5 Replies - 4929 Views - Last Post: 07 March 2012 - 04:04 AM

#1 Apokio  Icon User is offline

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Staffing Firms

Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:47 AM

Anyone here have any experience good/bad with staffing firms? I am now actively looking for a job in Android Development and most of the job search engines like Dice, Indeed, etc... show a lot of posting from staffing firms. I am curious of how they operate and what I should look out for when dealing with them?
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Replies To: Staffing Firms

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Staffing Firms

Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:52 AM

Back in the 90's I worked for one in Las Vegas for a couple years.
It did get me the widest variety of experience.
2 weeks on this kind of legacy equipment.
4 weeks on a multi-campus virtual network.
A couple weeks doing bulk installation for a computer lab.
etc.
etc.
The pay was better than going rate because there were no benefits that a full-time employee would have, so plan to pay for your own health insurance etc.
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Staffing Firms

Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:56 AM

Are you asking about a staffing firm finding jobs for you, or for you applying for a job via a staffing firm (instead of the company directly)?
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#4 Apokio  Icon User is offline

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Re: Staffing Firms

Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:09 PM

Most of the posting I see say something like "We are looking for someone for out direct client." I would imagine that means they are head hunters looking to fill positions for companies? I have looked at some of the companies websites like CyberCoders and BlueWolf and some others and they are all very vague about what they do. Do they just set-up interviews for you, and you interview at the actual company or do they just throw into a position. I ask this question because my resume on Dice has a emphasis on Android and Java and I have gotten phone calls and emails from these places asking me to contact them about a position and the description says iOS and objective-C. Yeah its mobile but it is not Android or Java. I just wonder if these firms really don't care if you are qualified and just want to put you in place so they can get their finders fee, move on, and leave you hanging. I am not dumb enough to take a job doing something I don't know but i don't want to waste my time with them either.
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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Staffing Firms

Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:22 PM

Quote

Do they just set-up interviews for you, and you interview at the actual company or do they just throw into a position.

From my experience most are there as a front lines for filtering candidates out and making sure they have a more homogenized presentation when finally getting to the company. If they are worth their salt they'll not be some silly "o noez! whatz with dis computerz questions!?" - they'll have a damn good idea what the company is looking for and how to interpret that when seeing you in the first five minutes. When you have your talk they might give you resume pointers to better highlight your strengths to the company.. then they'll set up an interview, meet you there, shake hands with who ever at the company, wish you luck, and leave you to the wolves.


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I ask this question because my resume on Dice has a emphasis on Android and Java and I have gotten phone calls and emails from these places asking me to contact them about a position and the description says iOS and objective-C.

Yeah that's people who just don't care adn want to fill some quasi quota. I get calls about being bank manager because eons ago I used to work in credit card fraud.


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I just wonder if these firms really don't care if you are qualified and just want to put you in place so they can get their finders fee, move on, and leave you hanging.


Some are and some are not. You can get a pretty good feel from about five minutes of reading their email or a phone call. Hell a few months back I had a gang of Indians calling me up from Jersey and Pennsylvania about some software testing job. Some of the worst pseudo phone interviews I have ever had, and they didn't get why I didn't want to up root for a tester job making half of what I do now.
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#6 Programmist  Icon User is offline

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Re: Staffing Firms

Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:04 AM

I'm not a fan of staffing firms, but they may just be a necessary evil. Many companies don't have the ability or inclination to do their own pre-screening, which is a part of why they hire a staffing firm. Another big reason is that you'll be an employee of the staffing firm, not the company. This gives the company many advantages with respect to taxation and being able to quickly get rid of someone they don't like. It's a win-win for the companies and staffing firms. It can also be a win for the employee if he is starting his career. However, staffing firms will put a lower cap on your income than you'd otherwise get as a direct contractor. They also make it more difficult to become an independent contractor as they have most markets locked down tight. This won't be a concern for someone just getting started, but if you ever decide to go independent you'll realize just how much of a strangle-hold they have over many markets. Most companies won't even deal with you without a 3rd party. Luckily there are plenty who will, spread out across the country - most of them start-ups or more progressive-minded companies.

Something else I should mention: On the whole, most staffing firms consider the companies as their client and you as a commodity. This is especially true of the larger firms (TekSystems et al). You may meet a recruiter who seems like the nicest guy/girl that takes you out to lunch and all that, but never forget that they work for the company, not you. What does this mean? Well, for one thin they will lie to you. Before I went independent I was lied to many times. One recruiter told me I was applying for a day shift job (10+ years ago) and when I got the job found out that it was graveyard.

I've had a recruiter sell a place as this awesome workplace with smart, capable people. It seemed that way in the interview too, but that was just a facade front office to impress clients. The actual job was in an adjoining building and it was basically an Indian sweat shop doing some of the most painful work I've ever done (needless to say I left within 3 months).

Another way recruiters will lie to you is to make you believe that you have been submitted for a position. Recruiting firms are often limited to the number of candidates they can submit for any one position. All things being equal they will submit the candidate who charges the least. If you charge a few dollars more they will often still keep you around under the false assumption that you are in the running to use you as a backup in case their cheaper guy doesn't do so well or isn't interested. So always ask then, "Have I been submitted?" If they get evasive them go elsewhere. Also, never sign any agreements giving a recruiter exclusive rights to represent you. Ok, there are exceptions because some very popular companies require it, so in these cases only sign it for one particular position for a very limited amount of time (2 weeks?).

This post has been edited by Programmist: 07 March 2012 - 04:23 AM

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