One of your top performers walks into your office one morning and drops a bomb. There’s a family emergency and he needs some time off—effective immediately. An unexpected employee absence isn’t exactly how you wanted to start your Tuesday, is it? Instead of panicking, here’s what you should do:
- Step 1 – Express Empathy
- Step 2 – Offer to Help
- Step 3 – Tactfully Review Policy
- Step 4 – Find Qualified Temporary Staffing
Now, let’s explore each step in a little more detail so you’ll know exactly what to do the next time this happens, or how to successfully cope with your current situation.
Step 1 – Express Empathy
As a good manager (and good person), your first instinct should be one of concern—not for yourself, but for the difficult situation your team member now finds himself in. Before you react, put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel if the roles were reversed? Remember, if given a choice between coming to work every day and dealing with a crisis—whatever it may be—most employees would much rather report for duty.
Step 2 – Offer to Help
Maybe your company offers resources to employees in crisis. Or, maybe you or someone you know has gone through a similar situation and you can provide helpful insight. If not, simply listening goes a long way. The bottom line, you’re talking to a person now—not a just an employee.
Step 3 – Discuss Policy and Set Expectations
If your company has a policy for dealing with sudden employee leaves of absence, gently bring it up so that both parties understand what’s expected. If you don’t have a policy like this, now is the time to work out an arrangement. How much time does your employee need? What, if any, communication can you expect? Is your employee able to work remotely? Try to settle on the details now to avoid uncertainty and confusion down the road.
Step 3 – Find Qualified Temporary Staffing
Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. At Labor Systems Job Center, we can fill in during sudden employee absences with qualified candidates who are ready to hit the ground running. While there’s no replacing one of your top-performing employees, our temps are prepared to work in professional office environments in a variety of roles. They can easily transition to office environments like yours requiring support staff that can work effectively from day one. Who knows, you might even choose to find a permanent spot for them after your employee returns to work.
Don’t Let an Unexpected Employee Absence Slow You Down
According to recent data from The Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost-per-hire is more than $4,000, and it takes about 42 days to fill any given position. Needless to say, hiring the right employees can cost you a lot of time and money. Hiring the wrong employees? That costs even more. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re not only hiring the right people, but you’re reducing your company’s cost-per hire.
How to reduce your average cost-per-hire:
1. Clean Up Your Careers Page
2. Utilize Social Media
3. Look for Internal Solutions
4. Clearly Define the Position
5. Focus on Employee Retention
Ready to learn how to put these tips into practice today? Let’s get started!
1. Rethink Your Careers Page
How much thought went into the careers page on your website? If you’re like many businesses, not nearly enough. Think of your careers page as a portal into your corporate culture where you can showcase your core values and your vision for the future—not just the place where you list your available positions. The best careers pages give candidates a true sense of what it’s like to work for your company while making it easy to apply for a position online.
2. Get the Word Out on Social Media
Social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn are relatively inexpensive to use for hiring new employees. Even a modest investment can put your job opening in front of many qualified candidates targeted by experience, job title, location and many other user-definable characteristics. And, Facebook even allows you to publish job openings right on your company’s page for free, with applications getting sent right to your Facebook messages inbox.
3. Hire from Within Your Company
Do you have a part-time intern who is already trained and proficient at the role you’re trying to fill? Maybe it’s time to talk to her about going full-time. You’ll save money on the job search and you’ll already know what you can expect—both in terms of performance and cultural fit within your organization.
Alternatively, solicit current employees for recommendations. If your team members are generally happy working for you, there’s a good chance they know other people who would fit right in. Some companies even offer employees a bonus if a candidate is hired as a result of a recommendation.
4. Make Sure the Position is Clearly Defined and Agreed Upon
You’d be surprised how many companies stumble here. You might have one idea for what the position entails while your co-workers may have something different in mind. Before you list the position on your website or a job board, align internally on the scope of the position. This will help candidates self-filter their applications so you can focus on people with skillsets that more closely match the responsibilities.
5. Keep the Employees You Have
Remember the number at the top of this post? That $4,000+ investment for hiring a new employee doesn’t include onboarding time. It also doesn’t include the time it takes the average person to become efficient in a new position with a new company. So, by far, the single most important thing you can do to reduce cost-to-hire is to improve your employee retention strategy to keep your best workers on your team.
Take the Guesswork Out of Hiring New Employees
While these tips can definitely help you reduce your hiring costs, there’s always going to be a certain degree of unpredictability around the hiring process. That’s where we come in. Labor Systems Job Center specializes in temporary and personnel staffing solutions that match the right people with the right jobs. Fill out a staffing request today, or learn more about our services.
Replacing any employee unexpectedly can be stressful, especially if it’s your star bartender. You don’t want to make a rushed decision, but you also don’t have time for a lengthy hiring and vetting process. So, how can you quickly find a skilled or experienced bartender for hire?
Three qualities of a great bartender to speed up your search:
1. Charming, charismatic and friendly personality
2. Attention to detail and excellent memory
3. Extensive knowledge and passion for mixology
Luckily, all three of these bartender characteristics will be fairly obvious from the beginning. This means you can focus your attention on candidates who are more likely to be a good fit for your restaurant or bar. Want to learn more? Take a scroll with us.
1. Great Bartenders are Charming, Charismatic and Friendly
Your bartender is the heart and soul of your establishment. This is why it’s critical to find someone who embodies the qualities and values you want your restaurant to be known for. As you’re interviewing candidates, put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself these questions:
- “Is this someone I want to spend time with?”
- “Does this person make me feel like I belong here?”
Unlike a server, who checks in with customers a few times throughout the course of a meal, a bartender is always front and center. If you don’t get a positive vibe during the interview, there’s a good chance your customers won’t during their next visit.
2. Great Bartenders are Detail-Oriented
Whether your cocktail program is sophisticated or more traditional, you need to hire a bartender who has an eye for detail and has the memory to recall those little nuances under pressure. What is that regular’s name? How does she like her bourbon—neat or on the rocks? What goes in the featured cocktail this month? To help identify this necessary bartender characteristic, ask your candidates to describe their favorite cocktails and how to make them perfectly.
You aren’t necessarily looking for the most complicated, labor-intensive drinks. You’re listening for the little details your candidate chooses to include—or to omit.
3. Great Bartenders Love What They Do and Do It Well
Even if your establishment only serves craft beer, tending bar is about more than pulling tap handles. It’s about sharing your passion for what goes into the glass with every customer who walks through your doors. Like all great cocktails, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Same goes for the best bartenders. Yes, knowledge and skill are important, but without passion, everything else falls flat.
During the interview, it will be easy to separate candidates who are genuinely excited about this line of work from people just going through the motions.
Need Help Finding a Bartender for Hire?
When a bartender quits unexpectedly or takes a surprise leave of absence, you may not have the time you need to personally interview enough candidates to make an educated hiring decision. That’s where we come in. Labor Systems Job Center specializes in hospitality staffing solutions that match the right people with the right jobs. Fill out a staffing request today, or learn more about our services.
Your assistant will often be the first impression a client has of your entire business. Administrative assistants are expected to fulfill many duties for your company, and choosing the right person for this position is just as important as finding a persuasive sales crew or a creative advertising team. While sorting through and interviewing job candidates, keep the following important qualities in mind.
- Organization. Your assistant will be responsible for keeping all your notes, forms, schedules, and travel information well-organized and easily accessible.
- Ability to multi-task. Administrative assistants will often have several tasks competing for her attention. She will need to know how to prioritize the most important duties, and get everything finished in a timely manner. While she is juggling multiple tasks, she will also need to handle interruptions such as answering the phone or speaking with walk-in clients.
- Likeability. During the job interview, ask yourself if the candidate has a likeable personality. Customers calling your business will appreciate a friendly assistant, and an abrasive or bored tone will rarely lead to repeat business.
- Energy level. Everyone starts to get tired as the day runs on, but the administrative assistant must possess the energy to keep a smile on his face and a cheerful attitude as he greets clients or visitors.
- Professionalism. An unprofessional assistant can make the entire corporation appear inadequate. Choose a candidate who both appears and behaves in a professional, impressive manner.
- Computer literate. Today many administrative tasks are completed on a computer. Your assistant should understand the basics of common computer programs, such as Excel or Word.
- Time management. Most businesses move at a fast pace, and your assistant will need to keep up. If he’s constantly lagging behind on his responsibilities, it will create a negative ripple effect on the whole company. It won’t be long before the work in another department has stalled or a deadline is missed.
We can help make your hiring decision easier. If you are looking for a qualified and trained administrative assistant for your company, please visit us online or contact us at (877) 836-7527.
Workplace safety can be enhanced or undermined by a variety of factors. One such factor is employee substance use and abuse. In an ideal world, this topic would not be an issue, but let’s be honest: substance abuse is a factor in society that sometimes finds its way into the working world. As an employer, you must be on the lookout for anything that could cause your operations to be less efficient or that might lead to an accident. Substance abuse is closely tied with both of these negative outcomes, so it is important to consider the subject when organizing your business.
In Arizona, drug testing is not required by law–with the exception of a limited number of particular job descriptions. By and large drug testing in our state is at the discretion of the employer. According to state legislation drug testing can legally be used:
- To help screen an applicant before hiring
- To terminate a current employee who test positive for controlled substances
- To suspend an employee (with or without pay) who tests positive for controlled substances
If you plan to drug test your staff, there are some considerations that you need to make as an employer. You are responsible for certain things associated with the testing and could be held liable for privacy issues
Requirement to Consider
- Screening facility- You must select a drug screening facility that is approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American College of Pathologists, or the Department of Health Services to ensure accurate testing by a facility that meets certain sanitation and scientific standards.
- Types of tests- You can require staff to undergo screenings that require samples of “urine, blood, breath, saliva, hair or other substances from the person being tested.” (Arizona State Legislature) The type of test used is at the employer’s discretion.
- Confirmation- If a candidate or employee does test positive for drugs or alcohol, you are required to have a second confirmation test performed to rule out the possibility of a false positive test. The confirmation test must be a different form of drug screening than the original test.
- Privacy- Regardless of the results of the screening, you cannot share them with anyone except for the employee/candidate; internal employees who are directly associated with the human resource or management functions directly concerning the screening results; or an outside arbitrator or judge who may be brought in to settle a dispute. Otherwise nobody–not internal employees or anyone else who might have an interest in the employee–is allowed to know the results of the test. If you go afoul of this point of law, expect to lose a lawsuit.
- Transparency- If you choose to screen employees you must be up front about your policies. Put it in writing in your employee manual and take other efforts to ensure that your staff is aware of your substance use/abuse policies. You must inform your staff of:
- Who can be tested
- How they will be tested with a description of the procedure
- Substances you test for
- Implications of a positive drug test (what actions you will take as an employer against staff who fail a drug test)
- A confidentiality statement
- The employee’s right to be provided with the results of the screening
- The consequences of refusing a test
This is a basic overview of the drug screening process in Arizona. These are statewide regulations, so an employer in Tempe is subject to the exact same laws as one in Flagstaff or Phoenix. If you would like a full listing of regulations feel free to consult with the Arizona State Legislature. If you would like reliable staff who can show up at a moment’s notice, consult Labor Systems Job Center online or call 877-522-7797. We will work with you to provide candidates who have been drug screened if that is your preference.
Your core offerings provide a foundation upon which you build your business. To really strengthen your business and bottom line, you must add in other elements that do not relate to your core functions. One of the most important of these elements is customer service. Often customer service is the difference between turning a one-time customer into a regular, or even retaining a long-standing client who is weighing his options or faced with budgeting decisions. The name of the customer service game is pleasing clients, leaving them smiling and thinking fondly of the relationship that you have built with them.
Even in today’s digital environment we still have an intrinsic need for human contact and relationships. This need is the basis of customer service and provides you with multiple means of building your business. Taking the time to get to know your customers and setting some standards within your business, from the management team all the way down to part-time staff, will allow you to build customer relationships that you can capitalize on. This is a necessary focus for any industry, regardless of whether you serve individual patrons at a restaurant or focus your efforts on business-to-business operations.
Factors to Consider
Customer service involves talking to your customers, making sure you solve their problems, planning for future opportunities to serve them, and finding ways to constantly improve your business. You need to consider the value of customer service when:
- Hiring staff- Your employees interact with your customers. You might be the best communicator in the world who leaves everyone you meet with a sense of fulfillment–but if the people who talk to your customers aren’t, then you have a problem. Without friendly and attentive waiters, most restaurants will fail before they can get off the ground, and customers expect to speak with a pleasant and accommodating administrative assistant when they call your office. Come see us if you need well-trained and friendly staff on a temporary basis or even if you need a permanent hire.
- Tip: A well-focused hiring process will bring you good employees. Improve customer service by reinforcing the company’s dedication to satisfying customers; allowing staff to attend seminars or internal training that focuses on customer relations; and giving employees enough autonomy to do whatever it takes to make an upset customer a smiling brand ambassador.
- Using a Head-on Approach- Face customer complaints and problems head on. Talk to the customers immediately to let them know you are addressing their concerns immediately. Then you must actually do it. The most humble apology along with great interaction that leaves the customer happy in the short term is worthless if you do not fix the problem.
- Tip: Collect feedback as often as possible. Doing it face to face allows you to address the issue right away and show customers that you want everything to be perfect for them. Feedback collected after the fact–via surveys, emails or the occasional angry phone call—is also useful. Follow up with customers as soon as possible and let them know that you intend to fix the problem. If you use written surveys, be sure to get contact information.
- Accepting calculated change- Some people are afraid of change, as it may alter the focus or mentality of your staff while taking time and money to retrain your employees. A calculated change, however, is beneficial because the end result is improvement. Anything that makes you better is worth taking the time and maintaining an open mind.
- Tip: Be on the lookout for problem areas within your customer service. If customers aren’t getting food fast enough at a restaurant, evaluate your operations from how quickly servers take and enter orders all the way down to how long it takes to expedite a plate. You know your business better than anyone, so identifying problems should be fairly simple. Once you have grouped several complaints into a problem area, think of the ways to fix it that will make customers the happiest. In these cases, the most cost effective way is not always the best way.
A customer-service oriented business can thrive even in harsh economic times. Yes, sound financial policies and putting out a great product must be addressed also, but customer service helps you to directly maintain your revenue stream. It doesn’t matter how innovative your products and services are if this stream dries up.
Employees expect that they will be duly compensated for their time and efforts. While most immediately think of salaries and wages, any manager or employer can tell you that compensating employees goes far beyond a paycheck. Employee benefits are yet another way that employers “pay” their staff. Many employees and job seekers evaluate benefits along with financial compensation when choosing a place to work.
Popular Employee Benefits
Some Will Cost You
- Paid time off- Who doesn’t like a vacation? That is what you should be asking yourself when deciding whether or not to provide your staff with paid time off. While many wage positions do not receive this benefit, it is a great perk that consistently ranks at the top of the popularity list with employees. You can predetermine your employees’ days off, or you can elect to let employees choose their days, depending on personal preferences and the industry you are in. While it might not make you happy to have staff out, you can always find reasonable ways to cover their absence.
- Paid sick leave- This benefit is also very popular with employees. While you can require that employees use paid time off to cover illness, allowing a conservative number of sick days can be a good way to show labor that management understands real-life situations.
- Health insurance- Currently this issue is up in the air. Our nation may or may not have regulations requiring health insurance for staff in the future. Regardless many employers already offer health benefits. While employees pay for part of this benefit, health insurance represents a considerable expense on your balance sheet. As you provide coverage for more staff, your cost per employee will decrease. Be sure to ask your accountant about the best way to write off this expense and reap any additional tax benefits that might be available.
- Retirement plans- This is possibly the most expensive benefit an employer can offer. There are a lot of diverse retirement plans for employers to choose from, so if you do want to offer this benefit you can find the plan that best meets your goals and keeps your costs in line. Most employers match their employees’ contributions, up to a certain percentage of income. This benefit used to come in the form of a pension, but as we have seen it is financially impossible to pay all of your staff decades after they have retired, no matter how great of a philosophy it is.
Some Benefits are Cost Effective
- Flex Time- This benefit is not for every employer. It allows your staff to choose their own hours. If you can make this concept work for your business, it is a great way to make employees happier that does not cost you very much. In the hospitality industry, you have the opportunity to provide this benefit due to the hours that your business must be open. If you can swing it, then it also works out very well in office environments. Unfortunately this benefit cannot do much for the construction industry, since employees must work together while they have sunlight.
- Telecommute- People hate traffic and the rat race. Some employers can help ease this burden by allowing their full-time staff to perform some of their job functions from home via the internet. This is another cost effective benefit, but bear in mind that you need trustworthy staff and a solid IT department to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Employee benefits are a great way to improve employee relations and show your full-time staff that you care. Considering that they usually represent another cost for you, it might be a good idea to find other means of saving a few bucks when it comes to employee-related expenses.
The end of the year is here. We hope you were able to minimize any losses that might have occurred in 2010 and are putting together a sound strategy for 2011. By most predictions, next year should be a lot better for businesses than this year, as the economy continues on a slow but seemingly steady uptick. Let’s take a look at some of the facts and predictions that are in place, which should make doing business in 2011 less stressful than it was in 2010.
2011 Positive Outlook
- The WSJ Economist Survey predicts a 3% increase in GDP (sum of all goods and services produced within the United States) in 2011.
- The survey also indicates a reduced prediction that a double digit recession will occur to 15%; the number was at 22% in September.
- Economists polled in the survey also estimate Increases to be experienced especially by those businesses that operate in retail sales and manufacturing.
- 80% of CEO’s involved in the Business Roundtable predict sales increases in first half of 2011.
- 59% of CEO’s involved in the Business Roundtable expect to increase their spending on equipment (great for the manufacturing industry).
- A payroll tax cut pertinent to Social Security taxes will be granted to employees (employers will not experience a reduction in the amount that they match), which puts more disposable income in consumers’ hands, which should be immediately felt by the hospitality and retail industries
These predictions provide a basis for a lot of optimism for business people in 2011. The economy should be growing, which will present more opportunities and hopefully in the long run, more customers. To be fair there are some predictions for cost increases that will directly affect business owners.
Potential Cost Increases for 2011
- Materials- As the economy rebounds, basic supplies and resources are expected to become more costly. This could especially impact commodities, which include everything from oil to copper.
- Health care- While health care reform is still not set in stone, it would be unwise to not calculate a cost increase here.
- Labor- Hiring is expected to increase, so with it comes more salaries, payroll expenses, taxation matching, etc.
As you can see, economists and CEO’s alike seem to be predicting more good than bad on the horizon. While that is great news, 2011 will still require a steady hand and a carefully prepared plan for business owners. Two of the anticipated cost increases are pertinent to labor and health care. Both of those increases will directly affect your bottom line and will be financially measurable the first quarter that you start bringing on new people. There is no reason to be too pessimistic; after all bringing on additional staff means that you are growing and on your way to increased profits.
Taking a cautious approach to hiring will be the best way to grow while reigning in your company’s spending. Using temporary labor might be just the answer you are looking for. Think about the advantages of temps when you need to be cautious with spending.
- No money spent on recruiting-Save yourself from paying for job listings, paying to interview, and paying current staff to take time to perform both of those functions.
- Predetermined expenses- Temps come with a set fee and we take care of all of the extrinsic costs like payroll and taxation matching.
- Simple to terminate unnecessary employees- If your predictions are a bit optimistic and you decide that you don’t need that much staff, it is easy to reduce payroll costs by simply using fewer temps, as opposed to laying off a new hire.
We wish everyone the best in their financial endeavors in 2011. If you are looking for ways to save money and time while you grow, feel free to give us a call at 1-877-522-7797. We can tell you how to save on staffing throughout Arizona, from Phoenix to Flagstaff.
Running or managing a business can be a very rewarding experience, especially if you are the type of person who thrives on change. Management can provide opportunities to showcase your flexibility and ability to think on your feet. While overcoming obstacles can be very rewarding, sometimes business presents us with opportunities that are double-edged swords. Yes, they might be an opportunity to grow and develop, but they might also be coupled with hurdles that must be bested in order to take advantage of the opportunity.
In many cases staffing is a hurdle that must be jumped. Think about what can happen to your staffing situation, literally overnight, if:
- You suddenly gain a large customer or an existing customer suddenly places a huge order
- You are presented with a time sensitive opportunity
- A large number of staff defect to a competitor simultaneously
In any and all of these cases a reliable staffing agency is your best means of fixing the situation. They will allow you to remedy your staffing problem in a very short amount of time, usually the amount of time it takes to make a phone call. Staffing agencies pre-screen candidates and have a list of capable employees who can work on short notice. This is their whole business model. If they could not sufficiently supply this service then they would not be in business; it is as simple as that.
What to Look For in a Staffing Agency
It is understandable that you might be a little apprehensive about bringing in temporary workers for certain assignments. If you ask around, colleagues who have used temporary labor to their advantage will likely be able to tell you about the benefits and assuage your fears about trusting a temporary agency. Be sure to ask them to recommend a company that has:
- A solid history in the staffing industry
- A variety of temporary workers that will allow you a little more flexibility in choosing your new staff members
- The ability to send staff over the very next day if needed. Even if this isn’t what you need, it shows that you are choosing a company that has superior customer service and is prepared to fill any overnight gaps that might arise in the future
- Will allow you trade out workers hassle free if you feel that a different temp might be a better fit for you
- Enough reach to help you at all of your geographic locations. If you have offices in Phoenix and Scottsdale, it is beneficial to select a temporary service that can help you in both cities.
Tips for Using a Staffing Agency
Now that you are comfortable using a temporary service to fill your emergency staffing needs, take a couple of tips that will help you to effectively work with a staffing agency and use their services.
- Know what you are looking for. The staffing agency will be far more likely to set you up with the right workers if you can be specific about what you need from the standpoint of workload to be accomplished and skill set necessary to do the work.
- Build a relationship early. Emergencies develop very quickly and it will be helpful to have a relationship with an agency that you like. Maybe start out by using an agency to cover a vacation or to send over a couple of temps to help you decide whether hiring on full-timers is worthwhile.
- Expand your relationship. Talk to your representative at your staffing agency about your current and prospective needs. They will be able to help you to determine what it will take to cover your temporary staffing needs and get a better idea of which temps will work out best for you.
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.