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Monday, July 29, 2013

The Future of Service: Why Temporary Agencies Should Embrace Online Staffing

Staffing is a game of numbers. Every recruiter knows that in order to place one person on a temp-to-hire job you may need to source 15, interview 10, submit 5 resumes, and schedule 3 interviews for the client company. Only one person will get the job. Then what happens to the other 14 qualified and talented people?

According to a Staffing Industry Analyst blog post from May of last year, these additional candidates may be part of an untapped resource that temporary agencies should consider to increase placements and generate revenue. 

But preliminary findings from our recent buyer survey show that online staffing is just barely penetrating the contingent market. Imagine a world where you can get the worker of your choice via a website with minimal effort, no obligation and zero legal hassle (most online staffing companies handle the compliance issues, 1099s, year-end tax reporting, etc.).  No more grappling with high mark-ups, onboarding hassles, corporate culture misfits, supplier mismanagement, etc. Wouldn’t that make your life easier? That is what online staffing in bringing to the table.”

Beyond social recruiting, and beyond mobile optimization, online staffing may be the perfect addition to the temporary staffing companies current took kit. 

How does online staffing work?  

Companies can utilize an online service, like NextCrew, to track employee and client communication. When a client reaches out to you with a temporary project they can either search your online database for candidates who match their requirements or ask you contact your available employees. The client will include information about the schedule and the pay rate in their request. After a match is made and the assignment is completed the employee will submit their hours to the client who then sends their approval to you for payroll processing. 

The demand for temporary employees continues to increase. In July of 2013, it rose 2.1% over the same month in 2012. Your clients are looking for ways to make the process simpler to contract temporary employees for short term jobs. 

You already have the talent available, now is the time to diversify the employment model to place more of them on these projects. 

With NextCrew, this system is entirely automated. The process has been made simple for both your clients and your temporary staff. 

The current trends in online staffing seem to focus on freelance workers who contract directly with businesses and are paid through a 1099. Often these individuals are taking on additional jobs while still working full time positions or, as in the case with your pool of candidates, waiting for a full time position to become available. If you can direct their energy away from freelance projects toward temporary projects with your clients, your sales and placement dollars will increase. Just like traditional staffing, you are still responsible for their taxes and payroll. This takes additional pressure off your client companies throughout the process. 

Have you considered online staffing? Talk with us to see how we can help you automate your process and get more people out to work today!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Back office Management of Your Temporary Staff

There is a lot more to temporary staffing than just recruiting. Once your temporary employees are on the job you are responsible for their tax documents and Form I9, time sheets, payroll, invoicing, and other business reports. Having a back office service that can help streamline these functions is important. Let’s take behind the scenes look at the back office needs of a temporary staffing service.  
1. Tax and I9 Forms. To be compliant with federal and state law there are certain documents that
you must maintain on file during and even after the employment period. Typically these include the Federal W4, state tax documents, and the Form I9. For many staffing companies these documents are still filed by hand in multiple file drawers to be compliant. A good back office system will allow you to upload these files and store them electronically or produce paperless files that your employee can complete online.

2. Employee Time Sheets. You may remember a time when employees completed 5-part carbon forms with their hours each week. They were responsible for having these signed by the client and returned by a payroll deadline. Once a week, an individual would be responsible to code and input the data from these time sheets. Once again, they would be filed in drawers taking up valuable office space. With a solid back office system notifications will be sent to employees to enter their time. It will also automatically generate an email to clients to remind them to review the employee hours and approve them in the system. This can save a lot of time for the administrative assistant, or the payroll department in your office. 

3. Payroll Integration. Once the time sheets have been entered into the system they still need to be processed into payroll. A streamlined back office system will integrate with software like QuickBooks, ADP, Paychex, or any other customized payroll solution. This will allow your payroll department to spend less time entering the same information more than once and the payroll process will be easier to manage. 

photo credit: <a href="">me and the sysop</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>
4. Client Invoicing. After payroll is processed and employees receive their paychecks, the next step is to send invoices to clients to be paid for the services that you have provided. Since staffing companies typically pay their employees weekly they must rely on consistent receivables. If the payroll and invoicing processes are integrated so that reports are automatically generated to each client the system will be stronger. Back office management systems can track the bill rates for each employee and client and ensure that this is a streamlined process. 

5. Additional Reports. There are many necessary reports needed for a staffing company to track performance. Billing and sales reports help management understand the effectiveness of the recruiting and sales teams. Your accountant may need additional reports to balance your books each quarter. A back office integration system will coordinate with your front office, candidate tracking, and sales software to collect the data and produce the necessary reports.

NextCrew is a workforce management tool for the new world. It combines the front and back office seamlessly to provide the best user experience to manage your temporary workforce. Contact us today for more information.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to Schedule Your Temporary Workforce Efficiently

Workforce administrators often feel like they are pulled in several different directions in the course of a workday. Not only are they responsible for sourcing and interviewing potential temporary employees but also for scheduling and managing their assignments. Any tool that can make this process more efficient is welcome. Here are some basic tips for scheduling your temporary workforce more effectively and efficiently. 

  1. Clear communication with both employees and clients. Interpersonal communications is an art form and we can become easily frustrated as scheduler ("booker") when we feel we’ve been clear about a topic but the listener does not comprehend what we have said. When assigning you temporary employees it is best to do so in writing to ensure that they have received the exact directions you wish you supply. The same is true for communicating with clients. Using email or text communication can be an effective way to ensure your message has been received.  
  2. Maps and directions. There was a time when all temporary staffing was conducted without the help of computers, map websites, or GPS. Directions had to be relayed over the phone and trusted to be written down. Many recruiters bemoan the overuse of GPS since the routes are not always accurate and your crew can become lost and be late to the assignment as a result. Always provide the address, detailed directions, and consider including a link to a mapping website as part of your assignment information package.
  3. Review the job functions and duties. It is extremely important that the skills of each crew member match with the specific job requirements. Be sure to review the job description with the client and then go over the information with the assigned temporary employee. If there is clear communication on this topic you will be able to reduce the possibility of the candidate not working out.
  4. Provide the “report to” names and alternates. Far too often scheduler will schedule the temporary employees and provide the name of a manager only to learn that the supervisor is not available to check the employee in at the start of the assignment. Talk with the client about the supervisor for this role and also ask for additional back up names so if they are not available the assignment can still start smoothly for your employee.
  5. Backup solutions for emergencies.  There are any number of possible emergencies that can occur out of our control. If your employee won’t be able to start the assignment as planned, your client needs to be confident that you can provide a solution for them. It is best to determine your backup plan before emergencies happy so you can remain calm and solve the problem.

Temporary employment managers have a unique place in the current business landscape. Our product is people. It is important that we understand how to effectively communicate with all parties and schedule employees efficiently to ensure the success for both employee and client on every assignment.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Your Security Workforce: Tips for Effective Management

As a security guard provider, it is important that your crew is managed effectively and efficiently so your clients receive the best service possible. Without being onsite to oversee your security crew the workforce management tool you use is very important. NextCrew can provide that service for your organization. Here are several ideas that can help you with your crew management.

The Importance of crew communication.

By Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ildar Sagdejev via Wikimedia Commons
Even with a number of years managing a security crew contracted out to your client, it is important to update your methods over time. With the changes in technology and communication available today the process is constantly evolving. The first step to effective communication is to prescreen your crew before placing them on their first assignment. You need to understand their communications preferences and how they work best as an individual. In order to set goals for your crew to meet, they need to have access to communications technology that will enhance their workday. Check in with them frequently to understand how the assignment is going and be able to offer advice or encouragement. It is equally important that you are available to them when they have questions or concerns while working at your client site. Often, in the security industry, the hours a contractor will work versus your recruiters will be very different. If they know that their inquiries will be answered as soon as someone is back in the office, they will be more likely to be open with their communication. This communications exchange will provide a more solid foundation for your workforce management.

The importance of client communication.

There are also aspects of effective management that rely on your communication with your client. You may wish you coach them to treat the security crew like the rest of their staff to encourage a team-player mentality. If the security crewmember feels that they are treated unfairly by the client they may shut down and not provide the service that you have promised. Managing people, both crew and client, is sometimes about managing emotions and stopping problems before the relationship is irreparable. It is also important for the client to understand that you have prescreened and provided an orientation to the crewmember and the do not need to micromanage the process. If they are experiencing a problem with their security crew ask that they contact you immediately to talk through the issue, solve it if possible, or allow you to end the assignment and find a replacement. Effective client communications will manage their expectations when it comes to the service you are providing.

Brand authority.

By J. Crocker (J. Crocker) [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons
By J. Crocker via Wikimedia Commons
Company branding goes beyond your website design and your social media strategy. Since your crew works off-site it is important that you effectively communicate your brand, values, and mission to each person before they begin an assignment. If your crew does not reflect on your overall image you may have to make efforts to replace that individual and repair any reputation damage caused at the client site. Before assigning anyone to a client provide a brand orientation. Talk with them extensively about what kind of behavior is expected of them and how it will reflect on your brand. The better they perform the more possible projects they will be considered for in the future.

Are you looking for the best tool to effectively manage and communicate with both your employees and clients? Contact the NextCrew to find out more about how our systems can help you.