Are Staffing Agencies Worth It? Here’s How To Know.

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Are Staffing Agencies Worth It?

Whether you are a hiring manager for your company, or job hunting yourself, the job search and hiring processes can be both timely and challenging. Many individuals and companies turn to staffing agencies in order to make their lives easier, but are they worthwhile?

What are staffing agencies and how do they work?

Staffing agencies partner with companies to assist with finding and hiring job candidates. Companies pay the agency to locate eligible employees and aim to efficiently and effectively help fill vacant positions.

By examining candidates’ specific skill sets and level of experience, staffing agencies interview and place workers in suitable positions. The main types of job categories that staffing companies offer are temporary jobs, temp-to-hire jobs, and direct hire jobs.

The pros and cons of using staffing agencies

If you are debating whether or not to use a staffing agency for yourself as a job seeker or for your company as an employer, we recommend you review the pros and cons listed below to assist with your decision.


  • If you’re a job seeker, staffing agencies are free and provide valuable interview tips and/or feedback on your resume.
  • Because quickness and efficiency aren’t always possible with HR departments, staffing agencies serve as a valuable resource for fast hiring.
  • Staffing agencies save time and money by doing behind the scenes, job searching work (both for job seekers and businesses).
    • For candidates, staffing agencies save time by narrowing down roles to apply for based on overall fit. For companies, staffing agencies assist with finding great talent and ensuring the position is a good fit for the applicant. As a result, companies can make smarter hires and promote employee retention.
  • Staffing agencies offer a great variety of short-term (temporary) and long-term (permanent) jobs, with specialties in numerous industries.


  • While they’re free for job seekers, they do cost money for employers.
  • There is a good amount of variety with industry and job options that staffing agencies can offer but certain agencies can be limiting if they do not specialize in a specific area. 
  • Because individuals are interviewing with the staffing agency instead of the company directly, the opportunity for both candidate and employer to examine if the candidate is a good fit among the company culture is forgone.
  • In the hiring channel, staffing companies represent a small number of interview sources. Based on a sample of more than 440,000 interview reviews from Glassdoor in 2015, about 2% of interview sources came from staffing agencies. See the graphic below for more details:
are staffing agencies worth it
Source: Glassdoor Economic Research

To address the primary question: Are staffing agencies worthwhile? The answer is: it depends on your needs, both from a job seeker and a business employer perspective.

Expert tip: Bringing in a “middle man” can be both helpful and a hindrance at times. From a business perspective, staffing agencies can save time. Although they cost money, this investment might be worthwhile if your company doesn’t have resources to conduct a job search. From a job seeker’s perspective, staffing companies can assist with finding a position and making the job search more efficient.

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Actionable Steps


Assess your needs

Before proceeding, take a step back to assess your/your company’s needs right now. If a staffing agency can assist, what are you looking for in an agency? Which agencies will best suit your needs?


Weigh the pros and cons

After completing step one, write out your own pro/con list. Reconfirm that a staffing agency is or is not the right fit for you/your company.


Do your homework

Whether you are a job seeker or employer, if you decide to proceed with a staffing agency, take time to do your research. Different agencies offer different services so make sure you do your homework before moving forward.


Read more on this topic

You can learn more about staffing agencies by reading and watching the following articles and videos, reviewed to be the best by our professionals: watch on What is a Staffing Agency or read Thinking About Using A Staffing Agency? What You Need To Know and How To Get A Job Through A Staffing Agency.

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About the Author

Dr. Alyssa Harmon-Salter

Dr. Alyssa Harmon-Salter

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Alyssa holds an Ed. D. in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. For the last 7 years, she has coached hundreds of college students on how to be successful academically and in prepping for a job.
Full Bio | LinkedIn

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