Best Temp Agencies To Help You Get A Job

By Chris Kolmar
Dec. 16, 2020

Find a Job You Really Want In

Searching for a job is often a tedious and challenging process, especially in a competitive job market. However, many find themselves in desperate situations, in need of a quick paycheck to pay off bills and debts.

Temp agencies are useful tools for professionals in such situations, as they can offset the workload of the job search and quickly secure you a role.

In this article, we’ll cover what temp agencies are and how they function. You’ll also learn their costs and benefits, as well as the best agencies out there.

What Are Temp Agencies?

Temp agencies are firms that connect job-seekers with companies that need temporary, seasonal, or temp-to-hire workers.

Some are general entities that handle all varieties of workers’ employment and placement, while others focus only on specific industries.

Temp agencies are commonly also referred to as “staffing agencies” or “staffing services.”

How Do Temp Agencies Work?

Temp agencies step in to handle all aspects of the employment process that would typically be done by a company’s internal human resources department.

This includes details such as:

  • Hiring

  • Onboarding

  • Firing

  • Work scheduling

  • Providing compensation and benefits

  • Addressing worker problems

  • Providing tax status

Under this arrangement, all temporary workers legally work as contractors for the temp agency.

The client company plays absolutely no part in providing benefits or compensation to employees. They cannot directly terminate or discipline the worker and instead must bring such issues to the agency.

A temp agency and client company will typically agree to a contract that dictates the number of workers to be provided, as well as their hourly rate. This hourly rate is paid to the temp agency, which pockets a percentage and splits the rest with the worker.

For example, a temp agency may agree to provide ten temporary workers to a client firm at a rate of $25/hour. The temp agency takes $10 out of that total, and the remaining $15 is given to the worker.

Pros and Cons of Using a Temp Agency

While temp agencies offer a host of advantages to clients and workers, they’re also not always the perfect solution to every job seeker’s situation. Any prospective temporary worker should weigh the pros and cons involved.

Some key benefits are:

  • Quick and easy employment. The majority of temporary workers who acquire work through temp agencies choose to do so because the entire workload of job-searching is offloaded to the agency.

    While you’ll still typically have to interview with the temp agency, you won’t need to worry about having to send resumes to countless different companies before hearing back.

    If a temp agency is willing to interview you, they almost certainly have a position to fill that matches your skill set.

  • Flexible scheduling options. When a company hires you directly, they’ll often only have a few positions and schedules to offer you.

    A job-agency will have positions from many different companies to fill, which means it’s much more likely that one of them fits your schedule.

  • Opportunities for temp-to-hire. Client companies will sometimes permanently employ workers provided by temp agencies that perform well.

    Temp agencies allow you to get your foot in the door of companies that would otherwise never hire you. You can then prove that your value and ability exceed what your resume and qualifications suggest.

Some key costs of using a temp agency are:

  • Split wages. The temp agency will charge a percentage of your hourly wage as payment for their services. This percentage is typically around 30%.

  • Sudden firing. You work as a contractor for the temp agency rather than as a direct-hire under the client company. This means that you can be let go for almost any reason at any time.

  • Can harm your career. For every individual whose temp agency work leads to permanent employment, many more are forced into a cycle of temp-work.

    Many companies look down on job-seekers who put temporary positions on their resumes.

    This is coupled with the fact that temp agencies may switch you around many companies. No one wants to recruit workers that are perceived as flakey by jumping from job to job.

The Best Temp Agencies of 2020

With thousands of temp agencies to choose from, it can be difficult to pick the right one. Employment is an essential aspect of any person’s life, so it’s critical to find a staffing firm that best suits your needs.

We’ve picked the top temp agencies of 2020 based on a few factors:

  • Consistency and speed. Temp agencies should be able to find you a skill-set-matching job as quickly as possible so that you’re immediately provided with cash on hand.

  • Compensation. Different temp agencies vary in how much of a worker’s hourly wage is paid directly to the worker. Obviously, more is better in this regard.

  • Specialization. We’ve included a few temp agencies that are widely considered the most worker-friendly for specific industries. Only extremely popular industries are included, as to be relevant to the maximum number of people.

  • Reputation. All temp agencies on the list are generally regarded to treat workers fairly and have provided many positive experiences. We want to ensure that our suggestions are furthering your life and career.

Without further ado, the best temp agencies of 2020 are:

  1. Randstad. Randstad is the largest staffing agency in the world, with experience dating back to its founding in 1960. The firm operates in over 38 countries and recruits for temporary positions across 12 industries.

    This includes major fields such as:

    • Engineering

    • Human resources

    • Marketing

    • Legal

    • Call-centers

    • Non-clinical healthcare

    Randstad is widely considered the best staffing agency overall to find temporary work through. It holds a reputation for providing first-rate compensation, benefits, and flexibility of work hours.

    This is due to its large size and ability to choose qualified candidates, which allow them to negotiate better contracts with client companies for all parties involved.

    Although the interview and application process to find temporary work through Randstad is more complicated and lengthy than for most other temp agencies, you can expect your wages to be on average 20% higher.

  2. Kelly Staffing. Kelly Staffing was founded in 1946 and holds experience providing temporary work to individuals through all economies and job markets. The firm operates in all 50 states and 30 countries, providing temporary roles in education, manufacturing, and clinical science.

    Your compensation level will vary by industry and will typically be equal or slightly lower than that offered by Randstad.

    However, Kelly Staffing makes up for this downside by providing thousands of free training resources to its contractors. Their frequent clients also include top companies such as Sony, Wells Fargo, and Ross. This also includes prominent New Jersey companies such as Johnson Johnson.

    This makes the temp agency a great way to get your foot in the door of desirable companies and advance your career.

  3. Adecco. Adecco is the second-largest staffing agency in the world after Randstad. The firm recruits in 450 staffing offices across 60 countries.

    It services major cities such as San Bruno, Shreveport, and Ann Arbor.

    Adecco’s specialty is their speed in finding temporary workers a skillset matching position. Many applicants are able to find jobs within hours.

    They’re a great tool to use when you need an immediate source of income.

    Adecco’s level of compensation and benefits, scheduling flexibility, and other employment details are also ranked above average in the staffing industry.

    The industries that individuals most commonly use Adecco to find temporary work in are:

    • Creative fields

    • Finance

    • Hospitality

    • Manufacturing

    • Retail

    • Transportation

  4. TEKsystems. TEKsystems is widely considered the best choice for IT and tech staffing in the world.

    Each year, they help over 80,000 job-seekers find temporary work in specialized areas such as healthcare IT, artificial intelligence, and digital risk and compliance.

    TEKsystems has developed a method for closely analyzing their client companies’ energy, goals, and values. This allows them to match them with the right temporary hires so that both parties are satisfied.

    Many of TEKsystems’ jobs are also temp-to-hire, meaning that top-performing temporary workers have a real chance of receiving permanent staffing opportunities.

    You can expect your work flexibility and compensation to be industry-competitive.

  5. Aquent. Aquent leads the staffing industry in placing creative and marketing professionals in roles with top companies. The temp agency operates in seven countries and 26 United States cities. This includes major ones such as St. Louis and Los Angeles.

    They regularly match temporary workers with positions at Fortune 500 companies such as Disney, Apple, and Levi’s. Aquent’s worker-client matching system rivals even that of TEKsystems’.

    The firm leverages machine learning and its extensive database of expert feedback and applicant test results to find the perfect temporary position for your needs and skill set.

    Many temporary workers who use Aquent to find roles are able to participate in high-profile projects that boost their careers.

    For example, Aquent-placed temp workers were responsible for making Tatcha, a top-selling skincare brand.

  6. AMN Healthcare. AMN Healthcare is the premier staffing agency for finding temporary work in healthcare-related fields.

    The firm operates in all 50 states, providing temp roles in positions such as:

    • Urgent care

    • Physician

    • Travel nurse

    • Allied health

    • Retail clinic roles

    AMN Healthcare’s frequent clients include the most prominent medical centers and hospitals in the United States, such as NYU Medical Center and Yale-New Haven Hospital.

    You’ll have to pass the agency’s rigorous pre-screening and skillset evaluations first. However, they’re still a great way to build up your resume and gain valuable experience at prestigious healthcare institutions.

    Positions are also typically well-paid relative to those provided by other temp agencies.

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Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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