Working with a Temp Agency is an interesting experience (I’m using temp agency and staffing firm interchangeably here). It will either go really well, or be a complete nightmare. This largely is determined by the recruiter. Keep in mind that when working with a recruiter that their interest is not in seeing you get a job or helping you in anyway. They are only interested in keeping their client happy, the company they are staffing for. Sometimes there is a misconception among job seekers that the staffing firm is working for them. The only interest they have in getting you a job is driven by the commission that they will get off you. There is nothing wrong with this; it’s how they are paid. But you’ll want to keep that in mind when they start calling.
Staffing firms are a great way to get exposure to what is in the market place. They have a number of jobs that they are trying to fill, and will act as your advocate if they like you (again, they want $$$). This can sometimes make getting your foot in the door a lot easier. Once you are in a company, there is sometimes a chance for the company to buy you from the staffing firm (these positions are called temp to perm). They will pay the firm an outrageous amount of money to do this. A number of companies would rather pay this crazy fee then try to find someone themselves. Temporary jobs typically pay (after you subtract out the bad benefits) just below what you would make if you were hired straight from the company. If you are in need of cash flow, this might be the quickest way to get that started. Remember, you can always keep looking for a permanent job while you are working at the temp job.