What’s the Difference Between a Temp Agency and a Recruiting Firm?

Posted by Hiregy Staff on Mar 30, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Temp agency. Staffing firm. Recruiter. Headhunter. Executive search firm. Placement agency. Whew. Choosing an outside firm to help you find the right workers can be a complex. What’s the difference between one firm and another? Which one fits your needs? The truth is that many companies need more than one solution, or a hiring partner that’s a hybrid. Use these insights to help your company find the right staffing partner.


  • Short-term staffing. A temporary staffing agency is, quite literally, an agency that provides temporary candidates for short-term projects. For example, an agency might provide a receptionist to cover a full-time employee’s maternity leave, or a seasonal assembly worker to get through a busy time. This type of service can be a good resource when your company needs workers with broad, general skills, rather than those with special training and advanced experience. Temp workers may simply be ‘assigned’ to your company and show up for work before they’ve met anyone on your team. If they aren’t a good fit, the agency will send a replacement.employment-tampa-florida-hiregy.gif
  • Contract workers. There are times when companies need short-term workers with special skills. In these cases, it makes sense to work with a recruiting firm that is ready to assess and measure potential candidates’ qualifications. This might be a firm that deals with only contract placements, or one like Hiregy that offers contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire options.
  • Contract-to-hire. Growing companies may find that they need support, yet aren’t quite ready to add a position to payroll. For example, they may be growing to the point that they need to bring in an HR manager, but their revenues may be fluctuating, putting a full-time hire out of reach. In these cases, it may make sense to look for a contract hire that could potentially move into a full-time role later. When you need a hire of this kind, it may be helpful to work with a partner with a deep Rolodex of contacts. For example, Hiregy has relationships with experienced professionals in HR, banking, real estate and other industries, which means we can quickly identify qualified prospects that are available for contract positions.
  • Full-time hires. Companies that need to replace departing employees or boost their workforce have a number of options for recruiting partners. Some placement firms focus on entry-level roles that are a good fit for recent grads and younger workers. Others specialize in specific industries, such as finance or HR, and others assist with attracting C-suite leaders with specific management or strategic experience.

 So which one is right for you?

Temp agencies can be a good choice for companies that need workers with basic skills quickly. Recruiting and executive search firms are a good fit for companies that need more specialized skills and that want to hire workers that are a good fit for the company culture. So what do recruiting firms and executive placement agencies do differently than temp agencies?

  • They spend more time vetting candidates to ensure the people they recommend have the skills, experience and personality to be successful at a client’s firm.
  • They work to learn as much as possible about their clients’ businesses to ensure that they find candidates that are a good fit with both the position and the company culture.
  • They take a long-term view of client and candidate relationships. They work to connect exceptional candidates to careers, rather than to jobs.
  • They proactively search for the best possible person for the job, which often means networking to find candidates who are not actively looking for a new position.
  • They conduct one to three rounds of interviews and narrow their list to two or three excellent candidates before bringing them to a client.

Contact Hiregy today to find out how our recruiting solutions can help your company connect to exceptional job candidates. Call us in Tampa at 813-449-4800 and in Orlando at 407-270-2700.

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Tags: hiring tips, hiring best practices, finding talent, staffing tips, recruiter

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