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A Little Help around the Holidays

It’s that time of year again: the holidays are officially upon us. With the holidays comes a rush of requests for vacation time. It seems like a large portion of your staff wants to take time off, and coincidentally they all need roughly the same days. Along with the requests come stories of already purchase airplane tickets and spending time with aging family.

This time of year can be very difficult for a manager. You have to remember that your staff is comprised of people with personal lives and plans, but at the same time you need them to understand that business does not stop just because it is the holidays. Lost productivity now can easily lead to lost clients or customers after the New Year is officially rung in and everyone is ready to come back to work. Some estimates put the losses associated with planned absences such as holidays at 26.6% of base payroll. If you do not grant requests, you are likely to harm morale and in some cases even lose employees. If you do grant the requests, then the business itself might suffer. Finding balance can be very difficult.

There is a compromise available that will help your employees get most of their time off, while making sure that your business is staffed around the holidays. You can easily cover employee vacation time using temporary staff. You will need to make an internal plan that ensures that you have someone in every department at all times. Then you can fill in the gaps with temporary staff. Think about all of the functions that a temporary worker can cover for you:

  • Answering phones and communicating with your customers
  • Handling mail and ingoing/outgoing packages
  • Data entry

Those functions are aimed at managers who work in an office environment. The hospitality industry also experiences the same problem. In their case, however, the holidays generally mean an increase in sales. While you will want to keep as many key people on as you can, some will need time off. You can replace these employees in their absence with temps as well. Clerks, food servers and even cooks can all take time off to spend with friends and have their shifts covered by temporary workers. Hotels, parking services, caterers, you name it–temporary staff can be a great solution to employee absence around the holidays.

In any industry additional staff might be needed to compensate for members of management to be away. While it is difficult to lose a manager for a vacation, we all know that they need and deserve it from time to time. One strategy to help make sure that everything is covered when a manager is absent is to increase the amount of staff that you have on hand that work directly on operations and not management. A call to a reliable temporary agency is the easiest way to make bring in temporary labor that is prepared to work right away. You will not have issues with the temps showing up, because they all are asking for work, regardless of the time of year.

Sources:

Article Storehouse

The Total Financial Impact of Employee Absence- PDF

Entrepreneur

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Why Go Temp-to-Hire?

One of the most flexible options that any staffing agency can ever offer their clients is the option to try out an employee on a temporary basis and then decide whether or not they would like to hire the employee on full time. This is a great option for both the employer and the employee, as it fuses the best aspects of both temporary employees and direct hire services.

There are many reasons that an employer benefits from finding new staff in this manner. Let’s begin with the benefits that are borrowed from temporary staffing and direct placement as separate entities.

  • Save money up front by not having to fund the hiring process or costs associated with payroll and benefits.
  • Save time by locating a capable employee with a phone call as opposed to the interview process.
  • You can immediately replace an employee who leaves unexpectedly.
  • You can retain peace of mind knowing that your new staff member is coming from a trusted source.

While those advantages exist for temporary staff and direct placement, temp-to-hire offers its own advantages due to its flexibility.

  • You can make sure that your company really needs a new staff member. We have all been there: we identify a gap in our operations and automatically assume that we need a new hire to fill it. Sometimes we regret the new hire because we realize that if we changed some internal processes or simply outsourced something, we could have bridged the gap more effectively and at a lower cost.
  • You can make sure that the new hire meshes from a company culture and personality standpoint. It might take a while to truly gauge new person’s personality and work ethic. The temporary aspect of temp-to-hire gives you this trial period.
  • We handle your probationary period for you. Temp-to-hire employees come in knowing that the job might not last. In spite of probationary periods, regular hires do not usually take this into consideration. This can make termination considerably more difficult and uncomfortable for the employer.
  • You have the ability to easily replace the employee in the event that you decide that you do in fact want another staff member, but feel that the original employee that you located might not work out. It just takes a hassle-free phone call to replace the temp with someone who is a better fit for your needs, which may change slightly after the original employee comes on.

While temp-to-hire is a great option, it may not be for everyone. Some employers know for certain that they need a permanent staff member, while others know in advance that their staffing issue is a temporary situation. If your situation does dictate that you need flexibility you will likely be very happy with the temp-to-hire option. We arrange everything so that you only have to focus on your bottom line.

Sources:

ABR Employment Services

Reference for Business

Business Know How

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Unemployment and Your Business

Recent figures put unemployment in the state of Arizona at 9.7%, which represents one of the highest figures since the 1980’s. We all know that the economy, both locally and nationally, is in a recovery period, but that does not help with the current state of things. What does unemployment mean to a business owner? Can we take advantage of the situation, or is it just another aspect of the current downtrodden economic cycle?

How Does Unemployment Affect Me Again?

As an employer you likely know that you pay an unemployment tax. As long as you have anyone working for you at least part time 20 weeks per year or pay a worker $1500 in a quarter, you are subject to the tax. The actual costs to individual businesses differ based upon how much your payroll is and how long any former employee that you are currently paying out worked for you during their base period. The base period is a predetermined amount of time that the state deems representative of an individual’s income. If employees receive unemployment, the amount they receive is based upon how much they earned during the base period.

In essence, if a worker was under your employ for the whole base period, you pay the employer’s entire share of their unemployment payments (the State and Federal Governments also contribute to unemployment payments). Likewise if they worked for you for half of the base period you pay half and so on. You are charged by the state and they compile your unemployment payments into an account. When former employees are granted unemployment, the state takes money from your account and uses it to pay part of the payments. If your account ever gets too low, you can expect your unemployment taxes to increase.

Unemployment taxes are an unavoidable part of running a business that hires on workers. As you can imagine, the current economic times mean that a significant amount of money is being paid to citizens who are out of work. Some businesses are likely experiencing increases in taxes due to their accounts being drawn below acceptable limits. Hence it is costing them more money to do business, possibly with less staff. This is definitely a negative aspect of unemployment and the current economy.

So What Can We Do?

Since giving up is not an option for most business owners everyone must find ways to deal with the situation. As a staffing company, we are obligated to point out that using our services could help you bypass the unemployment costs associated with some of your new hires. When it comes to temporary workers, we are the employer so we handle the unemployment costs for you. We can let you bring on new people and try out new positions. Instead of your payroll, and of course your unemployment taxes, going up, your expenses do. While this might sound bad at first, increased expenses equal less taxes in the long run, so by using temps you could actually decrease your taxes and get the workers you need. Not a bad deal.

Otherwise as employers it is important to remain positive and optimistic. We can look at the large pool of unemployed workers as potential opportunity. It means that we have more options to choose from to staff our businesses, so long as you have the time to evaluate multiple candidates. It also means that we should all be focused on growth. The lessons learned from running a lean staff have shown us how to effectively operate with fewer people. They have also shown us the value of having a few more sets of hands around. As we grow, our businesses we will be able to effectively put the citizens of Arizona back to work, while increasing our own profits. That has the potential to be a win-win situation.

Sources:
Business Week
Arizona Department of Economic Security

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Using a Staffing Agency to Grow

There are many benefits of using a staffing agency. While some people feel that only well-established companies or firms that operate in particular industries have enough “extra resources” to properly use temporary labor or direct placement services, this is simply untrue. In all reality, a staffing company itself is an “extra resource,” especially for a smaller business that is growing.

When your business grows, owners and managers find themselves with a lot more on their plates, often in a short amount of time. Partnering with a staffing agency can take some of those responsibilities off of your plate and give you more time and money to focus on the factors that will really drive and organize your company’s growth.

Think about what a staffing company can do for you

  • Save Time- As you are growing, you will need to devote time to welcoming new clients while making sure that your existing ones are still serviced. This means you might not have time to go through the hiring process. Staffing agencies go through the hiring process as part of their business model, so why not save the time and call in reinforcements that can be there on short notice?
  • Save Money- Hiring staff costs money. Once you calculate in your (or your hiring manager’s) time, along with the money involved in listing job ads and increased insurance and payroll costs once you find your staff, you likely have a large figure. Some HR managers have estimated that the figure can be as high as $2,000.00. It doesn’t take much math to realize that a phone call to a trusted staffing partner costs less.
  • Put You at Ease- Staffing companies evaluate and hire every single day. They know how to spot good candidates and determine whether an applicant would be good fit for the positions you need filled. When you hire someone, you never know how the person will work out. A staffing company can send employees who have proven their value by working for previous clients of the staffing agency and already shown that they can work out. You also have the ability to try out a temporary worker, so if you choose to let them go, it is an easier process than firing an internal hire. You can also replace them with a phone call, so that you always have the level of staff that you need on hand.
  • Give you Flexibility- Perhaps this should have been first on the list for benefits to a growing company. As you grow, you do not need to be hampered by anything, especially the staff that is helping you expand. Staffing agencies make growing and downsizing your staff easy. You do not have to worry about difficult terminations as temporary workers know from the start that they are not permanent. If you originally want temps, but later decide you want to keep them full time, a staffing agency allows your business to be nimble.

As your business expands, you have a lot of things to worry about. Staffing should be an important thing but not a costly and time consuming one. The economy is gradually starting to improve, not just in Phoenix or Flagstaff, but all over the country. Think about the solutions that temporary labor can provide for your growing company.

Sources:

American Staffing Association

Canada One

Business Knowledge Source

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