Many people discover there can be a noticeable difference between finding a job and launching a career. The challenge is knowing when to accept a job for survival and when to hold out for a skilled position based on inherent skills and training. This is where employment agencies come into play. They serve as intermediaries between workers and employers, with the stated goal of matching the companies' needs with the workers' skills and interests. They may be privately owned or sponsored by local or national labor departments.
Public employment agencies also act as clearinghouses for local factory applicants. Major companies often provide application forms in preparation for new rounds of hiring or other expansions of their workforce. Many agencies, especially those sponsored by local governments, have enough personnel to process thousands of applications, unlike the companies' own human resource departments. Unemployed workers are strongly encouraged to contact these agencies in order to fill out numerous applications.
Employment agencies also maintain a database of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers available for hire. Whenever a potential employer posts a specific job opening with the agency, all of the registered applicants with matching skills may receive a phone call or mail-in card notifying them of this opening. Staff members may conduct a mini-interview or give interested applicants more details about the position. Sometimes the only message will be an address and contact information, and it is up to the applicant to make arrangements for an interview directly with the potential employer.
Private employment agencies perform many of the same services, but they are less likely to be overworked and understaffed. Applicants fill out detailed information sheets, covering all of their marketable skills and employment experiences. In addition, applicants may also receive training in resume writing, interviewing skills, and presentation. There may also be some aptitude testing available, in order to determine the applicant's strongest skills.
Private employment agencies may also have established relationships with local employers, making it easier for applicants to get past the first round of screenings. They may also offer temporary job services, allowing workers to earn survival money until something more lucrative or satisfying becomes available. Temporary job assignments may involve menial labor in a factory setting or entry-level clerical work such as data entry or filing. As useful as these services may be, private employment agencies can charge fees for the privilege of having your name listed in their database. It pays to ask questions before entering into a contract with such an agency. Don't fall for incredible promises of high-paying jobs with little or no experience required.