Certain traits and mindsets are essential on both sides for any strong staffing firm-candidate relationship.
Staffing agencies come in many shapes and sizes. Job candidates are even more varied, from graduates hunting for their first professional position to executives considering the next step in their careers. With so many variables involved, how can you know when you and your marketing staffing agency have what it takes to cultivate a successful relationship?
Your exact needs and the attributes of your ideal marketing staffing agency will vary depending on your situation. But there are some universal characteristics you both need to form the basis of any productive partnership.
Must-Have Characteristics of a Good Marketing Staffing Agency
A trustworthy staffing firm should always bring certain things to the table. Look for these key factors when deciding if one is right for you:
- Thorough knowledge of positions. Nothing instills a lack of confidence in your staffing agency more than an inability to relate the most important aspects of a placement. You should be ready to ask—and have answered—questions about the client, work situations, pay rate, contract conditions, benefits and more.
- A focus on fit. Some agencies are more interested in putting warm bodies in seats than finding good candidate-client matches. It’s almost always better for you to coordinate with a firm that doesn’t just find you a job—but the next step in your career.
- The follow-up. Good agencies will consistently keep you updated on developments in your progress through their funnel. It’s always reassuring knowing they care enough to contact you personally. Periodic updates assure you that you haven’t been forgotten in a database or oversold on your opportunities.
- Category Competence: The strongest and intuitive marketing staffing firms are those that really understand marketing. They know the industry and can empathize and fully communicate with both client and candidate.
- Transparency. An honest marketing staffing agency will always be upfront about its relationship with you and clients. You should be able to freely ask about the questions you feel necessary to properly manage your career and get accurate and timely answers.
Most of these attributes should seem obvious. Yet intrepid job seekers will almost inevitably encounter the occasional agency lacking one or more for various reasons. That should be a warning sign you might not be getting the entire story.
The Vital Qualities of a Good Candidate
It’s not enough to just find an outstanding staffing firm—you need to be ready to add your own contribution to the effort. Having the right mindset and understanding of your relationship will ensure you both get the best possible results.
- Invest in the search. You’re working with a marketing staffing agency; they can help you find an opportunity. Being prepared to take advantage of that opportunity is up to you.
- Honesty. Unfortunately, this isn’t everyone’s default setting when discussing such important subjects. The perceived possibility of improving their odds tempts some people to be flexible with the truth. Transparency, from the initial resume submission to the final interview, is essential for a successful partnership. At best, dishonesty will land you in a job that you’re not well-suited for—at worst it will put you in legal trouble.
- Reachability. No, you don’t need to be sitting eagerly by your phone every moment of the day waiting to hear from your staffing partner like a teen waiting for a call from her crush. But you do need to respond to emails and missed phones calls in a reasonable time frame. Perpetually difficult-to-reach candidates are seen as not interested in the role —not the kind of people an agency wants to recommend to clients.
- Keep in touch. Periodically checking in assures your agency that you’re still alive and interested in opportunities that come along. That’s not to say we want you calling in every other hour to check on your application status, but we do appreciate the occasional check in. Especially if you have relevant updates like a polished resume or developed skill.
- Realistic expectations. Regardless of the perfect flower your mother thinks you are, the truth is that you aren’t perfect for every opportunity that comes along. Sometimes your skills won’t align quite right with what a client wants; sometimes their corporate philosophy just won’t click with your personality. Don’t take it personally; it’s for the best of everyone involved.
Before committing to any staffing firm, check these lists and make sure you both have the fundamental needed to succeed. Once you’re sure that you and your marketing staffing agency have all the essentials for a mutually productive relationship, you can get started with confidence.
Think you have all the qualities listed above? Terrific, so do we! We should hang out. Or at least talk.