Tonearm - 10:43 am on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)
This brings up an interesting point - we don't hire anyone directly, we go through a placement agency for (almost all) of our hires, so we "try before you buy" on almost all hourly/picking/packing/production type positions. We are a decent size, but not too big (not enough to constitute an hr person) so the whole hiring/firing/corrective action is a big PITA and done sparingly. We've migrated to the whole temp-to-hire placement model (the agencies will administer lots of tests - dexterity, typing, software skills, whatever you need) and they might cost a buck or two apiece for each employee you specify is up to snuff and that you'd like to interview.
It's pretty much an "employer's market" right now and we are getting surprisingly qualified and competent candidates through placement and temp agencies. We usually do 3 months before we decide if we are a right fit for each other (them for us, us for them). It's a higher rate of pay since the agency gets a percent, but much easier to let people go if they are simply not working. We've had people who seemed GREAT at first, but once they settled in after a month or so, simply weren't a good fit. We like to see how people behave past the "honeymoon phase", and going through a temp agency allows us to do that.
I talked to an owner of a 10m internet company who used nothing but temps. Permanently. Once they've gone past the 90 days, we bring them on, do benefits and all that good stuff, but he did not want any employees - had been burned in the past and didn't want anything to do with hr-type stuff. Even his president(!) of several years had a phd and was still an agency employee.
I've never thought of this but it's extremely interesting. What practical items change if you use an employment agency? It sounds like they filter your applicants for you. What does the agency handle after the employee starts working for you?
Why is it easier to let an employee go if they came from an employment agency?
By how much do agencies typically increase an employee's wage?
I'm curious in what sorts of ways an employer can be "burned" by HR-stuff.