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Am I the only one who thinks Temporary Employment Agencies are crooks?

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Am I the only one who thinks Temporary Employment Agencies are crooks?

Old 10-05-06, 09:33 PM
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Am I the only one who thinks Temporary Employment Agencies are crooks?

I can see their usefulness for an employer but for someone looking for employment it stinks. Around my area there are two. I found out today a guy working for our company was hired full-time this past monday. He found work through a temp agency and must stay with them till November 2nd because they require he sign a 6 month contract. So he has to give up several dollars a hour to this company even though he's full time. Or technically he's not an actual employee of our company till then. Normally they find out on a friday and are then considered fulltime Monday.

I worked for the other one while in college and they took $3/hr of my pay. Sure it was easy to find work but I've alway felt from a searching perspective the employment agency is for that.

So otters you've swayed my opinion many times before but I'm in the wrong business evidently. Collect no telling how much money with very little overhead and I'm guessing little or no liability. The provide no insurance and it's usually only a handfull of people working in our offices.
Old 10-05-06, 09:41 PM
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Keeping in mind that the agency is a business that needs to make money too, it makes sense. Otherwise they become nothing more than a glorified want-ads where companies can try-out perspective employees and then hire them if they work out, which would screw the temp agency. I agree that it seems like a sucky deal, but it's all business. As I understand, companies can hire the temp from the agency if they're willing to pay a fee foe it.
Old 10-05-06, 10:18 PM
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I never knew a company would have to pay the temp service a fee. I guess it makes sense.
Old 10-05-06, 10:21 PM
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I got my job through a pseudo-temp agency. The pay is decent and I have health benefits. There isn't much difference though I imagine if I get hired on permanently the pay will increase.
Old 10-05-06, 10:28 PM
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Yeah, they aren't the best places to get quality jobs, but if you want a really flexible schedule, or varied working locations, they can fill a need for some people.
Old 10-06-06, 06:39 AM
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I guess YMMV. Maybe ours are just crooks.
Old 10-06-06, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by kantonburg
I never knew a company would have to pay the temp service a fee. I guess it makes sense.
We just paid $5,000 to a temp agency for an employee that they found for us. I don't know what the formula is, but that amount represents roughly 10% of the employee's annual salary. We have some sort of a "warranty" on the employee though, like if the employee quits or is terminated within x months, then we get some/all of that fee back.
Old 10-06-06, 09:47 AM
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Back during the tech boom, recruiters would get 25%-50% of the annual salary for a placement. I know some folks who made a very nice living that way.
Old 10-06-06, 09:49 AM
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I temped a lot in the 80s and 90s. It's a pretty good deal, when there's a good job market in place. Many of my permanent jobs started out as temping. Please note that I do NOT support the practice of hiring an army of temps so you don't have to pay benefits; when I temped it was under more conventional circumstances.

I did some interesting jobs as a temp, most memorably a stint transcribing exams one-on-one with a quadriplegic guy going through law school. He told me he knew he'd never be able to practice as an attorney, but he didn't want his brain to rot. What a trouper.

I haven't temped in 10 years, though. The agency I always worked with -- Stivers -- let my favorite placement consultant go after 18 years and I can't imagine working with anybody else.

Last edited by Vibiana; 10-06-06 at 09:51 AM.
Old 10-06-06, 09:57 AM
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Yeah... my work always hire temps and many temps wanted to apply for full time at work. We accepted 3 applications from them and we ended up paying $1,200 fine (each temp employees) from agency. After that incident, we decided not to accept any application that tied with temp agency.
Old 10-06-06, 10:04 AM
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Having experience with temp services, the only good thing I can say about them is that you can quit anytime without notice, and not worry about screwing up your resume.
Old 10-06-06, 10:45 AM
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I got tricked into going to one a couple of months ago. They saw my resume on Monster or some such website and they emailed me wanting to set up an interview. I called back and she made no mention that it was a "placement" office. So I wasted my time driving to Virginia for the "interview" and filling out the application. Seems like a scam to me.
Old 10-06-06, 11:23 AM
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Temp agencies are like pimps.
They get paid while their "employees" do all the hard work.
Old 10-06-06, 12:17 PM
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If it seems like a scam, don't use a temp agency. If everyone felt that way, they'd disappear.
Old 10-06-06, 01:18 PM
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There are good agencies and bad agencies. I always preferred to work with Stivers. I refused to be a "Kelly Girl" after they sent me to one too many misrepresented assignments ("You didn't tell me this was a Mac office!"), and Adia couldn't get it together on payday, so I quit working for them, too. But in my "heyday" as a temp, I was signed with four or five agencies. I'd let them know where to reach me on Friday, and whoever called first with the best offer had me working for them Monday morning.

I did temp intentionally for a couple of long-term periods (a year or so), but I wouldn't do it now. I'm getting old and unhealthy enough that I need health insurance.
Old 10-06-06, 01:40 PM
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I was able to use temp agencies much to my benefit. It was a great way to build experience and learn valuable skills.

You just have to be smart about it:
DONT list the stupid temp agency on your resume
DO list the names of the reputable companies the temp agency sent you to. This is not lying.

Dont worry about listing such a short stint at each company on your resume, you can explain in the interview that you were temping. They dont care what company you temped with, they like to see where you went and what you did there---Awesome experience.
Old 10-06-06, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Pistol Pete
Back during the tech boom, recruiters would get 25%-50% of the annual salary for a placement. I know some folks who made a very nice living that way.

temp agencies, consulting companies, search firms are all different.

temp agencies place low-skilled employees/clerical people/administrative people in temporary jobs to fill-in for someone or for added staff dureing busy times.

search firms (Tech or not) find highly skilled people to fill permanant jobs at corporations. the fee is well justifies for most recruiters. companies are paying for their recruiting skills and the network they have built over the years.

consulting companies, specifically tech related, are a similar to search firms but find contractors, not temps, who are brought on as hired guns for specific projects or to supplement the staff at a corporation.
Old 10-06-06, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSpacey
temp agencies, consulting companies, search firms are all different.

temp agencies place low-skilled employees/clerical people/administrative people in temporary jobs to fill-in for someone or for added staff dureing busy times.
not true

Ive worked for all kinds of temp agencies--They handle every kind of skill set and pay. I even worked as a recruiter/placement rep for a medical temp agency--for doctors not for assistants.

But that being said, I was once placed to answer phones all day at a creative firm. While I was there they got to like me and learned that I had some basic creative skills and soon after I was hired full time--not answering phones but doing what I loved. Either way, Its a great way to network in your city even if you arent doing exactly the job you want to do at first.
Old 10-06-06, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger
Having experience with temp services, the only good thing I can say about them is that you can quit anytime without notice, and not worry about screwing up your resume.
This is what I thought.

Was the full-time job obtained through the agency? if so, then all is dandy. If not, that 6-month contract is BS.
Old 10-06-06, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
If it seems like a scam, don't use a temp agency. If everyone felt that way, they'd disappear.
Kind of like how if everyone didn't buy gas tomorrow the price would drop? The problem with that theory is a lot of employers only use temp agencies and will not accept and application unless its through one. What do you do then? For example any business thats anybody in my area uses them now. So you either move or deal with it.
Old 10-06-06, 04:15 PM
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If you're a valuable employee, or have a marketable skill that is rare among other temps then they will hire you. Especially if you express disatisfaction with being temp and your intentions of leaving for perm work (you are actively submitting resumes/looking for a perm job.)

If you can seperate yourself from the herd, you'll get somewhere.
Old 10-06-06, 05:47 PM
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When we picked up roots and moved from KY to Chicago nine years ago, I signed up with a temp agency just to get something rolling.

The first place they sent me to was answering phones to take orders for machinery parts, zero training, high stress, I walked after three days and told the temp agency to keep looking.

The second place, when I walked in, I said "Good morning Mz Smith" and she said "call me Mary* and take off that tie." After a year I went full time, and I'm still at the same company, with a couple of promotions under my belt. Health, dental, 401k.


(*names changed of course)
Old 10-06-06, 05:49 PM
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I don't know, but it seems like a few of you don't know how temp/employment/recruiting/search agencies work.

I was an account executive at a place that did everything from general temp to executive search, and even for the general temp positions, the AMOUNT YOU WILL BE PAID is the amount you are told you will paid, up front, before we send you on the interview or submit you for a job. For the search positions, the 20-35% we take does NOT come off of your annual salary and the EMPLOYER understands this. So, if they're looking to hire a VP of Marketing for $200k, and our agreed rate is 30%, then they know that they're going to be $60k out of pocket just to hire you.

And for temp positions it is the same. There is a pre-negotiated % of the hourly rate and we always make sure that the amount the temp will receive is at least within the market wages. And, this, is the amount we advertise to our applicants. They know nothing about percentages etc . . .


I don't see how this is even remotely shady.

Last edited by mytzplyx; 10-06-06 at 05:58 PM.
Old 10-06-06, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by grrrah
This is what I thought.

Was the full-time job obtained through the agency? if so, then all is dandy. If not, that 6-month contract is BS.

I still don't understand how "that 6-month contract is BS." Companies hire temps on an "as needed" basis and they need to know the person they hire won't walk after a few weeks. The only "BS" i can see going on is if your agency didn't tell you what you would be doing specifically for the company and you walk into a situation that you didn't expect. On the other hand, it could be the COMPANY that lies to the agency about what the agency's applicant will be doing.

The contract length is necessary to protect the agency. How else would the agency survive if as soon as they find a job for the applicant, the applicant somehow contracts with the company directly and cuts out the middle man (agency)? For temp positions, they make money on every hour the employee works (as explained above). I don't see how this is BS at all.

The way I see it, EVERYONE benefits. The employee usually gets a fair market wage - sometimes better than market wages. Agencies get paid and are guaranteed not to be screwed. Companies get immediate and necessary help.
Old 10-06-06, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mytzplyx
I don't see how this is even remotely shady.
I never said it was shady. I said it was crooked. I have to give someone part of my salary to find a job which I'm fully capable of doing myself. Although it's as much as the employers fault for only advertising the job through a temp agency and not the employment commission.

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