Monday, October 6, 2008

Should I try to get a job through a temp agency?

Thanks for explaining about headhunters. But what about temp agencies? I just graduated and I was thinking about contacting some of them. Would I be wasting my time?

1 comment:

USDCareerBlog said...

This is a great question because there are distinct similarities and differences between temp agencies (sometimes called staffing or employment agencies) and executive search firms (i.e., headhunters). Sit back while we explain.....

When companies have a need for personnel to fill a position, they often contract with headhunters or staffing agencies to identify qualified candidates. Whereas a headhunter typically searches for a single individual to assume a higher level position, temp agencies identify lower level employees – either a single staff person or numerous employees at a time. Some temp agencies are generalists, whereas some specialize in a single industry (i.e., manufacturing, food service, retail) or job function (e.g., clerical support, accounting, or information technology).

If you’re currently looking for work, there are a lot of good reasons to contact a temp agency:

Of course, temping provides a source of income. For longer term assignments, you may get benefits including holidays, medical and dental coverage, life insurance and 401K contributions. You also may gain work experience that can be beneficial to your future job search. Also, you are under no obligation to accept an offer that is unappealing to you (although if you turn down assignments repeatedly, you may be dropped from their contact list).

But most importantly, you may be hired by the organization following your temp assignment. Many companies practice what is called ‘temp to perm” hiring. They use temps to complete time-limited projects, and then hire the most impressive and productive workers.

One warning. You should never pay a nickel to any staffing agencies. Temp agencies get their money from their clients (the hiring organizations), not the employees. If an agency requires a fee from you – walk out the door.