Selecting and Working With the Right Staffing Service

Myths and Understanding – How They Will Work Against You If You Buy Into Them

Part 2

There are many factors that can make or break your level of success with a staffing service.  There are many factors that can make or break your level of success with a fortune 500 company.  Why is it that people see them differently when they are actually the same?

In the second part of this three part series, let’s take a look at a few myths or things that create misunderstanding.  I am not trying to make excuses for staffing services (although, there are no excuses for some of them), but knowledge creates understanding.  Sometimes, knowing the reasons a service may do certain things, makes it easier to understand and what actions you can take to make your experience a successful one.

Staffing services hire everyone who walks in the door – No, they don’t.  Does anybody?  So why do people go into an interview with a staffing service with that impression and then complain that they never hear from the staffing service.  A first impression always counts.

They don’t have real jobs or they’re not a real company. – Then who are these people working for and what are they doing?  Getting great jobs and starting great opportunities, that’s what they are doing.  Temp workers made up over one-third of the job gains last month.  There were over 2.5 million temp workers in the first quarter of 2012.

They never really hire people or They just interview to fill up their database – If they don’t put people to work, they won’t be in business long.  However, sadly, there are staffing services that require their recruiters to interview a certain number of people each week regardless of whether they have an open position; such a waste of everybody’s time in our opinion.

Often, a service will get a call asking for a person to start the next day; sometimes at 4:30 or 5:00pm, which is a staffing recruiter’s worst nightmare coming to reality, that end of the day call.  The client wants the person to start the next day.  The service doesn’t have time to start the recruiting process.  If they don’t have someone, the client often calls another service and they lose that opportunity.

Understand that a staffing service only makes money when you are working.  It is in their best interest to place you on assignment and not just any assignment.  That will work against them with the client.  The client wants what they want, when they want it.  If the service takes too long to supply the client with résumés or to set-up interviews, the client goes elsewhere.  But, just because you don’t get that job, doesn’t mean you won’t get other opportunities with future orders.  It might be disappointing, but remember: The first impression counts.  And it counts all of the time.

They’ve never called me since I registered – The better question is, have you called them since you registered?   There can be literally hundreds of people who are currently contacting the recruiter, have contacted and following up or are already in their database looking for a job.  You want a job.  Show that you want it, professionally.  Calling and scolding your recruiter will not move you to the top of their list.

I don’t work with a staffing service because the process is too long – Yes, this is an exhausting process and depending on the jobs you are offered might seem like a waste of time.  With many staffing services, you can complete much of your registration process, application and testing, from home.  The paperwork is arranged so that once you’re done, you are done.  You don’t have to keep coming back to complete pieces of legal documentation that might pertain to where the service is sending you.  It is not just one company they are recruiting for; there are potentially hundreds depending on the size of the service; all with different hiring criteria.  Staffing services really wouldn’t do it they didn’t have to, but somewhere there is an attorney saying, “You’d better get this up front to cover all your bases on this topic.”  Just take it in stride as part of the “price” you pay for a free service.

The jobs available through staffing companies are low paying jobs – That is simply not so.  If your skills are entry level, you will most often be offered entry level work.  If the work is entry level, then that is what you will be offered.  If the position requires more skill, the pay will reflect that skill needed.  Don’t apply for an entry level job and expect to be paid as a highly skilled employee.  The pay is based on the skill of the job, not on your skills.  If that assignment is not for you, then decline the assignment.  If it is at a company on your target list to work for, you might want to accept it and show them what you can do.  Companies develop budgets to hire a set number of full-time employees on an annual basis, and include in that budget an amount of money that can be used to hire temporary staff throughout the year to handle the ebb and flow of business. When the time comes for the company to open up the temporary position as full-time, you are perfectly positioned to interview for the full-time job.

Staffing services only staff entry level and administrative type of jobs – Staffing services range from specialty firms that place professional, managerial and technical candidates, to agencies that are more general in nature.

Case in point:  We had placed an employee as an entry level Machine Operator on a temp-to-hire basis for a privately-owned manufacturing company.  He was converted as a full-time employee and by the end of the year, promoted to a Shift Supervisor who now hires, trains and develops people for his shift.

Assignments only last a couple of weeks at a time at the most – Assignments can last from one day, a couple of weeks, several months or can turn from a 1-day assignment to temp-to-hire.  It’s one of the easiest ways to find out what you like about different companies in a very short period of time. After three or four long-term assignments, you’ll have a much better idea of what you’re looking for in terms of company culture, the type of boss that you work best with, and the type of work you enjoy doing.

Staffing firms don’t offer benefits – This is not necessarily true.  Depending upon the staffing service they offer a variety of benefits just like a “real” company: direct deposit, 401K, medical, dental, holiday, etc.

 As part of your job search strategy, working with a staffing firm can be a great way to supplement your search, but not a substitute.  Next time, we will explore how to select the right staffing service for you and create a great experience while landing a great job with the right company.

Learn more about writing a résumé and what key words to use on your résumé.

Learn more about getting the job of your dreams.

Learn more about open jobs with SmartTalent.

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