When it comes to hiring and managing employees, companies have several options. Two common alternatives are Employer of Record (EOR) services and Staffing Agencies. While they may seem similar at first, there are significant differences between the two that employers should be aware of when making their hiring decisions.

In this blog post, we will delve into the distinctions between Employer of Record services and Staffing Agencies, helping you understand their roles, responsibilities, and how each impacts hiring and management.

What is an Employer of Record (EOR)?

Let's start by understanding what an Employer of Record is. An Employer of Record is an entity that takes care of all the legal, administrative, and HR-related tasks associated with hiring and managing employees. When you engage an EOR, they become the official employer of your staff, handling tasks such as payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance. In essence, they act as a co-employer, allowing you to focus on your core business while they handle the administrative complexities.

What is a Staffing Agency?

On the other hand, a Staffing Agency acts as an intermediary between job seekers and companies looking to hire. They help connect job seekers with employers on a temporary, project-based, or permanent basis. Staffing agencies maintain a pool of candidates and screen them based on clients' requirements before recommending them for open positions. They may also handle the initial recruitment process, including advertising job vacancies, conducting interviews, and reference checks.

Key considerations and differences

Employment relationship

While both options can help businesses with their hiring needs, there are key differences worth considering. The most critical difference lies in the employment relationship. When working with an EOR, the employees are legally employed by the EOR and not by the company directly. This can be advantageous in terms of HR and legal compliance since the EOR assumes the responsibilities typically associated with being an employer, such as tax withholdings, insurance, and benefits administration.

In contrast, staffing agencies do not become the employer of the hired individuals. Instead, the employees are employed by the company directly but are sourced through the staffing agency. This means that the employer retains full control over their workforce, including payroll and compliance obligations. Staffing agencies can be a good option for companies seeking temporary or project-based workers without the need for a long-term employment relationship.

Level of control and involvement

Another distinction relates to the level of control and involvement in the hiring process. Employer of Record services provide a comprehensive end-to-end solution, handling everything from onboarding to termination. They take care of legal compliance, benefits administration, payroll processing, and other HR functions. This allows businesses to focus on their core competencies without the burden of navigating complex employment laws and regulations.

Staffing agencies, on the other hand, typically offer more flexibility and involvement in the hiring process. Employers can actively participate in candidate selection and final hiring decisions. While staffing agencies handle the initial screening and vetting of candidates, employers have the final say in deciding who to hire.


Cost is also a differentiating factor to consider. Employer of Record services operate on a pay-as-you-go model, where you pay for the services you need on a per-employee basis. Their fees generally include administrative costs, employment taxes, and benefits. Staffing agencies, on the other hand, typically charge a percentage fee based on the hired employee’s salary. This fee structure might be beneficial for short-term or temporary positions, but it can become expensive for long-term or permanent hires.

In conclusion, the choice between hiring an Employer of Record service and working with a Staffing Agency depends on your specific needs and priorities. EOR services offer a comprehensive solution, taking care of all HR functions and legal compliance, while staffing agencies provide more flexibility and involvement in the hiring process. Understanding these distinctions will help you make an informed decision and ensure a smooth hiring and management process for your business.