The 3 Challenges of Quality Contingency Staffing

Reality TV producers want us to believe that the people on their shows are just regular people – practically just wandered in off the street. They want us to believe that they just turn on the cameras and film whatever happens. But we are not so easily fooled, right?  We know that they audition thousands of hopefuls – all looking for their 15 minutes of fame, or to be the next Kim Kardashian. And, they script most of the drama in those ‘reality’ shows to make sure the audience is hooked.

Sometimes, contingency staffing can look easy.  It can look like just about anyone off the street can wander in and do the job as good as the next guy. You may think that because it is not such a ‘hard’ job, you should be able to find people to fill it with no problem at all, right?

Well, the truth is more like reality TV.  You have to go through thousands of applicants and you have to carefully script the way that you bring them on board, train them, pay them, insure them, and manage them.  It is a deceptively complex project that would put even the seasoned reality TV casting agent to the test.

Challenge 1: Good Talent Is Hard to Find

In an interview with the job opportunity website Simply Hired, one corporate CEO recently stressed that the talent search is essential.

“Talent. Talent. Talent is the key, representing one of the staffing industry’s greatest challenges.” Why? That’s easy.

Talent is key because your jobs, and your clients, demand precision and quality. They are demanding, so you have to be demanding in your hiring. You may not think of a Fire Watch as ‘talented.’ But the truth is, a good one, who understands safety, who is attentive to detail, who is reliable, punctual, agreeable, and alert, is the exception – not the rule. Not only does it take the right kind of ‘talent’ to do the job well, but it also takes talent to find those people.

As a hiring professional, you’ve learned to be selective. Even just a few hiring missteps will quickly eat up your time and your budget. It’s one reason many companies choose to look for a contingency staffing agency to do the work for them – one that cares as much about the selection process as you do.

How do you know if they can bring you the talent you need? Here’s a few tips for looking into their practices. It is smart to do your homework.

  • Ask about the agency’s selection process; be specific.
  • Ask about all the services they provide, from insurance to payroll.
  • Ask what they do to ensure that the staff they provide is performing on site.
  • Ask about their worker training process.
  • Ask them if they specialize in safety staffing, or if it is just one kind of staffing they do.
  • Most of all, ask about the firm’s industrial project experience.

You want talented people, and few temporary agencies can guarantee it. You must be selective, so choose an agency that’s as selective as you are. One that understands the complexity of an industrial job site.

And one that protects your standards.

Challenge 2: Specialty Training Requires Time and Effort

In the same Simply Hired article, another agency manager noted the importance of training. Internal: among staff members. And on behalf of clients: among the temps hired to work for them.

It takes a while to acclimate a new employer to any work environment.

You expect that.

But should you have to train them how best to communicate with each other and their supervisors? To follow simple instructions. To report to work on time.

A contingency workforce that respects your work is ideal. In your setting, you also need workers who:

  • Understand your job vocabulary.
  • Value your expectations.
  • Can be counted on to serve your needs.

If you use a staffing agency be sure they honor your work environment, company culture and provide staff that are trained not only in safety, but in a way that ensures you’ll get competent, prepared people.

Of course, it goes without saying that specialty safety training is costly and complicated. Choose a staffing agency willing to invest in their people, not cut corners, and even go beyond the required bare minimum of safety training. When they do, they’re investing in you and your needs.

And that will save you time and money.

Challenge 3: Turnover Kills Your Bottom Line

“Thanks for thinking of me. I enjoyed working with you on your last job, and you’ve taught me a lot. But, since then I’ve found another job.”

If you care about your temporary staff, you wish them well when they finish a job. And yet, every time, you risk not ever getting the same person back again. The next time you may have to start over and do all the work from scratch – the recruiting, the screening and the training. Unless you have a constant need, you just can’t offer temporary staff enough consistent employment to build any kind of loyalty or really even recoup your investment in hiring and training them the first time.

The better they’ve been at the job, the more likely they’ll find something else before your next job.

In fact, the better they are, the least likely they’ll be available for you to hire in the first place. Given the choice, don’t you think a quality temporary employee is going to choose to work with a staffing agency that keeps them employed consistently over a longer term at various jobs, than sit around and wait for your call?

Though you’ll never eliminate contingency turnover even by using an agency, a quality staffing agency will be able to limit its affects.

  • Through constant recruiting and hiring, additional talented people are readily available at all times.
  • Because employment is more consistent, the employee coming to you next is likely to have more experience already.
  • Industrial temporary work isn’t for everyone; the best firms understand suitability.
  • Industrial project schedules vary; managing turnover ensures continuity.

Your work continues most smoothly as you lean on those you trust. Turnover is an enemy hard to control. Let a solid staffing agency reduce the sting.

That will ensure your productivity and save you money.

Selective Contingency Staffing Can Save Your Bacon

Contingency staffing is here to stay.

The need for talented, well-trained and stable people, on demand, is as essential as ever.

Your work requires you to invest in hiring and training. And you do everything you can to keep good people once you find them.

You care about that. You have to. So, make sure to partner with a staffing agency capable of providing a contingency workforce that meets your standards. One that invests in careful hiring and adequate training. Like you do.

A lack of talented people can be a real problem. So is the effort required to fully train them. Trying hard to keep people around only adds to your worries.

Select a staffing agency skilled in industrial work. Let them share your burdens.

A quality agency will provide you with a quality workforce. And that will eliminate some of your most frustrating problems. Save you time and money. And push the work along. Within budget.


By providing you with talented, well-trained and motivated people who want to work and will stay the course.

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