What Does a Staffing Agency Do?

Learn more about what a staffing agency does and who staffing agencies are for.

Published on May 31, 2019

Staffing agencies are built to connect job seekers with work. These agencies do so by working closely with both businesses and job seekers. Businesses bring their demands to staffing agencies and the agencies notify people who are looking for work through the agency when jobs become available. The primary goal of staffing agencies is to ensure both parties are satisfied. To see how staffing agencies manage to keep both parties happy, it’s important to understand how staffing agencies work with each group.


How staffing agencies work with job seekers

Once a staffing agency has been established, people looking for jobs can apply and be notified of available jobs through that staffing agency. Often, the agency can set job seekers up with interviews for open positions. It’s free to sign up for staffing agencies, making them a valuable resource for anyone looking for work. It’s important to keep in mind that positions only come in as they become available, meaning that signing up for a staffing agency won’t ensure you permanent employment.

One of the perks of a staffing agency, though, is that it can work for you in the background. Signing up for the agency is all you have to do to start receiving notifications whenever jobs become available. Staffing agencies most frequently serve temporary employment – in fact, 55% of staffing and recruiting agencies serve temporary and contract work exclusively. However, temp-to-hire and permanent positions are also available through staffing agencies. Staffing agencies also can have different focuses, meaning that a variety of different types of jobs are available, not just entry-level positions. To ensure that you find something that fits your availability and interests, take the time to research a staffing agency to see the type of jobs served by that agency before signing up.


How staffing agencies work with businesses

Businesses approach staffing agencies when they have a need for workers and are having difficulty filling positions on their own. This can be caused by spikes of demand, lack of time for hiring, the inability to reach the right applicants, or anything that can make hiring more difficult. The business demanding workers will put in a request for some number of workers for each position that needs to be filled. This contract generally includes the shift times, duration of the position, and payment. Once this information is communicated to the staffing agency, the agency handles the logistics of getting that number of people to work.

Staffing agencies have something that most businesses don’t: an easily-accessible pool of people looking for work. The tightening job market puts pressure on businesses looking for workers, which can be relieved by utilizing staffing agencies. However, staffing agencies compete with one another and often share the same workers, making it difficult to know which staffing agency can meet the needs of a business. If a staffing agency does not provide the number of workers agreed upon, it can cause problems for the business. Knowing that 100% fill rates are rare for staffing agencies and the average fill rate is closer to 50%, many businesses turn to more than one staffing agency out of necessity.


Where staffing agencies can improve

Staffing agencies are not the perfect solution for businesses looking for workers and can’t be solely relied upon for people seeking jobs. The primary focus for a staffing agency is to fill positions for businesses rather than find positions for job seekers. Communication with job seekers can vary between staffing agencies, but it can improve across the board.


Looking for work?

An alternative to staffing agencies is tilr – an app that matches workers to jobs based on their skills. Although tilr isn’t a staffing agency, you can find jobs in a similar fashion. After signing up for tilr, you’ll begin receiving notifications for available jobs – but, unlike staffing agencies, without the need for an interview. Notifications are sent directly to your phone and when you accept jobs on tilr, you’ll be able to get to work immediately. With a clear understanding of staffing agencies and apps like tilr, you can start getting notified when jobs are available in your area.