by Jeanne Knutzen | June 5, 2020

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Even with there are large numbers of candidates available to hire, finding that  “just right” employee can still be a challenge!

#1 The competition for the best of that group has not gone away!  The underlying skill and talent gaps that we all felt pre-covid are still there, just temporarily masked by the large number of candidates currently available. Make no mistake – the Northwest “bigs” – Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc. – are still gobbling up high talent candidates at a rapid pace, making it difficult for small to medium sized companies to compete.


The stacks of resumes you get from each job posting does in fact mean more candidates are available for hire,  but the “right” candidates, the candidates who are the “just right” fit, are not likely to be in that stack.


#2 The issue with hiring is still there –  50% of all hiring decisions turn out to be hiring mistakes!  A hiring process that produces reliable outcomes still has multiple steps and is still time consuming for hiring managers, especially now when they are already stretched to do more with less.  If a hiring process is thrown together quickly, without doing the work to differentiate the real performers from performer wannabes, you can quickly find yourself making hiring decisions based on factors unrelated to on the job performance.

Taking a short cut in the vetting process, for example, not taking the time to check a reference or do a skill assessment, can easily lead you to hire someone who, on the job, is nothing like the person you interviewed.

It takes time to conduct an orderly hiring process – time that many hiring managers simply don’t have even in the best of times, let alone now whenever everyone is being asked to do more with less!   

#3 The expertise needed to navigate a complicated recruiting landscape is still in high demand, with most companies unable to afford the costs of maintaining that level of  expertise internally.    Even the simple task of knowing where to post an opening requires research.  With so many choices on where and how to post a current opening its easy to select the wrong venue or miss a key word in how you write up your posting and end up attracting so many wrong candidates, you lose confidence in your ability to attract the right ones.

In the current marketplace, companies are pulling back on the level of resources committed to non core activities which often includes HR or recruiting more specifically.

The outcome is predictable – when  the resources dedicated to reduce hiring errors shrinks, hiring mistakes expand. 

Help is on the way!   The right  the right staffing agency partner can help you tackle all these issues and more.  Here’s how…..

#1 The right staffing partner will help you find better candidates faster! 

Staffing agencies are in the candidate marketplace full time – continuously looking for candidates, identifying their underlying talent,  and forming relationships with those candidates so that they can respond quickly when you have a need.  And if they don’t have the candidate you need, they know how to find them quickly.

We’re anticipating Northwest employers with have more and more needs to move quickly during the next 3-12 months of post-Covid Build Back.  Many will need access to specialized talent not always available in a current employee group.  The right staffing agencies will be prepared to respond.

When a hiring process takes weeks or months when the business needs it to take days, everyone suffers!

#2 The right staffing partner will do all those important but time consuming vetting activities that make a difference to your hiring outcomes!   

If you’ve ever been involved in hiring, you know how much time it takes to post a job, review resumes, schedule interviews, conduct in depth interviews, reference checks, and skill assessments.  It can be exhausting.  Its all those steps in the hiring process that can easily wear out even the most well-intentioned hiring managers, making it easy to make the wrong hiring decision, just to be done with the process.

#3 The right staffing agency partner will make sure you have access to a full menu of professional vetting resources that can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s real talents – the talents you need;  the talents your competitors may not see.   

When you work with the right staffing agency they’ll give you access to a wide range of candidate assessment tools and the expertise needed to evaluate candidates in more depth than you are likely able to do on your own.  You won’t waste time reviewing candidates who might look good in an interview setting, but simply don’t have the skills, talent, or motivation to be the right fit for the job you need done.

You’ll also be able to identify talent that you might not find by using a traditional interview.  In today’s tight candidate marketplace, finding hidden talent that others can’t see, can be a competitive advantage.

#4 The right staffing partner will help you implement more flexible staffing strategies – things you can do now to reduce your operating costs, hire better, enable you to move quickly when opportunities come your way.        

Are you concerned that the work you know needs to be done now will change in the next 3-4 months? Your staffing agency partner might recommend you consider bringing on a temporary employee rather than hire direct as a way to reduce your fixed committments to staff, in the big picture, lowering your costs.

Are you having turnover on a team or a particular role? The right staffing partner can help you design a temp to hire  “audition period” that will align with your business needs, plus significantly reduce your issue with turnover.

Do you need to put someone to work quickly, without the time to it takes to find the longer term hire?  The right staffing agency partner is likely to find a temporary employee who can be put to work quickly, minimizing the risk of hiring the wrong person and having to let them go.  The right staffing agency partner will let you know when an interim staffing solution might be the better option.

#5 The right staffing agency partner will provide key expertise and insights on the state of the local marketplace…..making sure you stay in the know and don’t waste time pursuing the wrong candidates.  

The right staffing agency partner will have data on the availability of candidates in the local marketplace, plus the competition you are likely to face when recruiting that candidate – the pay rate and benefits your competitors are offering.   The right staffing partner will help you work around your competitors to launch the right search, for the right candidate.

The right staffing agency partner will provide professionally developed and consistently executed  candidate screening and vetting services to help you uncover future performance issues before you hire.

The right staffing agency partner will have the inside scoop on how candidates are responding to your job opportunity-ensuring that you only spend time with candidates genuinely interested in going to work for you.  You will not waste time on the wrong candidates.

#6 The right staffing agency partner will be on the look out for the talent you need to grow your team or company.  Staffing challenges become opportunities with proactive rather than reactive solutions.    

Working with the right staffing agency partner, you don’t have to wait for a specific need to place an order.  They will be “continuously” looking, pipe-lining their candidate data base with the type of talent you need; alerting you when a special candidate is uncovered.  The right staffing partner will make sure your company stays connected to available talent BEFORE your competitors beat you to the punch.

In full disclosure and in case you haven’t noticed,  I have a very biased view that the business relationship between employers and their staffing agency needs to be partnership, not just a relationship based on a contract or an order.  To be a partner you must solve problems together…and in this Build Back period this type of partnership will be more important than ever.

My “partnership bias” is informed by the multiple years PACE has spent helping employers navigate complicated business challenges and a wide range of candidate marketplaces.  Without those partnerships, results would have been different.   What I hope you take away from reading this blog is an increased recognition that the right staffing agency partner can make a big difference in all economic environments – this one included.    

Want info on what to look for when selecting the right staffing partner.  Here’s a list of things to consider…..



PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire employees based on the “right fit” for over 40 years.

A  4 time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.

PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditions, direct hire professional recruiting services, Employer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of candidate assessment services our clients can purchase a la carte.

To learn more about how partnering with PACE will make a difference to how you find and hire employees,  contact us at 425-637-3312 or e mail our Partner Services and Solutions  team  at partnerservices@pacestaffing.com.

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