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Samantha Greenfield

Is a staffing agency for you?

By Samantha Greenfield

In today's job market, I cannot help but notice a recurring trend - many large companies are using staffing agencies to fill their positions.

What is a staffing agency?

A staffing agency or job placement organization matches employers to employees typically in a specific industry. For example, some agencies are known for providing production workers for manufacturing or quality accounting and clerical personnel for various types of office work. In still other cases, the staffing agency may direct their energies toward providing corporate clients with executive and managerial personnel. Placements can be either short term or long term.

Why would a large company use a staffing agency?

Staffing agencies can be advantageous for several reasons. First, temporary help through a staffing agency does not require going through the hiring process. The company does not have to set up tax forms, withhold taxes or extend any benefits to the temporary worker. All that is done through the staffing agency. This simplifies the process a great deal for the company. While it is true that the company may pay a slightly higher rate per hour for the agency temp, the overall cost remains much lower than bringing on an employee for a short time.

What is a recruiting firm (aka head hunter)?

A boiled down description of a recruiting firm:

A recruiting firm is typically on corporate retainer and will recruit highly qualified individuals when their client has an opening. Recruiters are compensated when they find (or recruit) a qualified candidate and the company (the recruiter's client) hires the individual. The recruiter will be paid a percentage of the hired individual's salary. Recruiting firms typically are used in white collar professions while staffing agencies tend to be geared more toward blue color work.

With the economy still on shaky ground, you can see why a company may not want to bring on a full staff or production line if the contracts they have in the pipeline are not ongoing. There are quite a few staffing agencies in our area. You may want to check out Augmentation, Aerotek, Lifestyle Staffing, Manpower or Kelly Services, just to name a few.

Samantha Greenfield, a re-employment specialist with the Virginia Employment Commission/Winchester Workforce Center, offers guidance on your journey to re-employment and remaining competitive in the job market. Send your job-seeking questions to Samantha.greenfield@vec.virginia.gov. View the Re-Employment Tips blog at nvdaily.com/vec


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