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You may have considered partnering with a staffing agency in your search for employment, but many job seekers are confused about what exactly staffing agencies do and how they work.

Maybe a staffing agency has even reached out to you for recruitment on LinkedIn, but before you move forward, it is important to understand how staffing agencies operate and how to pick the right agency for you.

Reputable staffing agencies can smooth out the hassles of the job search and application process while also guaranteeing that your application gets in front of the right eyes. Keep reading while we explain what recruiting agencies do step by step and how they can help you secure a successful hire. 

What is a Staffing Agency?

A staffing agency works as the middleman between job seekers and potential employers to help job seekers secure employment and to help employers hire new talent. Staffing agencies are trusted by both parties because they specialize in staffing, hiring, and finding talent. These organizations also have an extensive network of professionals in their specialized field to consult with or draw from for application talent pools. 

Think of staffing agencies as a sort of cupid between candidates and potential employers. They use their understanding of what both the job seekers and hiring companies are looking for and pair it with their vast understanding of the hiring process and job market to make perfect employment matches. 

Let’s break the process down step by step:

Step 1: The Search Begins

First, a  company that needs to find talent reaches out to a staffing provider to outsource their hiring process. The business or company outlines the details of what positions they are looking to hire including expectations for the new hire’s experience, qualities, skills, average salary rates, and the ideal timeline. The staffing agency confirms this information and takes on the company as a client.

Step 2: Preparation & Job Posting

Next, the staffing agency draws up a job description and creates a posting on sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job boards to begin collecting applications. The agency may even do their own searches for talent and directly reach out to potential candidates to recruit them to apply.

Step 3: Pre-Screening

As candidates apply and resumes come in, staffing companies filter through the applications to narrow down the pool based on qualifications, skills, and experience. The agency then reaches out to attractive applicants to schedule screening interviews where they go through another round of narrowing down the candidate pool.

Step 4: Introductions

After the talent pool is narrowed down to a select few qualified candidates that are appropriate for hire, the employment agency introduces these potential hires to the client for approval and the employer makes the final decision. 

Step 5: Selection & Onboarding

After the talent is selected for hire, the employment agency takes care of onboarding paperwork including contracts, tax forms, Social Security, background checks, and payroll.


Do Staffing Agencies Have Fees?

While staffing agencies are the liaison between candidates and employers, candidates who are recruited by a staffing company or apply to a job posting that was shared by an agency should never have to pay any fees.

Staffing agencies are hired by companies who are looking to hire new talent, so they pay the fees for an agency’s work. Staffing agencies generally charge their clients a fee based on a mark-up cost percentage (usually between 25% to 100%) of the new hire’s wages.

It is a common myth that job seekers must pay an employment agency for their service. It’s actually almost the other way around. This structure benefits the candidate because it is in the staffing agency’s best interest to choose a strong talent pool.

This set-up gives job hunters an edge up when they are looking for employment because the staffing agency may recruit a job seeker, advocate for their hire, and even if they are not hired, the recruiting experts may save the talent’s resume on file for future talent searches and open positions.

A recruiter’s professional network is an invaluable resource that candidates should always keep at the forefront of their mind. Staffing consultants are often the first to know about job opportunities and vacant positions so even if the first application process doesn’t work out, find a way to make yourself memorable and maintain the relationship.


The Right Staffing Firm for You 

Choosing the right staffing firm for you may be the most important part of partnering with a staffing company. There are so many different types of recruitment firms out there so you must do your research.

Most firms specialize in different career fields, for example, there are engineering staffing agencies, medical staffing agencies, accounting and finance staffing agencies, informational technology staffing agencies, and so many more. If you are a medical professional, it probably isn’t in your best interest to consult with a staffing partner that specializes in the human resources industry. Rather, search for firms that specialize in your field and if you can’t tell then you can always reach out and ask them about their clients.

Another thing to consider when choosing a staffing agency is what type of position you are looking for. It is important to have a clear idea of what you want in your next employment position so that the staffing consult can set you up for success.

Are you looking specifically for remote work or a flexible schedule? What are your salary expectations? What values do you look for in your employer? Do you want a contract-based role, temporary position, or permanent position? Preparing yourself with these questions will help you chose the right specialized agency for you and prepare you to respond confidently when you meet with a recruiter. 

Once you chose a specialized staffing firm that fits your needs you can begin to take advantage of all the staffing solutions they have to offer like more personalized job searches, common interview question guides, career development directives, salary negotiation tips, and even networking opportunities.

The relationships that you build with your staffing firm representative can be an invaluable resource throughout your career, so even though they are here to help you, impressing your recruiter is a big part of the process. Recruiters talk to competitive candidates every day so study up on how to ace a staffing interview and remain dedicated and professional throughout the entire recruitment process.

Passive candidates don’t secure jobs, proactive job seekers do. Check out our blog for more answers to all your job seeker questions and tools for candidate preparation. Contact us to get started today.