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Why Merit? In fact, why staffing services at all?

Scenario 1: I’m intelligent – if you don’t believe me, just ask my mother. I have great skills, good experience. I’m a team player. Why, then, would I need a staffing service to help me find a job?
Scenario 2: I’m intelligent – see Scenario 1…. I have great skills, good experience. I’m a team player. WHY CAN’T I FIND A JOB?
Scenario 3: I went to a staffing service once, the Scuzz Bucket Employment Agency.  They were awful, lied to me and then stopped returning my calls. Why would I risk going to another? Basically, the answer to that one is because there are a lot of honest, caring recruiters out there. Don’t give up because you met a horrid one. Did you give up dating because you once went out with a jerk?
Staffing agencies have been around forever as a means to help people find jobs. Some are specialized (sales jobs), some are reallyspecialized (paralegals in the insurance industry), some just have permanent positions (“Sorry, don’t have the money to bank roll you weekly, dear”), some only have temporary assignments (“What do you mean, they want you to go perm? I’ll lose my weekly profit from you.”). Some, like, oh, I don’t know, MERIT, can help with finding permanent, temporary and temp-to-perm positions.
The one-stop shop agencies are your best bet, of course, because they can help with your changing situation e.g. you want to temp till you finish college, then get a permanent job. Also they have a better selection of jobs, because in these tough economic times some of the very best jobs are temp-to-perm situations. You may have a nice relationship with a counselor from one of the others, so don’t be losing touch with that person. You just may have to have two or three agencies in your database.
Employment services often get jobs that are not advertised elsewhere. Companies do indeed advertise on Internet job sites, or on their own websites, but they have to wade their way through a huge pile of irrelevant resumes e.g. 1 You’re an unemployed petrol pump attendant from Kansas with no financial experience, and yet you think you can be an be an internal wholesaler. E.g.2 Maybe you think that, even though you’re not right for the advertised job, the recruiter will have an Aha moment, and think, “Perfect for that other position I have” but it rarely/never works that way. Some companies don’t have the time or resources to search hundreds of resumes per job, so they hand it out to an agency. Remember, too, that agencies have a pool of good candidates collected over the months/years/decades. The company will very probably not have such a database, so they come to us. You want to be one of the people in our database….
We know our clients. We know their little ways. We know what they’re looking for and can steer you towards and maybe away from them e.g. We know you can’t do heavy overtime. We’re not going to send you to a client where leaving past 10pm is the norm. e.g. They say a 4 year degree is essential, a deal breaker, and you’re 12 credits short but we know they’ll love you and not mind those missing 12 credits. This is where I use my, “Oh, shut up and see her” speech. Because the clients trust my judgment, they agree.
Agencies have all seen millions of resumes — ok, I may have exaggerated a smidge there — and know that yours could do with a bit of improving/a total revamp. They can help. Sometimes, alas, the non-Merit advice is rubbish (One page or two? HK – Hoo Kares? Just have it read clearly…) but you won’t know how to have the very best resume that you can have till you register with us. Oh well, there ya go. Back to my point….agencies can help with resumes. If you’ve been given severance after 15 years, you may not have had to re-do your resume in years, and may not know how the landscape has changed …fabulous though you might be, you will probably still need some guidance.
You get an interview with a client (client to the agency, potential employer to you). We can prep you such that not only do you not stick foot in mouth, but you shine more than the competition. For lots of examples, read my other blogs. We tell you how not to look deer-in-the-headlights with the difficult questions, what’s an appropriate interview dress code for the particular client.
Thank you letters. Agencies can help. I have one blog that starts “Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to read this blog”. Read it! Thank you letters are supposed to come from you, and your personalized, genuine feelings and thoughts about the interview, not from some half-baked, generalized stuff you read on the Internet.    
Second interviews. Woo hoo, you made it over several of the hurdles and now you get to meet Mr Big. We know what makes him or her tick. E.g. You don’t want to be burbling on with a “Let me tell you about myself” to some Silent Genius Senior Managing Director who can’t be bothered with chatterboxes.
You’re getting offered the job. Salary? We can help you negotiate something that’s fair to you and doesn’t make the client feel you’ve been unreasonable or greedy.
Background check. We can even help there too. Be upfront. You were arrested when you were in college for running naked through the Main Street one Saturday night – first and last time drinking Long Island Iced Teas, that’s for sure. How can you stop your one minor(ish) but dramatic indiscretion blighting your entire career? A good agency will help you through it.
See what I mean? These are just some of the ways that coming to an agency can improve your employment chances, helping you find, nail and keep a job where you’ll happy.