How to Choose a Recruiting Agency: Pay and Costs

December 27, 2018

If you’ve never worked with a staffing or recruiting agency before,  it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the variety of services and work placements, as well as the jargon many recruiters and agencies use. Although you don’t need to be an expert, there are a few things you should know to help differentiate between agencies and find someone who will serve your individual needs. For example, an essential aspect of any job search is understanding your payment and costs.


What to know:

Working with an agency should cost you absolutely nothing! Typical agencies charge all their costs to the client company. Costs are agreed to before they start screening candidates and the client typically specifies the bill rate range they are willing to pay. Temporary positions bill at a set rate or a predetermined markup above your pay rate. Keep in mind that for many agencies, the exact amount they will charge the client is confidential. While agencies are likely to share what they are able to pay you for the position, they are unlikely to answer specific questions about the bill rate.

Regardless of how you find your next position, it’s important for you as the job seeker to know what your minimum acceptable pay rate is, and stick to it! No agency wants to intentionally pay you less than you need to make. At the same time, there is a maximum they can pay you in a given position, and if that is below your minimum pay rate, you will be unhappy if you accept it.

What to ask:

  • Are there any costs that I should know about?
  • How long do I have to wait for my first paycheck?
  • What does this position pay?


*This content was originally written as a guest post on Mac’s list, available here.

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