Offshore/Offsite or Onsite Staffing Model — Which is Better for Your Company?

Outsourced RPO or Onsite staffing?

Offshore/Offsite Versus Onsite Staffing — Which is Better?

When it comes to staffing, finding the right person for the right position isn’t always easy. It is one of the most important arrangements contributing to the overall development of your organization. People are our most important asset, and we’re only as good as our people.

Therefore, it’s important to choose the right staffing model for your company. The model you choose and the staffing company you work with may have an impact on the quality of people you hire and the effectiveness of your hiring process. But which is better—offsite/offshore or onsite?

In this article, we discuss some of the pros and cons of both offshore/offsite and onsite staffing to help you determine the strategy that will work best for you.

Offshore/Offsite Staffing

An offsite staffing model is often referred to as an “offshore”, “near-shore”, or “outsourced” solution whereby teams of recruiter’s source candidates and manage the recruiting workflow.

Why is it referred to as an “offsite model”? Because the recruiter teams are usually located in another country – typically the Philippines or India – therefore, offshore from the continental U.S. It has also become common to refer to these offshore groups synonymously as “RPOs” [Recruitment Process Outsourcing].

What are some of the benefits or drawbacks of this model?


  • Offshore staffing is inexpensive – indeed, cheap. The cost of labor is dramatically lower than the United States – often as much as 75% less.
  • Being able to offshore and outsource specific, well-defined pieces of the recruiting process adds efficiencies and avoids developing and managing those processes in-house.
  • Offsite staffing teams may be able to source hard-to-fill or niche roles due more easily to their access to a broader audience (read database – they typically have very large databases).
  • Offshore outsourcing has become a highly popular recruitment option, and studies have shown that offsite staffing can help businesses save on operational costs. Outsourcing allows companies to avoid building the capacity, capability, and infrastructure internally.
  • When your staff is augmented offsite and offshore, you can shift your focus from hiring to employee engagement and more productive business activities.


  • Language barriers. Most offshore recruiting firms (RPOs) reside in the Philippines or India. That can make it difficult to communicate effectively. We have all experienced offshore-based customer service (usually your favorite credit card company) – it can be very frustrating.
  • Developing relationships, team bonding, and motivation are more difficult to achieve when you have teams working offshore. Collaboration and project management are difficult.
  • It can be challenging to implement new business processes and systems when working with staff offshore. The benefits of ad hoc meetings, testing, reviewing, and development – even in the days of Zoom calls – slowly grinds the process of productivity.
  • Accountability is effectively non-existent. Horror stories abound of clients being left holding the bag after an RPO vendor walks away in the middle of a project – with the money.
  • The relationship that RPOs have with candidates is often superficial – in some cases, just a candidate’s name and number. The bond developed with an onsite recruiter is lost or does not exist.

Onsite staffingOutsourced RPO or Onsite staffing?

A pure “onsite” model is where the staffing partner co-locates a branch office at your company’s location. An onsite staffing model can help your company achieve a more unified strategy due to the personal touch of the team being local. This scenario also allows for a customized solution that better serves your business goals.

Just like with offsite staffing, there are pros and cons.


  • A dedicated recruiting team works onsite at your location with your HR and operations teams—which makes the team easily accessible.
  • The onsite team is more likely to blend and adapt well to your work environment, corporate culture, and policies. Communication, productivity, and delivered services are greatly enhanced.
  • Onsite programs are often enhanced by national or corporate-based recruiting centers. These centers act like RPOs and provide national recruiting coverage by a team of US-based account managers. They too have sophisticated recruiting tools supported by a robust database of candidates.
  • The availability of onsite staffing agents can greatly help during peak seasons when temporary or contract workers are needed.
  • An onsite team provides hands-on management, accurate recruitment, and oftentimes mitigates risk. They can provide training, onboarding, risk assessment and mitigation, safety and injury management, and can learn details of your operation, processes, policies, and guidelines.


  • The most recognizable disadvantage is the cost. Onsite programs can be expensive. This is understandable. The operating expenses of a co-located branch office must be “baked into” the fees to the customer. As a result, onsite programs are most typically reserved for large volumes…the breakeven being 50-75 employees.
  • A pure onsite model can be limited due to working within one time zone and the “regular” workday ending. However, most onsite programs are supplemented by corporate-based recruiting centers that offer time zone flexibility.

Hybrid model

A hybrid program combines the best of the onsite and offsite staffing models.

In a “hybrid” scenario, the onsite branch (which could also be a traditional temp agency office) provides direct support to the customer and supplements that support using the RPO and/or a corporate-based recruiting center. In this hybrid model, the customer is not burdened using or managing the RPO, and the RPO becomes an additional recruiting source for the onsite staffing office.

For customers large enough to justify the cost of an onsite, the hybrid works very well. You get all the advantages and benefits of each program with none of the disadvantages.

The SURESTAFF Onsite Solution

At SURESTAFF, we tailor our onsite solutions to fit your organization’s unique needs. Read this guide to find out more.

With our customer-centric approach, we offer the flexibility to deliver high-quality service to companies of all sizes. When we manage your workforce on-site, our team is dedicated to aligning staffing needs and performance with your organization’s business objectives—to provide maximum ROI.

Our onsite staffing services provide the benefits of a large temporary workforce, without the worry of hands-on management. We understand that high-volume staffing presents many challenges including rising costs, personnel shortages, and fluctuating production needs.

With more than 25 years of experience in distribution, logistics, e-commerce, and manufacturing our workforce consultants will design a solution that will control costs, maximize flexibility, and enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiencies of your workforce strategy without compromising on quality.

For more information about Surestaff’s onsite staffing programs and workforce solutions, contact Sandy Picciola, CSP, Senior Vice President – Workforce Solutions Group at 815-412-4440 or email at Learn more about our Onsite Staffing & Workforce Solutions.


About the Author


Kim Kim Wacker - Authoris a seasoned content marketing professional with over twelve years of corporate communications experience. Her sweetspot is with creative writing both short and long-form. She has a proven track record working with IBM, Jackson Healthcare, and Walt Disney World, among others. Kim is a singer and actress and has been performing on stage and screen her entire life and has a great passion for TV and film production. Connect with Kim on LinkedIn.