Employment agencies can be a good path to a job.
These businesses match your skills with jobs that employers want to fill fast. The employers pay the employment agency for hiring workers, so there is no cost to you.
Employment agencies are also called staffing, recruiting, or temp agencies. Read below to see how they work for different types of positions they fill.
Short-term or temporary-to-permanent positions
Staffing services match workers with short-term or temporary positions. They often hire for office and administrative work, light industrial or manufacturing, and customer service positions. The benefits of using a staffing service and doing temporary work include:
- You gain work experience, develop skills, and increase networking contacts for future jobs.
- Some agencies offer training you might need on the job, such as office software.
- You earn money while continuing to look for work.
- It's easier to get a job when you have a job.
- You may be able to obtain special scheduling or work conditions you need.
- You can check out an employer or occupation before committing.
A temporary assignment can last a few hours, days, weeks, or several months. Sometimes employers offer permanent positions to temp workers. When workers complete a job, the agency looks for another assignment for them.
Temporary employees generally do not receive paid vacation, sick leave, or holidays. Most agencies do not offer health insurance, but some make it available after you have worked for a set period of time.
Tips for working with employment agencies
Before you work with an employment agency, find out what services you can expect and what will be expected of you. Make sure you ask whether it will cost you anything.
For short-term contract work, ask about the pay rate, benefits, and length of assignments. Also, let them know the hours and days you're able to work, whether you can work overtime, and your transportation and salary needs. Some additional tips:
Be professional. Treat agencies as you would a potential employer. In the case of temp agencies, they will be your employer.
Be available. Most agencies expect you to be available when they offer you work. If you turn down more than a few jobs, they may not consider you for work in the future.
Expand your job search. Do not use agencies as your only job search method.
Check your benefits. Short-term wages may reduce benefits such as unemployment insurance. But it may also extend the length of time that you can receive benefits. Before accepting or rejecting work, check with the agency where you receive your benefits.
It is a good idea for you to sign up with more than one temp agency. If you get a work assignment, let the other agencies know that you will not be available for a while, and contact them when you complete that assignment.