Temp Agencies

How do you rate temp agencies in general?

For creative work:

  • Good for both finding and matching.
  • Good for finding. Weak at matching.
  • Weak at both finding and matching.
  • No opinion.

0 voters

For advanced technical work:

  • Good for both finding and matching.
  • Good for finding. Weak at matching.
  • Weak at both finding and matching.
  • No opinion.

0 voters

For low skilled or entry level work:

  • Good for both finding and matching.
  • Good for finding. Weak at matching.
  • Weak at both finding and matching.
  • No opinion.

0 voters

For supervisory or managerial work:

  • Good for both finding and matching.
  • Good for finding. Weak at matching.
  • Weak at both finding and matching.
  • No opinion.

0 voters

For overcoming discriminatory hiring:

  • Good for both finding and matching.
  • Good for finding. Weak at matching.
  • Weak at both finding and matching.
  • No opinion.

0 voters

Include any other stories or experiences with temp agencies worth discussing.

Most of my experience with temp agencies is from decades ago. I spoke with a temp agency last year and wasn’t too impressed. They seem to be getting worse at screening and matching. I suspect that they have so many applicants, they aren’t interested in finding the best candidates. I suspect that they are only interested in finding candidates that are good enough.

The person I spoke to didn’t make much distinction between technical and creative work. That can be problematic when it comes to matching.

She also put much of the self-promotion work back on the candidate. If a candidate has to work hard at self-promotion, why would they need a temp agency? The only reason would be if the vast majority of companies would rather hire through temp agencies than without. I hope that’s not the case.

When I was starting out, I was able to get placement thru some temp agencies. That was a long, long time ago. I’ll refrain from taking your survey since I don’t have any current experience.

I’m interested in your experience from back then too. Your comments would be useful in seeing how much has changed even if you don’t take the survey.

I had exactly the opposite experience starting out.
The temp agencies told me I didn’t have enough experience and that they couldn’t place me. Their clients wanted plug-and-play, not retrainees.

Sounds like we’ve all gone down this road at some time or another.

I got one of my first jobs out of college through a temp agency as a technical illustrator at a big computer mainframe company. That led to getting to know people who knew other people who I ended up getting to know and, well, it started me down the path of an entire career.

So with all the time that’s gone by since then, I have no idea whether or not temp agencies are worthwhile today. My hunch is they probably measure and judge designers only by their level of proficiency with software, but I’m in a negative and pessimistic mood about things today. :confounded:

I have not had any good experiences with temp agencies. When I was a fresh grad, they all just wanted me to do reception or typing work. Uh no thanks, I already had an office job. One that let me take time off for graphic design interviews. I wasn’t giving that up for a new, temp office job.

Then, many years later when I went full time freelance I signed up to a pretty big creative agency as a freelancer. I found they were very slow to respond but I was put onto their website with samples of my work. I never got any work out of them over 2+ years so I recently asked to be removed.

So that’s a no from me.

I used to consider temp agencies to be a last resort. I don’t know if that’s still the case.

In my experience, many of them seem more interested in adding to their stable of worker bees, than actually keeping them by finding them work. Just adding yourself to their online roster doesn’t get them to contact you, even if you see the perfect match job on their list. You still have to reach out, meet with them, etc. to get their attention.

But that said, when you have the skills needed for their client, they’re happy to send you out. Regardless of age or any other issue. For temp jobs, no one cares about anything except whether you can do what their client needs.

It’s all about the skills.

It just feels wrong needing to self-promote through temp agencies. If I have to self-promote, I’d rather cut out the middleman. But if more companies would rather higher through temp agencies than not, I guess that’s just part of the business.

Yes it does. And you’re right that companies want to hire contractors rather than full time.

But I registered at several agencies through their online tool, applied for multiple posted jobs, and got nothin’.

I think they just use the online registration for marketing statistics. We’ve got 20,000 highly creative designers, just waiting to serve you!

After I took the bull by the horns and contacted them for an interview, at least they knew who I was, a small relationship was established, and I got a couple of gigs.

I used several staffing agencies last year while I was looking for a full time job. Most of the jobs offered were either temp jobs or 1 year contracts with the possibility of extending. I got a couple of gigs out of it. One was for one week where I just worked on a Prezi presentation. They wanted me to stay longer, maybe one more week or who knows how long, but I had a trip planned so I wasn’t able to do it. Maybe if kept going, I would have met more people and eventually get a job there, but it was a bit far for me though. Another gig I got was also at an agency, and was for a few weeks. I had a trip planned, but after my trip they called me back to go in for another week. It was a good experience in terms of learning their process and getting some projects that I usually don’t get. I also met some people. It was good for getting portfolio pieces. When they interviewed me they said it could turn out to be a longer hire, but I don’t know if they just say that to make you more interested in doing well while you are there. I got a lot of interviews though, so it helped me practice my interview skills. At one staffing agency I felt they were more interested in placing to get a commission than actually finding a good match. Now that I have a full time more permanent job, I still get emails from staffing agencies with offerings that don’t match my profile at all. So I would say, it’s a hit or miss with them…but definitely a good learning experience if you have the patience and time for it.

My first experience at temp agencies was in the late 90’s. I made the mistake of leaving a permanent hire offered from 1 company after a 6 month temp-to-hire period for a 2nd temp-to-hire company that didn’t actually hire. The problem was that permanent offer from the 1st company didn’t come until I gave notice to leave for the 2nd. The temp agency staffing for the 2nd company said it was a lateral move. But in hindsight, it was a big set back.

Everyone liked my work at the 1st company; which is why it didn’t make sense why they weren’t hiring me permanently after the temp contract had ended. What I didn’t know was that the boss secretly was only hiring a temp to keep a permanent position open for a friend who couldn’t fill it yet. But the person still wasn’t available after my 6-month trial period ended. He was just going to keep me on until his friend was available and then find a poor excuse to dismiss me.

Everyone else in the company didn’t know this was happening. But I suspected something; which is why I left preemptively. That’s when the boss was forced by his boss to offer me a permanent position. In hindsight, I could have accepted the offer, but then I would have been working for a boss who resented me. I probably could have handled the 2nd job better an kept it, but I didn’t like working for an insurance company.

What I’ve learned is that there’s never a guarantee that isn’t in writing. Every job is a potential temp job, whether or not your hired through a temp agency. But temp agencies make more money when the jobs they staff are actually temporary. Some honest companies hire through temp agencies because they are cautious while looking for permanent hires. Other companies hire through temp agencies because they know they aren’t looking to fill a permanent position. In the latter case, they aren’t always honest about why they are hiring temp. And temp agencies aren’t always honest about what they know when staffing.

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