Preventing the No Call No Show

Nothing frustrates you more than wasting your time putting an employee on assignment just for them to fail to show up. Certainly there are legitimate reasons for the absence – car broke down, child is sick, etc. but the reason doesn’t prevent you from scrambling around to find a replacement or make up for the disappointed client. This phenomenon isn’t new and affects staffing firms all across the country. We compiled a list of the best solutions that we have heard for preventing the no call no show.

  1. Clear Attendance Policy – most importantly, have a clear written attendance policy establishing the expectations with the employee.
  2. Monetary Incentives – incentivizing employees to maintain good attendance records pushes employees to try to overcome whatever causes them to be absent such as finding alternative transportation or childcare. Setup an attendance program providing the employee with a bonus if they have good attendance.
  3. Fun Incentives – some employees may be more incentivized by a big prize than a small monetary bonus. Increase the fun factor by creating a raffle for a noteworthy prize. Each day, week, or assignment when the employee has good attendance results in an entry into the raffle.
  4. Competitive Incentives – if money and prizes don’t incentivize the employees towards better attendance, then perhaps friendly competition will instead. Reward the employees with the best attendance across the branch or company. If the assignment is big enough, the competition could even be narrowed to that level too. Announce the leaders in the attendance “race” as the contest runs.  The competition could inspire employees to improve their attendance or keep up their good attendance.
  5. Be the Better Assignment – some employees don’t show up for an assignment, because they receive a last minute call from another staffing agency offering them better pay. Offer competitive wages in order to win the last minute war for the employee.
  6. Call Ahead – a call placed to the employee the night before reminds them of the upcoming assignment and ensures there is no confusion over schedules.
  7. Wake Up Call – a call placed the morning of the assignment may serve as a wake-up call to an employee who may have otherwise over-slept. The Call Ahead and Wake Up Call methods seem like significant extra effort, but technology can help you. Call-Em-All is an automated call and texting service that allows you to alert and remind your employees. With this service integrated to your staffing software, you can pull your employee lists easily and the overall effort to call ahead is minimal.
  8. Overbook – no matter how much effort you put in to preventing the no call no show, you may always experience it. Instead of spending your time and money on prevention, you could plan for the inevitable event. Overbook the assignment. If the assignment calls for 10 employees, assign 11. It may cost more, but it eliminates the need for last minute scrambling and avoids disappointing the client.
  9. Employee Standby – if overbooking each assignment is overkill, keeping several employees on paid standby helps cover the no call no shows of multiple assignments.
  10. Reputation – when an employee has poor attendance, do not place them on future assignments and let them know the reason. When called for employment checks, share the poor attendance record. The poor reputation will eventually get the employee to improve.

The solution to preventing the no call no show may not be found in one single approach. Instead try combining several complimenting approaches to help reduce the occurrence and maintain happy clients.

Using Effective Recruiting Metrics to Drive Results

Every good recruiting agency has a mission and every mission includes a path to success. In some cases, the path to success is unplanned and even driven by luck, but generally, the most successful recruiting agencies have a thoughtful, well-defined plan. They know what they need to do to be successful. Defining your path is only the beginning. You must also ensure you are following that path. This can be achieved by using and measuring effective recruiting metrics.

Why track metrics?

Metrics offer a variety of uses. First, they are used to keep your team focused on the path to success. In their busy day to day lives, recruiters and sales reps often turn their attention to the next trend, technology, prospect, or client request that comes across their desk. If it doesn’t fit into the company’s mission, then it is a distraction. Publishing metrics reminds team members of which company priorities should receive their focus.

Second, metrics help you identify areas where the company is straying from the plan. Exception reporting in your metrics allows you to easily and quickly react to things blocking your path to success. If customer satisfaction is a major driver of your success, then you can use exception reporting in your metrics to identify low customer satisfaction scores to prevent one time service failures from turning into unhappy customers.

Which metrics should you track?

There are an endless number of different metrics that can be tracked for your recruiting agency. Your agency must narrow down the choices to find the metrics that are most effective in driving your success. Where do you want to focus? Customer satisfaction, speed of service, candidate retention, or something else? ERE Media offers a standard set of recruiting metrics that might be a good place for you to start.

As you evaluate which metrics will best drive the performance of your team, remember the following:

  • Too many metrics can lead to a lack of focus and an inability to excel in any one area.
  • Too few metrics can lead to adverse effects. For example, if you focus strongly on speed to interview, then you may sacrifice candidate or customer satisfaction when trying to decrease the time spent leading to the interview.
  • Complimentary metrics lead to balance and focus.
  • Time is of the essence. Too much time spent on a specific metric calculation and you might find yourself racing against the clock on customer and candidate workflows.

How do you use metrics to drive results?

Once you identify your metrics, there are a few processes to implement in order to use the metrics to effectively drive results.

  1. Define the metric. Metrics can be interpreted differently, so ensure that your metric is well defined. For example, if you are tracking candidate satisfaction, then the candidate needs to be defined. Will it only be candidate’s you place on jobs or any candidate that comes to the recruiting agency?
  2. Communicate the metrics across the company. When you first introduce the metrics, present them and their definitions. Share the results you are expecting from driving the business with the metrics.
  3. Measure the metrics frequently and publish the results.
  4. Celebrate the wins and dig into the losses. Evolve as needed.

How can your recruitment software help?

Effective recruiting metrics can play a large part of driving your success, but the measurement process should only be a small part of your efforts. If you have the right software, then you should be able to track and display your metrics in a dashboard or a report. Tracking metrics directly in your staffing and recruiting software means they can be easily and frequently accessed and provide your team up-to-the-minute views of how you are doing.

Analyzing your metrics directly in your software centralizes the data and simplifies the process. The activity performed by your team is facilitated by your recruiting software and the metrics are reported from the data created. By tracking your metrics directly in your recruiting software, you enable your team to drill-down for immediate exception reporting of areas where you failed to deliver instead of waiting for a monthly or quarterly review of metrics. Adapt’s Reporting & Analytics tool provides you that functionality. To learn more about our recruiting software, please contact us for a demo.

5 Sports Strategies for Recruiting the Best Candidates

Touchdown! Goal! Score!

U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Jill Ellis and hat-trick scoring Carli Lloyd celebrate after USA’s remarkable World Cup victory. Photograph: Darryl Dyck/AP

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Jill Ellis and hat-trick scoring Carli Lloyd celebrate after USA’s remarkable World Cup victory. Photograph: Darryl Dyck/AP

Doesn’t it feel good to root for the winning team? Success in sports, much like the recruiting world, comes down to this: Every great team begins with a great coach.

It is your job as a recruiter, much like a coach, to find the best candidates for the job using staffing software. With the economy shows good signs of job growth throughout the private sector, odds are competition among recruitment agencies is going to rise to find the talent to fill those incoming job orders. Here are five sports strategies that will help you find the best candidates and maximize your success.

 Strategy 1: Be Your Own Ambassador

Good coaching is about leadership and instilling respect in your players. Dictators lead through fear – good coaches do not. – John Wooden

Your job, as a recruiter, is to represent your company. You are the face of the company in the eyes of the job candidate, much like a coach represents the sports organization they are affiliated with. The quality of relationship you build with your candidate is entirely up to you.

Matt Charney writes “the first interaction candidates almost unilaterally have with an organization, either by submitting a resume (active) or being proactively engaged by an employer (passive), is with someone in recruiting.”

First impressions are everything. As a recruiter, you have to be able to step up and represent the most positive aspects of your company. If you are willing to go beyond what is expected of you in terms of approach and technique, you will garner the attention of the top candidates.

Equally important is the effort you make to build a positive ongoing relationship with every candidate – even those who are not selected or a fit for the job. Why? Remember that the rejected candidate for one job order may be a perfect fit for another. Also, even a rejected candidate may be a great source for referrals – if they have a positive experience with you and your agency. As the agency’s ambassador, it is your responsibility to keep doors and lines of communication open, not shut them to potential hires.

Strategy 2: Scout for Talent

 Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. – Vince Lombardi

College football coaches, on average, send out between ten and fifteen thousand letters to prospective athletes. Of that pool, maybe 25 will sign with that coach. Your job, as a recruiter, is much like that of the coach. You have to sift through multiple candidates, make all the right calls, and beat the competition to the punch when it comes to making an offer.

But before you get to present a candidate or make an offer, you have to source the candidate. As a coaching recruiter, you know that sourcing talent is both easier and more challenging today. LinkedIn is probably your ‘go-to’ to find passive candidates for higher-level or technical positions, but it won’t help you in your efforts to recruit light industrial warehouse workers. Just like any good coach, you need to know how to leverage the right sourcing methods for the candidates you need.

Placing the right talent in the right field is the key to winning the game; if you can successfully place the right candidate, you will maximize your endgame.

Strategy 3: Develop Your Playbook

It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters. – Paul “Bear” Bryant

The playbook, perhaps a coach’s greatest weapon in the game, allows them to develop their own unique formula for how best to utilize their players. You must develop your own playbook; working with different search models, interview processes, and business development tools gives you the opportunity to be unique in ways that benefits your candidates and allows ease of access for you.

“The intangible this year is our coaching staff focuses on the minor details that make all the differences,” said Abby Wambach, the veteran striker for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

When you effectively develop a plan of how you search and engage your candidates, it affords you the ability to attract the clients you want, when you want them. By developing your own skills and methods – especially with repeatable, automated workflow processes – you streamline the recruitment process and gain an edge over your competition.

Strategy 4: Know the Playing Field

The values learned on the playing field – how to set goals, endure, take criticism and risks, become team players, use our beliefs, stay healthy, and deal with stress – prepare us for life. – Donna de Varona

A great coach goes into each game knowing exactly how the playing field is set up. They watch, study, and plan, knowing that it is their responsibility to dictate how their players succeed on the field.

For you, recruiting is your playing field. Your responsibility lies in not only finding the right candidate, but making sure that the talent you choose is the best choice. You need to know what comprehensive search capabilities are available, what CRM technology is at your disposal, and what data is available to you.

The key to understanding your environment is knowing that you have the ability to put the right candidate in the right position.

Strategy 5: Never Underestimate Your Opponent

Sportsmanship is not just about being nice. It is much more important than that. It’s about realizing that you could not compete without an opponent and that she has the same goals as you. – Stephanie Deibler

Your competition, whether it’s an opponent, a rival, or even yourself, is in the business of ensuring that they succeed where you do not. It falls upon you to overcome anything that might get in your way, from inadequate skills to outdated techniques.

A good team can be somewhat successful with a middling coach, but a good coach cannot succeed with a bad team. It is up to you, as a recruiter, to make sure that the skills that you use and the people that you hire are suited for the position you put them in.  

With new search techniques and improved technology available to automate tedious administrative tasks, how you manage your search for candidates can become highly focused and more effective. When you put your best foot forward and utilize the proper skills and techniques you need to succeed, your search for the right candidate will yield results that put you at the top of your game and ensure your success in the field!

Developing Your Internal Sales Team: Retention Strategies That Prepare Your Best People for Future Leadership

Now that we’ve figured out how to select top performers and learned how to keep our teams motivated we should be in the clear, right? Well, if your firm is like the vast majority of those in staffing struggling with turnover in the 30 to 70 percent range, there’s a lot of work left to be done. It’s not enough to select the right people and keep them motivated. Attention needs to be paid to understanding why they stick around.

Firms in every industry find themselves in situations where they have found great talent and invested in them only to lose them when the employee “was just starting to get good.” So what really happens in these scenarios? Understanding why people leave a company is the first step in stopping the bleeding and developing strong retention strategies. There are tons of reasons why someone will leave a company but the most common reasons people leave an organization are due to conflicts with their immediate supervisor (leadership issue) or lack of professional growth (leadership issue). The top three reasons an employee leaves an organization are directly or indirectly attributable to leadership issues.

So recognizing that the most common reasons for why an employee leaves a company has to do with leadership, how can we fix the situation and hold on to our best talent? The answer to that question is actually simpler than what you may think. It starts with understanding that under most circumstances, an employee leaves an organization because of something they’re missing from us. Simply put, it’s not them, it’s me. When we think of leadership as a concept, it’s made up of three aspects: supervisory activities, mentoring activities, and training/coaching activities. As leaders of our organizations and teams, most of our time should be spent doing mentoring and training/coaching activities. Unfortunately, most managers end up spending most of their time managing the metrics-oriented supervisory aspects of their role.

In order to shift this supervisory paradigm that we’re all stuck in, we must do three key things. First we must teach a simple workflow for our lowest-level people to make sound decisions without our intervention. I call it the decision pyramid and it’s made up of three questions:

  1. Is this action good for the customer?
  2. Is this action good for our company? and
  3. Is this action ethical?

If your employees can say yes to all three questions, they should be able to act without your intervention. I would add that letting your people know “that there isn’t a mistake that they can make that we can’t fix” is an important coaching tip that should be part of your organizational DNA.

Once you’ve empowered your people to make their own decisions, you’ve laid the ground work to prepare them to grow within your organization. The second step in shifting the supervisory paradigm is to shift the focus of your conversations from being metrics-driven to being vision-driven. It’s important to talk about the metrics required for success in our organizations but that shouldn’t be the focus of the conversation. Oftentimes managers focus on the numbers without giving consideration for why an employee should even strive to achieve the numbers. Do we take the time to understand our employees’ passions and vision? If not, we need to. As part of our retention strategy, we need to meet our employees where they are and understand where they are going before we ever dive into the numbers. If we do this successfully, no employee will ever ask the question “Why am I here?”

Many firms think of the concept of growth and leadership in terms of promotions and the organizational chart. While that may be true for some, a real growth culture is a lot more than just promotions and the vertical hierarchy. The third step in the process of keeping and growing your talent is to build a culture of inquiry and innovation. This may sound complex, but if you’ve done the first two steps, this step is easy. You’ve empowered your people to make sound decisions, you’ve taken the time to learn what drives them, and now this step allows them to execute. All you’re doing is creating a culture where your team can look at any aspect of the business and identify the gaps in how things are done. Then you’re empowering them to find solutions for that problem. By taking this approach, you are preparing your people to stay with your organization and really make an impact independent of the size of your company.

Keeping your top talent is a critical issue for many firms. Any staffing firm that can speak to systems and processes they have in place to get the most out of their people will have significant competitive advantages. Shifting the focus of leadership from managing metrics to inspiring your people and creating an empowering culture will provide the necessary fuel for your people to keep moving your firm forward.

Discover how recruiting software from Bond can provide actionable information that can give leaders like you insight into employee retention strategies.

Selecting Sales Candidates: How to Hire Wolves

I have found that one of the more common problems staffing firm leaders encounter is finding and hiring top-level salespeople. More specifically, it seems that hiring the farmer profile seems to be much easier than hiring hunters. It seems that this challenge applies to not only startups and small firms but large firms as well. So what’s the solution?

Believe it or not, this is a challenge that’s common in many industries. I’ve been involved in the hiring process in the retail, technology, and automotive sectors and hiring managers struggle with overcoming the same challenges. What I have found, through observation and experimentation, is that there is a fairly simple four step process that can be used to identify and hire sales people who fit the hunter/wolf profile you are looking for.

The first step in the process is to look within your organization and identify your own hunters and build a baseline profile. Hunters and farmers work differently so it’s important to document the way both types of salespeople work—you may choose to utilize your recruiting software for insight. This step in the process requires some level of business process analysis and the ability to look at every step in the sales cycle and how the individual behaves in each step.

The next step in the process of hiring sales people is to incorporate psychometric testing into your selection process. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense to some, it’s important to keep in mind the costs associated with making the wrong hire. Research has shown that firms can spend two to three times the first year salary of the “wrong” hire to fix the mistake. Adding psychometric testing reduces the risk of making that wrong hire and adds a research-backed instrument to your hiring process. I have found that both the Predictive Index (PI) and the Life Styles Inventory (LSI) are effective diagnostic tools with documented reliability and validity. Conversely, stay away from Meyers-Briggs or similar tools since their predictive capabilities have recently been called into question.

The third step in the process of hiring sales people is to understand the psychological profile of the hunter mentality. I have found that the candidates who best fit the profile have the following attributes: patience, resilience, confidence, humor, curiosity, service-orientation, learning-orientation, and competitiveness. There are wide-ranging research opinions on what attributes carry the most weight but the key takeaway is that your “perfect” hunter profile will have all of these attributes. As a result, your interview process needs to include behavior-based questioning that distills out the presence or absence of these attributes.

The fourth and final step in the process is interviewing and selecting the hunter profile. Like just about everyone else, I’ve been on both sides of the interview table. What I’ve found particularly interesting is how sales interviews are conducted. Generally speaking, interviews have been structured in such a way that hiring managers aren’t testing for capability or profile. Oftentimes the process itself really doesn’t gauge if the candidate has the necessary competencies. Organizations looking to hire hunters need to gauge performance under pressure and should be interviewing candidates with that in mind. A simple approach would be to tell the candidate (in a polite way) that they’re not good enough and see how they respond. Most sub-par candidates will crumble. The ones left over provide you a “semi-qualified” pool of candidates to evaluate further.

The process of hiring sales people is a complex one for most organizations. Hiring for the hunter profile can prove to be one of the bigger challenges a sales organization can face. As a result, it’s critical that firms take a systematic approach to the process that includes both quantitative and qualitative criteria. This four-step process should provide a good foundation to build from. Then, once you’ve found your ‘wolves’, Bond will be there for you with the tools they need for hunting success.

For more insights from leading staffing industry experts on how to build, coach, and train your sales team, get a copy of our Bond US Sales Selection, Training and Development Report 2014.

Latest jobs report paints shaky picture of the economy: What this means for recruiters and staffing professionals

For staffing and recruiting professionals, the latest jobs report, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is an opportunity to review numbers and figures about the employment market backed by a trusted resource and determine whether indicators experienced personally align with the statistics. Certainly, not every staffing and recruiting firm will have data or metrics that agree with the findings of the federal government, including industry or regional pockets that are either exceeding or falling below the average. However, the national averages provide recruiters valuable insight into what might be on the horizon concerning the hiring market.

Overall growth predicted for the U.S. 

According to the BLS, the number of jobs in the United States is expected to grow by 10.8 percent in the next decade. The projections cover 2012 to 2022, and predict that 16 million jobs will be added in the nation. Occupations and industries related to healthcare are projected to make up the largest percentage of job growth for the decade. Positions related to social assistance workers are another employment sector that, when combined with healthcare, account for a third of overall total job growth or 2.6 percent with more than 2 million jobs added between 2012 and 2022. Most of this growth is attributed to the aging baby boomer population, who are also expected to make up over one-quarter of the labor force in 2022. The 5 million jobs that are to be created in the healthcare and social-assistance sectors are projected to have the fastest growth – a 13.6 percent increase. Other industries that are expected to post gains include professional and business services by 13.3 percent and state and local government jobs by 12.4 percent.

As the economy continues to grow and improve following the recession, it’s no surprise that employment opportunities, especially for in-demand sectors, will increase. The BLS predicts that, overall, job opportunities for positions that require secondary education or higher will continue to post the fastest employment growth. Workers with a post-secondary education or higher earned a median income of $57,770 in 2012 – compared to a$27,670 median income for those people holding a high school diploma.

Projected growth, yet still shaky hiring

The overall labor market is poised to improve, which is good news for staffing and recruiting professionals who will have to use their skills to place people in quality positions. However, not all facets of the hiring market are expected to remain strong or even improve from current levels. According to figures from the BLS, the construction sector, which admittedly took a hit during the housing crisis and subsequent recession, is expected to add about 1.6 million jobs by 2022. This is positive news, yet, the industry will never reach the same hiring frenzy it attained during the housing boom. Employment in the manufacturing, federal government, agriculture, information and utility sectors are also showing signs of a decline in hiring over the next decade. Knowing these figures will allow staffing and recruiting professionals to fill their staffing and recruiting software database with the appropriate candidates.

The figures show another key trend that will interest staffing and recruiting professionals – in four out of five cases or occupations, openings derived from replacements are projected to exceed openings from real job growth. This means that the transitions that companies are going to experience will keep the staffing industry on its toes, but it also means less people are at work at the same time, which could potentially stall the economy from really improving.

Top marketing strategies for staffing firms for 2014

Every business is different, there’s no doubt about it, which means how a staffing firm goes about representing itself and trying to market itself to clients matters. After all, the competition is trying equally to gain the attention of potential clients and candidates, which means it’s up to a recruiting firm to act as its own best sales person. A staffing and recruiting firm must market itself to its audience in a variety of ways to ensure that it gains a portion of the market share.

The internet has drastically changed the way  information is shared, which means that staffing and recruiting professionals trying to market their services must deploy new, hard-hitting strategies that reach potential customers. There are a lot of stakeholders in the successful business of building employer and employee relationships, which means that the mediums and messages used in marketing must be as unique and direct as possible.

Convincing a company that hiring a recruiting agency to handle portions of the hiring process takes dedication and the ability to prove and demonstrate the return on investment staffing professionals can bring to the table. By deploying the right marketing strategy, a staffing agency will be better able to do just that. Highlighting key processes, metrics, past success, technologies like staffing software and recruiting software and more, can all help advertise the benefits of selecting a recruiting firm.

Here are some of the top marketing strategies a staffing firm can incorporate to gain the attention of clients and candidates:

1) Invest in mobile. The power of mobile is undeniable at this point. In 2012, more people bought smartphones than computers, according to a study by Canalys. Mobile technology is taking off, as more systems and applications are being designed to meet the needs of consumers, who live very active lives.

“In 2011, we saw a decline in demand for netbooks, and slowing demand for notebooks and desktops as a direct result of rising interest in pads,” said Chris Jones, Canalys VP and Principal Analyst. “But pads have had negligible impact on smart phone volumes and markets across the globe have seen persistent and substantial growth through 2011. Smart phone shipments overtaking those of client PCs should be seen as a significant milestone. In the space of a few years, smart phones have grown from being a niche product segment at the high-end of the mobile phone market to becoming a truly mass-market proposition. The greater availability of smart phones at lower price points has helped tremendously, but there has been a driving trend of increasing consumer appetite for Internet browsing, content consumption and engaging with apps and services on mobile devices.”

According to the recruiting marketing firm, Staffing Robot, in 2012, 90 percent of the company’s customers requested the development of a mobile website. Mobile site traffic for staffing agencies ranges from 6 percent to 27 percent. Internet sites that are not designed for mobile viewership experience a 60 percent to 80 percent bounce rate. As a result, the firm’s data suggests that staffing firms without mobile accessible websites are losing between 30 and 150 potential candidates per month for companies. A staffing firm that really wants to make sure that it is gaining the attention of potential clients and candidates needs to make sure its website and other digital accounts are mobile friendly. Responsive design has grown in popularity with web developers for just this reason.

2) Improve content marketing offerings. Unlike almost any other marketing strategy in the last decade, content marketing has developed fast. Not many people could have guessed the importance this strategy would have in determining how well a company does online. Content marketing is one way that allows companies to establish themselves as an authority on a subject matter and gain the trust of customers. By publishing blog posts, news articles, white papers and infographics, a staffing firm can demonstrate the skills, experiences and insights into the industry that make the company an ideal business partner.

Content marketing is on the rise and relevant and timely text, video and image content types should be an integral part of any staffing company’s marketing strategy. According to an infographic by BlueGlass, 90 percent of marketers are already using content marketing. As of 2013, 60 percent of business-to-business organizations plan to spend more on content marketing in the future, while only 26 percent have actually dedicated the time and funds to this endeavor. The most popular content marketing types for B2B companies, like staffing firms, include articles, social media, blogs, e-Newsletters, case studies and in-person events.

Because of the variety of types of content available for staffing firms to choose from, when designing a marketing strategy, this strategic tool is flexible enough for the fast-paced world of recruiting. Regardless of industry, content marketing is making an impact on how people find, research and view companies each and every day.

3) Measure customer satisfaction. While it’s common for companies to measure and track customer satisfaction, it may surprise the head of marketing for a staffing firm that this metric is crucial for the department. High or improved levels of customer satisfaction and customer service are considered a marketing investment. As staffing firms gain a reputation for success, satisfaction levels increase and provide new metrics for advertising professionals to focus on. In the game of reputation management, customer satisfaction can never be forgotten.

“By focusing on a positive work environment and encouraging your employees to provide unparalleled customer service, your staffing business will be rewarded by lasting customer loyalty. If you aren’t doing so already, 2013 is the year to start measuring customer satisfaction and rewarding your employees for delivering it,” said Tony Hsieh from Zappos, according to Staffing Robot.

Staffing Tip: Leveraging information to attract passive job seekers

The growing competition in the marketplace is demonstrating the power of having a reputable recruiting firm provide access to in-demand professionals. According to Jobvite’s annual Social Job Seeker Survey, fewer Americans are looking for a job, yet many professionals are open to new opportunities if they come calling. The organization surveyed 1,029 workers, with 9 percent saying they were actively looking for a new position – much less than the 16 percent recorded in 2011.

Despite the fact that many professionals stated that they were not working toward finding a new position, the number of passive seekers who would accept a job offer if it were made increased significantly. A passive job seeker is defined as someone who is already employed, but also open to new opportunities. They are not necessarily unhappy with their current position, but may be willing to switch companies if the right offer was presented. ERE reported that 69 percent of workers would be open to hearing about a potential position, compared to 61 percent recorded for the previous year.

Although the percentage of workers who are looking for a new job has declined and passive job seeking is on the rise, it’s up to staffing and recruiting professionals to use all of the resources available to them to meet clients’ needs.

How to attract a passive job seeker

Unlike workers who are actively trying to find a new position, a passive job seeker isn’t going to be sending out their resume via the internet each and every day. Instead, many will keep a close look out for new positions that sound positive through their personal network – largely LinkedIn and other social media networks. Chances are that the best way to make initial contact with a passive job seeker is to communicate via LinkedIn with a personalized introductory email. Mentioning or linking to a job posting that seems like an ideal fit or offering to discuss the options are key ways to intrigue the individual enough to get a message back.

Sometimes, passive job seekers may not feel as if the position a staffing professional first contacted them about is an ideal fit, but that doesn’t mean the person should be crossed off the contact list. Having this person fill out a complete profile or submit a resume that will be integrated into staffing software and recruiting software will allow a recruiter to flag this individual for potential future work. Staffing and recruiting software provides a quick and easy way to organize candidates who could meet the needs of clients.

Key factors to highlight about positions

Following the recession and the subsequent mass layoffs, many workers find that stability is a precious commodity. According to the Towers Watson 2011/2012 Talent Management and Rewards Study, employers are underestimating the importance of stability when advertising their business and job opening. Research found that job security was the number one reason a worker would leave a job to join a company. The second most important factor, which was less of a surprise, was pay. Passive job seekers are aware of their market value and want to be compensated fairly. While it is not possible for a staffing professional looking for candidates to promise any type of salary, it is possible to indicate a salary range or make note of the competitive compensation package that many workers receive.

Staffing and recruiting professionals, are you staying up to date about the ACA?

Health insurance is a hot button issue in the nation right now, as small-to-large businesses try to determine the scope of the changes to health care policies under the Affordable Health Care Act. The ACA is the most sweeping health care legislation to come out of the White House in ages. The ACA has made headlines for a significant period of time now, and it’s just getting started. Staffing and recruiting professionals understand that the changes to how health insurance coverage works, and how employers are now required to provide coverage to those employees that fit certain criteria, will now impact hiring decision making. Companies are now asking, “is it more affordable to hire one full-time, salaried worker who is required to have health insurance, or, is it more affordable to hire two contract workers who don’t work enough hours to qualify for health insurance?”

Changes are coming to health care coverage
As the federal government tries to fix the kinks in the deployment of the ACA this fall and winter, staffing companies are simultaneously trying to prepare for the potential repercussions of the ACA. This means hiring professionals who are well versed in benefits deployment and have strong backgrounds in health care. Professionals in the staffing industry, like John Vanderkin, President of Employers Overload, an innovative workforce staffing company, warns business owners that recruiting firms cannot act as a scapegoat for companies trying to avoid paying for health care coverage to workers.

“The staffing industry should not become an avenue for companies to try and avoid the ACA requirements, but the ACA creates some opportunities for the staffing industry if companies adopt the use of certain staffing industry services. Used properly, the staffing industry can help a company minimize some of the impacts of ACA,” said Vanderkin. “Utilizing temporary employees for short- term business growth or projects can alleviate the tracking and notification requirements that a company needs to follow for ACA. Using temp-to-hire services to fill permanent positions can help to reduce turnover and avoid more costly ACA administration tasks until the company is sure that a candidate will really be a good fit for the organization.”

He went on to say that “the ACA has also created numerous challenges for the staffing industry. The increased costs associated with longer term temporary project placements, administration and tracking of the ACA requirements as well as educating the staff and candidates of the staffing company are just a few of these challenges. As staffing organizations recognize the increased costs of administrating and paying for the ACA, they will need to determine how to pass those costs along to their clients in a fair and reasonable fashion.”

How companies can work with staffing partners to adapt to the ACA
Businesses attempting to adapt to meet the new standards outlined by the ACA may find working with staffing and recruiting firms as partners in the endeavor to untangle the web of health care legislation may be the right way to go. Staffing professionals are finding that streamlined technology solutions are able to increase workplace efficiency, like staffing and recruiting software. As a result, all that is needed for added benefits to the deployment of the ACA is a team of people who are dedicated to learning everything there is to know about the ACA.

“We have done a tremendous amount of work to prepare for this change. We have spent a great deal of time educating key members of our staff, we continue to meet with customers and businesses within our service areas to educate them about the ACA and its effect on staffing, we are working closely with our software vendor, Bond International, to enhance our applicant tracking system so we can meet the requirements of ACA and we are continually working to answer questions by our candidates and employees on how the ACA will affect and support them,” said Vanderkin. “Keeping abreast of the changing ACA regulations is an important task of a staffing vendor and we provide this service and support to our customers to ensure that they have the latest information to base their hiring decisions upon.”

Changes to the ACA in the last quarter
Unlike what the previous paperwork stated, if a business or individual wants health insurance coverage to begin on Jan. 1, 2014, they now have until Dec. 23, 2013 to purchase a plan – this is eight days later than the initial enrollment deadline. However, according to the Detroit Free Press, this deadline is hardly a fast and hard line as well. The news source reported that the deadline for purchasing a plan is March 31, 2014.

This is good news for those people who have a current, steady health insurance coverage plan. However, those individuals who have gone without insurance could be required to sign up for at least a one year policy immediately. The ACA reforms also states that those individuals who are currently signed up for a group health plan are not required to find an alternative health insurance coverage option. The previous plans that people were signed up for will continue to work as they did before the implementation of the ACA.

Issues the ACA has created will pop up in the careers of experienced staffing and recruiting professionals. What’s important is the ability of a quality recruiter to take the new knowledge, chew it over and be able to understand how the changes to the legislation will impact the hiring process and whether a client is required by law to offer health insurance to a potential employee. These details are best left in a secure location, where data is protected, yet accessible. Staffing software and recruiting software provides this exact blend of features, which is why it is an invaluable tool for a firm.

Learn more about managing the ACA as a staffing agency from Bond’s ACA whitepaper.

Recruiters Beware: The perils of a stock message

Social media has certainly changed the staffing and recruiting industry. After all, never before have recruiters been able to contact professionals in a wide range of industries by simply searching for various keywords used in social media profiles. All of the information found online about a worker is accessible in a profile found in staffing software and recruiting software.

 The issue with generic introductions

However, it’s not uncommon for a recruiter to try and make contact with dozens, if not hundreds of workers during the course of an average week. This may mean that a staffing professional finds himself or herself using a template for making initial contact with an individual about a particular position. Using the same introduction, or one that rarely changes, may seem like a good idea in the beginning. But, just like potential employers can identify stock cover letters and resumes, a worker will know if a staffing professional used little effort to make contact.

Depending on whether the individual is an active job seeker or passively looking for a new position if it offers the right benefits and features, a generic introduction on LinkedIn, Twitter or any other means could come off as insincere. As a result, it’s likely that the worker will forgo responding back to a staffing professional’s initial emails or message.

Online recruiting starts with a strong introduction

Finding the ideal potential candidate for a client depends on impressing both sides. The bond between an employer and worker is a co-dependent relationship, which means that both sides have to feel comfortable with a staffing professional’s ability to bring everyone together. A generic introduction letter is hardly going to instill confidence in anyone.

The benefits that come with online recruiting are dependent on a strong introductory message from you while you are in the office. Make that initial contact something to remember by mentioning specific points in a worker’s online professional profile or presence. This requires slightly more effort than a boilerplate template, but it could drastically increase the chance that a recruiter receives a positive message back in response to the initial contact.

When a recruiter is building an online network and a comprehensive staffing and recruiting software database, he or she needs to make sure that the people who are included have a positive opinion. Not only should the introduction email make a comment about something included in an individual’s profile, but if a staffing professional has a particular position in mind, talking about the company or the role could be a great way to entice a response.

Use the golden rule

The phrase “treat others as you would like to be treated” is famous for a reason. Regardless of whether this lesson is applied to kindness in a grocery store or protocol about a job offer, it’s important to take it to heart. As a recruiter, it’s hard to imagine feeling positive about receiving a generic message on social media or an email that demonstrates just how little effort was taken with the missive. Therefore, it’s important for a recruiter to acknowledge how the golden rule applies in this situation as well.

A recruiting and staffing team can easily increase the number of positive responses it receives from potential job candidates if the generic messages used to make initial contact for a lead are updated and personalized. Just a few extra minutes can have dramatically better results and improve a staffing firm’s figures for the year.