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.
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.
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.
Top 10 New Manager Mistakes (About.com)
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.
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.
Every business is different, even those that compete in the same industry and go after the same customers. The nuances that exist make for a different set of processes and company culture. As each business is run differently, many managers think that their business is completely individual and that having practices that differ from standards will lead to success. While thinking outside of the box does make you an innovator, it does not mean that you must ignore standards that can and do work for many businesses.
When it comes to getting things done, you have many options. You can:
- staff your own employees
- outsource to an expert
- bring in temporary employees whom you can oversee to ensure quality, without requiring time to hande payroll or compliance issues
Many managers and business owners will use a combination of all three of these tactics in order to accomplish what they need to get done. Using a combination of methods can be a good way to get the job done while remaining cost effective and flexible. Achieving both of those traits will ensure that your business can please customers, continue to grow, and weather financial and situational storms.
Use Temporary Workers to Back up Skilled Staff
Temporary workers can be a valuable resource to any business. They are:
- Available immediately- Temps are a phone call away, so they can be dispatched almost as quickly as a problem in your business might arise.
- Cost effective- Temporary workers don’t require payroll expenses, benefits, or insurance costs, which means their total calculated cost can easily be less than that of a full-time worker.
It is understandable that every business would need a certain number of full-time employees who have knowledge of business processes, regular customers and the specific characteristics of the business as an entity. By all means, bring on full-time staff who can provide structure, especially for highly skilled positions. Do not discount the value of using temporary workers to staff your lesser skilled positions. Your skilled positions can be staffed by your full-time people, who are in turn supported by temporary workers. This way you have the peace of mind that full-time employees bring, along with the flexibility and financial benefits that temporary labor can easily provide.
Temporary staff will be supervised by your full-time employees. This way the standards and practices that make your business successful will never be eliminated. They have the skill sets to guide work flow and ensure that your final product is what you intend it to be. They can also maintain customer and supplier relationships, as they will have more time now that they are being supported by temps. You need a chef to source food and design a menu, but a temporary worker can set tables, wash dishes and even prepare food. The same works in an office environment where your full-time account managers meet with customers, while temps file paperwork, schedule meetings with your clients’ assistants, and organize and deliver mail or internal communications.
This marriage of full-time staff and temporary labor can make for a very well organized and well budgeted business. It is obviously appealing to businesses that compete in seasonal industries but can become a seamless part of any organizational structure.