As second semester begins, many of you may be eyeing the middle of May with a feeling of trepidation. For those graduating, it may seem like there is no way you will ever find a job ever. For those who still have a year or two to go, you might be thinking about summer positions, where you’re going to be for the summer and the reality of finding housing.
We may not be able to solve all of those problems (we are unfortunately not an apartment rental company), but we can help get professional experience. We already offer a job board designed specifically for college students and recent graduates in the Philadelphia area, best tips and advice from employers and experts on how to land a position and a calendar of upcoming career-related events all around the Greater Philadelphia area. But we wanted to let you know about another avenue that might be able to help you get some experience or land a job: professional staffing agencies.
Yes, but although temporary placements are a staple of professional staffing agencies, they are only one of several types of placements that they do. We spoke with Ginger Kochmer, Vice President–Division Director of The Creative Group, which is a division of Robert Half in Philadelphia. Robert Half places accountants, creatives, financial employees, legal employees, managers, tech employees, and creatives in various freelance, temp-to-hire, and permanent positions. The Creative Group works specifically with those seeking creative and marketing positions.
When looking for a position, many students and recent graduates don’t consider using a professional staffing firm, but Kochmer explains that firms like The Creative Group give applicants advantages that they may not enjoy in a “traditional” job search.
“We have relationships with our clients, and we know what the client expectations will be,” explains Kochmer. Unlike in a job search where you send your resume into a general HR employee, the people at The Creative Group are specialists who can identify an applicant’s particular skills and match them with the best employers.
“If I look at someone’s book, I can turn around and say ‘you know what, this person would be perfect for X client’ and then reach out to my contact there” says Kochmer. This is a huge advantage for both the talent, who are able to get their foot in the door of companies they would not have been able to otherwise, and for the clients, who are assured the best talent and fit possible.
Another advantage of using a staffing agency, Kochmer explains, is that it gives students a chance to experience different work environments and companies. Do you want to work in a large company with a very specific set of responsibilities, or would you prefer a smaller setting with greater flexibility? These are the kinds of questions that using a staffing agency can help answer, because you have the opportunity to get placed in many different companies and environments.
The process of applying to The Creative Group is straightforward. One of the recruiters will reach out to the applicants, Kochmer explains. They’ll review their application with them, and this will be followed by a Skype or in-person interview. During the process, the recruiter will complete a skills evaluation which will assess the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses. “We are able to find the better fit for someone by working closely with them and placing them in the right business,” says Kochmer. If an applicant has a strong background in illustration but not as much experience with layout, for example, The Creative Group will be able to help find a position that suits them.
The best part of using a staffing agency like Robert Half and The Creative Group? “Because [many of the positions] are freelance, we could have someone come into the office today, and they could go to work tomorrow,” says Kochmer.