An employment agency in ordinary words may be defined as an agency that finds people to fill particular jobs or finds jobs for unemployed people. An employment agency in other words works to match employers with suitable employees. Employment agencies are of two types – Some agencies are privately owned and the other one are sponsored by the government either respective state/federal governments or by both.
In the United States, more than 63,878 employment agencies are doing staffing businesses worth more than $ 1 billion. The employment agencies in the private sector are further divided into private employment agencies and professional employment agencies. The private employment agencies have the largest share in the employment market. The private employment agencies are also termed as local employment agencies that deal with jobs that are clerical, junior administrative, shop staff, IT professionals etc.
On the other hand, the professional employment agencies concentrate on the recruitment aspects pertaining to the selection of middle and senior managers or of professional and specialist staff in the fields such as management, construction, law etc. The employment agencies in the United States are providing temporary workers to corporations and other organizations on either part-time or on full-time basis for a limited period.
As per the American Staffing Association, the top four reasons that companies hire temporary workers are: (A) To fill in for absent employees or temporary vacancies resulting from maternity leave, vacations and other personal reasons. (B) To provide extra support during busy seasons, (C) To work on short-term projects and (D) to assess individuals before hiring them on a permanent basis.Employment agencies in the United States are well placed to enable adaptation to structural changes that has been taking place in increasingly complex and volatile labor markets. The employment agencies are helping young people to enter and stay in the labor market and in gaining work experience.
It is estimated that every year, millions of workers in United States are using the services of employment agencies to enter the labor market, change jobs, upgrade skills or move towards permanent positions. In the United States,the professional sector (highly skilled agency workers) accounts for 55% of the staffing market compared with just 36% back in 1995 reflecting the overall demand for a higher skilled workforce.
Employment agencies in the private sector also act as negotiators on behalf of the employees for better employment and working conditions with the employers. The spectrum of HR services being offered by private employment agencies today extends to permanent recruitment and consulting services to outsourcing, outplacement and pay rolling. Thus, employment agencies are playing a pivotal role in providing employment opportunities to job seekers and help in filling up with qualitative employees for their client organizations.