Every so often someone will come into the staffing service I work for and ask “what we do” in a demeaning sort of way. They say things like, “I accidentally signed up with you” or “ugh, I’ve never worked with a staffing service before.” Or even better, “so, how does this work exactly?” They ask or mention that they know various aspects about how we do what we do. Of course, it is fine to ask how a company does their business, but I get the feeling that some myths exist about the wide range of potential opportunities a staffing service can provide. Let’s tackle one right now.
One very common myth is that staffing services only provide temporary opportunities. This may be the case for some services, but in most cases staffing services provide a variety of placements. Often times, these other placements are called “temp-to-hire” or “direct hire.” The “temp to hire” option is actually very nice- especially for those who seem to have bad luck making good decisions about long-term work. Temp-to-hire generally indicates a trial period of anywhere from 30 days to three months wherein the employer and the employee- considered a “temp” during that time- can assess whether the fit is mutually beneficial. During the temp time, the employee is employed by the service and not the end employer. Usually any benefits are withheld during this time, until the employee is hired on by the end employer.
Direct hire generally indicates that the end employer essentially purchases an employee from the service at what has sometimes been referred to as a “finder’s fee” (sometimes a percentage of the employee’s first year salary). In this case, the end employer is paying the staffing service for finding the right person for their job. The employee is never an employee of the staffing service, but rather an employee of the end employer only.
One word about temp positions, too. In my experience, taking temporary assignments never hurts a person. While an employer may plan to try someone only for a short period of time, if the person does well and it seems to be a good fit the employer will find a way to keep the employee. I see it happen very often. Never discount the potential of the real meaning of a “foot in the door.”
IMAGE: Courtesy of After Fifty Living