What is a Temp Agency?

What is a Temp Agency?

Find Your Temporary Job Solution

A temporary employment agency, or simply a “temp agency,” could be a valuable resource to anyone looking for work. These agencies help connect employers and employees, usually for short-term/temporary or contract work.

The first thing that comes to mind when hearing the words “temp agency” might be a young person sitting in a cubicle in a classic office environment. And that’s certainly the sort of job a temp agency might help someone get! However, these agencies have a lot more versatility than that.

Temp agencies work with companies of all kinds for all sorts of positions. The most common work includes sales, hospitality, assembly, forklift driving, and more. Temp work might be part-time or full-time, lasting from mere days to several months.

Benefits of temporary work

While temp work has its downsides, it can be the perfect option for many.

First, temporary work is a great way to gain experience. In a job market obsessed with experience, having a short stint in your desired field might help you land a long-term position.

Temp work also offers the opportunity to try out a field or career without committing immediately to a long-term contract. Earning money, insight into the field, and new skills all at the same time might be just the thing for someone looking at a career change but unsure whether or not to go through with it.

Temp work also allows you to set your schedule and decide when and where you work. This flexibility and independence are perfect for busy people with tight schedules and those who want to maintain their freedom while still making money.

Downsides of temporary work

Of course, everything has its downside. While temp agencies can provide many resources, benefits, and flexibility, not everyone will want to use a middle person.

The biggest drawback to a temp agency is that workers won’t have much room for career growth. Some temp jobs may lead to permanent positions, but most will end once the contract completes, leaving workers practically back at square one.

So it’s important to consider what you want from your career and jobs prior to working with a temp agency.

How to apply to a temp agency

Applying for temp work through an agency is easy. The agency finds an employer right for the applicant and mediates the payment process. Some temp agencies specialize in particular fields, though many contract with businesses and employers in a wide range of fields.

When looking for a temp agency, consider what kinds of jobs you’re most interested in or open to accepting. Depending on your skill set, you may want to find an industry-specific temp agency, like a healthcare or IT-focused company. Some agencies also offer benefits, so research to find the best fit for your needs.

Once you’ve settled on an agency, it’s time to apply. In most cases, this means sending in an application and resumé and having an interview. Once the agency has accepted you, you’ll join their workforce, where they will help you find and obtain temporary work that suits your needs.

The temp agency will connect you with potential employers, so you don’t have to go through the application process again. However, certain employers may still require further steps, such as a background check or drug test.

When payday rolls around, the company will pay your temp agency, who will then pay you. 

What are the best temp agencies in the US?

  1. Robert Half: Founded in 1948, Robert Half is one of the longest-standing, most well-established temp agencies. In fact, they were one of the earliest companies to help connect employees and employers, pioneering the realm of staffing agencies. Based in California, they have locations in nearly every US state. 
  2. Kelly Services: Founded in 1946, Kelly Services also helped pioneer the work of staffing and temp agencies. This agency has one of the highest placement rates in the world.
  3. Adecco: Established in 1996, Adecco is one of the newer big-name temp agencies. Operating in over 60 countries, this agency has over 70,000 workers.
  4. Randstad: Connecting over 100,000 people per week in Canada and the US, Randstad partners with several organizations devoted to finding work for veterans, women, minorities, and other groups.
  5. Manpower: Also founded in 1948, the long-established Manpower Group’s partnerships and experience enable them to connect with many careers and enrich the lives of employees and employers alike.

Local and industry temp agencies: While large national and international temp agencies might offer incredible opportunities, local temp agencies near you might offer the same services with a more personalized approach. Especially if you’re looking for local work (rather than remote), check out local temp agencies.

Likewise, temp agencies that focus on one particular field might have the best connections for employees with those skill sets.

And we can't forget about the college students. A temp agency is your chance to find an easy remote job to help pay your tuition.