How Employment Agencies Work

Using an Employment Agency

You'll most likely have an interview with the employment agency so it can place you.
You'll most likely have an interview with the employment agency so it can place you.

Many job hunters consider employment agencies an invaluable resource. While an agency can't always guarantee employment, it can provide you with opportunities to land a job that's right for you.

When using an employment agency, you'll have to do one or more the following steps:

  • find and register with one or more agencies
  • fill out an application
  • provide a resume
  • take qualifying tests
  • interview
  • go through training, if necessary

Look for a staffing agency that will suit your needs and skills. If you don't have a legal background, it's no good going to an agency that specializes in the legal field. Ask around for recommendations, and do a little digging online to see if the agency is reliable and has a good reputation. You may want to sign up with more than one agency to increase your chances of being placed. Although agencies have access to a wide variety of assignments, it may take a while to find a placement that matches your qualifications.

A staffing agency, particularly one specializing in temporary placement services, will have you fill out an application. The agency will be the ones hiring you, so the company will want your resume on file, and it'll want to test your abilities in certain job skills, such as software programs.

When a temporary position is a match for you, the agency will call you to tell you about the position and arrange the assignment. If you don't hear from an agency right away, there may not be any opportunities at the moment, but check in weekly to show your continued interest in a placement. Once you're placed, you'll need to keep a record of your time on the job, and the agency will pay you directly. Once your assignment is over, you'll go back into the agency's pool to be considered for future assignments.

Private employment agencies do charge fees for their services. Usually, the hiring company pays the agency, but sometimes job seekers pay recruiters to find opportunities for them. If you're a job seeker who's paying for employment services, use a certified recruiter who will keep your best interests in mind. A reliable agency can't guarantee that you get a job, but it'll work to help you find the position that's best for you.

Read on for lots more information about employment agencies.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • American Staffing Association. "Staffing Facts." (Aug. 19, 2010)
  • Association of Executive Search Consultants. "The Value of Retained Executive Search and the AESC." Jan. 19, 2010. (Aug. 20, 2010)
  • Earle, David. "Measuring What Matters -- The High Cost of Turnover." Jan. 21, 2010. (Aug. 20, 2010)
  • Federal Trade Commission. "Help Wanted … Finding a Job." September 2002. (Aug. 20, 2010)