August 5, 2011

3 Myths about Staffing Agencies

There’s a lot of misinformation surrounding staffing agencies. Often times, people don’t fully understand what staffing and recruitment firms can do for them so they assume they’ll be better off trying to find a job on their own. Months later they’re still struggling to find work. Still, myths and false claims abound and continue to plague the recruiting and staffing industry. This article aims to clarify a few things by taking a look at some of the myths surrounding staffing agencies:

1. Myth: Staffing firms charge a fee to use them. False. Most reputable firms would never charge a candidate for working with them. Firms make money through their client companies by filling job orders. Often a similar story is told in its place – that firms will find you a job, then take most (if not all) your salary as payment. While firms may take a percentage of your annual salary, their compensation is befitting the service of finding you a job! Their interests are aligned with yours, as they are many times paid as a percentage of your salary or hourly wage. In the case of hourly work, it’s a good idea to understand how the firm is compensated.

2. Myth: Staffing firms are only for entry level jobs. False. Staffing firms make placements at all levels of employment, from executive to entry level. Firms work for all types of companies that need job orders filled. Major and specialty firms cater to a wide range of industries and the opportunities available are as varied as the clients they represent. Even temporary work (or staffing) has permeated every level of business. Companies now hire everything from project based, high-level IT professionals to Interim CFOs through staffing and recruitment firms.

3. Myth: Staffing firms are only for temp jobs. False. While the initial placement might only be for a limited time, it’s not uncommon for temporary or part-time positions to develop into permanent job offers if the company likes the candidate. If you are interested in full-time work, staffing agencies are often a great way to get your foot into the door. Be sure to ask your recruiter what happens if their client wants to hire you. Make sure it’s an option and that it won’t be cost prohibitive for them to employ you directly if everything works out.

So are staffing firms worth a second look? Yes! Remember also that firms and their recruiters have access to the hidden job market. Client companies have open positions just waiting to be filled, but the jobs aren’t advertised. Instead, they rely on recruiters inside the staffing agencies to make the placements. In the end – a qualified candidate has nothing to lose by working with a solid, reputable recruiting company.

Although it’s important to judge recruiters based on their achievements and standing in the local job market, it’s definitely worthwhile to make sure you are taking advantage of this important job search channel. If you’ve written off recruiters or staffing companies based on negative experiences or preconceptions, you might want to take the time to find a solid recruiting company to work with.

Read more in Temp Agencies

Marie is a writer for covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.