Abstruser Musings

A Journey into Self-Exploration

“You’ll be on our payroll, but work for the client company.” Contract Staffing: What it Means and How it Works

 In the initial few years of your professional life, you’d definitely have come across this dialogue,
Hi, I’m calling from <name of HR Agency>. Are you looking for a job or a job change?”
On positive confirmation, they proceed to tell you about one of the Unicorn Companies or the Fortune 500s that have an opening. But, there’ll be a sub-clause about you being on the HR agency’s payroll. Now, to a newbie, this can get a little confusing.
How does this work? What is the point of this? What’s in it for the HR agency? Read on to know.
Business 101: If you can get someone else to do something better and/or cheaper, don’t do it yourself.
That’s the principle the Fortune 500s are following. This concept is called contract staffing.
Contract employee: A worker who is employed by or through a recruiting firm or a staffing company – but works at, and is supervised on a day-to-day basis by that firm’s client.

How it works?

One company works with many HR agencies. Whenever the company has any staffing requirements, it specifies the number of openings, the job profile and its candidate requirements to all its partner HR agencies. These agencies now get working on these requirements and start scraping job portals and talent networks for suitable candidates, meaning you. They submit yours and other suitable profiles to their client company.
Since all the HR agencies ultimately are searching on the web and submitting the profiles, there are bound to be duplicates. The client intimates the HR Agency about the duplicates and selects some of the non-duplicate profiles for further rounds.
If you’re shortlisted, the HR agency calls you up, tells you about the role, and schedules the written test or interview as need be.
Your interview usually happens on the client premises and the client’s HR or/and Hiring Manager takes it.
If you’re selected, the client company informs the HR Agency, and they break the happy news to you. If you accept the offer, you join the HR Agency. Yes, even the letter head on your offer letter reads the HR Agency’s name. In fact, they are the ones who credit your salary, maintain your attendance and even handle your appraisal. Although in most cases you go to the client company’s office and work there for them as per their project requirements.

What’s in it for the client:

  • Spend lesser time and cost on recruiting
  • Reduced effort on onboarding
  • Trial – They can offer a permanent job to high performing candidates.
  • Need/project based staffing
  • Broader talent pool due to multiple channels

What’s in it for the HR Agency:

  • A cut out of your salary, at least for the first year
  • Commission based jobs for its permanent employees (the people who contacted you)
  • Increased brand image and visibility due to having lots of “employees” on its payroll
For this liasoning, there are Client Account Managers who represent the HR Agency and convince the client companies to give them more and more contractual vacancies to fill. Now, there’s a catch! If one client has 20 HR Agencies and is giving 100 positions per week, all 20 of them are fighting for those 100 positions. By the time Agency X sends 10 profiles, Agency Y has already sent 15 profiles to the client and Agency X will be told 4 out of the 10 profiles were duplicates.
Keep in mind that the client only pays the HR agencies a fixed commission, so for the client, there’s barely any incremental cost of having more such agencies on board. This is a business of absolute time crunch.
So what works? Relationship marketing! HR Agencies pay their Client Account Managers (also called Key Account Managers or Executive Client Managers) handsomely for the same. The end goal: ensure that the client loves the HR Agency X so much that they give the agency exclusive vacancies to fill. Another option is to perhaps give receive a little insider info about a possible recruitment and a rough candidate profile before the vacancies are officially released to all the other agencies. This buys HR Agency X an invaluable head start ranging from a few hours to even a few days!
Now that you know how it works, should you go for it if you’re contacted by such an agency for a job opening with their client?
At times, contract staffers out of desperation of sending enough candidates even lower their considerations. If you’re low on qualifications or have a poor academic record but are a diligent worker, this could be the perfect foot-in-the-door technique for you to get a chance to at least make your case.
Sometimes, you even get called for profiles which would ordinarily require more experience, or for a role that’s more evolved than what you’re currently working on. In such a case, even if the increment in your salary isn’t considerable, the opportunity could provide a steep learning curve for you.
Here’s a quick comparison chart by Zyoin
However, do keep in mind that often the salary provided to contract employees is lesser than that of direct employees. You may miss out on permanent-employee benefits and this recruitment might be project-based, meaning short term. But, if you really want a “job or job change” or are getting your dream profile, this option is actually worth considering.
Have you ever taken up a contract-to-hire job before? What was your experience like? Would you recommend it to others? Do let me know in the comments.

The Ultimate Foodie Survival Guide for Life in CBS

Life as we knew it is soon going to change for CBSites with the change of campus and (hopefully) a better canteen. I found this article hidden somewhere in the depths of my unpublished drafts and couldn’t help sharing the plethora of gastronomical knowledge contained in this post. Try out these food joints before the campus shifts. Dig in!


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Continue reading “The Ultimate Foodie Survival Guide for Life in CBS”

Full Circle

It’s not every day that your whole world comes crashing about you. Preeti felt sick to the core.The metallic taste of disgust, revulsion, guilt and hatred filled her with nausea, or maybe that was just because of the incessant puking.

Was it really a sin, though? Continue reading “Full Circle”

The Ferocious Lake

​You Beauty, why do you rage?

What keeps you going?

Anger? Passion? Determination?

Are you so wont to excel?

You shall never achieve much.

Why do you rage still?

You Beauty, where are you going?

You shall forever be entrapped,

By the bank.

You shall forever be rooted,

Alongside these trees.

Where are you going still?

You Beauty, why do you shine?

People will come and go.

Some will find momentary bliss in you,

Some will defile you,

Others, indifferent. 

Why do you shine still?

Blind Faith

Once, a few monks were meditating in a monastery when suddenly a cat started creating ruckus and disturbing them. They went to the head priest for a solution, who told them to take the cat to the bottom of the stairs and tie it to a pole there. Thus, every day before they would start meditation they would tie the cat to the pole.

Decades later, one day, there was chaos all over the monastery. Reason? 

They couldn’t find any cat anywhere in the whole village to bring to the bottom of the stairs and tie it to the sacred pole of wisdom.

A lot of superstitions stem out of perfectly logical incidents. It’s ok to follow rituals and customs set by our ancestors. However, when people stop asking “why”, they turn into blind followers. 

High Definition

When I woke up this morning, I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, and by heavens I was looking beautiful! Spotless, radiant skin, offset by contrasting lustrous black hair, it was like those BB creams had finally worked their charm like the ads had always promised. Until reality dawned on me, I wasn’t wearing my prescription glasses.  Continue reading “High Definition”

Who do you see in the mirror?

“You don’t have to try so hard.You don’t have to give it all away.

You just have get up, get up, get up.

You don’t have to change a single thing”

Continue reading “Who do you see in the mirror?”

The AIB Knockout Fiasco

Things had gotten pretty boring the last couple of weeks. What with the endless back-to-back lectures, assignments, presentations… you nearly start wondering if it really is worth working too hard for. I mean, go ahead, check out the Employment News; even 10th pass people are eligible for jobs grossing around 20k in hand per month. Aur ek hum hain ki…

“Beta 10th me ache marks laane zaruri hai. Yehi to birth certificate hoga baad me!”

Beta 12th me mehnat kar lo. Acha college milega to life set hai”

Beta, bas ache marks lao. Extra Curriculars pe bhi focus karo. Achi job mil jaegi to bas fir aish hai”

Continue reading “The AIB Knockout Fiasco”

The Nadir: A Question of Identity

“Mai kaun hu?” “Mai kahaan hu?”

These are the two ubiquitous questions asked by the protagonist after a major accident, more often than not after miraculously recovering from a coma for extra drama. But why  these two questions? Perhaps because these two are the most important things that are there in one’s life. Who am I? How do others perceive me? Continue reading “The Nadir: A Question of Identity”

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