How to Use a China Staffing Agency

With the costs and hassles of forming and operating WFOEs in China always increasing, more companies 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 decides to use a third party staffing agency, we write them an email like the below.

The way to hire 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 issues with your doing things this way.
  • Find a staffing agency. We have good contacts at two of China’s largest staffing agencies and we would be happy to make introductions.
  • Once you choose a staffing agency, it 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 one of our China lawyers review and revise both sets of agreements. The staffing agencies use boilerplate agreements that contain mistakes and inconsistencies and their agreements are written to protect them, not you.
  • If the QC inspectors will be privy to trade secrets or other confidential information, I recommend you have us draft separate confidentiality agreements between the QC inspectors and your company. Though the staffing agency agreements usually contain confidentiality provisions, they are nearly always inadequate.
  • Get the QC inspectors to sign off on your company rules and regulations, especially those relating to anti-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”.