Should Small Businesses Hire Employees Through Staffing Companies?

The cost of retaining a staffing agency probably scares off a lot of small businesses. After all, you will pay a staffing company significantly more money than you would spend if you hired an employee through job boards or the other services detailed in How To: Hire an Employee. However, a staffing agency can be worth the expense, especially if you need quick temporary help or are looking for a specialized skill set or a high level of experience.

Most established staffing companies offer three levels of services:

  1. Temporary Staffing
  2. Temporary-to-Permanent Staffing
  3. Permanent Staffing

Temporary (or Contract) Staffing

Temporary or contract staffing enables you to fill short-term positions for a variety of purposes, such as supporting an upcoming project or meeting seasonal demands.

The main advantages of hiring temps include:

  • It’s usually pretty easy to get someone in the door quickly
  • Temps receive hourly wages and do not get benefits, reducing your costs

The costs of hiring temps vary significantly depending on the role of the temporary employee, but you should expect to pay at least a 30% premium per hour over what you would pay a full-time person working for you. The worker will technically be employed by the temp agency, which bills you for the time.

Temporary-to-Permanent (or Contract-to-Hire) Staffing

Temporary-to-Permanent (also called Contract-to-Hire) staffing is the same as temporary staffing, except that you also have the option to hire the temp permanently after their contract period is over.  The main advantage of going with this option is that you can try someone out before you decide to offer them a full-time position.

The costs of this option will be similar to those of hiring for a contract position. However, once you decide to hire a person full-time, you may have to pay an upfront fee equal to a percentage of the employee’s proposed salary. See below for more details.

Permanent (or Direct Placement) Staffing

Often it’s best to use staffing companies/recruiters to find highly skilled people who are already employed and well compensated.

The main advantages of using staffing companies to fill full-time positions are:

  • It saves you time. (Recruiters will digest the resumes and only give you the ones they think are worth your time.)
  • You have an opportunity to get high quality candidates. (These candidates may already be currently employed and not necessarily looking for a job.)

You will typically pay an upfront fee equal of about 20% of a placed employee’s annual salary. For example, if you hire an employee through a agency and that employee will be making $50,000 per year, you will have to pay $10,000 to the agency when the employee starts.

Recommended Staffing Companies


Aerotek has been a leading staffing agency for over 25 years. They offer Contract Staffing, Contract-to-Hire Staffing and Direct Placement Staffing. They offer staffing solutions for businesses in a variety of industries:

  • Aerotek Professional Services:  Provides staffing support such as operations, professional & administrative, accounting, and contact centers.
  • Aerotek CE: Provides engineering and engineering support professionals to industries including architecture & engineering, aerospace & defense, manufacturing, medical device, automotive, and electronics.
  • Aerotek Scientific: Provides professional level and support personnel to the scientific, healthcare, clinical research, food and beverage and consumer products industries.
  • Aerotek Energy Services: Provides personnel and management services to major field services, oil and gas, power generation and delivery and DOE sites.

Aerotek’s provides their Perfect Fit Program to business clients needing staffing services.  The Perfect Fit Program includes five phases: Customer Analysis, Sourcing, Screening, Selection and Performance Monitoring. Throughout these phases, Aerotek’s support team consistently communicates with you to ensure that you are satisfied with your placed employees.

For those looking for highly qualified candidates, Aerotek employs industry-focused Professional Recruiters who are knowledgeable about the logistics of an industry’s work environment, skill sets, and overall expectations.  They also employee dedicated account managers as well as customer support associates who are solely responsible for payroll, human resources, and other administrative tasks. is a well-known staffing agency that offers Temporary Staffing, Temporary-to-Permanent Staffing and Permanent Staffing options. You can easily search their website for staffing solutions based on your business needs, such as:

  • Control costs
  • Control turnover
  • Find the right people
  • Hire large volumes
  • Hire specialized skills
  • Hire a diverse workforce
  • Work with a socially responsible vendor

Their specialty areas include Administrative and Office Staffing, Call Center Solutions and Healthcare Staffing, among others. They also offer a recruitment service for high quality candidates called Recruitment Process Outsourcing that drives measurable improvements in candidate quality, hiring timelinesss and recruitment costs.

In addition to staffing services, offers a variety of other services, including: Managed Service Programs (to help you manage a global workforce), Manpower Public Sector (which focuses on governmental needs), Client Site Management (which provides you with a dedicated staff manager), Project Solutions (project management and outsourcing), and Risk Assessment Services.

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