What is a staffing agency? Should I use one to find a job?

September 10, 2023 in Job resources


You’ve probably heard of staffing agencies before. Maybe you had a friend who went though one, or a company you worked at used one to hire someone. You’re probably thinking “What is it?” “Should I use one?” “What’s the catch?” The way we job search has stayed consistent throughout the years, so it can seem weird going through a middleman. Some people might even say it’s unnecessary. But staffing agencies are a huge resource for finding a job and most people could benefit from reaching out to one during a job search.

Here’s the short answer:

Staffing agencies, also known as temp agencies, recruitment agencies, or employment agencies, are professional matchmakers. Businesses reach out to agencies with positions to fill, and provide them with the qualifications they need. Staffing agencies then find people to fit those roles.

When someone comes in looking for work, the staffing agency screens them against those qualifications to see which positions they could fill.

How do staffing agencies work as a job seeker?

Staffing agencies are simple and can be broken down into 3 easy steps.

The first stage is your initial contact with a staffing agency. A recruiter will make a screening call which is an informal interview to create a profile at the agency. During the call, the recruiter will note:

  • What your previous job experience is
  • What your skills and qualifications are
  • What your transferable skills are

This is also the perfect time to ask clarifying questions or request specific jobs that you’re looking for. If a recruiter doesn’t have the job you want, continue the screening anyway. That way you’re in their database when something opens up.

The second stage refers to the actual job search. Most of the time, agencies will have a list of jobs ready to go. But if you’re looking for something specific, they may need time to find something.

Here’s a pro tip. Next time you’re job searching, leave your info with an employment agency. You’re not obligated to accept any of their available jobs if they don’t suit you. But you’ll at least be a phone call away for any potential jobs that open up.

Once you accept one of the jobs they offer, then you move onto the third stage of the agency process. Here you’ll interview with the company you’re hiring with. Don’t be nervous though, you’ll be well prepared and ready for any question they ask. If you do well, you’ll be approved for the job and be sent an offer letter.

What are the different services that staffing agencies provide?

Job agencies usually offer multiple different services, each tailored for different types of job seekers.

Contingent Staffing

The most common form of staffing. Also known as temporary or contract staffing. People are employed by staffing agencies and then placed at client companies, usually as independent contractors. The jobs can vary in duration, ranging from short-term to longer-term roles.

Contingent staffing is a great way to find quick work, but there are a few things you need to be mindful of when accepting work. The first is what kind of benefits you’re offered. Since you’re being hired as an independent contractor, benefits can vary between different agencies

The second is to make sure you’re aware of how long the job is. These job lengths vary and it’s important to know how long you’ll be employed.

Direct Hire

Staffing that focuses on permanent or full-time positions. It differs from contingent staffing because you are placed as a permanent employee from day one. Meaning the job will function as a traditional job.

If you’re in a career or looking to get your foot in a certain career industry, Direct Hire is the perfect way to advance your career.

What are the pros and cons of a staffing agency?



Staffing agency recruiters deal with the job market on a daily basis. If anyone has connections, it’s them. Take advantage of this if you’re having a hard time finding a job. This is especially true for entry-level workers without much experience. If you have the transferable skills to get somewhere, recruiters will vouch for you.

Access to jobs that aren’t public

Some companies have exclusive partnerships with staffing agencies, meaning you won’t find their jobs on public job boards like Indeed or LinkedIn.

Gain valuable feedback on your resume and interview skills

If you’ve ever wanted a job-searching coach then consider a staffing agency. Your recruiter wants you to get the job. That means they’ll train you on building a strong resume and give you the skills necessary to have a good interview

Save time

Staffing agencies may have work you’re looking for. That’s less time searching and applying for work.

Services are free to you as a job seeker

Employers pay staffing agencies to find candidates. Meaning, as a candidate staffing agencies are free to use, even if you don’t end up finding a job through them.


Limited jobs in specialized fields

If you’re in a specific niche, a lot of staffing agencies may not be able to help. Specific niches usually require specialized staffing agencies with a focus on those types of jobs. Industries such as legal services, engineering, healthcare, and more.

The job may not be the right fit

Sometimes a job might not be the right fit. Make sure to ask a lot of questions before making your decision, both to the recruiter and to the interviewer. A lot of times, agencies will allow you to change jobs to something else.

Inconsistent benefits

Always make sure to ask about what benefits are offered through the agency. Some offer full benefits, while others don’t.

Uncertain duration

When it comes to contract or temporary staffing, every job has a different duration. While many agencies offer a path to becoming a full-time worker, it’s important to ask for more information and know exactly how long the job is so you can plan ahead.

In conclusion

Staffing agencies are matchmakers for jobs and candidates. They help job seekers find the right opportunities and assist companies in building their dream teams. These agencies are all about connections, expertise, and making careers happen.

Having a tough time finding work?

We’ve made it easier to find work and with all the benefits of the traditional job search. We strive to separate ourselves from other agencies, which is why we offer full benefits to all of our contract workers. Check out our list of available jobs here and call us at 408-247-8233. Our recruiters are happy to answer any questions.

Ready to take your shot?

We want to hear from you! We love nothing more than building workforce solutions that enhance lives and elevate communities. Reach out today and a member of our team will be in touch.