I have always applied for my past and current job in companies with a direct application. For reference, I am currently based in EU.

Recently I've got couple of interesting contacts from a couple of recruiting companies, which are naming themselves as recruiting ones.

The thing is that I am ignorant enough to not understand why some of the positions offered are made with a period of time through them (i.e. 1 year), and only after you will be employed by the real employer. The position I am referring to, is also available as open position from the "real" company, so potentially I could go through that. But I also know that doing everything on my own takes time and effort, and is easy to overlook opportunities.

This also made me think if very well known recruiting companies (like Randstad) are doing the same. And if so, why they are not forwarding the employee? Should I go through them?

EDIT: to avoid confusion, I am referring to recruiting agencies (Randstad), which are not service consulting companies (i.e. Alten).

  • 2
    I'm voting to close it since according to OP's comments below nobody understood their question correctly. Which, in turn, means it's unclear.
    – BigMadAndy
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 9:16
  • No offense, it's just a statement, but you are the only which had misunderstood the question.
    – thexeno
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 12:10
  • To be more clear, I simplified the EDIT.
    – thexeno
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 18:04
  • I agree it's not very clear at all, even with the edit. The bit about a period of time before the real employer is very confusing.
    – deep64blue
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 21:54
  • Ok, not a big deal. But what -exactly- is not clear? I would like to be more. Is the naming used? I checked with other colleagues from my current company, here in europe recuiting agencies are called like that and sometimes are hiring through them to let the company fire easily the employees in case of issues, at the beginning. I kinda answered my question, but is bothering me that I received negative votes because of possible different naming conventions, so I would like to clarify, also for other readers.
    – thexeno
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 16:03

4 Answers 4


IMHO, agencies (like Randstad) are completely unnecessary.

From my experience with them, under contract you are required to incorporate under worst possible articles (sole prop) and purchase through them extra services (liability insurance, bookkeeping etc)

In addition, you are contractor of them, not actual company you placed at on B2B (business-to-business) model that leaves you completely open / vulnerable to all incidentals

  • Probably unnecessary to the employee, indeed. For the company I think this will give some more flexibility. In my case, it would not be higher than 1 year, as some of the other employees in the same team were hired directly after this period.
    – thexeno
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 18:02
  • @thexeno than you have 1 year to "suffer" hoping all will be good and get hired by the company. Decision is yours, i just wanted to point out potential problems, so you will go in with your eyes open. Good luck, hope all will be good
    – Strader
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 15:26

I'm in the UK (still currently part of the EU) and here, a recruiting agency is used by a company to help with their requirements. It's the agents job to take in the CV's, sort through them and send the company only the best and most suitable.

In addition, they also scour the websites that allow people to upload their CV's for keywords that match and then reach out to potential employees who may or may not be looking for new opportunities.

They then set up interviews, get and provide feedback for both the company and interviewees.

All of this will cost the company money, either in a flat fee or a % commission.

I have never come across anything like working for the agency for a year. This seems like a way for them to get even more money, this time from the new employee as I'm sure they'll take a finders fee from the new employees wages.

If you've found the job advertised separately, apply for it there. Not only will it save the company money, but you as well.

The only reason (and it's not much of one) I can think of why you shouldn't over choosing an agency is that the agency may have other vacancies on their books they can also put your forward for, ones that aren't available to the general public.

  • In this case, the job posted is no longer available directly from the company (it was though, a similar one in the same team). The manager in the company said that most of the people there were hired initially though the agency. I think this is to give some flexibility to the employer, so the employee is more at risk, in the beginning. I may understand this, I just wonder what I should be careful to check in the contract from the agency.
    – thexeno
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 17:58

The time you work through the "work agencies" you earn them a commission. Usually when such agency will email you a job offer you cannot go straight to real employer as they have in contract with recruitment agency that they cannot hire people who get noticed about job opening through agency.

All recruiting companies do that, that how they make a living. The better employee they find and better pay they negotiate for the better commission they get.

There also "not so ok agencies" that will just try to get as much leads (so employees profiles and job offers) to just bill companies for them hiring someone they have in their portfolio (similar thing to paying a real estate agency a commission if you have a deal with them and buy an estate they have in their portfolio).

  • Apparently, this perfectly respectable company in which I had the interview, is doing that by those agencies - and this is not present as open position. There was one posted by the company in the past which was similar and in the same team. In this case, only through the agency. There is no much choice for that job, so I wonder in what I should be careful now with this agency.
    – thexeno
    Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 17:51
  • @thexeno You probably can't go directly as Randstand have you in their books. What you need to keep in mind is a)they know exactly how much employer want to pay. But they want as much commission as they can get. So ask them what can you expect and say you want a little less because b) when the company will hire you directly your rise will probably wont be close to 50% of their commission c)look for strange NDA and NCA in contract with Ranstand. I had sign one that forbid me from getting any benefits from employer. Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 19:10

You will normally get paid better if you're employed directly by the company, not by a recruitment company. You will also have better conditions and benefits.

What the companies you described are doing is labour leasing (Arbeitnehmerüberlassung, Zeitarbeit in case you're in Germany). The conditions they offer aren't normally very attractive. Unless you have no other option of course.

The benefit for the company you work for is they can get rid of you quickly and without any problems, which otherwise can be difficult (e.g. in Germany it's sometimes difficult to fire a person after they passed their probationary period). Another benefit is, they can pay you less than they pay their "normal" employees.

Some friends who work in IT search for "gigs" directly and use these agencies to get a project or two if they don't find anything directly. That's one way this could make sense.

But signing with an agency for, e.g. a year isn't advantageous normally. Unless, as mentioned, you don't find anything else. You should also read the contract several times and consult it if needed. So that if you get a better job you can leave your employment at the agency quickly and without problems.

  • I'm in the US, and I've been through variations of this. In general, I got paid more money as a contractor than as a regular employee. I'd have to be pretty desperate to accept less money in exchange for no job security and no benefits. Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 17:57
  • Regarding the "Zeitarbeit", you are referring to companies like Alten, Ferchaü, Reply (bodyrental in slang). The one I am talking about is not a person leasing company, which reallocates people after the end of the project, but something different. Found couple of examples: APS (in Austria), Yer (in Netherlands), Adecco (in Italy). I do ignore the German ones. Those are recuiting companies who are receiving money for having found an employee for them.
    – thexeno
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 12:44
  • @thexeno, I'm not 100% sure if I understand you then. But whatever you mean, recruitment companies aren't doing anything for you. They want to make a profit from you. So it doesn't really matter if what you describe is a new model I've never heard of - what I and other people have brought up here are some aspects you need to keep in mind while considering working with the companies, which may help you to make a good decision.
    – BigMadAndy
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 13:29
  • @BigMadAndy I was just trying to point out the difference between a consulting company, which is doing Zeitarbeit, from a recruiting agency, which is providin candidates to a company, not a service. In my case, I am dealing with the latter, and I was try to get opinions. But is important to not make confusion, as one provides services to OEM companies, the other is doing the paper work for selecting the personnel (for OEM or others).
    – thexeno
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 23:58

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