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.

5 Ways Health Reform Can Benefit Your Staffing Agency

Health ReformThere have been countless articles on healthcare reform and how it impacts your staffing agency.  Reading through each of these posts can leave the waters a bit murkier in terms of exactly what the impact is going to be.

What we do know is that healthcare reform isn’t going anywhere with the reelection of President Obama.  Starting in January 2014, employers will have to offer qualified health insurance to full-time employees or pay penalties, estimated at $2K per employee.  Staffing agencies currently are not fully exempt from these penalties.

This healthcare legislation has resulted in significant discussion regarding the potential negative impact to staffing agencies, even as the ASA has successfully fought for a ‘look back’ period, which lessens penalties.

While much of the discussion regarding potentially negative side effects is valid, there are some definitive benefits that are arising for the staffing industry. 5 such benefits appear below.

5 Crystallizing Benefits

1. Temporary hiring boom likely to continue: many temporary segments are forecasted to peak in 2013. Right or wrong, temporary non-full time employees look more attractive to employers since they may not be on the hook for as high of potential health costs (operative phrase at this point being ‘may not’.)  While there is no definitive way to say whether this will truly result in lower health costs – the perception that it will lead many employers to be more comfortable with hiring contingent workers.

2. Healthcare staffing poised to improve:  it’s not inherently apparent the specific positions health care reform will create.  However, with an estimated 3 percent increase in provided healthcare, there is no denying that the demand for workers within the industry will increase.  The increase in demand is a welcome sign for staffing agencies servicing the healthcare industry.

3. Easier to attract and retain better candidates:  staffing agencies that offer healthcare coverage to employees “maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace as it pertains to recruiting and retaining employees.”  As demand increases and qualified employees become scarce, offering insurance could be the catalyst staffing firms need to thrive in a new era of healthcare.

4. Time to decide: The most impact from the Affordable Care Act will be felt starting January 1st, 2014, which affords staffing agencies a little over a year to decide which road to take.  Having time to decide on the correct course of action provides staffing firms the ability to research additional information about the law and weigh their options.

5. Staffing firms control the message to their clients: staffing firms that decide to offer health insurance to their employees and clearly communicate that fact to their clients may see an advantage over competitors that seem to be passing costs on to clients.

While healthcare reform is met with mixed emotions, significant opportunities exist for staffing agencies – both in managing any potential negative impact and better understanding the positive impact.  Now is the time for staffing firms to fully immerse themselves into this new world, decide on a strategy, and execute.

For more on how health reform will impact your staffing agency, I invite you to attend the upcoming webinar, Health Care Reform: What You Need to Know, being hosted by Bond US on Thursday, December 13th.

How Will The Election Impact The Staffing & Recruiting Industry?

I’m not going to get into the debate over which presidential candidate is better for the country – or even which is better for the staffing and recruiting industry.  But, I will discuss some ways in which political forces have been impacting the jobs market – and the likelihood that the effects of these forces will continue well beyond November 6th.

A Strong Temporary Workforce

With so much uncertainty in how the election might impact the economy, companies are seemingly even more cautious about bringing on full-time employees.  Astonishingly, this trend is climbing up the ranks of executives, too.

The simple fact is that contingent and temporary employees have become a prevalent norm in the hiring industry. Since September 2008, in fact, 88% of companies have hired temporary workers. Temporary and contract employment has grown 26.6%, since the beginning of 2012 according to the ASA’s September Staffing Index Monthly Report.

Another political force impacting the staffing and recruiting industries is the Affordable Care Act.  Some experts believe this could reduce fraudulent worker’s compensation claims because workers would have better healthcare coverage.  The savings experienced from the Affordable Care Act would be passed on to the companies hiring temp workers because they would have less reason to use workers’ compensation.  Aside from payroll, worker’s compensation is the biggest expense facing companies.

Finally, there is the election itself directly impacting the temporary workforce. Contingent workers in cities all over the country have been hired to test the ballot machines and man the polls on Election Day. Second the campaigns themselves are huge employers of hundreds, even thousands of contingent workers. Once the election is done, most will probably have to find new temporary work, regardless of whether their candidate won.

Will the Trend Continue?

Staffing Industry Analysts suggest that temporary employee demand in certain segments will reach historic highs in 2013.  Additionally, with the sluggish growth the economy has been experiencing and the holiday hiring season ramping up, I think it’s safe to say temporary workers will be in high demand for companies of all shapes and sizes through the end of the year.  And this is all rather independent of who wins the election.

Regardless of who wins the election – the truth is this.  As the economy recovers, contingent and temporary employees are those that are brought on first – prior to the recovery in full time hiring.  And whether we have four more years of Obama, or the first four of Romney, our economy will likely be perpetually recovering – at least for the next several years.  How long the staffing and recruiting industry remains such a fertile field depends solely on how quickly either candidate moves our economy from ‘recovery’ to ‘recovered.’

Our recruiting software solutions can help you recruiting or staffing agency regardless of our economic state.  To learn how, request a demo.

Help Your Clients Avoid Employee Misclassification Risk

Employment AgreementMisclassifying employees as independent contractors is a very tempting proposition during difficult economic times.

After all, companies can get out of payroll taxes, unemployment, workers’ compensation, paid sick time, vacation and health insurance.  Companies can save substantial amounts of money that can instead be allocated towards other important business needs.

This is probably why the IRS is cracking down on this practice.

Misclassification is not a good idea at all, as it can land companies in a world of trouble with the IRS.  And this is true whether the misclassification was intentional or unintentional.

Recruiting or staffing agencies can ensure their clients stay on the right side of the law in this matter by employing some of the tests the IRS uses to evaluate if workers are functioning as employees.  These tests are designed in part to examine behavioral and functional control, which means they assess whether a company has the right to direct and control an employee’s work and the financial and business aspects of his or her job.  In addition, they will also take a look at the type of relationship a company has with workers, and whether that tends to describe an employee/employer relationship.

Some examples of what is evaluated include:

·         How the business pays the worker

·         The extent to which the worker can realize a profit or incur a loss

·         Whether the business provides the worker with employee-type benefits

Dependent on the outcome of these tests, one option companies can employ to avoid misclassification risk is the development of a contract for temporary employees.  In a general sense, this contract would be designed to limit the control a company has over the worker, while also spelling out the agreed-upon responsibilities of each party.

Other strategies that can help avoid misclassification include labeling any work as a project that can be completed at any time by the contractor, requiring invoices from the contractor for all services, and structuring the contract between the contractor’s business entity (if applicable) and companies.  But again – this is all dependent on the outcomes of tests offered by the IRS.

What will always ring true is that each employment situation is unique with its own challenges and complexities.  And your clients will always look to you as an expert in all employment matters.  This means there will be a certain expectation with your clients that you will be the one that helps to prevent them from any trouble with the IRS.

While some of the options I offer above can be taken into account when consulting your clients, note that employment guidelines can change rapidly.  In other words, the advice you can take from a static post in a dynamic world is this – always stay up to date on the changes – and when the IRS is involved never offer advice today based on what you knew to be right yesterday.

To learn more about how staffing software by Bond US can help ensure your staffing agencies processes remain efficient, in the face of ever-changing employment guidelines, request a free demo.

Advice For Successful Onboarding of Contingent Workers

I’m just going to be blunt – coordinating the successful onboarding of temporary employees with your clients can be a huge challenge.

While external tools like our own staffing software can help you discover better matches, there will always be outside factors that can prematurely poison a relationship.  And unfortunately, even if the relationship between your clients and temporary employees grows negative outside of your control, it will still reflect poorly on your staffing agency – from the viewpoint of both your client and your candidate.

While you will never have complete control over how your clients onboard contingent workers, you fortunately can take some actions to ensure your agency is seen as a conduit to a successful employee / temp relationship.

First and foremost, ensure you can draw a straight line between the objectives of your candidates and the objectives of your clients.  Do you have a shipping client that simply needs an influx of workers for the holidays?  This will likely not be a fit for a candidate seeking temp to hire.

Next, ensure you have a clear understanding of the unwritten needs and capabilities of your candidates.  For instance, it makes no sense to place a temporary worker with a client that pays $1 or more per hour less than the candidate’s asking price.  Even if everything else appears to be a fit, this relationship will likely end quickly, forcing you to rush a new candidate into place.  Additionally, if you have candidate that depends on public transportation, it makes little sense to place them with a client located far from any bus or train lines.

Finally, ensure you have a clear understanding of your client’s onboarding process – and when necessary – suggest subtle improvements.  I am not suggesting that you demand changes, only that you consult where necessary – based, of course – on your experience with other clients.  While this may at times be a bit out of the scope of your agreement – it can help to position your staffing agency as an indispensable consultant – even helping you to capture more revenue from that client when budget time rolls around.

No, you can’t completely control how your clients onboard contingent workers, but you definitely can set the stage for a beneficial relationship.  By keeping the insight above firmly in mind, you can expect better success.

To learn more about how staffing software by Bond US can help your more effectively match temporary workers with your clients, request a free demo.