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Old 01-07-2014, 10:14 PM
 
23 posts, read 48,376 times
Reputation: 19

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Hi,

A recent college graduate here. I just finished my last job as a contractor (from my school) and have been trying to apply to different places for the past 2 months.

I've gotten calls from companies and interviewed but nothing came out of them. Recently, I've gotten calls from agencies. What are they like?

Some of them want me to apply to them first before meeting me etc. One actually set up an interview without asking me to apply for them. Which is better (the one who wants you to apply with them first or possibly after getting you a job)?

Also, what happens if they never get you a job? Is your name still listed within their agency, meaning you'd have to "quit" them?

I've read they take a portion of the pay. At this point, I'm fine with that, just need some work and experience. But do they negatively affect my future chances with companies? Because I've been asked if I've worked with a staffing agency before or not (during interviews with companies)..
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:14 AM
 
3 posts, read 5,518 times
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From my recent experiences with staffing agencies, they are only looking out for themselves and not the people looking for work. I've had multiple agencies call me to say they've got a great position that would be perfect for me, I just need to come to their office and sign up with them, then they can forward my resume to their client that is looking for employees. So I go to the place, fill out their application, give them my resume and references and then never hear from them. And when I call to check on the status of that great position they originally called me about? That client is no longer looking for people, but I just need to call the staffing agency weekly to inform them I'm still looking for work and when they have something they will let me know.

For me, I never "quit" an agency. I just stopped my weekly calls to them when I got tired of being given the run around from them with no actual job. And yes, most agencies take so much of the pay, but it's all behind the scenes. So if they told you your pay would be $16 an hour, that would be after the agencies cut is already taken. I'm not sure about having a job through a staffing agency would affect your chances at other jobs in the future or not. My last job through a staffing agency lasted me about 2 months. I was hired to work on a specific project and once it was completed, I was technically laid off. I have it stated on my resume that the job was only a temporary assignment and always make sure to confirm that during an interview just to be on the safe side.

If you do still enlist the help of some staffing agencies, I hope you have better luck than I did.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,103 posts, read 4,270,883 times
Reputation: 10054
Justme, what happened there is the staffing agency took your resume for a position that didnt exist, and put it in their magical stash of resumes. Then they try to get companies to sign a contract with them by leveraging all of these resumes. They say "Look we have 300 engineers ready to be placed right now. When in actuality they have mislead 300 engineers into thinking they were applying for an actual job. Its very common. In the future when you are contacted by an agent, tell them that you do not wish to have your resume placed into a pool, and that you only grant them the right to use it for this one position that they are contacting you for (that most likely doesnt exist.) You will find that their demeanor quickly changes, or they wont ever talk to you again.

That being said there are a few honest recruiters out there who actually are trying to place you in a job. But I have found that most times when I use this caveat, I never hear from them again.

Most recruiters that I have dealt with lately are extremely unprofessional. I can tell they went throught Linkedin and added a few hundred people at once, then tried to collect resumes. I can also tell right away that they didnt even read my bio, because they ask if I have x years of experience. You can tell right away how many years of experience I have because its in my bio. They also continue to ask for my resume, when in fact my bio is just my resume in a different format.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,541 posts, read 17,525,434 times
Reputation: 27573
I despise them, but depending on your circumstances and industry, it may be unavoidable.

Staffing agencies provide no benefits and you can be dismissed at any time, for any reason or no reason, without hearing anything from the client. I worked for an agency last year and had what I thought was a good relationship with the client manager and other staff members. I got a call about twenty minutes after the shift ended that the contract was canceled and couldn't speak with the client management or anything. Anytime you work for an agency, be prepared to be walked to the door at any time. This kind of thing would be very unlikely to happen as a regular employee. If you were fired, you'd at least know for what. With the staffing firm, there's no lesson learned, no positive reference, and nothing to take away.

IT is notorious for junior to senior level positions being filled from TEKSystems, Aerotek, Randstad, etc. Most recruiters, as stated, just want you in their database as a prospect or to sell services to your prior full time employers. The most honest recruiters I've worked with have been Robert Half's office in Des Moines, NAND they did mostly direct placement for small companies. If the economy is booming, the agency will be used more in a recruiting role, and not for staffing. This is the way to go if you deal with them at all.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:13 AM
 
35,324 posts, read 25,145,587 times
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I've used Manpower and Randstad in my life and had good experiences with each. Good, quick placements in positions that added to my resume at some level. Two of the three times I went with a temp company it turned into a FT permanent offer, one of which I accepted.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,788 posts, read 13,274,979 times
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They want you to come to their office to use you. They will demand numbers and names of supervisors for the purpose of sending them to their sales dept, they will ask where you have applied so they know who is hiring to also send to their sales dept. Finding you a job comes second to using you to do their work for them. When a real job has come up recuriters have not been shy to contact me whether I have been to their office or not.

They have spread through my profession like a plague, depressing wages and eliminating benefits and generally forcing a lot of the best people out of the profession as they look for more viable careers. They are nothing but pimps, parasites, and used car salesmen.

That said having a contract job does make you more desirable to hire over someone with no job. It gets you past the whole we won't hire the unemployed bigotry that has exploded the past 5 years. However, never settle for a temp job always be looking for a FTE and never believe any pomises made about making you perm. Stats show only 27% of jobs they label as temp-to-hire ever turn permanent.

Last edited by MSchemist80; 01-08-2014 at 07:06 AM..
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,102 posts, read 5,385,884 times
Reputation: 12612
I've worked with two staffing agencies. One I did not care for and I asked them to remove me from their database. The other I did like, they set up interviews for two positions. I was not hired for the first position, but I landed the second position. It was actually a temp to permanent position, but the hiring company decided to hire me directly and forgo the temp period. I've been here for 5 years now.

I think the key to this is that you should choose the agency. Look at their website to see what types of positions they are looking to fill. If you see something interesting, go into interview and see what they can offer you. I suspect that you have your resume posted on a job site such as Monster, and recruiters are contacting you this way. My husband gets these same type of calls and they haven't led to anything.

You do not pay a fee to these agencies. The companies that use these agencies to fill openings pay the fee.

If it's a temp position, you salary will likely be a little lower since a portion of it will be going to the agency. In this instance, you will receive payment from the agency.

If it's a direct hire, the company pays a percentage to the agency so it should not affect your salary at all.

If you go from temp to permanent, you should expect your salary to raise and benefits to start once your temp period is completed.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,788 posts, read 13,274,979 times
Reputation: 15907
Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieFan View Post
If it's a temp position, you salary will likely be a little lower since a portion of it will be going to the agency. In this instance, you will receive payment from the agency.
More likely your hourly rate will be 2/3 to 1/2 of what a FTE earns in the same position in addition to having no benefits because their markup in many cases can approach 100%.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
5,102 posts, read 5,385,884 times
Reputation: 12612
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchemist80 View Post
More likely your hourly rate will be 2/3 to 1/2 of what a FTE earns in the same position in addition to having no benefits because their markup in many cases can approach 100%.
Now that I'm on this side of the transaction, I can see that it was 10%-15% of my salary. But I'm speaking of specifics and not in generalities so perhaps the fees charged are higher/lower based on geography, position, level of that position, and the agency itself (I used a locally owned agency. It is not a chain.)

Admittedly, my experience with agencies is limited but I was and continue to be very pleased with where they helped to "place" me and with the salary I was offered. It worked out well for me.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:12 AM
 
313 posts, read 287,987 times
Reputation: 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchemist80 View Post
They want you to come to their office to use you. They will demand numbers and names of supervisors for the purpose of sending them to their sales dept, they will ask where you have applied so they know who is hiring to also send to their sales dept. Finding you a job comes second to using you to do their work for them. When a real job has come up recuriters have not been shy to contact me whether I have been to their office or not.

They have spread through my profession like a plague, depressing wages and eliminating benefits and generally forcing a lot of the best people out of the profession as they look for more viable careers. They are nothing but pimps, parasites, and used car salesmen.

That said having a contract job does make you more desirable to hire over someone with no job. It gets you past the whole we won't hire the unemployed bigotry that has exploded the past 5 years. However, never settle for a temp job always be looking for a FTE and never believe any pomises made about making you perm. Stats show only 27% of jobs they label as temp-to-hire ever turn permanent.
They definitely depress wages. In IT at least, it seems as if there are always hundreds if not thousands of candidates swirling around actively in the candidate pool at the agencies. Employers can call them, the agency will bid, and the employer will take the lowest bidder amongst the local agencies. This tactic was used to lower my hourly rate.
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