Because employers typically hire temporary staff to their payrolls before permanent employees, the staffing industry is often considered a leading economic market indicator. Why? Once business starts to improve, temp services are a quick, safe solution to maintain staffing flexibility and avoid immediately adding overhead. That being said, job seekers interested in getting a firsthand look at their prospects, should consider visiting a staffing agency.

Using a staffing agency can provide work between jobs, as well as open up new opportunities. Unfortunately, many job seekers overlook the benefits of staffing agencies for employment opportunities.  There is concern that staffing agencies don’t have good job leads, or they don’t understand the potential for permanent placement, or they have a tendency to underpay. This is simply not true. And in a down economy, a staffing agency may just be the way to go.

Staffing Agencies…

  1. Offer a fast, much needed source of income
  2. Offer a platform to “test” out employees. If you are a good fit, you get the full-time job
  3. Are a great source of networking
  4. Prevent gaps in your resume
  5. Provide access to benefits
  6. Offer training opportunities
  7. Allow you to gain experience in a new field
  8. Provide access to job leads not otherwise advertised
  9. Give career changers a chance to try out a new industry

If staffing agencies aren’t for you, check out USAToday.com, which features an interactive chart of the major job markets in the country, under the headline “Jobs may rebound in 2010.” It provides an overall jobs outlook for every market, and offers a forecast change in jobs for 14 different sectors including construction, finance, information, and manufacturing.

Bottom line-if you are looking for a job, don’t rule out making a visit to your local staffing agency. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find.