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8 min read

Staff Leasing: Key Benefits and Strategies for Business Growth

8 min read

Staff Leasing: Key Benefits and Strategies for Business Growth

Staff leasing involves a professional HR company assigning or ‘leasing’ staff that it legally employs to client companies. Also known as a “Professional Employer Organization” or “PEO” solution, this can be a more cost-effective and faster mechanism for hiring than doing so directly. 

In this article we look at staff leasing in-depth, and explain how it can benefit your company. 

Key Takeaways

  • Staff leasing enables companies to cost-effectively expand their workforce without direct employment liabilities.
  • In this arrangement, a professional staff leasing company becomes the formal employer of your workforce and ‘leases’ those employees back to your company.  
  • This arrangement also known as Professional Employer Organization (PEO) services, or co-employment saves companies money and time compared to hiring employees directly. 

What Is Staff Leasing?

Staff leasing (also known as employee leasing) is business arrangement where a company outsources its employment responsibilities to another company, usually a professional employer organization (PEO). This model is also known as employee leasing or co-employment, and the workforce supplied by the PEO are referred to as leased employees. Staff leasing offers various opportunities for businesses, especially in the IT sector.

In a staff leasing arrangement, the staff leasing company or PEO becomes the administrative co-employer of a company’s workforce and manages HR functions like payroll processing, benefits administration, and compliance with labor laws. At the same time, the client company retains control over daily operations, work assignments, and performance management. This partnership allows both parties to focus on their respective strengths, ultimately benefiting the leased employees and the company.

In the digital economy, staff leasing is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in IT and other technology-driven industries. The rapid changes in these sectors often demand access to specialized skills and quick adaptation to market trends. By working with a staff leasing firm, businesses can rapidly fill temporary or long-term staffing needs with qualified professionals, ensuring continuous innovation and competitiveness in the market.

While the term ‘PEO’ has become more common in the United States for this kind of company, the term ‘staff leasing’ is still the most popular term in other countries, especially where arrangements have a fixed term limit. For example, this is the industry term in Germany (when speaking in English) as the term ‘leasing’ better reflects the 18-month limit of employment through their AUG arrangements. ‘Staff leasing’ is also a common translation of the French HR arrangement Portage Salarial

Below we explain in detail some of the benefits and potential disadvantages of staff leasing arrangements. 

Benefits of Staff Leasing

1. Cost Efficiency

One of the main benefits of staff leasing is its cost efficiency. By hiring employees through a leasing company, businesses can significantly reduce their labor costs. This is because the leasing company handles payroll, taxes, benefits administration, and other related expenses. As a result, companies can focus on their core operations while minimizing overhead costs. Furthermore, staff leasing allows businesses to better manage their budget and allocate resources more efficiently.

2. Reduced Administrative Load

Staff leasing also offers improved operational control for businesses. When working with a leasing company, companies maintain control over their employees’ daily tasks and overall performance while the leasing company handles administrative and HR-related tasks. This division of responsibilities enables businesses to focus on growth and quality improvements, thus taking advantage of new opportunities in the market. Additionally, staff leasing provides businesses with greater flexibility to scale their workforce up or down as needed, in response to market demands or changing business objectives.

3. Improved Recruitment and Training

Finally, staff leasing can lead to better recruitment and training processes. Leasing companies typically have access to a vast talent pool and expertise in the recruitment process, making it easier for businesses to find and hire the most suitable candidates. Moreover, these companies often offer comprehensive training programs that help new hires quickly adapt to their roles and become productive members of the team. By partnering with a staff leasing company, businesses can optimize their talent recruitment and training efforts, ensuring that they attract and retain top-quality employees while enhancing their operational performance.

employee leasing
How Staff Leasing Arrangements Work

The Role of a Staff Leasing Company 

1. HR and Payroll Management

A staff leasing company plays a vital role in managing a company’s human resources and payroll needs. By partnering with a staff leasing company, companies can outsource administrative tasks related to human resources, such as onboarding and offboarding employees, employee training, and performance management. In addition, staff leasing services simplify payroll management by handling timekeeping, wage calculation, and payroll processing.

Companies that work with a PEO also benefit from an employer of record system, allowing the organization to manage employment and tax compliance more effectively. This reduces the burden of administrative HR tasks on the business, allowing it to focus on core operational activities.

2. Employee Benefits Administration

Another crucial aspect of staff leasing services is employee benefits administration. To attract and retain top talent, companies need to provide competitive benefit packages. PEOs can help businesses navigate the complexities of employee benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks.

By leveraging their expertise and collective bargaining power, PEOs can often provide access to a broader range of benefits at more competitive prices than smaller businesses could secure independently. This allows companies to offer attractive benefits packages to their employees without compromising on cost or administrative effort.

3. Tax and Compliance Management

PEOs also play an essential role in tax and regulatory compliance management. Employment taxes, W-2 forms, and other tax-related administrative tasks can be overwhelming for businesses, especially those without dedicated HR departments.

Staff leasing services help ensure that businesses remain compliant with regulations, taxes, and employment laws, reducing the risk of fines and penalties. By partnering with a PEO, companies can stay up-to-date and compliant with various industry-specific requirements without the need to invest heavily in managing these tasks internally.

A staff leasing company also offers valuable services in HR and payroll management, employee benefits administration, and tax and compliance management. These services enable businesses to focus on their core activities while ensuring they remain compliant and competitive in today’s demanding business environment.

Staff Leasing Risks and How to Mitigate Them

Staff leasing comes with risks that can impact both the leased employees and the organization. However, there are ways to mitigate these risks to ensure a positive outcome for all parties involved.

The first risk is the potential lack of proper employee evaluation. This can lead to mismatches in skills and experience, ultimately impacting the organization’s overall performance. To mitigate this risk, the company should work closely with the staffing agency to establish clear criteria for hiring and evaluations. Regular performance reviews and feedback can help identify and correct any issues that may arise.

Another concern is handling workers’ compensation claims. Since leased employees are on the staffing agency’s payroll, the agency is generally responsible for covering workers’ compensation insurance. However, businesses should verify the agency’s policies and ensure they comply with state laws and regulations. Clear communication and contractual agreements between the business and staffing agency can minimize their risk of legal disputes over compensation claims.

Insurance coverage is an additional risk factor to consider. Both the organization and the staffing agency need to have adequate insurance coverage that protects them in case of issues such as workplace accidents or lawsuits. The parties should review their policies and ensure that they cover both leased and non-leased employees.

The risks associated with staff leasing can be minimized through careful evaluation of employees, ensuring proper workers’ compensation protection, and maintaining appropriate insurance coverage. By taking these steps, organizations can confidently engage in staff leasing while reducing potential negative outcomes.

Staff Leasing Technology

Staff leasing, also known as employee leasing or HR staff leasing, involves a company outsourcing its workforce to a third-party firm. This third-party firm manages recruitment, payroll, and employee benefits, allowing the company to focus on its core business. In the digital economy environment, staff leasing has become increasingly popular due to advances in technology and rapid changes in the job market.

One of the key factors driving the adoption of staff leasing technology is the need for flexibility in today’s constantly evolving business landscape. Modern information and communication technologies have led to the transformation of forms of employment, making staff leasing an attractive option for many businesses. The ability to quickly adapt to changing workforce requirements is crucial for companies operating in industries that are heavily influenced by technology.

Another benefit of staff leasing technology is the cost savings and increased efficiency it can offer. By outsourcing the management of its workforce, a company can avoid the overhead costs associated with maintaining a permanent HR department. Moreover, staff leasing firms often have access to a wider talent pool, enabling them to find the right candidates for specific job roles more efficiently.

In addition to cost savings and flexibility, staff leasing technology also facilitates knowledge transfer and skills enhancement within the leased employees. As technology changes rapidly, it might be difficult for businesses to keep their permanent employees updated with the latest industry trends and skills. Staff leasing firms are responsible for ensuring that the leased personnel possess the necessary skill sets, thus promoting innovation and growth within the business.

However, companies should also be aware of potential challenges that may arise in staff leasing. For instance, they need to carefully evaluate the compatibility of the staff leasing firm’s HR practices with their own company culture and values. Additionally, working with a staff leasing firm might raise concerns around data security and employee privacy, both of which are becoming increasingly important in the digital age.

Staff leasing technology offers several benefits like flexibility, cost savings, and access to a diverse talent pool, making it an attractive option for many businesses in the digital economy. However, it’s essential to weigh the potential challenges and ensure a strong alignment with company values before adopting this staffing strategy.

Staff Leasing Processes

Consultation and Proposal

The staff leasing process begins with a thorough consultation between the client and the staffing agency. During this phase, the staffing agency assesses the client’s needs, accounting for factors such as desired work efficiency, key performance indicators (KPIs), and service level agreements (SLAs). The analysis focuses on understanding the client’s goals and manpower requirements to ensure the correct match between the needs of the client and the skill set of the leased staff.

After the consultation, the staffing agency develops a detailed proposal outlining the best course of action for providing the required manpower. The proposal typically includes information about the available workforce, their relevant skills and experiences, the proposed cost for leasing the staff, as well as the SLA and KPI measures to ensure transparency in the partnership.

Implementation and Evaluation

Once the client agrees to the proposal, the staffing agency moves forward with the implementation of the staff leasing plan. This involves recruiting and onboarding the leased staff, taking into account the client’s preferences for work efficiency, flexibility, and the desired skill set.

Throughout the staff leasing process, the staffing agency continuously monitors the leased staff’s performance, ensuring that they meet the agreed-upon KPIs and SLAs. Regular evaluations help to identify any areas that may require additional attention or improvement.

By using a staff leasing model, companies gain the advantage of increased flexibility and access to a wider pool of talent. This process enables organizations to scale their workforce efficiently, without the need for a large in-house HR department or investing in long-term employee contracts. Meanwhile, leased staff benefit from the opportunity to work on diverse projects and build their skills in different industries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Often these terms are used interchangeably. Sometimes 'staff leasing' is used to refer to a more temporary employment arrangement (read more in our Employee Leasing vs PEO guide).

Some advantages of employee leasing include cost savings, reduced administrative work, access to better talent, and minimized risk via the leasing company's expertise in HR and labor laws. However, there are also disadvantages, such as potentially decreased employee loyalty and commitment, as well as limited control over the leased employees. Additionally, the interests of the leasing company and client business may not always align, which could lead to conflicts or difficulties in management.

An example of staff leasing could be a small manufacturing company that decides to lease their customer service staff instead of hiring these employees directly. By engaging a staff leasing company, the manufacturer can tap into a ready pool of skilled customer service professionals, while the leasing company takes care of their HR management, payroll, and benefits administration. This allows the manufacturer to focus on their core operations, such as product development and production.

Staff leasing services work by outsourcing specific job functions to a leasing company that manages the employees performing these tasks. The leasing company takes care of HR functions, such as hiring, benefits administration, payroll, and labor law compliance. The leased employees perform their duties under the direction and control of the client business, allowing them to maintain operation continuity and quality standards while benefiting from the expertise and resources of the leasing company.

To find staff leasing companies near you, start by researching online for service providers in your area or industry. Check out the company websites and look for customer reviews or testimonials to gauge their credibility and the quality of their services. Alternatively, you could start by reviewing the providers in our Best PEO Companies guide.

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Charlotte speaks with authority as RemotePad’s recruitment and HR tech maestro. With a background in marketing, Charlotte has worked for major brands in the industry, including leading HR software provider, FactorialHR. Originally from Manchester, UK, with a bachelor’s degree from the Manchester Metropolitan University, Charlotte currently resides in sunny Barcelona, Spain.