I’ve seen an increased amount of activity from far away staffing agencies recently among my job search strategy clients. Several have reported receiving a high volume of random staffing agencies from all over the country approaching them for placement. Most report less than satisfactory interactions. So, when is it a good idea to work with a staffing agency and when is it NOT a good idea?
My rule of thumb for everything in the job search is to own control of your search. This goes for posting your resume to every possible site that asks for it (don’t do that), to working with random staffing agencies you’ve never heard of.
Being proactive in your job search is paramount, and this applies to working with agencies too. Seek out reputable agencies that have been referred to you and approach them, especially those local to where you seek employment. Chances are these agencies know the local landscape and have been sought out by the hiring employer, raising your chances of a good connection.
Once you’ve connected with an agency, you’ll meet with them and gain an understanding of what they offer and how they work. In turn, they’ll get to know you, your strengths and preferences, along with your experience and you will have a better experience. I’ve seen the agencies here in Seattle help people get into jobs they couldn’t land on their own.
Beware of agencies that are miles and miles away, even across the country. While I’ve heard of a few that worked out, this is not common. Check them out, perhaps even ask for some references of people they’ve previously worked with. Do your due diligence. Most will ask you to sign an agreement with them very early on, and this could have a negative impact on your search. In some cases, once you sign, you cannot apply directly to that employer. Imagine being contacted by an agency about a job with your dream company and signing the agreement, only to have that person disappear. Yes, it has happened! Then you see that perfect job posted at the dream employer and boom! You can’t apply because you signed that agreement. Own your search!
So, what do you do? First, if you haven’t heard it already. Take control of your job search and own it. Seek out agencies and recruiters who have good reputations and with whom people have had good experiences and results. Approach them. Meet with them. Ask questions. Find out any restrictions that might arise from signing agreements. Work with more than one vetted agency to raise your chances.
Recruiters and staffing agencies can be your best friend in your search for employment, but do it wisely and choose carefully. For more tips on working with staffing agencies, click HERE.
Own your search, be curious and you will land your next great role.
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Andrea's passion is to see you achieve your professional dreams. Whether you are a corporate leader seeking leadership development for your employees or an individual seeking guidance in building your career or preparing for retirement, she will coach you to success.