6 Things to Look for in a Strategic Staffing Partner

September 29, 2020

How do you find top talent and align yourself with a specialized IT staffing partner that can translate your vision?

There are many IT staffing partners and recruiting agencies to choose from. But not all have your best interests in mind.

This guide goes over the main points to consider when choosing a staffing partner to scale your team.

The right staffing agency can position your company as the top startup that candidates want to work for.

You want to be selective and strategic when choosing an IT staffing agency. Find a recruiter that will successfully represent you in the marketplace.

You don’t want to work with an IT staffing agency that sends information about your open role to irrelevant candidates. If an IT staffing agency’s reputation is questionable, it’s time to find another firm.

Our gold data scientist, Rigo Roche, had this exact experience dealing with “catfish” recruiters. They sent him hundreds of Linkedin messages without understanding his niche skillset or data scientist background.

Don’t sacrifice the reputation of your company. Remember that first impression may deter or help retain talent.

What do you need to look for when looking for a Strategic Staffing Partner? 

Finding the right strategic staffing partner for your startup isn’t an easy decision. It requires a match between the vision of your startup and the IT staffing agency’s expertise and structure.

Here is a list of criteria to consider when searching for the right staffing partner:

Why does Flexibility matter when choosing a staffing partner?

Find a staffing partner that is both flexible and open to thinking outside of the box. Are they able to remain patient and quickly adapt to new hiring requests? Do they have your startup’s best interests in mind? 

Your IT staffing agency should adapt to quick changes in hiring requests. Any last-minute changes should be a welcome challenge for any engaged IT staffing agency that has your back.


Align yourself with a staffing partner that exudes patience and professionalism. They should make your life easier by taking the time to redefine hiring requirements, rather than rushing to fill positions. 

Don’t work for a staffing partner that sacrifices the quality of talent just to get the job done or fill a certain quota. 

Adaptability and Quick Responses to Hiring Request Changes 

The ability to scale your team is important for your organization’s long-term success. 

When you first partner with an IT staffing agency, you might need a couple of roles filled right away.

But tomorrow, you might need to build your entire team. 

Plan ahead. Make sure the IT staffing agency can deliver results if your startup requires a major team restructure. 

Can your staffing agency scale and keep up with your startup’s long-term vision?

Your staffing partner needs to be willing to respond to changes that occur during the hiring process. 

An engaged recruiter always has a pipeline of available candidates if you need an additional skill or specialized candidate to fill another role. 

The Ability to Scale With You

You want to work with an IT staffing agency that uses adjustable models that scale depending on the number of active positions being filled. 

Work with a staffing partner that possesses a familiarity with technical roles that other traditional recruiters might not have. 

A staffing partner should be an extension of your organization’s vision. They should be able to successfully represent and start scaling your business. 

You want to work with an innovative staffing partner that will be a good long-term fit. 

What are they doing to grow themselves and improve their staffing strategies? 

It’s a long process for finding a recruiting agency. Taking that extra step to invest in finding the right partner will be all worth it in the end. 

An IT Staffing Agency With Specializations

If you’re working on one of those hard-to-fill IT roles, they might seem impossible to fill. You need to align yourself with an IT staffing agency that has specialized expertise to drive results. They should also already possess an extensive staffing portfolio. 

They need to be able to hire talent from the leadership team, developers, go-to-market sales teams, and C-Level roles. This requires knowledge of a wide range of skills not all recruiters may have.

Your IT staffing partner should be knowledgeable about the tech space and understand the niche skill sets your organization needs. They need to be able to bring specialized, quality talent to your organization.

Seamless Recruitment Process

Analyze the staffing agency’s recruitment process. Take the time to investigate the experience their candidates have had working with them. 

What’s their recruitment process like? Do they take the time to thoroughly check and vet candidates? 

Dig into the firm’s expertise and their recruiting process design

Do your research ahead of time and figure out whether they follow an engaged recruiting search. 

Which Recruitment Search Method Should Your Staffing Partner Use? 

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, there are typically 3 main recruitment search methods: Contingent, Engaged, Retained

Work with a specialized recruiter who is just as motivated as you are to find a qualified candidate. 

This person will greatly influence your organization and serve as the main point of contact for talent. 

You don’t want to work with an IT staffing agency that sacrifices the quality of talent just to fill an open role. 

Work with an engaged staffing partner from the beginning. It will save you time and help you find the right talent for your role. 

Your Staffing Partner’s Reputation In the Marketplace 

Before you start working with an IT staffing agency, do your research.

Go through their website and connect with the agency. Find as much information about them as you possibly can. 

Do they have a good track record of building successful teams for startups?

Dig into your potential staffing partner’s expertise and understand their recruitment process.

Stay Positive and Cordial – Don’t Burn Bridges 

At the end of the day, any recruiter is a valuable asset. They are out there every day connecting and talking to top talent.

Our advice: Don’t burn any bridges.

You want to make sure they leave candidates with a good impression of your company.

Finding the right staffing partner is important. Don’t just settle for a Contingent Firm; they are not always going to have your best interests in mind.

Instead, find an agency that will be invested in you as a true partner.

Find an IT staffing agency that can take you to the next level. The only way to succeed when working with recruiters is to choose the ones that use an engaged search method.

You know you’ve found the right strategic staffing partner when you start feeling less hiring pressure. You’re able to free up resources so you can focus on critical areas to help your startup succeed.

Lastly, you want to have a positive interaction with a staffing agency even if they don’t end up working for your organization. A recruiting partner can have a long-lasting impact that can drive talent to your company in the future.

Align yourself with an expert. Choose Focus GTS as your Staffing Partner. 

[00:00:00] Dave: Here’s the deal. This is your startup, your baby, and your new business. You have a big dream about what you’re doing with this company. And where do you want to take it to

[00:00:15] If you were working with a contingent firm, probably working with multiple firms, because it makes sense, right? The more firms that you work with, the more talent that’s going to come your way, but these firms know that they’re competing against other agencies. So guess what happens? Quality gets sacrificed because they’re looking to be the first to grab that candidate,

[00:00:34] so they’re not going to be spending the time vetting that candidate as thoroughly as you need. Why would you want to sacrifice that quality on these crucial hires and just to have somebody competing on speed? You want somebody that is going to be as committed to this role, as you are to your company. 

[00:00:52] Brittany: You with a staffing agency as a startup scaling your team on an engaged basis because right now the market is still more competitive than ever.

[00:01:02] Top talent is being recruited, left, and right, and do you want to position yourself as the number one firm to work for? Why would a candidate at a top company leave to come work at a startup and take a huge risk unless they saw the upside and you need a person to be able to represent you in the marketplace as that company?

[00:01:23] Dave: So, what do you need to look for when looking for that strategic recruiting partner?

[00:01:28] Brittany: Finding the right partner just like in life requires a match between the vision of the startup and staffing agencies, expertise, and structure. 

[00:01:36] Dave: Look for a partner who is able to match that flexibility. 

[00:01:39]Brittany:  Look for a partner that displays patience by helping me redefine those hiring requirements rather than rushing to fill the position. 

[00:01:47] Dave: Your recruiters should also display flexibility in adapting to quick changes in hiring requests. 

[00:01:53] Brittany: Are they utilizing adjustable models that can help scale up and down depending upon the number of active positions being filled?

[00:02:01] They need deep expertise. They need to be able to hire from developers from technical aspects all the way to C level. This requires familiarity with a wide range of skills. Not all recruiters have.

[00:02:14]Dave: Look at their process. Take the time to investigate the experience that candidates have to work with them.

[00:02:20] Do they have a good record of building new companies? 

[00:02:23] Dig into the firm’s expertise and their recruiting process? 

[00:02:27] Brittany: All in all, you want to have a positive interaction with any recruitment. Because at the end of the day, they’re on the marketplace talking to the talent and you want to make sure that they leave your company in a positive light.

[00:02:39] Dave: And don’t forget that even if you end up not working with an agency that you speak to, you want to maintain a cordial situation, because this is a company that could actually take the talent from. So you don’t want to make any enemies here. 

[00:02:51] Brittany: You know, you found the right partner when you start feeling less hiring and pressure and seeing some of your freed up resources to focus on the many critical areas that need your attention to create success.

[00:03:01] Dave: So with that said, obviously finding the right recruiting agency is of premier importance. Don’t settle on a contingent firm. They’re not going to have your best interests at heart. Find a company that can be a true partner and can take you to the levels of success you deserve. Align yourself with an expert.