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Economic Outlook: Things are Sunny in Arizona

As business people, we must constantly be concerned about the economy. We must take reports from activity in the recent past and combine it with projections for the future, stir in a grain of salt, and use the product to help shape our decision making. To make sure that we are all as informed as possible, we want to dedicate this week’s blog post to an update on the state of the economy.

The National Economic Outlook

On a national scale, things seem to be coming together very well from an economic standpoint. The National Association for Business Economics released some figures from a survey that polled economists and business people throughout our nation. The results predict that gross domestic product (the sum of the value of all products and services produced within a nation’s borders within a given year) will increase 3.3% this year versus 2010. While that seems like a small figure, realize that it represents billions of dollars that will be produced by business people and distributed out via payroll and taxes before the cycle starts over again. Let’s review some of the recent events and possible future happenings that will fuel this growth in GDP.

  • Last month service industries throughout the U.S. expanded at the fastest rate since 2005!
  • Retailers such as J.C. Penney and Macy’s experienced same-store sales growth in February 2011, which beat out most analysts’ predictions for those sectors of retail merchants. This indicates increased consumer confidence and disposable income, which is good regardless of which products/services you sell.
  • Growth in labor markets was evidenced by both fewer unemployment claims and projections showing growth in employer payrolls.
  • Local Tempe, Arizona-based supply management association ISM reported that manufacturing in February 2011 grew at the most rapid pace that it has since May of 2004.

Economic Outlook Here in the Grand Canyon State

For business owners and managers in Flagstaff and Tucson, we are primarily concerned with the local economic outlook. Obviously the national news gives us reason to be optimistic, but local factors will affect our bottom lines first. Some recent legislation from our state legislature and governor will bring some very business-friendly changes.

  • Beginning in 2014, the corporate tax rate (state tax not federal) will begin to be reduced over a three-year period, until it is 5%. This change from the current 7% rate means that a substantial amount of your profits will stay in your possession.
  • Industrial and commercial property taxes are set to drop a touch. The current assessment ratio (a figure combined with the face-value appraisal of a property to determine tax rate) of 20% will decrease to 18% between 2013 and 2017, saving property owners on taxes and possibly giving business owners more leeway to negotiate reduced rent.
  • Some tax relief is also on the way for some Arizona-based manufacturers. Right now you pay a higher tax rate if you manufacture a product in Arizona but sell it in another state. Over the next few years, this taxation penalty will be reduced (not entirely yet still reduced), making life a bit easier for those who make the products that people need.

With a brighter national and state outlook, it appears that there are promising things in store for the Arizona business community. We are in the beginning stages of a period of growth, according to all sides. With growth comes the need for additional staff to fill your orders and please your customers. The recent economic conditions have taught us to err on the side of caution. The best way to do that from an employment standpoint is to hire slowly and use temporary labor. This gives you a chance to ensure that you really do need new staff and even try out new employees before you hire them.

Sources:

The East Valley Tribune

Bloomberg Business Week

National Association for Business Economics

Kansas City Business Journal

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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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3 Staffing Options to Suit Your Needs

Running a business can be hectic job. It doesn’t matter if you own the company or are charged with managing a firm for someone else–you have a lot to get done. In some cases it pays to outsource some of the day-to-day tasks so that you can focus on your core functions. One of the tasks that can take up a good portion of your time is the hiring process.

There aren’t always enough hours in the day to post job openings, screen applications and set up interviews. Then you actually have to set aside time to facilitate the interviews and decide whom you want to bring on. While you are doing this you aren’t managing your budget, making sure that your customers are happy or working with your current employees so that everything stays on track.

So why not save a little time by letting an experienced staffing agency take some of the workload over for you? At Labor Systems we know that you have individual needs when it comes to staffing. We also understand that you are a dedicated manager who is focused on bringing in the right people. That is why we offer three different ways to use our staffing services.

Temporary Labor

Sometimes an employee needs time off for vacation or family matters. Other times you need extra sets of hands, but only for a limited amount of time. A temporary worker, or maybe a few, can make times like this easier for you. We can provide workers for a limited amount of time, who will come in and help you get the job done. Once you are back to normal and don’t need them they are sent on to another company. There is no stress associated with firing an employee or cutting back hours to keep staff on. Temporary workers can help hotel mangers staff housekeepers in Phoenix for a week-long convention or make sure that a contractor in Tempe has the unskilled workers they need to help out with a construction project.

Temp-to-Hire

This is one of the most flexible options out there when it comes to staffing. In some instances you might want to bring someone on, but are not sure if you will need the person full time. In other instances you want a full-time employee, but need to make sure that the person is the right employee for your business. In either case request a temp to hire employee. The worker shows up with the understanding that he is working on a temporary basis. If personalities and demand work together, you have the option to keep the temporary hire as a full-time employee; if not they move on to another assignment. While this option is great for any industry, it is especially good for professional businesses. A construction company might want to feel out their need for a secretary, or an office manager might want to try out a new mail clerk. Either way temp-to-hire leaves your options open. We have left managers happy from Bullhead City to Flagstaff.

Direct Placement

Hiring can be a lengthy process. If you don’t have a large Human Resources department, you might not have the time for the process. Regardless, you still need full-time staff. That is where direct placement comes into play. We have interviewed and evaluated candidates. You tell us what you are looking for and we match you with a fitting employee. You will have the opportunity to evaluate the employees once they arrive to make sure that they work out for you. If you prefer to go in a different direction, we understand and will send over a more suitable candidate; if not, then all the better. Nothing pleases us more than our ability to match our workers to your needs. Going through a staffing agency for your hiring process can be win-win, except in this case you win twice. You get a great new employee and you don’t have to devote a significant amount of time to doing it!


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Hospitality Staffing

Support staff is needed in every industry. When it comes to the hospitality industry, temporary staffing can be a very useful resource. Increases in business volume or unexpected changes can leave you high and dry from a staffing standpoint. Wouldn’t it be great if you had someone that you could call that would be able to send over reliable staff to meet your hospitality staffing needs? You do.

Hospitality staffing means several things. We can provide staff for a variety of employers:

  • Landscapers
  • Hotels
  • Caterers
  • Banquet Halls and Special Event Centers
  • Restaurants
  • Social Clubs
  • Party Planners

Success in the hospitality industry requires a team effort. Banquet directors need servers who can interact well with guests and work well with other staff. Hotel managers need housekeepers who can get their job done effectively, but also communicate with front desk personnel so that rooms can be booked. We could go on and on, but the truth is, we don’t have time. We are busy making sure that our temporary staffers are ready to make seamless transitions in the workplace.

We train our temporary staff to be team oriented and dedicated to their jobs. We ensure that they are prepared to work with other employees regardless of whether they are fellow temps or your full-time staff. In addition to teamwork, we stress the importance of customer service. Hospitality staff is often on the front lines, directly interacting with customers. Our temps know how to treat your guests with respect and provide over-the-top service when they are on the job. We all know that in any business happy customers make for long-term relationships and referrals. When it comes to hospitality, we know what an employee needs in their skill set and we make sure that our temps are:

  • Well groomed
  • Courteous
  • Diligent at completing Their responsibilities
  • Flexible

As we offer hospitality staff for a variety of industries, we can provide staff to fill multiple positions. Call us when you are in need of:

  • Gardeners/Landscapers
  • Housekeepers
  • Servers
  • Bartenders
  • Dishwashers
  • Support staff to set up before and clean up after events
  • Greeters
  • Hosts/Hostesses
  • Ushers

We have the hospitality staff you need. When you are trying to focus on organizing for a busy holiday season or a large upcoming event, you will not have the time to interview multiple candidates for unskilled positions. You do have time to call us and discuss what you need. Tell us what kind of employee you are looking for, and we will send the temps that best fit your needs.

We offer staffing option to fit your needs

  • Temporary staff- In the event that you only need some extra support staff for a limited time or for select events
  • Temp to hire- If you want to take your time to decide whether you need a temporary employee or a full time. This option let’s you try out a new employee while being able to keep your options open.
  • Direct placement- For instances where you know from the beginning that you need an employee to join your team, but your schedule does not afford you the necessary time to properly select an employee from the large pool of applicants out there.

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