Chances are, you may be reading this post from your desk. And chances are, you’re “satisfied” with your current job, but does part of you wonder if the grass is greener on the other side? Or maybe this isn’t you at all. Maybe you’re a freelancer, looking for your next great contract. Or maybe you’re currently unemployed and have searched high and low for a job. The one thing that may benefit “all the above” is a simple solution: working with a staffing agency. They can be a valuable asset in finding the next great thing for you.
In order to gear up and get started on with working with one, it’s important to understand how they work. A staffing agency handles the upfront work of finding clients and jobs, then creates the best match between qualified candidates. They are continually establishing new relationships and uncovering new opportunities. How do they do it? Your staffing agency works as your own social butterfly in the job market. They develop a large network of contacts and jobs that can target a broad range of clients and industries. Why not partner with someone who can ensure that your search will remain confidential?
Now that you’re a little more familiar with what they do and how they do it, here are some of the types of jobs they can provide you with:
1. Temporary: Typically with a temporary job, the start and end date of your assignment is given to you up front. Occasionally, the assignment, project, dates or even responsibilities may change, but the employer keeps you aware of such circumstances. Temp jobs are offered with hourly rates, and can either be as a W2 temporary or 1099. This is important to note as each can have it’s advantages. For example, for a W2, you may be eligible to enroll in benefits, holiday pay or even vacations!
2. Temp-to-perm: If you were to be placed in a temp-to-perm (also known as temp-to-hire) position, this entails that you work on a “trial” basis to determine if the the job is a good fit for you. These types of jobs are an easy way for an employer to gauge if your skills and interests combine well with the company’s culture. Employers usually have a conversion date in mind at the onset and inform you of that estimated date or time frame. Again, these jobs are paid on an hourly basis, but you would convert to salary once you’ve become a permanent employee.
3. Permanent: A permanent position is exactly what you think it is: permanent! These are typically jobs where the staffing agency acts as a recruiter by finding and screening candidates for full-time positions with their clients. Additionally, they help negotiate salary, benefits, and more. After you’ve accepted an offer, you would be hired directly by the employer with a full time salary. If you land a permanent position through a staffing agent, it’s customary to keep in touch with them for the first few months to guarantee that everything is going smoothly on your end.
Now that you’re more informed, here are some tips that you should consider when you work with a staffing agency:
- Work with what you know. Look for an employment agency that specializes in your particular industry. If you’re interested in a creative job, don’t expect a large administrative or tech-type staffing firm to have them. It’s not their core competency or focus, so you would be better off working with someone in your field of interest.
- Don’t sign any exclusive contracts. It’s your job search and you need to stay in charge of the process. The more agencies you’re in touch with, the more opportunities you can be offered! If an agency tells you that you must deal with them, and only them, that may be a red flag.
- Ask questions about the whole process. This may be a new experience for you, so don’t be shy to ask about how a staffing agency does their job in assisting you to find employment. If you have questions about payment and what is expected of you as the job seeker, just ask! Their purpose is to help you.
- Stay connected with them throughout the job search. Staffing professionals are usually working with the resumes at the top of the pile. So make sure you’re keeping in touch with them and stay top of mind, reinforcing that you really do want a job or are still available. The squeaky wheel gets the oil!
- Listen to the advice they give you. The staffing agents know their clients. Consider this: they spend a lot of time and energy getting to know their clients. They have in-depth conversations about their likes and dislikes. And in most cases, they’ve known these contacts for years and have previously placed people with them. With that in mind, it would only be to your benefit if you take their advice about what to do (and what not to do) in your job interview!
- Understand that staffing agencies need to make a living, too. The idea of commission fees seem to make everyone uncomfortable. This fee covers the time and costs involved, including sales and marketing, subscriptions for tools and boards, taxes, insurance, payroll costs, and normal overhead business costs. Acceptable fees and practices vary by state, so if you have any doubts, check with the Department of Labor and see what kind of provisions have been set.
You should now have a better understanding about the in’s and out’s of working with an employment agency (like us!) and can see how it’s a valuable option for finding your next opportunity. Looking for a job? Give us a shot. We could bring you one step closer to your success!