Should I hire 1099s or W-2 employees for my staffing agency?

Deciding whether to hire 1099 workers or W-2 employees for your staffing company depends on several factors, such as the nature of your business, the types of jobs you offer, your budget, and your long-term goals.

Here are some pros and cons of each option to help you make an informed decision:

1099 Workers (Independent Contractors)


  1. Flexibility: 1099 workers offer more flexibility in terms of work schedules and assignments. They can work on a project basis or be hired for specific tasks, allowing small businesses to scale up or down as needed.
  2. Cost savings: Hiring independent contractors can save businesses money since they don’t have to provide benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, or paid time off. Businesses also do not have to pay payroll taxes for independent contractors.
  3. Specialized expertise: Independent contractors often bring specialized skills and knowledge to the table. Small businesses can benefit from their expertise without having to hire full-time employees.
  4. Reduced administrative burden: Unlike W-2 employees, businesses do not need to withhold taxes from the payments made to independent contractors. This reduces the administrative tasks associated with payroll and tax reporting.


  1. Less control: Businesses have less control over the work schedule and methods of independent contractors compared to W-2 employees. Contractors have more autonomy in how they complete their work, which may not align with the business’s preferences.
  2. Potential misclassification risks: Misclassifying workers as independent contractors when they should be treated as employees can result in legal and financial consequences for businesses. The determination of whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee is based on specific criteria set by the IRS.
  3. Limited loyalty: Independent contractors may have less loyalty to a particular business since they work for multiple clients simultaneously. They may prioritize their own interests over the company’s goals and objectives.

W-2 Workers (Employees)


  1. Greater control: Employers have more control over the work schedule, methods, and direction of employees. They can provide specific training, set work hours, and establish a consistent work environment.
  2. Dedication and loyalty: W-2 employees are more likely to be dedicated and loyal to the business since they have a formal employment relationship. They may be more invested in the company’s success and long-term goals.
  3. Team integration: W-2 employees are typically more integrated into the company’s culture and team dynamics, which can foster collaboration and teamwork. They may develop stronger relationships with coworkers and contribute to a positive work environment.


  1. Higher costs: Hiring employees comes with additional costs beyond their wages, such as payroll taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, and potentially offering benefits like healthcare and retirement plans. These additional expenses can strain small business budgets.
  2. Administrative responsibilities: Businesses have more administrative responsibilities when hiring W-2 employees. They must handle payroll, tax withholding, tax reporting, and comply with various employment laws and regulations.
  3. Reduced flexibility: Compared to independent contractors, W-2 employees may have less flexibility in terms of work hours and assignments. Businesses may need to provide regular work schedules and potentially deal with employee absences or time off requests.

Ultimately, the decision to hire 1099 workers or W-2 employees depends on your business needs and goals. You may want to consider a mix of both types of workers to get the best of both worlds. Consulting with a legal or financial professional can also be helpful to ensure you are complying with all regulations and minimizing legal and financial risks.