Staffing agencies are hired by employers and help them find employees for their open positions. They are usually not just working for one employer but for many different employers finding them the right candidates. Often staffing agencies are specialized in a region, an industry, a job level, a profession, or a combination of these factors, so not all staffing agencies will work well for everyone. There are a lot of misunderstandings about working with staffing agencies so here are some things staffing agencies don´t do, ideas that are not true about staffing agencies and why you shouldn´t listen to people saying you shouldn´t work with staffing agencies just because they had a bad experience.
What staffing agencies don´t do
Although staffing agencies are a strategic partner for you as an employer or as a job seeker, they are certain things they don´t do or certain ideas that are not true about them:
- Staffing agencies don´t provide you with automated tools or widgets to recruit your next all-star. Staffing agencies actually talk to people and based on real they will determine if the person would be the right fit for your company or not.
- This one is important for job seekers: although they might definitely be able to find you a great job, their objective is not to find you a job. Their objective is to fill the jobs their clients (the employer, who is the one that pays them) have. It´s important to realize this when you start working with a staffing agency as a job seeker because it is a very different mindset. They want to find the best person for the position and if that´s you, lucky you!
- A lot of job seekers and employers think staffing agencies are just for very senior positions but staffing agencies can help in the recruiting for any kind of position, from entry-level to the boardroom. Just make sure you work with the right agency.
- Staffing agencies are not career counselors. So, if you are a job seeker and you are not very sure what you are looking for, you probably should get that clear before going to a staffing agency. The agency might give you some feedback on your resume, but that´s it. Therefore, don´t expect a staffing agency to be your career coach and help you figure out your plan to get a job if you don´t have enough clarity yourself.
- Staffing agencies seldom make the final decision on who gets the job. They search for the best candidates, give their advice and often are the ones delivering good or bad news to the candidates, but ultimately it´s the employer who makes the hiring decision.
- Staffing agencies probably don´t control the recruitment process. They find the right candidates to enter that recruitment process but in many cases it is the employer who controls and plans the actual steps in the process.
Don´t let others tell you not to use staffing agencies just because they had a bad experience
Employers or job seekers complaining about staffing agencies and advising you not to use them because it´s useless are the ones with bad experience. However, a bad experience is usually due to one of the following reasons: they picked the wrong staffing agency or, especially for employers, picking the cheapest option. Most staffing agencies are specialized in a specific field, e.g. accountants, IT, engineers, project management executives, so picking the wrong one is easy to explain. If you´re looking to work in the financial industry, don´t submit your resume to a staffing agency specialized in marketing executives. As a golden role: don´t work with a staffing agency if they don´t specialize in your area! As for the second reason, don´t just look at the rate but analyze into detail what service they are offering, which resources, which support etc. A good staffing agency will add value so don´t go for the cheapest option because it will cost you a lot more in the long term!
Have you worked with a staffing agency before? How was your experience? We would love to hear about it in the comments section.