If you’re an active job seeker or simply looking to expand your career horizons, many experts say that in today’s market, working with a recruiter can give you a substantial leg-up.
Combining new technology and staffing expertise to speed up and simplify your job search, these benefits may account for why the staffing and recruitment industry is growing substantially.
Here are five reasons to consider working with a staffing agency, from the experts at Randstad US, a human resources consulting firm.
• Access to “hidden” jobs. Recruiters are often tasked by companies to hire for positions not advertised publicly. The only way to find them is through a staffing agency. Often, these positions are the most sought after in the marketplace, and in some of the most desirable workplaces.
• A huge number of companies rely on them. As the economy embraces an “on-demand” workforce, more employers are turning to staffing firms who use emerging job search technologies alongside their human instincts to deliver the best-fit talent they seek. In fact, more than eight in 10 employers (82 percent) at least somewhat agree that by 2025, their reliance on staffing/recruiting partners will increase, according to Randstad’s Workplace 2025 study.
• Recruiters can be your career agent. Wading through hundreds of online job boards, company ads and social media sites can be complicated, time-consuming and frustrating. You don’t have to go it alone. A recruiter can help you with your job search, enhance your resume, provide career advice and more. The best recruiters look beyond your resume to understand your career goals, workplace expectations and values to identify the best-fit jobs for you within the digital landscape.
• Not just for temps. Many people assume staffing agencies only offer temporary positions. Recruiters are often asked to search for full-time, permanent and temporary-to-hire positions across a wide range of industries. Even those who begin working as a temporary employee are often hired permanently after proving their value. In fact, the Workplace 2025 study says 56 percent of companies say many of the top talent in their company began as temporary workers.
• It’s free. There aren’t many things you can get for free these days, but the many benefits of working with a staffing company are among them.
“Be sure to work with a recruiter who is passionate about helping you reach your potential,” says Jim Link, chief human resources officer, Randstad North America. “They should play the role of trusted human partner in today’s technology-driven world to ensure you are recognized as an individual, not just another resume.”
Given that more than half of employers (51 percent) named staffing/recruiting firms as their most effective method for finding full-time and contract workers, job seekers should consider taking advantage of this resource to improve their job search chances.
“The unemployment rate in May was 4.3 percent,” said BARRYSTAFF president Doug Barry said. “That’s the lowest in 16 years.”
Since January, the unemployment rate has declined by 0.5 percentage point, and the number of unemployed has decreased by 774,000. The new data shows that employment numbers in major industries such as manufacturing changed little from the month before. It did reflect an uptick in overtime — edging up by 0.1 hour to 3.3 hours.
Job gains occurred in healthcare and mining.
“There was hope that job gains would actually be more significant in May,” Barry said. “That’s not what happened. But unemployment is still low. Keep in mind that it was around 10 percent in 2009.”
BarryStaff Inc. is an award-winning employment agency that hires workers for more than 100 employers throughout the Miami Valley. The majority of them are in manufacturing.
BARRYSTAFF is a 2017 Eclipse Integrity Award winner.
The longtime employment agency was honored May 9, 2017 at a gala in the David H. Ponitz Sinclair Center. The award recognizes organizations and individuals who demonstrate superior commitment to ethics and integrity in the marketplace.
BARRYSTAFF is the first staffing company to win the award.
“This is an incredible honor,” BARRYSTAFF president Doug Barry said. “When my parents founded this company back in 1980, they founded it on integrity. This award means a lot.”
Founder Pam Barry agreed.
BARRYSTAFF seeks out and staffs employees for over a hundred companies in the Dayton region. Most of them are manufacturers, although BARRYSTAFF hires a high number of clerical employees as well.
The company prides itself on the ability to find quality employees of all varieties. Local employers have called on BARRYSTAFF to help them find architects, chemists and engineers. Whatever the request, BARRYSTAFF will deliver.
BARRYSTAFF took home the top prize for intermediate sized businesses (15-99 employees). Other winners included Solid Rock Roofing Inc., The Cakery, Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, The Humane Society of Greater Dayton and Echoing Hills Village Inc.
“BARRYSTAFF has its finger on the pulse of the economic climate and workforce needs of our community,” said Dayton BBB president and CEO John North. “For decades, they have operated with integrity as they prepared and matched workforce with Miami Valley businesses.
“Your BBB is proud to honor BARRYSTAFF as a 2017 Eclipse Integrity Award winner,” he said.
By Rachel Gillett
Speaking up about problems
“No one likes to work with a whiner, but the occasional gripe emanating from someone who ordinarily doesn’t complain holds weight,” says Vicky Oliver, author of “301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions.” “The key is to kvetch in moderation.”
Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, tells Business Insider that you need to embrace the idea of having difficult conversations to get what you need. “Instead of backing off in fear, you’ll learn to handle tough problems while treating people with dignity and respect,” she says.
A bad performance review
Oliver says that a lackluster performance review isn’t always a career-ender, as long you take the opportunity to fix what’s wrong. “You must show you can take the feedback and respond proactively to it,” Oliver says.
Taking time off
Most Americans are leaving vacation time on the table — in fact, Americans didn’t take 658 million vacation days in 2015 and lost 222 million of them entirely because they couldn’t be rolled over, paid out, or banked for any other benefit. That adds up to about $61.4 billion in lost benefits.
“Workers are often celebrated for wearing multiple hats and logging numerous hours,” Haefner says. “But working without letup is a bad habit that can jeopardize business, health, and the life you’re supposedly working toward.”
Studies suggest that not taking enough vacation time is bad for your health, happiness, relationships, productivity, and prospects for a promotion.
Making a lateral move
Just because you’re not moving up doesn’t mean you’re making the wrong move. Vicki Salemi, a career expert for Monster, suggests making a lateral move when you’re immersed in a dead-end job, working for a toxic boss, or need a change of scenery.
“When you work for a new employer, even if your title and responsibilities, as well as salary, are pretty similar to your former one, think of it as temporary,” she says. “Once you’re in a better environment, one in which you can flourish and grow, that’s not so terrible after all.”
Faking it ’til you make it
This advice can certainly backfire, especially when you’re taking on major debt to appear more successful or you’re ignoring the signs that it’s time to move on.
But it’s not always so terrible for your career. Indeed, Salemi says ‘faking it ’til you make it’ can help you overcome a common problem among working people — imposter syndrome.
As Harvard Business School professor and “Presence” author Amy Cuddy tells Harvard Business Review, faking it ’til you make it is more “about pretending to yourself that you’re confident” and framing challenges as opportunities than pretending to have skills you don’t. “Don’t think, ‘Oh no, I feel anxious.’ Think, ‘This is exciting.’ That makes it easier to get in there and engage,” she says.
Being bypassed for a promotion
“It hurts terribly when it happens, but sometimes you simply aren’t ready to handle the responsibility,” Oliver says. If you don’t get the promotion you wanted, Oliver suggests showing a brave face and dogged determination to shine so that you won’t be bypassed the next time around.
Crying at work
There’s no crying in business, at least not according to Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran. “The minute a woman cries, you’re giving away your power. You have to cry privately,” she once told an entrepreneur on the show.
But not everyone agrees. “You’re always taught to suppress emotion, but sometimes showing your upset can actually move you forward,” Oliver says. “You don’t want to wail at the top of your lungs in your cubicle, but some well-placed anger has its place.”
Political activist Gloria Steinem said that she often cries when angry, and the best way to handle it when it happens at work is to allow yourself to get angry, cry, and then keep talking through the tears, as a female executive once taught her. “She had mostly men working for her,” Steinem said. “And she would just say to them, ‘I am crying because I’m angry. You may think I’m sad. I am not sad. This is the way I get angry.'”
Sheryl Sandberg says that sharing emotions helps build deeper relationships at work, and experts say that, as long as the emotion is sincere, crying can increase people’s support and admiration for leaders. One study even found that found that expressing sadness can even help you in negotiations because it can “make recipients experience greater other-concern.”
Leaving your job without having another one lined up
In some ways, waiting to quit your job until you have another one lined up makes sense. Cutting off your income supply can be hard on your finances. You might also think getting a job would be infinitely more challenging when you’re unemployed because of stigma.
But Salemi says that if you’re miserable in your job, deflated and exhausted in a toxic work environment, and have extremely limited time and energy to find a new job, you’re probably not going to make a good impression when interviewing anyway.
She also says that whenever she’s interviewed job candidates who have quit without anything else lined up, the conversation never lingered on the topic. The conversation would go a little something like: “Why’d you leave your last job?” “I was completely burned out, getting sick, working 80-hour weeks, and my health was at risk, so I needed to make a clean break to re-energize my career!” And then on to the next question.
Taking a pay cut for a new job
“Taking a pay cut sounds counterintuitive to everything you’ve probably ever heard, right? Work hard, get recognized, get promoted, get paid more. Repeat,” Salemi says. “Well, there are many times when taking a pay cut can actually position you better for the long-term.”
“Your career, as cliché as it sounds, is a marathon, not a sprint, and sometimes it’s not a straight ladder up to the executive suite,” she says.
Just like making a lateral move can open you up to new opportunities, Salemi says that, if you’re in a toxic environment and haven’t gotten a pay increase in three years, taking a pay cut to leap to a competitor is a fair price to pay in the short term when you work for a company that will promote you and ultimately pay you more in the long run.
Employers of Reddit were asked: “What is one thing someone has said or done in an interview that made you want to hire them on the spot?” These are some of the best answers.
But one guy said “Well…..I like enchiladas a lot…..and I have IBS….so I may rack up your toilet paper expenses”
Hired him on the spot, honesty and hilarity in one package. I figured in the very least he would be entertaining to work with.
2. On the way to the conference room for the interview, interviewee instinctively picked up a gum wrapper off the floor and threw it in the nearest trash can. I just caught this peripherally, and he made no effort to show off his “insignificant good act.”
Honestly, I have never hired a single person on an impulse or based on something clever they said/did in an interview. It’s about qualifications and overall leaving a good impression. Trash-boy did get hired, and his simple act was really representative of him being pleasant and thoughtful. He also had several years experience in field.
I’ve been hiring for years, I do pick up on little things… sometimes a gum wrapper can distinguish one candidate from the others.
3. I never “hire on the spot”, as I always give some thought to the decision even when I’m very positive about someone.
However, I usually give screening tests to candidates. I had one young, inexperienced candidate that did not even pass the first screening question. Afterwards asked me to show him the correct answer and said something along the lines of “Thanks for showing me that I have a lot to learn.” I asked if he wanted some pointers & ended up lending him a book on the subject. A few days later I decided that that’s the attitude I’d like to hire and gave him the green light. Did not regret.
4. One of my hiring questions is, “Tell me about a time you made a mistake doing a job. Tell me what happened and what you learned from it.” One girl said, “Well, this story is kind of gross and might not be what you want, but it’s what comes to mind right away.”
Then she told me about a time during her medical internship at a local hospital where she tried to prove herself to a skeptical doctor by taking a large dead body down to the morgue by herself, even though she had never gone down before and was supposed to take someone else with her. She was a tiny girl, but in good shape and apparently when she got down there she was supposed to move the body from the gurney to a slab (which is why she was supposed to go down with another person). She tried to move it on her own, but failed to lock the wheels on the gurney first and ended up on the floor, pinned under a large dead body for over fifteen minutes before anyone found her.
She said that from that she learned to follow procedures and to not be too cocky to ask for help when she needed it. I didn’t see how I could not hire her after that story. Because it was so genuine and atypical from the usual answers I heard for that question.
5. On a technical interview for computer stuff…
Me: if you come across a problem you’ve never seen before, how to approach it?
Soon to be new employee: I’d Google it.
This is the best answer. Most people go crying to vendors or support contracts before doing a simple Google search, and I find that offensive.
6. We were hiring for a specific position and had arranged a number of interviews for it from pre-screened applicants. As we had to play with real people’s real schedules, we ended up with the strongest candidate (UC Berkeley PhD) going first. He did very well in the interview and it was kind of a given that we’d hire him.
This left us in an awkward spot with one very interesting interview of someone completely without a degree. However, there were budget restrictions so this was a long shot.
Meanwhile inside the company we had a fairly complex technical problem going on. Instead of just having a “hi… bye” interview with this other guy, we threw our complex problem at him about 24h before the interview. The [guy] solved it before the interview, and did it really quite brilliantly.
At that point I was willing to go to the ropes to get him.
7. I was hiring for a graphic design position, and had a number of resumes on my desk. One guy had actually reached out to me personally through our website, and I just told him to email his resume to our job inbox.
We had just moved to a new office, and I posted a photo one morning to our Facebook page showing the new view off to our fans. That afternoon, he showed up at our office in a suit and tie, asked for the job, killed the interview and got it. He figured out the general area we were in from the photo, called the various office buildings to ask ahead, found us, and just showed up. 2 years later, he’s still there and doing an absolutely fantastic job.
8. I hired someone for giving me a dirty look in an interview.
Allow me to preface this by saying I really despise the interview process; I find that a person’s resume generally tells me everything I need to know and for me the interview is merely a formality to insure the applicant doesn’t have any personality or hygiene issues.
That said, I was hiring a desktop tech. I had a really stupid question that went something like “If I give you this, this and this piece of information would you be able to connect a PC to our domain?” The correct answer was yes.
Three applicants stammered and stuttered and said they figured they could but might need a little practice. The fourth applicant looked at me like I was insane but answered in the affirmative with no hesitation.
I hired her on the spot.
9. Post most of the interview, when we’ve turned to “Do you have any questions for us?”, the guy said, really matter-of-fact and not at all obsequiously, “Well, I’d like to know if there’s anything that we’ve talked about that has left you with doubts about me, so I can be sure you’ve got the information you need when you’re considering my fit.”
It was so simple, but so honest and effective because it was phrased as, ‘i want to help you be thorough’, but also quite self-serving because it got out in front of those doubts — we were immediately amazed that no one asks this. I’m never going to not ask it again (not that I’m looking, in case my boss has a line to the NSA).
10. Hiring for a programmer position and I decide to just Google his name. Turns out he also owns a Darth Vader outfit and puts it on to go visit sick kids in the hospital.
I hired him so fast it would make your head spin.
11. He stalked me and found out my birthday was that week. Came to the interview with a cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes and awkwardly sang me Happy Birthday in front of all the other interviewees.
I ended up firing him a month later for being terrible at everything.
12. I was interviewing people for a seasonal outside job, and I was doing the interviewing inside the marketing dept in an available office. This young kid with long hair, a spiked dog collar, upside-down crosses for earrings and a trench coat was my next interview and as we were walking to the office I was using, I noticed several marketing staff whispering and staring with shocked expressions at this kid. He walked with confidence and waited for me to sit down before he did, he was very polite and made excellent eye contact and gave me the best interview of the day.
When I explained that since this was a position dealing with the public and children and told him the earrings and dog collar would have to go, should he be hired, without hesitation he removed them and gave me this charming grin and I hired him on the spot and told him he was the most genuine person I had interviewed so far. He turned out to be one of my best employees and was hired full-time and stayed with me for 5 years.
You may have heard the old saying “hire for fit, teach skills.” And, it’s genuinely true. Hiring for fit, or more accurately, attitude, has become something I’ve espoused closely over the years. Now that I am running my own company, it’s more important than ever not to get the greatest coder, but to find the person willing to bring a smile to a difficult job every day, look at an issue a totally different way, and take feedback regularly.
And, from my experience, there are specific qualities I can screen for to determine if the candidate has the right attitude and will be a fit. Here are the ten questions that help me decide:
1. Are they enthusiastic?
How you can tell: In our process, I always give the employee the chance to reach back out to me after the phone interview. While this may not work for all companies, it works well here, because I only want people who WANT to be here and I tell them so. I won’t schedule a follow up to the phone interview until they contact me.
2. Can they adapt to our agency model (corporate environment, startup culture, insert your thing here).
How you can tell: We use a tool called Vitru to help identify if someone has adaptability. I know other companies use Gallup’s Strengthsfinder. However, you can also see how they adapt if you mess something up, which I inevitably do.
While I don’t recommend playing mind games with a likely nervous candidate, do take note of how they react to their potential future workspace and colleagues. If someone brings them the wrong coffee, what is their reaction? If you schedule them for the wrong time, how do they react? If you are interrupted during the interview, what do they do or say? Any change to the norm is a great opportunity to see if a potential candidate is adaptable.
3. Would they be a team player?
How you can tell: Contrary to popular belief, introverts are not NOT team players, so first, remove your pre-conceived notions. Once you’ve done that, take them around and introduce them to the team.
How do they act, do they remember names or bring up topics that might be interesting to the new team member? While making small talk is not a prerequisite for any job, it’s useful to observe if they really SEE the other team members or are simply focused on you, the interviewer. I usually “name-drop” some of my people during the phone interview to see if they bring it back up later. Again, I’m not of the school that everyone needs to be a team player ALL the time, but if you do need to know, this is how you can find out.
4. Do they ask meaningful questions?
How you can tell: I am a master BS artist. Many, MANY times, I have found myself not at all listening to someone and having to pull out some ridiculous question or response right out of you know where. So, it’s pretty hard to pretend like you are paying attention to me if you are not. If a candidate just parrots your own words back to you, but slightly out of order, it’s a guarantee they are paying very little attention.
Another indicator is a lack of specificity. If your candidate talks in broad terms about success, clients, lessons (all the usual job interview fodder), pull back and ask for really specific or one-off proof points or cases. A meaningful question to me is one where I (the interviewer) need to think for a minute before I can answer. That means not only are they paying attention, but are thinking through more sophisticated concepts than the one I put on the table.
5. Are they willing to acknowledge past mistakes and explain how they learned from them?
How you can tell: Every job interview has that fun question about when you screwed up. Articles have been written about how to overcome it and every recruiter you know has heard the “I think my biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist,” answer more times than she cares to admit.
But to me, this is a huge indicator of whether or not they will be a fit. Do they blame their boss, their team, their MOM? Is it the traffic’s fault, the computer’s fault, the inability to read directions? If they cannot give you a specific example of a time they failed and what they did to get back on that proverbial horse, they are either lying or unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes and that will KILL whatever team you put them on.
White collar, blue collar, clergy collar, shirt-optional: If you’re part of the workforce, then you probably work in an industry infected by burnout, because the occupational stress disorder is a full-on epidemic, according to behavior science. Burnout might be most prevalent in healthcare — somewhere between 25 percent and 60 percent of med students and practicing doctors are, you guessed it, seriously b-ed out. But educators, social workers, lawyers, journalists, customer service reps and, well, members of the general working population, are struggling to keep their flames lit too.
Does burnout deserve the public-health spotlight it gets? I’ve had my doubts. I’ve said things like “it’s called work for a reason.” But I’ve changed my tune. We spend more time working than doing nearly anything else in our lives (even sleep). Researchers should, by all means, analyze different work environments to understand why some optimistic workers turn into drained, dispirited sacks of DGAF. Because burnout isn’t a 9-5 affliction. In studies, it’s consistently associated with poor overall well-being and health issues — notably insomnia and other sleep disorders. In fact, one such study, recently published in the journal BMJ Open, suggests that poor shuteye explains why some workers burn out from high-demand, low-power jobs while others can totally deal.
The term burnout formally showed up in research in 1974, when the psychologist Herbert Freudenberger noticed formerly idealistic volunteers at a mental health clinic exhibiting “loss of motivation, growing sense of emotional depletion, and cynicism,” according to The Observer. While definitions for burnout vary, it’s generally thought of as a state of stress defined by three things: 1) emotional exhaustion; 2) depersonalization, which describes cynical, detached feelings toward coworkers and/or clients (or patients or customers); 3) reduced personal accomplishment.
What leaves workers feeling like detached do-nothings? They might be stuck in jobs that require too much, reward too little and don’t fit their personalities. One new study suggests that burnout bubbles up when employers try to impose meaning on work that employees don’t authentically find meaningful. Another oft-mentioned cause of burnout is the neverending workday — the smartphone-as-a-leash syndrome. In one famous effort to give workers a break, France enacted an after-work email ban last year.
And poor sleep seems to unite burnt-out workers in all sorts of crappy, stressful job situations.
Burnout has consistently been linked to sleep problems, including insomnia and non-restorative sleep disorder, which happens when people get enough sleep but still don’t feel refreshed. Studies, however, differ in how they frame the relationship between between burnout and sleep. Some research says insomnia triggers burnout (and not the other way around), while at least one study says the relationship is bidirectional, meaning insomnia could cause burnout or burnout could cause insomnia, and then both issues mutually reinforce each other.