FAQ: What Is Job Placement? (Plus Types and Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 4, 2021

For those looking for work, contacting a job placement agency can be a great way to find employers looking for candidates with specific skills, qualities and career goals. Placement agencies work with companies and job seekers to place qualified candidates with suitable employers. Since there are different types of placement agencies that work with different types of clients, learning about job placement agencies can help you decide if using one is right for you. In this article, we answer some frequently asked questions about job placements, like what they are, what services they offer and how they can benefit you.

What is job placement?

Job placement is a service that connects employers and employees. Also known as a recruitment agency, executive search or staffing agency, job placement services have an important role in helping individuals find work. They can place individuals directly with an employer, help students find internships, support former military members in finding civilian work and offer educational services that help clients develop professional skills. For example, a recent graduate might go to a job placement agency to practice interviewing and learn how to write a resume so they can prepare for the job search process.

Related: Effective Job Search Tools To Get You a Job

What are the types of job placements?

In general, there are three types of job placements:

Direct hire

Direct hire is when an employer hires an individual as a full-time, permanent employee. A direct hire employee receives their payment from their employer and does not earn temporary pay from the staffing agency. Direct hire placements happen most commonly with employers looking for a long-term, highly skilled employee. Although it can take longer to find a direct hire position since they're more permanent and may require a higher level of qualification than other types of placements, these positions are usually stable and often include benefits like health insurance and retirement plans.


A temporary position is one where the employer and employee agree to work together for a limited period of time. The length of employment depends on the position and the employer's needs, but most positions are shorter than a year. The placement agency is usually responsible for paying temporary employees rather than the employer. Although temporary placements may have less stability than direct hires and temporary employees might not earn benefits, these positions can be great for those looking to gain experience in a certain industry, network with professionals or obtain a temporary source of income.

Related: Short-Term Jobs: What They Are and How To Find Them

Temporary to hire

Temporary-to-hire or temp-to-hire positions combine the temporary and direct hire placements. Employers might hire a candidate temporarily to assess whether they're a good fit for the position. If the placement goes well, they might offer the candidate permanent employment. Candidates most often receive payment through the job placement agency until they accept a permanent position.

A temporary-to-hire position can be a great option for candidates looking to learn about an industry or try out a new position without making a full initial commitment. This option offers the most flexibility out of the different types of placement because it gives candidates the opportunity to test a position, evaluate whether it's a good fit for them and then potentially have the option to accept a permanent position with the employer.

What types of job placement services are there?

There are several types of job placement services that specialize in working with certain kinds of job seekers. Knowing the types of job placement services can help you choose the one that best fits your needs. Here are some types of job services:

Educational career centers

Many college campuses offer job placement services. Transitioning from college into a career can be challenging, especially for students who've never had a professional job before, so campus career centers assist students with gaining the skills they need to succeed in their job search. College job centers often provide career counseling services, organize workshops to help students prepare job search materials like cover letters and resumes and host career fairs so employers and students can network with each other.

Often, the student's tuition covers the cost of using a campus career center, and some college career centers even provide continued services for graduates and alumni. Since career centers specialize in working with students, they may have contacts with employers already looking to hire recent graduates, which can help emerging professionals find entry-level positions in their field of interest. Additionally, campus career centers connect students with internship opportunities, work-study placements and part-time positions.

Employment placement agencies

An employment placement agency is an establishment that specializes in connecting a large number of employers with potential employees. When a job seeker uses an employment placement agency, they typically meet with a placement representative to discuss their work history, career goals, job preferences and interests. The representative uses the information you provide, including your credentials and employment objectives, to connect you with an employer in their system based on your qualifications and the employer's needs.

These placements can either be on a full-time, part-time or temporary basis, depending on your preferences and the available opportunities. Employers often pay employment placement agencies to help them find qualified candidates. However, some agencies may also require the job seeker to pay a portion of their initial salary to the agency to cover the cost of services. Since the payment expectations vary by agency, do your research and choose the agency that best meets your service needs and financial interests.

Related: 12 Job Searching Strategies That Work

Social service agencies

The government runs some career placement services through social service providers. These agencies work with specific populations to help them find employment based on their unique circumstances. For example, someone might use a social service agency to help them find a job in a new industry after becoming injured or disabled. Social service placement agencies might work with people who have a history of incarceration, are returning to work after time away, rely on government-funded financial assistance or need accommodations because of a disability or medical condition. Most of these services are free for those who qualify to use them.

Military placement agencies

A military placement agency specializes in working with veterans looking to transition into a civilian career, or they can recruit individuals into military service. As recruiters, they work with interested individuals to help them choose the military branch that best meets their goals and preferences and assist them with planning their military careers. For those looking to transition out of the military, these placement agencies provide career counseling services, vocational and skills training and employment placements. Some of these agencies are government-run and provide free services, while others are private firms that specialize in working with veterans.

Recruiter or headhunter

A recruiter or headhunter is an individual or company that works with employers to find qualified candidates for high-level positions in various industries. For example, a corporation may hire a recruiter to identify and contact candidates based on their performance history or a recommendation. Another option is for a candidate to contact a recruiter or headhunter to represent them when looking for a high-level job placement.

Although job seekers rarely hire recruiters and headhunters to find positions for them, they can give their employment information to a recruiter or headhunter for consideration. If a position becomes open, the recruiter has the job seeker's information on file. Since most of these professionals work on behalf of their employer, they are unlikely to issue a fee to the people they recruit. The job seeker only pays if they hire a company to find a position for them.

Related: Can You Pay Someone To Find You a Job?

What are the benefits of using a job placement service?

Job placement services have many benefits. These benefits include:

  • Saving time: Using a job placement service may help you save time during the job search process. A job placement representative might have an extensive list of employer contacts they can put you into contact with if you're having a hard time finding opportunities on your own.

  • Providing flexibility: Placement services can offer different types of placements, including full-time, permanent positions and short-term, part-time options. The flexibility of these opportunities can help different kinds of job seekers find the right position to fit their needs.

  • Expanding opportunities: You might find more employment opportunities through a job placement agency than by searching on your own. Employment agencies work directly with employers who have open positions, and some employers might only list open positions with an employment agency.

  • Developing skills: Placement agencies sometimes offer services to help you develop your professional skills. If you're looking to refine your resume, practice interviewing or improve your job search process, consider a placement agency that offers job skills trainings.

  • Personalizing assistance: Different placement agencies work with different kinds of job seekers. Whether you're a student, veteran, experienced professional or returning to work after time away, finding an agency that specializes in working with people like you can help you find personalized assistance to reach your employment goals.

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