What is the Difference Between Consulting and Staffing

Gimena Aguerreberry
June 14, 2021

At its core, the business of staffing is about delivering workers who do work on a customer’s behalf, eliminating the need for a customer to hire the worker directly. Successful staffing firms are good at recruiting, evaluating, and placing talent that matches their client’s needs.

The commonly accepted cost of hiring a lackluster new hire is said to be around 30% of that employee’s annual income. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what your company needs when you start recruiting.

Overall, partnering with a staffing company is quite beneficial for several reasons, such as having a wider search network through the recruiter.

If you’ve looked for a company to partner with, you’ve likely seen two of the common types of recruiting businesses. To elaborate, the type of recruiting companies that you’ll find tend to be either staffing agencies or consulting firms.

The question you want to answer before reaching out, though, what does either recruiter offer? In other words, what is the difference between a staffing agency vs. consulting firm’s services?

It’s easy to understand how confusion arises when it comes to staffing agencies and recruitment agencies. They can seem fairly similar because both have strong relationships with employers and job seekers.

Both types of agency act as a middle man between the employer and the applicant. With their knowledge and access to a large database of candidates, the recruitment consultant can make that perfect match, working on behalf of both parties to find the right person for a specific job role, whether it’s a permanent employed position or a temporary short-term contract.

Staffing agencies are valued by employers because they often have a large pool of candidates who are available to work (often at short notice) and who have already been vetted by the recruitment team.

Many enterprises turn to staffing agencies if they don’t have the time or resources to fill job openings themselves. They also payroll any talent they find who will be engaged on a temporary basis. Staffing agencies can benefit companies by sourcing, screening, and interviewing candidates, running payroll or invoicing, and handling taxes and associated job benefits.

As the name suggests, a consulting firm is made up of consultants.

To understand how a consulting company works, let’s first delve into a consultant’s responsibilities. By and large, a consultant is someone who brings a unique perspective to a company to guide them on specific issues. The structure of this partnership tends to last for a short time or as a part-time position.

There are many reasons why a business may seek the guidance of a consulting agency. However, the most common reason is that the company does not have a specific role filled.

In this case, let’s say a company does not have an HR department. The business can contact an HR consultant to resolve immediate issues. For example, an HR consulting company can help you locate an interim HR director to assist you while you search for a full-time candidate.

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"What is the Difference Between Consulting and Staffing" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Brooke Cagle.

Categorized under people.