In New York City, more than a million workers freelance each year. That’s an amazing number that could make New York City the freelance capital of the United States.
Though several freelancers use their personal networks and referrals to generate freelance income, another way to tap into that pool of talent is by using staffing firms to help your company find contractors, temp workers, or potentially full-time hires.
With that much available freelance talent available, New York has several top-notch staffing firms to connect you with that talent.
Through our research, we have listed below the best staffing firms in New York City and how you can connect with them.
Here's our selection of the top staffing agencies in New York:
Staffing a business takes a lot of time and careful consideration. The right employees can make or break your staff—and your company’s success. At the same time, most business owners don’t have time to screen resumes and schedule interviews, let alone dedicate hours each workweek to filling open positions.
One solution to this dilemma is relying on an NYC employment agency to do the work for you. Staffing agencies—or temp agencies—place pre-screened and professional employees with your organization. They can fill a range of position types across all industries, taking the pressure off business owners to source talent.
Whether you have a new or established business in the New York City area, finding a staffing agency to supply your workforce is a smart decision. However, there’s a lot of information companies need to know before they begin working with a temp agency in NYC.
From the current business market in New York City to what questions to ask a prospective employment agency, this staffing guide can point you in the right direction.
New York City is an epicenter of growth and expansion. However, the state of New York is relatively unfriendly to business, with high tax rates and complex regulatory requirements. Therefore, doing business in NYC can be a challenge, even before you begin hiring staff.
There are over two million small businesses in the state, not to mention larger corporations in and around NYC. The abundance of opportunities means a competitive market for job seekers. Employers need to be savvy about recruiting the top candidates—and offering attractive compensation packages to match.
All manner of industries thrive in New York City, thanks to the bustling metropolis’ growing population and the demand for products and services. But the six top industries that drive the most growth as of 2019 include:
NYC also has a reputation for its real estate, insurance, and media and publishing career offerings. Businesses in these areas may find New York to be particularly welcoming—with a large talent pool to siphon from.
The job market in New York City is competitive for companies searching for workers. For job seekers, prospects are at an all-time high. But these aren’t the only relevant details about the job market in the city. Here we’ll take a look at some of the statistics and narrower details on jobs in New York City.
The unemployment rate in New York City was 3.9 percent in December 2019, down .1 percent from the previous year. But just over half of working-age residents are currently employed, meaning businesses have excellent odds of attracting local talent.
Ten industries are “significant” in NYC and are responsible for employing more than half of workers in the city. And with anticipatory growth shooting off the charts in eight of them through 2026, these niches are lucrative. Those top industries include:
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities
Professional and Business Services
Health Care and Social Assistance
Leisure and Hospitality
High demand for STEM workers makes these careers particularly attractive. For employers, attracting skilled STEM employees in research, engineering, design, and healthcare may take considerable recruitment effort.
New York City is home to a long list of large corporations. Among the most lucrative—with over $43 billion in revenue per year are:
J.P. Morgan Chase
Goldman Sachs Group
American International Group (AIG)
New York Life Insurance
Among the list of biggest corporations in NYC are also some of the largest employers. J.P. Morgan Chase employs around 249,000 workers, while Citigroup has 219,000. ABM Industries, Pfizer, Carl Icahn, Philip Morris International, and Omnicom Group are also leaders in employment.
Company culture counts for New York City workers, according to Glassdoor reviews. The best places to work in NYC, according to employee feedback on workplace culture and other elements of employment, include:
Bain & Company
Boston Consulting Group
Power Home Remodeling
New York City currently has a population of nearly 8.5 million. In less than ten years, the city added over 200,000 residents. Growth projections estimate the population will reach nine million by 2040. For companies, this growth makes for an especially attractive place for new and fledgling businesses.
A 2017 survey found that New Yorkers based around NYC have the fourth-longest commute of any city in the United States. Their commutes average almost 58 minutes, just behind Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Chicago. Traffic creates congestion, and the population isn’t exactly helping matters. It’s a delicate balancing act for workers and employers alike, but companies centered in the heart of NYC have a clear advantage over far-flung corporations.
Temp agencies in NYC must follow specific guidelines to remain in business. The Department of Labor requires that an employment agency obtain an Employment Agency License and provide verifiable work experience.
As of February 2020, New York State had 103 registered employment agencies. But with so many choices, selecting a staffing agency can become a headache. Fortunately, we have guidelines that can help you decide.
The best staffing agencies in NYC are willing to spend time getting to know business owners and their needs. Because choosing a temp agency is a significant decision for your company, there are a few vital points you should consider while shopping for recruitment and staffing help.
Industry and niche range: Not every temp agency can place workers in any industry. After all, the skills and screening required for part-time retail staff are vastly different than those for a full-time orthopedic surgeon. Ensuring that the agency can handle your staffing needs across every aspect of the business is essential.
Credibility: As noted, New York temp agencies are required to become registered with the state. They must also display their current license on the premises. Of course, there are some exceptions to the certification law, so it’s worth investigating if an agency you favor does not have a license. You can also check for license status on the city’s website.
Services offered: Recruiting and placement services are highlights with most staffing companies. But what if a problem arises with a new hire after the fact? Ask about the policies the agency has on placement, such as a refund if a candidate doesn’t work out. To protect your investment—and your company—you need to know these details beforehand.
Reputation: Clearly, you want to select an agency with a stellar reputation. Online reviews are only part of the picture, however. Speaking with employees and employers who use the agency is ideal. Hearing from happy (or unhappy) clients can provide the insight you need to make an informed decision.
Experience: Employment agencies that apply for licensure from the state of New York only need two years of “verifiable work experience” in a licensed employment agency. While it might not be necessary to choose an agency that dates back to 1980, you should know a bit about the background of the company and its track record.
Fee schedules vary based on the staffing agency and its services. The industry or niche can also impact the price companies will pay for staffing help. Most agencies charge fees for recruitment and screening services.
Some employment agencies charge retainer or contingency fees that amount to a percentage of the employee’s salary. Other companies bill for contract fees or flat fees. For industries that require short-term or seasonal help, billing may slide along a set fee scale.
Either way, staffing agencies can prove well worth the investment. Additional post-hiring support is often available, should you have an issue with a candidate. Successful placement is the name of the game—and many agencies have guarantees on their pre-screened candidates.
At the same time, consider the amount of time and money you would spend on in-house recruitment. Whether you delegate the duties to another worker or set aside the time to do it yourself, sourcing talent can be complicated and time-consuming.
Allowing professionals to handle it for you ensures that your candidates are qualified, pre-screened, and reliable. Hiring a temp agency also lets you reap the benefits of a human resources department, even if you’re a small company with few employees.
Running a business in New York City presents many challenges. The city is growing, evolving, and is always competitive in every aspect. Among the seasoned companies and industry newcomers are plenty of opportunities for job seekers—and plenty of competition for employers.
Employment agencies are an excellent way to tap into the NYC job market and source the best hires for any open role within your organization. With this staffing guide specific to NYC, you can make the most informed decision on selecting an agency to partner with.