Finding talent for a new position in a company – and especially filling lots of positions simultaneously – can be a nightmare for human resources managers or company administrators. The hiring process often takes several months at a bare minimum, even for entry-level or relatively low skill positions.
Furthermore, many companies have difficulty filling available spots for seasonal positions. The paperwork, busywork, and necessity of interviewing candidates one at a time all extends the time requirements of hiring new workers.
However, temp agencies can make hiring one or more short-term or temporary workers much easier. Let’s break down the 10 best temp agencies and explain why you should consider using a temp agency in the first place.
Top 10 Best Temp Agencies
Let’s start with the best of the best: Randstad. This famous temp agency was originally founded in 1960 and it’s among the largest staffing firms in the entire world. It doesn’t just focus on temporary candidates, but it does provide temp employees across 12 industries in total, ranging from engineering to human resources to marketing. While it originally began in the Netherlands, the company now has over 500 office locations in the United States alone.
It’s the best overall purely because of this size – its massive amount of experience in industry history means that it has a larger than average candidate pool to draw from, so you’re more likely to get the cream of the crop for your temporary employees.
It’s also a relatively hands-on and interactive agency. Randstad will check in with your business once per week to monitor the progress of your temporary employees and make sure that you are satisfied with the candidates they provide. This ensures that you only get excellent results for your business.
Even better, Randstad is known to conduct extensive pre-employment screenings for all potential candidates, like in-depth background checks and drug tests. Note that extra screenings cost a little more than average, and the total price will be tailored directly to your unique requirements. Thus, it’s a great pick for a temp agency if you want a series of candidates carefully selected for your exact positions and business needs.
Best For: Trained Candidates
Founded in 1946 in Michigan, Kelly Staffing is a one-of-a-kind temp agency that originally grew after World War II when the post-war economic market was booming. Today, it’s one of the most prolific and important staffing agencies in the entire world, offering its services throughout all 50 US states and another 30 countries abroad.
It doesn’t quite have the same size of recruiting staff or as big of a candidate database as Randstad, but it still has an extensive pool of candidates across most major industries. Available industries include education, marketing, manufacturing, clinical science, engineering, finance, and many more.
In fact, it’s among the best for finding specialized positions for those industries, as its candidate pool includes potential employees for entry-level positions and for higher-level, high skill positions that would normally take a lot longer to fill.
Furthermore, Kelly Staffing offers all of its candidates extra training resources to make them more attractive hires and to sharpen their available skills. They’ve worked with big-name companies like Sony, Wells Fargo, and other large enterprises in the past.
Be advised that you need to fill out a form on the website if you want to work with this temp agency, as they quote prices on an individual basis. You should expect to pay significantly more for high skilled employees as opposed to entry-level employees.
Best For: Faster-than-Average Placement
Adecco is another excellent temp agency to consider, especially since it’s one of the largest in the world. It’s only slightly smaller than Randstad in terms of both staff and candidate pool, and it’s had decades to grow since its origins in 1957 in Switzerland.
These days, Adecco is based in Jacksonville, Florida, and offers recruits in 60 countries from 450 unique office locations. As of 2019, Adecco has placed over 3.5 million people in a variety of major industries ranging from manufacturing to finance to hospitality to transportation and more. This means that most businesses should be able to find at least some talent within Adecco’s expansive candidate pools.
But it’s ultimately the best temp agency for fast placement more than anything else. It can, according to many client testimonials and user reviews, fill open positions and just a few short hours. It’s a fantastic service for places that need to replace lots of seasonal or low skill employees ASAP.
How does it achieve this quick turnaround time? It’s partially because of its recruiting staff and vast candidate network. Each candidate is prescreened and interviewed before any of them are presented to a client. Furthermore, the temp agency tests candidates on certain skills and offers lots of reference checks. You can even request drug tests for extra quality and for a slightly higher price.
As with most other high-quality temp agencies, your overall price for using Adecco will vary dramatically based on your needs. Prices typically go up with the number of employees required and if you need to hire employees for multiple locations.
Best For: Healthcare
As the name suggests, AMN Healthcare is the best of the best in terms of healthcare temp agencies in the world. It’s not the oldest in the industry, though it was founded in 1985 and is based in San Diego, CA. In total, AMN Healthcare can provide lots of temporary staffing solutions for positions and medical sub-industries like urgent care, allied health, travel nursing, physician assistants, retail clinics, and many more. It’s a perfect pick for filling out entry-level healthcare positions, for instance.
But its focus on the healthcare industry isn’t the only thing that makes it a great choice overall. It provides phenomenal talent quality on average, in part because it uses extensive screening procedures to make sure that every candidate is top-tier. This commitment to excellence can be seen in the phenomenal customer and client feedback you can find on the website.
To date, AMN Healthcare has helped to staff lots of important and well-known medical centers and hospitals throughout the US, such as NYY Medical Center. All of AMN’s clients are screened based on skillset evaluations, background checks, and additional reference checks. Most importantly, none of these extra features cost more to you. But it’s nice to see since healthcare positions’ skills are of extra importance compared to other industries.
The agency provides customized quotes as soon as you contact them, and pricing is decided on a case-by-case basis.
Best For: Marketing and Creative Positions
Need to fill a lot of creative talent positions or marketing jobs? Aquent might be the perfect choice for your needs. It was founded in 1985 by Harvard graduates, and it is still based in Boston today. Over the last few decades, it has grown to recruit talent across 26 of the most populous and economically important US cities, like New York City and Los Angeles. It also provides employee candidates to seven countries abroad and has, to date, provided staffing for big companies like Disney and Apple.
It’s a relatively expansive temp staffing agency, recruiting candidates for 17 industries in total, including healthcare, publishing, hospitality, technology, advertising, and more. This growing global presence, huge client database and excellent range of industries offered make it a great temp agency all around.
But it’s a particularly good choice for staffing for marketing and creative needs since it utilizes industry expert assessments and new technological tools to locate the best candidates for given positions. All candidates have unique profiles, which include their standardized test skill assessment scores, expert feedback, and more. This allows clients to read through candidate profiles to make sure that they get candidates perfect for their empty positions.
You can also pay for an ancillary service: Aquent’s Book. This service lets clients search specifically for certain queries or keywords, then get results based on those queries. The service can be pricy depending on the skills required for the position, but Aquent does generously offer to refund 110% of any fees paid if you aren’t happy with the talent provided. That’s quite the commitment to excellence!
Best For: IT and tech positions
Just like there’s an excellent agency for creative and marketing positions, there’s also an excellent choice for IT and tech positions. TEKsystems is that temp agency. It was founded in the mid-1990s and now has over 100 offices throughout the world. It provides tech position staffing services for over 6000 companies. The industries serviced by TEKsystems include healthcare, communications, and the government itself.
Why is it the best of the best for tech staffing? Because it can provide candidates to fill even specialized roles like healthcare IT, digital compliance and security, artificial intelligence, and much more. It doesn’t just provide temporary staffing for entry-level positions.
Instead, TEKsystems investigates every company or potential client in order to draw up a profile to help them find talent perfect for their needs. The temp agency even includes workplace culture as a factor when considering potential candidates. Then the agency’s recruiting staff parses hundreds of local job markets to find the best talent for a position.
The agency gets such good results because it’s recruiting staff is comprised of experts in the IT industry. It’s ultimately one of the most in-depth agencies around, and a perfect pick for IT companies that want an agency to do a deep dive on each candidate before offering them.
Best For: Temp-to-hire positions/remote workers
Robert Half is a pioneering temp agency that was originally founded in 1948. This company isn’t just a great temp agency: it’s a great overall staffing agency as well, in part due to its very wide network that comprises over 300 locations across the globe. It offers temp, remote, and full-time work placements depending on the exact needs of your company.
Specifically, Robert Half is a temp agency that focuses on matching employers with professionals with the exact skills necessary for given positions. It can provide candidates for industries like accounting, marketing, legal, administration, technology, and more.
In addition to offering regular temp workers, it can also provide “temp-to-hire” staffing positions. These are perfect choices for companies that want to hire temporary talent with the option of keeping that talent over the long-term if they prove themselves to be valuable additions to their enterprise. This blend of short and long-term talent-seeking adds additional value to Half’s services.
They’re also a really good choice if you want to remotely hire workers. Indeed, Robert Half offers a secure virtual workspace that your company can use to set your candidates up and go over any human resources concerns. Half can even provide your enterprise with remote workers, complete with tablets or laptops, to do any digital or remote IT work you might need. It’s certainly a temp agency of the future.
Best For: Boosting employee retention
EmployBridge was founded in 1997 and is unique among other temp agency is in that it is focused on improving client employee retention rates. Whereas many other temp agencies are mostly concerned with fielding as many candidates as possible, EmployBridge wants to make sure that the talent you hire sticks with your company over the long-term.
Just how does it accomplish this? For starters, the agency provides temp staff with free applied training based on the industry or organization they’re working for. For instance, they’ll make sure that any IT workers have a basic understanding of computer science to make them attractive candidates.
But they go even further and offer limited apprenticeships for certain industries and positions. Once you sign up as a client with this agency, EmployBridge will see if you offer apprenticeships or in-depth training programs for new talent. If so, they’ll work with you to find excellent candidates committed to succeeding at your company over the long-term.
All of this boils down to providing you with high-quality temporary workers that could grow to become long-lasting employees that provide excellent value to your company. This does mean that EmployBridge’s fees can be particularly high based on the complexity or skills required for a given position. But it may still be very much worth the cost if you want to significantly lower your employee turnover rate.
Best For: Lots of entry-level/low-skill workers
There are some temp agencies, however, that are perfect picks for short-term jobs and low-skill labor. If that’s what your company needs, check out Labor Finders: a company founded in 1975 and that nowadays finds work for about 20,000 people each and every day. Now that’s efficiency!
The temp agency specifically helps to find short-term and low skill labor for industries like construction, hospitality, mining, retail, and property management, although there are additional industries than these included in its offerings. Since these industries often rely on having a glut of seasonal or high turnover workers, it’s a fantastic agency if you need to staff your worksite or hotel with people fast.
To do this, the agency provides a series of minimal background checks and drug tests by default. This ensures that your new employees will stick with the position and won’t bring any trouble to your enterprise: a key concern in many of these industries. However, you’ll need to pay extra if you want more in-depth drug tests or background checks.
Still, the general services offered by this agency are overall affordable and it’s a great choice for getting lots of labor ASAP. Labor Finders occasionally offers discounts for bulk orders of candidates, so it’s entirely possible to use them to fill a worksite almost from scratch provided you have the managers and administrators necessary to keep the machine running.
Best For: Versatility/wide candidate pool
Our last pick is Trillium: a company founded in 1984 that has now formed partnerships with over 22,000 companies across the United States. In total, it’s provided jobs for over 2 million applicants since its founding. This is a bit of a jack of all trades temp agency that can provide jobs across most major industries, ranging from retail to the restaurant industry to engineering to IT to hospitality and more.
It’s a good pick in large part due to its extensive database. Regardless of the industry your business is in, you’ll likely find hundreds of thousands of qualified candidates for entry-level to middle management positions. It’s not necessarily the best choice for finding administrators or managers, or other highly skilled positions, but it is a good choice for every position below those skill levels.
It’s also relatively affordable, though you’ll need to request an exact quote when you apply for the service. Trillium is ultimately a good pick if you want a really wide candidate pool to make sure that you have as much variety and choice as possible when selecting employees to fill available positions.
What is a Temp Agency, Anyway?
In a nutshell, a temp agency is just a kind of staffing agency that specializes in finding workers for temporary jobs. Whereas regular staffing agencies can help organizations or businesses find long-term employees, temp agencies are better suited for helping employers find employees:
- who can work on a flexible schedule
- who can start work quickly
- who may be interested in trying out a new career or company path
- who might be more affordable to hire than dedicated, long-term employees
Thus, many companies will utilize temp agencies to fill positions rapidly, especially when those positions don’t necessarily need a long-term employee to fill them.
The majority of temp agencies utilize pre-existing databases of certain candidates or types of workers. They then draw from this list to provide potential temp workers to organizations and businesses that hire their services. Furthermore, good temp agencies are always looking for new candidates, constantly refilling their candidate pools.
On average, companies can fill vacant positions with temporary workers in less than a month. This is much more efficient than going to the painstaking process of finding employees through a series of trial and error interviews and more.
What Do Temp Agencies Do?
Temp agencies find and offer temporary or short-term workers to employers. To do this, they’ll often:
- Begin by advertising open job positions using their website, email campaigns, and various online job boards
- Conduct candidate background checks, tests for skills, gathering resume, and drug tests so that employers don’t have to waste time doing this busywork
- Perform some basic interviews for all potential hires to get a sense of their skills, direction, and work ethic
- Offer contracts to different candidates for temporary positions
- Take care of payroll and other issues once a candidate is successfully hired by an organization. This also sometimes includes human resources matters like benefits
All of this takes more work off of the plate for an employer and allows the business to focus on training the new employee and accomplishing its business objectives. Some of the best temp agencies will even offer extra training to ensure that employees are up-to-date on necessary skills for a given position.
However, certain temp agencies are better at this than others. Indeed, it’s important to determine what a temp agency actually provides in its service before hiring them since some will be more hands-on than others.
Why Use a Temp Agency?
In truth, lots of businesses and organizations are way too busy to handle hiring a ton of employees, especially at once. For instance, a company may open a new office to expand its market reach. They may also require a number of secretarial or relatively low skill positions to be filled in order to make sure that the new office runs smoothly.
Rather than going through the hassle of interviewing candidates one by one and slowly but surely filling the available posts with long-term employees, that same company could instead hire a temp agency to fill all the positions rapidly. This shortens the recruiting process and ensures that the office can start producing new value for the company ASAP.
Similarly, companies that regularly cycle through seasonal workers for short-term positions (i.e. jobs that only last for a few months at most) may use temp agencies so their limited managers or administrative personnel can focus on long-term goals. By using a temp agency, this hypothetical company can always fill necessary seasonal positions without having to waste time interviewing candidates painstakingly.
In the end, companies use temp agencies:
- to shorten the recruitment process
- to fill lots of positions quickly
- to ensure that any candidate they get are at least minimally skilled
How Much Do Temp Agencies Normally Cost?
Temp agencies will cost different amounts based on how much their temp employees are paid. A good rule of thumb is to expect temp agencies to charge any client businesses between 20% and 75% of what their temp employees are offered for salaries.
Here’s an example:
- A temp agency pays one of its employees $20 per hour with another 25% fee
- The employer, therefore, pays the temp agency $25 for every hour of work for the employee. Five of those dollars go to the temp agency since the agency gets a 25% fee
Most temp agency fees are higher for employees that need job candidates for skilled work or particularly complex positions. The same goes true for high ranking positions, like managers or administrators.
In addition, payment for a temp agency’s services is normally made as soon as the position is filled. Some temp agencies may offer discounts or bulk pricing for hiring lots of candidates or employees at once. Other factors that can affect the total cost of a temp agency include:
- the duration of the employee positions you need to fill
- how many locations you are hiring for
- how many candidates you are trying to hire
On the other hand, some temp agencies may operate with a flat fee payment system. This means that any client employers must pay a flat retainer fee until the vacant position is filled. Then the employer only needs to pay the employee they were referred to via the temp agency. This price structure is usually only used by temp agencies that specialize in locating and providing high-level talent.
One last thing to note: most temp agencies will provide basic drug tests and background screening by default for all candidates they may offer your organization. However, only some will offer more in-depth background tests or skill assessments for free. Certain temp agencies may charge additional fees if you want to make sure that a potential candidate is squeaky clean or has an appropriate record for a given position.
All in all, any of the above temp agencies might be a great choice for your company or organization. Be sure to check out what each is best for, as well as investigate their prices, in order to narrow down which temp agency will provide you with the most value and which is most likely to provide you with candidates perfect for your available positions. Good luck!