One of the most common questions I receive from small business owners looking to hire a full-time receptionist is, “How much does a staffing agency take out of my salary?” This is one of the most common questions I hear, and it usually prompts the owner to start Googling the question to find answers.
After doing some searches and hitting empty results, many of these owners give up in frustration and ask me the dreaded, “Why do you have to pay so much if they don’t actually help you?” Well, I tell them, because they’re already asking themselves that question.
First, let’s define exactly what an agency does. An agency is a professional negotiator for you – seeking employment at the best price possible. They take care of the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring aspect of finding the perfect employee for your small business staffing agency. The agency will negotiate with the employer on your behalf, and they won’t take any (or as little) of your salary. In other words, they’re your go-between, and they take care of all the “hidden” costs of running your business.
So, now you ask, “How much does a staffing agency take out of my salary?” The answer, in short, is all depends on how much competition you have for the position. When there are a lot of other companies (or jobs available) applying for the position, you may wind up paying more than is needed, because you’re using an agency to find the position, and they use their fee to pay for all of those phone calls, faxes, resumes, cover letters, and the like. You can avoid all of this by doing the hiring yourself and bypassing the agency all together.
Now, you may be wondering at this point how you can find a position without hiring a recruiter. That’s simple – if you know how to do it. Most people think they can just call up all of the companies and ask them how much they’re willing to pay for an employee, but that rarely works out. Most companies won’t offer more money than is necessary to keep the employee on the payroll.
If you can find a position without paying an agent, all you need to do is call the company, explain that you don’t want to hire an agency and that you’re looking for a regular job (which is more common than using an agency) and let them know that you’re willing to work for less than you would with an agency.
This method, however, is rarely successful. Why? Because most people don’t know how to talk to the right people (which is why recruiters are so effective). If you want to avoid having your salary taken out of your check, you need to get in touch with the head people in the company who know you. Make sure that you have a good relationship with your manager or the president, as you never know when they might be willing to give you a raise or bonus based on how much you’re worth.
So how much does a staffing agency take out of your paycheck? It all depends on how much they’re able to get you paid. The higher your rank (from what I’ve heard, the highest rank a recruiter can go to is “Master Recruiter”), the more money you can expect to make. There are also national staffing agencies that will take care of your needs for a small fee.
Some of these agencies will also offer perks such as free resume writing help (for those of you out there who aren’t as great at writing a resume as you’d like), and access to databases where you can find potential jobs (such as those in your field, as mentioned above). There are probably a few other perks that I’m forgetting, but I’m sure if you ask a recruiter they will be more than happy to tell you all about their company.