Monday, March 2, 2020

A Freelance Gig Worth Considering: Specialty Employment Agency

At one time, it seemed like employment agencies were sprouting up in cities big and small.  Big
agencies were branching off into smaller subsidiaries or veteran recruiters were going into business for themselves.  While this sounded good at the time (a decade before the last recession), it became too much after a while.

A few had so much growth that they didn't know how to prepare for the day when there were no jobs to be filled.  From there, it wasn't uncommon to see someone who was hired as a receptionist in May to become a placement specialist by July.  Although there's nothing wrong with either job title, over time it came down to who was willing to partake in overly aggressive sales tactics, instead of making an appropriate match.  This was the downfall of many smaller agencies in the 21st Century.

Now that this nastiness is over (and hopefully, never to return), there's a new market in town and it's called people who don't fit traditional job roles who need to reach more prospects.  You know... your indexer, scopist, senior event planner, or specialty-size fashion designer. These people are so busy hustling they seldom have the time to market themselves properly.

Since this type of work doesn't have the traffic as say, a clerical or IT worker, it will take time to nurture.  You can also use this as a way to broaden your network and find more jobs for yourself (and your friends who don't want to or can't work a "regular" job).  Use your existing network, join associations and engage LinkedIn contacts strength in numbers = more $ in your pocket

Before you race out of the gate with biz cards and a fun social media profile, you may want to research a few things.  There are books on the subject and it requires legit marketing and communication skills.  Back in the day of booming temp agencies, one major turnoff was an overworked recruiter telling me how I was going to spend the next length of time after picking up the phone to say hello.  One person didn't bother to ask if I was working (I was...for a competitor) and the other went bat$hit crazy because she'd spent all day securing an interview with an unresponsive party while an F100 company simply asked if I wanted to start the next day.  Talk about going bananas!

You can also check out this quick tutorial if you're not in a book buying mood.  Either way, this isn't a job that calls for a lot of spontaneity.  There's taxes and employment laws that must be adhered to, and there must always be a backup plan in place.  Even if it means referring someone to the competition.  More times than not, people appreciate referrals if it leads to change in their pockets.  It's also a good way to build a network of specialists that may work for a future prospect. Oh yeah, and being nice helps too!

The great thing about starting a virtual staffing agency gig is that an office isn't required.  However, the best course is to make the employees responsible for their taxes and if possible, create a disclaimer that won't hold you responsible for damages caused by the person placed.  Depending on the industry, there may not be a way around this but an attorney or consultant may be able to share insight on how to make placements without legal drama. 

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