Temp agencies in NYC, then and now
April 14, 2014 12:30 PM Subscribe
How has getting work through NYC temp agencies changed since the 1990s?
posted by gubo to Work & Money (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
There's a lot of general advice online about temp agencies, but I haven't found anything comparing the current experience in New York City with that of the 1990s.
My temp agency experiences in New York are from the golden-era 1996-1999 period. Back then the process to start with an agency was, first, physically show up at the agency offices, submit resume, fill out forms, have interview with a recruiter about skills, experience and job goals, maybe take software-related tests. Then, depending on the agency, either physically sit and wait at the agency offices every morning to be "on call" for potential jobs, or call the recruiter from home early each morning asking about available jobs. The jobs I was looking for and being offered were clerical/office positions. Within weeks or a month I would get an actual temp job.
I'm out of work now, and I'm looking into signing up with one or more temp agencies again. However I feel very naive about how temp agencies work in this post-crash downsized world. The temp agency web sites I've seen never say anything about visiting their offices — they all seem to ask you to register online, submit a resume, and search job databases for positions that one must apply to. Is this how it actually works? If I register online, is anyone from the agency ever going to call me for an interview about my skills, etc.? Will I ever be contacted about jobs I don't know about, or is it up to me to find and choose listed jobs and apply for them? Do I need to physically go to the agency offices to start the process? Or would that be counterproductive? I have seen conflicting answers to these questions online.
In brief: I basically am looking for information on how folks get started with a NYC temp agency in 2014, with emphasis on how the process has changed since the 1990s.