You should apply directly to an employer if:
Your goal is to work for a specific company.
Some people have aspirations of working for specific companies. Whether it’s the culture, values or mission, something about a particular company has piqued your interest and you are determined to get your foot in the door. In the case that you care more about the brand than the actual position, applying directly to the employer would be the best option.
You’re comfortable with silence.
When you submit your resume directly to an employer, you don’t typically hear back quickly. It could be months before you get a response. Or you may not hear back at all. The unfortunate reality is that there is no reason, or incentive, for a busy company to follow up with people that they don’t plan to hire.
You’re not interested in other opportunities.
If you apply directly to a company for a specific role, you’re limiting yourself to one option. Make sure that the job is exactly what you are looking for, and the only thing you are looking for. If the employer doesn’t think you’re right for the job, they are not going to offer other opportunities that could be a good fit for you.
When you should use a staffing agency if:
Your goal is to find a job in a specific industry.
Some staffing agencies work with a variety of companies in various industries. Others specialize in specific fields. Not only do they have an “in” with many local businesses, some employers work exclusively with staffing agencies. If you have a unique skill set and would like to continue in that field, a staffing agency is likely to be a great resource for you.
You’re interested in a partnership.
Unlike direct employers, recruiters do have an incentive to connect with you and find you a job. After all, staffing agencies only make money when they make placements. They want to connect you to a job. They will take the time to get to understand your previous experience and your goals for the future, in order to find you a job, or even multiple opportunities, where you’d be the right fit. Because when you win, they also win.
You want options.
You’ll typically find more employment opportunities available to you with a staffing agency than you would applying directly with an employer. They also offer more variety in available schedules and employment types: swing shift, night shift, day shift, short-term, long-term, part-time, and full-time. Talk with your recruiter about your wants and needs, and they can match you to jobs that are in line with your goals.