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Monday, January 27, 2014

Opportunity Everywhere – Do You See It?

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." – Albert Einstein

In all aspects of our lives, from business to personal, we face choices and opportunities along the way. The real magic happens when you decide which opportunities to take and what will enhance your experience. 

Image by austens via flickr.
As a business owner, you've decided to take the opportunity to provide flexible staffing to other businesses. How did you get into this field? Did you fall into it? Was it a passion? What choices let you to this point in your career and your life? 

Every day we face new challenges, opportunities, and choices. Like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story, each opportunity presented will lead you down a very different path to your goals. Unfortunately, some people equate opportunities with the unknown and, ultimately, with failure. However, if you miss an important opportunity there is a good chance it will never come around again. So how do you open your eyes to opportunities that present themselves to you? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when you're faced with an important choice. 

  1. How will this opportunity affect my career or business goals? Will it take you closer to your goals? Will it start to lead you in another direction? If so, is that direction something that will enhance your career maybe in a way you hadn't expected? 
  2. What are the consequences of not taking this opportunity? How will the missed chance negatively affect your business? Can you see another similar opportunity down the road? Will it impact your business on a financial level? Will it impact the quality of your life if you do not take it? What if you do take it?
  3. Will this opportunity be presented to my competitors and how will it give them an edge? Is this an opportunity within your market that would even the playing field? Is this an opportunity that is specific to your industry or your business. Is this opportunity something that can change the game entirely and how comfortable are you with this level of change? 
Opportunity is about change and it is can be unsettling even after you make what you feel to be the right decision. What kind of survival skills have you developed when it comes to seizing opportunity in your business and your life?
For more information on opportunities that can give your business a competitive edge, contact NextCrew. We are workforce management for the new world.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Accumulated Knowledge: Can Technology Help When People Leave Your Business?

As a recruiter for a temporary staffing company I saw this situation happen frequently: a key member of a small business team would leave their job unexpectedly and the rest of the team would need to scramble to figure out all of the processes they used and the knowledge they took with them.

Image by Victor1558 via Flickr
Of course, it was our job to help them find a replacement that was capable of hitting the ground running and figure out the missing pieces. 

Have you ever thought about how you would handle this if it happened in your company? 

The right technology can be the key to making unexpected transitions happen as smoothly as possible. 

One essential aspect to temporary staffing and using our in-house data base was documentation. Every time someone in operations took an action we were required to enter that information into our system. This minimized mistakes made when a different recruiter needed to deal with a situation. All of the information they needed would be in the system right at their fingertips. This worked well even while we were working together but also helped as I trained my replacement and left the organization. 

There are three primary components to this solution: the right technology, organized systems, and a standardized workflow. Let's look at them each in more detail. 

  • The right technology. It is extremely important that all of the knowledge for the operations of a company not be stored only within someone's brain. Technology can be the right solution. It could be a database, an ERP, a workforce management system, or any number of other resources. The choice of which system to use for your business will depend largely on what your business does and how the technology can assist your staff to do their own job without becoming a burden.
  •  Organized systems. Once you have the technology in place, your staff needs to understand the best way to use it. Create policies that govern how they interact with the system. Provide extensive training on how these systems work within your company. What do they enter and when, how does it help them in their job day to day, and to whom are they accountable? Without this level of organization the system will quickly disintegrate.
  •  Standardized workflow. The third key piece to this structure is to make sure that each member of your team work within a standardized workflow for their specific job. If your accountant is the only person in the company with knowledge of financial matters the results could be devastating if they leave. Instead, work with each staff member to understand how they contribute day to day and create a list of procedures to accomplish their daily tasks. This way, if someone leaves the company or is out for an emergency, another staff member can step in and follow the procedure to complete this part of the process until the person returns or a replacement is hired. 

NextCrew wants to partner with you to make your company as successful as possible. Consider working with a workforce management system to streamline your staffing process and be prepared for all eventual situations. Contact us today!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Expected State of the Contingent Workforce in 2014

According to this report by Accenture released last year, the biggest change coming to human resources over the next 12 months will be the rise of an increasingly more temporary workforce. However, their research suggests that it may take on a significantly different form than it has in the past. Accenture posits that the new workforce will be more flexible and even highly skilled individuals will have a more freelance role in big business. 

There are a growing number of people who temporarily lend companies their skills and knowledge in an ever-expanding network of freelancers, consultants, outsourcing partners, vendors and other types of nontraditional talent. Many of these individuals are jobless, but not work-less.

Image by izzatFulkrum via Flickr
So what does this mean for business and the role of companies who do provide continent workers for businesses? 

Current estimates indicate that up to 33% of the US workforce today is comprised of non-traditional workers including contractors, temporary employees, or freelancers. It is expected that companies who provide this type of service to other businesses will add over 600,000 jobs in the next decade which is expected to be twice the growth rate for the rest of the economy during the same time frame.

Online talent platforms are also on the rise. Services such as NextCrew, as well as some popular Freelance websites, allow companies to access contingent workers through the cloud making it easy to connect these flexible employees with short or long term projects. 

Also from the Accenture report: 

The rise of new online contractor exchanges has also fueled the growth of the extended workforce. Just as “cloud computing” has recently emerged as a way for organizations to get on-demand, affordable access to a dynamically scalable, shared pool of computing resources over the Internet paid for on a transactional basis, so too has “cloud talent sourcing” emerged as a new model whereby organizations can get on-demand, affordable and global access to a dynamically scalable, shared pool of skilled workers over the Internet paid for on a transactional basis. With cloud computing, companies pay only for the transactions they want handled.

Leaders in the temporary staffing, hospitality and event staffing, and other industries which rely on contingent employees have long understood the need to stay at the top of employment trends. Temporary staffing is one indicator of a growing economy. With the significant changes in the way business works, the contingent workforce may soon become the backbone of business in our country. 

Be at the leading edge of contract and temporary workforce management. Contact NextCrew to learn more about our systems and how they can help you manage your staff online.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

NexCrew : 2 Years Later

It is sometimes hard to believe that it was just two years ago I launched this company. It seems simultaneously so recent and so long ago. I wasn't sure what to expect. I had this idea that I thought would be a game changer for the staffing industry and I wanted to take it to the next level. Leaving high paying job as a CIO for was not easy but 100% commitment was needed.
On January 1, 2012 we launched NextCrew. By the same time in 2013 we were in a position to start proving our concept and offering our services to companies around the world. I expect that 2014, our third year, will be about growth.

In just two short years we have become international working with clients in Canada and the United Kingdom. I was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the staffing industry for the year of 2013 by Staffing Industry Analysts.These are successes and honors that help to keep us motivated to provide the best products and services to our clients.
More than anything I want to sincerely thank my loyal team members and the early customers who trusted us. It has always been important to me to surround myself with talented individuals who can work together to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Along with my team, there were other important values that allowed NextCrew to become successful. It was about pursing a dream and embracing entrepreneurship. I had to let go of any fear of failure I had. I also needed to understand the lessons that failure could teach me and learn how to improve. I knew that we couldn't do this without the trust and commitment of our customers. That wouldn't happen if we weren't committed to providing the best customer service or worked hard to make them successful.

It is a new year and we are excited to see what is in store for our business in 2014.
From everyone here at NextCrew, we wish you a wonderful, successful, and innovative New Year!