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Questions to Ask Your Staffing Partner: Quality over Quantity

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As we’ve covered in previous posts, staffing project leaders requires a specialization that goes beyond staffing technical roles.  This series will cover questions you need to ask prospective staffing partners to ensure they have what it takes to deliver excellent project managers, and other project leadership roles.

Do they emphasize quantity or quality of candidates?

“Quality over quantity” has become a business cliche, but it has an especial importance to staffing.  Providing a large swath of resumes actually defeats the purpose of the staffing firm’s service, since it then puts the onus on the hiring organization to screen for the right candidate.

For this reason, if a staffing partner pride themselves on being able to deliver many candidates quickly, this is a red flag. The staffing partner should aim to provide a small field of bullseye candidates, rather than drop a pile of “qualified” resumes on your desk and expect you to find a good fit among them.  A reputable firm will have a two-stage verification process.

In the first stage, a staffing company gets within a “6-inch bullseye” for both the requirement and the potential candidates by:

  • Honing skill and experience requirements into a cogent position description, and
  • Vetting candidates through their resume and at least two phone screens.

The secondary phone screens are with a project management expert who can ask the hard-hitting questions that are directly relevant to the project needs of the client. The expert needs to be qualified to get to the bottom of the candidate’s real-world results that demonstrate they are a true leader in a way that a simple “recruiter” never could.

The second stage gets within a “1-inch”bullseye:

  • Deeper screening against the fine-tuned requirements
  • References
  • Skype/Face-to-face meeting
  • Culture match to client environment

Any breach in this process leaves your organization open to taking on a subpar candidate, which as we discussed earlier, comes at an exorbitant cost in both time and dollars.

To see how to determine if a staffing partner has the chops to vet out leadership skills, click here.

Click here to see a brochure on Project Assistants’ staffing offerings.

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