How Employment or Staffing Agencies Can Help You Find Web Development Work
Despite the fact that there are plenty of tech jobs, and the market doesn’t seem to be falling in the nearest future, searching for the right opportunity can prove to be a brain-wrecking and daunting experience. Instead of doing something productive with your time, you’re deemed to scour job boards, send dozens of resumes, ask friends for referrals, take multiple tests without really knowing if they are even worth your time — we’ve all been there. This article, though, is not about self-searching for jobs, it’s about other opportunities that might lay hidden at the first glance but are actually there — opportunities to outsource the search to professional HR managers, who’ll do the searching for you while you continue tinkering with your code or working for your present employer. Herein, we’ll look at types of employment agencies, differences between them, opportunities and services they offer, and how they can help you land a perfect job.
Before the search: terms and conditions
First of all, you need to understand what you really want and what specifically you’re looking for. Questions to consider at this point are:
- Are you an entry-level candidate, junior, middle, or senior professional?
- Are you looking for a full-time, part-time, or gig employment?
- Are you ready to relocate?
- Do you want to freelance?
- Are you flexible?
- Will you accept a temporary position with opportunities for potential future full-time employment?
- What projects are you willing to take up?
- Do you want to grow or are you perfectly fine with where you are at the moment?
- Would you take up the responsibilities of leading others?
- What do you know and what do you lack?
- What are your specific interests?
- Are you looking for job perks such as health insurance, vacations, flexible work hours, and so on?
Make a list of all possible issues that are critical for you in your future employment and what you’re willing to negotiate further. This list will help you discuss work conditions with an HR manager before you commit yourself to a position, it also shows that you’re committed and very serious about finding employment.
Types of employment agencies
Let’s look at the types of agencies (and differences between them) that you can consider for delegating your job search.
Traditional Employment Agency
Traditional employment agencies usually don’t get paid until the client chooses the suitable candidate for the position; and even if the candidate drops out within the three months (or another predefined period of time), the fee is either returned or the agency has to find another substitute candidate for free. For this type of agency, therefore, it’s extremely important to find the right candidate the first time, support them, and guide them through at least the first month of employment so the candidate stays at the job. HRs from the traditional agencies will usually help you polish your resume, support you through your application process, help you whenever you feel stuck, because you together depend on each other to make a living.
There is a type of a traditional agency that will charge a candidate for their services; and in this case, we’ll advise you to stay away from those agencies because they are not as motivated as those who don’t get paid until the very last minute.
Traditional agencies can also differentiate themselves further and specialize in different industries such as sales and marketing, accounting, human resources, IT, law, and even sports among others.
For example, Soshace specializes in recruiting middle and senior web development professionals. Soshace doesn’t charge its candidates for job searching services and is there to help you with getting your CV and portfolio ready for the final interview with a client. Also, we don’t get paid until you actually start working on a project after a dev’s trial period ends, which is 40 hours of web development works. Even if a client declines your candidacy after the trial period ends, Soshace will compensate for your work. While we look for a suitable project for your candidacy, you’re not bound by either circumstances or legal requirements to sit out and wait, you can still consider other possibilities of work elsewhere.
Contingency Employment Agency
Contingency agencies concentrate on low and mid-level searches and often end up sending lots of resumes to a client for further consideration. When applying through contingency agency, you’re bound to compete with multiple other candidates who found the job through job boards, fairs, company’s HR, referrals, and so on.
Executive Search Agency
At the very top of the market, there are executive search agencies for the top roles where both the salary and competition are high. Because the market is highly competitive, a client might pay a recruiter a retainment fee or an installment upfront to retain and motivate the recruiter to do and finish the job.
Temporary Work Agency
Temp staffing agencies hire candidates for companies to work at temporary positions, which are available for multiple reasons such as maternity or sick leave, sabbatical, vacation, busy season, additional workload, new project, and so on.
Usually, when the designated job ends, you’re either offered full-time employment by the same company or offered another temporary position at another company by the staffing agency.
Clients who hire people through those agencies usually pay by the hour and sometimes even higher (although there might be the case for lower) rates than their permanent staff.
However, you’re still employed with the temp agency which we’ll pay you wages according to the signed contract and other provided guidelines. So, obviously, there’s never a guarantee for full-time employment even if you like the job or the management like you: projects end, employees return, circumstances change. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for flexibility because you’re studying, have other issues in your life to deal with, then positions offered by staffing agencies can be a viable option to consider.
Outstaffing vs outsourcing
Both outsourcing and outstaffing are relatively new phenomena, having appeared no more than 15 years ago due to the fact that more and more software companies are turning to remote and cheaper locations to optimize their development works and corresponding budgets.
Let’s break down the differences between the two.
In an outsourcing model, a client usually entrusts the whole project to a third party, an outsourcing company, who does all the development works for the client. Usually, outsourcing companies work on multiple projects at the same time, sometimes for different clients.
In an outstaffing model, a hired person performs the duties for a client and is officially employed by the outstaffing agency. In this arrangement, an outsourcing company pays developer wages, bonuses, etc., whereas the client provides the work to do.
The main difference, therefore, is while outsourcing refers to project-based support, outstaffing provides hiring and maintenance of individuals. Outstaffing usually works best for clients who already have good management procedures in place including remote work policies, their own development teams who can oversee works, and other well-defined in-house managerial processes.
Soshace deals with outstaffing only. We provide individuals or small teams of web development professionals on a remote basis for clients all over the world. We’ve been thinking of providing employment in-house and not just remote, however, that process is still in the works, but hopefully, we’ll add on-site employment to the list of the services that we can provide in the nearest future.
Tips for job seekers for work with employment agencies
As soon as you define your goals and what you want, choose the suitable staffing agency that promises to do the search for the job you want. Before investing your time in the agency, spend some time researching it on Glassdoor and Clutch (any other job-related or niche websites), read reviews, try to find people who worked with the agency on Linkedin and ask for their honest feedback.
Then, find out the conditions of employment: if you are charged a commission as soon as you get a position; if you need to pay anything in advance; when you’re going to get paid; what the chances are for you to land a job within a month, and so on.
The next step would be registering with an agency of your choice or filing an application for further consideration. During this stage, have your resume and portfolio ready, spend a few minutes on a cover letter of no more than four sentences long, where you explain your dedication, persistence, and express your ideas about the job you want.
When you hear back from an agency, schedule an interview, and prepare seriously. The goal of the staffing agency is to get to know you better so they can further help you find a job you want, hence — spend some time preparing for the interview and work through sample interview questions, including behavioral, and, of course, technical.
Even if the interview is conducted remotely, appear groomed, diligent, well-prepared, and, of course, on time. Make sure you prepare a list of questions that you can ask a staffing agency manager in return. Outline all the possible work conditions that you are looking for, so the manager can help you.
When you pass the staffing agency’s interviews (some of them can span over several stages), you can relax and sit back waiting for the agencies’ managers to do the searching for you. However, a staffing agency should never be a choice on its own. We still highly advise you passively search for other opportunities while waiting for a reply from an agency and keep yourself marketable by studying, reading, taking up training possibilities, and so on.
Whenever you hear back from a recruiter, respond as quickly as possible to increase your chances of getting a position. The agency representative will guide you through additional steps you have to take like a client interview or a client test. Recruiters will also take care of all the paperwork for you, so all you will need to do is to show up at your next job.
Keep in touch with your agency if you require any additional assistance, have questions or concerns over a client — they will always land a helping hand and become a mediator if necessary.
Hopefully, the article was helpful and educational. And if you have any experience with staffing agencies like Soshace, please leave feedback, which will be greatly appreciated.
Further resources to help you prepare for the interview:
Also published on Medium.