"Hiring" China Employees Through a Staffing Agency

With the costs and the hassles of forming and operating a WFOE in China always increasing, we are finding more of our clients are choosing to retain personnel in China via third party staffing agencies. Doing so is relatively easy and relatively inexpensive, assuming you can find a third party staffing agency willing to do the hiring.

When one of our clients has decided to go the third party staffing route, we write them an email along the lines of that below.

The way to proceed with hiring your quality control inspectors through a staffing agency is as follows:

  • Inform your QC inspectors that you will soon be getting them employed through a staffing agency, both to let them know and to find out if they have any particular issues with your doing things this way.
  • Find a staffing agency to help with this. Our lawyers in China have contacts at two of the larger agencies and we would be happy to make introductions.
  • Once you settle on a staffing agency, the staffing agency will prepare two sets of agreements: one between your company and the staffing agency, and one between the staffing agency and each of the QC inspectors.
  • I recommend that you have one of our China lawyers review and revise both sets of agreements. Generally speaking, the staffing agencies use boilerplate agreements that contain mistakes and inconsistencies.
  • If the QC inspectors will be privy to trade secrets or other confidential information, I recommend that you have us draft separate individual confidentiality agreements between the QC inspectors and your company. Although the staffing agency agreements usually contain confidentiality provisions, such provisions are almost always inadequate.
  • It is also important to have these inspectors sign off on your company rules and regulations, including especially those relating to ant-bribery and kickbacks. It also usually makes sense to draft provisions relating to more mundane things like hours, work locations and methods of supervision and communication, since there is no set office procedure for this kind of “employee.