There is a flood of staffing agencies out there. They are like churches. There’s one on every corner. Not really, but it seems like it. As a recruiter who has worked with plenty of staffing agencies, I’ve been inundated with requests from staffing agencies to use their services. It’s not a bad idea. As a matter-of-fact, it’s a great idea.
I have used staffing agencies during my own career transitions. They have always been an extension of my job search. So, if you are undecided about utilizing staffing agencies (or a staffing agency) you could be missing out on a golden opportunity.
What I tell job seekers, especially if they are having a difficult time landing a job (not just any job, a good job), a staffing agency is a way to go. They are the eyes and ears of hiring managers around the nation. Sometimes they know of opportunities before they are posted.
Staffing agencies are trained to know what’s out there, who’s out there, which companies are the best and worse to work for. As they get to know you as their candidate/associate, they have a better idea which organization you will best fit and with which manager. This is a big plus.
I have heard from people on occasions who do not want to work as a temp because “it’s not a real job”, they say. You better believe it’s a real job. And what you do when you are working for a company on a temporary assignment can make the difference in whether you land a good job with a good solid organization or whether you shoot yourself in the foot and have to be escorted out the door because you did not take that job seriously and you acted irresponsibly. By the way, staffing agencies have zero tolerance for this type of behavior.
On the flipside? A person who is open to working temporary assignments has a better chance and opportunity to getting hired full time once the staffing agency has placed the person with the company and the company has selected him/her as their candidate of choice.
Working for an organization as a temporary will also help with gaining knowledge and experience, and it will help you in your own decision making. You can decide to continue working for the organization if they are inviting you to, or you can decide if the organization is not for you after all. It’s an ideal way of walking away from an organization on good terms.
I will never forget my first temporary assignment. I was on assignment for two weeks when the Assistant Branch Manager of the company started asking me if I was interested in coming on full time. I was a little skeptical but decided to go with it. Turns out, I was at that company for 10 years. It also turned out to be one of the biggest most financially sound organizations I ever worked for.
So you ask, “Why did you leave?” I had to find my passion. At the time, I did not know what that would be, and although I really enjoyed what I was doing, I knew it was not my passion and I had to grow up a little.
Although I’m not done growing, the good news is, I have found my passion, which is recruiting. Employee relations and employee engagement are added bonuses. My goal as a recruiter is to help place qualified people, who are hardworking (strong work ethic), who are honest, who are humble, who have a good sense of humor, and who have a good sense of compassion. Working with staffing agencies only enhance my efforts. They look for the same qualities in their candidates/associates.
As an extension to your job search, staffing agencies are there to coach you and support you in your job search by helping you hone your interviewing skills, as well as helping you to know how to highlight your skills for a better opportunity to be in front of an employer.
Keep in mind, once you, the candidate reach out to the staffing agency, it’s not a ticket to sit back and expect them to do all the work. They are there to help you find a place that you will be happy to work at. But you must do your part by being open to what makes sense for you and continue to be active in your search. Until you have landed your job, it’s imperative that you stay in contact with the staffing agency.
Another thing to keep in mind, staffing agencies have your best interest in mind. It’s also in their best interest to find something for you and share that information when it comes along. If there is nothing which you qualify for, they are not going to be dishonest and tell you they have something. They will refer you out to another agency that fits your experience. Don’t get angry with them, you will have to be patient with them as well as yourself.