Placement Specialist (recruiter) and contracting job

I have been in communication with a "Placement Specialist" at a staffing agency about a job with a national firm. I had an interview and they are in the process of doing the 'paperwork'.  I would be a 'contractor' under the staffing agency and not be a full time employee for the architecture firm.


Has anyone had a similar position within a firm and staffing agency?  Would I be taxed for self employment if I held this contractor role? I have never experienced this role as working under an agency and then actually working for another firm. Please, any advice or comments are welcome!


Thanks in advance!

May 18, 11 6:55 pm

Usually this is a temporary position.  The questions would be: for how long, and could it become permanent.  The reason why this is usually not such a great situation (unless you have no choice) is that they can let you whenever they feel like it or don't need you anymore, and you also don't get all the benefits a permanent employee does, such as 401k, vacation, health benefits, etc.


The reason why it is good is because you are working while still looking for something better. If you were to find something better all you have to do is call your "Placement Specialist" and tell them you have a better offer.  Also you don't have to pay the recruiter a dime, this is done by the employer. 

May 18, 11 7:05 pm


I got hired by a staffing agency in Chicago to work for for one of the top firms in Chicago. I was on agencies payroll. Few months later the firm bought out the contract from the agency and I ended up working for the firm. The contract is very specific....lets say you can't quit and get hired by the firm. From the time you quit, you can't be working for the firm itself for a year or so (depending on the contract). Therefore if the firm really wants you, they have to buy out the contract and hire you as a permanent employee.


Tectonic is right...if the firm feels they no longer need your services, they contact the staffing company and bye bye. Most of the staffing agencies do provide benefits such as insurance, 401k etc. etc.


Eventhough you are working for the staffing can put on your resume that you work for that specific firm and use the projects on your resume.


Overall I never had any problems with this idea, but only thing that I felt was unfair is meetings, and some of the responsibilities. It jsut felt that since I was not "technically" working for the firm, I could not be trusted with certain privileges that permanent employees did have.


I, personally would not move or something like that and work for an agency. I would just stay local, just in case if they terminate my contract within two weeks (which is very possible nowadays and I've seen it happen).

May 18, 11 7:52 pm

Tectonic- The specialist said that most of the employees they placed were temporary and were then brought on full time with the arch firm. They didn't give me a time for how long it would be. The staffing agency said they cover workers comp, social security, unemployment, and liability. I'm not sure if its partially covered or not.


Poop876- did you get to review the contract? I'm still waiting to hear back from both about the job is a local firm and not even sure if the staffing agency is local.


The main concern is if I have to pay self employment taxes as a contractor under this staffing agency. Did you have to Poop876?


May 18, 11 8:27 pm

mezdez24, i might be writing this too late but I recently was hired by an arch firm through staffing agency.  just like other foks said, you are hired and paid by staffing agency.  you won't have to pay self employment tax as you are employed by the agency, at least for my case.   The arch firm that hired you might indicate how long they will they will put you on temp period.  However, here's a one complication - when the arch firm decides to convert you into their full-time employee, they will most likely has to pay the staffing agency the buy out fee - I think this is pretty substantial amount.  My agency had an option that if I work in a firm more than six months and the firm converts me afterwards, then the firm didn't have to pay this fee.

Jul 26, 11 2:28 am

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Apr 4, 13 8:00 am

This rang a few bells for me. The market of the headhunter has shifted. I can't say that headhunters don't exist as much as I can say that recruiters have made some leaps and bounds. From experience, recruiters are primarily maintaining their account, the design firm. They need to fill the needs of that firm and not screw up. Screw up enough and the firm will look for candidates themselves or go to another recruiter.

The recruiter is not paid a finder's fee followed up with a 3 month bonus should the placed applicant get through probation. Some recruiters now gets paid every time you get paid. The firm agrees to pay amount x per hour. The recruiters will try to fill that position and keep as much of x as they can. The larger recruiters who place more ppl in the same office will probably have multiple candidates (same job title) at different pay rates. Like race horses in a stable, you are bound by contract not to divulge your rate to others. To protect their account further, recruiters will add in a non compete clause preventing you from working directly with that firm (contract basis or permanent hire) for some time (sometimes up to a year after your work ends) This way, they can fill the void with another candidate and keep the money wheel turning.

Tread carefully, this is just the way it is. There are some of us who are able to secure their own contract positions, which activate and deactivate with the changing workflow. You then try to set up your own meager health insurance and try to put money aside into your own 401k, waiting ever so carefully to file taxes on a quarterly basis. I could write more but I THINK this is about enough...

Apr 4, 13 6:43 pm

I think nycdesigns has hit just about every point of the "Placement Specialist" ways. I personally wouldn't go that route but if you think it will work for you then I don't see why not. 

Apr 5, 13 11:02 am

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