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When job seekers hear the words "staffing firm," they tend to think three things: costly, part time and low wages. In most cases, staffing agencies are just the opposite. In fact, anyone can make his or her next career move by partnering with a staffing agency at no cost and for any position.
"Staffing agencies work with candidates for all types of positions at every level of organizations, from the face that greets you at the reception desk to the manager who is your main point of contact, right up to the CEO," says Loren King Shields, director of e-business strategy at Select Staffing, a California-based recruitment firm.
Unfortunately, recruitment, a $92 billion industry, is virtually untouched by job seekers. Forty percent of job candidates are unable to name a single staffing firm from memory and only 20 percent have used a staffing firm in their most recent job search, according to a recent study by CareerBuilder.com and the Inavero Institute for Service Research.
Instead, job seekers are utilizing other resources in their search for employment. The average candidate uses up to four different sources in his or her search and only 4 percent of people turn to recruiters as their first method, according to the survey.
It behooves job candidates, however, to use staffing agencies in their job searches because of their unique relationships with companies.
Rick Gray, senior vice president of marketing and communications for Hudson, a global staffing firm, says his firm makes a genuine effort to build lasting relationships with candidates to "help find the right role in helping them fulfill their career aspirations and to better match their skills and knowledge, development objectives and cultural or work orientation with specific client needs."
Benefits of using a recruitment firm
One benefit is that most agencies possess unique relationships with Fortune 500 firms, says Jay Rogers, vice president of recruiting for Think Resources, an engineering placement firm.
"Large companies have more money and less time to spend finding talented candidates for open positions," Rogers says. "Fortune 500s frequently hire staffing companies because [they] afford them a greater deal of efficiency for a minimal cost. Second to your father being the VP of human resources, a staffing firm may be the best way to get your foot in the door."
Additionally, DeLynn Senna, executive director of permanent placement services in North America for Robert Half International, says staffing firms offer candidates the advantage of having a partner in their job search.
"By working with a staffing firm, job seekers can learn about opportunities they might not be able to find on their own. Through their connections in the business community, recruiters often know about openings before they are advertised," Senna says. Additionally, recruiters can help enhance your résumé and interviewing skills.
Along with learning about unknown opportunities, Josie Huber, director of sourcing and recruiting for Kelly Services, a world leader in human resources solutions, says job seekers might find work in industries they might not have looked at before.
"Often, job seekers are focused on finding a job only within their specific area or skill set and may fail to recognize the transferable skills they possess for another type of job or within a different industry," Huber says. "Staffing firms can assist job seekers in identifying their strengths, along with how to successfully communicate those attributes to a prospective employer."
Fact or fiction?
Aside from not knowing the benefits of utilizing a staffing firm, job candidates also have major misconceptions surrounding recruiting. Here are a few of the most common false impressions of staffing firms:
Myth No.1: Recruiting firms only place for temporary or part-time positions. Ten percent of job candidates believe staffing firms only place for temporary positions, according to the Inavero study.
"Temporary staffing can serve as a bridge to permanent employment," says Melanie Holmes, vice president of World of Work Solutions at Manpower, a Milwaukee-based staffing firm. "It provides an excellent opportunity for an associate to demonstrate his or her value to a potential employer." Holmes adds that, on average, 40 percent of Manpower's associates are hired permanently by its clients.
Myth No.2: Using a recruiter costs money. Eight percent of job seekers are under the impression that there will be costs to the candidate to utilize a staffing or recruiting firm, according to the study.
Truth: "When working with a reputable staffing service, you are the employee of the staffing firm, with access to benefits, training and a staff that is invested in your career growth and development," Huber says. The costs associated with most staffing firms are issued to the companies looking for candidates, not the other way around.
Myth No.3: Working with recruiters means landing a less lucrative job.
Truth: Candidates should understand that staffing agents will work to get them the highest salary possible, using their knowledge, experience and relationships to do so, King Shields says. Rogers adds that more than half of the open positions at Think Resources are salaried.
Jobs that recruiters are hiring for now
If you're unemployed and need a little help in your job search, here are six (of the many) staffing firms that can help you and 30 jobs they are hiring for now:
Types of jobs it staffs for: Hudson is focused on placing accountants, lawyers, IT business analysts, Web developers and sales and marketing managers across multiple industries.
2. Business deposition consultants
3. Technical accounting research consultants
4. Senior certified fraud examiners
5. Simulation/video game software developers
Types of jobs it staffs for: Kelly staffs temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire positions across all job levels. It places professionals in positions like accountants, administrative assistants, attorneys, civil engineers, forklift drivers, health-care coding/billing specialists, medical assistants, MRI/CT and X-ray technicians, nurses, paralegals, scientists and Web site developers, to name a few.
7. Substitute teachers
8. Customer service representatives
9. FBI Academy logisticians
10. Intelligence analysts
Types of jobs it staffs for: Manpower recruits for office, administrative, customer service, skilled trades, assembly, material handling, technician, engineering, clinical and lab sciences, and accounting and finance positions.
11. Machinists/machine operators
12. Skilled trades (electricians, welders, plumbers, etc.)
13. Sales representatives
15. Production operators
16. Staff and senior accountants
17. Credit and collections specialists
18. Web developers
19. Help desk professionals
20. Data entry specialists
Types of jobs it staffs for: Select Staffing specializes in accounting and finance; information technology; engineering and science; fashion and design; human resources; administrative and clerical; and customer service fields.
21. Chief financial officers/controllers
22. Directors of purchasing
23. Footwear designers
24. Senior marketing managers
25. Thermoplastics materials engineers
Types of jobs it staffs for: Think Resources recruits for all disciplines and industries of engineering including but not limited to energy, aerospace, defense, manufacturing, power generation, transmission and distribution. They place engineers, designers, drafters, technicians, field service people and power plant operators.
26. Electrical engineers
27. Mechanical engineers
28. Civil engineers
29. Procurement and schedulers
30. Boiler designers
Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
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