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The Top 3 Reasons Staffing Agencies Have a Bad Reputation
Staffing & Recruitment

The Top 3 Reasons Staffing Agencies Have a Bad Reputation

Among both businesses and individuals, it’s no secret that staffing agencies have a bad reputation. A quick Google search auto-fill yields the following results: are staffing agencies…*Legit? Worth it? A scam?* As the founder of a forward-thinking staffing company, I wanted answers.

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Devon Fata
May 19, 2022

Among both businesses and individuals, it’s no secret that staffing agencies have a bad reputation. A quick Google search auto-fill yields the following results: are staffing agencies…Legit? Worth it? A scam?

As the founder of a forward-thinking staffing company, I wanted answers.

So, what makes staffing companies so bad? Let’s break it down:

Truth #1: Staffing companies have low barriers to entry.

In general, staffing organizations are fairly easy to start-up. The capital requirements are low at the start; it’s a field that doesn’t generally require in-depth or specialized knowledge and there are few (if any) regulatory rules or regulations to follow.

In fact, barring traditional employment laws that all employers must follow, there are no real licensing bodies or certifications that vet the quality of a staffing company. Especially in the post-covid economy of remote work, almost anyone can start recruiting overnight.

Reality #1: Staffing companies who aren’t focused on client success don’t survive.

It’s true, anyone can create a staffing company overnight. But it’s also fair to say that staffing companies who are around for many years fall into one of two camps: mega-corporations (often purchased by larger HR conglomerates), or highly specialized firms who dedicate effort to building proper business units, establishing best practices, and caring for their customers and clients. At Pixoul, we work every day to distinguish ourselves as a company that puts clients first, who cares for the well-being of our candidates, and values people before profits.

Truth #2: Major staffing organizations are interested in quantity, not quality.

The US alone consists of tens of thousands of staffing companies — most of which fail within the first couple years. Of the thousands in existence, there are really only a few major players, most of which capture billions of dollars in revenue each year.

Money is certainly not a bad thing, but the fact remains that for these large corporations, it’s in their financial interest to push a high quantity of candidates toward their clients, and focus less on quality.

Reality #2: Smaller staffing companies do it better.

Don’t get me wrong, large staffing organizations do a lot of things right. They have robust training programs, specialized teams, and broad reach. But they fall short when it comes to putting client and candidate needs above their bottom-dollar.

These types of organizations are the first that come to mind for most people, and they tend to be hyper focused on achieving placements above all else. Volume is paramount.

With smaller organizations, this luxury simply doesn’t exist. At Pixoul, we wouldn’t be able to compete with the volume of most large firms, even if we wanted to. This frees us to focus on what truly propels our clients, our candidates, and ourselves together at the same time — high quality matchmaking, completed by trained experts and business subject matter experts.

Most recruiters think MVP is a sports reference. Our team takes intimate care to learn your business, your industry, and your organization. They know what a minimum-viable-product is, they know the communication barriers that exist between design and development teams, and they’re willing to work candidates and clients to find solutions to the hard-hitting questions that effect teams and livelihoods.

Truth #3: Staffing companies rarely value their employees highly enough.

A bad customer experience is a turn-off to anyone. In my experience, negative interactions are more likely due to a simple lack of care or inefficiency than any other act of malice.

When staffing companies rely too heavily on results, pay unfair or below-market wages, and choose to short-hand their benefits, it’s the employees that pay the price; and it’s the quality of the entire organization that suffers as a result.

Simply put, unhappy employees make for a slow, ineffective, and disheartened workforce.

Reality #3: Caring isn’t difficult.

At Pixoul, we value human relationships above everything else. And that starts with how we treat our staff and employees. We work hard to offer above-market salaries, provide beyond traditional employer benefits, and instill a sense of pride in our workplace culture.

Recently we made the switch to not work on Fridays during the Summer.  It’s a trial run, and if it’s effective we’ll continue to offer that benefit year-round to employees. Will we monitor progress during this Summer’s trial? Absolutely. Do we still expect great performance from our employees? You bet. But recognizing how to care for employees, and giving them the space to live happy, fulfilling lives is really the first step (and maybe the only step) toward building a workforce that values who they are, and what they do.


So, why do staffing companies get a bad reputation? It’s a combination of several factors, including a lack of distinguishable quality, greedy financial interests, and low employee moral—all of which lead to candidates having a poor experience, and clients feeling devalued. At Pixoul, we’ve worked hard to combat all of those common industry pitfalls. We pride ourselves on the time, care, and quality we show to both candidates and clients (and we have the Google and Clutch reviews to prove it).

Looking for a better staffing/recruitment experience?

If you’re looking to place employees on your team, whether in permanent roles, on staffing contracts, or something in between, shoot us a message. We’d love to tell you a bit more about our process and how we help businesses and candidates thrive every single day.

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Devon Fata

Devon is the Chief Executive of Pixoul LLC. He works closely with clients to explore new ways to capture key performance objectives, build habit-forming products, and improve digital product ROIs.

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