Most major temp. agencies act also as employment agencies usually with the employer paying the fees. Some employment agencies however, do charge you, the employment seeker. Skip them unless you are a rocket scientist or in that caliber of employment.
Manpower, Kelly, Office Mates, Olsten, (to name a few) have direct hire (fee paid by employer), temp to hire (temp employee must either stay on temp payroll a certain number of weeks or the place hiring must pay a fee-depends on the salary range of the person they want to hire) and straight temporary positions.
I have worked for all of the above mentioned companies and the last two permanent jobs I took I got through a temp to hire position. I liked this as it gave me a chance to see if the job was something I really wanted to do and how the people were to work with.
I still get calls from Manpower asking me to do things through them, and if I am available I usually do because they always came through for me.
In one particular instance they sent me on a job working for a real Bit** paying me $12.00 an hour for some administrative work, but it was not enough $$ to tolerate this woman's crap and I called them and told them if they wanted me to stay on this job they needed to cough up about $5 more dollars an hour or find me something else to do the job because the headache working for her wasn't worth the pennies in pay. Manpower called the client and told them they needed to pay more if they wanted to keep me, and apparently the woman agreed because I ended up getting paid $17 an hour to do a job that they could have realistically paid someone a lot less to do and was on that job as a temp for almost 3 years (this was in the 90's and I believe the rate they were paying for me to the temp service was $25.00 an hour!).
I was provided medical and dental insurance for which I only had to pay $38.00 a MONTH. They are national so the group is large and the rates are cheap!
There are many advantages to this type of employment. Go check them out. I have found that a lot of companies are going this route to find their employees. They don't have the hassle of having to do the back ground and reference checks, get to try the employee before hiring permanent, and it is alot easier to transition an employee from the temp payroll to permanent hire with minimal paperwork.
If you have good references and are reliable, the temp agency is a good way to get back into the job market, find a position you love before getting hired permanently and normally the pay is weekly.
When you first get hired on to a service, call them frequently so they know that you are serious about working and they will find you something.
Be prepared to have your skill levels tested. After you are hired by most of the major services anyway, they will provide you with on going training. For example, Manpower has a complete list of computer stuff you can learn, excel, word, etc...to advance in your career. I am sure the others do also.
Both Manpower and Kelly have a large professional service also. I did substitute teach through Kelly for a bit.