How to Use a Temp Agency to Find a Job
Is unemployment running out? Are your cash reserves getting low? Don't want to commit to a permanent position? Consider a temporary job to help pay the bills. Temporary agency positions are available in just about every career field and location. In many cases, you can apply online to the temp agency of your choice.
What Is a Temp Agency?
A temporary staffing firm, also known as a "temp agency," retains workers to send out on short or long-term assignments.
Companies in need of short or long-term temporary workers will enter a contract with the temp agency to fill jobs with appropriately skilled workers.
Temp agencies usually deal with a particular profession or business, such as healthcare, information technology, accounting, office administration, or industrial labor. When applying to a temp agency, you may be asked to complete a series of tests, so that they can match you appropriately to jobs in a particular business. You'll also likely need to submit a resume and a list of your skills and proficiencies so the temp agency can get a sense of which jobs you will succeed in.
As an employee of a temp agency, you may be entitled to a variety of benefits, comparable to those of a full-time employee in a permanent position. Working for a temp agency offers you the opportunity to explore employment options you might not have access to if you were committing to a permanent position, while also maintaining the flexibility to change assignments upon completion.
When you receive an assignment as a "temp," the agency will provide you with information as to whom to report, dress code, hours, wages, and a description of the duties and duration of the job.
What Kind of Jobs Are Available at a Temp Agency?
These days, temp jobs range from low-skilled, entry-level work to professional roles.
The most common types of jobs that temp agencies fill, however, include:
- Administrative workers
- Assembly line workers
- Audio transcribers
- Cleaning and/or maintenance workers
- Clerical workers
- Data entry workers
- Information technology workers
- Labeling and/or packaging workers
- Medical secretaries
- Nurses and nurses’ aides
- Truck and delivery drivers
Temp Job Benefits
In addition to a paycheck, many temporary agencies provide benefits to their workers. Manpower, for example, offers a full benefits package including holidays, medical and dental coverage, life insurance, and a 401k plan. Other staffing firms also offer excellent benefits packages. Be sure to inquire what benefits are offered when you apply or when you interview. Also, inquire about whether the company pays the cost of the benefits or you do.
Temp jobs can give you experience in industries and careers you might not have otherwise thought of trying — without a long-term commitment. If you are not thrilled with the assignment or the employer, you can move on to your next position and start anew.
Flexible Work Options
Temporary employment also provides the opportunity to work when and where you want to work. Work only during school hours, take the summers off, or take a break to do something else with your life.
Either way, if you are a temp it's your choice when you work — and where you work.
If your resume needs a boost, temporary jobs are an ideal way to add skills and experience to your resume, as well as to gain experience in the workplace. According to the American Staffing Association, more than 90 percent of staffing companies provide training to their temporary workers and 70 percent of temps say that they gained new skills during their assignment.
Temp to Perm
A temporary job can also become a permanent position. Ninety percent of all companies use temporary employees and 40 percent of Manpower's millions of workers find permanent employment through their temporary placements each year. This means that even though temping may seem like a step down from permanent employment, it actually can be a step through the door at a company you are interested in working for and a way to get hired permanently.
Temp Job Applications
Applying for a temporary job is quick and easy. At many temporary job agencies, like Manpower and OfficeTeam, job seekers can register, submit a resume, and search for jobs online. Visit the Net-Temps website and you can post a resume by copying and pasting your resume from Microsoft Word, or uploading a resume document.
If you choose temporary work, you will be in good company. On any given day, 2 million people are employed by staffing companies. Temporary jobs offer an opportunity to earn income and add skills to your resume while continuing your search for that perfect position. Your temp job can become your career — over 79 percent of temps work full-time.
Tips for Landing a Temp Job
To ace a temp job interview, emphasize your flexibility and comfort working in new environments, as well as the relevant skills in the job listing.
Research the company ahead of time, and practice answering typical temp job interview questions. On the day of the interview, dress appropriately, and come to the meeting with copies of your application materials and a sense of your availability.
Be honest about your goals, whether it’s to land a permanent position (eventually), maintain flexibility, or to develop some skills that will make you an attractive candidate for your next full-time job. Make sure to stress your dedication and commitment — employers want employees who care, even in temporary roles.