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Monday, September 30, 2013

Make Employee Recognition Easier in Your Staffing Office

If you work in temporary staffing then you are probably aware that September 16th through 22nd was National Staffing Employee Week. This week long event is a chance to celebrate your contingent workforce and thank them for all their hard work throughout the year.

There are some interesting statistics surrounding temporary staffing and you can see them here at this infographic put together by blogger Kelly Mitchell using information from the National Staffing Association. 

For example, did you know that 11.5 million temporary workers are currently employed by US staffing companies? Nearly 3 million contract employees work for staffing services every business day. 79% of these employees work full time. It is important that we provide recognition for the contingent workforce to keep the system running smoothly. 

The American Staffing Association, the leading organization for Staffing Services here in the United States, suggests four primary benefits for temporary employees: flexibility, bridge, choice, and training. Each of these offers workers the opportunity to work on their own schedule, work between full time opportunities, choose the right companies and assignments, and allow them to gain additional experience. 

64% of temporary employees enjoy working with staffing services because it provides them with a flexible schedule that improves their overall work/life balance. 80% of companies like working with staffing services to provide candidates who eventually become full time employees. Temporary staffing is an excellent way to evaluate the working relationship with an employee before making the permanent hiring decision. 

However, 23% of temporary employees have no interest in being hired and will work short term assignments to maintaining their ability to be flexible. 

Temporary employment is also a solution to fill the so-called “Skills Gap” currently occurring in the US. While employers say they are having trouble finding candidates who match their specific requirements, the staffing industry is able to place qualified temporary individuals on these assignments to allow the company to continue working effectively. Many times these temporary employees prove themselves to be an asset. 

There are many opportunities for companies to recognize their permanent workforce, but National Staffing Employee Week gives us a chance to honor the employees who work short term or long term assignments for our industry. 

As recruiters and administrators, this type of program can easily be pushed to the side in favor of revenue generating work for the business. Filling orders, communicating with employees and clients, and processing payroll are considered infinitely more important than employee relations. But what if this didn’t have to be the case? 

Workforce Management Systems can streamline your processes and allow staff more time to concentrate on employee recognition and retention programs. Contact us today to see how NextCrew can help you!  

photo credit: Alex E. Proimos via photopin cc

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Contingent Workforce Trends of 2013

It is always important to keep up with the latest trends and technology in your industry. Here are some important things to know about various aspects of contingent staffing from 2013. 

According to the Society for Human Resources Management, more than 80% of businesses polled expected their hiring in 2013 to meet or exceed that of 2012. Only 45% suggested that current political climate would slow their rate of hiring. Many hiring managers reported some difficulty finding qualified individuals for their open positions and nearly three quarters of the companies said they would use contingent staff to fill gaps in their workforce. 

In late 2012, staffing giant Yoh suggested that White Label recruiting would be a bit part of the contingent workforce trend in 2013.

“On face value, white label recruiting in not necessarily anything new. For years, organizations have insisted that their managed staffing programs work to represent the employment brand of the company in positive light.  What is new, however, is that the structure of these programs are moving far beyond traditional ‘on premise’ managed staffing programs and more closely reflecting the embedded approach found more frequently in recruitment process outsourcing engagements.”’s monthly report showed some interesting advertising trends in August of 2013. Hospitality job postings rose 34% over the same time last year. However, healthcare was down 17%. Several industries remained virtually the same including some core business processes such as accounting, financial services and banking, and construction. It is also interesting to note that job postings for information technology were 10% lower than 2012. 

Recent college graduates are facing what economists call “Mal-employment.” 36% of graduates in 2013 have accepted jobs that don’t require a college degree.

“The official unemployment rate for grads under age 25 was 7% in May, but that doesn't reflect all those who are under-utilized in one way or another. Nearly 8% of grads are working part-time, but would like full-time positions. These workers aren't counted in the mal-employment rate.”

Due to the increase of companies using contingent employees for their projects, experts suggest that implementing a tool to manage the process is becoming more imperative. While contingent workers require different management than permanent employees, most companies aren’t making use of tools available on today’s market. 

“However, many companies still take a piecemeal approach to managing contingent labor. GeoDigital International Inc., a mapping and visual infrared inspection company in Hamilton, Ontario, uses five different tools to track and manage its 320 employees, which includes roughly 50 contingent workers.”

Workforce Management Systems can offer improved processes making the contingent worker management more efficient and streamlined. 

If you would like to know more about current employment trends and how a workforce management system can work for you, contact NextCrew. We can work with you to provide a white labeled contingent workforce management system that can be customized for your business needs. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

9 Things You Might be Doing Inefficiently While Managing Your Temporary Workers.

You know that feeling when you discover a short cut on your way home from work that cuts a good 10 minute off your commute? Human beings have a lifelong capacity to learn and frequently when the light bulb goes on it is after years of performing the same task in what turns out to be a less efficient way. After 15 years of recruiting for temporary staff I picked up a few habits and learned a few things that made my job easier. However, no is immune to learning new methods. Here are 9 things I wish I could have done better. 

Information management. Our application process was manual. Our candidates would fill out paperwork and it would be my job to enter the data, which sometimes got quite backed up on my desk. Any time a temporary employee needed to change their address or phone number they would need to contact me and I would make the changes. There were many times when people never update their information and would be surprised when they’d finally call and learn that I was unable to reach them for open jobs. If employees had access to their own information they could update anything as necessary and avoid missed opportunities because of bad data.
Time consuming phone calls. Each time a new position became available it was my job to call as many candidates as it took to fill the position. Several times a week these jobs would be what we called “ASAP” jobs which were immediate needs by the client due to some emergency. It took considerable time to make phone calls and while sometimes we were lucky that the first person took the job more often than not we were smiling and dialing all morning long. Frequently people wouldn’t say no until after I spent several minutes explaining the project. A workforce management system can automatically source available candidates and send a text or email with all the details. The employee can accept the job right away. 

Bad directions and lost employees. When we would assign candidates to the job we needed to provide the address and directions to the job site. We preferred to email them the information but sometimes we would share them verbally. Whether it was due to poor descriptions on my part or poor listening skills on theirs, employees often had trouble finding the location. With a workforce management system an automatic reminder can be sent to each employee the day before the job to remind them the hours and provide a web generated map which could hopefully mitigate the problem. 

Processing time cards. Before I left, my company still used manual time cards. The candidates filled them out each week, get them signed by their supervisor, and turned them in to us. At that point we needed to recalculate the hours to make sure they were correct and enter them into our payroll system. We always needed to contact a number of employees to track down missing time cards. With an automated system each employee would be responsible for entering their own hours.

Supervisor Approval. A time card bottleneck often occurred at the approval level. Before a time sheet could be turned into to us they needed to be signed by the manager. Supervisors are busy and don’t mean to skip over small tasks such as time cards for temporary employees. A workforce management system can send each manager an automated email to remind them to approve the hours which they can do with one click. 

Streamline Payroll Process. In this payroll system, each recruiter was required to process payroll once a week which kept them from performing other duties during this time. It is important to be cautious and careful when calculating hours to avoid mistakes that can impact someone’s pay. An automated system can submit the completed hours directly to the integrated payroll software the process would only take a fraction of the time.  

Tracking attendance. When you only receive time cards once a week it is difficult to track patterns or implement corrective action when managers fail to alert you to a problem. Since temporary employees work off site and don’t report directly to you it is important that you know they are arriving on time every day. A system with built in GPS can let you know precisely where and when the employee logs into the system upon their arrival.  

Documenting job performance. It is not uncommon for a staffing service to only have contact with a small percentage of their database. There are many reasons a candidate can be considered unemployable which may less than desirable behaviors on past temporary assignments. However, if this information is not documented another staffing administrator may place them on an assignment only to have an equally negative experience. A system that allows you to review and rate employees’ performance will place this information at your fingertips while reaching out to candidates for new assignments. 

Better client communications. Some staffing companies have recruiters on call after business hours to accommodate the needs of clients. If you don’t and they learn of a situation that requires immediate attention your service may miss out on the opportunity. Your clients may not have an opportunity to discuss the need with you directly. With Workforce management they can submit a job request directly through the system which can immediately push it to qualified candidates. You may be able to fill all your requirements without picking up the phone.