Published by Eric Gregg - 01/15/17

Dispelling the Top 5 Employment Agency Myths

Employment agencies continue to grow in popularity, but there are still many misconceptions about how they work. Leveraging more than a million survey responses over the last decade, we’ve identified and dispelled the 5 most common myths about working with an employment agency.

Myth 1: I will be charged money to work with an employment agency.

Employment agencies are hired by companies to help them fill job openings. These companies pay the employment agency to find and recruit top talent for permanent and temporary positions. There is no cost to you when you register with, work with, or are hired by an employment agency. Period.

Companies hire employment agencies because the best ones have access to top talent, additional resources, expertise, and the flexibility that a company may not have when hiring positions on their own.

Myth 2: Employment agencies don’t care about my satisfaction or personal growth.

While this may seem true with some agencies, there are many employment agencies that do care about your happiness and personal growth. One of the best ways to know if an employment agency will care about you is to ask them if they measure the satisfaction of the permanent and temporary employees that they find positions for. If they don’t, look elsewhere. If they do, ask them what their most recent satisfaction scores are and what they learned from the feedback they received. The 2017 Best of Staffing® Talent award winners have all achieved a minimum Net Promoter® Score of 50%.

You should expect an employment agency to help you develop the skills, training, and certifications necessary to get the job you are looking for. Additionally, an agency should review your resume and provide career coaching.

Myth 3: Employment agencies don’t have positions I would be interested in.

Employment agencies find jobs for people in nearly every industry, job, and type of company. In 2012, more than one-third of all companies in the United States had used an employment agency at some point in the past 12 months, and within the Fortune 500, usage of employment agencies was even higher.

An employment agency’s knowledge of your industry and the type of position you are looking for are the most important indicators in finding a firm that can help you. You can find the right agencies at industry specific functions by asking them what companies they work with, and by searching online for agencies that post jobs you are interested in.

Myth 4: Employment agencies can’t find me a permanent position.

While many of the job openings that employment agencies fill are temporary, a significant portion of those positions turn into full-time, permanent employment. We found that roughly 3 in 10 people who were offered a job through an employment agency received a permanent position.

Myth 5: If I use an employment agency, I don’t need to use other resources.

Employment agencies are a valuable resource throughout your job search and your career. However, they are just one aspect of your approach when finding a job. You should continue to search using other available resources such as your personal and professional network, local and national online job boards, and industry associations. If an employment agency discourages you from these other resources, use caution. Top agencies will want to help you find a job regardless if it’s through them or not, and will help you identify additional resources.

About this guide

The information above is based on research conducted by ClearlyRated, a professional research firm that administers more staffing agency client and talent satisfaction surveys than any other firm in the world. ClearlyRated’s team reports on satisfaction surveys from more than 1.2 million staffing agency clients and talent each year and the company serves as the American Staffing Association’s exclusive research partner.


  1. American Staffing Association: Staffing Industry Statistics
  2. ClearlyRated and CareerBuilder Research: 2014 Opportunities in Staffing
    (This report is no longer available online. Email for more info.)
  3. ClearlyRated and CareerBuilder Research: 2013 Opportunities in Staffing
    (This report is no longer available online. Email for more info.)
  4. ClearlyRated and CareerBuilder Research: 2016 Staffing Advantage Report

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