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Staffing Vs. Recruiting: What Are the Key Differences?

By Timerack

December 10, 2021

In everyday conversations, the terms staffing agency and recruiting agency are often used interchangeably. However, there are some major differences when it comes to employees, contracting details, and also costs of hiring. 

Only by knowing these differences will you be able to hire the right agency for your company’s recruitment needs. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between staffing vs recruiting agencies.

What Are Staffing Agencies?

If you need to fill a new position in your company because personnel left at short notice or you have a large project coming up, you will most likely turn to hire a temporary worker. These short-term positions aim at supporting your team or are essential for specific services that also have a short life cycle in your company. Temporary employees often work in industrial sectors, in healthcare, or as office and administrative staff.

A large proportion of employees choose temporary work because they are currently unemployed or are working extra hours in addition to their studies. It is unlikely that someone who already has a job would give it up for a staffing position.

Staffing agencies often have an applicant database where staff can register. The database filters between professional experience, education, and skill level. Before hiring, the agency reviews the applications and conducts interviews. Who they want to hire is entirely up to them. They usually get a list of suitable candidates and are free to choose. 

The biggest advantage of a staffing agency is the simplicity of hiring. When hiring personnel off from a staffing agency, you do not have to worry about the usual necessities. Neither social benefits nor taxes are incurred.

When it comes to staffing agency pricing models, it’s normal that they demand a percentage of the total price of one employee per hour. For example, the staffing firm might charge the company $20 per hour for work but pay only $10 per hour to the employee. They keep the balance. This means companies only pay when they actually hire somebody.

Tips For Working With Staffing Agencies

Every industry or sector requires different skills, and the more specialized staff are, the higher the success results will be as well. Let’s say you are looking for a project manager for a new construction job. Then you will prefer an employee who has worked in architecture and construction before. 

Now, when it comes to agency selection, they should look for an agency that represents your industry. Of course, this recommendation only applies if you are looking for skilled employees. For simple tasks, such as sorting screws or washing plates, a general staffing agency will suffice.

Even if the effort for social services is lower, don’t neglect your agency staff. It is important to keep in touch and find out if your desired staff are available when you need them. Especially if you are often looking for short-term workers to constantly fill temporary spots, it is better to always hire the same candidates. You can learn about their strengths and weaknesses and eliminate long onboarding processes for fluctuating staff.

Lastly, consider taking on the employee long-term. In fact, it’s widespread for companies to hire temporary workers long-term because they’ve already built a relationship with the employee, and they know their staff does a good job.

What are Recruiting Agencies?

Recruiters specialize in hiring higher-level employees full-time. Recruiters find management and executive staff quickly and efficiently. The aim is to attract long-term employees who add value, participate in company processes, and contribute to the company culture.

When it comes to the actual talent hunt, recruiters have several cards up their sleeves. First, they rely on business literature and professional websites, knowing exactly where to look for the best talents. 

Anyone who has logged onto job portals like LinkedIn will have stumbled across a recruiter. Social job platforms are particularly popular with recruiters, as they can filter by industry, knowledge level, and other characteristics there, making their job easier.

For job seekers, these applications are just as serious as those posted directly on a company website. Often, recruiters ask for a resume and cover letter and some additional information, like work samples. 

Recruiters help companies select suitable applicants out of an ocean of applications. They scan resumes and cover letters, sort them out, invite the strongest applicants for 1-2 rounds of interviews, and pass a small number of selected applications to the companies. During these preliminary rounds, it is not uncommon for applicants to perform competency tests or practical samples. After that, candidates usually attend a final interview with the destination company.

In comparison with staffing agencies, recruitment companies work with different fee systems. There may be a flat fee or a percentage of the new employee’s annual salary.

Tips for Working with Recruiting Agencies

When recruiting, you want to find the best person for a position with the recruiter’s help. Recruiters can actively search for and poach employees, so competition is very high. This also means that flexibility is paramount. 

Let’s say you’ve found a potential employee who is already employed but fits your position like a glove. Only by offering attractive compensation packages, including benefits and training opportunities, can you attract the best talent. You should also make sure that your recruiting firm and your company always communicate your company’s values, highlighting why the candidate should choose your firm.

Summary of the Difference Between Staffing and Recruiting:

Permanent employeeShort-term support
Higher-ranking positions (management & leadership)Specific skills or unskilled labor
More time to recruitFast, immediate recruitment
Flexibility for talent and onboardingFixed contracts and little onboarding time

How HR Departments Can Simplify the Hiring Process

Whether you’re looking for short-term skills or long-term talent, both processes take time and resources to find suitable personnel for the position. Even those HR teams who choose to hire on their own should know that recruitment processes can become burdensome. Fortunately, there are many ways to make hiring and onboarding easier, more efficient, and more valuable to the organization.

Today, applicant tracking software can help streamline and customize your hiring process. Hiring tracking applications can filter applications by keywords, skills, and work experience. They can also make interviews and testing easy by automating the scheduling process.

Further, you can also automate the onboarding process by using the right software, eliminating tedious paperwork. The software provides onboarding documents promptly and verifies that employees have the necessary data and equipment at the time of hire. 

You can even automate the connection of new employees with the IT department so that the new employees have immediate access to the business network. This is an essential asset for remote hiring, saving a headache or two and freeing up valuable time for HR departments.

Is your company wasting too much time on tedious paperwork and slow hiring processes? Learn how Timerack can revolutionize your recruitment and HR planning.



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