What is a staffing agency? How does a temp service work?

A staffing agency is a business that matches employees with companies that need to fill empty jobs.

Recruiters conduct interviews, hiring procedures, background checks and drug tests with applicants. Many of the positions they fill are entry-level which can lead to long-term careers, although many others require experience.  Agencies even have positions, often referred to as temp-to-hire, that allow workers to be hired by that company after a short trial period of work.

Different temporary services have different hiring processes, but the process typically goes something like this:  To get a job through a temp service, you will first fill out an application. A recruiter will look at your application and resume.  After this, they will interview you to discuss your skillset and the open positions they have. If you are interested in one, you will continue with paperwork.

You may have to fill out a background check form and then take a drug screen. After this process, you will complete the final hiring paperwork. If you are offered a position, you will discuss your date to start work.

Once you start work, you are employed by the staffing agency. If you are ill, you will call the agency office to report an absence. Your paycheck and benefits will be received through the staffing company. The amount of time it takes to be hired by the client will vary; however, it can be based on your performance and dedication.

What Is a Staffing Agent?

Staffing agents can be called by many different names, including recruiter, head hunter, talent officer or employment agent. Regardless of the title, a staffing agent will help you find a job. They will typically ask you about your past experience, skill sets and interests to help find the best position for you. A staffing agent may also help you fill out an application or hiring documents once they have found the right position for you.

What are the benefits of working with a staffing agency?

A staffing agency can give you access to jobs and companies that you would not be able to find otherwise. Businesses use agencies to fill positions that range from entry-level to upper-level management. Some jobs are never listed because companies only use a staffing agency to recruit the best.

By working with a staffing agency, you can get an opportunity to make a great first impression, learn about the company and get your foot in the door at a great workplace.

A staffing agency allows you to apply at multiple companies with one application and process, saving you time. The recruiter will review your information and match it to the best job available for you. If you are not interested, they will continue trying to match your skills to the needs of their clients.

What should I know about staffing agencies?

  • You do not have to accept the first position you are offered. You can wait for the right job.
  • A recruiter’s job is to find you work. When you come into the office, their goal is to process your application and get you a job as quickly as possible. However, you can ask to wait for a better fit if you feel the job offered is not right for your situation.
  • Policies on pay, background checks and drug tests, will vary depending on the agency you choose. Because state laws, client needs or management teams are different depending on your location, no two staffing agencies are exactly alike.
  • A poor experience with one staffing office should not prevent you from trying another location or agency later. Most staffing agencies want to get you a good job.
  • Businesses have open jobs, and staffing companies find people like you to work these positions.Generally, these businesses need workers to fill immediate jobs, and they also want to find good people from the agencies to add to their own teams. Working through a staffing agency can give you the advantage to start a good career.

What is it like to work for a staffing agency?

When you are working for a short-term staffing agency in areas such as light industrial or light clerical work, you will usually be given an assignment to complete for a local business. A reputable staffing agency will match your skills, abilities and career goals to the open positions.

You will report to the client for work each day. You might only talk to the agency when you have questions about pay or other benefits. It depends on your situation.

How long it takes to get hired on by the client company depends on the company’s needs, your performance and your skills; it could take weeks or months.

Is there a cost to using a staffing agency?

It depends on the agency. Some agencies have fees which are passed along to either clients or employees.

The Ōnin Group does not charge our Teammates for working with us. The pay rate you are offered is the amount you are paid. The only amount withdrawn from your check is the cost of any insurance you pick and any taxes you have to pay.

Some job assignments may require special equipment, such as steel-toed boots or protective eyewear, which you will be responsible for providing; however, some offices may offer to buy it for you and deduct it from your check. This would be an agreement between you and the staffing branch.

Are there people who make a career out of doing temp jobs?

Yes, some people enjoy the flexibility and variety offered in working with a staffing agency.

Some staffing agencies offer great benefits that are sometimes even better than regular employers.  Many positions also offer competitive wages. Between benefits and a good salary, you can support yourself and your family with short-term positions.

What are some signs that your temp job is likely or unlikely to go perm?

In our current job market, unemployment is low and there are few people to take the jobs that employers need filled. What this means is employers are hungry for skilled and qualified workers.

If you are working a job and want to get hired on permanently, your chances are good if you work hard. It is important to ask yourself if you want to stay at your current job or company. If you do not, there is no point in staying, and you should look for the right fit for you. However, if you really like what you are doing and where you work, then do the work to get noticed.

You will need to have great attendance and a good attitude. Pay attention to job postings to figure out the skills you need to get it. Then work on gaining the skills.

Volunteer for special work projects that will teach you the skills you need, find a mentor who can show you, or take classes to learn the skills you need for that promotion. Although a permanent placement is not guaranteed with a staffing agency, your hard work is sure to pay off.

How long does a temp job last?

Your job lasts as long as the client needs you. Some jobs may be a short-term project from the start. Many times the recruiters do not know how long you’ll be needed, so they will not be able to tell you. But, working for a temp service gives you the chance to get your foot in the door with a good company and gain relevant experience.

And one thing to remember is that while each assignment may only last a certain amount of time, you can continue your employment with the staffing agency as long as you like.  They will continue to match you with jobs that match your skills so long as you continue to provide quality work to their clients.  As well, if you show the staffing agency you are dependable and dedicated to your work they can provide recommendations to their clients or other employers if you have an opportunity to go full-time with another company.

Should I take a temp to perm job or hold out for something stable?

A temp to perm job can help with money until you get a job offer. In fact, a short-term job can lead to a full-time career.

By performing well, having good attendance and learning the required skills to advance, your temp job can turn into the perm job you were waiting on.

How should I ask for a new job assignment at a temp agency?

The best way to ask for a new job is to talk to your recruiter. It is professional to complete your assignment. However, if you can’t, it is best to give a two-week notice, even if you want to swap jobs. To change assignments, the recruiters need time to find someone to fill your spot first.

Is it possible for a temp agency to place you with a company where you are not eligible for rehire?

Most staffing agencies work closely with their clients’ HR teams. Before sending a new worker to a client, a good agency will verify the worker is eligible for hire.

If you worked for a company before and are not eligible for rehire, most likely it will be caught during screening. If you don’t say anything, the staffing agency may not hire you at all. Even if you get the job, eventually you will be caught and returned to the agency.

It is best, to be honest from the beginning. If the recruiter knows, they may be able to speak with HR and ask for another chance for you. Always be truthful and your recruiter will work with you.

Are temps or staffing agencies good for job searches?

Applying at a staffing agency is a great idea. These services work with companies of all sizes in your local area.

Their clients regularly need entry-level and experienced people. Businesses reach out to agencies because staffing services save them time.

By filling out one application with a staffing agency, you are applying to many companies in your area. The professional staff is trained to review your skills, experience and salary needs to match you with the best job.

Many staffing agencies offer benefits comparable to large companies which include health care coverage and more.

What does it mean when the temp agency you’re working for tells you your assignment has ended and not to go back?

It means the job you were working at has ended. This may sound bad, but you don’t necessarily need to be worried. An assignment ending is not like being fired from a job. Your job could be ended for many reasons, including the company’s production levels have dropped and you are no longer needed.

However, if you have had problems at work, the client may have asked for your job to be ended. Generally, companies are not required to keep the people from a staffing agency.

Most staffing agencies will find you another job quickly unless you had several issues at work. When you call in, the staffing company will most likely provide a replacement position. If you are late or had conflicts at work, the agency will be notified. Good conduct will lead to more opportunities. Poor conduct will get you fired.

Are there any short-term jobs that are worthwhile just for the experience?

Absolutely! Many times companies will reach out to local staffing agencies when they need help with a special project if they don’t have someone who can do the job.

For example, a business may need a new website and a marketplace to sell their products. Although they can hire a service to do this, the business wants to find a local person who could be a good employee. If that person fits and does a good job, the company may ask for them again or offer them a direct position.

Staffing agencies can be great for recent graduates or those who are considering a career change. A temp agency has different types of jobs for people with varying skill levels.

If you are considering a new job or want to change your career path, an agency help you try out a different field, like welding, manufacturing, production, IT and more. It is a great way to test out a career about which you are curious. You will be paid to gain new skills.

What is the best way to get a short-term job?

The best way to get a short-term job is to apply at a staffing agency. These agencies fill local positions with area companies. With one application, you will apply to several companies in the area, saving you time and effort. Some companies, like Ōnin Staffing, allow you to apply online, too.

What is a temp?

A temp is a short-term worker who works through a staffing agency. That said, we don’t like to call people “temps” at Ōnin since we think this language can be dehumanizing. Instead, we call our people “Teammates.”

How long is a temp job?

The length of an assignment varies. Some job assignments may last a few days or weeks. Others are long-term and can last years or even lead to a permanent position with the company.

Some agencies offer direct placement, which means the agency will do all of your hiring paperwork, but you will work for the client permanently. You will not be an employee of the agency, but of the company themselves.

What is temp-to-perm?

Temp-to-perm is a short-term job that can lead to a permanent one with the company. You will start out working for the agency, but when the client offers to hire you on, you become their employee.  This can happen at any time for any reason (such as your performance, a probationary period has passed, or simply a job with your skill set has opened up).  As with any job, your potential to go full-time will hinge on your job performance more than anything so be sure to give your best each and every day – especially if you know a full-time offer may be on the table soon.

What does contract-to-hire mean?

Contract-to-hire is another phrase for temp-to-hire. However contract-to-hire positions usually include a contract that says how long you have to work for the staffing company first.

What is a full-time contract position?

A full-time contract position is a full-time job where you work at least 35 hours per week. You will be working for the staffing agency at a location designated by the client. You will have a contract to work for the agency until the contract is complete. The length of time varies.

Do temp employees get paid holidays? Or benefits?

The benefits you receive will be from the staffing agency, not the client. Each agency has their own policy or benefits package.

Most people get their insurance through their employer, so staffing agencies offer medical coverage. You can usually decline the coverage but may have to pay a penalty when you file taxes.

Many staffing agencies offer other services, such as dental and vision coverage, some form of paid time off, and employee discounts at national merchants. The quality and cost of insurance vary dramatically from company to company. It is important to ask questions when you are signing up for work.

It’s important to know what kind of benefits your company is offering up front. Some companies offer great benefits, while others offer lower quality benefits packages. Although others may offer insurance and other perks, at Ōnin Staffing, we offer affordable, comprehensive benefits for everyone. Our medical and prescription copays are low, we offer free counseling for your mental health and we have free vision insurance included!

How does temp-to-hire work?

You will start out working for the staffing agency temporarily. If you have good performance and the company needs long-term workers, they may hire you on directly. It is not a guarantee, but it is a great way to make a good impression with a local company.

What is a direct hire? Is a direct hire good?

A direct hire is a great job opportunity. It is a permanent job offered to you by a client of a staffing agency. You will do your hiring paperwork with the staffing agency, but you will work for the client company. Once you have completed your onboarding process, you will be an employee of the client company.

What is contract staffing and permanent staffing?

Contract staffing is a little different than temporary or short-term staffing. In this hiring situation, you agree to work for a client for a certain period of time for a set pay rate by signing a contract. You are required to work the full amount of agreed upon time, or you can be sued for breach of contract. You are not considered permanent.

Permanent staffing is when you are hired directly by the company as an employee. There is not a contract or staffing service involved.

What is the difference between part-time and temporary work? What’s the difference between a part-time and full-time job?

Part-time is working a position for less than full-time hours as considered by their employer. Usually, this is 34 hours or less a week. You can have part-time work that is temporary or permanent.

A temporary position is working for a company on a short-term or temp-to-hire basis. You may work full or part-time, depending on the need of the company.

Full-time hours are set by the company and are usually between 35 to 40 hours per week. Overtime is paid when a worker is clocked in more than 40 hours in one week. You may work longer hours in a day without overtime pay, as long as your total weekly hours are less than 40.

Do temp agencies do background checks or drug screens?

The procedures of a staffing agency can vary from office to office. These policies can be affected by state laws as well as corporate rules. However, most reputable agencies will conduct a background check and a drug screen in accordance with the laws in their area and the requirements of their clients.  Not every staffing agency will be friendly to those with a pass or failed drug screening.  At Ōnin Staffing we encourage you to come as you are.  Some of our most successful Teammates have had criminal history in their background check but simply needed an opportunity to shine.  We were able to match them with jobs that fit their skills and could see past their record.  If you are concerned about your background being a hiccup in employment then a temporary staffing agency may be a great place to show you are more than a rap sheet.

Do staffing agencies charge a fee?

Some staffing agencies charge fees, but it is not a common practice. If the agency charges a fee for service, it is important those fees be explained upfront and clearly. You should be able to ask questions about the fees and if they stop at any time or change if you receive a raise.

Ōnin Staffing does not charge our Teammates a fee for our services. We do not hold back pay or take a percentage of your check. The amount you are offered for the job is the amount you are paid for each hour of work you perform.

What is the process of staffing?

The process of staffing deals with both local companies and local workers. Companies ask staffing agencies to help them fill open jobs. They need workers and contract with an agency to recruit and screen the people they need.

Staffing agencies then work to find people to fill the open jobs of their clients. When you apply with a staffing agency, they will match you to a job and do your hiring paperwork. Depending on the agency, this will probably include an application, interview, tax forms and may include a background check and drug screen. When you are done with the hiring process, you will be told where to report to work.

While working for the staffing agency, you will talk to their team when you have questions. If you need to call in for work, you will call the office, too. The staffing agency will contact you about any work-related issues, including weather closures.

Changes in your shift will typically come from the client supervisory staff. If you are offered a job directly with the client, you can accept and then the staffing agency will not be involved.

Do staffing agencies hire felons?

Yes, typically staffing agencies will work with people who have criminal records, although different agencies have their own policies.

Agencies must follow the hiring criteria set by their clients. However, these agencies work with many companies. This gives applicants with records access to jobs that have background requirements that may accept them.

Ōnin Staffing works with people of all backgrounds and does not hold your past against you.

What kind of jobs do temp agencies offer?

Temp agencies offer a variety of jobs. Some agencies work in specific industries, such as IT, medical or construction fields. Others, like Ōnin Staffing, work with many employers across multiple industries. It is important to ask that question when you apply.

If you have a specific skill set or want to start a career, you may consider applying at an agency geared toward your industry.

However, working with an agency that has a variety of clients will allow you to find jobs that will help you grow. You may gain useful new skills, or find work outside your sector by doing what you do.

For example, a trucking firm may need a welder to repair trucks. Or a manufacturer may need an IT tech to manage their programs and time clocks.

Staffing agencies offer jobs in all kinds of industries. Many agencies hire for entry-level, manual labor positions all the way up to Operations Managers or IT Directors.

How can you get out of temp agency contract?

First, you will need to speak with your recruiter to be sure you have a contract for your job. Many agencies do not have contracts and therefore you will only need to provide notice to quit.

Next, if you are under contract, the terms in which you may end the job will vary. By explaining your situation, your agency staff may be able to help you negotiate the contract so you may leave with notice.

That said, some may require time to find a replacement. Some may require a set amount of time for notice, such as two weeks or 30 days. While other contracts may require you to finish the contract or pay a fine or fee.

Finally, it is important that you understand what you are signing any time you sign a form. During the hiring process, be sure to take time to read all of the papers you are given before you sign them. Ask questions when you do not understand. Being aware of what you agree to do will save you frustration down the road.

Do short-term jobs through a staffing agency really have long-term security?

In many ways, a staffing agency can provide job security for their employees. During a layoff, short-term employees will be the first to go. While on the surface this seems to be a disadvantage, this early release allows you to take other jobs first. When the permanent employees are laid off weeks or months later, the competition for available jobs will be fierce.

Working with a staffing agency gives you an advantage, because while permanent employees are still working and hoping they are not laid off too, you can take the next big job.

What kind of jobs does Ōnin Staffing offer?

Ōnin Staffing offers jobs in many industries. Many of our jobs are in the production, warehousing and light industrial sectors. We also need Teammates with hospitality, culinary, food production and clerical skills. Our clients often reach out to us for help finding managers, supervisors and professional staff, as well.

What are the different types of staffing agencies?

There are many types of staffing agencies across industries in the US. Some offices provide day labor in the construction field. Others offer contract workers for IT and medical companies. The staffing industry is vast and opportunities are available in most fields. A staffing agency may be a good place for you to start looking for a career if you are interested in:

  • IT
  • Health Care
  • Scientific
  • Medical
  • Construction
  • Light Industrial
  • Warehousing
  • Production
  • Hospitality
  • Heavy Industrial
  • Clerical
  • Management
  • Professional