I used to think I knew what staffing agencies do: they find people jobs, right? Probably some entry-level position? Sort of a job seeker’s last resort? Then I started working in the industry and discovered I was completely wrong. Here’s what I know now – information that might be helpful for your job search:
They aren’t trying to find you a job
But a staffing firm may find you a great job
Staffing agencies connect people with great jobs every day – but their objective is to fill their clients’ open positions, not find candidates jobs. Their clients pay for that service, and that’s why it’s free for you. The agency wants to find the best person for each open position. If you’re a fantastic accountant and you contact an agency that fills IT positions, it’s unlikely they’re going to connect you with a job…
If you’re a fantastic accountant and the staffing agency is looking for accountants, you might get the call. There are a lot of factors that will come into consideration – experience, specializations, geography, and more – but the staffing firm wants to give their client the best candidates for every position, so if you’re great at your job, they’ll want your resume on file, though remember….
The timeline for getting a job can be different
When you apply for a position directly with a company, they’re eager to fill that particular job, so the process can go quickly. Staffing agencies, on the other hand, are continually filling positions. You may not be selected as a candidate for the job you applied for, but if a similar position opens up a month or three months later, you could get a call then. And it might be a great job because…
Staffing companies offer much more than entry-level jobs
Yes, agencies do fill a lot of entry-level jobs, but most mid-size and large companies rely on staffing firms to hire talented people because it’s efficient to have recruiting experts managing the hiring process. For that reason, many companies use their staffing partner to fill all of their jobs – everything from mechanical engineers to app developers to project managers to accountants.
Staffing agencies shouldn’t be seen as a last resort – they should be a first stop. Get your resume on file with a company who places people in your career field and see what happens. You can always say no if they call you – but you might qualify for a job that makes you say, “Yes!”