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After college I got a good "perma/temp" position through a recruiting agency that has given me good experience and decent pay/benefits. It's an indefinite position but is pretty decent hourly pay, a steady 40 hours a week with basic (but not great) benefits through my staffing agency. However I've been starting to receive contacts from other agencies who have offered to line me up with interviews for "better" jobs, with supposedly higher pay, better benefits, opportunities for advancement etc.. I've checked out a couple of the potential employers via Glassdoor and they really do seem like good opportunities.

Is it "improper" for me to provide a resume to other agencies and potentially field interviews for other positions, or should I be approaching my current agency about finding me other opportunities?

  • Absolutely not. Your staffing agency is getting a cut of your paycheck to the tune of 50% of what you are getting on the paycheck. If you can find something better for yourself, there will be no feelings hurt. It is your choice to decide where you will work and who you will work with. Just be careful not to be sent to the same position by two different staffing agencies. That is a slippery slope – MelBurslan Aug 22 '16 at 22:53
  • @JoeStrazzere I know from my last few workplaces. My income and what I heard from the powers that be about what I am/was costing to them. The big shops like manpower, RHI etc get 33% cut of the hourly rate, unless you (employee) push them to pay a few dollars extra. Mind you my compensation is at senior level. That might be a factor. So if the agency is taking 1 and I am getting 2 out of a 3 part total, agency is getting half of what I make effectively. This was my logic above. – MelBurslan Aug 22 '16 at 23:00
  • @MelBurslan - the agency I'm currently working with doesn't get 50% – WorkerDrone Aug 23 '16 at 15:29
  • @WorkerDrone, Please see my explanation to Joe Strazzere above. For simplicity, let's say my workplace pays $75/hr for my services to the contracting company. I only see $50 of that. $25, goes to the contracting co. Hence 25/50=0.5. 50% of what I am taking home. Not the 50% of $75, the whole price tag. – MelBurslan Aug 23 '16 at 19:42
  • @MelBurslan - No, I understand what you wrote. But that isn't the percent my agency gets based on my consulting work. For example, when I get $85, they get $15 and the company pays $100. – WorkerDrone Aug 23 '16 at 19:48
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No it certainly isn't improper. If your employer expected long-term commitment from you they should engage you on a permanent contract.

But you should still be as discreet as you can. Your current staffing agent (or the HR/Recruitment department at your current company) may get offended by the fact that you're keeping an eye out for new opportunities. If they do it will only cause you hassle.

(Just to be clear: I don't think they have the right to get offended, but if they do they are in a position to give you problems.) Good luck!

So observe all the usual protocols for conducting a discreet job search (i.e. be careful about who you speak to, don't confide in colleagues, avoid putting your CV up on job boards or similar).

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