Looking for a temporary help agency?
The Government of Ontario published 8 tips to help you find a reputable one.
With the changing economy, more and more Ontarians are turning to temporary help agencies (THAs) to assist them in finding a job. If you’re an employer that hires workers through a THA, here are 8 tips to help you find an ethical agency to work with.
- Cash Payments Are a Red Flag
In this day of online transfers and direct bank deposits, cash payments are uncommon – particularly from a business. If an agency is trying to pay your employees in cash with no official receipt or paper trial, it could be a warning sign of an irreparable THA.
- Find Out If They Have a Brick-and-Mortar Office
A THA without an office building or with no fixed address can be a sign that they are illegitimate. Many fly-by-night agencies operate from a cell phone, making it difficult to track them down if they aren’t complying with labour laws. Search the address online to see if it’s a real building.
- Look for an Association Membership
Membership to a professional association, such as the Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services (ACSESS), can be a good indicator that the THA is reputable and safe to do business with. Associations generally have a code of ethics that their members need to follow and other good business requirements that must be met.
- Know the Agency’s Responsibilities
When hiring a THA, educate yourself on what they are responsible for. For example, the agency is considered the “Employer of Record” and is responsible for making source deductions for things such as CPP and EI. If the wage rate seems too low, your temporary worker may not be getting paid minimum wage. If the rate is too good to be true, it probably is.
- Beware of Hidden Fees
When a temporary help agency charges you their fees, take a close look. Recruiting services operate based on charging the employer a fee – it’s expected. What’s not expected or okay are fees that aren’t explained or discussed up-front. Make sure you understand what you’re being charged for – and get it in writing – before hiring them.
- Read the Fine Print
When hiring an agency, you’ll likely have an agreement with them (written or verbal) that outlines agreed upon details, including the time frame and any stipulations. Most reputable THAs will offer a trial period in their agreements. If the candidate doesn’t work out, a reputable agency will usually work to find a more suitable candidate for their client.
- Do Your Research
Just like any business you hire, research the THA to make sure they’re reputable. Start by looking at their website, read reviews and find out if they are mentioned on other sites or message boards. If they have a history of doing bad business, there is likely a trail online. ikewise, for reputable agencies, look for recommendations and good reviews. If you’ve had a great experience with a THA, consider writing a positive review.
- Check Their References
To know if an agency is the right fit for you and your employment needs, find out who hired them previously. Many legitimate agencies post client lists on their websites. If you can’t find a client list, simply ask. Agencies may be willing to send you recommendations.