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Beyond the Placement: 5 Ways to Take Advantage of Your Staffing Agency’s Services

August 14th, 2020

Make your agency work for you by using all of the services that they have to offer.

You wouldn’t expect your TA team to send you stacks of resumes without having reviewed them or having matched them to your needs.  So, take advantage of your staffing agency’s expertise and screening abilities by telling them exactly what you need in your next hire.  The more information that you share, the more likely that your staffing agency can give you what you want the first time around. This is especially important when you are dealing with highly technical positions where HR or TA may not be familiar with technical skills tests.

If you’re only using your staffing agency as a vessel to obtain resumes, then you’re not using it to its full potential.  And if the only thing that your staffing agency offers is pushing resumes –then it’s time to get a new one.  Your staffing agency should be your partner; an extension of your TA team that is working for you before, during, and after your hire.

A good staffing agency is anticipating your needs, looking at your long-term goals, as well as providing immediate staffing solutions.  The fee that you are paying a staffing agency should extend far beyond emailed resumes and setting up interviews. So, how do you take advantage of everything your staffing agency offers? 

Treat them as an extension of your TA team

You wouldn’t expect your TA team to send you stacks of resumes without having reviewed them or having matched them to your needs.  So, take advantage of your staffing agency’s expertise and screening abilities by telling them exactly what you need in your next hire.  The more information that you share, the more likely that your staffing agency can give you what you want the first time around. This is especially important when you are dealing with highly technical positions where HR or TA may not be familiar with technical skills tests.

Take advantage of consulting services

On-boarding consultants should be quick and easy.  You have an urgent need and must find a solution fast.  Use your staffing agency’s tools to take the administrative work out of hiring temporary staff.  From on-boarding and eligibility verification, to logging time and processing payroll– your staffing agency is there as your liaison and your partner so that you can get your contractor working faster.  Need to use your own time-clock system? Your staffing agency should work with you to make the process convenient for you.

Let them negotiate

In many states and cities, you are no longer allowed to ask about past compensation history.  While this helps to close the wage gap, it may leave you wondering how much you should compensate someone, especially if it is a new position or a newly created department.  If you’ve never hired someone in a similar position before, use your staffing agency as a resource to get comparable market compensation information.

Additionally, take advantage of your staffing agency’s negotiating ability. They go through negotiations day in and day out. They know which candidates are serious about making moves, what motivates them (it may not be $$$!), and what might make or break the deal.  Make your agency work for you by leveraging their existing relationships.

Use your agency post-placement

The relationship doesn’t end when the placement is made. Just as your staffing agency will ask you about new open positions or follow-up on a recent hire, you can also continue to build your relationship post-placement, even if you aren’t hiring.  Just because a placement has been made or a deal was done weeks (or even months) ago, doesn’t mean that the relationship is over.  Staffing is an inherently human business – it is relationship based and growing, even if it feels like every placement is an individual transaction. 

Ask questions, get job description writing feedback, or review your hiring / interviewing processes with your agency’s team. These lines of communication help your agency improve and help you make your process more efficient for the future.


If you are looking for a new technical staffing partner, make sure that you are asking what services they offer beyond the placement. While Talener would love to be everyone’s technical staffing partner, it is also important that you find the right fit and get the right services for you. If you want to learn more about Talener and what services we provide, please reach out at social.media@talener.com.

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Posted in News, Talener Blog, Uncategorized

Hiring from Afar: 6 Ways to Prep for Successful Remote On-Boarding

July 22nd, 2020

Image of a woman with curly brown hair on a laptop screen on a wooden desk. There is a plant and computer monitor in the background. The woman is dressed in business attire.

If you’re interviewing and on-boarding candidates remotely, auditing your hiring process is critical.

Pre-pandemic, there was a quiet confidence that remote employees had (at some point) met another team member in person, had an in-person interview, or were available for an in-office meeting. Should the need arise, face-to-face interaction was readily available.

But even as many states start to re-open, some companies are opting for remote onboarding and full or partially remote work. However, with many offices closed, companies restricting visitors or practicing social distancing – the opportunity to meet someone before they start working, even once, has been limited.

While your current employees may be thriving remotely, they have a distinct advantage over new hires.  They’ve worked in-person together, understand their positions, and know their projects.  The rapport is already built. Expectations are clear.

But hiring and on-boarding someone you’ve only met via video chat is daunting if it isn’t part of your regular practice. There is a real risk of underperformance or lack of engagement from someone who otherwise would be a spectacular hire. Navigating these virtual changes, clearly defining the process, and accepting that you cannot hire the same way will lead to productive, remote hiring.

Define Your Hiring & Interviewing Process

While the overarching hiring process may not change – screenings, interviews, skills tests; the way in which these occur does. Defining the process means understanding the details. Who is taking on the responsibility for the process – who is managing it? Often, a hiring manager or HR manager will act as a point person on-site, introducing candidates to their interviewers, providing check-ins, and serving as the welcoming committee.  But virtually, this cohesive and automatic progression is replaced with meeting invites and email chains. 

Additionally, it’s important to audit your hiring process and adapt it to the current situation.  If timed skills tests are traditionally taken on-site, what is new procedure? Does a tech test now weigh more in the consideration process? Is it more important than hiring for the right culture fit or hiring someone who is eager to learn and be part of the team?

Defining the process gives a clear picture to internal stakeholders as well as candidates.  Everyone can expect and understand the interviewing timeline, the priorities, and what factors are the most crucial in deciding to hire.

Remote On-Boarding

The hiring process isn’t over when an offer is extended.  This is truly the beginning of building a rapport with a new employee. By accepting a position, an employee has bought into the job, but buy-in and engagement are critical every step of the way.  We think of ‘Day One’ as meeting colleagues, filling out paperwork, and observing company culture. But when this interaction disappears, who takes over to welcome and engage the new hire? 

The details matter. How are work authorizations being filled out? Will there be a virtual welcome happy hour? Has someone been in regular contact with the new employee; giving them an outline of what is expected their first week? It may seem like a lot of fanfare, but it’s a ritual we automatically perform when a new employee arrives on-site. 

Set Up for Success

Hiring is about filling a business need. Projects aren’t finished and goals aren’t met without the right talent.  And this means setting up your employees for success. Regular in-office contact and feedback is natural, but it’s easy to be out-of-sight and out-of-mind in a remote position, especially as the new guy. Remote employees (particularly if this isn’t your regular practice) aren’t adjunct members of the team.

Who is responsible for the new hire’s success?  Who can they go to with issues? Who will introduce them to managers or co-workers? Who will help them understand and thrive in the team dynamic?

Setting up an employee for success means starting on day one. It is your responsibility as the employer to provide this support and structure. It is less haphazard than sending someone down the hall to fill out forms or grabbing a coffee with a manager.

Defining Goals

Broadly defining the goals of the job should occur before the first interview takes place.  These goals should narrow and be explicit by the time your remote employee gets starts.  Without measured goals, you are setting up your new hire for failure.

It should be abundantly clear what the work product is the first days, weeks, or months. Both sides need to understand the measures of success and how evaluations will be performed.

Communicating Changes

What does remote on-boarding actually mean? Even if your organization hasn’t made formal return-to-office plans, it’s important to clearly communicate the expectations to your new hire. What is the narrative around returning to the office? Will some people continue to work remotely?

Be upfront about the changing situation.  Whether it is temporary, evolving, or unknown – it will save a lot of confusion and frustration later.

Hiring in a Vacuum

Don’t assume that you are the only company that is hiring. In areas like technology where unemployment continues to be at record lows – candidates have multiple competitive offers. They’re spending less time commuting and have more time to interview at their leisure. Whatever hiring process you define, consider the timing, be competitive with your offer, know what you want, and assume that you aren’t the only one pursuing this person.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to hiring during this time. Successfully hiring and on-boarding remotely is new for many organizations. It is likely more involved, and more process driven than what we’ve come to know as standard practices. But maybe this shake up will force us to audit ourselves and clarify what is most important.

If you are unsure how to begin to define your process or haven’t worked frequently with remote employees, Talener can help. From sharing current market data to helping you audit your hiring practices; we are available to provide insight and guidance to navigate the ‘new’ normal.

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Posted in Clients, News, Talener Blog, Uncategorized

Talener celebrates 10 years in the IT Staffing business!

April 3rd, 2017

Talener opened it’s doors on April 2, 2007 in New York City. Founder and CEO Michael Dsupin started Talener with the desire to offer the community an IT Staffing firm that placed a focus on contract and temp positions.

Mike has been in the IT Staffing industry his entire career, starting with Stride & Associates in 1995. After a successful run spanning 13 geographies and including startups and turnarounds, he found himself looking for the next challenge.  Stride had been a purely permanent placement agency. With a team of 5 former Stride owners backing Mike, he founded Talener, which began as an agency focused on the temp/contract space.  Starting with a team of 3 others (who were new to staffing), Talener generated $1.7 million in revenue in its first 9 months in 2007 (April-December) and $2.4 million in revenue in its first 12 months.

While Mike was always optimistic about his ability to grow a successful business, his only thought on that first day was landing the company’s first client and first candidate.  Talener’s first placement, in its first month, was Alex Nicholas at World Now; that same month, Talener made a second placement, Rahul Trivedi at Dexia Credit Local.  When asked if his vision has changed over the past 10 years, Mike was confident that his original vision is still the one he lives by today: “Success and growth of a business is never something that I take for granted.  It starts with a new client and a new job every day.  These are the lifeblood of our organization.  Delivering a great experience to every candidate and every client will ensure that we continue to grow into a great business”

While Talener has seen vast success over the past 10 years, they have also faced challenges like any other company.  Their biggest challenge has been the communication of their message.  “I know that every Client we call is not hiring immediately or today, but I know they will and when they do, I want them to think of using us.  I know that we are not able to fill every position we work, but I want an opportunity to fill them all… We are in the service business and providing everyone the full Talener experience can get lost in a phone call, in an interview and during some interactions with clients.  With the amount of attempts we make, it’s hard to guarantee that the message is delivered every time and that is something that I would never tolerate in any office/team that I sit in.”

Mike’s best advice he had to offer himself 10 years ago is to push yourself and step out of your box by doing something you never though you would: “Growing up, I worked in a Subway and worked with the owner very closely and I thought, after that experience, that I would never want to own a business.  When I was in College, I also said to myself that the last place in the world that I would ever want to work would be NYC.”  He also wishes he had “taken more notes/videos/pictures of all of the great times that I have shared with the staff, the candidates and the clients along the way.  Without them and all of their help, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”  Besides his family, Talener is the most important thing to Mike.  He defines success as the look on somebody’s face when they get a new job; that’s how it’s known that everything has been done to successfully complete the goals set.

While Mike doesn’t foresee himself slowing down anytime soon, he has a big vision of continued growth and success for Talener in the future.  He wishes to continue the building of deeper relationships with local communities, re-engaging with former colleagues who may have left the company, hopes to expand to new geographies while continuing to expand the business in other aspects. In the long-term when Mike eventually retires, he wishes to see Talener continue its journey to placing clients and candidates with the best position for them.

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Posted in Company News, News, Talener Blog

Tech Meetups : Laravel Chicago Spotlight

October 17th, 2016

Information flows freely when you walk through the door of a Meetup.  From conversational language breakfasts to equine enthusiasts – you can find a meetup for nearly any hobby or interest. And the benefit of meeting people with similar interests goes beyond good conversation and new relationships – it can also be beneficial to your career.

Technical meetups are popping up all over the country and across the world.  People with very specific tech interests can exchange their knowledge in a space where everyone shares the same interests.  Plus, many meetups are sponsored by local companies that may allow you to see their space after hours or talk with their employees about the work environment.

We spoke with Hao Luo, the head of the Laravel Chicago Meetup to get his insights about why meetups are so important, and how meetups provide a way to learn & socialize outside of the workplace.

What do you think is the principal reason that people attend meetups like Laravel Chicago?

Guests come to Laravel Chicago because they are curious about the technology and are looking for a community to exchange ideas.

What is the benefit to having a meetup in a company space versus a neutral space?

There are many benefits to having the group at a company setting. First, the space is usually accessible for most attendees.  Second, members can interact with the sponsors before and after the meetup to make connections.   Plus, many sponsors regularly help advertise our events on their social media networks.

What are your goals for Laravel Chicago?

My goal for Laravel Chicago is to form a community of tech-enthusiasts who are interested in Laravel.  More times than not, a developer can feel lonely working in a silo, and Laravel Chicago is a place where a developer can feel a sense of belonging.  The ethos of the web is about openness, and collaboration.  I believe, as web developers, our profession dictates us to have a similar mindset, and as we collaborate together, we become better developers.

How did the group start and evolve?

Laravel was just getting popular a few years ago, and I realized that Developers in Chicago who were interested in the PHP framework were craving a community.  Together with my manager, we created a group on Meetup.com and had our first event in Evanston.

Unfortunately, only two people came to our meetup event. We were, or course, disappointed, but we continued to have it in Evanston. Unfortunately, the meetup just wasn’t getting enough traction and we had to suspend the group.  Sometime later on, one of our co-workers told us about Talener and how they might be interested in sponsoring us.

In 2012, we were able to revive the group and had our first meetup group in downtown Chicago at the Talener office. The turnout was phenomenal. And those people who came to that event are regulars now, years later.

What is your goal going into every meetup?

I want to foster the sense of community and pique the interest of our new members.  At the same time, I want to encourage our members to get out of their comfort zones. Often, this means challenging them to present at our upcoming events.

Any advice for novice developers joining a meetup group?

  1. Keep Being Curious and Continue to Learn
  2. Make Friends
  3. Remember to contribute back to the community by giving a presentation of two. Don’t be nervous- we really are all friends!

What would you say to someone who is nervous or feeling a little uncomfortable about coming to a meetup because they don’t know anyone or they don’t think their skills are up to par with the rest of the group?

It’s always nerve-wracking doing anything the first time. Coming to a meetup group and having to meet new people in a new environment is touch, but it really does get easier from there. And—don’t worry, we’ve all been there.

 

If you’re interested in PHP Frameworks, generally curious about Laravel, or just getting started as a developer, take a few minutes to look at their meetup and join us on Tuesday, October 25th for their next meetup at the Talener Chicago office.  As always, pizza & drinks are provided!

For more information, visit the Laravel Chicago Meetup Page, or get in contact with Mary Kate at mmcgillivray@talener.com or Gabe Klein at gklein@talener.com

Posted in News, Talener Blog

April 19th, 2015: Chicago Apache Cassandra Event

March 23rd, 2015

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Searching for a free, all-day Cassandra event in the heart of Chicago?  Look no further that the DataStax Cassandra event on Sunday, April 19th.

What: DataStax is holding a FREE, day-long event in Chicago on April 19th about Apache Cassandra, a big data/ NoSQL database used by companies like Apple, Netflix, and The Weather Channel. Check out all of the details below!

Where: Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers- 301 E. North Water Street, Chicago, IL 60611

When: Sunday, April 9th from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM (CDT)

Why: Cassandra is used by thousands of companies and over 30% of Fortune 100s for its high availability (peer-to-peer & simple active multi-data center), ease of operations, performance & scalability. This is the time to learn about Cassandra.

The Details: Sponsored by Microsoft Azure, HP & Vormetric- this Apache Cassandra event is hosted by DataStax in the heart of Chicago for a full day. Free breakfast, lunch, and parking validation included! This will be a free three-track event on April 9th to get you skilled on Cassandra.

  • Track One: Intro to Cassandra, including hands-on training
  • Track Two: Use cases and advanced tips & tricks
  • Track Three: Half-day management focused track for executives to understand how and why companies are using big data technologies (featuring the Microsoft Azure team & Asurian VP of Enterprise Architecture & Data Services)

Can’t make the entire event? No problem! Check out the schedule and RSVP here.

Have questions about the event or need more information? Contact Lina at DataStax or check out their event website.

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Posted in Events, News, Talener Blog

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