For Job Seekers

iStock_000013352529_LargeThe staffing industry is one of the fastest growing employment sectors in the economy.  It is an industry that represents over 3 million workers each day in the United States and employs over 11 million temporary and contract workers.

These workers represent all levels and talent, from skilled tradespeople to degreed professionals, and work in all industries.


Staffing agencies work with job seekers and businesses to fill different types of roles:

Permanent or Direct Hire

Potential employers are looking to fill permanent roles, generally with as close to “perfect” candidates as possible. Many staffing firms are working with clients on direct relationships to locate these “perfect” candidates and want to assist you in filling the position.

Temporary or Contract

Working as an employee of the staffing firm, temporary or contract workers are engaged with hiring companies to support or supplement a client’s work force in situations involving employee absences, temporary skill shortages, seasonal workloads, and special projects.

This temporary or contract workforce allows employers to staff immediate needs as well as scale their resources to meet market demands.

Temporary or contract engagements can often lead to permanent positions as hiring companies realize that you are someone that they can not do without. Contract opportunities are often a way for hiring companies to justify the position.

Temporary-to-Hire or Contract-to-Hire

If you are unemployed or looking for a job or career, you should temporary or contract work. At a minimum, you will earn an income while conducting your search. 80% of hiring companies say that staffing firms provide a good way to find people to be permanent employees.

Many companies only staff certain positions on a contract-to-hire basis. In the end, hiring companies hire working people and your future employer will appreciate the industriousness of someone who is working versus someone who is not.

Many hiring companies have exclusive relationship with staffing firms and do not post many of their open positions. This is an unseen marketplace for your career.

Businesses of all types and sizes turn to staffing agencies for flexibility and access to talent. They know that staffing companies are experts in recruiting and matching employees for temporary, contract, or permanent positions.

In addition, staffing professionals provide you with job search strategies, resume reviews, interview tips, and career counseling among other valuable services that are critical for anyone in the market for a new job or career.

You should leverage the Massachusetts Staffing Association and its member staffing firms in your search for meaningful work.

Temporary or contract work is desirable for many reasons:


Some times life demands won’t allow for the commitments that a permanent position requires. Contract work gives you the flexibility and the bridge you need.


Acting as your agent, the staffing firm presents you with opportunities that fit your skill set, match your background, and that you are interested in.


You gain exposure to a variety of companies, environments, and people and you are able to develop new skills and keep your existing skills current.



Many staffing agencies offer benefits, including health care, dental, life insurance, disability insurance and other voluntary benefits.


Many staffing agencies offer skills training, from desktop applications such as Excel and Word to job training.


Do your homework before you enter into a relationship with a staffing firm.  A good practice is to align with no more than two staffing agencies that specialize in your skill and represent employers that are of interest to you.  Meet with the staffing professional that will be representing you, and maintain an open and timely dialogue.  Additional information:

In Massachusetts, staffing firms are governed by the Temporary Workers Right to Know Law and regulated by the Employment Agency and Temporary Workers Right to Know Regulations.  Under these mandates:

      • Staffing firms must provide workers of their rights under the Temporary Workers Right to Know Law and
      • Staffing firms must provide certain workers with the basic information about their job.

Visit the Department of Labor Standards’ website to learn more about these requirements:  If you feel that your rights under these mandates have been violated, you may contact the Department of Labor Standards’ Employment, Placement, and Staffing Agencies Program at 617-626-6970 or file a complaint using this Complaint Form.