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Who We Are and What We Do!

No business can run without employees. Often businesses hire a full-time staff that they keep on year-round. This is not always the case, however. Seasonal fluctuations, projects that need labor for a limited amount of time, or even covering for staff that are on leave can sometimes leave managers wondering how to bridge the gap. That is where we come in. We are Labor Systems Job Center. We make it our business to help your business.

We know that sometimes you need staff in a pinch. We also know that you might be busy running your business and do not have time for the hiring process. We are the answer to both challenges. With over 25 locations in Arizona, we can make sure that you have reliable workers ready to show up and help you get the job done. From one worker to 300 workers, no job is too big or too small! Whether you need labor for a construction project in Phoenix, warehouse help in Kingman or you need to staff multiple catered events in Tucson, we can help.

What We Do

A privately-held business, Labor Systems Job Center has been providing staffing and labor solutions in Arizona since 1985. Over the past 25 years we have learned what it takes to find the right people for the job. We provide temporary labor to companies of all sizes spanning all industries. Our staffing specialties comprise of administrative, hospitality, light industrial and construction workers. We also act as a placement service or temp-to-hire agency, saving you the time and costs associated with the lengthy hiring process.

We interview and screen candidates based on skills to make sure that they will be a good fit for particular types of jobs. Safety is a top priority and all temporary employees receive general safety training on a regular basis. For our temporary employees working on construction sites, we provide basic safety equipment such as hard hats and ear plugs, as well as equipment such as rakes, shovel and brooms at no charge so that our workers are prepared when they get to the job site. We do what it takes to ensure that our customers get high-quality labor without having to do more than make one simple phone call. We even offer an unconditional guarantee to make sure that you are happy with our services.

Full-Service Staffing Solutions

We mentioned the lengthy hiring process before. That’s what we save you. We recruit, screen applicants, hire and E-Verify employees to meet your needs. Of course we have to bill you, but instead of your payroll department cutting multiple checks, matching payroll taxes, dealing with workers’ compensation issues, as well as government compliance for all those employees, you cut us one check. We take care of the details after that. This gives you more time to concentrate on making money for your business.

This is the first blog entry that we will be making. There will be more to come, so stay tuned. Our goal is to keep you informed about labor, staffing, and human resources issues, and to help you find and implement staffing solutions that work for your business.

SOURCES
About Us

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How Management Change Affects Staff

Entering a new company as a manager can be an intimidating experience. You’re worried about what your new team will think of you, if they will respect you, and if you’ll be able to shape them into a productive, smooth-running operation. New management can sometimes leave staff members feeling stressed, confused, or bitter. Learn how to nip any chaos or problems in the bud starting on your first day.

Getting to Know Your Company

It’s hard to follow a leader who feels lost in his surroundings. Don’t let your staff feel directionless. Learn about your new company. Educate yourself on how things have always been done. This doesn’t mean you can’t make changes, but it is easier to point employees in a new direction if you know where they are coming from.

Getting to Know Your Staff

A distant manager can intimidate employees or cause misunderstandings. Take time to familiarize yourself with your new team. It will not only improve morale around the office, it will make your delegations much easier. An effective manager knows the strengths and weaknesses of each employee under him. Take note of who gives amazing customer service, who always offers creative problem solving, and who composes the most convincing copy.

Some new managers can take this too far. Don’t try so hard to befriend employees that they lose their respect for you as a boss. Staff should feel comfortable coming to you with their problems or concerns, while still remembering that you give the final word.

Making Changes

Many employees, especially ones who have worked in the same company for years, are going to feel resistant if you start making several changes at once. In most cases, a gradual pace for change is best. Your staff will slowly adjust to the differences in their daily routine, and you can accurately observe what is working and what methods need to be reevaluated.

As you are settling into your new position you will have to get into the swing of things relatively quickly. Your ability to make the right decision will probably be tested your first week, if not your first day. If you are looking for ways to save money and time and show upper management that you can make a real impact, then you should consider reducing labor costs by utilizing temporary labor for some your open positions.

Sources:

The Worst New Manager Mistakes (BNET)

Top 10 New Manager Mistakes (About.com)

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Child Labor in Arizona

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Compensations and Regulation

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.

The Rules

  • 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:

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.

Sources:

Industrial Commission of Arizona

United States Department of Labor

United States Department of Labor

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Drug Testing in Arizona

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.

Sources:
Arizona State Legislature
Industrial Commission of Arizona
Worker’s Comp Cost Reduction Resource Center

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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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Finding Quality Employees: That’s Our Job
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Human Resources: Let Us Take Care of it

Running a business requires a dedication to the industry and the ability to compete within it. Once a business begins to grow, it starts to require more attention to details outside the core competency or function of the business. One of the things that has become an issue is human resources. While your staff literally is a group of human resources, most business owners know far more about what their business does, than about what a hiring process is or how to make sure that they are in compliance with regulations as they pertain to employing people.

For many business owners and managers, the requirements that human resource management places on them tend to add unneeded stress and take time away from their core functions. If they choose to hire employees to handle HR matters, then they must foot the bill for additional payroll, benefits, and sometimes even space to accommodate those employees.

One way to avoid this stress or the necessity of hiring a large HR department is to outsource some of the HR functions to a staffing agency. It makes sense if you think about it. A staffing agency exists to perform HR functions. They hire, stay on top of insurance and regulation and perform other HR functions, not as a required part of their business but as the business itself. They have the dedication to the staffing industry that many people in other businesses do not. This dedication allows them to perform most HR functions better than individual Human Resources departments.

Take the hiring process for instance. Individual HR managers take time to list jobs, audit resumes and applications, and bring people in for interviews. Hiring is an occasional part of their job, whereas it is a huge part of a staffing company’s job. They have more time to focus on coming up with the best interview questions and have more experience actually interviewing people, which often makes them better judges of candidates. Hiring is their business so it doesn’t have to be yours.

The biggest issue that HR departments have to deal with is compliance. To have employees in Arizona an HR manager must consider:

  • Keeping payroll and related expenses within budget
  • Workers’ compensation, the laws associated with it and making sure that their company has the right coverage at the best price
  • Occupational safety and health standards that dictate what a workplace must have and how it must operate (although you’ll need at least passing knowledge of this regardless of how you source your staff)
  • Youth employment laws
  • The vast and specific employment laws

Not only do these issues take a sound knowledge base, but they also take time and money. If you choose to let someone else handle these issues for you, it can really help out. Staffing agencies that can provide you with temporary or even permanent staff have their operations set up around these issues. They can focus on them and streamline processes like hiring or constantly keeping up with changes in employment law. The ability to streamline means they can usually address these issues at less cost than businesses that focus on other things.

Less cost for them often means their customers save money when they use their employees. The can also buy larger insurance policies which can sometimes bring their costs down as well–yet another way they can afford to provide you with employees at reasonable prices. There is nothing wrong with not being able to outperform a well-run staffing agency; after all it is what they do.

Especially right now, as the economy seems it might be taking a slight upturn, why not save time and possibly even money by using a staffing agency? You can go about your business while they send over workers who have already passed a screening process. Using temporary labor is a great option because it allows you to see if your recent successes will last and allow you to bring on full-time staff. If you bypass temps and hire people on full time you might have to fire them in a few months. If they have worked for you long enough they may even qualify for unemployment benefits which can cost you in raised premiums.

Yet another example of the finer points of human resource management getting in the way of running your business. HR functions must be addressed, just not necessarily by you.

Sources:

Find Law-Small Business

Industrial Commission of Arizona

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