How to decide on a Staffing Agency for same job

Nov 19th, 2016
How to decide on a Staffing Agency for same job

If you get a call or email for the same contract job from different staffing agencies at around the same time, how do you decide which one to choose?

For contract positions at large companies that use a Managed Services Program MSP/VMS (Vendor Management System), the open positions of the company are blasted to all their approved staffing agencies at the same time. So if you posted your resume on a job board and it is a good match for the job, you will hear from 3–4 of the agency’s recruiters within a few hours of each other. So it makes sense to wait before you jump and agree to work with one. This is how you can optimize your decision on which staffing agency to work with.

  • When you get the first call regarding the temp job, find out all the details of the job. Who the client is, what team, what skills, etc. They might even tell you the job id number
  • If it is a good match and you are interested, ask the recruiter what they can pay. Then ask for a much higher rate than what you expect. You are basically fishing to see if there is any elasticity in the offered rate. For example- If the recruiter says $75/hr on W2 (or $150K annual salary), ask for $100/hr. If this is your first time as a contractor, check out hourly contractor rate calculator
  • The recruiter could balk, but more likely they will offer you their best ‘take it or leave it’ rate they can offer. Mostly it will likely be another $5-10/hr more than their initial offer. Once you get a rate from them, find out the other benefits in the offer so you can make an orange to orange comparison if you get more calls. The negotiable benefits are paid holidays, paid vacation, medical insurance, 401k. Contract jobs don't have bonuses or stock options.
  • Buy time for yourself to get more calls. Tell the recruiter you are interested but will get back to them by the end of the day, as you need to check with your wife/husband or need to think about the job or you are waiting to hear back about another interview you gave before you can decide.
  • Now you have much better baseline information to make a decision.
  • When you get another call or email for the same position from another company, after confirming that it is for the same position (same client, job id, etc), ask the second company for a slightly higher rate than the 'best and final' offered by the first recruiter (example 10% higher). Make sure the higher rate comes with the same benefits.i.e. Make it an apple-apple comparison.
  • Repeat with any other calls you get regarding the same position.
  • Hopefully there is a clear winner of who's willing to offer you the best. Check the staffing agencies reviews online to make sure they are legit.
  • Once you decide which agency you pick, you need to give the agency a 'Right to Represent' which officially allows them to submit you against the position and avoid duplicate submissions of the same candidate through multiple agencies.
  • Followup the next day to make sure they submitted you (sometimes they forget) and ask for feedback.

Good Luck

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