Voluntary turnover accounted for 14 percent of total separations in the United States. Every time an employee quits, the business takes on the burden—and cost—of replacing that employee, which is estimated by the Department of Labor and Industry to be about one-third of an employee’s salary.

When investing these dollars in your business, it might make sense to pay someone else—such as a staffing agency—to ensure you are investing your dollars in the right employees to carry the future of your business.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we’ll share both the pros and cons of using a staffing agency to fill open positions in your business from Matt Meltzer, a business communications professor.

Staffing agencies know more people. From their years of experience, they may know more about what qualities make a successful employee.

Staffing agencies assume some costs. They can handle the heavy lifting of managing background checks and drug screens.

They can find people you can’t. In addition to having a broader reach into active job seekers, employment agencies are especially useful in finding passive job seekers. That is, employed people who give their info to agencies in case “something great comes up.”

Hiring will get done quicker. As a small-business owner, it’s hard to dedicate the amount of time it takes to hire new employees. Staffing agencies take this burden off your business and speed up the process significantly.

You can utilize specialized staffing agencies. Instead of hitting up a large agency, you can find an agency that focuses on your industry. Alternatively, you can select a staffing firm that specializes in finding candidates with a particular skillset such as information technology, accounting or graphic design.

You can try people out. Temp-to-hire positions are much more efficiently filled via an employment agency. This allows you to try an employee out without the risk of any false-termination retribution.

Of course, there is some hesitation for small businesses when using a staffing agency as well, beginning with the cost.

There is an increased cost when using a staffing firm. Typically, you can expect to pay 20 percent of a full-time employee’s salary in the form of a one-time fee, or a stiff markup on an hourly wage.

You lose total control over the hiring process. You don’t know much about your new hire until they show up at your door. And even if you do insist on an interview before hiring, you still won’t have nearly as much information as you would if you’d done the hiring yourself.

The agency’s motivation is different. Yes, they are there to help your business. But they are also there to make money and if they don’t fill your position, they don’t make any money. So, some agencies may supply you with less-than-qualified individuals. They still want to find you the best candidate, but not as much as you do.

If you are considering using a staffing agency to hire employees for your small business, then consider all the advantages and disadvantages before making your decision. Using a staffing agency may be the right decision for your business if the advantages outlined above outweigh the negatives.

Source: Matt Meltzer is a professor of business communication at the University of Miami. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and holds a bachelors degree in business administration from UM, as well as a masters of mass communication from the University of Florida.