Working for a staffing company.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by shteii01, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. shteii01

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    So. I am in US of A. I graduated with bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, no experience. Went to job fair, gave my resume here and there. Got a call from a staffing company, created account on their website, took a questionnaire, got a call for interview next week.

    What should I be looking for? How are staffing companies usually work? Do I make a contract with them for a set period of time? If I get a better job offer can I quit and leave the staffing company at any time?

    Any insight, experience, or just simple guidance is welcome.
  2. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    I just got let go from a job where I was going through a staffing agency.

    You will have to fill out a time card to them. They will be the people who pay you. Basically they are your HR dept.

    If experience is any judge from my Raytheon job you will be a bit of an outsider, not really an employee for the company you work at but accountable to them.

    Not an ideal situation, but having a job is good.
  3. MrSmoofy


    Jul 28, 2014
    While I can't speak directly to Electrical Engineering contracts throught staffing agencys I can give you my experiences from both using them to find a job and using them for finding employees in a Software Development area.

    My personal opinion is if you can avoid them do so, but I understand a job is a job and having a job is better then not. Think of staffing agencies as a last resort. This is from years of experience using them in both ways.

    1. You need to look out for yourself, staffing agencies are never looking out for your best interests. They are looking out for their bottom line. No matter what they tell you or offer you and how they make you think they are working for you they are not.

    2. Staffing agencies are very expensive to the employeers. Say the staffing agency gets you a $10 an hour rate well they are billing you out at often 3 to 10 times more then that and they are doing very little for that money. Think of them more like your agent. The better you do where you place them their hopes is the longer the company will want you.

    3. As Bill has pointed out. You typically work for the staffing company. They pay you. They provide any benfits they may offer. You report to someone at the company that they have placed you with. You will report your hours to the agency for payroll. Most agencies do not have a lot of benfits like working directly for a company so you need to way those out. I've worked for some that offered nothing more then a pay check not even health insurance and I've worked for some that offer everything including vacation like working directly for a company.

    3. The employer you are placed at often has an option to turn you into a full time employee. Think of this as them buying you from the agency. The agency does what it can to make sure that never happens. They don't want to lose you for your profit they are making. They will make it very very very expensive to the employeer to buy you.

    4. Don't expect ever to get a raise. EVER. Remember the employeer is already paying 3 to 10 times what your getting paid so they are not going to pay more and the agency won't dare share any of the profit they are making off of you.

    I have so many stories I could share with you from both sides. I'll pick 4 short ones.

    Story 1:
    When I worked for an agency I was placed at Benifits company. I was told I was being hired as an ASP developer. During the interview I was told no it was for Delphi (I had never done Delphi). They explained it was like Visual Basic which I did know and were confident I would be able to do it. Was a very weird interview. Anyways the pay from this agency to me was just unheard of I was basically getting a 6 figure income plus vacation a benfitis (to good to believe). The work was nothing and I mean nothing most days I sat around. It was a long drive too 1+hr one way. The pay was worth it just boring. This went on for 6 months. It ended with them saying they ran out of money but if they had it would of kept me. I was shocked because I did nothing. (This is all not normal I just got lucky)

    Story 2:
    The next agency after that with to work at Verizon. It was fun work but the pay was less then half was the previous paid. But like I said some work is better then no work. Companies do very wierd things with Contractors which is basically what you would be. Verizon likes to lay them all off before the end of the year and hire them all back. This happened every year. I was actually at this contract for several years which brings up another thing to keep in mind. You often don't know if your contract will be renewed until it's expired. Often agencies try to renegotiate you at a higher rate and never tell you because they want the profit. If it works out you keep your job if not they just tell you your contract was not renewed and try to find you another job.

    Story 3:
    Still at Verizon I decided after a couple of years I'd really like to make a little more money. I asked the agency for $1 an hour. They said they would look into it and the next day bascially said no the employeer didn't want to pay. I felt that was crappy. Bascially the agency didn't want to shell out the $1 so they asked the employer (or they lied about asking). Anyways it was a few months after that I decided to leave for another job. I let me manager at Verizon know I was leaving as well as the agency. The manager told me that was disappointing because they were going to make me a full time employee. This goes back to the agency not wanting that to happen so they never told me that was going on. I decided I'd leave anyways as the manager was retiring so the whole department would be in flux.

    Story 4:
    This will be about the other side. Me using an agency to find an employee. Again they are very expensive. They never represent you well they work on key words. They will help you doctor up your resume to make you look good to the employeer even if it's not a good fit. They are very greedy with money.

    I interviewed someone from an agency placement that looked like a really good candidate. During the interview they mentioned out much money they wanted to make. The agency frowns upon you telling them how much you want to make because then the employeer knows what the agency is making. When we let the agency know we wanted to make an offer of x the agency rejected it and said no and multipled it by 8. We obviously said no. Who loses here. That guy without a job. We miss out on what might of been a good employee and that guy gets nothing. I felt bad for him.

    As an employeer we are obligated by contract not to contact anyone they try to place with us so it's not like we could of called the guy directly and hired him.

    Ok I've probably said way to much but I've had so much experience with this on both sides that I could talk about it for hours about all the good and the bad.

    Generally speaking I feel they are bad but when you need a job you do what you have to do and you take what you can take and work up from there.

    While a lot of this is my opinon and others may have difference experencies this is all based on the experiences I've had. I've been a software developer for over 20 years and a software development manager for 5 years.

    Feel free to ask my anything you'd like
    absf likes this.
  4. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
    "No matter what they tell you or offer you, and how they make you think they are working for you, they are not."

    Excellent advice.
    happyganl likes this.
  5. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    Whether you like the idea of an agency or not, you better get a job of some sort related to engineering soon. If you wait tok long for a better situation, any prospective employers will read your resume and think of you as a slacker if unemployed or a bar tender, laborer, bicycle mechanic or what ever your current t job is INSTEAD OF THINKING ABOUT YOU AS AN ENGINEER.

    we have hired two people through a staffing agency, we cycled through a few idiots and egomaniacs before we settled on one, worked with them for about a year and then hired them into our company. Not bad, just different. Our team kind of liked being able to find someone who fit the teams psyche and supplemented the team's skills. Without the agency, we were just guessing how a person fits in during a series of short interviews.

    What school did you go to that didn't have a co-op program? If you did have a co-op or two, then you have experience of some sort. Sell your self hard. Any little award, team, project, work experience or skill should be on your resume. 2-3 pages is fine (even for a noob).
  6. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    I've just had one experience with an agency and it was rather pleasant.

    The deal was for a "contract to hire," which means I was bound for a specific period to work for a certain employer. The term was six months where I may have had some sort of penalty for leaving before this (I really don't remember those terms). Otherwise I went thru the standard interview process excepting the agency directly negotiated my salary requirements; I did have the right to refuse, but they got me what I wanted (and that was well above the person I was replacing).

    The carrot in this process was after the six months the company could hire me directly, so essentially they got a six month trial of my skills.

    When all was in place I signed some papers, got a free lunch with a lovely young lady from the agency, and the next Wednesday began my new job. I would use the companies time clock PC app to record my hours, and then copy these hours to the agencies site. Behind the scenes the company would pay the agency who would in turn pay me.

    After two and one half weeks on the job I received a letter from the COO offering me a full time position at the same rate. The company had bought off the agency. Of course I took the offer.

    Basically such contracts give a company a chance to "try before you buy" a new employee. The termination costs are far lower this way to the company, and the paperwork to document a termination is non existent.