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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.  

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