There are many misconceptions about staffing agencies, most of which date back to the birth of the industry in the World War II era. One of the more commonly heard and repeated myths is that a staffing company can only fill low paying, low skill jobs. This is completely untrue. While there certainly are staffing agencies that specialize in placing workers in entry level positions, there are many others that focus on filling high-level roles.

Not Your Grandfather’s Staffing Industry Anymore

During the early years of the staffing industry in America, it was almost completely focused on placing women in temporary employment positions. Temporary workers earned much less than permanent employees for doing the same work, and most were not eligible to receive benefits of any kind.

The rise of Kelly Girl Services and its “Kelly Girls” helped solidify the staffing industry’s current image. The company focused on placing middle-class women in offices around the nation doing a wide-range of different types of office jobs.[1] The idea was to have women fill short-term positions. One of its more famous advertisements, “The Never-Never Girl,” also continued to hammer in the industry’s stereotype:

“Never takes a vacation or holiday. Never asks for a raise. Never costs you a dime for slack time (When the workload drops, you drop her). Never has a cold, slipped disc or loose tooth (Not on your time anyway!) Never costs you for unemployment taxes and social security payments (None of the paperwork either!) Never costs you for fringe benefits. (They add up to 30% of every payroll dollar.) Never fails to please. (If our Kelly Girl employee doesn’t work out, you don’t pay. We’re that sure of our girls.)”[2]

This advertisement paints a picture that employees from staffing agencies are expendable and unimportant. Things have changed drastically since the early days of the industry.

The Modern Staffing Company

While the early years of the staffing industry were characterized by placing women in clerical positions, the industry now spans nearly every type of occupation. The Great Recession from 2007-2009 created significant financial difficulties for companies around the country and forced them to rethink their employment needs. The desire to be more flexible and customize their workforce to their needs led to a boom in the industry.[3]

One result of the increase in popularity of staffing companies following the recession was the recognition that agencies could fill all types of positions, not just low level office jobs. Now, instead of employers having to spend valuable time recruiting and interviewing, they can outsource these responsibilities and focus on their core business duties.

Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a Fortune 500 company that does not outsource some or all of its hiring needs to staffing agencies. And they aren’t just using them to get interns and secretaries either. Approximately 3 million Americans work through a staffing agency on any given day, meaning that approximately one out of every 50 workers comes from a staffing company.

Staffing for All Industries:

Here’s the breakdown of industries that rely on staffing for their workforce needs, according to the American Staffing Association:[4]

  • Industrial – 37 percent
  • Office, Clerical, Administrative – 28 percent
  • Professional, Managerial – 13 percent
  • Engineering, Information Technology and Science – 13 percent
  • Healthcare – 9 percent

Companies from all of these industries are finding C-level executives, doctors, engineers, graphic designers, IT professionals and an endless list of other high level professionals.

Staffing Companies Help Employees and Employers

Unlike the early days of the staffing industry where workers’ rights were often an afterthought, the 21st century staffing industry is great for all parties involved. Employers can fill key positions within their organizations, find contract work and minimize unnecessary payroll overhead. Employees can find the high-level positions they want, break into new industries, forge new business relationships, change career directions and fill-in employment gaps.

Many of the nation’s most reputable staffing companies are not at all representative of the commonly held misconceptions. Staffing agencies can fill high-level jobs and offer high-paying positions that include health benefits and other perks. Break free of the stereotypes and learn more about the staffing industry by contacting TPG Staffing at 732-246-7100. We help employees reach their career goals while also helping employers meet their workforce demands.