Everything You Need To Know About Temp Agencies

Long before terms like “the gig economy” and side hustle” became part of our everyday vernacular, businesses hired temp agencies to augment their workforces on an as-needed basis. Of course, the entire idea of temporary work has changed with the introduction of on-demand staffing platforms, but temp agencies still do remain an option for select companies and job-seekers alike.

Five Things to Know About Temp Agencies

How do temp agencies work?

A temp agency acts as an intermediary between candidates and employers and has contracts with both. The process begins with a temp agency securing a contract with an employer in which the employer agrees to pay the temp agency a set amount for each employee the agency provides. The temp agency then finds qualified candidates to fill the employers available roles and negotiates contracts with candidates that determine the schedule the candidate will work, the type of work they will perform and the salary and benefits they will receive.

Because employees are hired through the temp agency, companies that use a temp agency to find employees typically dont have to worry about hiring, firing, payroll or benefits.

What is a temp agency?

A temp agency, also known as an “employment agency” or a “staffing agency,” is a professional organization that helps match potential employees to open jobs. Temp agencies have contracts with employers who need employees on a temporary, seasonal, part-time or temp-to-hire basis. A temp agency can be a government-established program that helps unemployed workers find jobs, or it can be a private business. Government-established temp agencies usually work with candidates who are receiving public assistance.

Employers may choose to use a temp agency to find candidates for positions on a per-project basis or when they need certain employees for only a brief time. Temp positions can last from a few days to a few months. Temp agencies work with most industries but are most common in industries like health care, accounting, office administration, management, information technology and industrial labor.

What hours do temp agency jobs have?

Temp agencies can have jobs available in a variety of industries and many different positions. Some temp agencies work with specific niche industries, but they are still likely to have a variety of positions available within that industry. Because the type of work temp agencies have available varies, shifts and schedules vary also.

However, temp employees tend to have a lot of flexibility in the shifts and schedules they choose to accept. The shift the employee is assigned to is usually negotiated between the employee and the temp agency. Temp agencies themselves typically operate under regular business hours.

What to expect from a temp agency interview

Having a successful interview with a temp agency is important because it can help improve your odds of being matched with the right job for your skills and interests. Here are a few tips to help you have a great interview with a temp agency:

Be prepared

You should prepare for an interview with a temp agency the same way you would for any other. If you know anything about the position the temp agency is trying to fill or the company the position is with, research what you can in advance. If you dont know what position you are interviewing for, you can still prepare by practicing answers to common interview questions.

Make a professional impression

You should dress appropriately for the interview, arrive on time, and bring a copy of your resume and any other documents the interviewer has asked for. Greet the interviewer with a warm smile and a firm handshake to create a professional impression.

Know what type of work you want to do

The interviewer will likely ask you about your prior work experience, relevant skills and qualifications, and what type of work you are interested in. Think about the type of positions you want as well as your availability and compensation requirements.

Be honest

Answering the interviewers questions honestly will help them match you with a position that best fits your needs and interests.

Be ready to prove your qualifications

Some temp agencies will ask you to complete pre-employment screenings, such as personality tests or skills tests, during the interview. These tests can help them determine what type of work culture you will be a good match for and what positions you have the necessary skills and knowledge for. For example, many administrative positions request candidates complete tests for computer or word processing knowledge and typing speed as part of the interview process.

The more you know about what to expect during your temp agency interview, the more likely you are to be offered a position with the agency and for them to be able to match you with a job that is right for you.

How does a temp agency pay?

Individuals who are employed through a temp agency are paid by the temp agency, not by the company they are performing the work for. The employer the temp is performing work for pays the temp agency a lump sum for the number of employees the agency provides them with per the terms of their contract. The temp agency creates separate agreements with employees to determine the rate of pay each employee will receive.

Can I earn a permanent position from a temp agency job?

Some temp agency positions offer the opportunity for high-performing employees to transition their temp job into full-time positions. The decision to turn a temp into a regular, full-time employee usually occurs between the employer, the temp agency and the employee. The employer will need to wait until they are no longer under contract with the temp agency for the position or get the agencys approval to hire the employee directly. The employer and employee will then negotiate the terms of the position, salary and benefits, as the employer will take over these responsibilities from the temp agency.


What is the point of a temp agency?

A temp agency, or temporary employment agency, is a firm that connects businesses to workers for temporary or contract work. A temp agency charges businesses for the workers it finds to fill roles, and the workers are employed by the temp agency.

Is going through a temp agency a good idea?

Temp work allows workers to get their foot in the door and experience what it may be like working in a position. In addition, if the opportunity arises, the worker is able to pitch the reasons why they should be selected for a full-time position. Namely, they have a proven track record and rapport with the company.

How do temps work?

The Pros And Cons of Staffing Agencies (2022)
  • PRO: Staffing agencies reduce business liability. …
  • CON: Training contractors can take time. …
  • PRO: Staffing agencies reduce time to hire. …
  • CON: Potential team bonding and culture issues. …
  • PRO: Staffing agencies have deep talent pools. …
  • PRO: Staffing agencies save employers money.

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