Temporary work and working with a staffing agency has many benefits. You’re able to keep your skills up-to-date, expand your network, and gain experience with new employers. Also, if you’re lucky, your temporary position might even become permanent. Working with a staffing agency that specializes in temporary positions gives you as a job seeker access to an abundance of opportunities. However, there are many misconceptions about how the relationship between recruiters and candidates work. This is why we pulled together a handful of tips on how to work successfully with temporary staffing agencies. 

Know Your Employer

When you take a contract or temporary position through a staffing agency, the agency is technically your employer. While you will report to a manager at the company, your paycheck, W-9, and benefits will come from the staffing firm. This can be confusing to many who are working in a position like this for the first time. Many companies use staffing agencies because they are set up to handle the payment and benefits of contract workers. There is no stress on your end, but it’s important to understand who your true employer is when in a temporary position.

Understand Who Your Recruiter Really Works for

Staffing agencies are hired and paid by organizations who need a position filled and need help finding the right candidates. This makes their primary purpose to find the right talent for their clients, not finding jobs for their candidates. By understanding the flow of how recruiters fill positions and pick candidates, you can save hurt feelings and keep the relationship positive. 

Recruiters can’t do their jobs without the right candidates. While they want to place you, they don’t want to potentially lose a client. They aren’t going to send you to an interview if you aren’t the right fit or are unprepared. This is the difference between staffing firms and employment agencies. If you work with an employment agency, you’re the client; with a staffing firm the company is the client. 

Transparency and Open Communication

The recruiter at your staffing agency should be open and honest with you. They should provide you with feedback to help you emphasize your strengths, being truthful if a job isn’t the right fit, and keeping you informed throughout the interview and hiring process. However, you also need to be transparent and open. 

Recruiters can only do their jobs well when candidates are honest with them. You shouldn’t accept a temporary job if you know that you have other job interviews coming up or have an upcoming vacation once the job starts. While you might be hesitant to share this information, by sharing this with your recruiter they can work with and around it. That is much better than springing it on them the day or week of, which can ruin both of your professional reputations. 

Negotiate Early

The best time to negotiate your pay for a temporary position is during the initial stages of the interview process. When you are matched with a position, your recruiter will tell you about the position and its rate. If you’re unhappy with the rate, you have to speak up. Once you have accepted the offer, there is no turning back to change it. 

Find the Right Fit

There are many different staffing agencies and recruiters that want to work with you. However, you need to make sure that you find the right fit for yourself. You should find a recruiter that specializes in the industry you’re wanting to find a position in. Also, you want to find a recruiter that you feel comfortable with telling your story to and that you trust will give you honest feedback.