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Staffing agencies...

Old 12-02-18, 08:41 AM
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Staffing agencies...

Since my lack of employment was mentioned on another thread, I figured I'd post about this since it's been on my mind: there have been TWO staffing companies that specialize in finding work in the field I want to go into. Both of these agencies have contacted me 3 times over the past 3 years saying that they saw my resume and want to place me in at least a temporary position. One went so far as to have me take a few tests (I did very well in them, stuff like typing and Excel) and had me fill out W-2s and everything. However I haven't gotten a SINGLE offer of any position this whole time. The first time I registered with them I was hopeful, but now I've pretty much given up on them. The funny thing is one of them contacted me a couple weeks ago and wanted me to go in again and talk to them, saying that they'd "definitely" find me something, but of course nothing has happened. I even asked them if I could take any active approach by seeing what positions were available, but they said they didn't want people to do that because they wanted to make sure each position "fit" with each potential employee.

Again, my tests were very good, my experience in the field has been limited but should be good enough for at least a small temporary job which will then look good on my resume afterwards, but there's been literally nothing from these agencies. I'm wondering how many jobs they actually do place?
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Old 12-02-18, 08:54 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

Why go through a staffing agency? Just apply directly with the employer.
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Old 12-02-18, 09:13 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

A lot of companies won't direct hire anymore. They go through agencies so they only have a temporary obligation to you. My current employer only hires through agencies.
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Old 12-02-18, 10:57 AM
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Old 12-02-18, 11:00 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

I use them, but they're agencies that are limited to health care workers. Years ago, I tried to sign up with an agency like you describe--lots of testing, no placement.
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Old 12-02-18, 03:04 PM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

Originally Posted by Vibiana View Post
A lot of companies won't direct hire anymore. They go through agencies so they only have a temporary obligation to you. My current employer only hires through agencies.
This. I landed at my current employer through a staffing agency. Unless you were going into a trade or technical position, that was the only way they hired. They said it was a 12-18 month temporary assignment with potential to hire on afterwards. Out of every group of a dozen or so, they typically hired 3-5 after a year.

I wouldn't discourage you from looking for employment (even if it is temporary) through a staffing agency. I would question how these particular agencies haven't managed to find you anything in a matter of years though. Are these larger, known agencies or small, local ones?
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Old 12-03-18, 12:59 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

Why go through a staffing agency? Just apply directly with the employer.
I've been doing that, and have some interviews this week, but some of the job listings online take you to an agency, or the agencies just list themselves online making you think they can find you work. They do tend to lean towards healthcare-related stuff, last year for a few months I got placed at a healthcare provider doing what amounted to boring data entry. Money was very good (paid for my new TV with it) but job was incredibly boring and went nowhere, I was glad when it ended. But the agencies I'm talking about here specialize in accounting. Each time they've contacted me they've sounded excited and that they'll find me work real soon, but absolutely nothing has come from them. I'm wondering if they're really a front for something else.
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Old 12-03-18, 08:38 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
I'm wondering if they're really a front for something else.
They aren't a front - but they are very fickle. They'll bring you in and do the whole deal and then drop you from their radar incredibly fast. The important thing to remember is that the staffing agency doesn't work for you. They work for the company that they're hiring for. The whole spiel they give you, they're giving to a dozen other candidates. So you're competing with a lot of people for the same position even if they're making it seem that all their attention is on you.

My suggestion is that even though it sucks, to keep dealing with them. While dealing with a staffing agency can be a pain in the ass, every job I've gotten has come from an agency. It's a numbers game and you should keep applying for any job you think makes sense for you and your work experience. If you keep plugging away, you'll find something. If you limit your search to only companies that direct-hire, you'll only be harming yourself.
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Old 12-03-18, 09:04 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

I've done it once and had a couple of interviews with different places and was hired onto one. I became a permanent employee with that company so all in all I think it worked out. Not my favorite way to find a job but if I've exhausted all friends and contacts I'd probably try it again.
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Old 12-03-18, 09:22 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

Worked for me, my current job that I've been at for the last 5 years was through a staffing agency. Didn't have to do the temp thing, it was a permanent position.
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Old 12-03-18, 10:04 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

I've had very little luck with staffing agencies over the years. Lots of wasted time on interviews and tests and no payback. Usually they would offer temp jobs and I wanted perm.
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Old 12-03-18, 10:34 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

Staffing agencies are simply replacing (or at least significantly reducing) HR departments in many companies. They do all the leg work of placing ads, filtering out candidates, etc.
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Old 12-03-18, 11:01 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

Originally Posted by Paff View Post
Staffing agencies are simply replacing (or at least significantly reducing) HR departments in many companies. They do all the leg work of placing ads, filtering out candidates, etc.
This is true, unfortunately.

When you look at job postings, often you'll see a bunch with the exact same wording, mainly because these are job agencies competing for a placement. I've heard that sometimes they put bogus job postings out there just to get resumes in their databases in case they find a match later. That's usually what happens when they ghost you then call you out of the blue, they find your resume using keyword searches.

I got a bit tired of it and started applying directly to companies. This is difficult on sites like careerbuilder, which as I said are filled with agencies, but I found much better luck just looking up the company on linkedin and seeing the jobs posted there. Obviously it depends what field you're in.
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Old 12-03-18, 03:56 PM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

As luck would have it, I'm going to see one of them again tomorrow. I just saw them a few weeks ago, but it seems like they might actually have something for me this time. I've got an interview with an actual company the next day, they did a phone interview today and it seems promising- and guess what? It's for a property management company, one that managed an apartment complex I lived at more than 20 years ago when I didn't have nearly as much crap as I do now. So I may get a new apartment out of the deal too!

Staffing agencies are simply replacing (or at least significantly reducing) HR departments in many companies. They do all the leg work of placing ads, filtering out candidates, etc.
A job I had two years ago had a separate human resources company basically doing all the dirty work because the people where I actually worked didn't have the balls to do it themselves. I got interviewed and hired by the people there and it went really well, then the person I actually worked with most of the time didn't like me. The human resources people were called in to tell me I'd been let go after a few months. Definitely one of the worst jobs I've ever had.
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Old 12-03-18, 05:17 PM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

I often compare staffing agencies to Sigourney Weaver simply repeating the computer's statements in Galaxy Quest; it's the one job she knows how to do, and she's going to do it.

With staffing agencies, they get a list of qualifications, and they'll make damn sure those qualifications are met to the letter. After all, it's their one job. So if you apply for a job that needs you to do, say, a water pump replacement on a '72 Super Beetle, and you say you've done it on a '71, they'll flag that. OR, they'll tell you to update your resume to say you've done it.

I remember talking to one staffing firm, and they asked if I was an American citizen. I told them I was, then got to asking about the specific job. But no. She wanted to know EXACTLY how I'd prove I was an American citizen, and took several minutes grilling me on the ID I had, when it was last updated, yada yada yada. Not so much for security reasons, but just to ensure that every single requirement the employer had was met. I mean, I get the point of wanting to do your job properly, but it gets annoying when you're filling out application after application, and 95% of what they want to know is on the fucking resume. That's why you have one.
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Old 12-03-18, 05:26 PM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

That's the main thing I hate about applying for jobs- putting in the exact address and phone number of every place I've ever worked. Hoping that this week works out.
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Old 12-03-18, 05:41 PM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

...especially when you damn well know they don't even look at it. They just have some software that requires the field to be filled, and it'll keep spitting it back at you if you leave it blank. One day I'll say I worked at Paper Street Soap Company or list a previous employer's address as 742 Evergreen Terrace or 123 Fake St. and see if they even notice.
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Old 12-03-18, 07:04 PM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
That's the main thing I hate about applying for jobs- putting in the exact address and phone number of every place I've ever worked. Hoping that this week works out.
Thatís one interesting thing about my background ... EVERY place I have worked (except my current employer) no longer exists. Fortunately Iíve been at my current employer almost 15 years, so I doubt Iíll need to explain that.
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Old 12-03-18, 07:47 PM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

I've been with my current employer for eleven years, and my 35-year career in the administrative field has probably consisted of more jobs secured through agencies than not. Back in the mid-eighties when I started, agencies got you the best jobs because the companies willing to pay an outside agency usually offered better salaries, at least for clerical work, than ones you could meet with on your own. These days, as others have noted, they're the modern equivalent of HR and becoming less and less avoidable.

As Goat3001 advised, remember that the agencies work for the client company and their first allegiance will be to that company, not to the applicant placed there. I hope you're able to find something soon, OP.
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Old 12-04-18, 12:59 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

Originally Posted by Vibiana View Post
A lot of companies won't direct hire anymore. They go through agencies so they only have a temporary obligation to you. My current employer only hires through agencies.
That may be more common nowadays, but I am currently unemployed and find that plenty of companies on sites like indeed still let you easy apply for the specific position you are gunning for.

They may ultimately have an agency first check you out before you speak directly with the actual employer but it is easy enough to skip going through an agency or recruiter that makes it sound like they will promptly hook you up but all you hear is crickets 2 weeks later.

An example, I direct applied for an inside sales/BDR role with go1 but the first contact I had was with someone with Strive (if I remember correctly) via email that had me take an on-line test via a provided link (no need to drive to an agency’s office) and then someone called to do some role play with me and finally they bumped me to a Skype interview with a dude in Australia (for a U.S. position, he happened to be out of country but wanted to get my interview completed ASAP).

I did not get the job but it did start with me thinking I was applying direct to go1. Alan, don’t waste your time with an agency...just hit up dice or indeed and tons of listings allow for you to easy apply (basically, upload your resume, note if you are white/black, a veteran, those self ID type questions, and you simply hit submit).

Seriously, it takes forever to get a job even with employers claiming they desperately need warm bodies so you waste enough of your own time without needing an agency to waste the time for you.

If you are like me you get burned out in as little as 90m finding and applying for positions so I feel your pain. I sincerely wish you the best of luck Alan...hopefully we both get a job soon.

Vibiana is correct but so is Why So Blu, you need to ignore the bs emails from agencies/recruiters and hit the well known on-line job boards to direct apply.
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Old 12-04-18, 03:35 PM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

This may have been said before, but I didn't read all posts. My experience with staffing companies is 20+ years old, but I suspect that things haven't changed.

If you want a job, you need to hound them. The simple fact that they called you in and tested you, and you tested well, won't get you employed. BUT, if you call them regularly to check in, they will know you're serious and work harder at getting you a position. Maybe just to stop you from bugging them, maybe because they will expect that a motivated applicant will do better, I don't know. I always assumed, actually, that it was simply a matter of you being at the front of their mind as new positions come in, rather than you just being a file in some drawer.

Regardless, I had success when I bugged them (of course, by "bug" I mean respectful businesslike check ins, just somewhat frequent ones). When I didn't bug them, they didn't do a damn thing for me.
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Old 12-04-18, 06:45 PM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

There was one I "checked in" with a while ago, but they never found me anything.

Meeting today was largely a waste of time, person acted like it was the first time they'd seen my resume even though they were the one who called me in the first place. They mentioned some specific jobs coming up within the next month but I'm not betting on them, I'll likely find something else first.
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Old 12-05-18, 09:44 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

As I said, if you want them to provide you work, you need to check in regularly, at least weekly, IMO. They are getting jobs and are filling them with people like you, they wouldn't exist otherwise. But you are not their client, and they don't really care who fills the jobs, so long as they are filled with people who can handle the assignment. If you want to be one of those people, you need to be at the forefront of their minds. And the fact that they called you first doesn't mean squat, you get in the forefront of their minds by (figuratively) putting yourself in front of them.
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Old 12-05-18, 10:03 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
This may have been said before, but I didn't read all posts. My experience with staffing companies is 20+ years old, but I suspect that things haven't changed.
I wanna comment on this, in that things have changed a LOT in the last 20 years. Two (among many) things that have disappeared in the workplace are receptionists and HR. Voicemail has replaced reception, and HR is usually the side-duty of another employee (at least at small to mid sized companies, large ones will still need these positions). And the small companies now just use staffing companies for much of the hiring process. They do all the dirty work, and the eventual employer only needs to be there for on-site, "official" interviews. But everything else is taken care of by the staffing firm. It's easier to pay them to do it than have a full-on HR department on site.
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Old 12-05-18, 10:23 AM
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Re: Staffing agencies...

Wow, I had no idea so much of the hiring process has changed, reading over some of these posts. So what's the effect? How does it feel for the hiring process and for the actual workplace?
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