This article will differ from my traditional review posts.

Choosing software is not at all the same as choosing a staffing agency.

With software, if you don’t find the best fit, you can always move onto the next. With a staffing agency, you’re trusting them with  the future of your business.

The stakes are higher, which is why this review will cover the only 2 staffing agencies I would honestly recommend to anyone.

I will go over why you should work with a staffing agency, what to expect, what sets each of the following agencies apart, and why I recommend them both.

This article is geared towards helping Employers and Hiring Managers select the best Staffing Agency for their firm. If you are a Job Seeker looking for a recruiter, please follow this link Here.

Introduction: Why use a staffing agency?

We recruiters serve as an extension to your Human Resources team.

HR need to focus on payroll, onboarding, offboarding, etc. Recruiters have the ability to 100% focus on the recruitment process.

As recruiters, we can delegate our attention strictly to finding new candidates for you to review, interview, and hire.

Plus, with our connections in the industry, we have the ability to help you keep your open positions private.

After all, when you need to replace a poorly performing Project Manager, the LAST thing you want to do is start running ads, tipping your employee that he or she might be out the door soon.

What to expect when working with a recruiter

Perhaps you reached out directly to us, or maybe we sent you an email or LinkedIn message offering our services.

Regardless, I recommend working with a recruiter on a Contingency Basis, where you only pay a fee for hiring an individual, rather than on a Retainer Basis.

In my experience, this provides the safest scenario for all parties involved, and encourages the recruiter to do an outstanding job. 

If a recruiter reached out to you, either with email, cold-call, or LinkedIn, marketing a specific candidate, I recommend keeping the conversation focused on the individual job-seeker.

There exists a temptation to look at the recruiter’s tenure, qualifications, and even the recruiter’s fee structure, but I’ve known many a recruiter who stumbled upon the Unicorn early on in their career.

In terms of what to expect regarding hiring a recruiter to help fill a position, clarity is vital.

Try to paint the recruiter as realistic a picture as possible in terms of what you and your team looks for in regards to hiring someone.

You should discuss:

  • Compensation and structure (base, commission, draw, bonus, etc)
  • Benefits
  • Ideal background of candidate sought
  • Cool things about your company that will entice someone to come work for your company
  • Why you work there
  • Red flags and things you need to avoid (i.e. “we have a non-compete with X competitor, and I won’t hire people from them”)

The more information you give the recruiter, the better a job they will do.

Try to make the recruiter excited about your firm. If the recruiter isn’t enthusiastic about presenting people to your company, how can you expect them to approach the assignment with purpose?

Also, feel free to let us know if there is competition; “You’re the 3rd staffing agency I’ve hired”.

It lets us know we need to do a good job.

On that note, the recruiter should mention it, but make sure whomever you hire to source candidates for your company is not going to bring individuals that are either in your pipeline OR that other recruiters have introduced you to.

An easy way to avoid this is to make sure the recruiter presents candidates to you over the phone before sending you a resume, with the following script: “The candidate I’ve sourced for the position has the initials S.M. as in Sierra Mike. Are you interviewing, pursuing, or planning to pursue anyone with these initials?”

If the answer is “yes”, you should give the recruiter the first name of whomever is already in your pipeline to make sure you don’t run the risk of either losing a candidate you sourced yourself OR being on the hook to 2 different staffing firms for the same candidate!

That’s a quick way to lose out on qualified applicants.

Now, let me get into the best staffing agencies, and the only ones I recommend working with:

GPAC

In business since 1990, GPAC (which stands for Growing People And Companies) has been on the front lines in the job search and sourcing industry.

Operating throughout all of North America, GPAC specializes in filling positions requiring experienced individuals, from tax & accounting staff, estimators, superintendent, and project managers all the way up to Controllers, CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and other executive-level roles.

If you need someone with a solid background in your industry, GPAC is the way to go. Just a few of the industries GPAC assists with include:

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture & Construction
  • Engineering
  • Financial Services
  • Funeral Services
  • Healthcare
  • Information Technology
  • Insurance
  • Legal Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Veterinary Services
  • Waste Management
  • And many more

What sets GPAC apart from other staffing agencies is their structure and how their recruiters are organized into various teams to focus on specialized and specific industries.

For example, I focus on Estimators, Project Managers, Project Engineers, Operations Managers, and C-Level positions for companies specialized in Commercial Drywall, Metal Framing, Commercial Paint, and Exterior Building Cladding.

In just the Construction Industry alone, GPAC has entire teams of dozens of recruiters each specialized in the following sub-trades:

  • Flooring
  • Glass & Glazing
  • Roofing & Waterproofing
  • Concrete & Masonry
  • Multi-Family General Contracting
  • High-End Custom Home General Contracting
  • And all other trades.

The same goes for each other industry GPAC services, with over 700 recruiters as of the time of this article specialized in a specific niche, and more headhunters (yes, you can call us that, we actually prefer that title) being added every month.

The tools and training available to GPAC’s search consultants are the best in the industry, having access to the most advanced recruiting tools offered by LinkedIn, top-notch email marketing software, and the most common job-board sites such as ZipRecruiter, Indeed, Glassdoor, and many others.

This means your point-of-contact at GPAC will be a recruiter specialized in finding exactly what you need for your business and your industry.

I’ve worked with many companies who choose GPAC over other recruiting agencies because, as a commercial drywall subcontractor, they’re tired of recruiters from other firms sending them emails about journeymen painters, concrete foremen, and roofing estimators.

While GPAC’s recruiters focus on becoming the best recruiters, they have the right amount of product knowledge and industry awareness to zero in on what you look for in a successful hire.

We look for candidates who have:

  • The experience you seek
  • With the software you use
  • Performing the tasks you need done
  • For the clients you service
  • In the volume you need to meet quotas and financial expectations

Randstad

In business since 1960, Randstad assists with sourcing candidates for entry-level positions and up. My experience with Randstad began shortly after graduating college in 2020.

Being in the middle of the government shutdowns, multiple small-mid sized businesses shutting their doors and closing down, I’m very grateful that Randstad was able to find me an entry-level position at a local warehouse.

Randstad is the go-to temp & staffing agency for sourcing candidates who have minimal experience and will pass a background-check and drug-screening.

While they are able to source higher-level candidates for specific roles, where they shine is finding associates for lower-level roles in the following industry:

  • Business Administration
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Legal Services
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing & Logistics
  • And multiple others

Unlike GPAC, Randstad is also set up to perform background checks and drug screening.

They can do everything from sourcing candidates to initial interviews to final interviews to presenting offers to drug & background checks.

This helps simplify your onboarding process by letting the Randstad recruiter handle all interviews.

The first time you will end up meeting with your new employee will be on their first day, after they’ve already finished the pre-screening process and signed the offer letter.

My recommendations

Based on my experience with both firms, I recommend using both their services for different types of positions.

For secretaries, labor, truck drivers, warehouse associates, and other entry-level roles, I recommend Randstad.

They will make your life easier and help you source the best candidates for these types of roles.

While GPAC is able to source all the aforementioned positions, their fee structure might not be as conducive to what most firms are used to regarding a recruiting fee.

For AR/AP staff, estimators, project managers, superintendents, and upper-level positions, I recommend GPAC.

Their focus on the requirements for each role and the prerequisites needed for any position give them the ability to source the top candidates for those types of positions.

Below I’ve created a list on the pros & cons of each firm to help you navigate their strengths and weaknesses:

GPAC Pros:

  • Specialized at sourcing high-level experienced candidates throughout North America
  • Vast toolset to help their clients find the best candidates in the industry
  • Training: GPAC’s recruiters are among the best trained recruiters in the industry

GPAC Cons:

  • Limited to sourcing candidates in North America only, unlike Randstad
  • Price: GPAC’s fee structure might be a bit harder for smaller firms to manager, especially compared to Randstad’s fee structure

Randstad Pros:

  • Offices & Recruiters all over the world, enabling them to fill positions in many countries
  • Price: compared to GPAC, Randstad is a much more cost-effective recruiting solution
  • Full-service temp agency, including all interviews, drug screening, and background checks

Randstad Cons:

  • Not as well suited to fill higher-level roles as GPAC
  • Their recruiters might not be as industry-specific as GPAC

For employers and hiring managers throughout North America, the combination of GPAC (for experienced positions) and Randstad (for entry-level roles) are the only two staffing agencies you need for all of your job-search needs.

I hope this article has helped you navigate the world of recruiting and candidate sourcing, and I wish you and your team the best of luck.

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