Temp agencies have their place in the employment food chain. If you are a fresh graduate, re-entering the work force, or between jobs, then a temp agency may help to find something to tide you over until you gain some experience, or just need a quick infusion of cash. But I should add the caveat:
…provided that you are willing to jump through hoops and put up with BS.
First off, allow me to preface this by telling you that most account executives are usually personable and helpful. They genuinely want to help you find work. Of course, this interest is not entirely based on altruism. You see, an AE base salary isn’t very high. In fact, from what I’ve seen, it is little better than California State Minimum Wage. Therefore, most AEs have an abiding pecuniary interest in finding the most qualified candidate for any vacancy that crosses their desk because whether they receive their commission is contingent upon whether or not they find a body. Hence, no body, then no commission.
Bottom line: Most AEs are mindful of their commission and will put in the effort to find a body for the job.
But during these days of 12.5% Statewide unemployment and climbing, temp jobs are few and far between because employers are unwilling and/or unable to fork over any of the usual fees a temp agency collects on top of having to pay for the labor.
**Note: 12.5% is the BLSs ” seasonally adjusted,” happy, shiny, so as not to cause riots estimate.**
Having said that, should you happen to live in an area of the country where you know that temp agencies are doing well because they’re being used, and are staffed by competent AEs, then congratulations are in order. It ain’t easy finding a job or working for a temp agency lately because there ain’t no jobs and there ain’t no money for those jobs.
But hey, whaddya gonna do. You hit the pavement and pound it every single day trying to track down a job. These days, however, it’s more like trying to track down the scent of a job, but I digress. And when you receive an email from your AE informing you of a possible Temp-To-Perm gig, you forward on your latest resume and then wait for the reply as to whether the temp agency’s client is sufficiently interested to interview you.
Note here also that some temp jobs you just make an appearance on site to perform the work, while others, usually the TTP kind as referenced above, want to interview.
If the latter, then that’s where the BS enters because employers are well aware of the UI numbers. They know that since the line for their job snakes around a NYC block twice, they can pay slave wages and otherwise have their pick of the crop. But you’re only standing on that line provided that your background includes precisely what the client, Dewey, Skrewem & Howe, LLP^ specified to the temp agency.
What this means in practical terms is that if the firm’s pointy-headed Admin/HR person specified a leasing agent, then you better have those exact same words on your resume, otherwise, and with blinders firmly affixed, they don’t want to talk to you or be made aware of your existence. Period.
Neither Dewey nor your AE cares one whit that you have performed in one capacity or another the exact same functions as that of a leasing agent. Nope. Negative. Because when you were performing those functions, you weren’t called a leasing agent. You were called a Paralegal. And oh dear. (shock! gasp!) How could a Paralegal possibly know what the functions of a leasing agent are?!
The word itself is polysyllabic and smells suspciously like it could involve a lawyer’s salary, and Hallelujah! Heavens no! We most assuredly do not want THAT here at Dewey. We said leasing agent and we MEAN leasing agent, NOT Paralegal. Now we must readjust our blinders and reeducate our AE.
Damn you, Paralegal! How dare you presume to match your skill sets to those of the job we need a body to fill. Your arrogance, sir, is galling.
Consequently, the door you thought your AE just opened for you – The one you thought might represent at least temporary employment? Was just slammed in your face.
The mind fairly boggles.
Or is it just me?
^My facetious name for a fictional employer.
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