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 the Associated General Contractors of America, 83% of contractors are having trouble finding qualified skilled labor, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the construction industry will have a shortage of 1.6 million workers by 2022.
In other words, if you feel like you’re having trouble finding qualified workers for your construction business, you’re not alone.
The good news is that while you may not have control over how many qualified candidates are out there, you can take steps that increase your chances at finding those diamonds in the rough.
1. Always Be Hiring
One of the most common mistakes contractors make is hiring at the wrong time. If your business is seasonal and peaks in July, don’t wait until June to seek candidates because the best ones will likely already be taken.
2. Widen the Candidate Net
Speaking of finding quality candidates, you should also be mindful of how to “widen the net” so that more candidates are aware of your business when you need to hire.
A great way to do this is to establish a formal relationship with a local trade school or technical college. Not only does this give you a potentially steady flow of candidates, you can rest a little easier knowing they already have some training.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, search on TradeSchools.net or simply do a Google search for [trade schools near me].
You can also find quality construction candidates by:
- Attending local job fairs
- Offering referral bonuses to existing employees
- Looking at Craigslist under the “Jobs Wanted” section
3. Create a Detailed Job Description
It’s important to take the time to create a detailed job description for the role before you look to fill it. Doing so will help unqualified candidates filter themselves out of the hiring process, which saves you time in the long run.
Job descriptions can also send a positive signal to quality construction candidates. Higher performers are more likely to seek understanding of not only the daily responsibilities of the job, but how that role fits into the bigger picture success of your company.
Finally, job descriptions make it easier for you to match the right person to the right role. After all, a great candidate can’t be a great employee if the role isn’t right for him or her specifically.
4. Consider a Temp Agency
Of course, hiring is just one of the millions of things to manage when running your construction business, and there’s only so much time in a day. That’s where temporary staffing agencies can help.
As with finding the right employee, it’s important to know whether a temp agency is a good fit for your business. If you’re currently considering an agency, here are some questions you should ask up front:
- How many construction companies do you work with?
- How many construction workers have you placed?
- What are the rates / guarantees for temp-to-permanent employment?
- What is the rate of workers who experience temp-to-permanent employment?
- What can I expect from you if the temp worker doesn’t work out as expected?
- How can I reach out with questions outside of “normal” business hours (after 5 p.m.)?
- What is your typical response time?
Remember that you’re not alone in figuring out how to find the quality construction workers that you need to grow your business. If you can define your expectations for the role, dedicate time to consistently make hiring a top priority, and are able to focus on networking, you’ve greatly increased your chances at finding the right people to help your business succeed.
However, also remember that as a business owner, finding the time needed to manage all of these things yourself may not be realistic. If that’s the case for you, give us a call at 1-877-836-7527 to learn more about how Labor Systems can help.
The needs of a valet service often fluctuate depending on the day of the week, the season of the year, or the special events scheduled. Maintaining a permanent staff and providing each employee with consistent weekly hours can be challenging. Many business owners will find that keeping a bare minimum staff of permanent workers can usually suit their needs, if they are willing to hire temps during busy seasons or for special occasions.
Most valet services have certain seasons when they get more business than others. This could be during the holiday season, or during a popular vacationing month. Bringing in temporary valet workers could give you the work force you need, without leaving you overstaffed during the rest of the year. Check your business records to locate a pattern of the busiest weeks or months of the year, and plan to bring in temps during those periods of time. During regular seasons, keep your permanent staff low and affordable.
Temps for Special Occasions
Temporary workers can also be hired on a short-term basis ranging from one evening to one weekend. If you service a restaurant or venue that occasionally hosts large-scale events, temporary valet workers will help keep your head above water for a couple days. Temp workers come pre-trained, so you can bring them on for only a few hours without needing to waste time training or instructing them.
Benefits for Hiring Temporary Valets
Even if you need full-time help, you will not need to include a benefits package of sick days, vacation days, or health insurance for the temps you hire. If you aren’t sure how long you need an extra valet, no worries. Temps can stay long-term, and they can be cut when the need is over without guilt. Temp agencies also save time during the hiring process. Experienced temps are available even on the shortest of notices.
Looking for a temp to join your valet team? We can help. Visit our website or contact us at 877-836-7527.
As the economy has taken its toll on everyone over the past decade, businesses have inevitably been forced to keep staff at a bare minimum in order to keep from going under. While most businesses can successfully operate with fewer employees, some businesses, such as restaurants and caterers, can sometimes find themselves in a difficult position. In these markets, consumer volumes can fluctuate greatly. These businesses usually perform well when understaffed if consumer volume is low, but in times of high volume, during special occasions or events for example, it is simply not cost effective to hire more full time or even part time employees.
Temps for Restaurants
If you are implementing a new sale or hosting a large event in your venue, it will become necessary for you to have more staff on hand in order for your business to operate proficiently. In addition to your regular employees, it may be a good investment to hire temps to aid your staff. These are people who you will contract to work for you only on a temporary basis. Depending on what is required of your temps to fulfill their job duties, you may be able to give only minimal training so as to save time and resources.
Temps for Caterers
Catering companies experience many highs and lows throughout the year, especially around the holidays. It could be beneficial to employ temps to help you prepare or serve food to your clients during the busy seasons. In this setting, your temps will undergo more direct training and will be more prepared for similar jobs in the future. They will also become prime candidates for you when you eventually seek full time staff members because they will already be used to working in this type of environment.
Temps can be an invaluable asset to any hospitality or customer service industry. If you are looking for a qualified and experienced worker to help out during your next big event or busy season, visit us online to learn more about our services.
Taking advantage of temporary labor to staff catered dinners, conferences, and other events can benefit your business in many ways.
The skill level of temporary workers ranges from general abilities to specialized areas of expertise. A staffing agency has access to an array of temporary talent. The people whom the agency provides to work for you will precisely match your company’s needs.
A staffing agency is expert at providing qualified help to work for you. It can respond to you quickly, with a small or large number of workers to work whatever hours and days necessary. This is especially helpful for seasonal increases in business or for managers who need to staff events.
Temporary workers choose to work as temps for many reasons. They often like the opportunity to explore different career fields and appreciate the chance to build their resumes. While permanent employees can sometimes lose their drive and simply fall into a routine of going through the motions, temporary workers are eager to impress, and always striving to make that great first impression.
In shaky economic times, using temporary workers can be a smart way to reduce expenses. Permanently hiring a large number of workers with general skills or a few with specialized skills can be a big expense, while “borrowing” their help temporarily is very cost-effective. You’ll pay to get your job done well, but not for hours you don’t need, overhead, or other associated expenses. In the case of event coordinators, a temporary agency is an extremely cost effective means of staffing functions with your balance sheet in mind. It may be hard to keep full-time workers if you do not have constant events. Temps know from the start that they are working for only a specific amount of time.
When you use temporary labor, the temps are working not only for you but for the staffing agency as well. We are committed to doing an extraordinary job as a matchmaker, and being the solution to your staffing challenges. It will make choosing to use temporary labor benefit your business, and be your go-to contact for questions or concerns in regard to any of the provided temporary workers.
Whether you need extra hotel staff for banquets or if you operate a catering company, temporary labor is an option that you should look in to. The tourism industry here in Arizona only adds to the number of events that our state hosts. As it is such a viable business, business owners and managers need be aware of their options.
Increase in Temp Workers is Encouraging (USA Today)
People who occupy their time running a business know that sometimes—and by sometimes we mean all the time—your employees will be partially consumed by the subject of compensation. After all, compensation is the quantitative expression of the employer-employee relationship. To make sure that you are in compliance with both the United States Department of Labor and the Industrial Commission of Arizona, we will cover some of the finer points of compensation.
- Pay schedule: Obviously you have to pay your staff, but legally you are required to keep some form of a payment schedule. You must pay at least twice a month and your pay periods cannot be separated by more than sixteen days. You can, of course, pay weekly if you prefer. Many wage employees seem to prefer frequent paydays. We even make pay available daily to our temporary workers.
- Amount of pay: We all know that we must pay at least minimum wage, which has been set at $7.35 per hour since January 1, 2011. We must also pay overtime to any employee who works more than forty hours per week. As soon as their workload hits forty hours, you must pay time and a half. This is a federal guideline, not one from the state of Arizona, which does have exceptions. By and large the exceptions apply to sales people and other professionals. Hospitality employees, construction workers and manufacturing staff are all due overtime pay. You cannot make an arrangement in advance with the employee that allows you to omit overtime pay or use any other form of compensation outside of wages paid on a paycheck. If overtime is a necessity for your business but seems to be affecting your bottom line, we would be happy to help.
- No holding wages- In most cases you cannot withhold an employee’s wages from them. This also means that you must pay employees who quit, under any circumstances, the full amount for their time worked. The only exceptions involve:
- The employer being bound to withhold wages by state or federal law
- The employer having the employee’s written permission in advance
- The employer has a “reasonable good faith dispute as to the amount of the wages, including the amount of any counterclaim, reimbursement, recoupment or set-off asserted by the employer.”
If you fail to comply with regulations associated with compensation, you may end up in trouble. You can be reported to the State Labor Department for violations. If you are reported, the department will perform an investigation, which will include looking into your compensation policies and practices. If they feel that you are out of compliance, they will request that you get caught back up in a reasonable amount of time. If you fail to do this, they will exact other punishments including fines.
It is important to keep in mind that sometimes State and Federal laws differ when it comes to compensation law. For instance, in California and Nevada overtime is paid to employees who work more than eight hours per day as opposed to more than forty hours in a given week. The regulations described here are pertinent to the State of Arizona. Taking the time to brush up on employment law in your state is a necessary part of running a business.
Large orders require manufacturers to work their staff more; busy season means restaurateurs need more man hours worked; and deadlines can do the same thing to the construction industry. If you would like to avoid the possibility of being fined or subject to oversight, then temporary employees might just be the answer to your troubles.
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.
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.