negligent hiringFor the first time since its inception in 2009, the St. Louis Community College State of the Workforce report has identified a “shortage of workers with knowledge or skills” – in other words, finding qualified applicants – as the single greatest challenge facing St. Louis-area businesses (pg. 23).

Previous years’ top challenges, such as economic conditions and government policies, have fallen significantly. In 2013, 65% of business owners cited economic conditions as their greatest barrier to employment; in 2015, that number had fallen to 35%. “Government policies or regulations” experienced a similar fall, going from 45% in 2013 to 22% in 2015. Meanwhile, over a third of businesses surveyed reported that their hiring had increased over the last 12 months (pg. 19).

What all this means is that now is a great time to be in business in the St. Louis area – as long as you can find qualified employees.

How a St. Louis staffing agency can help your business

Whether you’re expanding your staff, filling vacant roles, or needing overflow support, finding qualified candidates can require a significant investment in time and money. When you need all hands on deck just to keep up with your current business levels, that’s a hard juggling act to manage.

That’s where a good staffing agency comes in. Changes in the economy over the last several years have shown employers the benefits of having flexibility in their workforce. Most staffing agencies work with three kinds of placements:

Temporary employees: When you have an overrun of work or short-term projects that need to be completed without pulling your full-time employees away from their work, temporary employees can be a great solution.

  • Temp-to-hire: If you’re new to working with staffing agencies or have a position that you’re not sure will need to be permanent, a temp-to-hire position can give you the opportunity to “try out” the employee before making a longer term commitment.
  • Direct hire: When you know you need positions filled but don’t have the necessary time to devote to the hiring process, hiring through a staffing agency can ensure you get the highly-skilled candidates you need without impacting your daily business activities.

Other benefits of working with a St. Louis staffing agency

According to Entrepreneur.com, employers these days have more than 2,000 separate laws and clauses to be aware of and comply with in the workplace. Temporary and temp-to-perm employees have a staffing agency as their employer of record, reducing the burden on companies that hire through an agency.

In addition, working with a long-term staffing agency like Availability gets you access to more than 50 years of experience in the St. Louis employment market. As one of the oldest staffing agencies in the metro area, Availability has a deep network of job seekers and client companies, enabling them to make the right match for their candidates and clients.

If you’re planning for growth in your business over the next couple of years, a staffing agency may be your best tool for successful expansion.