Many out-of-work individuals have spent hours poring through online job listings, and may have considered hooking up with temporary staffing agencies, but were held back by not understanding exactly how they work.
If this is true in your own case, there are probably a number of things which you don’t know about temporary staffing agencies, which can actually work to your advantage.
Here are five of the most common facts which are either misunderstood or not known at all about temporary staffing agencies.
1. Temporary Staffing Agencies Have many Hidden Benefits for Candidates
Probably one of the biggest benefits of working with a temporary staff agency is that the total amount of time consumed by your job search will be significantly less. This is because staffing agencies are aware of job openings in the area, and will know exactly where you might fit in. This can save you a tremendous amount of time and guesswork because you won’t have this type of knowledge.
It’s also a great way to get your foot in the door because a potential employer will have worked with you for at least a short period of time and know what you’re capable of. That will permit you to gain some valuable work experience in a particular field that you may be anxious to break into.
Some employers work with temporary staffing agencies so they can learn all about a prospective employee, before actually hiring them full-time, and this would work to your advantage as well.
2. How Does Working with a Temporary Staffing Agency Work?
As with any other type of job, you will be obliged to apply in-person or online, so that the staffing agency will have the opportunity of screening your resume and interviewing you. This will help to determine whether or not you are a good fit for any open positions they are aware of.
The agency would then be able to place you in some kind of appropriate position which they know about, and with one of the companies they may work routinely with. You will have to sign a contract which describes the type of work which must be done, and what the duties will be for the temporary employee, as well as the rate of pay which is involved.
3. About your Interview
When an interview with the temporary staffing agency is arranged for you, you will end up meeting with the recruiter and probably filling out some kind of information sheet or application which details your strengths and weaknesses. In some cases, this may be taken care of prior to the interview, so that it won’t be necessary during your face-to-face meeting.
You should always bring your most current resume to the interview with your recruiter, but if you don’t have a resume prepared, the agency will have professionals on hand who can assist you with the development of one.
You will more than likely be required to provide the agency with at least two or three references, so they can obtain some background information on you, with regard to your work experience and character.
The interview will be very much like an interview with a prospective employer, and you will answer many of the same questions. For instance, you will probably be asked to discuss your employment history, what your strengths and weaknesses are, why you left previous employers, and what your career goals and objectives are.
In some cases, you will also be required to take specific tests that will evaluate the skills you may have, because these may be necessary for open positions the agency is aware of. As an example, if you’re looking to apply for a position as a typist, you may be given an exam that determines how quickly you can type, and how accurate your work is.
4. How you Get Paid
The temporary staffing agency will be responsible for paying any employees which are sent to a specific company.
The agency will then charge the company a specific amount hourly, and the agency will subtract a percentage of this amount as their fee for providing the employee. This means that the temp agency is responsible for the collection of any applicable taxes from the temporary employee’s pay.
The details will all be included in the contract which any company signs to constitute an agreement with the temporary agency. This is fairly typical of how an agreement might be reached between a company and a temporary agency and is also fairly typical of how a temporary employee would be paid.
5. If you Get Hired Full-time…
It sometimes happens that a temporary employee works out so well for a given company, that the company in question wants to hire them full-time as an employee.
If you happen to have the skills that the company is looking for, and you do a good job during the temporary period, it can end up being a good fit for both parties for you to be hired on as a full-time employee.
In this case, the human resources manager for the company will usually contact the agency and let them know that they’re interested in hiring you as a full-time employee.
In fact, some employers intentionally use temporary staffing agencies to test out prospective employees on a no-risk basis, so they can determine whether or not they would be a good fit in the company. If someone performs exceptionally well during a temporary work stint, it’s generally a fairly simple matter to contact the temporary staffing agency and hire them full-time.
If the temporary employee doesn’t work out so well, they are simply released at the end of the temporary period, and the search would then continue for the company. In situations like these, the temp agency would release you from its own employment agreement, and you would then be free to become a full-time employee with the company.