And so goes the comment left recently from a Staffing Talk reader about this story I wrote a month or so ago.
From time to time in this space we do pieces that have to do with the reputation of the staffing industry in general, and also how staffing pros feel about the business they work in.
The genesis of the story came in the form of an email I received from a Staffing Talk reader – and veteran staffing professional – who wanted to vent about the less than positive treatment she had been receiving from job candidates crossing her path.
The original story generated some really good comments and conversation, mostly from other staffing professionals, commiserating with the emailer.
But in the last couple of days we received two comments from candidates that I think underscore the reason for the original post to begin with, and are worthy of some specific discussion.
“I get paid when I match up a candidate with a client and they bill hours. Period.”
Let’s go back to the email for a moment. My staffing pro friend said to me in an obvious rebuttal and reaction to things she hears from candidates, “I do not get paid for registering people. I do not get paid for collecting resumes. I do not make money off everyone we have listed as ‘active.’ I get paid when I match up a candidate with a client and they bill hours. Period.”
She also devoted a paragraph to broadly breaking down the bill rate, that I think succinctly refutes the notion that staffing companies are getting rich on the efforts of people they place.
And then the emailer finally cautions candidates to not make a staffing company their only resource for finding a job, and asks they not get mad at her if/when they ignore the advice.
You can go back to the piece to see some of the other comments and discussion topics. There are some good ones.
“Staffing companies provide lousy health insurance, no job security and are making the US into a third world country. They should be illegal.”
But this past weekend “James” weighed in with a different take, taking exception to the piece, with the line, “What a bunch of ________.” He said staffing companies provide lousy health insurance, no job security and are making the US “into a third world country. They should be illegal. In fact, every ‘recruiter’ should have a rotten tomato thrown at their face by every worker they ripped off.”
It seems often one comment gets someone thinking along a certain line and ultimately begets another similar comment.
And so it goes with “Vexone,” who details how “these parasites are currently affecting me,” taking a portion of their hourly pay, charging too much for insurance, while providing no sick, personal, holiday, or vacation pay, reduced benefits, little respect and so on. The comment ends with the question, rhetorical or otherwise, “Who wants to be a part of Corporate Slavery???”
“Who wants to be a part of Corporate Slavery???”
Slavery is not a word to be used lightly or loosely, but even ignoring that particular word, what about the gist of these two comments? Why, after someone calmly and coolly explains how the staffing business works, do people respond with cries of BS, and labels such as “parasites” and calls for the industry to be outlawed?
Here’s kind of an interesting thing. I thought maybe a staffing industry spokesperson or thought leader had weighed in on this topic before. So I went to Google and typed “why staffing companies don’t get any respect.” The first story that came up was a CBS News report on the rights of temp workers. The second hit was “What Drives Me Nuts About Staffing Agencies.” The third thing that came back on the subject of why staffing companies don’t get respect? A Socialist Labor Party piece called “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Plight of America’s Temporary Workers.” Yikes!
What gives here? In a country where too many able-bodied people are out of work, why does an industry that matches millions of people to jobs get so little respect?