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Temp Agencies: How they work, When to use them, and Are they worth it?

If you are running a business or looking for a new career, temp agencies are an amazing resource for connecting active employers with qualified jobseekers.

What is a temp agency?

Temp agencies are businesses that create networks of hireable talent and local companies that are looking to hire. They engage with both job seekers and employers to help fill workforce gaps with individuals that can step into the job role with little to no training. Often, temp agencies specialize in specific industries such as healthcare, industrial, office and clerical, and more.

It is the temp agencies job to find, screen, and hire qualified candidates on behalf of the client's company. Talent levels offered range from entry to executive-level talent.

Temp agencies are also known as staffing agencies, employment agencies, and recruiting agencies.

How do temp agencies work?

Talent Pool

Temp agencies act as a bridge between job seekers and employers. Often, agencies list jobs that client businesses frequently look to hire. This allows the agency to build a pool of applicants that are further screened to get a better understanding of their capabilities and level of talent.

Employees hired through staffing agencies are paid and receive benefits (if applicable) from the agency that hired them, not by the client business they are assigned to.

When working with a staffing agency, you should find one that specializes in your industry as they will have the most relevant network for you.

Benefits of using a temp agency

1. Time Savings

Staffing agencies save both businesses and job seekers an incredible amount of time. A study by the ISF showed that average job listing receives 118 applications, twenty-percent of which are given an interview.

That's a lot of resumes to review!

Staffing agencies create job listings and evaluate applications on behalf of client businesses and further screen and interview candidates who fit what hiring clients are looking for.

When a local business who is ready to hire reaches out to a staffing agency, typically the agency already has a talent fit from their pool of candidates.

2. Payroll Management

Temp agencies are responsible for managing the payroll of any employees they hire for your team, so you don't have to worry about keeping records of wages, bonuses, and taxes withheld.

Many businesses today hire staffing agencies to take on some or all the responsibilities of payroll management that a business owner or payroll manager would otherwise be responsible for.

Read our article on the benefits of managed payroll services to learn more.

3. Temp-to-Hire

Using temp-to-hire placement allows businesses to "try before they buy." Typically the candidate is hired on a short-term contract which allows both the candidate and business to ensure it's a good fit before being hired full-time.

If the fit doesn't work out for any reason, agencies can help place another person from their pool of talent to your team.

Should I use a temp agency?

Temp Agency

For jobseekers
Searching for a job is a daunting process, so why not have an agency of experienced staffing professionals to help find opportunities and guide you?

Many temp agencies offer free career advice, feedback on how to improve your resume, and will work to help find a job that is fit for you.

If you don't see any open job positions that stand out, sending your application to a staffing agency can connect you with opportunities that aren't listed publicly.

For businesses
Hiring quality talent isn't always easy, which is an issue if you need to find a replacement or fill a new role quickly

Partnering with a staffing agency can connect you with a large pool of talent that is ready to join your workforce as soon as a position opens.

You should use a staffing agency if you are not able to manage payroll services yourself, don't have an in-house human resources team, or are having trouble quickly finding talent to fill the gaps in your workforce.


time savings

When do temp agencies pay?

When you are hired through a staffing agency, in almost all cases, you will fill out and sign a contract that includes terms of payment. Frequency of pay (i.e., weekly, bi-weekly, etc.) can vary per agency.

What will my schedule look like?

During your interview with the staffing agency, your recruiter will ask you questions regarding your availability. Your recruiter will work with you to find a position that best fits your schedule. Limited availability may reduce the number of opportunities available to you.

Do temp agencies drug test?

Depending on the job role and the requirements of the hiring businesses, you may be required to take a pre-employment drug test.

How do temp agencies make money?

Staffing agencies make money by charging for any recruiting services they provide. This includes creating job listings, screening and interviews, drug testing, and placement. Additionally, agencies will charge a higher hourly rate than what the employee is being paid.

Service fees charged are often less than the costs of paying in-house recruiters or maintaining a human resources department, which is why hiring a staffing agency is appealing to many businesses.

How to get out of a temporary employment contract?

Terminating a temporary employment contract is often similar to the standard two-weeks notice that many businesses ask for. Not all contracts require the same length of notice. Breaking a contract without proper notice may require that you pay a fee, so be sure to read over your agreement before leaving a contracted job.

Staffing Services In Greater Philadelphia

J & J Staffing Resources is a professional staffing agency that connects local businesses to job seekers throughout the Greater Philadelphia area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

We bring over 45 years of expertise in office, industrial, technical, and professional staffing placements as well as payroll management, and offer a wide range of services for both employers and job seekers.

Need help? J & J Staffing has offices in Newark, Bridgeport, Woodbury, Cherry Hill, Ewing, Princeton, Langhorne, and Horsham. Visit your local J & J staffing center or get started below.