Crossing the Finish Line: HR and Staffing Working Better Together

We want the same thing, don’t we? To fill job openings quickly with quality employees who stick around for the long term and become an integral part of a company: employees who feel trusted and valued, who care about their jobs, and who develop loyalty and a sense of responsibility for organizational success.

Every employee contributes to the bottom line, whether they know it or not.

Ultimately, both in-house HR and staffing agencies can have an impact on creating and maintaining a successful partnership. Doing this requires an understanding of what each brings to the table, the similarities as well as the differences.

Staffing Agencies

HR with a twist. Staffing is no longer just, “getting butts in seats!” The industry has come to understand the importance of hiring the right person for the job, not just filling the position as quickly as possible. Staffing agencies have upped their game by increasing their knowledge base, instead of being solely sales-oriented and speed-focused. If we’ve learned anything from the tortoise and the hare, we know that strategy and the right moves are far more important than speedy haste in achieving a winning outcome.

Remembering Employee Satisfaction

Staffing agencies today have come to understand that HR is consistently pressured from every side as employee satisfaction takes center stage in most industry conversations. Where does employee satisfaction start? Being placed in the right job at the right time, for both the employee and the employer. Agencies have learned the great value of working with human resources to gain greater knowledge about organizational challenges, as well as the standout achievements that serve as an important draw in attracting and hiring the right talent.


Interestingly enough, we are still driven by the competition of the race. The hare knew he would win because of his past triumphs and experience in winning, but he went into the raced with limited knowledge and understanding of his competitor. The tortoise thought he could win because that silly rabbit was blinded by ego and past accomplishments. Every recruitment firm and staffing agency uses their past to win engagements. It’s the nature of the race, but resting on laurels, as we have seen, can prove fatal.

Learning to work together and understanding differences is the key for talent acquisition success.

“My years as an executive recruiter did little to prepare me for my role as a corporate talent acquisition specialist, my understanding of the in-house human resource function changed completely. Recognizing that I might bump into who I hired in the elevator every day or that their job happiness could impact company goals or success really concerned me. I suddenly understood every past conversation with HR. It was a great perspective to gain, “ explains one former third-party recruiter.

Don’t we all want the same thing?

Communication is Key

One of the most important ways to understand background, knowledge, and experience is to begin with and maintain open communication between HR and staffing. A recruiting firm may have a specific knowledge in hiring technical sales professionals, and also have the time and network to recruit from – this should be viewed as a plus for HR, not a negative. But the in-house recruiting team will have a better understanding of company culture and management style within the hiring department, helping to better identify the right candidate – this is a significant plus in “knowledge gained” for the agency.

Working together and communicating well will help both to cross the finish line with the best placements possible.

Working Well Together

It’s one thing for HR and Staffing Agencies or Recruitment Firms to work together. It’s completely another thing for them to work well together. Meeting needs and achieving staffing goals seem to be obvious quests for both, but so often this simple thing is forgotten. Working well together makes all the difference in the world.

What it Takes

Communication, competitive desire for success, aspiration for employee satisfaction and long-term retention of placements, and crossing the finish line with a W in the correct column. There can be no shortcuts or naps – the race continues every day with every single job opening.

One last thought, famed author Edward Abbey said,

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”

The same can be said for winning – it doesn’t mean you are the fastest or the brightest. It only means you got there first. But what did you get there with, and what lessons did you learn along the way?

Let’s cross the finish line together.

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