How to Navigate Tough Conversations When Partnering With a Staffing Agency

Having difficult conversations is par for the course with any business. Considering how quickly goals can shift in a staffing agency partnership, these conversations can happen quite frequently. 


There’s the talk around employee wages, which is sometimes dictated by external market factors and can directly impact attracting and retaining talent. Other times, expectations change with regard to how a job is defined and how roles are filled. In each case, data and metrics help tell the full story and guide the dialogue. 


But these are just a couple of examples of the multitude of hard chats that occur in any recruiting partnership. Transparent communication is necessary, and partnering with a staffing agency like Integrity Staffing Solutions can help foster these talks and formulate a solution. Here are two suggestions to help you get comfortable being uncomfortable: 


  1. Hear your employees out. Though it sounds simple, this advice cannot be overstated. Listen to what employees are saying on the ground level, and then report those findings to your recruiting vendor.


Surveying your employees provides real-time context and alerts your team to any blind spots within your organization. Workers can discuss obvious variables such as payment schedule and benefits (not just dental and medical), or they can bring attention to less apparent issues like growth opportunities. 


Having difficult conversations can shine a light on what your organization does best and how it can improve. Have these conversations regularly and practice transparent communication by keeping everyone honest. The more clarity team members can provide, the more fruitful the staffing agency partnership can be for everyone involved. 


  1. Bring solutions along with your problems. Tough conversations get that label because they force each side of the partnership to confront some potentially uncomfortable truths. Ease some of that possible tension by being ready to discuss both the problem and the next stepsyou’dlike to take. 


Put every last bit of information you have on the table. Then, take the time to listen to your partner. Take everything in — good, bad, and indifferent — and align that with what you’ve discovered. 


Once you’re ready, set a common goal together and begin working toward it. The byproduct might not be immediately actionable, but that doesn’t make the conversation a bust. Instead, view it as the first of many steps to get the partnership back on track. 


Both sides of a staffing agency partnership come into the relationship expecting success. The process to achieve that success won’t always be comfortable — nor will the conversations you have along the way. Instead of shying away from having difficult conversations, view them as opportunities to help your collaboration flourish.