What Is a Temp Agency?

Long before terms like “gig comment s’inscrire en interim ” and “side hustle” entered our lexicon, temp agencies helped businesses augment their workforce on an as-needed basis. Today, they remain a viable option for both companies and job-seekers. Temp agencies (which are also known as staffing agencies and employment agencies) work with employers to provide temporary workers for short-term contracts, which can range from days to months.

The way it works is that the company hiring temp agency workers enters into a contract with the agency that defines what kinds of workers they’re looking for, the hourly wages and other details. The agency then draws workers who have those skills from its pool, and sends them to the client for a specific time frame. The employer pays the worker’s hourly wage plus an additional fee to the agency for its services.

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Unlike the on-demand staffing apps that have emerged in recent years, temp agencies can match their temporary workers with jobs in a wide variety of industries and sectors. For example, a company may need help building electronic components but don’t have time to search for a new employee to fill that role. Temp agencies can connect the company with workers who have that expertise and are ready to start immediately.

Temp agencies can also provide temporary-to-hire placements, which allow the company to evaluate the performance of a worker before making a permanent hire. The agency will assist the employer with all the paperwork and other tasks involved in converting the temp to a full-time employee.

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