Day Labor Employment

Mary Gormandy White
Day Laborer

If you are willing to do various types of manual labor work on a temporary basis -including construction- you may find that working as a day laborer is a good way to earn a living. While working as a day laborer doesn't offer the security that comes with a steady job, it is a good alternative for individuals who are between regular positions or who need a great deal of flexibility in their work schedules. Assignments my include construction work, disaster recovery duties, demolition services, light industrial work and more. Find out who hires day laborers and how you can be considered for this type of employment opportunity.

How Day Labor Employment Works

Companies that need extra hands to complete labor projects typically contract with companies that specialize in providing day labor. If you want to be considered for this type of employment, you will need to identify one or more companies in your local area that staffs for day labor positions and go through the pre-employment process.

The process typically begins with an employment application. Once you apply, if the company sees a fit between your background and skills and the needs of its clients, you will likely be asked to move forward to become qualified for assignments. The next steps typically include:

  • Interview
  • Skill assessment
  • Drug test
  • Background check

If the results of the employment process are successful, you will become eligible for day labor assignments. Each company has different policies; some may have a representative call and offer you assignments when they are available and give you an opportunity to accept or reject them. Others may instruct you to report to the office by a certain time - typically very early in the morning - on the days that you hope to receive assignments so that you may be assigned to a crew if there is an opening that matches your skills.

Nationwide Day Labor Employment Agencies

Trench Work

There are employment agencies that offer day labor staffing services in most areas. Labor Finders and MDT Personnel are two of the most well-known nationwide day labor services.

Labor Finders

Labor Finders is one of the most widely recognized national day labor employment agencies, with over 200 offices throughout the United States. You can search for open positions by zip code or by city and state on LaborFinders.com. If you want to apply to work with the company, you will need to do so in person.

MDT Personnel

MDT personnel began operations in 2010. The company provides day labor staffing throughout the United States, working with clients and candidates from more than 120 office locations in 25 states, as well as a large network of affiliate locations in states where there is not an MDT office. MDT Personnel does not publish labor position opportunities on its website. In order to apply for work with the company, you will need to visit the location closest to where you live and apply in person. You can find the nearest office on the locations page of the company's website.

Local Day Labor Employment Agencies

Nationwide employment agencies that specialize in day labor are not the only option. Many local temporary services work with clients that utilize the services of day laborers. In order to find a temporary agency in your local area that hires for these types of jobs, you will need to conduct a bit of research.

The best way to get started is to use a local business telephone directory to identify the names of employment agencies in your area. Once you have a list of agencies to contact, call and ask if the organization hires people for the kind of work you want to do. This will allow you to make a short list of companies that you should consider applying with.

If you know people who perform day labor work, you may also want to consider asking them for ideas of local companies to contact. This can be a great way to find out not only what companies you might want to work with, but also learn about ones that you would be better off avoiding.

Three Tips for Applying for Day Labor Employment

Whether you are applying for work with a nationwide agency or local company, there are certain things you can do that will increase your chances of being hired. A few tips you should follow include:

1. Verify Application Acceptance Times

Day labor agencies don't typically accept applications all day, every day. Always call before going to an office to apply so that you can be sure of exactly what days of the week and times of day the agency you are planning to visit accepts employment applications.

2. Take All Necessary Information

Be sure that you have all of the information necessary to complete an employment application when you apply at the facility. You need to be prepared to provide your employment history, educational background, personal information, contact details for your references and more. If you have relevant credentials, such as forklift certification or OSHA 10-hour or 30-hour card, take them with you.

3. Dress the Part

Go to the office dressed appropriately to interview for manual labor work. Make sure that you are clean, that your clothing is in good repair and that the image you present is one that is appropriate for the type of work that you want. While it's not likely that you will be offered an opportunity to start working immediately, the way you are dressed should send the message that you could immediately report to a job site if you were given the opportunity to do so.

An Important Word of Caution

Keep in mind that no reputable employment agency will ever ask applicants to pay an application fee. If an agency asks you for upfront money before you can apply or before giving you information about positions that may be available, the operation is likely a scam. You may be asked to pay for your own drug test by a reputable agency, but only after you have applied and are truly being considered for employment.

Day Labor Employment