Temp. employment services can help you find a job.(50850)Credit: Xandert (MorgueFile.com)

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Staffing firms, temp employment services and temp agencies are generally different terms used to refer to the same type of service. However, there are some slight differences. For instance, staffing firms often focus more on filling their client’s permanent positions, while temp agencies are generally associated with temporary help. Nonetheless, Both types of services generally offer direct hire, temp-to-permanent and temporary employment services. Unfortunately, job seekers often avoid staffing firms and temp agencies. They mistakenly think that the agency’s fee will come out of their check, but that’s not the case.

How Staffing Firms Work

Hiring employers sign a contract with an agency or with multiple staffing firms. When the employer needs either temporary help or to fill a permanent position, all human resources (HR) has to do is contact the employment agency. HR would explain what the company is looking for in the applicant. Temp agencies will often post any open positions on online employment forums and in newspapers. The firm will interview and screen all appicants. The firm then selects a candidate or multiple candidates from the tested and screened pool of job seekers and sets up an interview for each applicant.

If you have an employment interview through a staffing firm, it’s up to you to prepare for the interview and make a good impression to the employer. Going on an interview doesn‘t guarantee that you’ll automatically receive a job offer. If the staffing firm sets up interviews for multiple applicants, you’ll be competing against each other. HR will choose the applicant that makes the best impression and fulfills the position’s requirements.

The same procedure generally applies whether you’re applying for a direct hire, temp or temp-to-hire position. An exception would be if a client is short on help and needs a receptionist for the day, for example. In such case, there’s no time for an interview. If the staffing firm contacts you and you accept the assignment, you would go to the client’s location and answer the phones for the day. Unless you’re contacted again, that’s all that your assignment would consist of.

How Staffing Firms Get Paid

  • When hiring employers sign a contract with a staffing firm, they generally agree to pay a mark-up fee. The mark-up fee can be anywhere from 25 percent to more than 50 percent of the contractor’s hourly pay. For example, if you agree to work through a staffing firm for $10 per hour and the firm charges the client a 50 percent mark-up fee, client will pay $15 for each hour that you work. The client pays the staffing firm’s fee, not you.
  • On direct hires, the firm’s commission changes a bit. If you’re hired for a permanent position, your new employer would pay the firm a percentage of your yearly salary. Once again, the employer pays the fee, not you.
  • Other agencies, however, charge a flat-per-hour rate. For example, a client might agree to pay the staffing firm $20 for each hour that a contractor, or temp employee, works for his company. The agency hires you at $13 per hour. At the end of the week, the staffing firm bills the client at $20 for each hour that you worked that particular week. You receive your $13 per hour and the agency keeps $7 for each hour that you worked. The service fee does not come out of your check because you agreed to work for $13 per hour.

Finding a Job Through Staffing Firms

Job seekers often feel that working through staffing firms equates low pay. That is not always the case. When you fill out an application with an agency, you’re asked the question: What is the lowest that you’ll work for? You can choose how much you’ll earn per hour. Requesting higher pay might take you longer to find a position, but it’s up to you what assignments you’ll accept.

Moreover, don’t automatically turn down “temp-to-hire” positions. Employers often label permanent positions as “temp-to-hire” because they want a probationary period to make sure that they’ve chosen the right candidate.

If you meet the employer’s expectations, a “temp-to-hire” assignment will likely turn into a permanent position.

In summary, many companies only hire through staffing firms, or temp agencies. They prefer not to deal with all the testing and screening involved. If you avoid this type of services, you greatly reduce your possibilities of finding employment. Remember that the services that a staffing firm provides are free to you. Why not take advantage of staffing firms in your area to help you find a job?

Copyright © 2011 Ana Jackson. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part constitutes plagiarism, is illegal and strictly prohibited.