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20 Jul 2021 Austin Belcak

How Do Temp Agencies Work When You’re Looking For A Job?

You’re not alone if it takes you months to find a new job. In fact, the average job search takes around 3-6 months. But, if you need a job ASAP, temp agencies are a good place to start. And, in some cases, they could also connect you with opportunities that lead to full-time roles.

If you’ve never worked with a temp agency before, you’re likely to have some questions. And, in this post, I’m going to explain how temp agencies work and answer common questions, including:

  • What do temp agencies do?
  • How do temp agencies get paid?
  • Is it possible to turn temporary jobs into full-time roles?
  • Which temp agencies are best for your professional industry?

But first, let’s kick things off with a quick overview of what a temp agency is.

What Are Temp Agencies?

Temp agencies, also known as staffing agencies, help companies find employees to fill mostly temporary positions. For these companies, temp agencies help reduce the amount of time and effort a company needs to put into finding employees.

As someone searching for a job, a temp agency is a resource that can help connect you to work opportunities that aren’t likely to be advertised on job search engines. And given the way temp agencies work, they also offer a few other benefits if you’ve found that you can’t find a job using traditional methods.

How Do Temp Agencies Work?

Temp agencies act as a middleman between job searchers and companies looking to fill temporary positions. When you submit your resume, the temp agency evaluates your experience to determine which of the companies and jobs in their database could be a good fit for you.

If there’s a suitable position, a recruiter from the temp agency will contact you to conduct an interview to further understand your qualifications, employment history, and fit for the specific job and company. The recruiter may also offer advice on how to improve your resume and how to prepare for an interview with the company’s hiring manager.

After your interview at the company, the recruiter from the staffing agency will continue to be in contact with you and the company’s hiring manager. If the company determines that they would like to hire you, the recruiter will work alongside them on details regarding the pay, start date, and any additional procedures before letting you know about the employment offer.

How Temp Agencies Get Paid

If you need a job, everything I’ve shared about temp agencies so far might sound great. But it means you’re working with a third-party service to find a job. So, is it your responsibility to pay for their help?

Nope! You shouldn’t have to pay a staffing agency anything to submit your resume or receive any of the benefits I’ve discussed. Because temp agencies do a lot of the work typically done by a company’s hiring team or HR department, the costs are covered by those companies.

How To Turn a Temp Job Into A Full-Time Role

Once you’ve been selected for a formal interview, the process of winning the job is almost the same as it would be if you applied without the help of the temp agency. That means it’s still your job to show the value you’d bring to whatever role you’re being considered for.

So, how can you do that? Good question! Just as I’d recommend for any job seeker, one of the best things you can do is network with people at the company who can influence the hiring process.

For example, once you know the company the temp agency has matched you with, use LinkedIn to find people who would be on the same team or who have similar job titles. Then, send one or two of those people a cold email to introduce yourself, ask about the specific challenges they’re facing at work, and get a better idea of how you as a temporary employee could help solve some of those challenges.

Once you have that information, you could put together a quick proposal or Value Validation Project that shows how you would use your transferable skills to work on those challenges and succeed in the role.

Is this a lot more work than most people do when applying through a temp agency? Absolutely. And most applicants won’t do it. But that’s also why it will not only improve your odds of getting the position, but also turning that temporary job into a full-time gig!

5 Temp Agencies To Help You Find A Job

If you’ve decided you’d like to work with a staffing agency to find a job, here are 5 of the most well-known:

Randstad. This staffing and recruitment agency focuses on helping companies find temporary and permanent employees in finance, technology, administration, and more.

Kelly Services. This staffing and recruitment agency helps companies find employees to work in roles related to finance, information technology, law, and more.

Adecco. This staffing and recruitment agency can help you find your next role in a variety of industries, including accounting, marketing, customer service, and more.

Robert Half. This staffing and recruitment agency can help you find a role in the accounting, administration, technology, marketing, and legal industries.

Artisan Talent. This staffing agency focuses exclusively on helping you find digital, creative, and marketing roles.

Final Thoughts

A temp agency can be a great resource to help you find temporary work while you continue to look for a permanent role. Not only can they connect you with opportunities, but they can also provide advice on how to improve your resume and answer a company's interview questions so you’re more likely to be hired.

That temporary job could even turn into a full-time role if you know how to network during the hiring process and go above and beyond to bring value once hired. The tips I’ve shared here can help you do just that.

And if you’re looking for an even more effective way to find your dream job, I recommend also checking out my guide on how to find a job without applying online!

Austin Belcak

Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people land jobs without connections, without traditional experience, and without applying online. His strategies have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, & Fast Company and has helped people just like you land jobs at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, & more.



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