What to Expect When Signing on With a Staffing Firm

Accountemps staffing firm

If you're thinking about registering with a specialized accounting and finance staffing firm, there's no time like the present. If you've never worked with a staffing firm before, you may be unsure of what to expect. Here's how the process works:

1. Get registered

When you first register with a staffing firm, you'll submit your resume and take skills evaluation tests. Some agencies, like Accountemps, offer easy online registration so you don't have to travel to fill out forms in person or spend hours playing email tag to set up appointments. Accountemps also offers online skills evaluations, which allow you to complete tests on your own time and from the comfort of your own home.

One other word of advice: Some people think every staffing firm, recruiting firm, staffing agency and search firm are just about the same. It's true that all of these types of companies can help you find a job. In fact, these different names are virtually synonymous in a general sense. But whatever you call them, their ability to help you can vary widely, and you need to thoroughly vet a staffing firm before registering.

2. Interview with a staffing manager

Once you've completed your evaluations, an expert staffing manager will contact you for an interview if there is an immediate job opening that matches your experience or if there is strong demand for your skill set. A tech-savvy staffing firm may allow you to do the interview remotely, via Skype or a similar service, for convenience.

Treat interviewing with a staffing manager just like interviewing with a hiring manager. Even if you're connecting remotely, you should be well dressed, well groomed and well prepared. If you know the position and organization you're being considered for, do some research ahead of the interview so you can demonstrate your enthusiasm and ask targeted questions about the opportunity.

In addition to chatting about potential jobs and employers, be ready to talk about yourself. You will have to answer questions about previous positions, work habits, professional preferences and your career goals. The goal is not to grill you, but rather to help the staffing firm get a good sense of the type of opportunity that best suits you.

3. Keep in touch

After your interview, the staffing firm will work to find you a position that matches your skills with a business culture that's a good fit for your personality. While your staffing specialist is on the hunt, keep him or her apprised of any changes in your work status, career goals or skill set. If you’re contacted about an open position, respond as quickly as possible. Many jobs need to be staffed ASAP, and you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity.

4. Sharpen your skills.

While you're waiting to hear back, take advantage of the professional development and training opportunities your staffing firm offers. One benefit of choosing an agency that specializes in accounting and finance is the opportunity to spruce up your resume (and earn Continuing Professional Education credits) by taking e-courses in topics such as accounting and finance software, legal compliance, business processes and more.

Follow these tips when you find a reputable staffing firm, and you'll be well on your way to finding a job that suits your personality and skill set.