Rising demand for temp workers requires flexible, scalable staffing processes

The workforce is increasingly composed of temporary employees, according to a new study. Research recently released by Palmer Forecast showed that by the end of 2013, the market will see a 5.9 percent increase in the number of temporary workers in the United States. This change is following the 4.7 percent increase experienced in the first quarter of 2013 in a year-over-year comparison. This means that there is an increasing need for your staffing business to have the processing in place to handle the demand.

“Our forecast for the 2013 second quarter follows recent trends showing growth and indicating another increase in demand for temporary workers, marking the fourteenth-consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases,” said Greg Palmer, founder and managing director of G. Palmer & Associates, an Orange County, California-based staffing industry consulting firm.

“So far in 2013, the BLS reported an average of 18,400 temp jobs per month. Most of the trends remain positive for continued single digit temp help growth for 2013. To put the first quarter numbers in perspective, 174,000 temp jobs were added in 2012. This is following the 167,000 temp jobs added in 2011 and the 339,000 temp jobs added in 2010,” Palmer added.

According to the study, 11 percent of the new jobs created since 2008 have been temporary positions. Approximately 23 percent of the jobs created in March 2013 alone were in the temp industry. The St. Louis Dispatch reports that the temp industry could see further boosts as a result from the Affordable Care Act. Companies looking for ways to appropriately deal with new healthcare mandates are determining that holding a larger contingent worker force is leading to decreased expenses.

Because employers with more than 50 full-time employees will need to provide affordable healthcare coverage or pay a penalty, corporations are enacting new contingent and temp worker staffing plans. Many of the organizations set to do this will rely on the expertise of staffing professionals.

As a staffing professional, all of these new clients may mean that you will need to reconsider procedural processes. When you simply have 10 clients looking to fill 10 positions, it’s easy enough to ensure everything is running smoothly. However, as each of your individual clients looks to fill more and more roles, you may find yourself struggling to keep up with the demands – resulting in a decrease in service (never a positive thing!).

To combat this, your recruiting and staffing software application has to have the flexibility and scalability to handle these new demands. Decrease the risk of clients or job applicants falling through the cracks by using a complete tracking system that shows you how an employee candidate is managing the interview and application process set up by your clients. Software that is accessible via the cloud will also better ensure that you can provide clients and job candidates immediate answers as they crop up.

As the temporary worker portion of the job force continues to increase, it’s important to have the systems and procedures in place that will make organization and efficiency a priority. The economy is still in the process of recovery, which means hiring is rising and as a staffing professional, you’re going to be busy.

The St. Louis Dispatch reports that staffing companies across the United States are already finding themselves dealing with the increasing demand for temp workers and how best to deal with the situation the Affordable Care Act has created. Are you seeing an increase in the number of requests for temporary workers?

Bond chosen as One of the Best Investments by The Telegraph Online

The Telegraph 200x200Extract from The Telegraph online article:

“George Luckraft, of asset managers AXA Framlington, said that although the British economy should improve in 2013 and into 2014, international events are likely to remain the drivers for share price performance. “Britain has a number of world leading companies led by quality management with a strong product or service offering and which are set to continue to benefit from economic growth internationally,” he said.

He tipped Victrex, based in Lancashire, a manufacturer of high performance polymers which are exported around the world and used in a wide range of industries. Ninety seven per cent of its sales comes from outside of the UK – one of their biggest projects is the new Boeing Dreamliner plane which has more than a tonne of Victrex polymer in each aircraft.

Investors will currently pay for those bright prospects.Victrex is more expensive than the average for its sector, trading on a P/E ratio of 18. This ratio is calculated by dividing the share price by the earnings per share. The average for Victrex’s sector is 14. The shares also pay an income yield of 2.47pc.

Mr Luckraft also tipped Devro, a world leading manufacturer of collagen products with manufacturing facilities in Scotland, Czech Republic, Australia and the US. It is trading on a P/E of 15.9, compared to an industry average of 31. The stock yields 2.68pc.

The services sector also remains a crucial strength of the British economy, growing faster at 0.6pc.

Bond International is a global leader in staffing, HR and payroll software and services, and Mr Luckraft’s third stock pick. The company won big contracts last year in both Japan and Australia. It has also launched a unique and successful cloud computing software product in the US jobs market. The stock yields 3.2pc.” 

Read the full article here

Are online project staffing websites impacting the traditional recruiting market?

Some workers may ask themselves “What’s the difference between a traditional recruiter and online project staffing websites?” While both serve to connect workers with employers, they are hardly the same thing. As a staffing professional, you know that you provide professionals with an invaluable connection to employers that is built on trust and expertise.

However, it’s understandable if you’re worried online project staffing websites are cutting into your business. Elance.com, one of the premier online freelance communities out there, is dominating a large portion of the contingent workforce. But, this unique portal is vastly different than a recruitment firm.

Elance is an industry leader and controls about 25 percent of the online staffing market share, according to a paper from Deutsche Bank Markets Research. Online staffing generated about $1 billion in 2012 and gross revenues are expected to grow to $2 billion by the end of 2014 and $6 billion by 2018.

Approximately 50 percent of the work contracted through Elance is IT, 35 percent is marketing and creative and 15 percent is in a category that lumps customer service, administrative, translation, engineering, finance and legal. While 33 percent of the talent working on the site is based out of the U.S., 60 percent of the hiring companies are U.S. companies. Most of these organizations (90 percent) are small-to-medium sized businesses.

While you may be saying to yourself that those are exactly the markets you’re working in as a recruiter, you have to take a look at how business is conducted on online project staffing websites like Elance. Companies are hiring for particular jobs and projects and rarely are they continuous work. As a result, a vast majority of the jobs offered to contract workers provide work here and there, and while these jobs are certainly positive for a portfolio, many workers are not going to be thrilled with managing a large client base in order to make a living wage.

As a staffing professional, you may offer contingent work in these fields, but it’s typically for longer periods of three or six-month contracts (maybe even longer). You’re hiring and recruiting for a completely different niche, which is why there is enough room in the staffing world to fit both traditional recruiters who use strategic cloud-accessible staffing software and online project staffing websites.

“While online staffing is growing very fast, we believe so far that online staffing is expanding the overall contingent labor market, not yet taking share from temp staffing. We think IT is the staffing discipline that faces the biggest challenge, but not until large companies embrace online staffing – which is likely still a number of years away. Even if SIA is correct in its long-term forecast, online staffing would only take about 1pt off IT staffing’s revenue growth rate annually over the next five years, but even then we have to assume all incremental growth is W2 (which is highly unlikely). Longer term, as the online staffing market develops and becomes more mainstream, we believe temp staffing agencies will either have to embrace this more efficient, self-service model, or miss out on servicing a potentially large piece of the expanded pie,” said Elance senior management, according to Deutsche Bank Markets Research.

The number of employed individuals using both staffing resources may increase as professionals become more comfortable taking on contract work instead of being a part of the permanent workforce. The key question is: Do you think that online staffing represents an employment trend that you should be concerned about? Sound off and let us know.

Identify the right sales candidate for your staffing firm using the dinner party theory

In the competitive, global marketplace, consumers are able to find dozens, sometimes hundreds of businesses across the world that provide the same service or product. This ability has created the ultimate competition and every day is a new tournament for industry leaders and sales teams – especially for staffing and recruiting firms.

As a staffing professional, you know that a dynamic sales team isn’t just built on the number of years a person has been in the business, but also an individual’s ability to create lasting relationships with a customer.

You’re looking for an individual who comprises multiple characteristics and skills – regardless of what industry they are in. Consider the merits of judging the professional skills of a sales person based on how they nurture leads from the beginning of a pitch to the closing of a sale. According to Marketing Profs, lead nurturing is much like a dinner party. Thus, a good sales person, and, in fact, every person in your staffing and recruiting organization, should treat his or her clients or leads like honored guests, who can portray a comfortable, inviting home or business relationship and is able to carry a conversation with aplomb.

Exploring the full scope of a sales candidate’s repertoire takes time, but your long-term sales success will benefit from a longer period of vetting the candidates’ relationship-building skills. Once you’ve selected a great sales candidate, be sure to train them up on your staffing software so that they are fully-equipped to bring in more business.

Initial jobless claims slightly rise

Preliminary unemployment data shows that jobless claims have slightly risen in the past week. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in the week ending April 13, 2013, the figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 352,000 – an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 348,000.

While these numbers are still being fully formed, economists and hiring experts are trying to determine, in light of the recent dip in the stock market’s condition, if the job market is poised for a downturn.

“Businesses at least need the workers they have and probably could use some more,” Tom Simons, an economist at Jefferies LLC in New York, who projected claims would rise to 350,000, told Bloomberg. “Claims will probably stay in this range for some time.”

According to the Department of Labor, the four-week moving average for unemployment claims was 361,250. While numbers are still being adjusted, these figures could indicate a high percentage of recent out-of-work professionals hitting the market and looking for new employment opportunities.

As a staffing professional, this might be a good time to review clients’ needs to determine if some of the sectors showing a recent downturn feature a few strong potential candidates. With so many jobs on your desk, your cutting edge recruiting software can help you track these workers as they enter different companies or work their way through the hiring process with one of your clients. Thoughtful consideration and the means of tracking these individuals will allow you as a staffing professional to know when to pick one worker over another.

Among the recently unemployed, a recruiter may find the ideal candidate who is experienced in all the right protocols and features the right background.

Are you failing to look at the long-term unemployed?

New research is corroborating a long-held anecdote that those individuals who have been out of work for a considerable time are less desirable by hiring managers and recruiters. As a staffing professional, do you ask yourself why you may be passing up a person who is part of the massive group of Americans who fall under the long-term unemployed category?

Who are the long-term unemployed?

According to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor, in March 2013, there were 4.6 million people who were classified as long-term unemployed (those workers who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more). Those 4.6 million make up 39.6 percent of the total unemployment number. Sadly, new research is indicating that employers will rarely, if ever, consider hiring from this large pool of candidates.

But, who are these long-term unemployed individuals? According to a 2010 Congressional Research Service report titled, “The Trend in Long-Term Unemployment and Characteristics of Workers Unemployed for More than 99 Weeks,” men and women are almost as likely to remain out of work for more than 99 weeks – 7.9 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively. Older workers also made up a larger portion of the demographic. The report states that unemployed workers who are 45 years old and older are 10.7 percent more likely to remain that way for more than 99 weeks, in contrast to those workers under the age of 35 at 6 percent. Unemployed workers of all education levels were equally likely to have been looking for new job opportunities for more than 99 weeks.

How hard is it for the long-term unemployed to find work?

An experiment previously mentioned above by Rand Ghayad of Northeastern University recently demonstrated just how hard it would be for someone who had been out of work for an extended period of time to get a job. Ghayad sent out 4,800 fake resumes at random for 600 job openings. He found that employers would rather call back a worker who had no relevant experience compared to one that had been out of work for longer than six months. While this is a simplified run down of Ghayad’s findings, it is interesting to consider.

As a recruitment professional, you and I may want to ask ourselves what value we are placing on recent employment and how it could be impacting our staffing decisions. Are there entire markets of workers who could fit a client’s needs that are being overlooked?

There is the rational fear that a worker who has been out of a job for over six months was let go by his or her previous employer because of outdated skills or is a professional liability. However, couldn’t an in-depth search into a worker’s qualifications and past with the use of recruiting software allow you to decrease the risk of this occurring?

Some recruiters are even warning the long-term unemployed away from submitting resumes. Kim Keough lost her job in July 2008. She told The Washington Post that she believed she would be out of work for a few months at most – more than three years later she is still looking for a new job.

“Recruiters have told me not to bother sending in a resume if I’m not currently employed,” Keough told the news source. “It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t…The longer you are out of work, the more discriminatory companies get.”

In addition, could the trend of skipping over those candidates who have been out of work for a significant period have a long-term structural impact on the employment market? It just might. The Washington Post reports that dozens of states are considering legislation that would make it illegal for employers to discriminate against those who are long-term unemployed. While these proposals have not managed to pass, it’s interesting to note that New Jersey currently has a law that protects the long-term unemployed, and it’s only brought one company to action.

It will be interesting to see how the industry develops and if marketplace changes will have an impact on recruiting and hiring trends. To that end, I’d like to ask you staffing and recruiting professionals a few questions: Do you know of someone who has been discriminated against in this way? Are you using any means to seek out and re-employ this group? What other practical advice or suggestions could you offer to help solve this employment issue?

Are you ready to handle continued temp growth?

Temporary employment is booming. Do you have the systems and processes in place to handle it?

According to recent Deutsche Bank research, temp volumes are continuing to skyrocket during this period of economic recovery. In March 2013, temp growth rose by 6.8 percent in a year-over-year comparison – and was up from the 5.6 percent experienced in February 2013. Overall, approximately 23 percent of all the new jobs created in March 2013 were temp positions.

While the U.S. Department of Labor’s jobs report was underwhelming for many, it still demonstrated that the economy is moving forward. Unemployment moved fractionally down to 7.6 percent and the economy gained 88,000 jobs.

As a staffing professional, you’re in perfect position to take advantage of this rise in temporary positions using the most cutting edge recruiting software that can appropriately handle the sheer volume of data, clients and potential candidates.

Your corporate clients are finding that temporary workers or freelancers often offer the right balance of skills and can have an instantaneous impact on a campaign or the development of a project. The makeup of the workforce is changing and it is increasingly becoming common for companies to hire contract and temporary workers who best demonstrate the ability to make business contributions immediately upon getting hired.

From a staffing and recruiting agency perspective, your clients want you to be able to find and place the talent they need fast, accurately, and efficiently. To do this – and manage your margins and business profitably – you have to have systems and processes in place that are flexible and scalable enough for whatever comes your way. This also means being able to monitor and manage your key performance metrics continuously.

If you find that your staffing and recruiting processes – or perhaps more importantly your own sales and recruiting staff – are being stretched to the limit and beyond to handle the growth in job orders, it’s time to look at revising or upgrading your systems and processes.

Top 3 tips for creating brand engagement

Are you in charge of your own personal brand and how it relates to your professional life? If you’re not using the tools that can easily boost your brand and help you build an army of followers, you’re failing at one primary aspect of your job as a staffing professional – networking!

As a recruiter, your job boils down to finding the individuals who will help your clients succeed. The more people you know and connect with, the more likely you are to know the professional who is best for a position your client is trying to fill.

One 2010 Satmetrix study found that brand evangelists, which is a fancy term for exuberant company or product fans, spend 13 percent more than the average customer and they often will refer a business. So, not only are these super fans spending more than the average customer, they are promoting the brand to others, reports Marketing Profs.

While you’re not selling any product, as a staffing professional you are trying to demonstrate and convince others of the value of your service. You’re trying to attain new clients and you’re trying to convince highly prized workers who may already have a job to leave their current position for a new one offered by your client. Known to us in the business as passive job seekers, these are the people you’re really after. While they are not actively searching for a new position, if you can bring them the offer or the possibility of gaining access to a position they desire, you will not only be filling the desires of your clients, but the person you helped gain a new job will most likely act as a brand advocate for you.

So, now that you realize how important it is to manage your professional image, you might be asking yourself what’s the next step for creating this “army” of fans and potential contacts to fill out your recruiting software. Here are three tips for boosting your professional brand:

1) Understand your brand image. It’s tough sometimes to pick the proposition values that you want to represent. After all, you’re an entire person and have a diverse array of interests and attributes. However, if you spread out your efforts and make your brand so varied that a fan can’t describe you in five distinct nouns or adjectives then how are you going to be easily promoted? Remember, one of the key tenants of brand marketing is ‘focus.’ Flesh out a complete idea of who you want to be viewed as by your fans. It’s a lot easier to spend time thinking about how you want to be viewed and work from scratch at the beginning than to try and turn around a disjointed or unsuccessful brand image.

2) Empower your fans. You’re not going to be everywhere and able to talk to everyone. Even if you did manage to do this with everyone you meet in person or digitally, those efforts are not going to compare to what can be done by an active fan base. Operating on the six degrees of separation, remember that connectivity and creating brand advocates will go further than anything you can do on your own. Therefore, it’s important to empower and encourage your fans. Provide them with the information they need to share your ideas or even your contact information. Invite your fans to take control of portions of your brand and watch as it grows.

3) Create conversations. As a staffing professional, you are going to meet and network with a variety of people from many different industries. Some of them will offer unique perspectives about their individual markets and these points of view can be used to create conversations amongst brand followers. Engagement is key to keeping a successful professional brand alive and current.

Finally, use all of the tools at your disposal, such as your blog and your social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, to keep your contacts aware of who and what your personal brand stands for and how you can help them. Those contacts can then be brought into your recruiting software and thus become part of your revenue generating business.

Tracking temporary workers for Affordable Healthcare Act presents challenges

The workforce is in the middle of a substantial shift. An increasing number of employers are hiring temporary workers through the use of staffing agencies to fill positions. These individuals sometimes work full-time for set contract periods or are members of a permanent staff of part-time workers. With the Affordable Healthcare Act going into effect, tracking these contingent employees can be a challenge.

As a staffing professional, you most likely are in charge of filling numerous positions with either variety of temporary workers. However, as the various parts of the Affordable Healthcare Act come into effect, you know that tracking those contingent employees correctly will be a challenging requirement, which means your job is going to become even more detail-oriented than before.

You’re going to have to track how long a worker has been with a company, whether they qualify as a full-time employee who requires medical benefits and if adding another full-time worker is going to change the status of a company. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that employers with at least 50 full-time workers must offer affordable coverage or pay a penalty.

Therefore, companies are turning toward outsourcing for specialty workers provided by another organization or increasing the number of temporary or contract employees that are on the payroll. As a staffing professional, you are most likely going to be put in charge of helping your clients decide the best course of action and how to go about managing the paperwork.

“The overwhelming majority of temporary help workers, even if they were working full-time on a weekly basis for a number of months, wouldn’t be covered because of that 12-month look-back period,” Susan N. Houseman, an economist at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, told the news source. She added that the rules “were written in a very favorable way for the temporary help industry.”

That boost in the temp agency is going to result in additional work for staffing workers. You’re going to have to track more workers with recruiting software that can handle the sheer volume and complexity of the workforce you are dealing with and advise clients on what’s best.

“We expect that clients that have those kinds of workers and who are daunted by the complexity of the Affordable Care Act will look to staffing firms to help them manage those kinds of workers,” said Edward A. Lenz, senior counsel for the American Staffing Association.

Two steps to sounding more confident

Confidence is key, whether you’re speaking in a board room or with a colleague on your way out of the office. The more confident you appear, the more willing people are to follow your advice and typically more opportunities will come your way. However, do you ever find yourself wishing you could portray the easy, secure professional you aspire to be?

There’s no shame in not feeling like you’ve reached the top of your game! As a staffing and recruiting professional, just like any individual, working hard to constantly improve is what makes you a valuable team member, and if you feel your confidence needs a bit of a boost, here are a few tips. Sometimes, you may feel secure in your decisions and what you are trying to communicate, but somehow fail to convey that confidence to other people. So, if you feel your confidence needs a bit of a boost, here are two tips.

1) Mentally rehearse.

Tripping over your own words can immediately take away from the message you are trying to convey – it doesn’t matter how important your words are – even if you’re saying you invented sliced bread. If you’re having a pre-scheduled meeting with someone, consider mapping out a few talking points and practicing sentences that are key to your delivery. Practice will help you smooth out the kinks and allow you to feel more secure about the message you are communicating. Remember, you don’t have to repeat yourself word-for-word, just feel as if you know the right method and the proper transitions from one idea to the next. This will really help you when you’re trying to communicate to an important client at your firm or when you’re trying to convince a potential job candidate to consider a position you’re trying to fill.

2) Place emphasis on first-hand knowledge.

Regardless of whether you are discussing a work issue or conversing casually with someone, it’s best to stick to topics you’re comfortable with. You’re able to come off as a thought leader and will feel more confidence because you’re not taking a shot in the dark about something. If the topic of conversation does go into areas that you don’t know well, it’s better to be upfront and say that you “haven’t read that article yet” or are interested in learning more. Confident people don’t act afraid about a lack of knowledge on a subject matter, they are willing to admit their ignorance and learn more. When you are talking to a client about their industry, make sure you have researched everything you can about the business beforehand. Ask questions if you’re unsure about the clients needs. A client would  most likely rather have you ask questions and receive the right pool of potential candidates than receive workers who are not the right fit.

Keep a positive spirit and use these tips and your staffing know-how to help you get an edge in the industry. By boosting your confidence and using your high-quality staffing software to gain insight into hiring trends, you can grow and succeed in the industry.