with thousands of employers and candidates over the years. Many of them contact us later down the road when they are looking to find a job.

“Staffing agencies are too expensive, I can do it by myself”

In certain situations that don’t have a time restraint and when the position is not crucial to the success and operation of your company, you will often be able to fill the position internally without too much worry.

That being said if you are looking to fill an integral position on your team and the success of the business is dependent upon getting the right person in the role quickly.

A recruitment firm is likely going to outperform your internal hiring managers by a mile.

People often underestimate the costs of hiring and especially hiring poorly.

The cost of hiring depends on quite a few factors including:

  • Compensation offered for the role
  • Time spent screening/interviewing candidates
  • Training procedures and duration
  • Background checks/Skill tests
  • Job postings

These costs are already expensive the first time around.

If you make a bad choice and the candidate doesn’t work out you will have to go through this process again until you have found the right employee.

This is why it is often cheaper to use a staffing agency. Even if you have a dedicated hiring manager.

They specialize in this and have a much better read of candidates than most employers do.

Most staffing agencies will also offer some sort of guarantee in the rare chance the candidate doesn’t work out.

This means you will be spending less money as the overall process will be quicker and more accurate.

“Staffing agencies are only for filling entry-level jobs/hiring temps”

These assumptions arise from specific encounters where agencies weren’t providing what the client expected. This isn’t to say it’s any one party’s fault.

More a fault of poor communication.

In a world where there are so many different types of hiring agencies and fields to specialize in it can become confusing.

About Staffing is what’s called a “full-service staffing agency”. This means that we handle everything from junior level to executive, temporary to direct hire, corporate to industrial, and everything in between. Because of this, we have new job openings every day, giving us a wide area of expertise.

So when dealing with an agency like About Staffing it is a misconception to assume we only do temporary placements as we also work in permanent positions.

That being said there are specialized staffing agencies that work only in a specific part of the hiring industry.

This is something you will be discussing with agencies when looking to choose one and often it can be the deciding factor.

Full-service staffing agencies offer long-term relationship advantages as they can meet the unique demands of all their clients.

This means that you don’t have to use multiple agencies for the different positions you want to fill in the future.

This will also allow you to build a relationship with both the agency and your recruiter that will lead to increased productivity and accuracy in the future.

A specialized staffing agency may be the right choice if you are looking to do a one-time hire or only hire for the same role repeatedly.

“Recruiters are hard to get a hold of”

Of all the misconceptions we have discussed this one is the most likely to be true.

We constantly have new clients coming to us after attempting to use a national/international agency and realize that there is almost no communication that happens and updates are hard to come by.

Our recruiters value constant communication from both parties and are always reachable.

About Staffing and our team prides ourselves on exceptional customer service and living by our values which means we always answer the phone.

Earlier we brushed over choosing an agency that’s right for you, but how do you choose?

How To

Find The Right Staffing Agency To Work With

This is an extremely important part of the success you will have hiring for a new role.

If the agency you choose isn’t the right fit, you will often not receive the best candidate for the role.

This is because they may not have the best candidate available if they are specialized in a specific field other than what you are asking for.

For example, if you are looking for a welder and you are using an agency that specializes in office placements they likely won’t have access to candidates for that role/industry.

Your first step when choosing a firm to work with is to decide if they are qualified for the needs and job openings your company has both now and in the future.

If you feel they have enough experience and expertise in the fields you are in then they should be a contender.

The reason you also want to consider the future is because if you take the time to build a relationship with the firm and your recruiter they will better understand what you want for candidates in the future.

This will allow them to consider your hiring needs throughout the year and not just when you need candidates.

Beyond qualifications you should look at how the agency’s values align with your own, will you value the same things in candidates or will there be a misalignment when candidates are presented to you?

About Staffing places huge significance on the values and culture of companies and their work environment.

We believe a matched culture between candidates and clients is essential to creating a high-performing work environment.

This is why we are the Masters of Matching Culture®.


Once you find an agency that works well with your organization work to build a relationship with them to make sure future recruits are faster and easier for everyone.

How To Work With A Staffing Agency

One of the most important parts of working with a staffing agency is communication.

We mentioned this a few times earlier in this article.

Both the staffing company and the company looking to hire have to be able to effectively communicate their needs to yield the best result.

The more open and specific the communication the better equipped the agency will be to find you the perfect candidate.

Setting Expectations

Recruiting agencies are always tapped into the labour market where they operate.

As a local Calgary-based agency for the last 26 years, About Staffing, is the local expert in the Alberta labour market.

Recruiters and agencies will work with the hiring company and hiring managers to set realistic expectations based on the role, compensation, timeline, and more.

In today’s market, things change and they change quickly so be prepared to shift directions throughout the process.

Maintaining A Relationship

We have touched on this aspect of working with an agency but it is important, to make sure both parties find success.

Hiring is difficult and if you are able to find an agency that makes the process easy you should take the time to build a relationship for the future.

Giving updates and talking about hiring needs for the future can help both organizations to get on the same page.

This means next time you need to hire, your agency will be better equipped to get the job done quickly.


How Much Does Using A Staffing Agency Cost?

Most staffing agencies follow similar pricing models for their services.

Temporary jobs and direct-hire roles typically exist on different pricing models. This is because temporary employees remain an employee of the agencies while direct-hire candidates leave the agency permanently.

Typically for temporary jobs, there is a premium added to the base hourly wage of the employee.

The employer will pay the agency the full amount and the agency will then pay out the employee. The employee will receive the full amount agreed upon and the staffing agency will retain the premium to cover costs associated with hiring.

For direct-hire roles/permanent positions, the payment works differently. Most staffing agencies/recruitment firms will charge a percentage of the employee’s annual salary.

This percentage will vary from agency to agency but the payment model remains similar across the board.



The majority of the percentage charged by agencies goes towards the following costs:


  • Candidates Wage
  • Cost of Payroll
    • Vacation Pay
    • Statutory Holiday Pay
    • Employment Insurance
    • Canada Pension Plan
    • Worker’s Compensation
  • Cost of Operation
    • Advertising
    • Administration
    • Liability Insurance
  • Operating Profit Margin
To Wrap Up



Regardless of how your hiring has gone in the past, a staffing agency may be the thing your company needs to grow successfully in today’s market.

In fact, this could be the assistance your hiring manager is looking for.

It doesn’t cost a thing to reach out and have a conversation with us here at About Staffing.

Hiring is an expensive and challenging process. If you know when to seek out the right kind of help it can make the process a lot smoother, saving your business time and money.

Regardless of how often you find yourself needing new employees, it can be worth it to talk to a staffing agency to see how they could help you.

Once you see the efficiency and accuracy a good employment agency brings you likely won’t hire without one again.

Now that you know everything you need to know about staffing agencies, you may want to consider giving About Staffing a call to see if we can help you find your next great employee.

Read More

Frequently Asked Questions


What should I ask a staffing agency?

What area/areas are you specialized in?

What types of services do you provide?

How do you handle bad placements?

What are your rates and fee structures?

How large is your talent pool?

Is it worth it to use a staffing agency?

As a job seeker, you have nothing to lose from using a staffing agency and you can consider it a resource to help assist you with finding a job you love quickly. Recruiters can also help you find opportunities and help you to achieve your professional goals. After all, it is free for job seekers.

For employers, using a staffing agency can save your business time and money by getting the right candidate in the role quickly. If you understand the consequences of a bad hire then you may already know that using a staffing agency can be well worth the investment. Staffing agencies charge you based on the type of hire and the agency takes care of everything related to recruitment.

What are the advantages of using a staffing agency?
  • Access to industry experts
  • Streamline the process for faster hiring
  • Access to a large pool of qualified candidates
  • Flexibility in types of hiring temporary/direct-hire