Whether it’s realized or not, the staffing industry has been an institution in the workforce for hundreds of years. In fact, “One of the oldest references to a public employment agency was in 1650, when Henry Robinson proposed an “Office of Addresses and Encounters” that would link employers to workers. The British Parliament rejected the proposal, but he himself opened such a business, which was short-lived.” A little more than 200 years later, the staffing companies (also referred to as staffing agencies, staffing firms, or employment agencies) we’re more familiar with emerged – and the rest is history.
For hundreds of years, job seekers and businesses have been connecting through employment agencies – yet there are still a fair amount of questions surrounding how they operate. In this post, we’ll be covering 5 of the most common questions people ask (based on Google search results) about staffing firms in hopes to create more transparency about the industry.
Question: How do staffing agencies work?
Our answer: While staffing companies typically differ from business to business, generally they operate in a similar manner: staffing and/or sales managers find and connect with businesses who are looking to supplement their staff, add new team members, etc. At the same time, they’re building a talent pool of professionals in the industry they’re servicing. Once the agency has the client requirements, they’ll match an available worker with the client for an assignment that could range from temporary to permanent.
Question: How do staffing agencies make money?
Our answer: Traditionally, job seekers do not pay a fee when working with a staffing company. (If you’re asked to, ask as what it’s for). While it’s possible that workers may have to purchase their own uniform pieces or receive a certification to be eligible for a certain assignment, there aren’t costs associated with being matched to a position. Clients on the other hand do pay a fee for utilizing an agency, which usually comes in the form of an hourly mark-up or percentage of what the worker is paid. The short answer is, staffing agencies make money by billing the client for the hours their provided staff have worked.
Question: Do staffing agencies drug test?
Our answer: Whether employees are drug tested or not is usually up to the client that’s working with the staffing firm. For example, if the client is a school, they’ll likely request workers to be drug tested since they’re working around children. Other assignments, like a bartender, may not require drug tests. Since this policy can differ, it’s best to check with whatever staffing agency you work for.
Question: How do staffing agencies find clients?
Our answer: One of the beauties of the staffing industry is its’ versatility, because every business has some sort of staff. For instance, LGC focuses primarily on the hospitality industry, while our partners at Deerfield Employment Solutions specialize in accounting and healthcare placements. The range of industries that work with employment agencies is vast and only expected to grow.
There are several different ways to go about finding staffing clients. Some agencies have dedicated sales teams, while others have employees that manage staff AND find new clients. In a lot of cases, businesses will reach out to inquire about their services because of something they saw on the computer or heard from a friend/colleague.
Question: Why does a staffing agency need my personal info/social security number?
Our answer: This question is directed specifically to job seekers and employees of staffing firms, and the answer is simple: if you’re not an independent contractor, you become an employee of the staffing agency which means you must pay the standard taxes we all pay. Filling out a W-2, an IRS tax form, requires various pieces of personal identification such as date of birth, legal name, and social security number. Remember, working for a staffing firm is similar to working at any other job in terms of getting on-boarded.
LGC is a staffing agency that provides job seekers with opportunities and clients with talented industry professionals. To learn more about our services, contact us today.