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What is a Staffing Agency?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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When there is a need for qualified personnel to fill a position immediately, a staffing agency is a great resource for just about any type of company. Essentially, it is a service that matches the labor needs of its corporate clients with individuals who have the skill sets necessary to meet those needs. They can save a company a great deal of money.

The typical staffing agency operates with a focus on particular sectors of the job market. As an example, one may choose to focus on providing day laborers for manufacturing or food service positions. In other cases, the agency may choose to focus on providing quality clerical personnel for various types of office work. In still other cases, it may direct its energies toward providing corporate clients with executive and managerial personnel. Some larger personnel agencies choose to create divisions, with each division focusing on a different sector of the job market.

A staffing agency also usually focuses on providing either personnel for a short time or permanent placement. The short term personnel support is ideal for companies that may need some extra help for a three to six month period, while permanent placement staffing is a great way to find the right people without the company having to use a lot of resources in the hunt. Either way, the agency provides access to a pool of talent that the corporate client probably would not have been able to access.

This service can be advantageous for several reasons. First, the temporary help does not require going through the hiring process. The company does not have to set up tax forms, withhold taxes, or extend any benefits to the temporary personnel, since all of that is done through the agency. This simplifies the process a great deal. While it is true that the company may pay a slightly higher rate per hour for the agency temp, the overall cost remains much lower than bringing on an employee for a short time.

Second, people who enjoy the challenge of working in different companies find that working for a staffing agency is ideal. There is always somewhere new to go and new challenges of ways to apply skill sets. The agency provides a steady source of income, and the change in assignments from time to time helps to keep the task of working new and refreshing.

Third, a staffing agency will do all the legwork in finding the right employee. This can really save the company a lot of money when the need is for a new executive or manager. Since most agencies maintain a comprehensive list of prospects, the chances of finding the right person in the permanent position may take days rather than weeks or months.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including SmartCapitalMind, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon346663 — On Aug 30, 2013

I need to get with a temporary staffing agency I have been having a hard time finding a job lately so this will be really helpful!

By wredline — On Aug 16, 2012

Since joining Indigo Recruiting Group Inc., the staff has given me their support and personal attention to every detail in arranging contract teaching work to suit my individual requirements and situation.

I feel valued as a teacher again and am paid a better rate than my previous agency was paying me.

By anon285416 — On Aug 15, 2012

Staffing agencies do what you can yourself: send your own resumes and wait. That's exactly what they do!

By anon250534 — On Feb 26, 2012

I work a staffing agency and If I could give one piece of good advice to active job seekers that would be to always post your resume. I'm a recruiter who works with a company who does not charge commissions. We operate like a staffing agency, but we offer staffing solutions for a flat fee or by-the-hour and work directly for companies as their in-house staffing resource.

And I can tell you, every recruiter uses job boards, however most do not post their open positions for candidates to reply to (it's expensive and you don’t get much ROI), but rather they pay for the resume access. That means recruiters go into the databases to find resumes that match their staffing requirements based on “keywords”. If you don't have your resume posted, you are missing a huge opportunity to be seen. I recommend you use a throw away email address, use only your initials, don’t provide a phone number, and never post your resume as confidential. You can show your current employer as "confidential” if necessary, but make sure to include an accurate description of what your current employer does.

Screen emails carefully and only reply to those coming directly from the company that's hiring. Staffing agencies can take up a lot of your time and often don't understand what the hiring company is looking for, so be careful. Those are the types of recruiters who will spend an hour asking inane questions, only to never be heard from again. However, if one or two of the staffing agencies look compelling, do some emailing back and forth before giving them your phone number and make sure to ask if they've made a placement for this particular hiring manager at the company their searching for. That's key. It means they understand the requirements and will know if you're a reasonable fit.

By anon191157 — On Jun 28, 2011

I need staff for my company in tanjore, Tamil Nadu. How can I get it and how can it be arranged?

By facklergroup — On May 30, 2010

Special notice should be paid by staffing agencies to track daily pay laborers versus other executive type positions that require less tax and accounting tracking. --Joe

By anon87401 — On May 30, 2010

Just a side note. There are many challenges associated with daily labor as opposed to other types of executive recruiting efforts. --Joe

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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