Help & support

Getting Hired

We know the job search process can be confusing - and complex. Submitting a resume can often feel like you’ve sent it into a black hole. So, if you want more insight into getting hired with Kelly, you’re in the right place.

We want you to know what's happening behind the scenes so you can be prepared. So keep reading to learn more about our recruiters, the interview process, and placement.

With Kelly, you can be confident and ready for what happens when your credentials are a potential match with the jobs we offer.

Kelly Recruiters

It can be exciting to speak with a recruiter. But the excitement can come in many flavors - nervous, confident, uncertain, hopeful, or curious. We could go on.

Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that our hiring process can vary from first contact to the first day of work, depending on the position and industry. So, be sure to speak with your recruiter about timeline expectations.

Following is more information and insight into our recruitment process. Some items below may not apply to your recruitment. But this will give you a good idea of the key stages so you can have more informed conversations with your recruiter.

Recruitment - lots of flavors

At Kelly, we offer a diverse selection of job opportunities and work with an equally wide range of companies. This diversity in job types requires us to tap into talent pools with different skill sets, experiences, and credentials. Therefore, we empower our recruitment teams and industry experts to match the right people to the right job.

What this means is that depending on which job type you’re applying to, you may encounter different variations of our recruitment. As we said, our recruiters are industry insiders, so we’ve optimized the recruitment cycle to streamline your journey from application to day one on the job.

To learn more about our different job areas, you can find them in the Browse Jobs section on the Find Jobs page. Under Browse Jobs, you’ll find links to each of our nine job category pages. Or you can visit the Help & Support topic, Types of Jobs Offered.

Here’s a brief example comparing how our process can look different.

  • Substitute teachers are hired and placed in a school district, not a specific position. Candidates for substitute positions usually go through a group interview with a recruiter. They rarely have one-on-one interviews. And they never go through an interview with a hiring manager. Likewise, their “assignment” is to a school district, not a single position. Once hired, they manage their own opportunities and daily schedules (i.e., pick when and where to substitute) in the school district they're placed in.
  • An applicant for an engineering job may undergo several interviews with both recruiters and hiring managers before being placed. They’ll have one-on-one calls and will ultimately be placed in a position.

The point is there’s variety in our recruitment to meet the needs of the positions and placement companies. But rest assured that the recruiter you’ll be interacting with is an expert in navigating the job search for your industry.

Contacted by Recruiter

When a recruiter contacts you, it helps to be prepared and understand the goal of the recruiter’s conversation.

Your first contact with a recruiter is likely for prescreening to confirm your interest and give additional details about the position you've applied for or positions that may be a good fit. You've already submitted your credentials and were identified as a potential match for a job or job area.

So when you take the call with a Kelly recruiter, please be prepared to talk about fit and potential opportunities. And if the recruiter calls at a time that isn’t good for you, don’t hesitate to schedule a call-back.

You want to give the recruiter your full attention.

Recruiter Interviews

Remember, not every recruitment journey is the same. We’re only outlining the “typical” experience to help you prepare. To that end, let’s talk about recruiter interviews - where the significant differences in the process start to show.

Your recruiter interview will be scheduled and won’t be a prescreening phone call - which tends to be unscheduled. However, there are a few essential things to remember when you get to this point.

Recruiter interviews can be one-on-one or in groups, depending on the job you’re being considered for. For example, the Kelly Education business unit conducts many of its interviews for substitute educator positions in groups.

The recruiter interview is a conversation - a two-way interaction. So be prepared to talk and listen. While the prescreening phone call is to see if you’re a potential match, the interview is to find out if you are a solid match and a good fit for the role or position.

Additionally, while the recruiter is getting a feel for you, you should also try to understand the position better. Of course, you need to be a good fit from the recruiter’s perspective - but the job also needs to fit your goals, expectations, and needs.

Recruiter interviews are a place for setting expectations and discussing details. Be ready to find out what you need to know about the role. Have questions at hand and know what your deal-breakers are. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you move through the hiring process:

  • Is the location right?
  • Can you work on-site, or do you need remote?
  • What’s your salary range?
  • Do you have your credentials ready for reference?
  • Are you prepared to sell your experience?
  • What’s your search timeline? When do you need to be in your next position?

Finally, practice talking about yourself and answering questions. Gather your credentials and professional details in front of you and be prepared to discuss your experiences.

Candidates excelling during the hiring process are those prepared to speak about their values, work habits, and goals. They speak with details and specifics. As you answer questions and respond, interviewers get a sense of how you will work and interact with people on the job.

Hiring Managers

A hiring manager is a person who works at the company where you’re being considered for placement. This person may be a general recruiting manager or human resources manager for the company. Or they may be a supervisor for the position you’re interviewing.

This layer of the hiring process does not occur with all jobs that we offer. So you may or may not encounter a hiring manager. Just ask your recruiter during your interview if you want to know ahead of time. But they’ll most likely let you know as they prepare you for what’s next.

Hiring Manager Interviews

The information we discussed above in the Recruiter Interview also applies here. Likewise, prepare in advance to ensure you get the answers to any questions you have. The hiring manager interview is the place to make absolutely sure the position is the right fit for you.

Hiring managers can give you an inside look at the job and daily work-life in the company, your potential team, and tasks. They’ll assess you for competency and fit. They'll likely have working relationships with potential team members. So they’ll have a concrete idea of what they’re looking for and be able to give you a mental picture of the workplace environment.

And remember, it’s ok if you or the hiring manager don’t have an immediate answer to any given question. When this happens, because you’re working with a recruiter, they can provide the opportunity for follow-up communication when appropriate.

The bottom line is that you’re at the last stage before job placement. So don’t hesitate to dig into any and every detail that’s important to you.

Final Phase

When Kelly places you, that means you’ve completed the interview process and are moving to the final phase of the hiring process. You’re taking the last steps toward placement in a position.

There are three main components to this last phase.

  1. Paperwork
  2. Screenings and Background Checks (when applicable)
  3. Company communications and pre-hire training (where applicable)

Each of these makes up the onboarding process.

Onboarding Overview

Now, the hiring process turns to the final logistics required to officially establish your employment and set you up for your first day.

And similar to differences in jobs offered and recruitment processes, onboarding requirements also vary.


Paperwork requirements may vary based on location.

You can expect to complete the usual employment and identification forms.

There will also be forms Kelly requires to establish your employment profile and any information requested by the customer.

Don’t let the paperwork sit around. Complete everything as soon as possible to avoid delays in your start date.

Screenings & Background Checks (when applicable)

Screenings and background checks can range from verifying education and criminal records to more detailed and thorough examinations of experience, licenses, certifications, and more.

One, some, or all of the following may be required - depending on position and location.

  • Education verification
  • Background checks
  • Licensing of certification verification
  • Health screening
  • Fingerprinting
  • Drug screening

Remember, the more sensitive the position, the more screenings are likely required.

Also, screenings and checks can take anywhere from a day to two weeks. Sometimes, delays can be caused by backups in the court systems or the discovery of information not disclosed during the hiring process that would require follow-up checks.

However, each of these processes is entirely routine.

Customer Communications

Finally, once your screenings, background checks, and paperwork are complete, you’ll prepare for your first day.

Depending on your position, this may involve direct contact with the supervisor at your new assignment. If so, they’ll want to plan any orientation or on-the-job training and team introductions.

Make sure you respond promptly and set the tone for success!

Starting New Job

Finally, your recruiter will confirm you’ve started your new position on your first day.

From this point forward, you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference - for yourself, your family, the people you work with, and those you serve.

It’s easy to see the job as “something you’ve got to do.” But Kelly wants more than this - more for you, our clients, and our communities. This is why we’re working to be the best partner for flexible and temporary workers.

So take advantage of the opportunities available to you now and ones that appear in the future.

We’re just getting started and have many more opportunities in store to help support and advance your career. So let’s work together to take you to the next level!

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