Temp agencies or staffing agencies appeared in the 1940s when there was a lack of talent and many open positions by those who left to fight in WWII. Since then, the temp agency industry has been growing consistently and is worth around $119B in the US.
In recent decades, many businesses have transitioned from a stable and permanent workforce to one that’s more flexible and on-demand. People are also changing careers more often, and many have jumped into the freelancing world.
A temp agency is an excellent way of saving time while looking for a job. If you are currently thinking of seeking work through a temp agency, this is everything you need to know.
What Do Temp Agencies Do?
The main purpose of a temp agency is to match qualified workers with clients looking to fill a temporary position. Usually, a temp agency acts as a hired human resources office for a business, managing the hiring of short-term and long-term workers. To get paid, agencies need to deliver reliable and skilled workers to their clients.
To ensure they hire the right candidate, temp agencies have a thorough hiring process that includes background checks, drug testing, and reference screening. In many instances, temp agencies also provide training courses for specific skills.
How Does the Hiring Process at a Temp Agency Work?
Job seekers looking for temporary work will usually contact a temp agency and send in an application. Sometimes, a temp agency might take the first step and contact a worker with experience in a specific area to fill a vacant position.
Usually, the hiring process at a temp agency starts with an application and interview process. If selected, candidates are added to the temp agency’s database, and they are contacted when a position opens up that requires their specific set of skills.
What Skills Do Temp Agencies Look For?
There are different temp agencies to work with, and some agencies specialize in one industry or profession. For example, a staffing agency might specialize in connecting plumbers and electricians with local businesses.
Technology is one employment area that is growing rapidly. Because there is a higher demand for technology-related jobs, temp agencies are naturally looking for experienced workers in this area.
Soft skills are also in high demand by temp agencies. Companies find that almost anyone can learn hard skills, while soft skills are more difficult to teach. Public speaking, customer service, and public relations are all different kinds of transferable skills in this category.
Benefits of a Temp Agency
Employment agencies provide a series of benefits to both businesses and job seekers.
Help Finding a Job
Looking for the right full-time position in a specific industry requires hard work and a lot of time. If you are looking for work, a temp agency can help you find a suitable permanent position. After a short-term contract, you might be offered a full-time position at the company. If that doesn’t happen and you spend more time doing various temp jobs, you will still gain valuable experience.
One of the main benefits provided by staffing agencies is the amount of time saved. Both workers and companies benefit from the service in this way. By working with a temp agency, job seekers can spend their time studying and getting certifications instead of actively looking through job boards. At the same time, companies save resources and time by outsourcing the hiring process and not performing job interviews.
When a company hires a staffing agency, the temp worker the agency provides is already within their pool of qualified candidates. The candidate has passed the thorough hiring process of the agency and is ready to start working right away.
Staffing agencies manage the payroll of employees, so companies don’t have to spend time keeping track of payments, bonuses, and taxes. This makes the process of hiring for short-duration projects much more efficient. Usually, the agency fee includes both the worker’s salary and payment for the agency’s services.
With a temp agency, businesses can hire candidates for a short period to see if they could potentially be a valuable addition to the team. For some jobs, it might be challenging to assess how the candidate will perform on the ground. Temp agencies provide a way for businesses to find the most qualified candidate and see how they perform on a short-term basis.
For young professionals, a temp agency can provide different part-time jobs and new opportunities. Temp agencies can have clients in various industries, allowing a versatile worker to try out several different companies and industries. This is generally only possible in areas that don’t require technical skills.
Potential Downsides of Temp Work
Even though it doesn’t happen very often, a potential downside of temp agencies for workers is not getting paid by the client. For this reason, you should thoroughly research a temp agency before working with them and choose only the most reputable companies.
Another disadvantage of working with a temp agency is that you don’t receive the usual benefits of a contract position. Depending on state laws, a temporary worker might not receive sick leave, retirement benefits, or health care coverage.
A final disadvantage of temp agencies is that you might be assigned to a position that doesn’t precisely match your set of skills or personality as a worker. Temp agencies work with a lot of companies and need to fill positions quickly. For this reason, temp workers often face uncertainty about their future job offers and potential next role.
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