3.9.17 Human Resources

Robert Half: Our Editor’s Retail Choice Award™ for Specialized HR & Staffing Solutions

By: Lauren Keys

The Crunch: Robert Half has been helping small businesses and retailers fill high-skill vacancies since 1948. The company actively seeks out the best talent in fields like accounting, legal, and finance to present to their clients. And Robert Half goes well beyond giving a business a stack of résumés, as they pre-screen each candidate to make sure he or she is a good fit with a client’s business and culture. Because of its ability to help SMBs acquire quality, in-demand candidates, Robert Half has earned our Editor’s Retail Choice Award™ for Specialized HR & Staffing Solutions.

With the proliferation of online employment sites, hiring has become very impersonal and — in many cases — inefficient. Looking through stacks of résumés takes time, and many are so technically constructed that it is nearly impossible to discern if they would be a good fit within a company’s culture.

Finding specialized talent quickly — in areas like legal, finance, or accounting — can be even more challenging, and often expensive. The options for retailers needing temporary help in those areas is limited further.

Since 1948, Robert Half has been helping businesses hire for those specialized positions. Robert Half works with companies to find a quality employee match — both in productivity and culture — whether it is a temporary or full-time need.

Each candidate undergoes a thorough screening process that highlights his or her strengths, weaknesses, and even compatibility with a company’s mission. Robert Half is especially adept at helping small-to-medium sized businesses attract top talent by acting as a guide throughout the offer process.

Photo of Robert Half's Sharon Black

Robert Half President of Strategic Accounts for Professional Staffing Services Sharon Black talked to us about her firm.

“We consider ourselves employment experts,” Sharon Black, President of Strategic Accounts Professional Staffing Services at Robert Half, told us. “So we aren’t there just to fill a job opening for a client; we are also a resource for any information they need in the employment arena.”

In a landscape filled with job sites and online postings, Robert Half has not only maintained but also boosted its stature as a complete staffing solution for SMBs. For its commitment to finding businesses the perfect fit for high-skill vacancies — whether temporary or full-time — Robert Half has earned our Editor’s Retail Choice Award™ for Specialized HR & Staffing Solutions.

Helping SMBs Find the Right Fit for Culture and Efficiency

Robert Half recognizes the unique challenges that small and medium-sized retailers face when trying to hire workers in specialized areas. Bringing talented, hard-working people aboard is a priority, but often they are looking for a candidate that will fit in — and add to — the company culture.

Whether it is a need in legal, creative, or technical departments, Robert Half has designed a process to ensure clients are provided with a perfect match — and it starts by going directly to the company.

“We go out and meet with the client in person to understand their environment and the company culture so we can pair that with the candidates we are placing there — whether it is a temporary or full-time basis,” Sharon said.

Soft skills like teamwork and communication don’t usually show up on a résumé, and many times can’t even be assessed through the normal course of an interview. The work Robert Half does to understand a company and its culture can help more accurately assess those skills. Because Robert Half meets with hiring managers and teams, it knows what to look for in an employee.

Another advantage to using Robert Half is the amount of expertise it brings to the candidate selection process, starting with how the company hires its own employees.

“We believe it is important for clients to work with a staffing professional that has the background which they are looking to hire,” Sharon told us. “For example, in our accounting and finance placement division, we are staffed with people who have an accounting or finance background. So they know how to screen a client because they understand the skills involved.”

Pairing small businesses with candidates in specialized areas is Robert Half’s strength, and when it makes a referral to a hiring manager, much of the work has already been done behind the scenes. That process results in a business getting a polished, experienced candidate to interview or bring aboard immediately.

In-Depth Screening Gives Businesses a 360° View of a Candidate

Robert Half takes a high-touch approach to screening candidates, which means that there is more personal interaction during the evaluation. That is part of providing a client with a comprehensive view of the applicant, including their specific skill sets.

“When talking to a client, we are not just presenting a résumé, we are providing a 360-degree view of a candidate. We discuss their experience, what they will bring to the table, and give validation through testing and reference checks. We feel strongly about each candidate we present to our clients.” — Sharon Black, President of Strategic Accounts Professional Staffing Services at Robert Half

Screening includes an in-depth interview in which a candidate talks about his or her career objectives and job history. Robert Half also tests potential hires based on the skills a client needs to fill a position. A candidate’s references are also checked, and Robert Half talks to past supervisors and peers so it can relate to a client the complete picture of a potential hire, including their greatest strengths.

“When talking to a client, we are not just presenting a résumé, we are providing a 360-degree view of a candidate,” Sharon told us. “We discuss their experience, what they will bring to the table, and give validation through testing and reference checks. We feel strongly about each candidate we present to our clients.”

Robert Half even briefs candidates on the company before interviews so that clients are interviewing people who are already knowledgeable about their business. The thorough nature of the process is why many companies trust Robert Half enough to take a direct-start approach by starting a candidate the next day.

Presenting quality candidates to fill specialized positions on a temporary or full-time basis is only part of what Robert Half does for SMBs, though. The firm also acts as a resource for clients throughout the offer process and helps lay out industry trends to allow smaller retailers to compete with larger companies for employees.

A Resource for Hiring Managers Throughout the Offer Process

Robert Half knows that small companies don’t have large human resource departments. In fact, many employ an HR department of one, and that person may also be busy running other parts of the business. For those entities, Robert Half is more than a staffing firm; it can be an entire HR department.

“Small businesses rely on us to help with not just candidate screening, but also interview questions and salary information,” Sharon said. “We even produce in-depth salary guides for specific industries where we show what people are making at the same size companies.”

Collage of Robert Half salary guides

Robert Half has salary guides for a variety of industries so that small businesses can make more competitive offers.

Sharon told us that updated information on salary and benefit trends is vital for smaller businesses because they need to make competitive offers to qualified candidates. If a business knows it can’t compete with the salary offered by another company, it can still offer a competitive package if the candidate is interested in other benefits such as a sign-on bonus, extra vacation time, or the opportunity to work remotely.

“Sometimes it is not just about the salary,” Sharon explained. “There are a variety of benefits that small businesses can offer to make a package more enticing to the candidate. We work with clients on creating those packages so that candidates feel confident that a company wants them.”

Robert Half has a plethora of white papers, presentations, and informative blog content to help clients stay updated on hiring trends, such as the impact Generation Z is having on hiring practices. Being able to hire the right candidates is critical, but an eye must always be kept on the future as well.

Your Company’s Success Depends on Seeking Out and Retaining Top-Level Talent

Finding quality candidates on job websites isn’t easy, and when a company is looking for temporary help in specialized positions like legal, finance, and accounting, the returns can be even more diminished. Robert Half takes much of the guesswork out of the process by providing SMBs with polished candidates that fit into the workflow and culture of a business.

But Robert Half also keeps clients informed on employment trends, like the recent rise in counteroffers. When a current employee is offered a job by another company, he or she may expect a more lucrative offer to stay. This can catch a business off guard, leading to a hastily thrown together counteroffer.

“In the long term, counteroffers don’t work,” Sharon told us. “We always encourage companies to meet regularly with employees to gauge how they are doing, particularly their top performers. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you have an employee unexpectedly resign, and you are scrambling to make a better offer.”

Proactive businesses usually hire and retain the best candidates while those that take a more reserved approach often struggle. Sharon explained the differences between those methods as hunter versus gatherer.

“The hunters are very assertive in finding the right candidates; they use multiple channels to find solid hires, using referral bonuses, recruiters, and networking,” she said. “The gatherer approach is posting an ad and waiting for résumés to fill up an inbox. That is not an efficient way to find the best candidates.”

Robert Half allows small businesses to be proactive in their quest to fill high-skill positions and even provides guidance during — and after — the hiring process. For its end-to-end commitment to helping SMBs find and hire the right candidates to fill in-demand positions, Robert Half has earned our Editor’s Retail Choice Award™ for Specialized HR & Staffing Solutions.