How to Work With Staffing Agencies

how to work with staffing agencies

You’ve got your resume posted on the most popular job boards and are regularly looking for work when you receive a call from a recruiter. You’ll likely be told that the job is working as a contractor or is a temp to hire position. 

The recruiter you’re speaking with works for a staffing firm or one of a myriad of temp agencies, and they are offering you significantly more money than your last role. Should you take it?

How Are Staffing Agencies Different?

By working with a staffing agency, regardless of the role, you’ll become an employee of the staffing agency. That said, your primary job will be working at the staffing agency’s client company. 

The staffing company will not deduct taxes from your paycheck and will instead issue you a 1099 form for taxes. This means you’ll be responsible for paying your own taxes.

Some staffing firms may offer limited benefits, but you’ll more often also be responsible for those. 

The Pros and Cons of Working With a Staffing Agency

Working with a staffing agency has its ups and downs. Here are a few things to know when talking to a staffing agency:


  • Because you are working for the staffing agency as a contractor without benefits, contracting roles may offer significantly higher pay than the going rate for your current job title. 
  • Staffing agencies offer a direct line to a hiring manager. If you’re a good candidate, a recruiter should advocate with the hiring manager and attempt to get you an interview. Getting a call from a staffing agency recruiter nearly guarantees a manager will, at the very least, review your resume. 
  • Many positions, especially those at smaller companies or in smaller departments, have the opportunity to become permanent. Look for roles where you’ll be a member of an established team that isn’t made entirely of contractors. 


  • The lack of stable benefits is a major downside of getting a job through a staffing agency, that being said, many firms are pledging to do more to cover employee benefits and several have followed through. Additionally, for those who are covered by spousal or other family member’s health plans, contracting can be a great way to earn some serious money. 
  • Another downside of staffing work is that the job may not become permanent, and you may find yourself unemployed. The key to trying to prevent this is to look for opportunities that seem likely to go permanent and aren’t just thirty contractors being hired for a one-and-done project. In some cases, you’ll also have advanced notice of a project’s start and end dates and can begin looking for work before your contract expires. 

Tips to Make the Process Smoother

Take Your Recruiter’s Advice

Recruiters may be motivated by the profit of getting a candidate hired, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t on your side. If a recruiter gives you some interview tips or tells you the secret to getting hired with this particular manager, you should listen closely. 

Many recruiters have established relationships with companies and hiring managers, and they can give their candidates an edge over the competition. It’s a key way that staffing agencies get people jobs.

Ask the Hiring Manager Questions

Hiring managers like to hear a few questions from candidates. It shows that they’re interested in the position and aren’t just going through the motions.

If you can, look up information about the company so you understand what the corporation’s reputation is. Questions about the workplace environment and expectations for the role are great questions to ask.  

Wrapping Up

For those currently employed at a stable job with benefits and an opportunity to advance, risking all that for a contracting job may not be worth it.

However, for those with jobs that have gone stale and the possibility of a promotion in a contracting role, it may be a good fit. It’s up to you to discuss this with both your recruiter and hiring manager before making a final decision!

Title: How to Work With Staffing Agencies

Category: Employers

Co-Author: Becky is a contributor for theJub. She’s a writing and talent acquisition specialist who loves to apply her skills through creative writing and editing.

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