Hiring managers who are considering outsourcing their company’s employee onboarding process might find themselves wondering whether they should choose a recruiting service or a staffing service.

Likewise, potential candidates who are looking for work might be confused by the differences, leading them to approach the wrong agency for work.

If you find yourself in either of these positions, then you are at the right place. In this article, the team at NRGUSA will help you will learn what is the difference between recruiting vs staffing services, whether your company would benefit from these services, and which is right for you.


Staffing agencies are often focused on temporary, short-term, and contract worker placements. Staffing agencies often work for smaller companies that do not need to place employees long-term or cannot afford the typical fees associated with working with a recruiter.

When it comes to recruiting agencies, many job seekers and hiring managers alike are anxious to see the results as recruiting agencies have access to wider and better talent pools than most others. (1) Recruiting agencies often work on a contingency basis or other flexible fee structure which is dependent on the salary of the candidate hired, and for the contracted length of the employee’s stay with the company.

“Many job seekers are confused about how hiring works, and, specifically, about how to work with recruiters. It is important to understand their role and how the process works to be successful.”

 –Susan P. Joyce

Both agencies do have some overlap in the types of services they handle. For example, both recruiting and staffing services may handle temp-to-hire contracts, and they both have the same goal: to fill your company’s open position with the best candidate available in the market currently. There are some obvious differences between the two agencies as well, which we will discuss in the sections below.

Overall, it is important to find a staffing or recruiting agency like NRGUSA that will place the candidate with more than just skill in mind. Employee personalities and values play a large role in how long they stay with a company.

At NRGUSA, our agents fulfill both roles, providing both staffing solutions for short-term and temporary workers, as well as recruiting solutions to provide expert, long-term hires to companies seeking help.


So, what is the difference between recruiting vs. staffing services, and how can you be certain you are choosing the right option for your company?

A staffing agency largely handles temporary or contract workers. Similar to recruitment agencies, these candidates are pre-screened before they are presented to the company as a potential placement. Sometimes these agencies will also handle temp-to-hire contracts, however, the standard fee structure might not apply to these contracts and should be discussed during the initial interview with the staffing agent.

Staffing agencies typically work on a fixed or hourly fee structure to help them source and place new hires. These agencies will also take skill and experience into consideration but will often work with individuals who are just entering the industry and need relevant experience. These types of candidates are usually best suited to temporary or seasonal work in industries where the lack of experience can be easily overcome.

Staffing services will consider the position’s skill requirements to determine whether they need to place someone with generalized talent or a specialized skillset.

Because of the temporary nature of many of these hires, these agencies typically try to place candidates who are actively looking for work, rather than headhunting candidates from other companies. This means that the overall talent pool is smaller, but the hires become more likely to have specialized experience the longer they are connected with the staffing agency.

Likewise, a smaller talent pool allows recruiters to develop a stronger understanding of candidates’ skills and personalities so they can better intuitively match the candidate with the company’s needs. Like recruiters, staffing agents will follow a candidate through the entire employee cycle from hiring to training, promotions, and exit interviews.

Typically, staffing agencies take less time to fill positions than recruiting agencies, as the workers are not required to commit to long-term work. This allows companies to grow quickly on a short-term and temporary basis, perfect for seasonal services or companies that must fulfill an expansion in demand quickly.


A recruiting agency often handles full-time permanent employee placements.

The recruiter’s fee structure may be handled in different ways, but most commonly it is done on a contingency basis. This means that the company does not pay the recruiter until they have successfully placed a good candidate and that individual is hired. The fee may be a flat rate or, most commonly, based on the employee’s agreed-upon salary at the time of hiring.

Full-time permanent employee positions are typically harder to fill as it takes the recruiter a longer time to find and screen the appropriate candidates. For highly specialized positions, some recruiters may need to search outside of their regular talent pools for the right candidate.

Full-time employees typically go through more extensive screening than temporary workers will, and companies are more inclined to only accept full-time talent that has the experience and proven skill in the industry.

Additionally, recruiters are not limited to candidates who are actively seeking work in the job market. Some recruiters are willing to headhunt candidates from competing companies, which means candidates might be approached several times and require negotiation to get them to agree to the new position.

Likewise, once the headhunted candidate agrees to work with the new company, they must notify their company and quit their current position after placement, requiring the company to wait several weeks between placement and official onboarding.

Recruiting agencies are more likely to handle temp-to-hire solutions, as well as offer additional administrative help to the company, such as payroll and HR services. These services are crucial in helping the company reduce administrative burden, allowing them to allot their internal resources elsewhere.


For many businesses small and large alike, external staffing and recruiting services are an irreplaceable part of the company structure. (2) These services provide experienced staff with flexible fee structures faster than internal hiring managers would be able to source, screen, and interview candidates.

Some companies choose to hire internal or in-house recruiters who become a part of the company and seek out talent pools. In-house recruiters are better suited to larger companies and enterprises that foresee hiring a large number of employees and temporary workers throughout the years.

Other companies choose to work with an external recruitment or staffing agency like NRGUSA which can fulfill these duties without any further obligation.

“Using an outside agency is a fast, “turnkey” solution. It gets you access to professional recruiters who have specific skills in generating interest and finding talent.”

— Robert Sher

By using a recruitment or staffing agency, companies save time and money in administrative costs and they can place new employees who are a better fit for the work culture.

Some companies might not benefit as strongly from external staffing and recruitment services. These companies are those which do not intend to hire new short-term or long-term employees for the foreseeable future.

Otherwise, recruiters often work on a contingency basis when placing the employee, while staffing agencies typically handle temporary workers and contractors and will often work on a fixed or hourly rate up-front. Companies can choose whether they need to hire one new employee or a dozen, so there is no minimum barrier to entry.


Finding qualified new hires can be difficult, especially if your company needs talented individuals who are experienced in their skillset.

Is your business in need of new hires on Long Island? NRGUSA has extensive, boutique client services to help your company thrive amid new employee hires.

Our recruiters specialize in recruiting methods that screen the candidate not just for their skills to ensure you receive the most talented individuals first, but also for their personality. We believe that company culture is important, and by choosing a candidate who shares your company’s values, you can guarantee a successful, long-term employee placement.

Looking for short-term or temp-to-hire staffing solutions? NRGUSA can help you place temporary and contract workers as well who will excel at their new role. For companies who need administrative assistance, NRGUSA also offers payroll services and other administrative assistance based on your company’s needs.

Contact NRGUSA today to discover how we can match you perfectly with your next job or employee.