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How to Get a Job through a Staffing Agency

A staffing agency employs a team of recruiters who help employers fill positions by matching job seekers with opportunities that best fit their skills and experience.

Historically low unemployment rates have put companies in a tight spot trying to fill open positions, and staffing agencies have come to the rescue. 

But, job seekers are the real winners!

As a job seeker, you’re looking for the most efficient way to find a great job, and staffing agencies are well-positioned to be your ally.

As staffing companies grow in popularity with employers, so does their inventory of open positions, which means more opportunity for you. Instead of taking on the time-consuming process of researching, applying, and following up on jobs individually, your staffing recruiter does the legwork for multiple positions at once, saving you time and stress. Plus, the pipeline of open opportunities is continually changing, which increases your odds of landing a great job. 

There’s never been a better time for candidates to leverage staffing agencies for their job search. But, you may not know how to get a job through a staffing agency.

Here’s some of our best advice.

Work with one reputable staffing agency.

If you think maximum exposure increases your likelihood of landing a job, it may seem counter-intuitive to work with a single staffing agency but hear me out.

Working with multiple staffing agencies during a job search can be harmful. If your resume is submitted multiple times for the same position, the hiring manager is likely to be suspicious, and it may even get you blacklisted. If several agencies are involved, commission battles may ensue over who submitted your resume first. Most importantly, this scenario brings your ethics into question with both the employer and recruiter, which could hurt your chances for employment now and in the future.

Recruiters want to add value to the companies that hire them. One way they do this is by bringing forward unique candidates that employers haven’t yet seen. When you put your trust in your recruiter and allow them singular access to market you, you become a hot commodity and a priority for them.

Working with one reputable staffing agency will save you time in the long run. They only work with businesses that are good employers and are serious about hiring. They have a direct line to hiring managers at various companies and can offer advice on your industry, as well as the job market. Leveraging their expertise and contacts will help you cut through the clutter of available jobs to hone in on the very best ones.

Choose your staffing agency wisely.

Staffing agencies are not created equally. For every reputable firm, another is devaluing the reputation of the industry with bad practices, and associating with an unethical agency can harm your reputation. So, before you commit, do your homework. 

Begin with an online search, browsing the agencies’ website and online reviews. Next, ask around. Does anyone in your network know the company, or have personal experience working with them? 

When you hone in on an agency with a good reputation, screen THEM. 

Explore these areas when choosing a staffing agency: 

  • The background and longevity of the agency
  •  Industries and positions in which they specialize
  •  How they work with direct-hire, contract, and contract-to-hire employees
  •  What type of benefits they provide
  • Their roster of current positions
  • A sampling of employers they work with
  • The agency’s geographic footprint

With a little vetting, you will find the staffing agency that’s right for you.

Build a relationship with a recruiter.

Both job seekers and recruiters benefit from a strong relationship.

By speaking openly about your needs, your recruiter is better able to match you with opportunities and advocate on your behalf.

Since the employer doesn’t pay their staffing agency until a placement is made, a recruiter’s success hinges on their ability to find quality talent. Offering poor candidates for a job undermines the recruiter’s credibility.  With that in mind, they are highly motivated to place candidates but are unlikely to sacrifice quality.  

How to impress a job recruiter at a staffing agency:

  • Take the interview seriously
  • Bring several copies of your error-free, up-to-date resume
  • Offer a cover letter
  • Dress appropriately (Don’t know what to wear? Ask.)
  • Bring a pad and pen for notes
  • Since you might not be interviewing for a particular position, be ready to speak broadly about your skills, experience, and interests
  • Be prepared to ask questions
  • Follow up after the interview
  • Keep in touch (but not too much)

In addition to learning about your work history, your recruiter will gauge your professionalism, personality, and interview skills. Put your best foot forward as these factors will play a role in the types of positions for which you're considered. And, feel free to ask your recruiter for feedback on the interview and ask for advice on ways to improve.  

At every opportunity, be honest with your recruiter about your abilities, experience, and even jobs you really don’t like. Holding back or deceiving decreases the likelihood that you will be matched with the best opportunity for you, and no one has time for that!

As a job seeker, working with a staffing agency is an efficient and effective way to find direct-hire, contract, or contract-to-hire positions. If you’d like to learn more about working with FrankCrum Staffing, click here, or explore open positions, here.

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