Staffing agencies have clients (companies) and candidates (potential employees). Clients will give agencies job orders to fill. The goal of the agency is to fill this position as quickly with the best candidate possible.
In order to find candidates, the agency will post positions on job boards, search resume databases, social media, etc. The agency will contact a potential candidate and try to set up an interview. That part may be confusing if you have never worked with an agency before. The agency might be vague on the position that you are interviewing for because agencies have multiple positions they are trying to fill If you accept the invitation for an interview, it will be general due to the fact that you (more than likely) won’t be interviewing for just one position. You will also be asked to complete some general computer assessments to gauge your skillset. After your interview, a recruiter will contact you about potential opportunities to see if you are interested. If you are, they will submit your information to the client for consideration of a job opportunity.
Next, there are definitely some myths out there about staffing agencies, and I want to clear those up.
• Staffing agencies only offer temporary positions – this is VERY untrue. Agencies typically have 3 different types of positions: contract (temporary), contact-to-hire (temporary position with the intent of being hired on permanently), and permanent placement (the candidate is directly hired on with the client). You are in control of what you want. You need to understand that stating you will ONLY take a permanent placement will limit the opportunities that become available to you. Being open to other options could open more doors and give you the opportunity to gain experience.
• “I don’t need to take this as seriously or dress as professionally since the interview is with a staffing agency” - this is also incorrect. Agencies are only going to submit the BEST candidates to their client. If you reschedule your interview multiple times (or even once), show up late, don’t complete pre-interview tasks, or don’t show up in professional attire, you may be overlooked. Furthermore, an agency can refuse to work with you if you are unreliable in the interview process. You may potentially be interviewing for multiple positions during this one meeting. Make sure to put your best foot forward by coming prepared, being on time, and dressing professional.
• “I interviewed with an agency, so now it’s their job to find ME a job.” – like I said before, staffing agencies use their best candidates. Even when you apply through an agency, you still need to be proactive on your own. For example: follow up with your recruiter, and ask what else you can do to make yourself more marketable. You now have a great resource to assist you in your job hunt. Use it, don’t abuse it.
To sum things up, I would like to add and reiterate a couple points: remain professional, open, honest, and accept the feedback given to you. Lastly, an agency is not going to be able to place every single candidate that walks through the door. This is the same situation when you apply for a position directly with a company – just because you applied and interviewed does not mean you are going to get the job. Granted, the agency is going to try their best to place you. However, sometimes your background doesn’t match the positions that are available. Don’t take offense to this. Use this information to your benefit and explore other avenues.
About the Author: