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Differences between an employment agency and a staffing agency

Many people make the mistake of using the terms staffing agency and employment agency interchangeably. The phrases actually mean considerably different things, and it is important to be familiar with these differences. There are certain liabilities associated with each of these terms that every person working in the staffing or recruiting industry should be aware of.

While one indicates the placement of candidates in permanent positions, the other connotes temporary employment. According to LaborFinders, the latter — staffing agencies — provide over 2.8 million people with work every day. The following are some of the other important contrasts to consider between these two types of employers.

Duration of employment

Generally speaking, the aforementioned rule holds true that employment agencies specialize in hiring for permanent jobs while staffing agencies focus more on temporary ones. If you are a staffing agency, then it is important not to market yourself as an employment agency — doing so might lead prospective candidates to expect permanent employment, and this could be a liability for you. 

Eligibility for benefits

Calling yourself an employment agency might also give job seekers the impression that they will receive benefits if placed in a position. While this may be true, it should never be implicit, and employment agencies should make candidates aware of whether or not their position is benefits-eligible. Employees placed in permanent full-time positions should generally receive benefits, so it is important to classify new hires correctly, too.

Employment status

Classification is not just important when it comes to whether an employee is full- or part-time. It is also important for indicating whether your staff is permanent or temporary. Most staffing agencies primarily concern themselves with the former, but some clients may seek permanent or temp-to-hire candidates. Correctly classifying each of these types of employees can help you prevent a number of unnecessary liabilities from arising.

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