How Do Staffing Agencies Work?

Staffing agencies have come a long way since the days of providing temporary employees for vacationing workers. Today’s leading staffing agencies partner with employers to deliver strategic and consultative workforce solutions for both short- and long-term engagements. They provide data-driven insights to all types of organizations—from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies—to help them hire more efficiently and achieve greater productivity.


So, if you’ve ever wondered, “how do staffing agencies work?” we’ll answer that question (and a few others) in this article.

Are you a job-seeker wondering if temp work is for you? Go to our job-seeker site.

What Exactly is a Staffing Agency?

A staffing agency can help you find employees for short- or long-term assignments. Usually these employees are already in the agency’s database and have been prequalified, and sometimes prescreened to ensure they have the skills and qualifications to fill specific roles. Typically, your organization will negotiate and establish a pay rate with the staffing agency and, unless you’re hiring for a permanent position (for which your company would be responsible for the pay and benefits), staffing agencies are responsible for payroll, taxes, worker’s compensation, benefits, etc. Additionally, some staffing agencies can be general (i.e., work across many industries) while others specialize in a particular industry.

While a more traditional “temp agency” focuses on finding personnel for temporary assignments, today’s staffing agencies—like Adecco—do much more. In addition to filling temporary roles, you can work with staffing agencies to find permanent workers, staff up for specific projects, hire and onboard hundreds of seasonal employees, and get consulting and expert insights on a variety of other workforce solutions. No matter who you work with, make sure you get the most out of your recruiter relationship.

How Do Staffing Agencies, Like Adecco, Work?

Working with a staffing agency, like Adecco, usually begins with a meeting to understand your hiring requirements and business goals. Then, together you’ll develop a solution to meet your workforce needs, including the types and amount of people you need, the length of the assignment, the pay rate and more.

The majority of the time, the hiring process moves a lot faster with a staffing agency—they do, or have already done most of the upfront work to identify top candidates. And, while no staffing engagement is exactly like another, there are some consistencies in the process, including:

  • The staffing agency will match your hiring requirements to skills and qualifications in their candidate database
  • If it hasn’t already happened, the staffing agency will conduct in-person evaluations and background checks (if the job calls for them)
  • The staffing agency will present you with the top candidates
  • The staffing agency will present your job offer to the candidate(s) and, if necessary, facilitate the onboarding process

In addition, if you are engaged on a long-term or contingency basis with your staffing agency, you should expect to meet at least on a quarterly basis to review KPIs and results, and to make any necessary adjustments to your plan. Want to work with us? Here’s what to expect when working with Adecco. Feel free to request talent at any time!

What Are The Different Kinds of Staffing?

There are a lot of different ways you can work with a staffing agency. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common:

If you need to hire between 1-50 employees

Temporary Staffing: Temporary staffing is an efficient and flexible way to maintain (or increase) productivity during busy times, or for particular projects. Typically, a staffing agency can tap into their candidate database find you temporary employees quickly. The agency will also handle things like payroll, workers’ compensation and benefits.

Direct Hire: Working with a staffing agency to find a permanent employee helps you eliminate time spent on writing and promoting your job description, screening resumes and interviewing. Staffing agencies often already have connections with top candidates (even those who are currently working) and can help you make the most enticing offer.

Search: Companies looking for permanent, mid- to high-level talent (often with 6-figure salaries) will engage with a staffing agency on a search basis. Generally, search consultants have established a vast network of the top professionals in their job markets and can help you with introductions and negotiations. For more exclusive searches, many staffing agencies also offer retained search engagements.

If you need to hire 50+ employees

Master Vendor Program: A Master Vendor Program (MVP) is a vendor management approach that helps you get more control and visibility over your contingent staffing plan. A program like this helps you boost efficiencies, increase compliance, reduce risk and, of course, save money.

Onsite Management: Onsite programs are usually an extension of your talent acquisition and management team, but designed to completely manage the recruiting, hiring and onboarding of your contingent workforce. These programs are designed to increase your workforce flexibility, efficiency and productivity. They can range from full-time, multi-shift programs to part-time and seasonal programs.

What Are Employment Agency Fees for Employers?

Again, no two staffing agencies are alike, but here are the factors that typically go into establishing a fee structure:

  • How many people you are hiring
  • Type of hires needed (temporary, permanent, etc.)
  • Talent, experience and skill level (entry-level, senior, etc.)
  • Technology requirements (will you need an applicant tracking system, vendor management system, etc.)
  • Your short- and long-term workforce goals

If you’re ready to work with a staffing agency, we should talk. Contact us today to discuss your staffing needs.

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