Looking for a Partner?
Most of us have been on a few dates in our lives. Two people identify that they might be a good fit, then get together socially to check it out. If it works out, it leads to a long term, mutually satisfying relationship.
We think choosing a staffing company and forming a relationship with a workforce partner is a lot like dating. Here are four reasons why.
Building a Relationship
A casual date can lead to a long-term relationship. You meet, get to know each other, share common interests and, with time, discover things about one another that aren’t apparent on the surface. It’s a process that can take a little time; you probably wouldn’t get married within minutes of meeting one another!
The best staffing partnerships are like that, too. Clients and staffing representatives meet, learn about one another’s’ business, and explore how they might work together. This relationship building takes a little time, with discoveries along the way that build understanding.
It wouldn’t be wise to choose a staffing partner within minutes of meeting them, or to base this important business decision on a photo of the president or the color of the logo. Take time to get to know a staffing company – date them once or twice. This early relationship building will pay off in the long run.
It’s not unusual for friends to get together for dates. It’s fun to go out with a group! You enjoy a variety of personalities, topics of discussion, and points of view. The group decides where to go and what to do together, choices that are often better or more interesting than ones you might make on your own. And, you share the responsibility for making the whole date work.
When choosing a staffing partner, you might be tempted to make a decision based on how well you like the rep who calls on your business. The reality is, staffing relationships involve many people: salespeople, recruiters, accountants, compliance and legal officers, safety specialists, and executives. It takes the group to make the relationship beneficial, interesting and enjoyable….kind of like group dating.
You should have a primary point of contact with your staffing company, but remember to evaluate the skills, experience and leadership of the team as you make your decision.
What initially brings people together on a date is often a common bond like a mutual friend, the same job or industry, a shared neighborhood, or joint interests. These things are important at the start of a date, and throughout the relationship. They are the glue that keeps people together. They are among the criteria you look at when evaluating a prospective partner.
It’s tough to maintain a relationship with someone who lives in another state or has completely different interests than you. Possible…but challenging.
When you’re choosing a staffing partner, you should also look for common bonds: Do you serve the same geography? Are you focused on the same industry or business type? Do you share philosophies about how work gets done? Are your company cultures aligned? Do you understand each other?
There are many staffing companies to choose from – all sizes, specialties, locales and approaches. Be as choosy with your staffing choice as you are with your dates. Find one with whom you share common bonds and you’ll have a partner you can stay with for the long term.
Communicate & Expect Change
When you date someone for a period of months or years, the relationship changes – you change, the world changes, circumstances interrupt the flow, and your partnership evolves. All of that change can create healthy conflict as partners navigate through life. The healthiest couples are open to discussions about tough subjects, like money, children, where to live and work, and even where to vacation.
With consistent communication, respect and openness to one another, we get through these speed bumps. We remain flexible and committed to success because we’re invested in the relationship. Staffing partnerships are a like that, too.
You should expect your staffing partner to communicate with you – well, often, and on your terms. They should provide periodic reports and updates on the state of your staffing partnership. You should plan on changes in pricing, whether driven by legislative mandates like minimum wage increases and unemployment taxation or by revisions to your scope of work.
You should expect your staffing partnership to grow, evolve and mature over time.
When you’re on a date, as a couple or a group, you watch out for one another. You wear your seatbelt, cross on green, avoid unnecessary risks. The goal is to stay safe so you have a great time today and more great dates in the future.
For your staffing partner, safety takes on added weight. A staffing company is responsible for placing their employees in safe work environments, providing some degree of safety training and personal protective equipment, and coordinating with clients to ensure their safety programs are aligned.
In staffing, an unsafe situation at work can be deadly.
A safety incident can create long-term expenses in workers’ comp insurance premiums and fines.
All companies should seek out staffing partners who diligently and methodically care for the safety of their associates and who collaborate to keep every employee safe on the job so they can return home to their families at the end of their shift.
Dating may end with a marriage.
Meeting and choosing a staffing partner should end with a marriage as well – a commitment to build strong relationships, work with one another’s teams, communicate openly, and keep everyone safe.
Look for these things when adding staffing to your business or changing staffing partners. When you do, you’ll be on your way to a match made in heaven.