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Adecco Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Talent     Staffing Agencies    
Question 1 of 30
What is a staffing agency?
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How to Answer
This question may seem as fundamental as they get, but the interviewer needs to know that you understand how staffing works. Staffing is a misunderstood industry. It will be part of your role to add clarification for clients and candidates who may not fully comprehend what it is that you do. Briefly describe to the hiring authority what a staffing agency is, including who they help, and their primary purpose.
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1.
What is a staffing agency?
This question may seem as fundamental as they get, but the interviewer needs to know that you understand how staffing works. Staffing is a misunderstood industry. It will be part of your role to add clarification for clients and candidates who may not fully comprehend what it is that you do. Briefly describe to the hiring authority what a staffing agency is, including who they help, and their primary purpose.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I come across many candidates who do not understand what a staffing agency is. I explain to them that a staffing agency works on behalf of other companies to help them find the best talent for their open jobs. I explain that most of my clients do not have the time to filter through thousands of job applications per year, or hire in a timely fashion, so they ask for outside help."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"A staffing agency is like an extension of a company's human resources department. When a company is too busy to keep up with their recruitment needs, a staffing agency will come in to help them source candidates, pre-screen for job skills, and conduct first interviews."
2.
Name for me some reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temp.
Although it may seem strange to some people, there are many reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temporary employee. Job seekers from the beginning of their career, into retirement age, can all enjoy the perks of temp work. Some of these benefits include:

- Flexibility. As a temp worker, you can agree to take or turn down work at your leisure. For retired folks who travel a lot, temp work is excellent for seasonal needs.
- Buying time. Temp workers can earn money as contractors until they find the right permanent opportunity.
- Comply with work restrictions. Temp opportunities are often a better fit for people waiting on permanent residency or citizenship who may have federal work restrictions.
- Fill resume gaps. Temp offers job seekers the opportunity to learn new skills in a variety of settings, expanding their resume.
- Fast-track to employers. Temps are often offered a permanent position after their assignment is complete if the hiring authorities are impressed with their performance.

Discuss with the interviewer why you believe some candidates would prefer to take on temporary assignments.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have met many people who highly prefer working temp, for a variety of reasons. The most common reason being wanting to build out their resume to include more skills, and avoid resume gaps while they search for the perfect permanent opportunity. I have also met many semi-retired folks who temp as food samplers on weekends to supplement their retirement income. Temp is an excellent solution for many people."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have worked as a temp in the past. My reasoning was to earn money during the summer between university. I found this solution very beneficial as it rounded out my resume and helped me to network as well. Other people may like to temp if they want the flexibility, or if they have work restrictions due to personal circumstance."
3.
Are you a patient individual? Rate your patience level from 1-10.
Being a recruiter or any professional in the staffing industry requires an immense level of patience. You make a lot of calls every day, wait for candidates to respond, and wait on contracts to be signed. Often, you will be in a significant rush to make a placement before a competing agency beats you to the punch. You will speak to hundreds of candidates every month, all with their personality quirks and potentially low levels of commitment and communication. The interviewer wants to know that, despite all of these challenges, you can remain confident, professional, and patient. Rate your level of patience from 1-10 and be prepared to give an example that backs your rating.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I rank my patience level an 8 out of 10. There will always be candidates, clients, and situations that test your patience, and I do have room to improve. Recently I had a candidate back out of their accepted job offer on the morning of their start date. Rather than lose my patience, I quickly found a temp for my client, and then continued to search for a new permanent candidate. Of course, I will not work with that candidate again, but that is simply professional boundaries. I would never disrespect someone, or myself, for a situation like that."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"For the past year, I have worked as a temp recruiter, primarily searching for laborers in the warehousing and logistics sector. As you know, the rate of candidates who no-show or do not perform well is very high in these categories. Rather than lose my patience, I keep focused on the needs of my clients. For this reason, I rank my patience level as a 9 out of 10."
4.
How does artificial intelligence impact talent sourcing?
Artificial intelligence (AI) made it's splash on the staffing scene many years ago, with the introduction of ATS or applicant tracking systems. Today, AI is becoming smarter and more robust, making it easier to source and screen the best candidates. Talk to the interviewer about the ways you have seen AI change talent sourcing strategy.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The most dramatic change I have seen in the talent sourcing and staffing industry has been the marriage of AI and affordable SaaS. Job postings and other tasks, automated by solutions such as Zip Recruiter, do a lot of initial sourcing and screening for HR professionals. This ease of use and its affordability means companies who once relied on a staffing agency are utilizing this technology for themselves. To overcome this, staffing agencies must offer the best and fastest service, proving more than ever before that their fees are worth paying."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Applicant Tracking Systems are getting smarter every year, and once I learned how to utilize an ATS to my benefit, my recruitment process sped up exponentially. Now, I can deliver talented candidates to my clients' inbox in just a day or two, fully screened, and ready for their first interview. I also believe that tools such as LinkedIn Recruiter, which rely heavily on AI for search results, have greatly benefitted the staffing industry."
5.
What advice would you give to a recent grad with no work experience?
Adecco is all about empowering their candidates, which includes giving sound career and job-search advice to the candidates with whom they work. Talk to the hiring authority about the help that you would give to a recent graduate, with no work experience, who needed to round out their resume. Your advice could be to volunteer more, add in some temporary work, take additional coursework, and more.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am a strong believer in the power of volunteer work. Statistics show that 3 out of 4 hiring managers prefer to hire candidates with recent volunteer experience. For that reason, I advise new grads that their volunteer work should be on their resume, and it can trump work experience if highlighted to an employer correctly."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The best piece of advice that I could give a recent grad is to continually educate themselves in the form of online coursework, reading the right books, and taking advantage of personal development opportunities. I would also recommend they network and get out in their community. Many jobs come through networking, so it's important to get your name out there."
6.
Recruitment often requires out-of-the-box thinking. Are you creative by nature?
Being creative doesn't necessarily mean that you can paint like Picasso or write songs like Lady Gaga. What creativity means is being able to view, and solve, common issues in a unique way. Creativity can include being willing to take a risk and change your perspective on a topic.

As a recruiter, being creative is an essential skill since you will often need to look at your clients' needs and pain points in a completely new way. Assure the interviewer that you are creative, giving a work-related example.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am most certainly a creative individual. One example of my creativity in action would be the prospecting sales script series that I created for our new business development associates. The scripts needed a facelift, so I took my copywriting skills, my sales savvy, and married them into a very effective sales series. Since this implementation, our close rate has increased by 15%."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Unconventional thinking in business requires a great deal of creativity. When it comes to placing candidates with non-exclusive job orders, I need to think differently than other competing agencies with the same client job order. I reverse engineer the path of my ideal candidate and, by doing so, I am the first to reach top candidates before many of my competing recruiters."
7.
How do you build trust and rapport with your clients?
For Adecco, client relationships are everything. Excellent client service and strong relationships are what separate successful agencies from those who struggle. As a staffing professional, you know that anything is possible; from finding unicorn candidates to closing temp contracts in a matter of hours.

Show the interviewer that you know what it takes to build strong client relationships. Your relationship-building activities can include asking your clients questions about themselves, setting clear expectations and guidelines at the start of every search, and learning their industry language. Exceptional follow-up is another way to build trust with your clients quickly.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"As the lead permanent search recruiter, I am always the first person that a potential new client sees. To build a strong relationship from the start, I make sure that I look professional and capable. First impressions are indeed everything. I ask insightful questions that stand apart from other recruiters with whom they have met. Most importantly, I empower my clients to understand stellar recruitment practices. I become their partner in staffing versus just another recruiter looking for a fee."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The fastest way to create a trusting relationship with my clients is to deliver candidates to them much faster than they anticipated. I like to present my first candidate within 24 hours of receiving the job order. This speed means that I win over other recruiters while showing my client that I care about their needs. I earn many other job orders from this approach, as well as countless referrals."
8.
How often do you check in with your candidates after placed in a permanent role with your client?
Many staffing agencies will have a schedule of events when it comes to checking in with candidates after placing them with a client. These check-ins are vital as they are meant to ensure that your candidate is happy with their new placement and that they are meeting performance expectations.

Most staffing agencies offer a free replacement to their client, should a candidate not work out for the best within 90 days of their employment start. For this reason, it's best practice to have regular check-ins for the first 90 days, and into the persons' first year. Show the interviewer that you understand the importance of this practice and that you are a diligent staffing professional.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a schedule for checking in on every single one of my permanent placements. I check in on their first day and at the end of their first week. After their first week, I have a weekly check-in for the first 30 days. From then, every other week until they reach their 90 day probation period. From 90 days to year one, I schedule a monthly email. All of my candidates appreciate my diligence in ensuring they are happy with their placement. This action allows me to react to any potential situations before they become a major issue."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe it's best to check in on the morning of their first day, and twice more during the candidate's first week. For the first 90 days, I will email or call once per week. Then, I check in monthly. These conversations are usually short. I ask questions related to expectations versus reality, their overall comfort level, and happiness with their new work environment."
9.
What will be your primary focus in your first 30 days with Adecco?
There are many tasks and accomplishments that you can focus on when working in the staffing industry. This question is meant to uncover if you have a plan to make an impact on Adecco shortly after being hired. Much of the staffing industry involves sales-based tasks, so it's a great idea to go into your interview with a strategic plan for your first 30 days, and onward. Talk to the interviewer about your goals once you join Adecco.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"From our conversation, I understand that you need a staffing expert with experience in business development within various engineering sectors. Once I have my footing at Adecco, I plan to approach the hiring authorities in my network who work within various arms of engineering. In the first 30 days, I aim to bring in 15 new job orders. In the next 60 to 90 days, I will boost that goal to 25 each month. I am confident in my ability to grow into this role quickly while exceeding your business development expectations."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Once hired at Adecco, I plan to dive into my training, bringing my studies home, and taking time in evenings and weekends to master the content given to me. It's important to me that I learn the staffing industry quickly so that I can begin making an impact when it comes to research, prospecting, and business development activities."
10.
What type of clients come to Adecco for our staffing services?
Adecco helps a plethora of clients from small businesses to enterprise-level companies. Check out the company website to look for client reviews and any other indicator of whom their clients might be. The most important factor with this question is to show that you have done your research on Adecco before attending your interview.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"There are many rave reviews on your website from companies big and small. I see that you have reviews from (A) and (B) which are very impressive. I have recruited for clients in similar industries and even direct competitors in the past. This experience will ensure that I catch on very quickly to your clients' varying needs."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe that clients of Adecco consist of any sized business who need help finding rare skill sets or who need to volume hire for seasonal operations. Although I did not see any specific clients listed on your website, I suspect your biggest clients are within logistics and warehousing, administration, and sales. Is this accurate to say?"
11.
In which categories does Adecco recruit?
The hiring authority at Adecco needs to be sure that you have done your homework on their organization before attending your interview. There are a plethora of areas where recruitment work is prevalent.

To find out the categories where Adecco recruits begin by looking at the job postings they have advertised on their website. Also, you can read some of the copy on their website, or look for customer reviews. List 3-5 industries from your research.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When I looked through the job openings on your website, the most popular categories were Industrial & Manufacturing, Retail & Sales, and Office, Clerical & Administrative. In total, I believe you had around 400 jobs available just in those three categories. I was thrilled to see the high volume of open jobs. This volume tells me that your business development professionals and recruiters are hard at work!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"From my research, the most popular categories for Adecco appear to be IT, Hospitality & Administrative. Is this accurate? I saw the greatest volume of positions available in these three categories on your website. Also, many of your client reviews come from clients in these industries."
12.
How does a staffing agency charge a job seeker for their services?
This one may be a trick question! Legitimate staffing agencies never charge job seekers for placement services. That's right; every placement fee paid to a staffing agency is from the hiring company.

In many countries, such as Canada, it is illegal for a recruitment or staffing agency to charge candidates for job placements. These regulations do not include fees for resume writing or career coaching, for instance. The bottom line is, a job seeker never pays money to be considered for an open position with a staffing agency or their clients.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"All placement fees are paid for by the client, rather than the candidate. In my current agency, we charge the client between 18-25% of the candidates' first years' salary. This fee structure means that if the candidates agreed upon salary is $100K, then our fee would be $18-25K; never paid for by the candidate. I understand that different regions have various fee structures. However, I believe that a client should always pay the agency placement fee. No financial burden should fall on the job seeker."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Placement fees are paid to a staffing agency when they successfully place a job seeker in a new role with their client. Fee percentages vary; however, an agency should always invoice the hiring company. A candidate may pay for assistance such as resume writing or career coaching; however, they do not pay the employment placement fee."
13.
If a temporary employee let you down regularly, what would you do?
Temporary employment can be a challenge to navigate, especially in industries such as warehousing and logistics. These challenges come because:

- Candidate volume and placements are high
- Wages are average but competitive
- Hours can be sporadic
- Client communication is often lacking due to shift work

If a candidate let you down regularly by being late, no-showing to their assignment, or failing assessments such as forklift driving skills; what would you do? Show the interviewer that you have patience, that you are empathetic but firm at the same time.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"At the end of the day, it's my client who needs to be happy with the temporary employees that I provide them. If I had a temp who was continually failing to meet expectations, I would have to let them go. Anytime we drop the ball; it can negatively impact on my clients' bottom line, which is never a welcome situation. On any offense, such as being late or not showing up, I will call the temp employee and find out what happened. I ask for open lines of communication, and if we continually miss the mark on expectations, then I need to move on and put my energy elsewhere."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I believe in setting expectations from the start. I let temporary employees know what will occur should they fail to come to work or show up for their assignment on time. For the most part, I have excellent working relationships with our temp employees. When I need to let a temp employee go, I still educate the person on work performance expectations, and I encourage them to try their best in the future."
14.
Are you willing to work outside of the regular 9-5?
In staffing, you may be asked to work outside of a typical Monday to Friday work week, depending on your clients and candidate needs. If you have a candidate who cannot interview during standard work hours, you may need to conduct a phone interview at 7 PM to accommodate their needs. If you do temp staffing, you may have warehouse clients who call you at 6 AM to report a worker who did not show up for their early-morning shift.

Many recruiters have their cell phones on 24/7 and check their email on weekends. Show Adecco that you are willing to accommodate the varying needs of your clients and candidates.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"In the world of staffing, I do not expect to work a strict 40 hour per week schedule, but I also know that I'm looking for a work-life balance. As needed, I will be available to my clients and candidates. I have email on my phone and am sure to be on top of my candidates' start dates, promptly checking in with my clients even on weekends and evenings."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In staffing, I anticipate working over 40 hours per week, especially around final deadlines. That said, that comes with some limits as I do value my work-life balance. Could you share with me the expectations for this role?"
15.
Do you understand how Adecco makes a profit?
The interviewer wants to see that you understand the fee structure at Adecco or at least staffing agencies in general. Depending on your region, this response could vary as there are different rules and regulations surrounding staffing and recruitment around the world.

For the most part, a staffing agency makes a profit in three ways:

1. Permanent placement fees
2. Temp fees
3. Retainer based searches

Permanent placement fees are usually a set percentage based on the ideal candidate's salary. Let's say that a staffing agency is asked to headhunt a chemical engineer. The staffing agency finds the perfect candidate, and that chemical engineer comes with an asking salary of $100K per year. The hiring company would pay (in addition to the $100K salary) a fee of 18-25% that number, as a permanent placement fee. So, a one-time $18-25K fee.

Temp fees are a surcharge in addition to a temporary employee or contractors' hourly wage. Assuming the same chemical engineer is working on a 12-month contract for an oil and gas company. The OG company does not want to add this engineer to their permanent payroll or pay the engineer's employment insurance and other government required fees. The staffing agency will take on the role of 'employer' and charge the additional costs plus a commission to the OG company. Let's say the chemical engineer is asking for $40/hour. The staffing agency will charge the OG company $55/hour, giving $40 to the contractor and taking $15 as an administration fee and commission.

A retainer is a fee that is paid in advance to secure the services of a staffing agency. Primarily retainers are only requested by high-end executive search firms who conduct long, complicated searches for talents such as surgeons, lawyers, professors, and CFOs. In this instance, the hiring company would pay a large sum upfront to the agency, and then the remainder of their fee once the ideal candidate accepts a job offer.

Chances are, Adecco will be paid by perm or temp placement fees only. Speak to the interviewer briefly about fee structures, showing that you come from a place of full understanding.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I fully understand how recruitment and staffing agencies make a profit. My educated guess is that you earn a profit through permanent placement fees and temp fees. Could you share with me what your fee percentage is? My current agency charges 20-22% depending on the difficulty of the position and the location of our search."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"From my research, I understand that Adecco makes a profit from placement fees. I am familiar with three fee styles; the permanent search fee, which is a flat rate. The other is a temp fee, added onto a contractors' hourly wage. The other is a retainer where the client pays a large percentage upfront, similar to hiring an attorney. Which fee structure is used most at Adecco?"
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30 Adecco Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. What is a staffing agency?
  2. Name for me some reasons why a job seeker would want to work as a temp.
  3. Are you a patient individual? Rate your patience level from 1-10.
  4. How does artificial intelligence impact talent sourcing?
  5. What advice would you give to a recent grad with no work experience?
  6. Recruitment often requires out-of-the-box thinking. Are you creative by nature?
  7. How do you build trust and rapport with your clients?
  8. How often do you check in with your candidates after placed in a permanent role with your client?
  9. What will be your primary focus in your first 30 days with Adecco?
  10. What type of clients come to Adecco for our staffing services?
  11. In which categories does Adecco recruit?
  12. How does a staffing agency charge a job seeker for their services?
  13. If a temporary employee let you down regularly, what would you do?
  14. Are you willing to work outside of the regular 9-5?
  15. Do you understand how Adecco makes a profit?
  16. What is the difference between temporary, temporary-to-permanent, and permanent placement?
  17. When scanning a resume for the first time, what do you look for?
  18. Of the areas where Adecco recruits, which are you most knowledgeable?
  19. Have you ever worked with a staffing agency, from a job seekers' perspective?
  20. Tell me about the targets and goals in your current position. Do you have trouble meeting them?
  21. When have you had to change a search due to new information from your client?
  22. Tell me about a time you lost a job order or placement to a competitor. How did you react?
  23. What are some professional goals you have set for yourself this year?
  24. What type of office set up helps you to be the most productive?
  25. Would you take a job order from a client who was acting unethically?
  26. How do you determine job order priority?
  27. How do you continue to educate yourself, as an expert in staffing?
  28. Why should Adecco hire you over our other candidates?
  29. Is honesty the best policy?
  30. How much money do you want to earn in this role? What does your ideal pay structure look like?
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