Customer Pain Point: Finding the Right Person, Right Away!

When an employee leaves or a sudden surge in the volume of business necessitates a quick hire, hiring someone as quickly as possible becomes a priority. The caveat, however, is that the new hire must be qualified, fit within the organizational culture, and meet the budgetary restraints. This is no easy task and one of the biggest and most frustrating challenges for most small businesses and organizations.

This challenge is further exacerbated in times of near full employment when HR departments and recruiters are experiencing difficulties getting a sufficient number of candidates through the door, not to mention finding one that ticks all of the boxes for the position. It is also important to keep in mind that hiring is both a business decision and a people decision, and these two considerations must be balanced appropriately. Fortunately, there are several things that businesses can do to make this process smooth and as quick as possible.

  1. Keep those job descriptions up-to-date! Unfortunately, due to bandwidth constraints or simply “out of sight, out of mind,” keeping job descriptions current often falls by the wayside. Hiring Managers should make sure that job descriptions for their employees and positions are current at all times so that when the need suddenly strikes, they don’t lose 1-2 days re-writing or updating old job descriptions. Job descriptions should also be clear and thorough so as to best manage expectations between you (the employer) and the prospective candidate.
  2. Ask for referrals from your current employees. This is one of the most often overlooked means of recruiting good candidates. Your current employees will have a better idea of whether or not their contacts would be a good fit for a position as well as the corporate culture and office environment. It also allows for a more known quantity with the added assurance that a current employee is unlikely to refer someone who they are not reasonably convinced is going to do a good job.
  3. Constant recruiting! Even if you don’t currently have a job opening, it is helpful to constantly be on the lookout for potential future candidates, particularly for high-turnover positions. This can either be done actively by posting frequently needed positions on job boards or more passively by including a resume submission form on your website, following up with candidates who submit their resumes and adding them to your candidate database.
  4. Organize your interview process. Come up with a standard interview process, including asking candidates the same questions so they can be compared and calibrated equally against each other. You should also assign specific roles and focus areas to your interviewers ahead of time, so you can ensure a smoother, more efficient, and effective interview process.
  5. Be ready to move fast! This one is especially important in today’s current job market, with unemployment at historic lows. Of course, this doesn’t mean cutting corners on things like reference checks, but you need to be prepared to strike with an offer letter while the iron is still hot. If your organization is typically slow to deliberate major decisions, you should discuss with the stakeholders in advance so that everyone is on the same page in terms of the urgency of moving quickly to secure a hire.

For many small businesses and organizations, particularly those without a robust internal HR department, there may not be enough bandwidth to implement the above recommendations. Therefore, another viable option to ensure that you can hire the most qualified candidates as quickly as possible is to outsource at least part of the hiring process to a staffing agency.

There are many advantages to working with staffing agencies as they can help you to refine your processes, enhance your job descriptions, as well as provide access to their proprietary candidate databases with large numbers of pre-qualified candidates. While there are additional costs involved in working with a staffing agency, you will often save money in the end by saving on both time and administrative costs, particularly when it comes to those urgent hires.

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How to Attract Diverse Talent

With the trend toward further digitalization and globalization in today’s marketplace, many small businesses find themselves struggling to keep up with so many rapid changes. One important way in which business owners can improve their organization quickly and set themselves up for even greater future success is by focusing on the diversification of their workplace.

Simply put, what this means is hiring people of varying characteristics, such as age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, skill-set, education, and socioeconomic background, to name just a few. In recent years, numerous studies have been conducted that not only show that there is still a long way to go in improving workplace diversity, but that companies that do have a more diverse workforce outperform less diverse organizations in nearly every key performance indicator.

For example, more ethnically and racially diverse companies are 35% more likely to realize financial returns above their industry median. Additionally, diverse companies generate 19% more revenue on average than less diverse companies and are 70% more likely to capture a new market. Diversity in the workplace brings fresh perspectives, different skill-sets, higher productivity, and fosters greater creativity. A business that actively promotes diversity can also significantly enhance its business reputation and improve employee retention.

So, then, once a business has decided to proactively diversify their workforce, what is the best way to attract diverse talent? As it turns out, there are a few easy-to-implement strategies to achieve this:

  • Advertise new jobs through diverse channels. For example, sites like com, PDN Recruits, iHispano, Pink Jobs, and Retired Brains offer access to a large pool of diverse candidates.
  • Emphasize diversity in your job postings and the careers page on your website. This is one of the easiest to accomplish and takes only minutes to accomplish. With more and more talent in today’s market valuing companies that emphasize diversity, you will get more qualified responses by letting people know that your organization is proactive when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
  • Implement blind resume screening and diverse interview panels. Even for organizations and HR departments with the best of intentions, unconscious biases can still occur, even with extensive diversity training This can be easily avoided by implementing blind resume screening and making sure that your interviewers represent the company’s diversity.
  • Include diverse employees in web and print materials. By doing this, not only will you be letting prospective employees know that your organization emphasizes diversity, but also prospective clients.
  • Attend diversity job fairs and partner with minority organizations. With the growing focus on diversity, diversity job fairs have been popping up all over the country. No matter where your organization is located, there is likely to be a diversity job fair near you. You can also partner with local minority organizations, such as a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce or other community groups that can offer access to large pools of qualified candidates.

Nevertheless, despite all of the evidence that shows the importance of a diverse workplace, however, a recent analysis by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that roughly 41% of business managers are “too busy” to focus on a diversity hiring program. This is where a staffing agency can help.

A staffing agency will discuss your diversity recruitment goals with you, help you to write appropriate job descriptions, and bring to bear their vast pools of skilled talent to help achieve your company’s goals. However, beyond simply helping you to recruit and hire more diverse talent, staffing agencies can also provide consulting services to help make your workplace more inclusive overall, such as organizing training on diversity and inclusion and mitigating any legal concerns.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that a diverse workforce offers many benefits, both in terms of financial growth and fostering a stronger and more productive workplace. It is also relatively simple to initiate a diversity recruitment and hiring program by following the simple tips outlined above or by hiring a professional staffing firm that can work with you step-by-step to achieve your hiring goals.

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Promoting Employee Health & Wellness In Your Company

It is no secret that the U.S. population (and workforce) is experiencing a health and wellness crisis, with more than one-third of Americans suffering from obesity and nearly 86 million suffering from pre-diabetes (although only 10% are even aware of their condition). Besides physical health, mental health issues have also reached a critical level, with high levels of stress manifesting symptoms such as anger issues, sleeplessness, and anxiety. These issues often end up leading to decreased productivity, more employees calling out sick, and even leading to higher turnover rates.

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, promoting employee health and wellness not only makes for a healthier workforce, but it also makes good business sense. For employers, obesity and depression are the two leading drivers of healthcare-related costs. By encouraging employees to lead healthier lifestyles – and giving them the means and encouragement to do so – businesses can save not only on healthcare costs, but they can also increase employee productivity. Companies that promote a healthy workplace notice a positive change in the company’s work environment where employees feel good about coming into work each day. Resentful employees aren’t likely to remain focused and won’t perform at their best.

In fact, the research pertaining to how valuable employee health and wellness programs have become in today’s workplace is unequivocal, and this is reflected in the increase of formalized programs across the country. One of the good things about implementing such a program is that it is an inexpensive way to realize both short-term and especially long-term improvements to a company’s bottom line as well as to be a more responsible member of the corporate community.

For those companies that are looking to implement some sort of health and wellness program in their business, these are some simple, effective, and relatively inexpensive ideas that can be quickly implemented:

  1. Health Insurance Wellness Programs – For small businesses, in particular, many health insurance providers include health & wellness programs as a part of their plans. Check with your insurance provider to see what types of programs they offer and see how you can integrate those initiatives into your office culture.
  2. Gym Memberships for Employees – If you have a gym in your office building, a perk that you can offer to employees are free gym memberships. You can also likely negotiate a good deal with a gym if you purchase gym memberships in bulk for your employees.
  3. Fitness & Yoga Classes –Another option if you don’t have a gym in your building, is offering free fitness and yoga classes to employees, either before work, after work, or during lunch. All you need is a conference room or other large space.
  4. Start a Challenge – Anything from a walking challenge (which can be tracked by any number of fitness apps on employee’s phones) where the employee who walks the most steps during the week wins a prize, to signing up for a marathon that has the added bonus of helping a worthwhile charity.
  5. Healthier Snack Options – Instead of offering chips, cookies, and sodas in your employee lounge, you can offer fresh fruit, vegetables, and bottled water instead.
  6. Encourage Standing Instead of Sitting – The next time you are looking to purchase new desks and chairs, look into standing desks for your employees instead. Standing desks offer numerous health benefits, from lowering the risk of weight gain and obesity to reducing back pain.
  7. Implement “Walking Meetings” – Instead of hosting meetings while seated in an office or conference room (particularly smaller scale meetings), try holding meetings while taking a walk outside.

These are just a few of the many simple and cost-effective ideas to incorporate into your company’s health and wellness program for employees. They also offer much more than just a “cool” employee perk; they provide real benefits to both companies and employees by helping employees to improve their overall health and well-being so that they are in the best physical and mental shape to work. In the end, increased employee productivity will also improve a company’s bottom line.

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How Bilingual Staffing Solutions Can Help Your Organization Succeed

Bilingual employees can help a company and workplace to become more diverse, productive, and grow exponentiallyWith an increasingly diverse population, it is becoming even more important that businesses large and small adapt their own workforces to meet the changing needs of its customers as well as to be able to more effectively reach new audiences for their products or services. One of the most effective ways to achieve greater workforce diversity is through hiring more bilingual (or multilingual) employees. While more than 80% of the population of the United States speaks English only at home, multilingualism has been rising steadily since 1980, with Spanish alone recording a jump from 5% of the population in 1980 to approximately 14% as of 2015.

According to a study from the New American Economy, postings for bilingual positions grew from roughly 240,000 to 630,000 between 2010 and 2015. Furthermore, the fastest growing segment of these bilingual jobs was for higher-level positions, such as managers and engineers. Among the most high-demand languages were Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic.

Incorporating more bilingual employees into a company has many advantages. Not only does it allow a company to reach additional markets for its products and services, but can also provide better service for existing customers whose primary language is not English and improves the overall workforce and office environment by adding greater diversity.

In fact, on this latter point alone, studies have shown that companies which emphasize diversity in their workplace are 35% more likely to receive greater financial returns than companies that do not focus on diversity. Diversity, however, is not just about multilingualism, along the ability to speak more than one language is certainly a step forward on the road to greater diversity. Multilingual employees also often bring differing and unique perspectives with their respective skill-sets. Not to mention, studies have demonstrated that people who speak more than one language have more creative problem-solving skills, more rational decision-making skills, and much more.

Some of the key industries that have already embraced the importance of bilingualism among their workforces are the advertising & marketing, healthcare, business/finance, and government industries. Many other industries are starting to take notice and working towards building up their respective multilingual talent pools.

Of course, there are many different types of bilingual positions and employees, and there is no single solution to fit all of these diverse needs. For example, recruiting a bilingual receptionist or office manager is a much different process than recruiting a bilingual engineer or staff attorney. In addition to the typical recruitment process that includes a job posting, review of resumes and qualifications, interview, and sometimes testing, recruiting for bilingual candidates involves the added dimension of verifying their language abilities, authenticating educational credentials and experience overseas, and speaking with professional references that may not speak English.

This is where a professional staffing agency that specializes in multilingual personnel can help, particularly for small businesses that do not have robust in-house human resources departments, but even for larger businesses that do not have the foreign language background to manage this more complicated process. A multilingual services staffing agency will typically already have access to a large pool of qualified resources in a variety of industries from which to select candidates. They can also assist with the translation of foreign language documents (such as credentials), test candidates in their language skills (both in English and the foreign language) and subject matter expertise, and manage foreign language reference checks.

A staffing agency can also work with businesses to define the job description so as to fit the specific needs of the company best. For example, does the company need a bilingual employee to answer phones or deal with customer services issues in the foreign language, or will they be involved in translating important client documents and interpreting for international business negotiations. These considerations are crucial when hiring a bilingual employee, as simply being bilingual does not qualify one to handle tasks typically done by professional, certified translators and interpreters.

In conclusion, there is no better time than now for businesses to begin building a more multilingual workforce. From better serving their existing clients to gaining access to new markets and improving the overall diversity of their workforces, the advantages of “going multilingual” are innumerable. Moreover, working with a staffing agency that specializes in the multilingual staffing field can not only assist in finding the right employees but also in developing an effective and comprehensive plan for meeting a business’ future multilingual staffing program needs.

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The Growth, Risks, and Future of the Contingent Workforce

As the global economy continues to evolve, the nature of the workforce itself has been changing rapidly. Now firmly ensconced in the digital age, more and more workers are looking for greater flexibility, whether in terms of the freedom to work with more than one client, managing their own schedules, and working from home.

Although definitions of a “contingent worker” can vary, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated in 2015 that workers with alternative work arrangements (contingent, part-time, temp, or “gig jobs”) accounted for roughly 40% of the workforce, with this number increasing by more than 36% in the previous five years. Contingent workers also now serve in a wide variety of roles, from seasonal employees at companies like Amazon or department stores to IT personnel, highly-specialized consultants, freelance writers and translators, and much more.


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How Working with a Staffing Agency Can Help You Save Money

The process of reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates require valuable time and moneyIf you’re a small business owner or manager, you’re likely well aware of both the difficulty and expense of recruiting, vetting, and hiring new employees. In fact, you may have even thought it would be easy. After all, platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, CareerBuilder, and others were supposed to make finding and hiring the right candidate a piece of cake, right? Just look at a few resumes, pick the one that looks the most qualified, and you’re all set!

Unfortunately, the reality can be quite different. In an economic environment where the country is close to full employment, it has become more and more difficult to find the right talent, and when you do, that perfect candidate may likely end up costing you more than you were expecting. Besides the salary and benefits, you also have to deal with the costs of the recruitment effort itself, the many person-hours that go into reviewing dozens (or hundreds) of resumes, pre-screening phone calls, conducting interviews, handling any pre-employment testing, background checks, and even drug tests.


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