When job seekers are looking for a new employment opportunity, it is important to utilize all their resources. And that just may include working with an employment agency.
Now there are two types of agencies: temporary employment and regular placement. Temporary services are a good way to try out short- and long-term temporary positions in a variety of organizations in the job seeker’s area. However, temp work is not a guarantee of finding a full-time position.
With a regular employment agency, the staffing representative or headhunter is focused on identifying each candidate’s skill sets with the hope of matching him with a current employer looking to fill a regular full-time vacancy. Candidates who have never used the services of a headhunter may not be familiar with how one works or what to expect. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Develop a List of Potential Employment Services
This one seems like a no-brainer; however, depending on where a candidate lives, there may be many to choose from. Large U.S. cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are going to have different resources than smaller cities. The best way to start is to develop a list of agencies that might potentially offer the right type of service. Candidates can do this by:
Asking friends, family and business associates for agencies they have used themselves. They may even be able to provide the name of a contact.
Searching the Internet using a search engine and the words “employment agency” with the city where they live.
Looking in the yellow pages either on-line or in the soft-cover book that most people have tossed in a cupboard somewhere.
Checking out job posting sites to see which agencies have jobs posted in their area. Monster and Careerbuilder are the two largest job sites.
Once a job seeker has a list of potential employment agencies, the next step is to narrow the field down to the top three to five. Candidates can do this by finding out:
From those friends and colleagues that first provided the recommendation why they like this particular agency.
If the agency is job focused – administrative, management, day laborer – or career focused – accounting, scientific, IT. The more highly defined the service, the more likely the clients offer the right jobs.
Whether the agency has current or anticipates future job openings with clients that would be a good match with the job seeker’s background and experience.
What the agency will require from the candidate, what is involved in the screening process, and whether there are any special services that the agency offers such as resume preparation or computer skills brush-up.
Know What to Expect from Each Staffing Service
When candidates first use an agency, there may be several hoops they will need to jump through. These include:
Interview. Expect that there will be an initial interview in order to determine what the job seeker is looking for in the way of company, position, and salary. Be sure to take a resume.
Testing. Depending on the position, there may be a series of tests from basic spelling and math to more sophisticated computer skills testing.
Paperwork. There may be forms including an application that job seekers are required to complete.
Payment. At no time should the job seeker pay a fee for services. This is paid for by the hiring company.
Understand How to Utilize an Employment Agency
Finally, it is important for candidates to understand they have a say in the staffing process. A job seeker should never feel compelled to go on a job interview for a position that does not fit his specific requirements. Candidates need to be very clear with their agency representative about the type of position, type of company, location of company, and salary requirements that meet their particular needs.
On a final note, there are two schools of thought on how many placement agencies job seekers should sign on with. More than one may be necessary in order to ensure access to a variety of job opportunities, since not all employers use the same service. On the other hand, there is something to be said about developing rapport and a good relationship with one recruiter – someone who understands and will truly take the job seeker’s desires into account.
It’s just like with most anything, it takes a little time and a little research to find the right employment agency, but with patience, the job seeker can find the right headhunter to help him find the right job.
How to Find Temporary or Permanent-Temp Work
Temporary work benefits different categories of people. It may benefit someone switching careers, a stay at home mom looking for some extra part time work or students just coming out of college wanting to feel out the various fields and industries before they commit to any one occupation. Temporary work has to be applied for and requires a certain amount of familiarity with basic skills such as computing, typing, word processing and working various types of office machinery. A person needs a fair number of these skills to acquire a temporary position and sometimes is required to take a test of basic skills before being placed into a position.
How to Find Temporary Work
Temporary work can be found one of two ways. It can be found by going into the yellow pages and looking under “Employment Agencies.” Once there, a job seeker may find a plethora of listings for temporary agencies that may be under different job categories (sales, customer service, accountants, etc.). A job seeker may also respond to an online or newspaper posting for a specific job which has been placed by a temporary agency or headhunter. A headhunter is a professional job seeker who looks for employment for others and places them into positions with which they are best suited.
Types of Temporary Positions
Temporary positions vary from agency to agency. For instance, there may be assignments available that are strictly for people with skills in the advertising or healthcare industries. Most agencies typically place workers into temporary 9-5 positions or part-time positions under “general administrative” work. People who have a great amount of flexibility may be professional “temps” and go to work anywhere there is an assignment. These workers actually wait to be called for their next assignment after one ends. A job seeker or temp may hope to go from a “temp” to a “perm” position if the opportunity presents itself. Then, there are also recruitment agencies that cut out the temp work and simply place job seekers permanently into suitable positions.
The Pros and Cons of Being a Temp
Temping has its positives and negatives. On the negative side, most temporary agencies (for the most part), have never offered any health benefits to their temps. In recent years, some agencies have started offering healthcare packages. Temporary work may not be reliable, as assignments come and go, so security with one job is never really there, unless of course, the position is a “permanent” temporary position. It is also difficult to form lasting work friendships as a temp because a temp worker does not stay in one office for very long.
On the positive end, temporary work offers a lot of variety and diversity and can accentuate any professional’s working portfolio. Temporary work gives a person the much-needed on-the-job skills to perform in almost any position. Furthermore, it opens workers up to new and exciting fields, careers, and opportunities they might otherwise never have known existed.
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