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Staffing Agencies

Staffing agencies may be a great option for your mobile military life. Learn how they work, the positions they offer and how you can benefit from working with one.

Staffing agencies can be a great solution for you if you have recently moved and are searching for a job. At the least, staffing agencies can provide you with a temporary job and, if you've moved recently, an opportunity to expand your professional network in a new location. You may even land a permanent position.

How staffing agencies work

Recruiting and hiring employees can be costly for employers. Rather than handling the process internally, many companies turn to staffing agencies to fill their open positions. In a way, staffing agencies are like an external human resources department.

When a company that works with a staffing agency has an opening, they will alert the agency, providing information about the type of candidate they want to fill the opening. A recruiter from the agency will search for potential candidates and line up the best candidates to interview directly with the company. Staffing agencies earn their profits from the companies they work with, not from the job candidates. If a staffing agency charges job candidates a fee, consider looking for another agency to work with.

Positions staffing agencies offer

Staffing agencies work with companies to fill a range of openings, full-time and part-time, in a wide range of career fields. Usually openings fall into one of three categories.

  • Temporary – This kind of opening is exactly what it sounds like. If offered a temporary position, you'll work for a company on a short-term basis. Short-term could mean as little as a week, possibly even less, or the span of a few months.
  • Temporary-to-permanent or temporary-to-hire – These positions allow companies to try you out as an employee. You will work for a company on a temporary basis, and if you are a good fit, you will eventually become a permanent employee of the company.
  • Permanent or direct hire – The staffing company recruits you and the company then hires you. These positions usually require candidates to interview with both the staffing agency and the company.

Benefits of staffing agencies

Consider using a staffing agency to help you do the following:

  • Find short-term work to pay the bills while you continue to search for a permanent position.
  • Create a professional network in a new location. Even if staffing agencies are only able to offer temporary employment, you may build relationships that could ultimately lead to a full-time job.
  • Gain skills to boost your resume. You never know what you might learn while working a temporary job.
  • Discover job openings that aren't advertised to the public. Many companies that work with staffing agencies never advertise position openings directly.
  • Test-drive a company. If a short-term opportunity crops up with a company you are interested in, here is your perfect opportunity to try it.
  • Have flexibility in your work schedule. Staffing agencies offer plenty of temporary and part-time options if you need time off to complete schoolwork or to take care of the kids.
  • Beat boredom. If you don't want to do the same thing day-in and day-out, you don't have to. Short-term assignments can be a great way to change up your routine.

If you are interested in working with a staffing agency, take a few initial steps. Make sure your resume is up-to-date and write a cover letter. For tips on writing a standout resume and cover letter, visit the Resume Toolkit in the Employment Readiness lifecycle stage of MySECO.

For additional assistance with resumes and cover letters, visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to search for spouse education, training and career services at your local installation. Select 'Spouse Education, Training and Careers' from the 'Select a program or service' drop-down menu list of programs and services and enter your installation or ZIP code. Choose the radius you would like to search within and click 'Go.' You can also speak with a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647. For additional guidance, use the Live Chat feature on the MySECO website. 

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