The job search process is tiring. Not only does it take a lot of time, it can wear you out putting your self-worth on the line every time you apply for a job, only to be rejected. When you’ve been searching for months, it can seem like there’s just no available jobs out there for you.
What if you didn’t have to do this all on your own? That’s where staffing agencies come in. A staffing agency works on behalf of a company to find temporary employees for positions the company needs filled immediately. The agency is responsible for posting jobs, vetting candidates, and eventually hiring employees. Staffing agencies can be your golden ticket to employment. Here’s why:
- You can work temporarily while still job searching.
Even if you don’t see the position you hold during a temporary job as your life’s calling, it can provide a valuable source of income while you continue the search for your dream job. “Besides helping pay the rent, temporary gigs in your chosen field are a good way to enter the market and make a name for yourself before you commit to an employer,” says Karla L. Miller, author of the Washington Post’s work advice column. Also, you can specify to the staffing agency that you would prefer jobs with lower time commitments, so that you can use the extra time to continue the application process.
- Your temporary job may actually lead to employment.
Not all companies hire staffing agencies only for temporary jobs. For some companies, hiring employees who are temporary at first is a way of vetting them before taking them on as a permanent fixture at the company. In addition, some companies hire staffing agencies to fill permanent positions from the get-go. But don’t expect a temporary job to automatically turn into a full-time gig. If you realize you want to work permanently at the company you’ve been temping for, try to clarify that with management early on. Additionally, it’s important to make clear your skills and drive. “You can’t give your future full-time employer a reason to not bring you on permanently,” advises Rob Paone, career coach and founder of careerdreaming.com. “You have to show them every day why you’d be an awesome asset to their team,” he stresses.
- Skill-building opportunities are aplenty.
Temporary jobs can be a valuable opportunity to quickly build resume-boosting skills. The skills you learn after a few months on the job can leverage you into your next, permanent job. Whether it’s learning how to use a new software or honing your analytical prowess, these skills can help you when you get on the job market again. Make sure to match the agency you work with to the type of skills you’d like to build. “It is important to do your research to find out which are the best agencies for your type of work and your level of job,” points out Joyce E.A. Russell, career expert and dean of the Villanova School of Business.
- Staffing agencies often have faster turnaround times than regular jobs.
When companies hire a staffing agency, they’re usually looking for the position to be filled as soon as possible. Since the staffing agency is also in a contract with the company to fill the position, the staffing agency’s goal is to fill the position in a timely manner. While it may take weeks to even hear back about an interview after sending in an application to a company itself, temping agencies speedily and efficiently get positions filled.
- The contacts you make, you can keep.
Working temporarily can help you make contacts in a company or an industry. Even if you’re stationed somewhere for a short time, make it your mission to reach out to fellow employees at the company and network. And even if the company you’re stationed at doesn’t have any open positions, your colleagues may have insider knowledge about open jobs in similar companies. You never know where a strong network will lead you.
- You can flexibly explore different work environments
Perhaps part of the reason it’s been difficult to find a job is that you’re not quite sure what’s the right job for you. Working with a staffing agency can help you get exposure to many jobs and industries in a short time. This can help clarify and focus your job application process. And when you do apply to jobs, you can speak from experience about what you really love about working in that industry.