EOR Simplified: Understanding the Advantages and Disadvantages

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Among the many options available for companies to access talent in a globalized world, the term EOR (employer of record) is becoming popular. However, with the various alternatives for finding and hiring talent, not everyone understands the scope of these services and how they differ from other options like staffing or PEO services.

It is important for companies considering this outsourcing solution to understand the advantages and disadvantages of using an EOR (Employer of Record). In the following sections, we will discuss what EOR is, the pros and cons of this model, and how it differs from a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) service.

What is EOR?

An Employer of Record (EOR) is a third-party organization that legally takes responsibility for your workers, acting as their employer. They handle important tasks like hiring, paying, and managing employees. By partnering with an EOR, companies can hire full-time employees in other countries without needing to set up their own legal entity, saving time and resources.

EORs offer several benefits, including cost-effectiveness, overcoming regulatory obstacles in international employment, and the ability to hire, onboard, pay, and provide benefits to talent globally. Additionally, EORs ensure compliance with local labor laws and regulations, taking on the legal and financial risks associated with employing workers in foreign countries.

Unlike staffing agencies that specialize in temporary staffing, EORs offer long-term employment solutions. They take care of tasks like onboarding, payroll and taxes, benefits administration, and ensuring compliance with labor laws. EORs simplify the process of expanding globally and allow companies to concentrate on their core business while the EOR handles all legal and administrative duties.

Responsibilities of an EOR

An Employer of Record (EOR) takes on various responsibilities to ensure smooth and compliant employment for your workers. Here are the key responsibilities of an EOR:

  • Onboarding: EORs handle the onboarding process for new employees, ensuring a seamless transition into the company. They manage the necessary paperwork, orientation, and training to get employees up to speed.
  • Payroll and taxes: EORs are responsible for managing payroll and taxes. They calculate and process employee wages, handle tax withholdings, issue paychecks, set up direct deposit, and manage employee tax forms.
  • Benefits administration: EORs handle employee benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, and other employee perks. They ensure that employees have access to the benefits they are entitled to.
  • Compliance: EORs play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with state and federal labor laws. They stay up to date with the latest regulations and ensure that your employment practices align with legal requirements.

By taking on these responsibilities, an EOR allows you to focus on your core business while ensuring that your workers are properly managed and in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Difference between EORs and Staffing Agencies

Staffing agencies help with the entire employee journey, from  hiring to firing. They handle tasks like training, retention, and termination. They provide recruitment, screening, and placement services for both temporary and long-term positions. Staffing agencies offer many job options, including temporary and long-term positions.

On the other hand, EORs (Employers of Record) focus on long-term employment solutions and handle legal and administrative aspects of hiring. They offer services like onboarding, payroll management, benefits administration, and tax compliance.

Note that staffing agencies are not the same as temp agencies. Temp agencies mostly provide temporary or project-based jobs. While staffing agencies may have temporary work, they also offer long-term employment options.

Comparison with Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs)

Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) are another type of outsourcing solution for HR needs. While both PEOs and Employer of Record (EOR) services offer HR solutions, there are some key differences between them.

A PEO is a comprehensive HR outsourcing solution that takes over HR tasks on behalf of another business. These tasks can include payroll, benefits administration, talent management, and more.

While both PEOs and EORs provide HR services, they differ in their approach and focus. PEOs act as co-employers, sharing legal responsibilities with the client company. They typically require the client to already have a legal entity established in the country of operation. PEOs offer comprehensive HR services, including payroll, benefits administration, and talent management. On the other hand, EORs act as the full legal employer for the client's workers and assume all responsibilities on behalf of the client. EORs can be particularly useful when a company wants to hire full-time employees in a foreign country where they do not have a legal entity established.

The decision between using an EOR or a PEO depends on the specific needs and goals of the company. If a company is looking to expand globally and hire full-time employees in foreign countries without the need for establishing legal entities, an EOR can be a suitable choice. EORs simplify the process of global expansion and provide comprehensive employment solutions, including onboarding, payroll, and compliance with local labor laws. On the other hand, if a company primarily needs HR support for existing employees and already has a legal entity established in the country, a PEO may be a better fit. PEOs offer comprehensive HR services and can provide expertise in talent management, payroll, and benefits administration.

Advantages of Using an EOR

Employer of Record (EOR) services offer several advantages for companies considering international expansion or hiring talent abroad:


EOR services can be a more affordable option compared to setting up a legal entity in a foreign country. Companies can save costs associated with legal fees, registrations, and ongoing administrative expenses.

Removal of regulatory obstacles

EORs simplify the process of international employment by handling all legal and administrative tasks on behalf of the company. They ensure compliance with local labor laws and regulations, reducing the burden of navigating complex employment regulations in foreign countries.

Global expansion

EORs allow companies to hire employees in foreign countries without setting up their own legal entity in each country. This simplifies the expansion process, avoiding lengthy setup procedures and enabling businesses to access global talent quickly.


EORs offer companies the flexibility to hire, onboard, pay, and provide benefits to talent anywhere in the world. They handle various employment-related tasks, allowing companies to focus on their core business activities and scale their workforce as needed.

Risk management

By acting as the legal employer, EORs assume the legal and financial risks associated with employing workers in foreign countries. This helps protect companies from potential liabilities and ensures compliance with local employment regulations.

These benefits make EOR services an attractive option for companies seeking to expand internationally or hire talent from different countries, providing a streamlined and cost-effective solution to manage global employment.

Disadvantages of Using an EOR

While Employer of Record (EOR) services offer numerous advantages, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider:

Less control

When partnering with an EOR, companies may have less control over legal and administrative tasks. Since the EOR assumes responsibility for these tasks, the company may have limited influence over how they are executed.

Less customization

Employee Onboarding and Retention (EOR) services typically provide standardized solutions that may not be fully customized to meet the specific needs of every company. This lack of customization options can limit flexibility and hinder the implementation of unique HR strategies. For example, it would be challenging to implement customized raises and benefits packages.

Less visibility

Compared to an in-house HR team, Employer of Record (EOR) services may offer limited visibility into employee performance and productivity. This reduced visibility can make it more challenging for companies to effectively track and manage their workforce. However, implementing proper project management and team building strategies can help minimize this disadvantage.

Less cultural alignment

EORs may not fully align with a company's culture and values, which can lead to communication and collaboration challenges. It is important for companies to consider cultural fit when partnering with an EOR to ensure a seamless integration of the workforce.

Less strategic support

EORs may not offer the same level of strategic HR support as an in-house team. While they handle essential tasks, such as payroll and benefits administration, their focus may be primarily on compliance and operational efficiency rather than long-term strategic planning.

Limited recruitment support

EORs typically focus on the administrative and legal aspects of hiring, such as payroll, benefits administration, and compliance, rather than providing extensive recruitment services.

It is crucial for companies to carefully evaluate these potential disadvantages and assess whether the benefits of using an EOR outweigh the drawbacks in their specific context.

Employer of Record (EOR) services offer companies the opportunity to expand globally by acting as the legal employer for their workers in foreign countries. By partnering with an EOR, companies can hire full-time employees abroad without the need to establish their own legal entity in each country.  EORs provide advantages such as cost-effectiveness, global talent access, and risk management. However, it is important for companies to carefully evaluate their specific HR needs and consider other options like staffing agencies or Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) before choosing an EOR. By selecting a reputable and suitable EOR partner, companies can navigate the complexities of international employment and achieve their global expansion goals.

Paula Tellez

BetterWay Devs Inbound Marketing Manager


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