Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

This Memorial Day Weekend, we hope you go outside, enjoy the summer, spend time with loved ones, and take time to truly honor those who served. Happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

LinkedIn a Valuable Tool for Staffing Firms

With LinkedIn shares soaring, there’s been discussion on the web about the possibility of LinkedIn taking the place of recruiters and staffing firms.  After, all, LinkedIn is an index of sorts for employees’ professional profiles.

However, to consider LinkedIn a replacement for recruiters is, as one commenter put it, like saying a toolbox can replace your mechanic.

Technology is constantly changing, and just as the emergence of job boards couldn’t replace the people needed to assess fit and act as an agent for both parties, neither can LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, or any non-human technologies to follow.

LinkedIn makes finding people easier, but who calls to solicit interest?  What about passive job seekers – often the most desirable performers – who don’t make it known they are searching, but have to be sought out?

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other online mediums are all tools for recruiters.  They make matching the right workers with the right clients and the right job descriptions speedier and more accurate.  The staffing firms and HR departments who leverage these online technologies are contributing to a Culture of Speed, which is key to helping businesses – our clients – succeed.

At the end of the day, nothing can replace the face-to-face networking and relationships built on trust the very best staffing firms create with job seekers and employers.  We know you, and we know who will be a good fit.  Not even eHarmony can claim success rate like ours.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New ADA Regulations Take Effect May 24, 2011. Is your company prepared?

New new ADA regulations, issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, will change disability in the workplace.

The term “disabled” will apply to more employees with a broader range of impairments, and make it easier for employees to establish protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What qualifies as a disability?  The same definition applies: “a physical of mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record (or past history) of such an impairment; or being regarded as having a disability.”  The change is how the new law interprets this definition.  For example, an impairment does not have to severely restrict performance to be considered a disability.  As another example, conditions that aren’t necessarily impairments except when active, such as epilepsy or cancer in remission, are considered disabilities whether active or not.

In addition, “major life activities” include, among others, eating, standing, thinking, communicating, and sleeping as well as major bodily functions.

How will the new regulations affect employers?  Employers will no longer focus on whether or not an employee is “disabled.”  Instead employers will focus on ensuring the proper accommodations are in place for these disabilities.

To ensure your company is in compliance with the new regulations:

1. Make sure all job descriptions full list all essential job functions.
2. Review policies and employee handbooks to make sure they are consistent with the ADAAA.
3. Review applications for anything that might be interpreted as an inquiry about an applicant’s disability.
4. Document all employment actions involving a disabled (or formerly disabled) employee.

Friday, May 13, 2011

What’s the very best way to retain top performers?

What do companies do to retain top performers? recently summed up a report from Buck Consultants, in which survey respondents reported using the following strategies to engage their workforces.

New career development opportunities  41%
Market pay adjustments  30%
Larger base pay increases  24%
Larger bonus opportunities  21%
More non-cash recognition  18%
Additional company stock  13%
Accelerated or off-cycle base pay increases  5%
Accelerated promotions  4%
Greater retention bonuses  2%
Other  7%
None of the above  31%

The fact is, the best way to retain top talent is to pay for it.  But what are some other ways to retain top employees?

1. Treat employees like customers, selling them on culture, respecting them, serving them as you expect them to serve you, and interacting with them to make sure they’re happy.  Listen to their feedback so you can address it. You can do this with anonymous employee surveys but make sure you listen to them in person as well…which brings us to number 2.

2. Have supportive management.  If you believe success comes from the top down, you know management must buy in to your company culture and be mentors to your employees - not just productivity drivers.

3. Have a culture that truly encourages personal growth.  Let employees try things outside the scope of their usual job description.  Most of your employees have a bigger dream their current positions, and if your company helps align those goals with the company’s goals, you have a win-win situation.

A good culture is essential, but nothing without the money.  After all, that’s why we go to work instead of honing our own personal projects in our basements or in coffee shops.  So make sure your pay rates keep up with inflation, your top performers get the regular raises they deserve, and you offer other financial perks and benefits.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Effects of Rising Gas Prices

Currently, Americans are struggling while paying more than $4.00 per gallon, yet Exxon Mobile just announced a 69% boost in earnings.  We don’t get it either.  We do know that rising gas prices threaten our recovery from the recession and our ability to put Americans back to work.

Here’s a to-the-point, albeit obvious, breakdown of how rising gas prices and resulting inflation affect workers, companies, and staffing agencies.


Here’s a quote from a contractor that sums up some problems many in the workforce, particularly contractors, are facing.

As an independent contractor who frequently travels to different customer locations, rising gas prices have definitely affected how I do business. Where I used to take clients within a one hour driving distance, I now only drive within a 20 mile radius. I generally only work a few hours at a time and often after I have paid for gas and childcare it is just not worth it. I have had to find ways to make extra money from home and eventually I may stop my job that involves commuting. It is hard to believe that in January of 2001, just ten years ago, that the average US gas price was only $1.37 a gallon.

Workers are not only paying more for groceries and every other item whose cost goes up with gas prices; their commute to work now costs more, which is essentially like a paycut.  Workers may invest in more fuel efficient cars, carpool, switch jobs to work closer to home, or demand more pay from their current employers.


Companies, too, pay more for parts and materials, production, and transportation. They must make up for the extra costs in some way, whether they become more efficient, cut back, or pass the costs on to their customers.


Staffing agencies, like any other company, feel the effects of rising fuel costs – from sales’ transportation costs as they visit new clients, to workers demanding (understandably) higher pay from our clients.

Staffing companies will play an important role in helping to bridge gaps and minimize the negative effects of high fuel prices.  For example, by streamlining placement processes so that workers are easily placed with companies close to them, we can minimize their cost to commute, and help offset the fact that clients aren’t keen on paying more for services when their own budgets may be pinched.

Bottom line is, rising fuel costs affect everyone, but companies who think strategically and plan for the worst case scenario will fare better than the competition.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Recent Grads Flocking to Temp Agencies

Recent grads are flocking to temp agencies.  And companies are then scooping them up.

Recent college graduates, with degrees ranging from engineering and technical to the humanities, are having trouble finding permanent positions in their field.  Rather than remain unemployed while searching, smart job seekers are applying for temporary positions, gaining relevant experience that will give them a leg up on other recent graduates.

Companies are benefiting from the trend.  Using temporary workers allows them to fill in their gaps with talented workers, when workload surges.  If the increase in production demand holds steady, and they decide to hire full-time employees, these companies have a pool of talent to pull from.  They can choose employees who have already proven themselves within the company as being capable and reliable.

One thing is certain.  If you’re a hiring manager looking to bring on a new employee, and you’re choosing between a fresh-out-of-college graduate with no experience, and a fresh-out-of-college graduate with relevant work experience, it’s obvious which applicant you’ll choose.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Reaction to Osama's Killing

Upon the news that Osama had been killed by U.S. forces, thousands of people celebrated in the streets, voiced their approval via Twitter and Facebook, and conversed about the seemingly unbelievable news over coffee, in the vegetable isle, or at the post office.  Overall, there was a general sense of celebration, even elation, which had some wondering whether it’s ethical to celebrate any death, even that of an evil villain.

We don’t think most people were rejoicing over a murder so much as rejoicing over something that has needed to happen for a long, long time.  The death of the face of terrorism since September 11 brings much-needed closure to our country and its people, who, in realty, have suffered a rough time economically and spiritually – between Death, War, and Recession, ever since the 2001 attack.

Which brings us to a question.  Could this long-awaited justice give the U.S. the boost in morale it has needed all along to move on, economically and otherwise?  As our nation experiences the relief of Osama’s death and revisits the emotion of 9-11, will we see the memorial to the towers finally go up as emotional guards go down?

We hope so.  We’re ready for politicians to work together, companies to hire, workers to have jobs, and our country to move forward, finally unstuck.