The Chicago metropolitan area is a bustling industrial hub. While the labor market in Chicago has experienced its share of ups and downs over the decades, the current labor market is strong and unemployment rates are low. While this is great news for workers, Chicago-based businesses may have a harder time finding qualified workers to fill available positions during periods of job growth and declining unemployment.

Many Chicago-based companies turn to Chicago staffing agencies to find temporary workers or to source qualified applicants for temp-to-hire or permanent positions. While Chicago staffing agencies handle tasks such as sourcing candidates, screening, and interviewing, the process can be both lengthy and costly. Fortunately, there’s a better way: Wonolo’s on-demand staffing solution is a cost-effective solution for your temporary staffing needs in Chicago, with an average time-to-fill of just minutes compared to the weeks or months it takes traditional staffing agencies to deliver temporary staff.

Chicago Metro Employment Statistics

Staffing Agencies in Chicago: How They Work, Reviews, and Why Wonolo’s On-Demand Staffing Solution is a Better Alternative for Temporary Staffing Needs

While the greater Chicago metropolitan area hasn’t been immune to unemployment and staffing concerns over the years, the current unemployment rate as of May 2019 is 3.90%, considerably lower than the area’s long-term average of 7.72%. Over the past year, the education and health services sector had the biggest employment gains in the greater Chicago metro area, followed by trade, transportation, and utilities. The region also had gains in professional and business services, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality.

A decline in jobless claims – hitting a 50-year low in early April 2019 – indicates a strong labor market and fewer layoffs, a sign that companies are confident enough about their futures to maintain or expand their current staffing levels. The downside for companies, however, is that these factors indicate a tighter labor market in which there are fewer qualified workers available to fill the growing employment needs, particularly in sectors experiencing strong growth.

How Chicago Staffing Agencies Work

In addition to long-term workers, Chicago-area companies often need to hire temporary workers to handle seasonal demands. Landscaping services, for instance, may hire temporary staff to accommodate demand in the spring and summer months, while warehouses, distribution centers, and retailers tend to hire temporary help during the busy holiday shopping season.

Turning to Chicago staffing agencies seems like a practical choice. Staffing agencies in Chicago provide companies with access to a pool of temporary workers, typically for positions such as labor and clerical work. Companies turn to Chicago staffing agencies to find workers to cover short- or long-term absences of regular full-time staff, to increase staffing levels on a temporary basis to accommodate seasonal demand, or to recruit new talent on a temp-to-hire basis.  

Staffing agencies typically employ recruiters who are responsible for handling staffing-related tasks for clients, such as:

  • Reviewing applications
  • Conducting interviews
  • Matching workers with positions

Ideally, staffing agency recruiters gain a deep understanding of each client’s needs and carefully evaluate temporary workers to find the best-fit candidates for every opening. Depending on the staffing agency, various screening processes are used to evaluate workers, such as:

  • Background checks
  • Work eligibility determinations
  • In-person interviews
  • Skills assessments
  • Personality assessments
  • Education and employment verifications
  • Drug and alcohol screenings
  • Reference checks

These screening processes give companies confidence that they’re getting qualified workers, but they do take time. When no workers in an agency’s existing talent pool meet a company’s requirements, staffing agencies need to recruit fresh talent who will need to go through the entire screening process before placement. In these cases, it can take weeks or months to fill a position, which isn’t a viable solution for companies with last-minute staffing needs.

Disadvantages of Chicago Staffing Agencies

Working with a Chicago staffing agency can be costly. Companies that are short-staffed while waiting for staffing agencies to fill positions face lost productivity, but that’s not all: Staffing agencies typically earn revenue by adding a markup to workers’ hourly rates. Given that overhead costs can be high for staffing agencies, this markup can be considerable, meaning companies may end up paying significantly more per hour than the typical market rates for similar positions.

In addition, workers may be paid less than the typical market rate to increase the agency’s profit margin, so these workers aren’t always incentivized to do their best work. Pay isn’t the only challenge from the worker’s perspective. Common complaints from workers about Chicago staffing agencies include:

  • Lack of transparency: Some workers say Chicago staffing agencies aren’t transparent about the number and types of temporary positions available.
  • Not enough work: Workers who sign with a staffing agency hoping to obtain a steady stream of work are disappointed when they receive few work assignments – or none at all – after going through a rigorous and time-consuming screening process.
  • Lack of communication: Some temporary workers express frustration about communication difficulties. For instance, some workers say their recruiters don’t return calls or are otherwise difficult to reach.
  • Disorganization: Lost paperwork, misplaced work documentation, and other organization issues result in problems such as late or missed payments.
  • Inconvenient work locations: Temporary workers may be assigned to work locations far away from their homes, and coupled with traffic delays, getting to work on time can be challenging for work assignments with less-than-convenient locations.

Other disadvantages of Chicago staffing agencies include:

  • Slow time-to-fill: If your company has last-minute staffing needs, you can’t afford to wait for weeks for a staffing agency to find and screen a qualified worker, but it typically takes several days to weeks to secure temporary workers with a staffing agency.
  • High costs: The costs of working with staffing agencies can be significant for companies, especially compared to the costs of a direct hire at standard market rates. Because staffing agencies add a markup to workers’ hourly rates instead of charging a single flat fee, the costs add up over time for long-term temps.
  • Limited talent pool: Because there are many staffing agencies in Chicago, workers may opt to work with one (or possibly a few) agencies. To access a larger talent pool, companies could sign up with multiple staffing agencies, but that means contacting multiple agencies every time you need to fill a shift or find a temporary worker.  

An Alternative to Chicago Staffing Agencies: Wonolo’s On-Demand Staffing Solution

The good news is you don’t need to wait days, weeks, or even months to find the right temporary workers to meet your company’s staffing needs. Wonolo’s on-demand staffing solution makes it easy for Chicago-based companies to find qualified, pre-screened workers in minutes. And, Wonolo’s on-demand workforce can cost significantly less compared to traditional Chicago staffing agencies, on average. Wonolo’s on-demand staffing solution can help you save both time and money:

  • Spend less time posting jobs and screening workers: When you leverage Wonolo’s on-demand staffing solution, you don’t need to post jobs on multiple job sites, spend time screening applicants, or contacting multiple Chicago staffing agencies.
  • Access a pool of hundreds of thousands of vetted workers: Our algorithm automatically ranks and notifies more than 300,000 vetted, qualified Wonoloers, so you can find the right workers for your jobs fast.  
  • Faster time-to-fill: Because Wonolo’s algorithm ranks and notifies hundreds of thousands of workers who are ready and waiting to accept your job, you can fill jobs in minutes, not days or weeks.
  • Zero upfront costs: Requesting Wonoloers is completely free of charge. You pay a small fee when the job is successfully completed, with no upfront costs.
  • Eliminate payroll hassles: Say goodbye to payroll hassles. Wonolo handles all the time-consuming backend payroll tasks for you, often paying workers the same day.
  • Motivated, qualified workers: With Wonolo, you get qualified workers who are motivated to do their best work. And it shows: Wonoloers have high ratings from companies like yours, often above 4.8 on average.

Wonolo’s on-demand staffing solution couldn’t be simpler to use. We handle vetting workers, insurance, and payment on the platform, making it a true set-it-and-forget-it solution. Get your job in front of thousands of workers fast with a few simple steps:  

  • Write a quick job description
  • Set the location, pay, and time for the position
  • Post your job to thousands of vetted workers in seconds

Eliminate Chicago Staffing Headaches with Wonolo’s On-Demand Staffing Platform

For Chicago-area businesses coping with a tight labor market, Wonolo is the ideal solution for your temporary staffing needs. With a high average fill rate, often running at 3-4x than traditional Chicago staffing agencies, working with Wonolo is a practical, time-saving, and cost-effective solution. Our  onboarding process ensures that Wonoloers are in line with our expectations and business philosophy, and our ranking algorithms work to match the best Wonoloers to your job, every time. Wonoloers are satisfied and motivated to put their best foot forward on every job.

Sign up today to get access to Wonolo’s world-class on-demand workforce and solve your temporary staffing challenges for good.