Executive Search vs. Staffing Agency vs. Employment Agency
In today’s employment climate, both employers and applicants are seeking the help of staffing agencies like Kelly Services over the usual methods. To many, terms like executive search firm, staffing agency, employment agency and headhunter are synonymous, and one agency is considered much like the other.
In truth, although the different types of agencies have similar functions, there are still several differences between them.
What Does An Executive Search Firm Do?
Also called headhunters, executive search firms focus solely on high-level jobs in the corporate and legal sector. These agencies search for your Vice Presidents and Chief Financial Officers, sometimes recruiting, or “hunting,” them while they are still in their current positions.
Because they recruit for such high-level positions, they often perform more services than agencies that recruit for lower-level positions.
For example, an executive search firm, like CSI Executive Search, will focus and become very familiar with the company’s operations, culture and business plan to ensure they find candidates that are in line with the company’s business objectives.
An executive search firm will also handle most aspects of the interview and screening process, as well as any negotiations during the hiring process. In addition, the firm also works with both the hiring company and the candidate to ensure that both parties are satisfied with the outcome.
At the end of the process, the candidate becomes a direct employee of the company, not the executive search firm.
Staffing Agency Role
Unlike the executive search firm, staffing agencies generally focus on jobs below the corporate level. These agencies search for your administrative assistants, middle managers, factory workers and even maintenance staff. They usually fill temporary openings, such as when someone goes on leave.
Because they tend to deal with lower-level, temporary placements, they may not offer as many services as an executive search firm.
For example, the staffing agency will review resumes, conduct background checks and drug screenings and conduct interviews, but they don not usually immerse themselves in the company’s corporate culture.
Also, staffing agencies tend to have an existing pool of workers they can pull from as needed, rather than searching for a new candidate for each opening.
When an employee is placed by a staffing agency, they are employed and paid by the staffing agency, not the company where they are placed.
Employment Agency Functions
Employment agencies are similar to staffing agencies in that they could have an existing pool of applicants, in addition to searching for new candidates. Employment agencies could be private or government-run and can place people in a range of positions from unskilled labor to executive.
These agencies can offer a variety of services from simple applicant screening to functions similar to an executive search agency.
For example, a state agency may review resumes and refer candidates to your company, but you will be responsible for the interviewing, screening, and hiring. On the other hand, a private agency may handle much of the screening, but leave the final hiring and negotiating up to the company and the candidate.
Some employment agencies also act as staffing agencies: offering candidates to fill temporary positions, with the possibility of becoming permanent.
When an employee is placed by an employment agency, the agency or the hiring company could employ them depending on the terms agreed upon by both parties.
For example, in the case of a temp-to-perm arrangement, the candidate would be an employee of the employment agency, as a temp. If the company decides to hire the candidate permanently, then the candidate would then become an employee of the company.