How Do Temp Agencies Work

If you haven’t worked with a temp agency before, there’s a good chance you have no idea how they work. Honestly, even some job seekers who have worked with temp agencies in the past still don’t understand how they work. The truth is, a temp agency can be a tremendous resource to job seekers at various levels in their careers. You just need to understand the ins and outs of how they function to get the most out of working with them. How do temp agencies work? And what are the benefits to working with them?

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Temp Agencies Don’t Have to Work With You

Many people think that because they sign up to work with an agency that they are guaranteed to get work. But that’s not true. Good agencies will want to meet you in person to get to know you and your career goals. Recruiters work with their clients to fill jobs based on many of the same factors that would make someone a good permanent fit for the position. That can include previous work experience, hourly rate requirements and cultural fit. During your interview, your Recruiter will assess your skills as well as your professional interests to be sure to make the best placement for you as well as for their client. In some instances, depending on the length of the assignment, you may even need to interview with the client before getting hired.

2. You’re Actually Employed by the Temp Agency

If you do get hired, don’t mistake this as being hired by the client company. Even though you’ll be working at the client’s location, you’re technically employed by the agency. The agency is the entity that is actually paying you and offering benefits when applicable. Your paychecks and tax forms will come directly from the agency. They will also handle most, if not all, employee relations matters as well. Discussions regarding performance, tardiness or pay will be handled directly by your Recruiter.

3. Agencies Don’t Take Money From You

Agencies charge the client an hourly rate for work performed by their temporary workers. The rate is based on the work being done and the skill level of the person being placed in the position. From this hourly rate, the agency pays the temporary worker their agreed upon hourly salary and the remainder goes to cover business expenses. Temporary workers sometimes find it hard to reconcile that the agency is being paid more than they are. What they fail to realize however, is that this is how agencies make money, how the Recruiter who helped them find the position gets paid and how the agency is able to pay its qualifying candidates health and unemployment benefits. If you’re not comfortable with the rate offered, you need to be honest with your Recruiter and yourself.

4. You should Look at Your Relationship with your Recruiter as a Partnership

Recruiters get to know their candidates very well. Often their working relationship can span several years. The more communicative you can be, the better. Recruiters filling temporary jobs work at a fast pace to fill their open roles. They depend on quick response times from their candidates as well as being well-informed of their candidate’s general availability for work. Not getting back to your Recruiter about opportunities for work will lead to a decrease in work opportunities.

5. The Better you Perform, the More Work You Get

A Recruiter’s reputation is based on the quality of the candidates they are able to send to their clients. Clients will offer feedback on the candidate’s work and the more good feedback you get, the more likely you are to get more work. Your Recruiter will think of you first for opportunities if you’ve proven your ability to them and their clients.

6. Temp Work can Lead to a Full Time Position

There are certain temp jobs that come with full time potential after a designated period. But sometimes companies fall in love with their temp workers and end up hiring them permanently. When they see how much more efficiently they are able to work with an extra person on board and the work done is superb, companies make the decision to hold on to a good thing. You never know what connections and opportunities can come from temp work that go beyond just a pay check.