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Monday, December 15, 2014

Does "All in One" Software Solution Really Exist?

We spoke with a client recently who is looking for one system to handle everything: their applicant tracking system (ATS), customer relationship management (CRM), payroll, and workforce management. This got us thinking about whether or not an all in one system is really the most effective solution for staffing services. 

Instead, companies can create an ecosystem of applications which all communicate and are individually good at what they do. 

Our systems are designed for the staffing industry. Within this industry no one company provides every possible type of talent. Rather, staffing companies specialize in their own industry to maintain integrity and expertise. A light industrial agency isn't going to recruit for locum tenens doctors. Recruiters are trained to source candidates within their own vertical so they can remain focused. This becomes the most effective and efficient way for staffing providers to service their client's needs. 

The same is true for technology. 

While it sounds like the easiest solution an "All in One" system may not be the best. Rather than purchasing a system that doesn't do any one thing well companies should consider having multiple systems, each the best in their specialization, which can integrate with one another for smoother business operations. 

For example, cell phones are changing the way we individually use technology. With just your phone you can connect to the internet, take photos, store music, and make phone calls. However, it has limitations. Some websites are not optimized for the small screen of a cell phone so users may need access to a desk or laptop computer for certain needs. The phone's camera, while excellent, is not professional quality. If someone wishes to take the best photos possible they will still need to invest in the top end DSLR camera.  And all of this tech can communicate with one another. A photographer has the option to upload their photos to a computer and use separate photo manipulation software to improve the raw images. Each of these components is integrated, but not all in one.
As the owner of a staffing company you are proud of the specialized service you provide to your core clients. Why not work with a series of systems that can each provide the same level of service for your organization? 

NextCrew offers a robust online staffing platform which can allow companies to connect different components to create a powerful ecosystem. It can also facilitate online staffing business models which can work in multiple staffing verticals. Our system fluidly integrates ATS, payroll, invoice management, vendor management systems (VMS) and more to bring efficiency to your organization and offer new opportunities for revenue streams in the world of online staffing. Contact us today to learn more! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Online staffing is not one-size-fits-all

Whether a staffing service has been in business for five, ten, or over twenty years it is clear that they will establish a certain set of procedures that work for their staff, clients, and candidates. Having ways for your company to stand out from your competition is essential and everyone strives to provide the very best customer service and job placement. 

Then online staffing comes along and threatens to shake up the very core of the industry. Now, recruiters don't need to be the middle step between clients and candidates and this can sound a little scary for a company who has spent years developing and training their recruiting staff to provide exemplary service. But online staffing doesn't have to be that way. If you're considering implementing this change in your company it is important to realize that you don't have to completely overhaul the way your business currently runs, you can simply enhance it. 

Online staffing is not one-size-fits-all.  

Over the last decade online retail and digital communications have dominated the marketplace. When companies like Walmart began to offer online services to their shoppers they didn't change their current model. Many people who are part of their target demographic still prefer shopping in the store but the number of shoppers utilizing the online services is growing. In 2014 the online shopping business grew by 30%.  Even more startling is the fact that 95% of potential Walmart shoppers will research their purchase online before going into the store to buy it. It is important to note here that Walmart didn't change their business model but they provided additional options as their target demographics began to change their shopping habits. 

Both your clients and your candidates are changing with the digital age. In 2014, 87% of American adults use the internet to get their news, connect with friends and family, and apply for jobs. This is a huge jump over 2005 where only 66% were online. Staffing companies need to follow their candidates and offer online tools and ways to digitally connect to reach the audience they are targeting. 

The digital age is changing the way clients interact with their vendors as well. There are multiple direct web services that connect freelancers to the people who want to hire them. This is beginning to leave some staffing services out in the cold. By providing online options it allows staffing companies to cater to their customers who want high-touch and hard to find talent as well as a high volume and on-demand workforce.

If your company is considering the addition of online staffing services over the next few years the best way to get started is to implement a workforce management system. This will allow you to enhance your services later in a seamless, integrated manner. You will be able to transition to forms of online staffing that fit your business model and your clients' interest.

For more information, check out our post about some of the reasons better workforce management may be needed to stay competitive in the current market. 

Are you ready to explore an online staffing business model which works for your business? 
Contact NexCrew today!  

Image by Bruce Guenter via Flickr

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Efficient Workforce Management: A Step Towards Online Staffing Business

We talk with a lot of companies who have considered making major changes in their office technology. Most companies within the contingent staffing industries have heard of workforce management and even on-line staffing. Many even love the idea and agree that this is the future of staffing. But for multiple reasons companies sometimes stop short of implementing these changes in their business for a variety of reasons including: 
  •  A fear of change
  • The high cost of a new system
  • Leadership decisions
  •  Issues with current systems not communicating
  • Uncertainty of where to start.

Companies who may not be considering entire online staffing systems who are still using older technology or even manual systems to keep track of their talent may be interested in learning that workforce management tools and online staffing are simpler solutions when working with the right vendor. 

A better workforce management system for the 21st century is not only necessary for efficient work processes but it can take even the smallest staffing businesses to the next level. It can allow for companies to provide more value added services and increase their own profit and viability in the marketplace. 

Online staffing is about hiring and sourcing talent online. Businesses utilize online systems to source their own talent and making hiring decisions. Why allow your competition to have the corner on this market when integrating an online staffing program may be as simple as upgrading your current database and workforce management system. Your company can facilitate these transactions allowing your employees to work more and your company to generate more revenue. 

A new workforce management system will allow your company to:
  1. Standardize your processes
  2. Engage and communicate better with your pre-screened talent pool
  3. Allow for the scalability of your business
  4. Provide better service to your client base
  5. Project trends based on the information in your system
Workforce management is the foundation for offering various online staffing business models.  

If you work with a contingent workforce, NextCrew can help you analyze your current system, vision, and client base to determine how to position your workforce management technology to take advantages of the opportunities knocking at your door. Are you ready?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Anticipation: How Online Staffing Can Change The Industry Forever


Key to massive success is anticipation. – Marc Cuban

Marc Cuban anticipated that audio and video would be a critical part of the internet and started his company AudioNet (Later with that in mind. He then sold it to Yahoo for $6 Billion just a few years later. The lessons of Cuban's massive success show us that the future of staffing could be just one click away. Staffing is evolving at breakneck speed mostly due to available technology that can make it faster, easier, and more efficient. 

Massive shifts in our access to technology and information as well as the big changes facing our economy over the years has given us a new perspective on how staffing fits in to the larger corporate environment. Talent can be managed in new ways such as self-service portals, client interfaces, and an on-demand workforce. 

When you combine these three advances in staffing with payment processing it appears that online staffing will be a $46 Billion industry by 2020. Can companies afford not to explore these new strategies and technologies? 

Staffing companies have all of the information they need right now to start providing these services. They have access to talent and connections to clients. The missing piece is the technology that seamlessly integrates these two halves of their business directly with one another. There are currently over 150 online staffing platforms operating across the world today, but most, if not all, of those are companies that actually compete with, rather than enable, staffing firms.   It is important, therefore, that staffing firms not “mistake the forest for the trees” and incisively narrow down their options to find the a model that will for work their current business and allow them to move in that direction in easy to follow steps. 

Of course, no one wants to reinvent the wheel. Many companies are concerned about making such a big shift in their business offering and losing the things that set them apart from their competition. The right service provider is one who can be an extension of your current business. They will work with companies to develop tools that work with the existing systems and simply enhance what is currently available. This will provide a value added service to clients and help recruiters stay engaged with their talent pool. 

NextCrew offers a software platform for staffing companies which is very adaptable to online staffing business models. These include:
There is no need for an organization to completely change the way they currently provide services to their clients. Online staffing is designed to enhance the staffing industry and open it up to a new future of technology. Based on your business, clients and talent you work with you have to decide, which online staffing business model works best for you. It is about understanding trends of staffing industry and new ways to provide value add service to your clients as well as staying connected with your talents.

Are you ready for massive success?

Feel free to contact us to discuss online staffing business models.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Solving the Staffing Software Riddle: A Small Agency's Guide to Upgrading

Staffing services come in all shapes and sizes. From large international and corporate entities to small mom-and-pop boutique agencies each business has unique requirements. Often, the smaller, more local, companies have less flexibility when it comes to their systems even though they are expected to provide the same level of service as the big companies with more sizable budgets. 

As a result, several of these independent staffing agencies rely on out of date computer systems or, in some cases, no applicant tracking database at all. Some may only utilize a payroll system such as QuickBooks, Paychex, or ADP. These organizations may have their temporary staff use printed time cards that they must turn in or fax over to the organization. Some have moved on to PDFs of timesheets which will still need to be manually processed using valuable time and resources in such a small organization. 

Furthermore, many smaller agencies are concerned about the disruption that can occur when transitioning to a new system. Not only is there implementation that can halt business for an extended period of time but the training of staff members, many of whom are not comfortable or familiar with the new technology being implemented in the office. 

Let's take a closer look at the concerns some companies may have that causes them to delay the use of staffing software technology that could ultimately enhance their business model. 

  • Information migration: Many small businesses use older, out of date database systems that have been populated with thousands of applications throughout the years. They may be concerned about losing this information with a transition to a new system.
  • Training: Boutique staffing agencies are very proud of their employee retention and many have worked with the same recruiters for 20 or 30 years. This means that the learning curve for new technology can be high. Owners and managers are concerned that their staff will be uncomfortable learning new systems and this will result in decreased productivity in the office.
  •  Systems integration: If a payroll service is being used there may be some questions about how they can integrate their current systems with a new product. The loss of payroll information, concerns about using the new product, and the unfamiliarity with a new system can all contribute to anxiety about a switch.
  • Disruption of business: The implementation, integration, training, and use of a new system will inevitably affect the smooth operation of the business for a period of time. Business owners and their staff want to ensure that their day to day functions will not be disrupted and often stick with less efficient systems.
  • System malfunctions: Technology comes with a certain level of risk. Many small companies are very concerned about the possibility of computer systems malfunctioning or becoming inoperable as to create large timeframes where work cannot be completed as expected while the IT company or department figures out and solves the problem.

All of these concerns are valid and need to be addressed by the service provider. Investing in fluid technology which integrates all current systems and creates a seamless integration process is possible. 

NextCrew is a cloud-based solution that can integrate all of the necessary systems for the smooth operation of staffing services at all levels. In 2012 our company was founded to develop an intuitive online staffing platform to streamline the most complex and time-consuming processes of maintaining on-demand workforce. Our system is fully customizable so the user experience is unique for every company we work with.

Staffing services of all sizes understand the challenges that come with the business model. The need to focus on business growth often means day-to-day logistics are set aside for a future time. Often, this time never seems right to make a change so it is easy to limp along with less than perfect systems and processes. 

Our product offers each client the ability to create a personalized and private-labeled website. Candidates and clients are able to interact with self-service portals to streamline the process and allow recruiters to focus on recruiting rather than day to day administration and employee management. Real-time scheduling eliminates much of the time spend contacting unavailable employees. Our system is based in the cloud which means that down servers and technical problems are not likely to affect our clients' ability to conduct their business. Our system can be optimized for mobile use and can easily integrate with current payroll and applicant tracking systems to enhance current technology used within the office. 

Companies working with NexCrew will be able to utilize our customized services to enhance their front end operations and streamline back office processes such as payroll and client invoices. For example, many organizations we speak with use QuickBooks as their back office software. They don't need to eliminate the use of the system they are comfortable with but can integrate it with our services to make the entire system more efficient and effective.  As a cloud-based product, NextCrew is a good option for companies who want to offer a state of the art interface to their clients and staff without changing their internal systems.

There is no doubt that an older, tried and true computer system can be comforting and familiar. Entering a new age of technology can make things feel like they are spinning out of control. NextCrew strives to work one-on-one with companies to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible and allowing them to experience all of the benefits of new, supported workforce management technology. 

Are you ready to take the leap? 

 Image by Ged Carroll via Flickr

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Power of a Live Resume

All too often job seekers think about their resume in terms of being a static document. They update it when they're in the market for a new job and once employed don't think about it again. When the need for a new job comes around again they'll scramble to come up with the right content for their updated resume. It is a vicious cycle that doesn't need to happen.

LinkedIn is one tool that is starting to change this trend. Professionals often update their profiles regularly whether they are looking for a job or not. This means they always have the most up to date information available. 

There may be other ways for candidates to have live resumes especially in the temporary sector. This is the value of offering candidates the opportunity to manage their own profiles on a workforce management system. Let's take a look at some of the reasons, methods, and results of this practice. 

Social Media

LinkedIn and Facebook, among other social media sites, have really changed the way that we communicate as a culture. These changes are spreading into other aspects of our lives including how we apply for jobs. When we look at someone's LinkedIn and Facebook pages we can learn three things:
  • How active they are
  • When they last updated
  • Their latest experience
This combination of information gives us a more complete picture of a candidate than just their paper resume. 

Stale Information 

A paper resume is stagnant. Even if it is customized for a specific job, as many experts recommend, it becomes out of date very quickly. Staffing companies will collect resumes from candidates and place them in their data base but if anything changes a new resume has to be collected or the information remains stale. There is no real connection between the staffing company and their temporary employee base when using a paper resume model. 

Candidate Managed Profiles

Let's think about resumes in a new way. What if your candidates had complete control over their own profile in your employee data base? 
  1. The resume could be updated regularly whenever the candidate had something new to add.
  2. They can change their schedule, include new licenses and certifications, and update resumes with the newest information. They may even use new technology to include a video resume.
  3. Their availability will change each time they start and end a new assignment so they can be considered for other work.
  4. This information can be easily shared directly with your clients. 

Private Talent Pool
As a staffing provider you can also build a talent pool of your most marketable candidates based on individual client requirements. This will allow your clients to hire them on demand. Each time an employee updates their resume and experience they can be included in private talent pools that match their skills. 

Can real-time updates for candidate resumes help your business move to the next level? NextCrew can help today!  

Image by Flazingo Photos via Flickr

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Missed Opportunities: Seasonal Retail Staffing

Is September really too early to start thinking about the holiday season? Autumn decorations are starting to hit store shelves and you've probably already noticed a Halloween themed store open in your area. Could seasonal, retail employment be a missed opportunity for many agencies with a contingent workforce waiting for appropriate assignments? 

How many of your candidates would be willing to work retail jobs over the holiday season just to bring in extra money while they're waiting for a full time opportunity? For many industries the winter is the slowest hiring time so these talented candidates may be out of luck for the next several months if they aren't willing to be flexible. Many of them may even be seeking out retail projects on their own without your knowledge. 

What if you can leverage your current talent pool and make connections within the seasonal retail industry in your community? 

And it isn't just retail. Distribution companies and warehouses may also be ramping up their seasonal hiring to get through the holidays. 

Using a workforce management system can help you reach out to industries you hadn't previously considered. While sales outside of your general industry are usually time consuming, having an accessible online portal where stores and facilities can instantly connect directly with your willing talent pool can help make connections and generate additional income for your business as well as for your employees. 

NextCrew's workforce management system offers a self-service portal for employees and clients. They can connect instantly online which will require little additional work from your in-house recruiters. They can continue to focus on your core business and make sure you're strategy for the end of the year is in place. Clients can post their needs for part time or full time seasonal shift workers which can be viewed by your entire candidate pool. Candidates can accept roles directly through the system and will be sent all of the important information to ensure success. Employees can submit their weekly time sheet for the shifts they've worked directly to their managers and, in turn, to payroll at your company. This system can be integrated with your own payroll software to create a seamless process. 

NextCrew is currently working with other staffing services to provide this level of service and we want to talk with you about how seasonal staffing could boost your business during the holiday season. Contact us today!  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Healthcare Staffing: A Shortage of Talent and the Locum Tenens Solution

It was predicted with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that the healthcare staffing would see a boom in business. This has, in fact, been the case among many support roles. Nursing, administration, therapists, and other healthcare professionals are seeing more jobs available. 

What wasn't specifically expected was a shortage of physicians and nurses in this post-ACA system. 

As millions of previously uninsured Americans are now gaining access to affordable healthcare, the need for general and specialized doctors is increasing. This comes on top of a wave of retiring baby boomers that is reaching over 75 million and growing each year as Americans are living longer past retirement age than ever before. 

This has opened the door for locum tenens staffing. 

The temporary staffing of doctors is referred to as locum tenens, which comes from a Latin term meaning "to hold the place of." It most is often utilized by medical practices and hospital facilities when a regular physician is on vacation, out due to illness or parental leave, sabbatical, continuing education, or even active military duty. It can also be used when a practice is shorthanded and a vacancy needs to be filled immediate. 

Services that specialize in locum tenens staffing are responsible for all of the background and licenses checks required by state and federal law before the doctor is assigned to the facility. Like traditional temporary staffing they also manage the temporary or travel doctor's assignment, their expenses, and other necessities while they are working.  

Medical Economics predicts that locum tenens medical staffing will be at the leading edge of the solution to the physician shortage problem. Of the managers polled by the publication, 31% indicated that they plan to increase staffing due to the requirements of the ACA. 7% specifically pointed to temporary medical staff to address these issues. 

"The number of hospitals using temporary physicians rose from 22% in 2009 to 55% in 2013, according to the report. Of the 230 healthcare facilities surveyed, 90% reported using temporary physicians in the last 12 months—a 16% increase from the prior year."

To better address this shortage of physicians, locum tenens staffing companies may need to consider the effectiveness of their current workforce management systems. 
Here are some things to consider:

  1. Self-Managed Portal. Pre-screened nurses and doctors are able to manage their own profile, licenses, schedule. This can reduce the amount of support work performed by the recruiters, eliminate the need and cost for additional administrative staff, and allow the team to focus on hiring more talent at a faster pace.
  2. Private Talent Pool. Locum Tenens companies can efficiently reach out their candidates by location and skill. They can also establish a customized talent pool of qualified doctors to share with individual practices and facilities based on their typical requests.
  3. Client-Managed Jobs. The system can also allow clients to manage their own job orders so they can receive candidate information in a timely fashion and focus on getting the need filled as quickly as possible with the right doctor.
  4. Seamless Integration. Workforce management solutions can integrate with your current payroll systems, vendor management systems, and applicant tracking systems. This will make the transition seamless for the recruiters, the physicians, and the hiring managers. 

NextCrew, a workforce management solution for the new world, can provide all of these accommodations and more. Our white label platform can be customized to reflect your existing brand image and the details can be tailored to your specific business. If you're a locum tenens staffing service, contact us today to learn how we can help you!  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

United Nations Seeks Online Staffing Provider

On August 15th, 2014, Staffing Industry Online Published a statement from the U.N. in New York City regarding their search for an online staffing provider. 

“The UN requires a Contractor that provides an online platform of freelance services to acquire professional services in performing specific tasks covering a range of activities,” according to the expression of interest. 

The United Nations is looking to partner with a provider who is able to give them access to a private talent pool so they can source talent on demand such as illustrators, graphic designers, data analysts, data visualization specialist, technical writers and proofreaders for multiple languages, game designers, computer programmers, mobile application developers, search engine optimization specialists, and events coordinators. These assignments will typically be short term and on short notice. 

Staffing services, such as those within Information Technology, can utilize a workforce management system like NextCrew to manage their currently inactive talent pool and provide access for the United Nations. This high profile account has the potential for great success for the agencies and the individual contractors involved in the projects.  

Not only can this staffing platform be used for the U.N. but it can also be customized for any potential clients with similar, short term needs. 

Click for more information on creating private talent pools and providing online staffing

The NextCrew platform would allow staffing companies to create a specific private talent pool to customize the experience for the individual clients. Top performers and those with specific skills can be recommended to the clients based on their requirements. 

The scheduling system in our workforce management and online staffing platform would also allow the UN or other businesses to request talent for onsite or remote projects directly with the online interface. This connects them directly with the talent pool and allows your recruiters to focus on sourcing and providing new talent rather than managing individual assignments. Tasks can be posted either hourly or on a project basis depending on the needs of the customer. 

NextCrew can also integrate with existing applicant tracking systems and payroll systems to make the transition to online staffing as seamless as possible. 

With online staffing your business can launch to the next level and help provide talent to one of the most critical organizations in the world. Contact NextCrew to learn more!  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tapping into Hidden Talents

Rarely are people one dimensional. When you're recruiting for specific positions such as accounting or labor you're pulling from a pool of multi-talented people, even if you don't know it. Every person who walks through your door can do many jobs; they just might not let you know right away. 

Conventional job searching techniques teach candidates to be very specific about what they want. They are told to focus on the exact job duties of the position for which they are applying and tailor their resume to fit that need. They are told to be the solution to an employer's problem and that means focusing on the details.
But one of the biggest complaints from job seekers is that they feel pigeon-holed or unappreciated for their many talents. 

Your staffing service may be focused on healthcare, information technology, or light industrial placements but your pool of candidates can be qualified for more types of work. You may only be concerned about that one skill set each person has to offer when they walk through their door, but in doing that you are ignoring the potential of all the other talents they have. 

What if you knew that your coding candidate works part time as a graphic designer? Could this be a revenue stream your business is missing out on? 

Multi-dimensional candidates can surprise you. A nurse could also be a yoga instructor. An administrative assistant could also be a freelance bookkeeper. Would just having the knowledge of this help you tap into new ways to generate business for your company? 

Many candidates are willing to work part-time between jobs to earn money. Some may even prefer this work. They may be able to work part time to generate income for themselves, revenue for you, and help a wider client base than you thought possible. 

Of course, if you're an IT consulting firm or a travel nurse staffing provider you probably don't want to spend your time marketing irrelevant services to businesses in your community. What if an online staffing resource could provide you with that platform with minimal work and internal processes? NextCrew provides an online staffing platform which allows companies to create new revenue stream by leveraging trends and processes of online staffing. Businesses can posts their needs on the portal where candidates can access them, respond, and accept or decline opportunities. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Online Staffing: Making the Most of Your Employee Inventory

I talk to a lot of individuals within the staffing industry. From account managers to recruiters, anyone who has been in the business for a while has a similar origin story. When they began in temporary staffing, often before Y2K, their companies hadn't yet embraced computers. Their databases were binders full of handwritten applications which were often organized by skill set rather than by name. If a call came in for a receptionist they would pick up the book labeled "receptionist" and start paging through. 

Many staffing companies were late adopters of computerized databases but it was pretty obvious that their systems were outdated. Eventually they needed to invest in new technology to stay competitive in the market. The same is true today.

Brick and mortar staffing companies have the objective to be the best customer facing representatives while still sourcing the best talent from the surrounding communities. This can still be true even if the technology helps them become more efficient.

A small staffing agency owner once told me that only 15% of their total applicants would ever be placed on a job. 

True or not, that number is astounding. 

Databases may not be enough to sustain traditional staffing companies today. There is a big gap between applicant tracking software and the back office which, right now, is only being serviced by recruiters in the office. A client requests a temp and recruiters or administrators contact potential employees. When an employee accepts they are placed on a job order, directions are sent, and a confirmation call is made. This may simply been the way it has always been done, but that doesn't necessarily make it the most efficient system.

Imagine this: 

A used car salesman has dozens of cars on his lot. 
The salesman and his staff spend a lot of time making sure the cars are maintained and ready when the right buyer comes along. 
But the cars continue to sit.

What if the car lot had the opportunity to rent out these cars while they continued to wait for the right buyer? Each car would generate additional profit for the car lot. The people who have a special need for a car but either can't afford to own one or don't need one long term can benefit from the use of these cars. Eventually, the perfect buyer would walk on to the lot and the car would find its way into a new garage. 

Staffing companies spend lot of time and resources interviewing candidates on daily basis. NextCrew provides white label online staffing platform which allows staffing companies to generate additional revenue by leveraging the trends and processes of online staffing. At the same time the self-service portal allows candidates to stay engaged with a staffing company until they have found their dream job.

Online staffing solutions are a win/win prospect for everyone involved in the cycle of staffing. Check out information on NextCrew's services and how we can work with you to design a platform customized for your business.