There are many ways to conduct a job search – online job boards, personal and professional networking – and working with an employment agency. How exactly do employment agencies work? And are there benefits to you as the job seeker in working with one?
What Employment Agencies Do
Companies hire the agency to find employees for them. There are a lot of reasons a company might use an employment agency to find workers. They may be a smaller company without a dedicated human resources department. Some companies need extra testing and screening. Others may just need an employee on a temporary basis.
The employer lets the employment agency know the job’s specifics. Then the agency recruits, interviews, and screens the candidates. Agencies may advertise jobs on their website, social media, professional networks, and job boards. Employment agencies want to match the right job candidate with the right position. Since this is the agencies’ primary business, they have systems and databases to help them match candidates to work quickly. Client companies can save time and money by outsourcing this process to the employment agency.
Getting Hired by An Agency
You can sign up to work with an employment agency by searching and applying for jobs on their internal website or submitting your resume for consideration. If they have a job that might be the right fit for you, you will go through an interview and screening process. Sometimes you will meet with the client at the company you would be working for too. The agency manages the entire recruitment and hiring process.
What Kinds of Jobs are Available?
Many agencies specialize in one area -like accounting, events, labor, or medical staffing. If you have a specialty and are trying to find a local agency to work with, you can check out the American Staffing Association website’s directory. This directory is an excellent resource to find reputable agencies in your area.
Employment agencies typically have three categories of jobs:
Temporary: Companies will look for temporary employees to help cover an employee’s leave, during busy times, or to get a particular project completed. These jobs can last from one day to one year. You will be working for the client company, but the employment agency is your employer and pays you.
Temp-to-Hire Jobs: These positions begin as temporary jobs so both you and the company can see if you would be a good long term fit for the job. The staffing agency will pay you during the temporary phase until you become the client’s regular employee.
Permanent Jobs: Sometimes called direct-hire jobs. The employment agency is acting more like a traditional recruiter in this situation, using their expertise to find, interview, screen, and select job candidates. If you are hired for one of these positions, you will work directly for the client company.
How Working with an Employment Agency can Help Job Seekers
When you interview with an agency, feel free to ask questions. You can ask if there are benefits available, what kinds of jobs they typically fill, or the average time it can take to find a job. You should also know that you should never have to pay a staffing agency to help you find a job. Reputable staffing agencies are paid by their clients, not by job seekers. Additionally, many agencies, including Proper Solutions Staffing, do offer benefits to longer-term contract employees. You can find out more about our benefits here.
And speaking of benefits, we have talked about the benefit to the client companies in hiring an employment agency – they do not have to invest time and money in the hiring process. But there are clear benefits for the job seeker too.
Advocacy: Your employment agency recruiter is a great resource – they know their clients, the local job market, and what the job qualifications are. They can give you tips on your resume and provide feedback after an employment interview. Your success in the placement is their success too. Be straightforward about your goals, availability, and employment history with them so they can find both you and the client the right match.
Variety and Opportunity: Temporary and contract work can help develop skills that will be useful when you apply for your next full-time job. Besides, you get to see if a company, position, commute, or culture is a good fit for you. If you are new to an area, agencies can help you discover how the local employment scene works too.
Let us know if you have any further questions about how employment agencies work and if we can help you find your next great opportunity.