This week, we will discuss the pros and cons of working with a staffing agency from an Employee perspective; next week, we will discuss the pros and cons from an Employer standpoint.
Why should I use a staffing agency to help me find a job?
Most people who have used a staffing agency to find work have had an unpleasant experience at some point – I’ve had several of them myself! Many of the problems a person can have with a staffing agency boil down to uncommunicated expectations, so let’s review some potential problems to avoid and then explore the many benefits of working with a trusted staffing agency.
“I’ll take anything, I just need a job…” This is a phrase we dread hearing, because it means people are not communicating their future needs to us, and we are never going to make them happy in the long term because they are so desperate to start “anything”. I recently spoke with a young woman who called up to see if we had any temporary event jobs because she just wanted “anything” and was desperate for a paycheck; when I asked her what she really wanted to be doing 2 years down the road, I found out she had been certified for medical coding and had paralegal training and I exclaimed, “Why didn’t you say so?” When you are so desperate for a paycheck that you put yourself into a job you will hate, you ensure that you will leave that job soon, which keeps you in a perpetual job search, earning very little, and looking like a job-hopper on your resume, which in turn prevents you from getting a good job. See how that spiral of stagnation works? Job-hopping keeps you job-hopping. We want to place you in the right job, a job you’ll want to stay with to develop your skills and sense of self-worth. Don’t just communicate your current situation to a recruiter, let them know what you want to be doing in two years, and what you need to feel successful…then, be as patient as possible!
Additionally, people desperate to take “anything” might initially take a job that doesn’t pay enough for their needs, or is too far of a commute, or is a new shift to which they just cannot adjust. First, don’t take a job that puts you at a disadvantage simply because you expect to get a raise in the future; tomorrow is never given, so set yourself up for success today rather than ensuring you will be leaving in a few months looking for better pay, continuing the “stagnating spiral”. You may indeed get a raise if you bring your A-game to the table every day, but that should be the icing on the cake that builds forward momentum in your career. At Barracuda Staffing, we take rate of pay, commute distance, and several other factors into account before we make an offer to place you at a new company, because everybody loses when we place people in the wrong situation.
Above all, understand that once you do get a position, the amount of effort you put in from there makes all the difference for your career. If you truly want to earn more and become a long-term team member at a great company, you must bring a positive attitude and willingness to learn to work every day. Just listen to Hoang Phan’s story – he started out job-hopping, ended up loading beverage trucks, but thanks to a paid apprenticeship program look where he is now! Find out more about various government training programs here and remember that learning is the most important way to secure a strong future.
“Staffing companies take advantage of workers and don’t pay them what they are worth”
This is a common objection I hear, and it is the result of both a misunderstanding of how some staffing agencies work, and uncommunicated expectations. Let’s look at both issues below:
If a company needs to hire a machinist, they know they need to offer a starting salary that will attract the kind of employee they need, and this is the salary that we promote to the potential employee, or “contractor”. The contractor gets paid the offered wage, and we charge the company a fee in addition to the wage earned. Nothing is taken from the Contractor’s earnings, however, it is not uncommon for companies to evaluate employees during an introductory period by offering a “starting wage” that will later be adjusted once the company has determined the true level of the employee’s expertise. This practice can sometimes be misconstrued as a staffing agency paying a contractor less than normal, when really what is occurring is a company is offering a reduced rate of pay during an introductory evaluation period. This should all be clearly communicated to you by your recruiter before you accept the position.
While other staffing agencies may operate differently from Barracuda Staffing, Howstuffworks offers a comprehensive article about How Employment Agencies Work.
Some companies may have a longer evaluation period than 90 days, and in rare cases, some companies may never hire people on permanently because they have contracted the staffing agency to handle the payroll and benefits administration, rather than hiring additional staff to do so themselves. Again, this should all be clearly communicated to you, and likewise, you should clearly communicate your expectations up front in terms of how long you are willing to be evaluated and remain on a staffing agency’s payroll.
Now that we’ve addressed some of the potential pitfalls, let’s talk about the benefits!
- We know the company culture; if you need a fast-paced job so you don’t get bored, or you need a slow-paced job so you don’t get overwhelmed, we know where you will be a good fit. This kind of information is not always evident in a company’s job posting.
- We know what else is available; if you see a job online and think you would be a perfect fit, chances are good we know of three to five other jobs that might be even better for you!
- We can give you tips and pointers that will make all the difference in your career; many companies get flooded with resumes when they hire on their own. They don’t have the time to give you feedback, they are simply looking to eliminate people from consideration to narrow down the candidate pool to a manageable amount of people to contact. Additionally, they only know what their particular company is looking for in a candidate. We know what multiple companies are looking for, and what would make you a fit at one company vs. another, and since all we do is look at resumes and interview candidates, we can give you vital feedback that others may not have the time or expertise to provide.
- We have the connections; many people say, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, and sometimes getting a job simply takes making the right connections and being in the right place at the right time.
- We have a proven track record; check out our Google Reviews or our Facebook Reviews to see why people like to work with us!
Barracuda Staffing, Inc. cares about your success: check back next week for more tips on increasing your satisfaction in the workplace, and remember that one of the best qualities to display in your career is one of Continuous Improvement! If you are looking for a new place to spread your wings and grow into a leader in your department, we invite you to browse our current openings in Tulsa and surrounding areas, call to talk to a Recruiter, or simply Submit your resume online today!