Hiring practices, including methods for finding qualified applicants, are always evolving. Technology affords businesses many great tools for identifying prospective candidates.
But many challenges exist for businesses seeking to fill a position. Not the least of these is shifting perspectives about vocation and work-life balance.
Companies can spend lots of time and money looking for the right fit without success. For this reason, they turn to employment and staffing agencies.
Both employment and staffing agencies can be a great resource for businesses that need to hire staff. Most people use the two terms interchangeably. But they each have unique services that can offer distinct advantages to businesses.
Understanding the differences between them is essential for determining which is best for your business. Keep reading to find out more.
In general, the goal of employment agencies is to find candidates to fill long-term positions. They can cover a variety of job types, but many of them specialize in particular fields and even certain niches within fields.
Employment agencies work by having a pool of qualified candidates who are looking for jobs in the field or fields they serve. They will conduct preliminary screenings, including interviews and background checks. This will help get an idea of what type of position would be the best fit for an applicant.
Employment agencies also have a pool of employees looking to fill particular positions. They match their candidates with these businesses, if there is a suitable match.
Employment agencies have different fee structures. Most get paid whenever they fill a position with one of their business clients.
There are several advantages to employment agencies. One is that they can expedite the hiring process for businesses. They can save a great deal of time and money businesses would otherwise spend advertising jobs, searching through resumes, and interviewing candidates.
Another big plus for using employment agencies is that they can better hone in on qualified candidates. This allows the business to already have a sense of a candidate’s education, training, and experience before the interview process begins.
This is especially true for agencies that specialize in particular fields. They will have their finger on the pulse of industry trends and have access to networks for finding the right candidate for any particular job.
Staffing agencies work much the same way, with a few distinctions. The biggest one is that they specialize in filling short-term positions. For this reason, staffing agencies are often referred to as “temp agencies.”
For instance, if a business has a staff person who is on temporary leave, they might seek a staffing agency to fill the position. Another common scenario is that a worker quits abruptly or fails to show up for a shift. Staffing agencies specialize in having a pool of candidates ready to go at a moment’s notice.
That is not to say that businesses cannot use staffing agencies to fill long-term jobs. In fact, hiring a temp position is a good way to test a candidate.
Even if a position is temporary, there are advantages to staffing agency workers as well. Besides providing temporary employment, this gives them the experience that they can then leverage to find permanent positions.
The biggest commonality between employment agencies and staffing agencies may already be evident: they act as intermediaries between businesses and job seekers. This is their primary function, although fulfilling these roles looks different for each type of agency. Here are the main differences between the two.
We already mentioned long- vs short-term hiring. Most businesses looking for short-term hiring go to staffing agencies rather than employment agencies. While the reverse is often true––companies looking for long-term hires use employment agencies––this is not always the case.
The main caveat relates to the nature of the business and the position. Staffing agencies can often better accommodate entry-level positions. For instance, a business might hire a janitorial staffing agency to fill an immediate need, but retain their services long-term.
The types of businesses employment and staffing agencies serve can differ, but not always. Employment agencies might specialize in a particular type of candidate, like clerical or engineering. But they often serve a wide range of businesses.
Staffing agencies usually specialize in particular industries. They can serve dozens of different types, depending on the size of the agency.
Another difference between staffing and employment agencies is that staffing agencies are almost always privately run. Employment agencies are often private companies, but governments can operate them as well.
Another distinction is businesses pay each agency. In general, businesses will pay employment agencies after a successful hire. In most cases, businesses pay staffing agencies directly for certain services, who in turn pay the staff.
For instance, the business might contract with a staffing agency for cleaning services. Then the agency selects the staff they assign to that particular job.
This leads to a final difference between the two types of agencies: interviews. In almost all scenarios, companies will conduct interviews with candidates for long-term positions.
Staffing agencies usually do the bulk of interviewing, especially for temp and/or short-term positions. This is so the company does not have to.
Now that you know the difference between and benefits of staffing agencies and employment agencies, you can determine which is best for your business. They are a great tool to leverage to help you fill short- and long-term positions with qualified candidates.
Since its founding in 1958, Defender Services has developed a reputation as a premier staffing agency in Columbia, SC. We provide staffing for a range of fields, from janitorial and security to healthcare facilities, airports, distribution center staff, and more.
Reach out to us today to see how we can help meet your labor needs.