Calling All Candidates: The RIGHT Staffing Agency Matters
As a candidate, every decision you make on the journey to find a job has a direct impact on your future.
That’s why choosing whether to turn to a staffing agency for support is such an important decision.
If you’re on the fence about what an agency can do for you, or are overwhelmed with where to start, our hope is that this blog will give you a bit of perspective.
Get help or go it alone? Why turn to an agency.
The staffing industry provided job and career opportunities for about 16 million employees per year pre-pandemic, and 13.6 million during the pandemic. That’s a lot of placement power in your corner.
Sure, you can embark on your job search alone – many do every day and are highly successful – but in today’s tight, inflation-concerned job market, every competitive advantage helps.
- Instant connections. Agency recruiters have a vast inside network they can leverage to get your foot in the door. This means faster access to available opportunities, some of which might have otherwise been out of your reach, as well as a level of trust that you’ve been vetted as top talent.
- Niche expertise. Many recruiters specialize in a particular industry or type of position. Depending on the role you’re after, having a job search partner who understands the nuances and challenges of tech vs. healthcare vs. finance can help ensure better skills alignment.
- Dedicated resource. An agency recruiter is focused on you and your best interests – from vetting the viability of job postings to getting interviews on the books to helping you optimize your resume. Recruiters are astute at navigating the career-finding gauntlet, making it easier to avoid roadblocks and missteps along the way.
- Streamlined search. Agency recruiters can save you time, effort, and stress during the search process. With instant access to multiple employers and job leads, they can accomplish in hours what could take you days or weeks. This improves your odds of being one of the first applicants for a newly listed position that’s an ideal fit.
- Career change champion. More than ever, people aren’t just switching jobs—they’re completely changing industries and careers. If you’re one of these people, agency recruiters can act as your champion, counseling you on what it takes to make in-roads in a completely new profession, and actively “selling” the soft skills and transferable skills that make you a viable consideration for the new role.
5 tips for choosing the right staffing agency
Once you’ve decided to partner with a staffing agency, you must decide which agency is right for you.
There are currently 12,554 employment and recruiting agencies in the U.S. That’s an overwhelming number to choose from.
It’s a good thing we’re sharing our top 5 tips to help make the selection process less daunting and more successful!
- Look for an agency with experience in filling the type of position you’re interested in.
Here, we’re referring to whether a position is temporary, contingent, or full-time. Compensation, payment frequency, overtime policies, HR policies, job requirements, and job benefits can differ greatly between hourly and full-time roles. Even the communication style of employers themselves can vary.
If you know from the get-go which type of job you’d like to pursue, you can find an agency that specializes in filling those roles. One that acts as the liaison between you and the potential employer, and that has the experience and professional track record to back it up.
- Decide whether a geographic region plays a role in your job search.
Ask yourself if a specific location factors into the job you’d like to pursue. These days, many roles offer remote work options, while other positions require workers to be onsite.
If you have your eye on a specific state or part of the country, look for an agency deeply connected to that region with strong ties to the local community and job market. And, if you’d be relocating in the process, make sure the agency is equipped to help you make that transition from both a professional and personal standpoint.
If you’d rather find a remote position, look for an agency with broader ties and greater reach to employers nationwide.
- Consider an agency that specializes in your industry or field.
Sure, you may be after an IT position. But there are industry-specific nuances in IT roles—say between healthcare, manufacturing, and technology overall—that you’ll want an expert to help you address.
Make sure the staffing agency you partner with understands the industry and role you’re after, and can consult with you on what skillset is required for optimal chances of securing a particular position.
- Research, research, research. And then do more research.
Above all else, make sure any staffing agency you work with is a legitimate company that has your best interests at heart. Especially if it’s an agency that “cold messaged” you on LinkedIn or other networking platforms.
Start by researching online. Look at an agency’s reviews and ratings. Visit their website to see whether they clearly outline their capabilities or hide behind “fluffy” language that doesn’t say a lot.
Extend research to your network. Ask friends, former colleagues, and relatives if they have recommendations for a particular agency or recruiter. If you can find former employees of an agency to connect with, even better.
- Choose an agency that stands out from the crowd.
There are many staffing agencies out there. Most follow the status quo. A small percentage go the extra mile. Try to find these standouts.
What makes these agencies special? They’re relationship-driven. You, as a candidate, are not viewed as a transaction. You matter. These agencies insist on face-to-face meetings and conversations whenever possible, and are eager to reach out to you when a new opportunity pops up.
These agencies are also highly experienced, with a long tenure in the staffing industry. If the majority of its employees have years of experience and a wide range of skills under their belts, that speaks volumes to the quality and credibility of the agency.
While it may not be immediately apparent, it won’t take long for you to realize whether an agency you select is one of the standouts.
2023 is in full swing. The hiring market remains competitive. Certain industries are saturated while others remain in a talent drought. Working with a staffing agency can give you an edge in your efforts to land that next big role! Reach out to us anytime to see how BelFlex makes it our mission to make your job search better.