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Not All Temporary or Staffing Agencies Are Good For You
Not All Temporary of Staffing Agencies Are Good for You.
Will Work for Food! With 9.6% unemployment and millions of Americans either on unemployment or public assistance, it’s pretty close to bartering for work. If you’re one of the millions of Americans (like me) out of work, you’re posting resumes, going to job fairs and checking every place that has an open position. If you get a call about your resume, it’s usually from a staffing agency and they’re usually tempting you with positions they claim they have available.
Since the private sector holding off on hiring, it’s become more common for temp agencies to have an inside plug on the human resourcing of companies. Not all calls are for employment, some staffing agencies actually filling a quota for a pool of applicants. Beware because some representatives can be misleading and if you’re desperately seeking employment, these agencies are more of a disappointment than a helpful resource.
Here’s how it will go; a representative will call you, interested in your resume for an open position at company “Blah”. Next step, come in for an interview and usually a computer test, before they can submit you as a candidate. You fill out a W-2, leave copies of your ID and maybe a voided check. You leave feeling optimistic and the rep makes it sound as if they can place you at a company by next week. Relief!
However, days after this interview you probably haven’t heard from this representative and you call to follow up about the job at company “Blah” they said they would submit you for. You’ll either hear “We haven’t heard back” or “The job is still open” or whatever excuse they can use to get you off the phone because they’re calling more applicants to come in and register with their agency.
Now, I’m not accusing these agencies of fraud, but it’s just a numbers game and although some agency may find you that next opportunity, the chances are slim because the competition for employment is fierce and as long as these agencies know people are desperate for work, they’ll continue to thrive. If you really want to work, you’ve got to know how to work with and without the staffing agency:
1. Seek agencies that are nationwide staffer that don’t need to meet with you but has job opportunities in the state that you live in. This minimizes exposing your personal information like filling out a W-2 to agencies who never find you work or cut you a paycheck.
2. Only fill out a W-2 with an agency if employment has been obtained. If they send your resume to company “Blah” and they hire you as a consultant, only then should you leave them with your personal information.
3. Agencies are out to make more money off of you temping then if you were hired by the company. The company makes a killing too because they don’t pay for benefits, days off or holidays. However staffing agencies charge companies a fee to hire you and if you’re making hourly wages, the agency receives a portion.
4. Some agencies do not have companies paying what you’re looking to receive as a salary but they still want to use you in their applicant pool. Before you’re misled to interview, ask them how many temps they employ making X amount of money per hour, per year. They may tell you their clients aren’t paying that much or they don’t have any positions paying that much.
5. The next time a staffing agency calls you with an opportunity, ask them questions about their turn-over rate of employment. How many do they place on a weekly basis? This will give you some indication of their consistency and if they actually place people to work or just call people to come in.
6. Finally, ask questions and don’t believe everything just because you need a job. It’s important to retain power, although being unemployed does feel powerless. You are in completely control of your destiny. The staffing agency may be a vehicle but only you can GET THE JOB!