How to Select a Temporary Staffing Agency for Your Manufacturing Business
Posted by Michael S. on February 22, 2016 in Manufacturer Focus

The economic downturn that started back in 2008 generated a great deal of uncertainty for all areas of business, but particularly manufacturing. As things started to improve, uncertainty caused many manufacturers to approach hiring cautiously. Many companies decided to use temporary staffing instead of hiring full-time employees. This helped manufacturers protect themselves during the uncertain market.


As a result, many medium- and small-sized manufacturers ventured into the uncharted waters of dealing with temp agencies—and the issues that can come along with temporary workers. If you haven’t used temps and are starting to look into it, here are a few things you can do to help ease your transition.


First, define your staffing needs. What positions do you need to fill? Develop a list of skills required for each position and establish hiring criteria. This will ensure the candidates will be properly qualified to work for you.


Next, develop your interview criteria for selecting the agency you want to do business with. Ask what experience they have in staffing for your particular industry, what their safety culture is like, and their turnover rates. Make sure you acquire references and information on how they will manage the people sent to your business.


Once you have your staffing needs and requirements defined, you can start interviewing the potential temp agencies by phone. Narrow the field to two or three and bring them on-site to learn about your business operations.


During the on-site interview, walk the floor and show the temp agency the positions you plan to have them help you staff. Have your frontline leaders meet with them. They have good insight into what kinds of employees succeed in their department and which will fail. This will give the agency a good understating of your needs. Get feedback on how the agency will recruit and manage that staff. Also, be sure to ask about their rates.


Once you have chosen the agency, discuss training duties. Determine what training they will provide and what you will provide. Before hiring any temp staff, make sure you communicate with your present staff. Let them know why you are using temp staff and how it will affect their job duties.


Be prepared for your temp employees on their first day. Review all safety procedures and work requirements. Assign a current employee or mentor to each temp employee to support and help them learn their job duties.


This is a relationship that will need monitoring. Set up quarterly business meetings with the temp agency to discuss issues and future staffing needs. Provide the agency with feedback, both positive and areas that need improvement. Ongoing communication will strengthen your business relationship and help ensure a positive experience for your company and all involved. 

Michael S. is our Manufacturing guru
I have over 30 years experience in a broad range of manufacturing areas. Starting with an apprenticeship in Germany I’ve worked my way through a variety of positions within the manufacturing field. I got my start as a Tool and Die maker. I next became a supervisor of a class A tool room, then manager of a machining department. I was exposed to lean manufacturing in the mid 90s and adapted the lean philosophy. Loving and teaching the lean approach, I moved on to become a Continuous Improvement manager which led to a job as a manufacturing manager. I joined Acuity in 2015 as their manufacturing expert. I hope to evolve how manufacturers deal with and think about insurance companies, as well as be a resource to my fellow employees – enabling them to better understand the unique needs of manufacturers.

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