Re: Temping: An alternative to agencies?

Subject: Re: Temping: An alternative to agencies?
From: Jim Purcell <jimpur -at- MICROSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 13:47:29 -0700

Geoff Hart suggests:

> It occurred to me that some freelancers may have an
> interesting alternative to working with agencies. I haven't
> tried this (I'm a fat and happy wage slave), but it seems
> to be worth investigating. Feedback welcomed.
> Why not list yourself with local "temporary office help"
> agencies such as Kelly? I suspect that lots of small
> businesses don't know the first thing about techwhirling
> agencies, and immediately think "secretarial" when they
> think about writing. (I've even met people who didn't know
> that some yellow pages have separate writing and editing
> sections.) If you leave your resume with the temp. agency,
> you might get the occasional bite-size job to tide you over
> between major contracts. Hope this helps someone!
I'm not sure that I see a huge difference between an agency and a more
general temp service, except that the general companies have better name
recognition. Here in the Northwest, anyway, the agencies that specialize
in tech writers and editors normally have more work than they can
handle, and no, it isn't all at Microsoft.

Specialist agencies offer the great benefit of being run by people who
understand the kind of work you do and therefore, I should think, being
better at matching the job to the individual. I have no evidence for
this, but I suspect that clients who call a specialist agency are also a
little more clued in and will not expect you to make coffee and answer
the phone.

Jim Purcell
jimpur -at- microsoft -dot- com
My opinions, not Microsoft's

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