The Rise of the Career Agency And Dismissal of Staffing Agency Myths

You have lots of options when it comes to your career path – working for yourself, working for a company, or working through a staffing company.  There are many misconceptions about the pros and cons of each of these paths, but especially when considering joining a staffing company.  People tend to focus on all the supposed great things of being a direct employee of a company and all the presumed bad things of being a contracted resource.  But with most everything there are two sides to every coin.

Now, do not get me wrong, there are definitely your traditional staffing agencies that are purely body shops.  This is why this particular career path has a bad rap.  It has historically been considered for temporary work or utilized as a stop-gap.  Even when contracted through an agency, people align themselves with the company they were contracted out to, not the agency itself.  Whose LinkedIn profile shows as a contracted resource from Robert Half or Kelly Services – nobody.  They highlight the company where they were billing and their associated job responsibilities.

But what if I told you the upside of being the direct employee is not guaranteed?  What if the downside of “staffing” is a false perception?  What if there is a new type of staffing company?   Something completely different, transformative, supportive, engaging, and specialized services.  Something that the title of staffing agency no longer does it justice.  I am talking about the rise of the career agency.  Get the best of both worlds.  I challenge you to remove those prejudices and consider opening yourself up to much more possibility and potential.

Myth #1: Job Security

I do not have job security with a staffing company, but I do as a direct employee of a company.

First, job security in general is a myth no matter what company you work for or what career path you choose.  Businesses of all types experience downturns, acquisitions, or organizational changes, which can all impact your job and result in you having to find a new opportunity.

When joining a career agency, you will actually have some additional options when changes like the above occur.  Staffing organizations have multiple clients and a large pool of potential roles that you can take advantage of.  If you are good at what you do, you become a trusted resource and can take advantage of the opportunities with other clients of the company.  The staffing company would much prefer to place a known and proven resource to take care of their clients.  So, when one company has to make changes, it is the job of the career agency to proactively find the next best fit.

Myth #2: No Career Growth and Professional Development

I have no career growth with a staffing company, and they do not care about my professional development.

A Career Agency is only as good as the people who work with their clients.  It is so important that people continue to grow and develop professionally and personally.  If people do not have a sense of career growth and support to continuously evolve, then they will seek a place where they can do so.

A Career Agency puts emphasis on treating all resources like they should be, like employees.  Regular meetings to develop goals and invest in their continual development is emphasized.  Understanding a person’s career aspirations is critical, so that we can help them achieve those within the same client or a different client as they progress in their experience and skills.

Myth #3: Lack of Benefits & Support

Staffing companies do not provide benefits and there is no support through my career.

This is just not true.  Most staffing companies do provide full benefits – health, vacation time, even retirement plans.  Never assume until you have the conversation about what the benefit package is.  I often see people price themselves outside of opportunity because they assume there are no benefits, and as a contract resource they can demand more.  Get all the facts before making a decision.

And support is key when evaluating companies.  Career Agencies are not body shops.  They do not place and forget.  They have regular check-ins not only with you, but also the client.  If there are areas you are struggling in, there are resources and teams that can provide that support.  Maybe you just want to bounce an idea off someone.  Maybe you are looking for a mentor.  Career Agencies, because they specialize in a particular practice, can provide you this.

Myth #4: There is no Company Culture

Staffing companies have no company culture, sense of belonging, or company events.

If you are still saying this, then you have not been looking hard enough.  As already mentioned, Career Agencies treat all their staff as part of the family.  Company events with family, holiday parties, awards and recognitions, game nights, inter-company competitions.  Yes, it exists. 

If you are not sure, ask to speak with others that already work there.  Find out what activities the company promotes to create a collaborative and fun environment.  Ask how you can participate and take advantage of all the “fun” stuff that you think is only associated with being a “direct employee.”  In this case an employee, is an employee, regardless of what type of company you join.  Find the culture that most resonates with you and get involved.  People that are used to working through staffing agencies are pleasantly surprised by all that a Career Agency has to offer.

Not all staffing companies are created equal.  Do not discount the potential of joining a career agency, and do not limit yourself based on misconceptions.

Companies, like EPMA, are redefining what staffing means.  We put a lot of emphasis on the development and success of our people.  Our business is people, and our clients rely on us to not only provide the best, but also provide a supportive environment where people want to stay and grow.

I hope you find this blog post helpful. To learn more about our career agency please visit www.epmainc.com/careers