In between jobs? Have you considered registering with an employment placement firm or temporary staffing agency? Most cities in the US have a fair amount of these staffing agencies around and about them and thousands of people continue to find them to be one of their greatest resources for securing paid employment and/or establishing a professional or business network. What many do not realize, however, is that these agencies can provide individuals with so much more than just a job. Temporary staffing firms or employment placement agencies offer a handful or more of products and services to help you get ahead; to educate yourself on what’s available to you and take advantage of all you can just may be the best move in the span of your developing career that you will ever make.
Temp staffing firms and employment placement agencies have two major responsibilities under their operational goals. On one hand they serve the area businesses by helping them secure qualified help on a temporary, sometimes permanent and very often last minute, rushed basis. On the other hand, they have a responsibility to provide unemployed individuals with the opportunity to obtain regular work with quality, professional companies. One side cannot succeed without the other, you see, so the various firms must perform a sort of figurative juggling act.
You can probably understand, then, why it is in the temp staffing firm or employment agency’s best interest to offer its candidates for employment (that is, the individual clients) a slew of free services and opportunities to get ahead in their careers and enhance their resumes even further. As you can also likely understand, however, these temp and employment staffing recruiters have a primary objective of acquiring new ready to work employees and putting them to work in the field ASAP. So therefore, reminding you about all of their other miscellaneous benefits of your affiliation with them is not a priority for most firms. The responsibility, then, to take advantage of these benefits falls upon you.
While all temp staffing firms and employment placement agencies obviously vary in what they provide for their clients, here are some common extra opportunities you may want to inquire about, aside from the ordinary job placement.
Basic Office Software Training
If you have applied with a temp staffing firm or employment placement agency before, you probably are all too familiar with the various tests they administer to you before you even get a chance to sit down for an interview.
Depending on your skill level in office software and your desired position and salary, you might be evaluated on more than just the basic word processing programs. For most incoming ready to work employee clients, though, there tend to be two main clerical related tests that just about all of these agencies require completed. That is the basic typing test and a very challenging evaluation in Microsoft Word.
You will definitely be asked to score at least in the average range on these tests before the agency feels comfortable sending you off into the field to do office, or secretarial type of work. What some recruiters forget to tell their individual ready to work employee clients, however, is that there is no limit to how many times one can take such tests. Meaning, then, if you are unhappy with your score and suspect you may be missing out on some desirable job placements because of it, or even if you simply want to enhance your skill out of sheer ambition, most agencies allow you to come in during your days off of work and train yourself.
It’s really as simple as that. Most of the programs offer several opportunities to practice practice practice and then the final test, just like the one you took before your first interview with your recruiter. It is pretty safe to say that nearly every temp staffing firm or employment placement agency allows for this independent extensive training in their programs, and in most cases all you have to do is ask permission before you show up.
Most recruiters would be absolutely delighted to see you taking the initiative to further educate yourself. Not to mention that this sort of proactive approach to finding a job is the type of characteristic that many employers are dying to have in their offices. So this extra training effort alone may serve to land you something close to your dream job.
Meetings, lectures and/or library resources
This category of miscellaneous extra benefits when affiliated with a temp staffing firm or employment placement agency does not necessarily apply to all of the job staffing companies out there but chances are high that most of them provide at least one or more of these extra learning capabilities.
Staffing agencies that are highly innovative with a strong focus on ready to work employee satisfaction and retention might have meetings every so often in which job related issues are discussed. These occur most likely to improve employee morale and motivation, help to strengthen the relationship between recruiters and ready to work employee clients and to also, of course help the employee attendees learn more about how to get ahead in their career in such a way that will surely benefit all parties involved, including the job staffing agency.
The agency might also have a resource library, whether it is a formal one or simply a shelf in the back office with three or four books thrown upon it. Most likely such a library would contain various literatures on matters such as work etiquette, interviewing, resume and cover letter help, etc.
Another great bonus that comes from working with a temp staffing firm or employment placement agency is the convenient access to resume writing experts. If you are interested in tightening up your existing resume, or simply wish to have it critiqued, bring this up to your designated recruiter. He or she would probably love to set a time aside for you to go over the ins and outs, dos and don’t of resume creation and if not, there is surely someone else they can refer you to who would.
This is an opportunity that is widely underrated, especially by individuals who have already been placed in a job through the agency. Often one is under the impression that if they got the job successfully, their resume must not need any work. This is not always the case, however, not to mention that all resumes could use constant perfecting, especially as work experience and personal objectives fluctuate.
Use these recruiters and their desire to help while you can to your best benefit. Think of all the resumes they must see on a daily basis. They are very well versed in the art of analyzing resumes. Put them to work on yours.
Free or Discounted Train or Bus Passes
Some temp staffing firms or employment placement agencies will give out discounted or maybe even free monthly or weekly passes to their ready to work employees to compensate them for their commute on public transportation. This is another extra miscellaneous benefit that not all agencies offer but it is worth asking about, as some have been known to make exceptions for individual employee clients if it helps ease an otherwise long and expensive commute to the assigned office.
Guaranteed Work Program
Finally, the best benefit saved for last. Note again that while not all agencies offer a guaranteed work program, this type of job staffing agency is becoming particularly trendy, especially when dealing with temporary staffing assignments. Which means that if you are particularly set on finding this sort of benefit, with a little looking around investigative work through the internet and phone book, you will probably find a firm that offers this seemingly too good to be true work opportunity.
All agencies have set up their guaranteed work program or whatever they prefer to call it in their own particular way so the rules will surely vary from place to place. But the way that these programs seem to work is that they more or less guarantee that they will find you work every day from a given set date through another set date. Guarantee it, meaning they will pay you no matter what, even if you sit on your butt all day long and stare out the window while snapping your bubble gum to the tune of Good Golly Miss Molly that you can’t get out of your head.
This is not a joke. The only catch, though, is that you have to do that sitting on your butt all day exercise in the temp staffing or employment agency office. And very often you have to share that small office space with a group of strangers also referred to as your peers or fellow temps or ready to work employee clients. The day can be long and boring if you are not placed anywhere and the other catch is you must stick it out the entire day in order to get paid. So this benefit obviously has its pros and cons but depending on your financial emergency, it can work much to your favor.
This is another extra benefit, however, mind you, that must be specifically inquired about with your recruiter. It seems that many places that offer this guaranteed work program or others similar prefer to keep it a sort of exclusive opportunity that anyone can take advantage of as long as they happen to stumble across the pseudo secret that it exists.