Function of an Employment Agency

Function of an Employment Agency

For employers, an employment agency can take the grunt work out of human resources. Filling an open position takes time and money. The American Staffing Association estimates that hiring a worker can cost 7 to 20 percent of that position’s salary and take 30 to 45 days to fill [source: American Staffing Association]. That can be pretty taxing to some companies, so it’s worth their while to farm out the hiring process to a recruiter at an employment agency.

When a business needs a specific person for a job, it’ll contract with a personnel placement services firm, also called a recruiter. The recruiter handles the search process and matches up an employee with the job in question, lining up potential candidates who interview with the company.

For senior-level management positions, a company may choose to hire an executive search firm, also known as a headhunter. An executive search firm works under a retainer agreement from the hiring company and uses a set code of standards to identify and place workers in these highly visible positions.

When a company just needs a vacation fill-in or someone to work for a few months, it uses a staffing agency. Staffing agencies provide skilled employees to work on a temporary or contract basis. Some employers also use staffing agencies as recruiters in positions known as “temp to perm,” meaning the position is temporary, but it could lead to a permanent position if the worker and company are a good fit.

For job seekers, an employment agency can be the ticket to getting that full-time job. The public employment service is free and offers a lot of tools. Recruiters can open doors to positions that may not be easy to find on your own. Staffing companies allow you to try out different companies and industries, and they’re also great for those looking for short-term or part-time work.

Another bonus of using an employment agency is access to training. Many employment agencies offer free training in a variety of skill-building tools, such as software programs and computer skills. Those who take advantage of these skills can build up their resumes, making them more marketable for the employment agency.

Your First Video Interview

With all of the advances in technology bringing people together it only makes sense that people would start interviewing by video. Look for BarryStaff to lead the way in this area in the near future. That’s right. Just comb your hair, put on that smile, crack open that laptop, turn on the webcam, and you’re at your interview. For some ideas on how to approach this new innovation in interviewing here is an article from

Dear Candidate,

You’re about to embark on your first-ever video interview. It’s a little daunting I’m sure, but there are ways to make sure you not only ace your first digital screening but get invited back for another screen-to-screen.

1.) Plan. Prepare. Focus. Treat this interview like it’s a real one. Because it is. That means giving yourself plenty of time to prep, researching the company and the position. Keep your notes and resume handy and make sure you have all your dates lined up.

2.) Advance Notice. If your hiring manager or recruiter request information ahead of time, make sure that you get it to them well in advance of the interview so they have time to look it over.

3.) Check your Tech. Not only will you need to ensure that your microphone and webcam are working (try a test with a friend) but you’ll also want to see if you need to make use of mobile options (many video interviewing providers now have this option). Having trouble? Contact the tech support team of the interactive interviewing platform being used. They’ll set you straight.

4.) Timing is everything. Give yourself plenty of time. Just because you’re using advanced technology doesn’t mean that everything will move smoothly. To be sure, plan for an hour before and 20 minutes after your video interview slot. Even if you are simply answering pre-recorded questions (often called a video screen).

5.) Dress it up. Just because you aren’t in an office, doesn’t mean you can forgo pants. While it’s true that no one can see below the desk, as it were, you still want to make sure you’re in an interview state of mind, so keep it classy and professional when it comes to dressing up, even if you’re doing the interview from your bedroom.

6.) Speaking of surroundings. Don’t take the interview just anywhere. Coffee shops and loud areas are a no-no in general. Even if you’re in a quiet public place, chances are you’ll play down your energy level and look self-conscious. Not the best look. Respond to your interview questions (or the live interview) in a quiet, private location. If it’s an option, move your computer to an internal room so sounds like trains, car horns, barking dogs or any other noise won’t be picked up by your microphone.

7.) Background. Keep it clean and streamlined. Sure you love your collegiate pennant and that Blues Brothers movie poster, but they shouldn’t really be part of the background when you take your interview. Make sure that your interviewers can focus on YOU during your interview.

8.) Sit still! Fidgeting, moving around and giving in to nervous tics makes you look…well, nervous. So don’t do it.

9.) Try to enjoy yourself. Its easy to forget that a video interview is supposed to be a barometer of a match between you and your ideal company, so show your qualifications and your personality. Tough to do when you’re thinking about all that can potentially go wrong, but necessary nonetheless.

Ten Tips for Handling Toxic Employees

Everybody hopes that an employment situation will work out for everybody. The employee will be great, the employer will be stellar, and everybody will live happily ever after. Or at least until the employee can get in 40 years and retire with a gold watch. Sadly it doesn’t always work out this way. If it did, we would be awfully bored here at BarryStaff and it’s why our Temp-to-Hire plan is so popular. It allows a company the chance to try out an employee before adding them to the payroll.

But sometimes employers find themselves experiencing the pain of a “Toxic Employee.” This isn’t just a bad employee. It’s an employee that poisons the atmosphere at work for everybody. When one of these folks starts showing their true colors it falls to the Manager to do the right thing and send them on their way. It’s not easy, but it has to be done. So to help you out in that area, here’s an article from

Birmingham Business Journal by Melissa Kossler Dutton & Ty West

Terry Weaver and his colleagues at the Chief Executive Boards International have little patience for “toxic employees.”

The group normally is quick to encourage members to fire an employee whose presence is a “cancer” on the company, said Weaver, who serves as CEO of the organization that provides ideas and advice to business owners and leaders.

“We make a distinction between toxic employees and lousy employees,” said Weaver, the group’s CEO. “Poor performers are a whole different breed.”

Weaver defines a toxic employee as someone who breeds discontent, causes problems for customers, colleagues and managers and who lacks ethics.

There’s no way to rehabilitate these types of workers, he said.

“You can’t fix them,” he said. “You’ve got to fire them.”

Taking that step is often difficult. But here are 10 tips for businesses looking to dismiss a toxic employee.

1. Documentation. Weaver recommends keeping notes on the employee’s indiscretions and putting disciplinary actions in a letter that’s sent to the employee.

2. Be proactive. Supervisors often wait too long to bring problem employees to the attention of the HR department or company leaders, according to Deborah Keary, vice president of human resources for the Society for Human Resource Management.

“Managers put up with a lot before having a difficult conversation with a person,” she said.

3. Be clear about violations. When you’re documenting issues in writing, Keary said to make sure the notations in the person’s file reflect how the behaviors violate the company’s code of conduct.

“Be really specific,” she said.

4. Follow company policy. If company policy dictates that managers work with employees to change their behaviors, managers need to move forward with a work-improvement plan, Keary said.

5. Provide a detailed plan. If you create an improvement plan, make sure it clearly spells out what an employee needs to do to improve performance and provide a clear timeline. Also, make sure to address potential consequences of failing to meet the plan’s guidelines.

6. Review your actions. Keary recommends managers recap meetings and conversations with the employee in writing.

“Emails are a good way to follow up on a disciplinary discussion,” she said.

7. Maintain contact. A manager who has given an employee an improvement plan needs to have regular contact with the person during the time that the plan is active, Keary said.

8. Think of company’s best interests. If an employee truly is toxic, it’s worth the gamble to fire them, Weaver said. The company is going to be better without that person.

“In most cases, the person is costing you so much more than you realize,” he said. “It’s still in your best interest to just get on with it.”

9. Get them out of the office. Walk them out of the building right after the conversation. Don’t keep them around to “hand off” things because they’ll poison the well further.

Tell them: “Today’s your last day. I’ll help you pick up the things you need to take home with you. I’ll meet you back here after hours to clean out your desk, take down your pictures, etc.,” Weaver said.

10. Do it early in the week. You don’t want them on the phone with other employees on Saturday and Sunday, creating a scenario that will require a full-scale damage control plan on Monday. Instead, Weaver said to terminate on Mondays or Tuesdays to allow time for everything to settle down before the weekend.