What is a Rent-an-Employee

A rent-an-employee is a business strategy where a company will hire fake employees to make a business look busy. Rented employees are sometimes used when an important client is coming into the office and the company does not want to give the impression that the business is doing poorly. They wish to instill confidence in the client and the impression that many other clients have also chosen them for their services. 

Breaking Down Rent-an-Employee

Rent-an-employees are used to create the illusion that a business is fully staffed and thriving. While there is nothing against the law about hiring rent-an-employees to fill empty seats or pretend that a company is larger or more successful that it is, such a practice may be considered unethical. Such workers are not meant to perform tasks or work on projects that produce income; their sole purpose is to trick potential customers into believing that a company is healthy. Rent-an-employees may also be used to impress prospective investors or buyers.

Regardless of whether rent-an-employees are meant to impress would-be customers, investors or possible buyers, such parties should looks into a vendor or service provider's financial health before committing to a large, important contract. They should also consider examining a potential vendor's organizational chart. If the service or product in question is vital enough to the success of a potential customer or if there is any question as to the stability of a vendor or service provider, then that potential customer should consider spreading their business across multiple companies. 

Rent-an-Employee in Practice

The rent-an-employee tactic can typically be used after major layoffs that have left the office looking deserted. Rent-an-employees may also be employed to close important sales, as prospective clients may look favorably at a fully-staffed office. Staffing companies or specialized casting companies may provide such services.

Rent-an-Employee and Rent-a-Crowd

The rent-an-employee tactic is similar to the practice of using rent-a-crowds to create a buzz or interest in a business, product, brand, politician or movement. A rent-a-crowd is group of people rented to make a business, rally, protest or other public event appear busy. Rent-a-crowds are sometimes employed on the grand opening of a new business to give the appearance that something is attracting people to the store, which then potentially attracts real customers who come to see why the crowd has gathered. Rent-a-crowds may also be used by political candidates to simulate broad public interest or support. Specialized marketing and promotion companies and casting agencies provide crowds to businesses and other entities for a fee. 

Rent-an-Employee vs. Leased Employees

The term rent-an-employee may be used as a synonym for rented or leased employees. Employee leasing when an employer contracts with a leasing company to provide workers. Such a strategy may be useful for businesses that want to quickly staff up but want to avoid the administrative burden that comes with employing more workers. Instead, employers contract with a professional employer organization (PEO) that provides workers. The employer manages the workers and simply writes a check to the PEO, which handles payroll, reporting, taxes, health benefits, insurance, retirement benefits and more.