Written by: Connie Huber PHR SHRM-CP
Why Use a Staffing Agency in Your Job Search?
At one time or another job seekers have considered using a staffing agency in their job search. If you are still on the fence in committing to this option, perhaps the following statistics from Stewart, Cooper & Coon will change your mind.
- 49% of staffing employees report that using staffing services is a way to get a permanent job.
- 9 out of 10 people who used staffing services, made them more employable.
- 35% of job seekers who used staffing services were offered a permanent job by the client & 66% accepted permanent employment offers.
- 9 out of 10 job seekers were satisfied with their staffing company.
Other appealing factors why job seekers should use this option are that staffing agencies can provide connections that job seekers may not have access to, provide support, tips and feedback to job seekers.
For further details please see the article, “How do Staffing Agencies Really Benefit Job Seekers” by Stewart, Cooper & Coon
“Working with Staffing Agencies“- Panel #1
Moderator: Kimberly Hall, Goodwill Central AZ Dir. of Donor Development
NESCO Resource: Kelli Perkins, Area Manager
Derive Talent: Luis Garcia, President
TEKsystems: Nick Bielinski, Technical Recruiter
Question: What kind of services do staffing agencies provide?
Kelli: Don’t like to use the word “temporary” to describe NESCO’s positions, prefer to use “contractor”. Opportunities include direct hire, and project and seasonal work. We like to reference “RPO” or recruitment process outsourcing in describing our relationship with employers.
Luis: Derive does a lot of contract-to-hire positions, contracts run usually 3-6 months. Employers like to try the candidate out in their role before hiring.
Nick: Employers are usually balancing internal and contract employees as part of their employee population.
Question: How can a candidate best work with you?
Nick: The candidate needs to build a strategy with the agency and establish current and long-term goals.
Kelli: It is to the candidate’s advantage to come prepared to NESCO. He/she should know his/her desired career, position and the career path for the chosen job. The job seeker needs to know his/her goals, objectives and aspirations. By accomplishing these efforts, NESCO can better match current and long-term roles.
Luis: Candidates need to be direct in dealing with a staffing agency. They need to be honest and transparent in discussing their desired positions and goals.
Question: Staffing agencies often get a bad rap. Why do you think this happens?
Note: The entire panel agreed that staffing agencies often get a bad rap.
Luis: It is good for the agency to differentiate yourself from others. There needs to be a clear understanding of the requirements to fill a position. At the same time, employers need to be honest with the staffing agency.
Kelli: Often agencies will get a bad rap from the employers and employees as business has evolved. Many times employers will not provide any feedback. Best resolution is to have a two way street with honesty and communication.
Nick: Best way to avoid negative reactions is to provide transparency with candidates and employers. Relationships need to be established and nurtured.
Question: What types of candidates succeed in working with staffing agencies?
Luis: There is not really one description for those candidates who are successful. Those candidates that are “pleasantly” aggressive, involved in the community, active on LinkedIn & Twitter are the most successful.
Nick: The job seeker needs to have a thorough understanding of what he/she is looking for, knowledgeable about his/her skills, likes and dislikes.
Kelli: The candidate needs to be honest with the staffing agency and themselves. In addition, they should be very familiar with their skills. The first 5 minutes of the initial conversation is when the relationship is established and evolved.
Question: Why did you start working at a staffing agency?
Kelli: Have my degree in Personnel Management. My mother was associated with a staffing agency. In our role, we add value to someone’s life. My job is not repetitive which is great since I do not like doing things over and over. I also have an opportunity to meet great people and employers.
Kimberly: Wanted to work for a staffing agency. I went into an agency to work as a temporary and left as a recruiter.
Nick: Originally, I wanted to be a sports agent & went into staffing. I get joy in being an advocate & helping others get what they want.
Luis: Like the fact that every day is different. I am dealing with diverse personalities and cultures with job seekers and employers. Enjoy finding people jobs. Remember when I got a gift basket in 1995 from a candidate who I helped get a job.
Audience Question: I applied for a position I was overqualified for. How do I get the job?
Kelli: Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to explain how being overqualified can be a plus. Be sure to give examples how your skill set can be a success in the role and contribute to the bottom line quickly.
Nick: The employer’s fear is that you will leave when a better opportunity comes along. Again, explain how you can be a success and that you will stay with the organization.
Luis: Never lie on your resume. Be sure to highlight your experience and accomplishments.
Audience Question: Do you coach multiple clients applying for the same job?
Luis: We do present a candidate for multiple positions, as well as, multiple candidates for the same position. Feedback from a direct send is about 95%. Biggest frustration is when the employer does not provide input on how the candidate did during the interview process.
Nick: Candidates get frustrated with the lack of feedback from employers. The employer is the one who establishes if multiple candidates will be interviewed.
Kelli: Employers’ vendor management program is very frustrating. Relationships are being pushed aside. Candidates need to be prepared in knowing the positions they are looking for, present themselves positively and with a great attitude.
Audience Question: If you are a mature candidate, are staffing agencies a successful route?
Nick: It is best to determine those positions that best suit you.
Kelli: Staffing agencies and employers do not want to see 30 years of experience on your resume. Doing so leads to quick elimination. Your goal is to get a face-to-face interview.
Luis: Share the bulk of your experience for the last 5-10 years. Filter your experience before going to the client.
Nick: I will sometimes show the resume of a candidate who got the job to other candidates.
“Interviewing and Company Prep” – Panel #2
Moderator: Kimberly Hall, Goodwill Central AZ, Dir. Of Donor Development
TechFinder: Kristy Back, Vice President, Branch Operations
Adecco: Michelle Grinberg, Regional Account Manager
Manpower: Jo Bryant, Talent Acquisition Leader
Question: What should candidates do to build a relationship with a staffing agency?
Jo: Loyalty to the staffing agency is a key factor in developing a relationship. Candidates need to be honest and transparent. Be sure to do what you say you are going to do. Be punctual and dress appropriately.
Michelle: Be honest in your dealings with the agency. Know where you are in the hiring process with potential employers. Communication is key. Candidates should use the resources provided by the staffing agency.
Kristy: The relationship between the agency and job seeker needs to be built on trust and honesty. Understand the agency is your advocate in dealing with the employer. Staffing agencies want to update candidates and ask the candidate to do the same in sharing how their job search is going.
Question: How can a candidate best prepare for an interview with you? What about an interview with a client?
Michelle: A good way to prepare is to look up the company, position and recruiter on LinkedIn. Look for common themes and interests. Seek employees of the employer you are being interviewed with. Review the job description and your resume. Prepare accomplishments and skills that relate to the position you are interviewing for.
Jo: Know the timeline on your resume. You will need to be knowledgeable about the company and position you are applying for. Ask the recruiter questions that will give you an overview of the information you are seeking.
Kristy: It is to your advantage to work your network. Look for employees you know. Seek out new happenings about the company, and news & press releases. The candidate should outline key accomplishments & strategies.
Question: Share with us a success story you have experienced at your agency.
Jo: Candidate came in that had uprooted his family & travelled a great distance to get a job in Phoenix. They were financially challenged & living in their RV. We found him a job in Gila Bend. Every day his family lived in the RV while the man worked. Four weeks later he was promoted to supervisor.
Michelle: Job seeker had recently lost his job. He didn’t have a car, phone or interview attire. We bought him interview clothes and a burner phone. They found the man a job. He & his family have recently been able to put money down for a house.
Kristy: Candidate wanted to relocate from the East Coast. He had recently lost his wife & her illness had financially drained their assets. The man did not have the money to relocate. We were able to go back to the employer and renegotiate a package allowing the job seeker to relocate.
Question: How often is too often to reach out to a recruiter?
Jo: Once a week is minimal. We encourage candidates to reach out 1-2 times per week. After the third week of trying to determine the status of a recent interview, the candidate should ask if the job is still available.
Michelle: A lot depends on what the recruiter shares with the candidate. The job seeker should ask the recruiter when is a good time to contact him/her & how to communicate; phone or email.
Kristy: Be sure to follow up with the recruiter after the job interview. The candidate & recruiter should clarify expectations.
Audience Question: How do you get paid?
Jo: Our business includes temporary, direct hire & contract work with employers. The rate depends on experience and the actual job. The job seeker should share what he/she is looking for.
Michelle: Everything changes with the new year. Compensation depends on the work and candidates.
Kristy: There is never a charge to the candidate. The employer pays the fee and hours worked by the contract employee.
Audience Question: How do you get a competitive edge to find the best clients for your customers?
Jo: Branding is key. Manpower has been around for many years. They provide funding for training programs for its employees; including college. Scholarships are made available. Employees are able to go to school & work at the same time.
Michelle: Our people are outstanding & dedicated. We are a team in name & function. Adecco thrives with its relationships with different employers.
Kristy: Our niche is IT and Human Resources. We are very purposeful & strategic with our clients. TechFinders is known for it close working relationship with clients.
Audience Question: How does a job seeker continue their job search and work a temporary job in the interim?
Jo: The job seeker should be placed in a job that allows flexibility for interviews. It is not best to place the candidate in a temporary job that may offer possible employment. We help the job seeker find a permanent role or next assignment.
Michelle: It boils down to good communication. The job seeker needs to share his/her goals & expectations with the recruiter
Sheri Carparelli, President/CEO
Sheri is responsible for establishing Canyon State Institute and developing it to an outstanding education venue in the Phoenix area. Canyon State Institute has locations in Phoenix and Chandler. Various certification programs are offered through Canyon State Institute that allow professionals to increase their marketability, increase success when employed, stay competitive in a changing job market, and experience growth opportunities with high demand certifications. Some of the benefits of attending CSI are small classes (limited to 6 for most programs), short term (4-16 weeks in length), graduates are encouraged to audit classes while studying to pass national exam, instructor-led only classes and career and business development specific to the labor market. Certification programs include varied IT certifications, Project Management, CCMA, ASQ Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and SHRM Professional in Human Resources. Canyon State Institute offers job placement assistance through Career Advisors available at the Career Service Center. Call 602-266-6630 for a tour or visit them at the CSI website.
Jian Boldi closed the meeting by thanking North Phoenix Baptist Church and the volunteers. The next Career Connectors’ meeting will be in Scottsdale on Thursday, October 13, 2016 and features Greg Harnyak as speaker for the topic “The Key to Improving Your Job Search”. For additional information on this event and future events, please visit the website.