Choosing Wisely

Sandra Heath & Associates choosing a staffing agencyPer, 2 million people per day are employed by staffing companies. An astounding number, isn’t it? Connecting with the right staffing/employment agency is akin to engaging your own personal agent to represent you to potential employers.

Okay—you say—I’m ready, now how do I choose an agency? Referrals are your best bet. Ask relatives, friends, neighbors, business associates if they have ever worked with an agency. Other resources are the Internet, Yellow Pages, or actually calling some larger companies to ask which agencies they use. Research and asking the right questions will lead you to the right fit.

Every profession has its share of unethical or incompetent “bad apples” (one local agency goes as far as to refer to its employees as “loaned servants”; wasn’t that type of mentality abolished in the 1800’s?). Your goal is to find a firm that will treat you with respect and represent you
diligently and honestly. The following will help:

Choose an “agent” that specializes in placements that match your skills. If an agency represents a large variety of job classifications (office, labor, food service, etc.) how focused can they be on finding opportunities for each “specialty”?


  1. What can I expect when I come to your office? Hold out for the firm that offers personal one-on-one interviews.
  2. Do I have to sign an agreement or contract? Reputable agencies do not require contracts.
  3. Do I have to pay a fee? Never should the employee pay a fee. This holds true for temporary and permanent placements.
  4. How much of your business is temporary, temp-to-hire, permanent?
  5. What type of benefits do you offer? When do they take effect? A good indication of whether you’ll be considered an employee or a commodity.

When you find that right agency, be specific and honest about your needs and be open to constructive feedback. You’ve found professionals who spend all day, every day, interacting with business owners, executives and hiring authorities—make the most of it!

©Sandra Heath

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