It’s a common reaction that job-seekers hear from friends and relatives:
“You’re really thinking about working with a temp agency? You’ll never get anywhere that way!”
All that proves is that they don’t understand the real benefits of finding work through staffing agencies.
It’s true that temp agencies have been lifesavers for many workers who have been laid off or are new to the workforce. But today’s staffing agencies are much more than a source of short-term, minimum-wage paychecks.
Nine out of ten companies, including some of the biggest corporations in America, hire at least some of their long-term employees through staffing agencies. Just as importantly, it’s not just warehouse or clerical staff being hired through agencies, but technical and professional employees as well.
That means there are enormous benefits to finding work through a staffing agency. Here are four reasons to give it a try.
Experience and Flexibility
If you’re relatively new to the workforce, you may not be sure whether you want to work for a big or small company, whether you want to work in an office, outdoors, from home or on the road – you may not even know what type of job you really want to do. Simply graduating from school or finding your first job doesn’t automatically answer the question “what do you want to do when you grow up?” for you.
Working through a staffing agency allows you to experience many interesting jobs and employment situations, with the flexibility of not being “stuck” in any of them. Many assignments aren’t just for a week or a month, either; lots of long-term work is available, providing financial stability while you learn on the job.
Staffing agencies provide a great way to earn a paycheck, while you do “research” for an important life decision.
Working for a “Real” Company
It’s easy to picture temp positions as depressing jobs in tiny buildings, unsafe warehouses or dingy office complexes, working for no-name companies struggling for survival.
Some might be. But agencies also offer many challenging positions with Fortune 500 corporations, in modern facilities. For example, you could find yourself working for Sony, Visa, Amazon or Microsoft, all of which hire employees through staffing agencies on a regular basis.
Finding a Full-Time Position
Unemployment rates are low, making it difficult to find a promising full-time job. When interesting positions are posted or advertised, and if you manage to get an interview, you’d better impress the interviewer immediately with your resume, desire and intelligence – or you’re out of luck.
Working for that same company as a temporary employee gets your foot in the door. You won’t have to roll the dice on a single, all-or-nothing interview, because the managers will see your work ethic and abilities on display every day. When the company posts a job you’ll know before anyone else and have a leg up on outside applicants.
Even better, an employee placed by an agency ends up being hired for the job they’re doing on a full-time basis, or offered an even better one.
At the very least, the experience you gain will give you the resume you’ll need to get a great full-time job, when you’re ready to go out on interviews.
Good Pay, Good Benefits
Your friends or relatives who caution you against working with an agency may visualize the days when temp jobs paid minimum wage or entry-level wages. That’s no longer necessarily the case.
It’s true that if you’re just out of college with no marketable skills, you might be receiving an entry-level paycheck. However, a large number of staffing agency positions pay anywhere from $20 per hour to $50,000 per year, or even more.
The majority of staffing agencies also offer benefit packages that can include vacations and holidays, medical insurance, and for some workers, 401K programs.
In short, well-meaning advice against taking a “temp job” with an agency simply doesn’t apply to the professional industry that staffing has now become. In truth, taking a job through an agency is now one of the best ways to break into or move up in the working world.