Inside a Staffing Agency and How it Works (from an employee’s perspective)

From a job candidate or employee’s perspective, when people hear temporary staffing service, they typically think short term and part-time.  But, the majority of employees who work for a staffing firm actually work full-time.  It is not uncommon for many employees to work more than one year on a single assignment.  As a temporary employee, you can work as often or as little as you like by accepting or declining assignments as you discuss each with your recruiter.  Employees never pay a fee and even though this is never discussed, you should negotiate your hourly rate with your staffing firm based on your experience and willingness to work each assignment.  There are probably not a lot of other job candidates lined up who can fill every opening, for every client.  And, if you rocked the interview with the client, you have even more bargaining power than you think.

If you work multiple assignments and complete all of them successfully, know the value you are bringing to your staffing agency.  Know then, that you should be able to request a higher rate per hour because you are a tried and true employee.  Someone who will not let them or their clients down, is extremely valuable.  This is especially true for a staffing firm servicing new clients.  They only have one to two opportunities to prove their service and value.  A new client will not move on to a third employee, if the first two did not meet their expectations.

The benefit of “getting your foot in the door” as a temporary employee with a firm you may want to permanently work for, is substantial.  You have the ability to shine as a temporary employee, prove your value, tremendous work ethic, attendance and punctuality.  Think of how much this can set you apart from an employer reviewing resumes and conducting interviews to fill an opening.  If you’re good, they already know it.  I’ve seen positions created and employees moved to another department where a permanent position is available, to keep an “A player” for their firm.

As a contract employee, if you are fair and honest with your staffing firm, they will move mountains for you.  Decline an assignment that you don’t want rather than quit in the middle.  Let the staffing firm know if you are unhappy and cannot complete an assignment, rather than walk off the job.  Work with your staffing firm to give them time to replace you, and they will continue to offer assignments to you.  Do a superb job and you will receive premier assignments with their finest clients.  Staffing agencies want their first-rate employees partnering with their most valuable clients to represent their firm.  Earn your right to these roles.

You don’t have to work with just one staffing firm.  Tread carefully and make sure you don’t accept an assignment and then terminate it to work a different assignment with a different agency.  But, do benefit from weighing two different assignments and accepting the one you want the most.  And, using more than one staffing firm keeps you busier.  Not all staffing firms can offer you consistent and uninterrupted work.  They can only offer roles their clients call on them to fill.  Having more than one agency gives you more options and offers.  You’re allowed to work for who you want to work for, but be honest with your recruiters.  There’s no reason to not tell them you are looking to work with the best.

From both an employee and client’s perspective, a quality staffing firm has so much opportunity and value to offer.  Make sure you select the right one to be employed with or utilize to hire employees for your firm.

Managing thousands of clients, applicants and employees is no small task.  COATS Staffing Software has been achieving this mission for 24 years.  By listening and learning from our staffing agency clients, we constantly upgrade the latest version of our software with new features that apply across the board to all users.

COATS Staffing Software 1-800-888-5894


303 Lynnhaven Pkwy Ste 200 Virginia Beach, VA 23452-7400 • Tel: (757) 499-7652

COATS Staffing Software is your fully integrated software solution; combine all your staffing front- and back-office needs into one interface. It is a comprehensive – and secure – system to manage employees, client sales, job orders, payroll, accounting and banking, and general ledger. Everything you handle is right here: ACA Tracking; Resume Parsing; Online Apps; Electronic Onboarding; Job Ads; Portals, and more. And, most of all, we have expert customer service and staffing knowledge to help your staff be as efficient as possible. We provide hands-on training and are always available to offer immediate responses to your technical questions – answering all calls personally. Our software is designed by staffing professionals for staffing professionals. With COATS, you will enhance your customer service, amplify productivity, invoice clients quicker, pay employees faster, and more. Call 1-800-888-5894 or visit to find out all the ways COATS can help your business.