Agencies allow candidates to find their passion while providing jobs
For those of us who love to criticize the staffing industry, it might come as a surprise to learn there are many things a staffing agency does right. Some of the benefits they provide allow young, “green” candidates to find their passion while earning a paycheck.
For starters, take the whole application process. Many of my peers who have never applied to a staffing agency will find the method easy. The process is surprising in its simplicity: you fill out a paper application with your usual smorgasbord of information, including what kind of work you are interested in and how much you would like to make. Then wait for them to process it. I actually applied to two agencies. For the first, I completed the paperwork and then took a 30-minute online test asking ethical questions regarding the workforce. The second firm interviewed me in person after I completed paperwork providing my basic information. I found it extremely easy to enroll with these firms; you just have to make the time, initially, to put yourself out there as well as research them.
I didn’t have to wait long to be gainfully employed. Soon after I signed on these agencies had jobs lined up for me and I had a relatively good amount of work coming my way. And that was so reassuring. My assignments were varied but interesting. And what was great was I had the liberty to decline any offers. A plus for me was that I got to meet hordes of people in different positions, allowing me to broaden my network. What I could not negotiate was pay. And I wish agencies would allow candidates like me to extend assignment tenures, but even the longest of the part-time posts usually only lasted about six months.
Finding Your Passion
Prior to all of this, I had never worked a day in my life. Working through these agencies enable people to explore their capabilities, to “test drive” different jobs, so they can find what they love doing, or what they absolutely hate, thus narrowing down future job searches. I have worked a variety of jobs — from administrative assistant to phone operator to stocker with many others thrown in. Even if I did not like a particular job, I had the satisfaction of knowing that it wasn’t forever, and all the while earning a paycheck. I am a lot closer to finding my true calling in life, in large part because I have been working through staffing firms.
Building Your Network
With each assignment I’ve taken, my connections have grown. I learned the value of networking. Each assignment is helping me to broaden my network, with most recruiters, staffing account managers and customers accepting my LinkedIn connection requests. Better yet, I am able to seek endorsements as I display various skills through my assignments. This promises to open new connections and more people reading my resume, increasing the chance that I will be hired at a job that I really want.
Given the war for talent and the staffing buyers’ call for quality talent, staffing firms may want to refine their message. Marketed right, agencies could be a natural next step for those who want the comfort of a paycheck but are not ready to commit themselves to a profession or even higher studies.