The Most Common Questions About the Direct Hire (or Direct Recruiting) Process

If you’re looking to grow your business, you’re almost certainly looking at a major hiring push. But since hiring can be costly and inefficient, you might be considering a staffing firm to help you with the direct hiring process.

Here are answers to the most common questions about the direct hire process.


1. What does direct hire mean? What is a direct hire position?

Let’s start with some basics. Direct hire — also known as direct recruiting — is the process of using a staffing agency to fill a permanent role on behalf of an organization. A direct hire position is different from a contract or temporary role: This is a job that will exist within the actual organization (as opposed to a temp, who would be paid by the staffing agency). Direct hire roles are long-term or permanent, and they usually come with yearly salaries, healthcare, retirement plans, paid time off, and other benefits.


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2. What is the direct hire process?

When employers are looking to fill an opening with a permanent role, they’ll follow a standard set of steps.


First, you’ll choose a staffing agency.

The staffing agency will support and collaborate with you during the process of filling the open role. When you’re selecting a staffing agency, make sure to shop around, and consider factors like cost, industry-specific expertise, local relationships, or special offerings like training or onboarding. 

Star Tip: If you’re located in Northern California, Star Staffing can help! We offer direct hire services, in addition to temp placement and more.


Next, you’ll provide your staffing agency with information on the role you’re looking to fill.

When you’re briefing the staffing agency on what you’re looking for, specificity is key. You’ll need to provide the agency with the job title; a list of duties and responsibilities; the necessary experience’ the level of education required’ skills, training, or certifications required; the salary range; and any benefits (healthcare, student loan repayment, retirement options, paid time off, etc.).

You’ll also need to provide information about your organization, including policies around remote work or flexible hours.

And make sure you also provide a timeline to the agency: When do you want this role filled?


Then, the agency will post the job description.

This is where the staffing agency’s relationships and networks really come into play: They will leverage their connections to target only the top talent. 


After that, the staffing agency will receive, triage, and screen applicants.

Typically, hiring means an inbox drowning in cover letters and applications, but a staffing agency will handle all of the applications while you focus on running the business. 

Once the agency has triaged applications, they’ll start whittling the list down. First comes screening and background checks, and then the agency will conduct preliminary interviews. 


Next, the agency will hand over a shortlist of the best applicants, and you’ll start to get more involved.

With a shortlist in hand, you’ll start conducting interviews with this final list of top talent. 


Finally, you and the staffing agency will work together to make the offer.

To be clear: You get to make the final decision — the agency is only providing you with excellent choices. But once you have your pick, the agency can help you handle the paperwork and even onboard the employee into your organization. From there, the employee will become a fully-fledged member of your team — remember that they’ll be employed by you and not the staffing agency.


3. Does direct hire mean no interview?

Nope! A direct hire does not mean no interview. Typically, interviews are part of the process — including multiple screenings first conducted by the staffing agency and then interviews with the actual hiring organization. Organizations are welcome to invite candidates to interview with as many relevant staff members as needed.


5. What’s the difference between contract or temporary hiring and direct hiring? Is the direct hire process faster than temp hiring?

Contract or temporary hiring is the process of placing candidates with time-limited roles, like seasonal labor or holiday retail. A key detail here is that contract or temporary employees are typically paid through the staffing agency that places them and not by the organizations at which they work.

Direct hiring is the process of placing candidates in long-term or permanent roles. Here, the staffing agency helps the business find its newest employee, but the staffing agency doesn’t employ the new hire. Instead, the new hire becomes a part of the organization at which they work, and that organization pays them, administers their healthcare, and more. 

The direct hire process isn’t any faster than temp hiring — remember that the staffing agency is helping you to find a long-term employee, so they’ll need to be extra meticulous.