You have selected an agency – now you have to submit an application for a spot on the team. You will have to convince the recruiter at the agency that you are a suitable candidate to represent them before you can get a job (or, placement in temp jargon). Make an appointment with the agency and prepare yourself accordingly. You should act and dress professionally as if it is a real interview.
Do not forget to bring your resume that details your work history and contact information to your references. Agencies will undoubtedly view your skills and work history to determine if there is a fit, but the key to getting a good placement would be how well you did at the interview. Career counselors are the ones who generally conduct the interview along with deciding what assignment you will be offered. It is crucial to make a good first impression to the career counselors because they will find you the best jobs, as well as the highest paying ones.
Let the Agency Know Your Interest
Most importantly, let the career counselors know how many hours a week you can commit to, when and where you are available, and the type of position(s) you are interested in. Also, let them know what you do not want; you have to be honest about your limitations and expectations. If the agency does not seem to be interested in your preferences, share with them your concerns or start looking elsewhere. You want to prevent getting an assignment where it is not lucrative or enjoyable.
Also, you want to be certain that the agency you have chosen will intervene, if you are having any issues at work. As a contract worker, you need to feel comfortable voicing any concerns to your agency. Leading agencies with high customer satisfaction will make sure you are not mistreated by your employer along with making sure you are happy at work.
After the Interview Come the Tests
The interview is not the only thing you will need to pass. If the agency finds you a possible placement, not only will you have to complete all of the legal documents (remember to bring work visa or U.S. citizenship), but you may need to take several composite tests. It depends on the placement you are looking to pursue; you may be quizzed on numerous skills such as telephone transfer system, PowerPoint presentations, and computer desktop basics.
Before the interview, you have to determine what type of skills you can offer. You will have more jobs to select from depending on how flexible your skills are. You could potentially earn more income, if you have refined computer skills. A majority of agencies will test your typing and computer skills. The agencies will not only want to make sure your skills match the skills stated on your resume, but also want to determine what you can offer to a company.
Read the Fine Print and Ask Questions
Prior to accepting your first placement, you have to view all of the job details and decide if this is something you are interested in pursuing. From there, you should carefully read all documents provided by the service. Similar to all other legal documents, make sure you fully understand and read all documents before signing. Locate your job duties on the contract, specifically, ask about how many hours a week will you work along with whether or not you are qualified for overtime pay.
Additional important issues to consider are the length of the job contract, job travel distance, as well as your total compensation. If you are presented with a job from a company that is looking for someone to come in for a few weeks, but you are looking for something that is a little bit more long term, then you should not hesitate or be afraid of turning down the job. You have to remember, the agency is taking a percentage of your compensation, so they are actually working for you.
In general, you should know the amount they are willing to pay, the distance of the work location from your residence, and the time frame, if any, for the position. For instance, you may be looking for a long-term assignment, and they might be looking for a candidate for a short period of, say, two weeks. Do not forget to find out about the notice period required in case you decide to quit. Often, a temp agency may require only a few days’ notice as opposed to several weeks as demanded by a company.
Learn about any benefits offered by the agency, such as vacation pay after you have logged a specific number of hours, 401k, or health insurance program. To make the most of your temporary employment, you should learn about the benefits and responsibilities, it may provide you with insight into your professional goals.