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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

On-Boarding Employees During COVID-19: ICE Relaxes Requirements

March 31st, 2020

While hundreds of thousands of people have faced layoffs over the past several weeks, hiring remains critical in areas such as healthcare (including telehealth), technology, and CPG. Many technology companies that support work-from-home efforts are seeing platform usage rise.  Microsoft Teams has seen a 775% increase in usage in areas that are largely affected by the virus.

These hiring shifts present unique circumstances for managers and recruiters alike, as they attempt to on-board new staff while also meeting I-9 and E-Verify guidelines. The Department of Homeland Security has announced that they will temporarily be flexible regarding the I-9 guidelines for as long as the national emergency surrounding COVID-19 exists or 60 days from March 20th, 2020 (whichever comes first).

For employers and recruiters who are following COVID-19 guidelines, particularly in regard to limiting physical proximity – ICE is allowing new employee identity and employment authorization documents to initially be reviewed without a physical presence.  Documents should still be reviewed remotely.

The full press release explains the steps that employers should take to virtually and then physically examine the documents once normal operations resume. Please read the official Department of Homeland Security press release here for specific employer requirements.

This temporary flexibility for on-boarding only applies to employers and workplaces who are currently operating remotely and have no employees physically present and able to inspect I-9 documentation.

This declaration by DHS is an important part of helping the wider community fill their business needs, without burdening employers and recruiters with the physical presence requirements.

During this time, Talener is prepared for virtual on-boarding and is working closely with candidates and clients to help them understand this temporary on-boarding change.

If you have any questions about on-boarding new employees during this time, please reach out to your Talener representative. Talener is proud to support our candidates and clients during this time.

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Posted in Talener Blog, Uncategorized

Bethany shares her insight on her growth at Talener Boston

January 22nd, 2020

Bethany Arnold smiling at the Boston Seaport.

Looking back at the past few years, I can see that I’ve grown a lot personally and professionally. My time at Talener has been an experience that has allowed me to become more confident, make decisions, create my own path, and build relationships with peers, candidates, and some of the world’s leading companies.

My promotion to Group Manager lets me reflect on the skills I’ve learned, the confidence I’ve built, and how I want to drive my team into the future of Talener Boston.

Relationships

Committing to building long-term relationships has helped me on both the candidate side and the client side of the staffing business. These relationships are critical for me to differentiate myself from other recruiters in the Boston Metro.  Strong relationships build solid foundations, and this is something that I have continued to learn about during my time at Talener.

Every interaction in creating business relationships is important. It’s rewarding in so many ways to build strong enough relationships that foster referrals from past candidates and clients.  This is a huge mark of success for me personally. It affirms that I’ve put in the time and effort to build enough trust with someone that they are happy to refer me to their colleagues & friends.

Critical Thinking

The idea of staffing is straightforward – matchmaking companies to candidates.  But the reality of staffing is that it is a human business where there are complex situations and emotions that must be navigated daily.  I’ve taken the opportunity to learn how to be creative in my problem solving and breakdown situations to analyze about how every step affects the outcome.

I’ve become more confident in how I make decisions. I know I can remain calm in high-pressure situations both inside and outside of the office. Tackling these situations early on in my career at Talener has been critical to my success.

Management

In my new position as Group Manager, I’m looking forward to developing my team’s individual skillsets as much as possible.  It’s important, and I look forward to promoting members of the team.  I want to manage in a way that leverages everyone’s strengths to provide the best service; efficiently delivering results for clients and candidates.

Personally, I am looking forward to building upon my problem solving and decision-making skills. Being in a managerial position allows me to take ownership and accountability of a variety of situations which will only help me grow professionally and develop these skills further.

I have been working towards a management position since my first day at Talener. Experiencing organic career growth first-hand has been extremely rewarding and I couldn’t be more excited to take on more responsibilities.

-Bethany Arnold

Posted in Talener Blog, Uncategorized

Talener NY’s William Ware Promoted to Lead Relationship Manager

January 7th, 2020

The Talener New York team recently promoted William Ware to Lead Relationship Manager. William has worked hard to build his personal brand at Talener, and his promotion is a reflection of his hard work, strong character, and desire to grow.

We sat down with William to get his take on his development and what he’s learned about himself over the past few years. 

Looking back on your first day here, how do you think that you have grown personally and professionally?

Professionally, I have grown immensely – both in staffing and as a businessperson in general.  It is an amazing opportunity to work with clients; learning how to provide the best service possible to them.  I’ve truly learned to take myself seriously as their business partner.

Personally, my confidence has grown, and I know that I can talk to anyone about anything.  It makes it so much easier to keep conversations flowing.

What keeps you going when you’re having a rough week or month?

I tell myself that there are ups and downs that come naturally in a ‘people’ industry. I remind myself to try and stay on course. There are also so many ways to contribute to my team positively; so, in a down month, it’s important to see how else I can be useful to the overall success of my team.

What is one thing that you have learned along your career path thus far that you wish that you had learned at university or from someone in the professional world before you started working?

I wish I had learned to handle ups and downs and to not to be emotional or frantic when something doesn’t go right or when I didn’t get the result I wanted. I think I’ve learned that if my process, habits and hard work are constant, the end results will come as well. This took me a long time to properly learn.

What are your keys to success?

I think that there are several keys to success – all working in parallel. I understand where I need to allocate my time in order to have the most impact on a day.  I have also learned to truly care about my interactions and the impact that I have on my clients, candidates, and colleagues.  This drives me to deliver for each of these people. Likewise, I’ve had great teammates and mentors during my time at Talener, and they have helped me to find my success.

How have your communication skills developed?

I am much more direct now. I believe that people are always looking for clarity above anything else.  I’ve found that I’m much more personable with candidates than I was at the beginning.  I make an effort to get to know the person and strive to have longer and friendlier phone calls. 

How do you deal with potentially uncomfortable situations?

I think the best way to deal with an uncomfortable situation is to dive in head-first. This is an industry in which you are impacting people’s lives in a very significant way. There are often difficult or awkward situations that arise. They cease to be uncomfortable the more that I encounter them.

Tell me about a time that you dealt with an unexpected issue.

Recently, a candidate verbally accepted an offer and we got the go-ahead to send them an offer letter. However, between the time of verbal acceptance and written acceptance, he received a call from his dream company asking him to interview.  We worked with him so that he could interview for the new position, while continuing to manage and maintain our current client’s expectations.

Our ability to remain calm about the situation and give things a chance to work out (when it looked like they wouldn’t), gave us an advantage.  We already had a great relationship with the candidate, and we showed transparency on both sides.  In the end, our candidate accepted our offer over his dream company.

How do you see yourself in your new role as a Lead Relationship Manager?

I’m excited to be a Lead Relationship Manager moving into 2020. It’s going to be a great year of growth for our team and I’m excited to be a part of that. I look forward to training and working with more new hires as well as growing our client list. I’ve been able to build great relationships with those on my team as well as with clients and candidates. I hope to continue doing that this year.

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Posted in Company News, Talener Blog, Talener Culture, Uncategorized

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