Becoming a temp for a temp agency can be a great way to get back into the work force if you no longer have a permanent position. However, it can be a little scary putting your name out there if you’re unprepared.
A temp agency can help you find the right job based on your experience and qualifications. The positions may be temporary, contractual or permanent depending on the need of temp agencies.
Here’s a head start for all part-timers out there on how to use a temp agency to find a job. Know the important things you need to gird yourself up before putting your name on the leads.
What is a Temp Agency?
The first thing you need to know is how a temp agency works.
A temp agency acts as a middleman between the employer and the employee. Many small and large companies are looking for relief staff or for an extra set of hands during busier times such as Christmas, tax reporting or when an employee goes on maternity leave. Temporary staff will be there to take on these positions, usually on a short term basis. The agency offers a wide range of job opportunities from the low skilled jobs to professional ones.
Temping positions vary depending on where you live and what type of industry you have experience in. Many larger companies hire temp agencies to help them find temps in clerical, administration, legal processing, accounting and reception. Others will specialise in light industrial, construction, fruit picking and general labour. Others are involved in food and customer service.
Temp Agency Testing
Applying for a job with a temp agency is very straightforward. You will need to fill out an application in the same way as you would with a standard job directly to an employer. You will also need to provide a resume outlining job history, personal information, education and training, relevant skills and referees.
Working in a temp agency might mean short term employment however it can be the perfect stepping stone to find a permanent job or to get back into the work force. A person also needs to pass the screening process before he starts working. This includes an application, background check, checking referees, skill testing, drug test and an interview.
Depending on the positions available and what type of companies the temporary agency works with, you may be asked to perform a skills test. This may include a ten minute typing test that measures the accuracy and speed in typing with at least 45 WPM. There are also accounting tests where you may need to solve word problems, general information about wholesale, net profit, percentages, etc. You may be required to use a spread sheet or take grammar test for administrative positions. If you are in the food and beverage or customer service industry, you may also be assessed on your knowledge and skill on food preparation and service, hospitality and food etiquette. Another test for candidates is candidates are required to watch a video and choose the best responses to customer problems.
Although the process can be tedious but once you are part of the team you can be offered various positions and it can mean being permanent in a good company. For instance, you may find temp work for three days a week for one month and then be offered another temp position for five days a week for five months. But it all depends on what the company requires.
Flexibility at Work
One of the biggest things to consider when applying to agencies is that you understand how they work and are able to commit to work at short notice. You may be asked to work straight for two weeks or you may be asked to work three days a week for three months. If this erratic schedule will work for your lifestyle and your family, then this could be the perfect working position for you.
Who to Contact
It would depend on your area of expertise and where you are located, but there are lots of respected Temp Agencies in Australia. Here are a few: