Temporary Staffing Agencies (Temp Agencies): How and When to Use Them

Temporary Staffing Agencies (Temp Agencies): How and When to Use Them

Signing up with a temporary staffing agency is a useful way of earning extra cash, but it could also open the door to your potential future employer

If you get to graduation and still haven’t found a job, signing up with a temporary staffing agency is not only a good way to make money, but it’s also a practical means of test driving potential careers. For example, some recent grads or college students who temp at a law firm in the summer or during breaks may find themselves questioning their choice of career and changing their major away from law as soon as the new semester begins.Through their temping experience, they will have saved themselves a great deal of time, effort as well as money on the wrong career choice. Conversely, there are students who temp at a law firm who become highly motivated as they discover that they have found what they want to study and dedicate their lives to. Put simply, it pays to try out different jobs in industries that are of interest to you.

What is a temp agency?

Companies that need short or long-term temp workers sign a contract with an agency to help them fill jobs with workers who have the skill set that they require. Temp jobs can range from low-skilled, entry level positions to professional roles, and agencies may also specialise in a particular profession, such as IT or accounting, but there are also many agencies that have positions available across numerous professional fields. They usually want you to work with a company in one of two ways:on a temporary basis or a temporary-to-hire basis.

You may have concerns that a temp job isn’t a “real” job and if this is the case, it’s important to understand that staffing agencies offer myriad options from temping with small, family-owned businesses to high profile companies like Amazon, Sony, Visa and Starbucks. These larger companies hire a set number of permanent, full-time employees every year and a significant part of that budget will be used by staffing agencies to hire temp staff throughout the year to handle the peaks and valleys of the business’ demands. When these company open up the temp positions as permanent, full-time roles, you will be in the right place at the right to interview for the full-time job.

Therefore, yes, signing up with a staffing agency is a good way of earning a little extra cash, but it could also open the door to your potential future employer.

Getting started                                                

When you first apply, you will have to complete a number of tests that will assess your skill set. In this way, the agency will be able to match an appropriate assignment to you. They will look at your resume and consider any experience you may have gained to create a detailed picture of which jobs will be most suited to you. Even if your resume is limited, agencies are often very willing to work with students or recent grads with little or no experience. In fact, temp jobs are an ideal way to add skills and experience to a resume as well as to gain valuable experience in the workplace.

When you receive an assignment, they will provide you with detailed information, such as the name of the person you have to report to, the appropriate dress code, number of hours, wages, description of the duties involved as well as length of the assignment. These can last anywhere from one day to six months or longer; or on a full-time basis.

Working for an agency allows you to gain experience in industries and careers that you may not have access to if you were committed to a permanent position, while also giving you the flexibility to change assignments on completion. If you are not happy with the assignment or the employer, you can move on to your next position and start again.

If you’re concerned about the flexibility, most temp agencies will give you an assignment that allows you to continue your search for permanent, full time employment. This means that there will be flexibility for you to attend job interviews that you have scheduled.

When should I make contact?

It doesn’t take much to get started in the world of temping. Firstly, make sure you search through staffing agencies until you find one with a customer list that meets your needs. Next, register, submit an up-to-date resume and search for jobs – all of which can be done online.

Once you are called for an interview, make sure it goes well by stressing your flexibility and confidence working in new positions and environments in addition to discussing and covering the relevant skills in the job listing. Always be prepared and research the company before the interview. It’s essential to emphasize dedication and commitment as employers want people who care even in temporary roles.

On the day of the interview, dress appropriately and come to the meeting with a copy of your application and an idea of your availability.  Be frank with the agency about your goals; whether it’s to gain valuable experience that will enable you to get a permanent, full time position in the future or to stay flexible while paying the bills.

Finally, it’s always best to wait until a few weeks before graduation before making contact with them unless you want to pick up some part-time, temp work during school hours or breaks. This is because most of the assignments are filled in less than 48 hours, so there’s no advantage to be gained by getting in touch too early.

Simon Renshaw

Simon Renshaw is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner that supports business during financial trouble. As a Director of AABRS, a leading Insolvency Practitioner based in London, Simon has a long history in rescuing companies from financial insolvency and helping to turn around businesses.