Q: Should I consider working through a staffing agency? What are the pros and cons?

A: Staffing agencies can be a valuable partner in finding suitable employment, and should not be discounted in your job search efforts.

Did you know that many companies will only hire through staffing agencies? If you are wanting to work for a particular company, this may be your only option to get your foot in the door. This is because staffing agencies perform an important HR role for numerous companies. They help with posting the job, pre-screening, interviewing, testing, and onboarding – all very time-consuming for employers who often seek out help with these tasks.

Employers like the opportunity to “try out” employees on a temporary basis, and this can be beneficial as it allows the temporary employee AND the employer to determine fit without either party making a large commitment at the beginning of the job. If the job isn’t a good fit, either party can end the relationship without breaking a contract. Having the opportunity to try out a job can allow you the time to find a company that truly suits your needs.

On the flip side of this, many of the temporary opportunities available through staffing agencies DO lead to permanent employment! The temporary job offered is simply a gateway to a permanent role within the company. If you are willing to register with a staffing agency and try out the job for a while, you may gain access to some of these permanent roles (not available to the general public) and be hired directly by the employer after a short while.

Some job seekers have a preconceived notion that staffing agency jobs pay less than other opportunities, and that they only offer entry level, lower-skill, lower-pay jobs. This is simply not the case. Many well-paying, higher-skill and high-profile jobs are posted through recruiters and staffing agencies.

A pervasive myth is that temporary employees are charged for the services of a recruiter. It is important to mention that staffing agencies in Ontario should not charge job seekers for services, nor should they take off a percentage of your wage as a fee, so it is worth looking into these agencies as a partner to aid in your job search efforts.

While the vast majority of staffing agencies play by the rules, admittedly, there are a small fraction of staffing agencies not following the rules. These agencies are on the province’s radar and have recently been investigated. In fact, Ontario is likely soon introducing legislation to license staffing agencies, to ensure that all are following proper protocol and laws, and employees are treated fairly and equitably by all agencies. Keep in mind, again, most agencies are operating legitimately and safely, and should be considered as a viable job search option. As with any employer, doing your research is key.

In summary, recruiters and staffing agencies play an important role in Ontario’s employment landscape, and can help you find your next great role. Keep your mind and your eyes open, and explore some of the options available to you!

If you have any questions about employment, please feel free to contact Emily at eberry@jhs-niagara.ca