Temporary Job Agencies

Mary Gormandy White
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Temporary job agencies can be an excellent resource for job seekers. Working with a temp agency is a great way to gain hands-on employment experience while earning money. Temporary positions can even lead to long term jobs in some situations.

About Temporary Job Agencies

Temporary employment agencies specialize in helping businesses meet short-term staffing needs. When companies need to add people to their workforce for a short period of time, they often contract with a staffing service that handles temporary placements rather than hiring additional workers themselves. In order to make certain that they have access to individuals with the types of skills their clients might need, temp agencies maintain a database of people who are interested in accepting temporary work assignments.

Temporary Agency Client Relationships

Job Orders and Recruiting

Companies that need short term workers notify one or more temporary job agencies when they have a need for short-term workers. The request could be for a single person to fill in while a regular employee is out of work for a period of time, such as sick or maternity leave, or for a large number of seasonal workers to help out during the busiest times of the year.

When a company contracts with a temporary staffing service, the agency opens a job order and begins trying to find people to fill the positions. The agency will handle recruiting, testing, and interviewing candidates, then forward information about individuals who have the necessary qualifications on to their clients.

Fees and Payments

If the client company decides to use one or more of the workers referred by the temporary agency, the employee is set up to work for the company on a temporary basis. Workers who provide labor to companies via this kind of arrangement are actually employees of the temporary agency rather than the company where they report to work. They will fill out time sheets on a daily basis, which will be signed by a company representative and submitted to the staffing service at the end of each pay period.

The staffing service will cut a payroll check to the employee and submit an invoice to the client. The invoice will include the staffing agency's fee, which is typically a percentage of the wages paid to each worker. If the company does not utilize any of the candidates referred by a particular temporary agency, no charges will be incurred.

Working with a Temporary Agency

Identifying Agencies

Because temporary staffing agencies need access to skilled workers who are able to fill various types of short-term positions, they tend to recruit potential employees on an ongoing basis. If you are interested in doing temporary work, the best way to get started is to contact local employment agencies and inquire about the types of short-term positions they need people to fill. When you find one or more temporary job agencies that utilizes workers that have skills that are in line with what you are able to do, find out what you need to do to apply.

Application Process

Most temporary agencies have a very structured application process, and the exact procedures are likely to vary from one company to another. Be sure to follow the application instructions exactly for the particular companies that you are working with. Typically, you will be required to fill out an initial application form either online or in the agency's office.

Once your employment application is complete, if your skill set is a good match for the company's needs, you will likely be invited to interview and complete skill assessment testing. Depending on the outcome of your interview and testing, you may move on to the background screening process. You should expect the agency to ask for and check professional references and to contact your previous employers to verify your employment history and ask questions about your performance. The company may also run a criminal background check, credit screening and require a drug test.

Ready for Assignment

If you are successful with the screening process, you will be placed in the firm's database and contacted when temporary work assignments that match your qualifications become available. You should be aware that there is no guarantee of a certain number of hours - or even any work at all -- when you work with a temporary agency.

A Word of Caution

Reputable temporary employment agencies never charge a fee to job seekers. The fees charged by these types of companies are paid by the businesses that utilize temporary workers. If you are seeking opportunities to work on a temporary basis and a company that claims to be a temporary service asks you to pay any type of application or processing fee, in all likelihood you are facing a scam rather than a legitimate employment opportunity.

Temporary Job Agencies