The Red Guide to Temp Agencies

Review of United Staffing

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261 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016

Total time with agency:

Wait for first assignment:
3 Weeks

Average wait between assignments:

Last five jobs:
Job Title Length Client Hourly Wage Typical of agency?
Graphics/DTP 5 Weeks Marketing firm 25 Y
Data_Entry 2 Weeks Goldman Sachs 17 Y
Secretary/WP 2 Weeks ING 17 Y
Graphics/DTP 1 Weeks Internet start-up 25 Y
Secretary/WP 4 Weeks McKinsey & Company 17 Y

Tests given:
MS Word, MS Powerpoint, MS Excel, MS Access

Payroll policies:
On-site time sheet pickup: Y
Direct deposit of payroll checks: Y
Free check cashing at agency's bank: Y

Medical insurance: Y
Dental insurance: Y
Paid vacation: Y
Transportation allowance:
Entertainment allowance:
Matching contributions:

I first registered with this agency on the advice of a friend. She referred me to Francis, and for the first few months, I was treated well. As time progressed I seemed to have a tougher time making contact with my counselor, or to any of the counselors there. It's completely their fault: there are only 7 or 8 persons who handle the placements of temps, and they all seem to be over worked. And if your counselor is out on vacation or a personal day, you are just out of luck: the counselors tend to favor their own.

Most of the assignments I went on were favorable, except for an assignment at DeLoitte & Touche: I was told it was an assignment with spreadsheets, and it turned out to be a receptionist position. I immediately called and requested another assignment. I waited about 2 weeks. On average, it took 2-3 weeks to be placed on a new assignment.

This agency does offer benefits (medical, dental, 401k) but only after 1000 hours of work. They recently switched their medical carrier from Horizon Healthcare to Atlantis Group, a local NYC group. Bad move, this plan sucks; and they are well aware of it. Their 401k lousy: they only match at 10%: compare this to a permanent job at a company which will match 40%-70%, and you are getting the short end of the stick. And if you have a problem with your benefits, expect to get the run around (even though there is only one person handling this!). Example: they switched medical plans without informing anyone, I found out when I went to have a prescription refilled, I spent 1 month trying to get the whole thing straightened out. Paperwork that they said was sent never was, I waisted time on my lunch hours trying to hunt people down, etc.

My beef with United is not in the assignments, but the company itself. When you need to speak to someone, it is IMPOSSIBLE because no one returns calls. Within the temp division there is favoritism. It's easy to be "forgotten", even after a long working relationship. Also, there are multiple divisions within its structure: Permanent, Temp-to-Perm, Graphics, Desktop, etc. and it is difficult to be steered in the right direction.

The bottom line: Don't let yourself be screwed, go to a different agency.

M. Herman


Mon Jul 29 08:34:40 EST 2002

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The Red Guide to Temp Agencies is copyright 1994-2004 by Angus B. Grieve-Smith.
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