A few days ago, I posted some creative ways to jumpstart your business in 2011.  One suggestion I made was to form a new alliance with a strategic business partner.  Why?  Because strategic business relationships can help you do more for your customers, and deliver better results for your business.

But all too often, I find that businesses have only transactional relationships with staffing providers.  To these companies, a staffing service is merely a “vendor” or “supplier,” filling immediate needs for temporary, contract, or direct hire staff.  In my opinion, these businesses are missing the boat.

Given the opportunity, a staffing service like Snelling can do so much more than just fill orders.  By working more closely with your business, we can become a true partner in your HR organization – and help you use staffing more strategically to:

Control costs.  By learning about your workflow processes and cycles, a staffing specialist can help you develop a long-term plan for flexible staffing that adapts to your changing workforce needs.  Company-wide, they can show you ways to use staffing services to lower fixed expenses, benefit expenses, overtime costs and unemployment claims.

Reduce risks.  When your staffing service truly understands your company goals and corporate culture, they can help you use staffing to reduce the risks inherent in hiring and human resources management, such as:  bad hires, layoffs, employment-related legal issues, as well as job burnout and the turnover it causes.

Increase flexibility.  Beyond merely filling orders, a staffing partner can show you ways to increase operating efficiency, especially in functions that are outside of your core competencies.

Save time.  By critically analyzing your hiring, staffing and other HR functions, your staffing provider can help identify opportunities to:  reduce your time-to-hire; relieve your HR administrative burdens; outsource non-critical recruiting, screening or other hiring activities; shorten learning curves; simplify payroll administration.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Like most things in life, you’ll get out of your staffing relationship what you put into it.  So as you head through the first part of the New Year, I encourage you to contact your Snelling Staffing Services representative.  Introduce him or her to key decision makers in your company.  Talk about your corporate culture, or other personnel issues you’re facing. 

Most importantly, take the time to discuss your business goals and the ways our workforce solutions can help you reach them.  Do this, and you’ll be well on your way to developing a stronger relationship that maximizes the value of your staffing investment – and yields better results for your business.