How do staffing agencies work?

Nov 12th, 2016
How do staffing agencies work?

Staffing agencies help companies that need temporary help by searching, screening and hiring such workers to go work for them.

Why do Companies use Staffing Agencies?

Companies often have temporary help needs. It might be to cover for an employee that has gone on a maternity break or seasonal high volume of work like during Christmas for retail shops or an Amazon warehouse. It could also be for higher skill work like software engineering or consulting when a company has a special project that needs to be done but only required for a short period. In such cases it makes sense for the company to use a staffing agency as it may not have the time or recruiters to go out and search for such help. It lets them ramp up and ramp down without spending too much internal effort.

How does it work?

The company identifies and selects a worker from the many candidates the staffing agency submits to it. The worker is then hired on to the payrolls of the staffing agency and considered as the staffing agency’s employee for all purposes, but physically goes to work at the client company and reports to the hiring manager at the client company.  When the project is over, the client company tells the staffing agency and the staffing agency terminates the worker’s contract. The worker is only paid for the duration of the contract on an hourly basis. The company pays the staffing agency an amount that includes the worker’s salaries and benefits and a markup that covers the overhead and profit margin of the staffing agency. A staffing agency’s costs include sales people, recruiters and its operations.

How do staffing agencies hire?

Most staffing agencies proactively reach out to candidates all the time and maintain a database of candidates because they don’t know when they are going to need someone. When they get a requirement they may lookup their internal database or search the job board databases they subscribe to or they may post jobs on the popular job sites like Indeed, Monster or Craigslist.

How do Contractors get contract, contract-to-hire or part-time jobs through staffing agencies?

Contractors post their resume on job boards or apply to jobs on job boards. Most successful contractors build relationships with several staffing agencies as they already have some trust built if they have worked together before. Most jobs however result from recruiters finding their resumes in some job database or professional network like Linkedin or OnContracting. Read more here about how to register with staffing agencies.

For more details read up articles like things to know about contracting.


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