Finding stable employment is vital for felons. Once you are released, you will need to find a way to support yourself. A job will not only help make ends meet, but it will also keep you out of trouble.
Parolee felons also find that a job will make relations easier with their parole officer. This way they know you are busy most of the day. There is less need to keep checking up on you.
However, jobs are hard to come by for felons. Many will opt for temp agencies that hire felons to get any kind of employment.
Often the problem is distrust. Many employers are unwilling to deal with felons because they think they might repeat their crimes. Even when the crimes committed do not relate to the jobs they’re being hired for.
In reality, chances of recidivism are reduced when a felon can find a decent job. Research has long established this. Unfortunately, many employers are still not ready to offer a fair playing field to felons.
The temporary nature of temp agency jobs makes many not excited to join up. They can, however, bridge the gap for anyone in strong need of some income.
You do need to learn how to be flexible. With changing work environments and tasks you have to become adaptable. This may not be the most ideal work condition, but patience may lead to better outcomes.
For first-timers, there is a need to understand why they should bother with temp agencies. Here we will look at how these companies can benefit a felon starting over.
Let’s get started with some basics on what temp agencies are and how they work.
What Is a Temp Agency?
Temp agencies provide a service that matches temporary workers to temporary jobs. Many employers have periods during which there is a need for extra staff.
For instance, Christmas is a busy period for many retailers, warehouses and manufacturers. There is greater demand, leading to a stronger need for additional employees to keep up.
Other times it could be that an office is shorthanded due to a flu outbreak. When enough staff are out sick, temporary hires can help keep things running.
The jobs are temporary in nature. This means you can expect a finite duration before the job comes to an end.
These staffing shortages force employers to get in touch with temp agencies. When you are signed on to a temp agency, they can quickly dispatch you.
Do note that temp agencies are not the same as recruitment firms. You do not interview to be hired for the job.
Even as you report to work in a company, you are not their employee. You remain the employee of the temp agency. They will be the ones to issue your paycheck, handle taxes and any benefits.
The temp agency will have negotiated your pay and schedule. They will also be the ones to select which of their temps will fill a position. The agency will also notify you when the job is terminated.
You might be wondering, how then do temp agencies make money? Their income comes from a rate they charge they charge the employers. It is based on hours worked by their temp.
This rate will often be pegged on the skill level of the position. Fortunately, the majority of temp positions are at an entry-level. This is what makes them felony friendly job agencies.
Top Temp Agencies for Felon – Friendly Jobs
Just as with direct employers, there are certain temp agencies known for being accommodating to felons. Their willingness to hire felons may, however, be conditional. It is good to ask the details so you know if you qualify.
Here are some of the best-known temp agencies that hire felons worth considering:
- Adecco Group – this is a multinational with hundreds of work opportunities across the U.S. at any given time. They handle general to specialized recruitments.
- All Team Staffing – they specialize in such industries as hospitality, labor, food production, and environment. This temp agency is great for newcomers to the labor market.
- Aramark – one of the largest agencies. It offers work opportunities in food production, healthcare, manufacturing, and hospitality.
- Elite Staffing – they work in areas such as warehousing, light industrial, manufacturing and drop shipping. They have a very wide network of agencies across the U.S.
- Integrity Staffing – the firm offers benefits options that can help cover costs such as healthcare. They have an extensive network of agencies. They deal in industries such as warehousing, clerical, and administrative functions.
- Kelly Services – another large agency with a global presence. They offer jobs in construction, customer service, hospitality, maintenance, transportation, and manufacturing.
- Manpower – this agency only works with felons with convictions older than seven years. They offer jobs in many fields including manufacturing, distribution, agriculture, and hospitality.
- People Ready – they offer a large number of opportunities for both skilled and unskilled workers. Some of the industries they serve include construction, hospitality, transportation, and waste disposal.
- Pride Staff – with partnerships ranging from corporate to SMEs, this agency is a good choice. Their areas of focus include customer service, hospitality, general labor, shipping, and warehousing.
- Spherion – another agency that accepts felony convictions that are over seven years. Their industries include clerical, customer services, light industrial, and non-clinical healthcare.
These are just a few of the largest felony friendly temp agencies. More can often be found when you search locally. Look up local listings or talk to your parole officer for help.
How Does Temporary Employment Work?
As already mentioned, temp jobs do not mean you become an employee of the hirer. You remain an employee of the temp agency.
Want to know how they work? Here’s a breakdown:
- Temp agencies start by building up a pool of workers. They select the best applicants based on the industry niche they serve.
- They will take these candidates through some training. This ensures they will be able to carry out tasks asked of them by employers.
- A contract is then signed between the temp and the agency. It usually details the hourly rate of pay they will be earning.
- The temp agency is responsible for seeking out work opportunities for its temps. They match the skills needed by employers with candidates from their work pool.
- The temp agency will negotiate your payment and process it. Your paycheck will come from the temp agency. They will also handle tax deductions and any benefits.
Keep in mind that most temp jobs do not come with benefits or retirement packages. No matter how long you work as a temp, do not expect this compensation.
It is advisable to use these temp services that hire felons as a stepping stone. Work on training or job opportunities that will offer better security.
Consider how you will get by when you are too old to work and plan accordingly. In the meantime, with consistently good performance, you will get more jobs.
A temp agency that is known for reliable and hardworking temps will get more jobs. This means more income and favoritism for top-performing temps.
With a good track record, there is also the potential for permanent employment. Many employers end up hiring their temps because of strong job performance.
Now, let’s look at how the agency benefits from hiring you.
How Much Money Does a Temp Agency Take?
Temp agencies will not take money out of your paycheck. Some people have the wrong impression that a commission is collected from workers’ pay. This is incorrect.
When employers approach temp agencies, there is a negotiation that takes place. They will discuss what rate you can expect to be paid. Depending on the employer, you may even get some benefits like medical cover.
The rate is often determined by the type of job to be filled and its skill level. The higher the skill level, the higher the rate. Naturally, some industries pay better than others.
Above that, another hourly rate is set as the agency’s fee. Again, this rate is often dependent on the skill level of the job to be filled.
If the employer is looking to hire many people, this rate may be discounted. Bulk discounts are good for retaining the business of employers and attracting new ones.
The rate can often vary, sometimes being even higher than what the temp is getting. This rate can sometimes be a bone of contention between the agency and its temps.
In reality, this fee is what helps employment agencies that work with felons make their money. It covers their overheads and employee salaries. Additionally, it can help cover health and unemployment benefits for qualifying staff.
Do Temp Agencies Run a Criminal Background Check?
Background checks are a real concern for many felons. It is established that employment will reduce the risk of re-offending. Many employers sadly still discriminate against anyone with a criminal record.
As said, temp agencies are in a reputation business. Some liability issues may arise from hiring felons.
When it comes to temp agencies, the answer is maybe. Some do perform background checks while others do not.
Some agencies will ask you to sign off on such a check right at the time of application. Others will make it a requirement once you have passed the interview.
How they conduct these checks can also greatly vary. Some will delve deeper than even your criminal record.
They may want to review your motor vehicle report or do a drug test. Others want to be sure you haven’t been convicted of a crime in the last five or seven years.
They may even run a credit check or check if you are on a sex offender registry. These checks may partly depend on the nature of jobs the agency handles.
Different agencies have different policies. The best way to get an answer to this is to simply ask them. This way you know whether to bother pursuing the job or not.
Working for A Large Vs Small Temp Agency
Temp agencies have grown in popularity thanks to the strong demand for their services. Many employers appreciate the savings they get from temporary staff.
They often do not need to pay benefits, which can cost a fair amount. It can also be a simple way of testing out staff before recruiting them permanently. All this without going through the cost of recruitment exercises.
For felons and other candidates, there is a difference between large and small agencies. Let’s look at how they differ and which offers better opportunities.
The number of work opportunities you are offered will mostly depend on two factors. How many jobs come in and how many candidates there are.
Normally, a large agency will have a larger work pool. That means more competition for a limited number of jobs. A smaller specialist agency may offer more options.
Larger agencies have more resources to devote to training their people. This can be good for felons with no work history or educational background.
These agencies also tend to attract more entry and low-level positions. These are great for the inexperienced.
Smaller agencies are however a better option for those that can perform specialized jobs. They may offer superior work opportunities at better rates.
For novice felons, it may be better to start with a large firm. With some experience under the belt, signing on to a small agency should offer better options.
As with any large organization, things often get lost in the shuffle in large agencies. Their focus is to attract as many jobs as possible and send out as many temps.
This can be good for felons looking to avoid attention. It does however often mean low wages, poor training, and low job satisfaction.
Smaller agencies take more time on meeting employer demands. They work harder to build strong relationships with employers and understand their needs. This involves matching them to best-suited candidates that will impress.
This makes for better job satisfaction and motivation for the temp. It can also mean better chances of permanent employment when a vacancy arises.
Smaller agencies are great at filling positions for their employers. They have a strong understanding of the candidates in their roster. They can quickly match them to suitable jobs as they arise.
Larger temp agencies have processes that have to be gone through. This may mean jobs take longer to be filled. With so many candidates on hand, it can be difficult to pick out the most suited.
You would think this is bad for business. However, large firms have many contracts with employers and are continually adding to the client list. Losing a few now and then hardly affects their bottom line.
The slower speed of operations and high competition can mean fewer jobs in the short and long term. A temp with bills to pay may find such an environment challenging.
In most industries, larger companies tend to have larger staff turnovers. They do not devote as much time and resources to certain areas. This can include staff training and development, and remuneration.
This kind of neglect often leads to dissatisfaction and a desire to move on. Many quit even before a year is over.
Smaller agencies put more effort into finding quality candidates and retaining them. They know good workers are great for building up their image. They help to retain good clients and attract more.
For any worker, an employer that values you is always desirable. This goes for temps too.
For small firms, in particular, reputation is a big deal. One small screw up and the entire business can fail.
Background checks are therefore important. They ensure the firm knows the person they are sending out well. As their temp, you are the image of the company.
This factor is important for felons who already have a criminal record to worry about.
An agency’s policies on background checks will determine if you even get your foot in the door. Chances are the smaller and more specialized the agency, the tighter restrictions they have.
Temporary work is often all there is for many a felon. With many staffing agencies that hire felons, it makes for a good way to make money legally. Though most jobs are entry-level, it can be a good foundation to start from.
Look at how you can boost your skills through such means as education. Earning your GED or attending a trade school can offer you better opportunities in time.
Meanwhile, this is a good way to keep busy and earning. Ask about their policies on felons and if they are willing, make the application.
If it comes up during the interview, respond honestly. Also, try to emphasize how you are a better person now. Focus on reasons you would make a great hire for the company.