If you have a felony conviction and have been struggling to find work, going through a temp agency may give you a better chance at employment.
There are hundreds of temp and staffing agencies across the US and many of them have a history of hiring felons.
Learn about what its like to work for a temp agency, what the benefits are, and how to find the right temp agency near you.
Many ex cons have reported being successfully hired with the help of staffing agencies, and have transferred from a part time temporary positions to full time jobs with benefits.
What is a temp agency?
A staffing agency, or a temporary employment agency is an organization that matches employers with employees and charges a fee for their services. Some temp agencies specialize in a particular field, like health care or hospitality. However, most agencies have contacts with employers in a broad range of industries.
There are large temp agencies with thousands of positions available and office branches across the US. There are also small local temp agencies, which tend to work with smaller companies that are in the area.
Top temp agencies for felon-friendly jobs
Here is a list of 30 temp agencies that have offices all over America and have a history of working with felons. These agencies have many jobs for felons, and new ones come in almost every day.
Adecco: one of the largest temp agencies with branches in many states. They have jobs in pretty much any industry you can think of: accounting, finances, customer service, call centers, hospitality, human resources, marketing, industrial, manufacturing, office and clerical, transportation, retail, warehouse and more.
Aerotek Recruiting: this is a huge global staffing agency that has an office in almost every city in the US. Jobs are available in pretty much any industry you can think of. They have over 160,000 industrial and skilled trade jobs that you can apply for.
All Team Staffing: this temp agency has a reputation for matching workers with quality positions. They help fill positions in labor and light industrial, hospitality services, food production, administrative and clerical, healthcare, environment.
Artisan Talent: this is a unique agency that matches professionals with small and large businesses in the fields of marketing, digital, coding, UX development, and more. Offices are located in Cincinnati, Chicago, New York, Indianapolis, Rockford, Auburn Hills, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C.
Aramark: this is a very large staffing agency with over 270,000 workers. Hundreds of jobs are available in: food production, hospitality, education, manufacturing, facilities and healthcare service, and more.
Customer Driven Staffing: this large staffing agency offers hundreds of jobs in light industrial, hospitality, warehouse, clerical. construction and technology. Despite its size, the agency cares about each temp worker and has a very high retention rate.
CareerCo: this agency has close to 32,000 members and thousands of job openings in all fields. They have a proprietary job matching system called WOOF that delivers job matches based on your preferences, geographic location, experience, skills, interests, etc.
Dillard & Associates Staffing: this is the ONLY agency that is dedicated to finding work specifically for felons. That’s right! They say it right on the website, and also offer resources, such as resume writing help.
Elite Staffing: this nationwide temp agency provides hundreds of positions primarily in the fields of: warehouse and drop shipping, light and skilled industrial, fulfillment, and manufacturing.
ExpressPros: this huge global agency employs over 540,000 people and has over 800 branches worldwide. They hire in the fields of administrative, commercial (assembler, forklift driver, welder, lathe operator, maintenance worker), shipping/receiving, industrial, warehouse, and finance.
Frontline Source Group: this is one of the fastest growing placement firms in the US. They offers jobs in human resources, oil and gas, administrative, IT, customer service, engineering, healthcare, accounting and finances.
Integrity Staffing: this highly reputable temp agency has offices in almost every state in the US. They help place people in jobs with Amazon, warehouse, clerical, administrative, and finance.
Kelly Services: this is a global agency that has branches in countries on every continent. They employ close to 500,000 temps and have many jobs that could work for ex-cons. These include: building, construction, skilled trades, call center, customer support, food services, hospitality, installation, maintenance, repairs, logistics, transportation, manufacturing, production, operations.
Manpower: to apply with this agency your felony must be more than 7 years old. There are jobs available in the following fields: trade and services, oil and gas, manufacturing and production, industrial, distribution and supply chain, defense and military, catering and restaurant services, hospitality, retail, agriculture, and many more.
MVP: this agency works with hundreds of employers in different states, and across many industries. Reportedly, some of the employers they work with don’t require a background check. Jobs in: manufacturing, distribution, warehouse, light industrial, food processing, department stores, clerical and small businesses.
Nesco Resource: this is one of leading national staffing agencies. They offer both temporary and permanent positions in the fields of: IT, accounting and finance, light Industrial and clerical.
NetTemps: they offer a quick way to search for and find jobs. All you need to do is fill out our name, email, and provide a resume online. Then you search for jobs on their website, based on your criteria. You will also receive email alerts when jobs you are interested in come up.
People Ready: this huge temp agency has hundreds of skilled and unskilled labor positions that may be a great match for someone with a felony. These include: skilled trades, construction, general labor, warehouse and distribution centers, transportation, waste management and recycling, hospitality, manufacturing.
Pirate Staffing: they specialize in jobs that require manual labor in a wide range of industries. Opportunities include: laborers, plumbing, sign holders, food service, restoration, order puller, construction, Class A, B, C, CDL Drivers, skilled trades, warehousing, janitorial, manufacturing, caterers, assembly, freight handling, forklift operators.
PrideStaff: this agency works both with large corporations, as well as mid-size and small businesses, across many industries. Felons can apply for jobs in customer service, clerical and administrative, IT, hospitality, manufacturing, food production, general labor, assembly and production, packaging, shipping and receiving, warehouse, and more.
ProLogistix: leading agency in the entire country that specializes exclusively in logistics jobs at warehouses across the states.
Resource MFG: this agency has a niche and specializes only manufacturing jobs throughout the country. They have branches in 34 states.
REV: this is an opportunity to become an online freelancer. You can join if you have experience and skills as a transcriptionist, captioner, translator, or a subtitler.
Spherion: your felony must be over 7 years old to apply. This temp agency has offices in every major US city. Positions are open in the following industries: administrative and clerical, light industrial, customer service and none-clinical heath care.
Staffmark: considered to be one of the top staffing agencies in the US. They place over 40,000 temporary employees in to new jobs every week. Positions are open in a wide range of fields.
Staff Zone: this agency specializes in providing skilled and unskilled labor positions in industrial, construction, special events and flagging.
Surge Staffing: offers many jobs in manufacturing, inventory, facilities, automotive, skilled trades and warehouse.
Randstad USA: currently have over 11,000 jobs open. Positions in fields of production, office and administrative support, transportation and materials moving, building and grounds cleaning, maintenance, call center, warehouse and manufacturing.
The Reserves Network: this agency was started by a pilot is has a mission of truly caring for its workers. They offer jobs in a wide range of fields and have offices in 16 states. Industries include: assembly, construction, food services, forklift, general labor, machine operator, industrial equipment, maintenance, and others.
Westaff: this agency has branches in 19 states across the US. They offer both skilled and unskilled labor positions in a wide range of fields.
How does temporary employment work?
You have to apply with a temp agency, in a similar fashion you would to a specific job. You need to bring your resume and pass an interview, along with other requirements a specific agency may have.
If an agency is willing to take you on as a temp, you will need to sign a contract with them.
Once you become a temp, the agency with start matching you with potential jobs. You will not need to have a separate interview with the employer, you just start working.
A specific position can last a few day, a few months, or even a couple of years. Once your assignment is over, the agency will look to place you in another job that fits your skills. Sometimes, you may be offered permanent employment, after the assignment is over.
When the job you were assigned is over, its important to check back frequently with the agency and let them know that you are still in the pool of active workers. New jobs are posted weekly and often daily, so the more often you check in, the more likely you will land a new job fast.
How much money does a temp agency take?
You are probably thinking: how much would I have to pay to sign up with a temp agency, if they will be helping me find work?
The truth is most temp agencies charge the employer and NOT the temp a specific fee for their services. Typically, this fee ranges from 50 to 100% markup on the hourly salary of the employee.
For example, if you are getting paid $14 per hour, the company that you are working work is actually paying the temp agency $26 per hour. This means that the temp agency is making $12 per hour or over 70% mark up.
Because temp agencies charge such high fees, its in their best interest to get you into a job as soon as possible, so they can start making money. For you, that’s a very good thing!
Its important to realize that you get the salary that the temp agency tells you. You are not able to negotiate directly with the employer. Also, you cannot know how much they are paying for your position to the temp agency.
Overall, its best to avoid agencies that charge temps any fees to sign up.
Do temp agencies run a criminal background check?
The majority of staffing and temp agencies across the US run both a background check and a drug test, for all their workers. However, some smaller agencies may be more lenient about this practice.
Moreover, if they like you and see that you have the skills that they are looking for, the agency may be still willing to work with you, even after your background check comes back.
Its best to be absolutely honest about your criminal record when you are interviewing with temp agencies.
What type of jobs can a felon do as a temp?
There are many felon-friendly jobs that are available through temp agencies. These can be in a variety of different industries, so you can get a chance to experience different work environments.
Here are some popular positions that felons have been able to get in the past through temp agencies
– Car mechanic
– Clerical work
– Receptionist/administrative assistant
– Construction worker
– Backroom stocker
– Food and package delivery
– Cashier at a grocery or department store
– Production worker at a factory
Working for a large vs small temp agency
As we mentioned before, temp agencies vary in size. There are distinct advantages to both large and small temp agencies, so we recommend that you apply to as many temp agencies as you can.
To find a small agency, simply type into Google: “temp agency near me”. You will get a list of all staffing agencies in your area.
The advantage of a small agency is that it may be more willing to hire a felon. It may also be more lenient on doing a criminal background check, or the check it does will not be as thorough.
Moreover, small temp agencies tend to work with small local businesses, who may need someone with general skills, willing to do physical labor, etc, so they may have more opportunities available for felons.
Benefits of applying with a temp agency
As a felon, you know that applying to jobs is an exhausting and stressful process, that often leads nowhere. By contrast, applying for jobs through a temp agency has a number of big advantages.
– You get access to numerous employers and various open positions all at once.
– You can apply for jobs that only temp agencies have access to. Many employers never advertise online or in newspapers. They prefer going directly to the temp agency.
– Some employers are looking to fill a position urgently, so you can get hired right away.
– The number of temporary positions in all fields and industries is rapidly growing. Today, there are over 2.5 million of Americans who are working as temps. This increases your chances of employment, even with a criminal record.
– Working as a temp often turns into a permanent, full time position.
– The agency will match you with employers that either don’t require or are lenient about doing a criminal background check.
– Its easier to pursue a degree or higher education when you are working as a temp.
What is the downside of temping?
The biggest disadvantage to being a temp is that your employment can be very short lived. Some positions can require as little as 20-40 hours or work, and then they are over. This leaves you at square one – without income and desperate for a new job.
However, because of how hard it is to land a job with a criminal record, getting paid for a few days of work is still better than nothing!
Plus, there are always more temporary jobs that come up very frequently. You just have to be ready to say “yes” to a new opportunity.