Find the Best of the Best: Tips for Comparing Accounting Staffing Agencies

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So you're an accounting or finance professional in the market for a job and considering working with a staffing agency — smart move! The demand for temporary accounting and financial professionals is on the rise with no indication that the trend will change anytime soon. But with all the staffing firms out there, which should you choose? Here's some guidance to consider when comparing accounting staffing agencies.

Don't let terminology confuse you

Search firms, temporary employment services, headhunters, recruiters — don't let synonyms confuse you. For most purposes, a staffing agency by any other name is still a staffing agency. Regardless of the terminology these firms use, they all perform the same basic function: Matching you with a job. What sets accounting staffing agencies apart is how they do that. The best ones get to know you and help you find a position well-suited to your unique ambitions and expertise.

Seek out specialists

While it's true you can choose from a wide breadth of staffing firms, you should be aware that many firms provide only general services. In your case, it's best to search for a staffing agency that specializes in accounting and finance, as the recruiters will better understand the importance and relevance of your individual skills set, experience and certifications.

In addition, a specialized firm will be more knowledgeable about positions that would be a good fit for you. Beware of accounting staffing agencies that don't know their business analysts from their bookkeepers.

Review their reach and reputation

Check out the agency's reputation on social media. Note the tone of the feedback on the agency's postings. Are responses warm, satisfied and supportive? Do they give the impression that clients and current candidates are happy with the firm's services? If so, you may have found a winner.

Look for service with a smile

Pay attention to the level of service you receive when you call, email or visit the recruitment agency. Do the staffing specialists have good customer service skills? Are they courteous and enthusiastic? Do they put your needs first? You can learn a lot about a company by how they treat potential candidates.

Peruse the perks

If you find a few contenders, compare the benefits they offer. Accounting staffing agencies want highly skilled and marketable candidates, so the more forward-thinking firms offer free accounting training programs. You can also find agencies that will help you expand your network, give you access to mentorship programs and prepare you for skills tests and meetings with prospective employers, including phone and video interviews.

When it comes to your career, you don't want to settle for anything less than perfection. Vet the staffing agencies for reputation and reach, specialization, customer service and perks, and you'll increase your chances of landing a fulfilling temporary position.

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