Temp Agencies For Felons (2024 Guide)


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.

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.

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
– Waitress/waiter
– Dishwasher
– Janitor/cleaning
– 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.

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