What is a job placement? (With 9 FAQs and answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're currently unemployed, you may benefit from using a job placement service to find a new role. These services specialise in finding job opportunities suited to your current key skills, experience or career goals. By following this guide, you may learn more about these organisations' purpose and functions and the benefits of using their services. In this article, we provide a series of FAQs and nine helpful answers that can help you understand 'What is a job placement?'.

What is a job placement?

Job placement services are staffing firms, government agencies or non-profit organisations that help people find temporary work or begin a new career. These bodies may specialise in finding employment for members of a specific demographic group, such as university students or discharged military veterans. This service can also support inexperienced job seekers by providing advice on how to produce a high-quality CV or take advantage of their existing skills. For example, a military charity may help former veterans to realise how they can apply military vehicle repair skills to civilian work, such as car servicing.

Related: Guide: how do recruitment agencies work? (Plus benefits)

What types of job placements exist?

Job placement services typically offer clients a choice between three types of job placement: temporary work, temporary-to-hire and direct hire. For the first concept, this service agrees to a fixed period of employment with an employer, which typically lasts less than 12 months. You may then sign an employment contract outlining your duties for that period, receiving your salary directly from the agency rather than this firm. Conversely, if you're employed on a temporary-to-hire basis, the agency finds a job that begins as temporary work but has the potential to evolve into full-time employment.

If you secure direct hire employment through a staffing agency, you're immediately hired on a full-time basis. In this situation, it's your employer's responsibility to pay your weekly or monthly salary. If an organisation uses a job placement service to fill a full-time role, they often require professionals whose niche skills make it hard to recruit via normal channels, such as general online job listings.

Related: What is a temporary worker? (Rights, advantages and FAQs)

How can you benefit from using a job placement service?

If you're looking for work in a challenging economic climate, you may greatly benefit from using a job placement service. One benefit of these services is their industry expertise. As these organisations' employees specialise in helping individuals find suitable employment, they can provide expert advice on how to structure CVs or speak confidently in interviews. They can also have trusted business contacts who can tell them about current job openings, accelerating the hiring process.

Another benefit of these services is their flexibility. Depending on your personal commitments, you may wish to either work permanently or on a temporary basis with flexible shift hours. Job placement services account for such conditions when submitting applications on your behalf. A third benefit of these services is that they can offer personalised assistance based on your employment history or career goals.

What examples of job placement services exist?

Depending on your age, employment history or financial circumstances, you might use varied job placement schemes to find a new role. For example, if you're a military veteran who recently returned to civilian life, you may source employment via an ex-military recruitment agency, such as Demob Job Ltd. This agency specialises in finding full-time employment for ex-service personnel in private and public sectors, such as education, construction or aviation.

Another example of a job placement service is Youth Employment UK. This organisation provides individuals aged 16-24 with career advice and access to jobs offered by 'Youth Friendly Employers'. This service intends to make it easier for young adults to start rewarding and lucrative careers, easing financial and mental health problems caused by high youth employment.

Related: How to find a new career: 10 ways to prepare effectively

How does this recruitment process work?

If you use a job placement service, you can split the recruitment process into three stages. In the first stage, employers contact the staffing agency, detailing a job's duties, skill level, weekly hours and wage. The agency then designs an online job listing to explain these specifications to potential applicants. In the second stage, the agency's paying clients review the published listing. If they feel that their soft skills and experience match the job's description, they can apply for it. Recruiters then assess applicants' CVs to see if they're well-suited to this role and provide feedback to rejected candidates.

In the last stage, the agency may interview shortlisted candidates, asking questions about their job history, qualifications and key skills. Interviewers may then present their findings to the hiring company's recruitment manager, who decides which individual to hire.

Related: What is a staffing agency? (With tips for working with one)

How do job placements differ from internships?

Though job placement schemes and internships make it easier for inexperienced professionals to build up work experience, they differ in several ways. One difference is their duration. Whether they offer temporary or full-time employment, work placements can last from six months to several years. In contrast, internships rarely last more than a few months as they exist to provide recent university graduates with basic work experience.

Another key difference between these schemes concerns their pay structure. If you secure a job placement, you're formally employed by that organisation, compelling them to pay you at least minimum wage for your labour. In contrast, internship schemes often only cover costs incurred during business hours, such as travel expenses or hotel fees. As you're not formally employed by the firm, you might also have fewer employment rights.

Related: How to find graduate internships (plus their benefits)

How do job placements differ from apprenticeships?

Though job placements and apprenticeships help individuals set a career path that suits their skills and professional interests, they differ in multiple ways. One difference concerns their professional focus. Though you can earn a fixed monthly salary and paid holiday from either scheme, apprenticeships also focus heavily on education. During an apprenticeship, you can earn the qualifications required to start a career in a set trade, such as banking or carpentry. Though employment agencies might help you find jobs that suit your existing skills, they don't always provide additional training.

Another difference between job placements and apprenticeships involves sponsorship. Firms often sponsor an apprentice's training by funding some or all studying costs, hoping to hire them full-time upon graduation. Conversely, if a firm recruits you via a temporary job placement, there's no guarantee that they may rehire you if they make a similar job available in the future.

Related: What are apprenticeship benefits? (Plus eligibility)

What do headhunters and recruiters differ?

Though firms and employment agencies can use both headhunters and recruiters for hiring professionals, their exact duties vary. Headhunters' can pe research viable candidates for a certain position, comparing their soft skills, experience and qualifications. If they work for a recruitment agency, they could review CVs written by the agency's clients before recommending a specific person to the employer. The headhunter might then guide this candidate through the interview and vetting process.

Though recruiters might also work for job placement agencies, their responsibilities are often wider in scope than those of a headhunter. Recruiters may inform agency clients if suitable jobs become available and offer advice on how to stand out during the interview process. If an applicant fails to secure a job placement, the recruiter may offer feedback on how to learn from interview mistakes.

Related: A guide to headhunter vs recruiter: roles and differences

How much do recruitment agencies charge for their services?

The costs associated with using a recruitment agency may vary significantly depending on whether they work in the charity, public or private sector. Charities often provide services for free, while government bodies may only charge limited fees. As these bodies rely on donations or taxes for funding, their services might be more limited in scope. In contrast, private agencies may provide more extensive services in return for a fee paid by the employer. Private agencies can charge 10-30% of your first year total or annual salary in costs, depending on the length of your employment contract.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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