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In Russia a lot of companies provide "outstaffing" services , but I am not sure whether it's used outside post USSR countries. Is "outstaffing" a real word?

Update: "Outstaffing" is when one company "Outstaffers Inc." provides service to a customer "XYZ Bank" by providing a full time worker. Basically employee of "Outstaffers Inc." becomes a full employee of "XYZ Bank". Except he get's a salary from "Outstaffers Inc.".

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There's a problem with the notion "real word". I'm assuming that you want to know whether "outstaffing" is in an English dictionary somewhere, or whether it's used in Anglophone countries. If some people use a word that's not in a dictionary, and other people understand what that word means, then it's a "real word" but just a localism or a regionalism or slang. Even if it's used only in post-USSR countries, it's a real word if it's used and understood in business there. –  user21497 Feb 8 '13 at 10:59
    
It sounds like what we'd call an employment agency. I haven't heard the word before, but I guesses its meaning right away. Apparently, there is a company in the US that's named that. –  KitFox Feb 8 '13 at 12:11
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Interestingly but unrelatedly, you can add out- to just about any verb, but it means "in a manner that exceeds or surpasses and sometimes overpowers or defeats". Without having seen the rest of the question, I would have assumed "outstaff" simply means to staff more than anyone else. As in "I thought our department had more employees than any other, but when I checked the records in HR, I discovered we'd been outstaffed by the customer service department" –  nohat Feb 11 '13 at 22:45

3 Answers 3

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While I did not find the word outstaff in any dictionaries, a web search does turn up several companies named Outstaff or OutStaff, perhaps created as a portmanteau of outsource and staff.

In the U.S., the practice of long-term but indirect employment through a third party would be called contracting or hiring a contract worker. Even though direct employees may also have employment contracts, only third party employees are called contractors (contractor has other meanings, however, so context is important); the contract is between the hiring company and the staffing company, contracting firm or employment agency which provides the workers.

A contractor may be distinguished from a temp, a temporary worker who might be brought in on a short-term basis for low-skill duties (e.g. basic clerical or reception work) while a regular worker is out, or who might be hired for a seasonal period. Contractors may also be distinguished from consultants, who are specialists temporarily hired for their specific knowledge in an area, as opposed to someone filling in for what would be an ordinary internal hire. The lines between a temp, a contractor, and a consultant can become quite blurry, depending on the specific employment situation, and relate as much to social status as to employment status.

When a job formerly handled by internal staff (whether employees or contractors) is assigned to an outside firm, the process is known as outsourcing, and may be handled by an outsourcer or outsourcing company.

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In Australia, we use the word 'outsourcing' to describe jobs done by others, in another country.

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It's something like HR agency meets Outsourcing company. It's a customer who defines a need skillset of a worker and manages existing ones, but it's an "Outstaffing" company who actually employs this worker. –  skfd Feb 8 '13 at 10:46
    
@skfd That is the definition of outsourcing in UK –  Mark Mar 4 '13 at 12:42
    
Outsourcing doesn't necessarily take place in another country, though. At one time, a bank might have employed a janitor to sweep the floors and empty the wastebaskets. These days, the bank would almost certainly hire a housekeeping company instead of hiring directly (the housekeeping company, being specialists, can extract some efficiencies, lowering costs for the bank). The janitor's job has thus been outsourced to the housekeeping company, even though the tasks are exactly the same and in exactly the same place— and possibly even completed by exactly the same people. –  choster Apr 10 '13 at 18:38

I guess that word directly comes from Soviet militia (now renamed into police) official slang - something like "outstaffing co-worker of militia", kind of freelance policeman - not sure they were paid, but definitely had some privileges comparing to ordinary citizens.

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This sounds well out of left field. What is the basis for your guess? –  coleopterist Mar 4 '13 at 10:24

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