Staffing agencies are commonly utilized today, but there was a time when no such thing existed. In modern day, over the course of just one year, the staffing industry hires 16 million temporary and contract employees; however, the origins of the staffing industry date back to the 1940s. When men left home and their jobs to serve in World War II, vacancies increased at businesses. There was a need for quick help, and these businesses realized they could find people to fill positions at only one day’s notice. Thus, the staffing industry was born.
Since the 1940s, the staffing industry has grown exponentially. According to the American Staffing Association, “around three million temporary and contract employees work for America’s staffing companies during an average week.” These employees are discovered through a process, and today we will explore the internal logistics of the staffing industry. When it comes to the staffing industry, Camille Taylor, who has worked in staffing for 16 years,
wishes people knew that not all staffing agencies are alike. “Each one of us brings different skill sets, experience levels and commitment to the table. Every agency is only as good as their team. It takes personal commitment, open communication & dedication to be a successful office!”
In fact, there are various types of services in the staffing industry. Temporary agencies, executive search firms, contingency employment agencies and traditional employment agencies are just a handful of the options for those seeking help with employment. No two agencies are the same, and each offers a different service. Another trend staffing professionals have noticed is a general misconception surrounding what staffing agencies can really provide. “When we call candidates for jobs, we always hear, ‘No thank you, I’m not interested in using a staffing agency. I’m looking for something more long term.’ Most people think of short term opportunities when they hear of staffing agencies and that is not the case at all,” says Jennifer Acosta, a Senior Staffing Manager who has worked in the industry for seven years.
Sally Johnson, who has worked in the industry since 1999, also says this is a myth. “Many people think staffing agencies are only for temporary assignments or seasonal work. They don’t realize that many staffing agencies offer temp to hire and direct-hire opportunities.” These direct-hire opportunities often lead to long-term careers. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, in 2017, the direct-hire market generated $21.8 billion dollars and accounted for 6.2% of the staffing market.
When it comes to seeking a job, the internet has your back. In fact, job boards are your best friend. Sally says, “We [HJG Staffing] are able to post most of our job openings on online Job Boards such as Indeed, Monster, CareerBulder and also on social media pages and job groups within Facebook and LinkedIn. We also have a referral program in place.” However, she remembers a time when the only option for recruiting was essentially through advertisements in the Sunday newspaper. “Candidates would have to fax in their resumes and we would call
them all individually.” Luckily, in modern times, the internet makes it faster and easier to find employment.
Internally, when it comes to filling a job position, staffing agents work tirelessly to discover the perfect fit. Staffing Specialist Rocio Maldonado says, The process of finding the right candidate for a position is a challenge. You have to review their work ethic, attitude, you focus on specific experience and accomplishments.” While the internal effort of finding the right person for a job might be challenging, it ultimately enhances the opportunity for success.
So, how can you increase your success rate with staffing agencies? Simply put, be ready and willing to put in work and time. Similar to most things in life, keep your mind open. Since not all agencies are the same, your experience is certain to be different at each new agency. According to Sally, “Unfortunately I feel if someone has a bad experience with one agency, they tend to write off using all other agencies. I would suggest trying at least 3-4 to form a better opinion.” One bad experience does not mean others will be, and it does not mean staffing agents are bad either.
In fact, many people in the staffing industry work tirelessly to help others, and this does not come without its challenges. Jennifer says the most difficult part of her job is “learning how to read people during the interviews to make sure they are being honest and really are interested in working.” Rocio agrees, saying the most difficult aspect is sourcing the right candidate. Ultimately, staffing agents want to see you thrive and secure a position. It’s a team effort, and success happens when both parties put in the work. The pandemic has also presented its own new and unique challenges. Sally has observed reluctance and uncertainty in some candidates. “There seems to be a lot of hesitation in returning to the public and also problems with children needing assistance during homeschooling.” These feelings of hesitancy and fearfulness are okay; in fact, most people across the globe have experienced these feelings in some area. When making the decision to return to work, remember that staffing agencies are here to help and relinquish anxieties.
While the industry has its fair share of challenges, the rewards are abundant. Camille says the most rewarding aspect of her job is being able to help people overcome obstacles. After all, the end goal of both the staffing agent and the client is to find a job. Jennifer agrees, saying, she feels fulfilled “when we place a candidate who loves their assignment and eventually goes on as a permanent employee. It makes me feel successful.” The staffing world has come a long way since the 1940s. While many things have changed over the years, one thing remains the same: the commitment to helping candidates, businesses and the economy. According to Camille, “Staffing agencies supply a huge part of the work force in every market, all across the country. We have a big impact on the economy as a whole and many people have worked as a temp early on in their career to gain experience.”
When searching for your next job, remember that no two agencies are the same, and the work you put in is sure to be rewarded with time. The staffing industry is here to ensure the best results when it comes to matching a candidate and a career. While this industry continues to evolve since its birth in the 1940s, its mission stays the same: helping people, businesses and the economy.