Between the new opportunities, colleagues, and environment, starting a new job is often an exciting time. What's not so exciting? The job search process itself. I have yet to meet a person who actually enjoys scouring open job listings, vetting companies and coordinating interview times (or worse -- hearing radio silence from the companies they've applied to). If there were a quick and easy way to streamline the process, most job seekers would take advantage of it in a heartbeat.
But the truth is, there is a simple way to streamline your job search, and at no out-of-pocket cost to you. It's just that many people aren't aware of it. Working with a staffing services firm can ease or even eliminate many of the biggest job search pain points. To get the details on how it all works, I chatted with Ryan Lynch, a client relationship executive at Kforce.
The perks of having your own personal recruiter
Once you make contact with a staffing services firm, whether you reach out to them or they reach out to you, you'll have a recruiter assigned to you whose entire job is to connect you with the right opportunities.
"The nice part about working with a staffing services firm is that you are essentially crowdsourcing your job search efforts. I talk to enough people who are looking for a job to know that most find it to be a scary proposition, because there's no defined roadmap. When you're looking at different job postings you see different titles, different job descriptions, and sometimes it just gets confusing. That's where we come in," Lynch says.
Recruiters will work with you to figure out "what you're looking for and why," Lynch says. For example, "Do you like the flexibility of contract work? Are you looking for a more permanent placement?"
"Once we decide what path you need to take or where you want to go with your career, you suddenly have multiple associates throughout the firm actively advocating on your behalf with our clients," Lynch explains. "Plus, we aren't just putting your resume in a portal -- we're having face-to-face conversations with the managers who have the ability to hire you. A firm like ours has access to more than 50 years of rich history and relationships throughout the country that you get to build upon."
From there, your recruiter will identify interested companies, coordinate interviews, and even help you polish your resume if needed.
"Most companies will help you write your resume as part of their services. When I meet with a candidate, I see it as part of my job to sit down with them and work on their resume with a critical eye," Lynch shares.
Another benefit of working with a staffing agency is that you continue to receive support even after you've found and accepted the right job for you.
"The minute you accept that offer, you're going to get onboarding emails and you're introduced to our consultant care program. We have a portal which really acts as a home base for anything you need related to your placement, whether it be payroll, benefits, additional training, or resources to reach out to," Lynch says.
Beyond that, staffing services firms are committed to keeping touch with you even after you've started your new job in order to ensure that you're getting everything you need.
"To me, consultants are the lifeblood of everything that we do, and I truly believe we embrace that idea as a company. Sometimes people are surprised by the consistent follow-up they experience once they become a consultant. We have a structured process where the recruiter who helped you find that job will be there to support you throughout the assignment," Lynch explains.
Often, recruiters will meet you on-site on your first day to walk you in, set you up for the project, and introduce you to the team. From there, they'll check in at least every couple of weeks and provide consultant events [and] quarterly and ongoing training. Recruiters will even reach out to your employer to make sure that your experience is going as well as it possibly can.
"On the client side, we check in regularly to ensure things are going well and to gather feedback which we can share with the consultant," Lynch says.
Separating fact from fiction
Because not everybody is familiar with staffing services firms, there are often myths and misconceptions around how they operate. One of the biggest is that you, the job seeker, have to pay them for their services. But in fact, staffing services firms' revenue comes from their clients -- the employers looking to fill positions. "If someone is asking you to pay for their service, it's a red flag and you should look elsewhere," Lynch cautions.
Another prevalent misconception job seekers have is that firms only offer short-term assignments.
However, "Most of our business is actually geared toward long-term engagements, either in project work or contract-to-hire," Lynch says. "As companies are transforming their technology or their business, a lot of times they want to retain the people who helped them build their system and have the institutional knowledge."
"Also, I often hear the assumption that we just sling resumes, and that couldn't be further from the truth. The intent is always to form lasting personal relationships whether that be to help you find a permanent job or if you want to deploy from assignment to assignment," Lynch adds. "That's what most good firms are searching for -- people who want to have a mutually beneficial relationship to help them achieve their career goals while solving problems for our clients."
This article originally appeared on Glassdoor.com.