What’s a Staffing Agency and How Does it Work?

Jul 20, 2020Career Advancement0 comments

If you’ve already started searching for a job, or is about to, there are many different ways you can get a job:

  1. Job Portals. Examples of job portals are Indeed, Randstad, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn and more. Just search up “jobs” or “job portals” and a list of the most popular websites will appear in the search results.
  2. Network. You can apply for a job through a friend, a family member, a professor, or their second connections. If the world was perfect, this would be the best way to get a job. A connection gets you closer to the hiring manager. Not convinced? Check out this post that explains how I landed my job through a connection I have.
  3. Staffing agencies. See the definition below. Staffing agencies hire recruiters who will help you in the job search process. I recommend you do your research first before deciding to work with an agency.

What is a Staffing Agency?

A staffing agency is an organization that hires recruiters to help you find a job. Some recruiters reach out directly to you via LinkedIn if you have one. Others locate you through previous recruiters you’ve worked with and reach out to you via email. 

Chances are you have a staffing agency near you. If you’re not sure, do a quick google search and you should have a list of local agencies in no time. Otherwise, you can look up national staffing agencies and apply through their website. 

Based on the staffing agencies I’ve worked with and know about, here’s a list of six staffing agencies with the best ones listed at the top:

  1. Aerotek
  2. Global Insights
  3. Avenica
  4. Robert Half
  5. Creative Circle
  6. Celarity

How Does it Work?

Once you’ve decided on a staffing agency you want to work with, explore their website, and look at their job listings. More often than not, staffing agencies make their job listings public.

The first thing you should do is create an account with the company you want to work with. Why? So that if you find a job you like, you can save or favorite it. 

This part can differ from agency to agency, but when you register for an account, the staffing agency will ask you to fill out an application. This is when you enter information such as your name, address, positions you’re interested in, wages you’re looking for, and the industries you want to work in etc.

Helpful Tip: I recommend finding 1-3 different staffing agencies to work with. Once you start registering with the different agencies, you will find that the information they want is very repetitive. If there is an option in the application process to pull your information from LinkedIn, do it! It’ll save you so much time. Otherwise, a tip is to keep a document nearby that contains all the information you need in front of you so you can quickly fill in the applications. 

Now here comes the important part—and the most tedious: usually 3-4 days after you submit an application, a recruiter will call you. 

A Call from the Recruiter

The great thing about working with a staffing agency is that you’re working with a living, breathing human being. You’re not being evaluated by a computer. The call usually lasts 5-10 minutes, depending on what you talk about.

Usually, the purpose of the call is to get to know you better and understand what help you’re looking for so the recruiter knows how to best assist you. The recruiter will ask questions such as:

  1. What kind of positions are you looking for?
  2. What fields are you looking at?
  3. What experience do you have?
  4. Do you have a car? What kind of transportation do you have?
  5. How far do you want your commute to be?

Helpful Tip: Similarly to the application process, you will start to notice that recruiters tend to ask the same questions over and over again. Make a list of the most common questions you’ve noticed and write down your answers so you are always prepared to give an answer. 

An Interview From the Recruiter

Some recruiters will ask you to come into their office for an in-person interview. Again, the purpose of this interview is to get to know you. You can use the list above to help you prepare for the interview. Now is also the perfect time to create an elevator speech for yourself. 

Helpful Tip: Prepare a list of questions for the recruiter. The more you show that you’re eager to work with them, the more effort they’re willing to put forth to help you. 

What Happens Next?

Once the initial get-to-know-you conversation is over, the recruiter will start reaching out to you directly whenever he or she finds a job opportunity that matches you. This can be done either via phone, email, or in-person. 

Make sure your email notification is on so you’re alerted when a recruiter reaches out to you. Want to know more about how staffing agencies can help you? Check out this post about the pros and cons of working with a staffing agency.


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