Five Key Areas to Monitor When Growing Your Staffing Agency
The following article was kindly provided to BAB by Catriona O’Kane, Business Development Manager, Precision Global Consulting
You’ve worked for it, hoped for it, even dreamed about it – your agency is growing, and new business is coming in. So now is the time to capitalize and take full advantage of this growth and the potential in the market. To do this it’s important to review and scale your processes and practices.
Running a high growth agency is exciting yet stressful and with things moving fast, it can be easy to take a reactionary approach. But you must be proactive during this time, and to do this you’ll need to take a step back and get a holistic view of your company, the market and how your offering and services continue to fit in the industry.
At PGC we’ve been working with high growth agencies for years and have had the pleasure (and stress) of being a high growth company ourselves. So, we’ve researched, quizzed and compiled some best practices in this five-point check list of the top areas to monitor when growing your staffing agency.
As the business grows it’s important to make sure that you have the right resources and systems in place to best manage and deliver on your services. Now may be the time to invest in automating and implementing tech.
There are a lot of technology companies that focus on providing support specific for staffing agencies, with a lot of these systems integrating into each other. For example, many ATS systems are creating integrations with AI and machine learning platforms to pull passive and active candidates into your ATS system. This helps to streamline processes and improve efficiency.
It’s important to plan ahead and not just get caught up in dealing with the day to day admin. Think strategically about your next move as tech should likely be part of this plan.
Some questions to ask yourself when considering which technology can best support your agency:
- Do you have a good, robust CRM System to manage your contacts and help simplify nurturing your relationships?
- Does your ATS provide you with the support and customization your agency needs and does your system allow for integrations with other search platforms and job boards?
- Do you have a back-office technology that removes the manual process burdens on your team for aspects such as onboarding, timesheets, tracking contract extensions / terminations etc.?
- Worker experience
Although onboarding can be better supported with technology, it’s an important to consider on its own.
Reviewing your onboarding process as you begin to scale is crucial because you want both clients and candidates to have a seamless, positive experience. If you currently have a manual, labor-intensive process, this can become more difficult to manage as the business grows and is more vulnerable to human error.
Placing workers with numerous different clients usually means customizing the onboarding process whilst ensuring you are compliant. You should look to continuously review and update or alternatively partner with a back-office solution.
Some things to be aware of when onboarding a worker: are I9 compliancy, E-Verify, wage and hour legislations, non-discriminatory policies and workers compensation laws.
The faster you grow the harder it gets to keep up with compliance, but this is crucial for your long-term success. A compliant staffing agency protects the client, the workers and also its own business. While some compliance requirements are obvious, others can be a lot less clear. It can be difficult enough to be compliant when you know about a law, but how can you be compliant with those that aren’t even on your radar?
You must also keep up to speed with what the law is, and what your responsibilities under it are which can be more challenging as you begin to engage different types of workers in different states. but with the right advice and legal team or with a back-office partner this becomes easily manageable. Key things to consider when reviewing compliance are Federal Employment law, State Employment law, Classification of workers, ACA, Overtime exemptions, Paid Sick Leave, FMLA, Terminations and Employment agreements (to name a few).
- Expanding into other states
As your business is growing it’s likely that you will have opportunities that require you to do business in new states. This can be a daunting thought as there are lots of complex factors to consider, such as whether you want to employ your workers in-house. If so you will need to set up an entity in each state that you place workers, get the appropriate insurances, be aware of all the state laws, and ensure compliancy with workers classification and legislations such as paid sick leave, paid time off, hourly workers etc. These will vary state to state.
You also have the option to partner and outsource these workers through an EOR Partner (Employer of Record) this will take on all the responsibility and liability associated with the employment as this third party is technically the employer.
- Planning for the future
You’ll need to think strategically and plan your long-term goals when you are growing. Will selling your staffing agency be on the horizon or will you be looking for funding?
It is important that you structure your operation in a way that will enhance your organizations value to its maximum potential. Look to reduce your overheads, monitor your cash flow and evaluate how you manage your workforce. Contingent workers may be seen as higher risk and you may want to consider outsourcing the management and payroll of this workforce.
I have worked with companies in the past who are preparing to sell only to realize that due to being out of compliance, their independent contractors are not valued at full, like their W2 placements. Reviewing your risk appetite now and ensuring you are classifying workers correctly will enhance your book of business and put you in a stronger position and at a higher value if the opportunity to sell arises.
If you are actively conscious of and reviewing these five key areas you are on the road to preparing your business for long term success and growth. Smart companies that want to focus on growing their business hire experts to handle the areas in which they lack expertise. If you would like to learn more about growing your staffing agency for success, please reach out me.
Business Development Manager
Precision Global Consulting