Staffing Blog


Recruiting College Graduates

3 Ways to Successfully Recruit Leading College Grads

1.9 million college students are expected to graduate this year and most of them will want to start their career right after they walk across the stage.

By targeting college graduates, your staffing agency can dip into a talent pool that comes to the workforce with fresh, new ideas and a willingness to learn and be trained. It’s important to know who to look for and how to win them over to your client’s company.

So how do you get the best talent out of the Class of 2016? Here are three ways to successfully recruit the best of the best this year.

1. Attend career fairs

Many colleges and universities across the nation host career fairs for their students to meet potential employers. By attending these job fairs, employers can meet a number of top candidates. Also, students who attend career fairs tend to be more serious about their future, so these fairs are often effective places to recruit the best talent.

One way to find the best career fairs is by targeting schools. If you’re seeking graduates with a particular degree, Workforce Locator can help you find the top schools for that major.

Remember to engage with students at the career fair. Many times, representatives stand behind their tables without interacting with students as they pass by. Unless you represent a company that is very well known, many students won’t know about you, what you offer, or how you can jumpstart their career. Step in front of the table and take the initiative to connect with every student who walks by your booth.

2. Appeal to their deeper interests

Millennials have different interests than previous generations when it comes to what they want from their employers. In a recent study, 83% of millennials chose their positions based on employee benefits and 54% took a job based on flexible hours and work schedules.

For most millennials, it’s not just about the money. However, because recent college graduates typically carry a large amount of student debt, many companies are taking steps to help them pay down their loans. For example, starting in July, Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ junior employees will be eligible to receive up to $1,200 per year for up to six years as assistance from the company to pay down college debt.

Recent college graduates are also looking for a company that can provide a career path and development opportunities. They want to know that they are valued and that they will have opportunities to learn the skills they need to move up the career ladder to a more prestigious, high-paying position.

3. Understand that their experience may be limited

Train your recruiters and hiring managers to understand that a recent college graduate’s resume will look different from the resume of candidates with more career experience. Many times, the students have been involved in internships or campus leadership positions, which can mitigate their lack of on-the-job experience.

In a Monster article, Enterprise Rent-A-Car regional recruiting supervisor, Chris Fitzpatrick, commented on how a candidate’s involvement in college can help hiring managers connect the dots.
“Involvement in sports breeds competitiveness. Membership in fraternities, sororities, and other clubs and organizations helps develop leadership skills. Although a communications major may not have learned case studies about risk management, the ability to communicate verbally, nonverbally, and cross culturally is vastly more critical. Soft skills such as communication, work ethic, flexibility, and leadership transcend the college majors and are better identified when an entire picture of a candidate’s college experience is seen.”

You can always teach the skills that recent graduates may lack; so if you see a lot of involvement in college on their resumes, it means they are probably driven and dedicated individuals. Oftentimes a student’s non-career experiences during college will translate into the skills needed to do the job.

According to a recent study conducted by Leadership IQ, “89% of the time a new hire fails, it is for attitudinal reasons, not for technical competence reasons.” If you have a candidate who fits culturally, but lacks teachable skills, that individual might still be the right person for the job.

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Social Media Tips, Staffing Agencies

5 Social Media Tips for Staffing Agencies

If you work for a staffing agency, social media can be a powerful tool to help your firm grow by finding the right candidates.

Agencies that aren’t utilizing social media marketing in their strategy are missing valuable opportunities. However, with many platforms available, it can be challenging to determine which are most effective and which are simply a waste of time. In this article, we’ll share five social media tips to increase your staffing opportunities.

1. Understand your target audience

Each social media platform features its own audience. The first step to develop a solid social media strategy is to pinpoint the demographics. Who are your ideal candidates? Focus your efforts on the channels where those individuals will likely be found.

2. Ensure brand credibility and consistency

Another important component of a good social media strategy is branding. Undoubtedly, you will be competing with dozens of other recruiters, all of whom are vying for the same top talent. To grab and keep the attention of potential candidates, your brand must stand out as both credible and consistent. Be sure your agency maintains an active online presence with an image and voice that are consistent across all platforms.

3. Find the right platform

One social media marketing mistake many businesses make—staffing companies included—is trying to spread their resources too thin. Sure, you could be active on multiple social media channels, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. In fact, doing so could have a negative effect. Instead, focus on mastering the top few platforms where you’re most likely to reach your target audience.

4. Make your content searchable

Keywords aren’t just for search engine optimization (SEO). They also make your content easier to find. In fact, search engines rank social media sites so favorably that leveraging the right keywords can increase your results, making locating the right candidates far easier. In the company description, incorporate targeted keywords and links to the agency’s other social media accounts. Keyword-rich “about me” descriptions will enhance your online search ability and visibility. And don’t forget to incorporate relevant hashtags on all posts to better reach your target audience. Hashtags make it easier for your audience to find, follow, and contribute to a conversation.

5. Tap into your current workforce

Successful recruiters have a built-in network of referral opportunities in the candidates they’ve already matched with companies in need. Why not tap into this resource to help spread the word socially about other openings you’re trying to fill? Today’s consumers trust online recommendations just as much as if they’d come from a friend, family member, or colleague; and getting others to share on your behalf provides access to additional networks of potential candidates.

Where to spend your time

Now that you’ve built a strong foundation to support your social media strategy, let’s take a quick look at which platforms tend to be the most beneficial marketing channels for staffing agencies.

  • LinkedIn: Advanced search allows you to look for prospects using keywords, job titles, industries, and more.
  • Blog Posts: Leverage the power of SEO to help candidates find you and learn about your openings.
  • Facebook: Use the new advertising format to target candidates based on a number of variables.
  • Twitter: Use keywords to search for qualified candidates.

For more details on recommended social media platforms for recruiters as well as other valuable tips, watch this short video clip.

And be sure to bookmark our Staffing Blog for the best staffing agency resources, professional advice, tips, tricks, and much more.

Staffing Tips

The Goldilocks Effect: Payroll Funding That Is Just Right

You’ve probably heard the well-worn story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. In this age-old tale, young Goldilocks is out for a walk in the woods when she stumbles upon the cabin belonging to the three bears. Upon entering and realizing nobody was home, she tests out each of the bears’ beds. Finding baby bear’s bed to be “just right,” Goldilocks promptly falls into a deep, fitful sleep. In real-life, this concept of finding solutions that are “just right” is important, especially in business.

Often times, staffing companies struggle to find the ideal solution to their cash flow woes. Let’s take a closer look at what these challenges are and how they can be overcome.

Funding Your Payroll

When it comes to paying your employees, there are a number of different options available to you. Determining which one is “just right” will depend on your specific business needs and a wide variety of other factors. These options include:

Traditional Revenue Funding – That is, relying on your incoming revenue to issue payroll. While on paper this may seem like the wisest choice, in reality, it may actually be more challenging than you may realize. After all, if your payroll is contingent solely on your income, what happens during a financial down turn? Furthermore, if most of your profits are being paid back out, this type of setup can stunt your ability to grow.

Payroll Loans – Another viable option for funding your payroll is taking out a bank loan. This isn’t necessarily a terrible idea, but it’s not the right fit for everyone. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of taking on additional debt and to assess your company’s financial ability to repay the loan without stretching yourself too thin. Additionally, if you’re finding yourself in a position to need extra funding for your payroll needs on a regular basis, bank loans could potentially make matters worse. In fact, you may not even be approved.

Payroll Funding – The third option is invoice factoring or payroll funding. Unlike the other two methods, there is no dipping into existing or incoming funds, nor does it involve incurring any type of debt (and the interest payments that come along with it). Instead, you simply sell some or all of your outstanding accounts receivable to a factoring company for a small fee. The cash payment you receive in return can then be used to fund payroll (or any other business needs you may have).

When you consider the three available options, it becomes clear that for the majority of staffing companies, payroll funding is the solution that fits “just right.” This is especially true for smaller to mid-sized firms or those that wish to grow and expand, as it doesn’t require the use of existing profits nor does it depend on bank approval or credit-worthiness.

Some of the other benefits of staffing factoring or payroll funding include:

Fast Access to Working Capital – With the right partner, you can have the funds you need in no time. Eliminate the time-consuming task of waiting for invoices to be paid or for banks to make decisions. Get your cash when you need it.

Flexibility – If there’s one thing about the staffing industry, it’s that there can be tremendous ebbs and flows in the demand for talent. With payroll financing, you don’t have to worry about how you’ll keep up with these changing demands, because you’ll always have access to the funding you need.

Opportunity – Growth is something that many smaller staffing businesses strive to achieve. The problem is, many find it difficult to compete due to financial restraints. Having access to funding when you need it allows you to take on those larger clients without the worry of how differing payment cycles might impact your business.

Customer/Client Satisfaction – When you no longer struggle to meet payroll, regardless of external or internal circumstances, employees and the companies you place them with will find your staffing company “just right” too!

Want to learn more about payroll funding? Click here or contact us today!

Payroll Funding

Recruiting Strategies to Catch the Millennials

Staying up-to-date on the latest recruiting strategies can be tough, particularly when it comes to attracting quality candidates from the millennial generation. The reason it’s so challenging is because individuals from this demographic are markedly different from previous generations. Before you find yourself frustrated and ready to throw in the towel, let’s take a look at some creative recruiting resources staffing agencies can employ to help win over Millennials.

Understand what motivates them.

Unlike Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, Millennials have a completely unique set of desires and needs when it comes to their careers. For instance, younger workers place a much stronger emphasis on things like flexibility, work/life balance and growth opportunity than traditional motivating factors, like salary. Understanding what these workers are looking for can help you position your openings to make them more attractive.

Use social media.

The Millennial generation uses social media for much more than just keeping up with friends and family. They also turn to these online networking sites to connect with brands, make purchasing decisions and – yes – even look for work. If you want to reach candidates from this younger group, you have to meet them where they are, so be sure to incorporate social media into your recruiting strategies.

Create a mobile friendly site.

These days it seems just about everyone has a smartphone or other type of handheld device. This is especially true for Millennials, who are referred to as the first digital natives since they were born and raised during a time when the internet and things like cloud technology were the norm. In terms of staffing, some 1 billion job searches are conducted using a mobile device each and every month. Leverage this by ensuring that your recruiting site is mobile-friendly and can be easily accessed and navigated using any device.

Make culture a top priority.

Candidates from the younger generation want to work for companies that have invested in developing and fostering cultures that value people, not just the bottom line. That’s why employer branding is so important during the recruiting process. Staffing professionals must find a way to demonstrate and effectively “sell” the overall vibe and culture of the company if they want to win over Millennials.

Provide work that matters.

Another key differentiator of the millennial generation is how strongly they feel about making a difference. This applies both to the impact they can potentially make with their employer as well as in the world around them. For this reason, recruiting strategies must involve clearly defining and effectively communicating the role being offered and how it factors in with the big picture.

Be competitive.

Last but not least, if you want to attract and win over the hearts and minds of millennial workers, you must remain at peak performance and in sound financial shape. If payroll funding and cash flow issues are holding you back from successfully reaching qualified candidates, funding through staffing factoring might be just the solution. This will allow you to focus on getting the right people instead of worrying about how to keep them.

With Millennials now occupying more than 50% of today’s workforce, figuring out the best way to reach, engage and appeal to them is more important than ever. By incorporating the above best practices into your overall recruiting strategy, you’ll have a much better chance of landing the types of quality younger candidates that will help drive the ongoing success of your business.

For more Staffing Tips and industry news, ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for daily updates.

Hands with money, taxes

Tax Tips for Staffing Agencies

With the new year comes concerns about staffing news and about correctly filing staffing taxes for your temporary staffing agency. Tax surprises are rarely good. Whether you have filed before or your agency is new within the last year, getting through tax season with accurate and acceptable payroll and tax records are imperative to the success of your business.

Know Your Company’s Tax Status

Although it depends somewhat on your location, most states consider staffing or temporary agencies to be the full employers of temporary employees. This designation requires that your business has a state tax identification number as well as an EIN from the federal tax administration. Double-check with your tax attorney or accountant for the classification of your company before you begin the tax process.

If your agency is, in fact, the employer of temporary employees, you may also find yourself subjected to paying employment taxes. These include temp agency payroll taxes, Medicare, Social Security and federal unemployment taxes and federal income tax withholding.

Completing all of these forms and filings can make your staffing taxes much more complicated than you had originally envisioned. For that reason, consider these tips to help you complete your tax process:

1. Understand Your Payroll Taxes

Your staffing agency is subject to taxation at both the federal and state level, and you are responsible for collecting unemployment taxes from your employees. Although it may be tempting to label your employees as “independent contractors,” the facts that you have legally provided these individuals with their set hours of employment, that you have a continuing working relationship with them and that you are paying them with a set payment method all indicate that they are business employees.

When companies pay your agency to employ your temporary workers, you are responsible for collecting payroll taxes from the pay that is passed on to those workers. The amounts of money that change hands should be clearly spelled out in the contract you make with the hiring companies, as well as with your employees.

2. Calculate the Withholding Amount from Employees’ W-4 Forms

Federal law mandates that you determine the amount withheld from each employee via the information provided by the employee on his or her IRS Form W-4.

With each wage payment that you make to the employee, you are required to withhold an amount. This number is likely different for each employee, depending on his or her earned wages and claimed exemptions. Each wage payment is considered a separate taxable event and must be treated as such.

Use the standard tables provided by the IRS to determine the amount withheld for each of your employees. This amount is based on:

  • The size of each wage payment
  • The frequency of payroll payments
  • The employee’s current marital status
  • The employee’s claimed withholding exemptions as filed on the W-4 form

The W-4 forms are only for you and your company to determine proper exemptions and withholdings as you are calculating your payroll taxes. You do not need to file them with the government or the IRS unless there is a discrepancy in information.

The total amount that you withhold should approximate each employee’s year-end tax liability. If you do not have a completed W-4 for an employee, treat that person’s withholdings as being single with no exemptions.

3. Provide a W-2 to Each Employee

As a company, you are required to withhold the proper amounts from your employees’ pay and to deposit those amounts with the appropriate tax agencies. These withholdings will include federal and state taxes, Medicare and Social Security taxes and federal and state unemployment taxes. In order to complete these requirements, you must provide all of your employees with proper W-2 and 1099 reports that thoroughly explain their yearly compensation and withholding amounts.

All employees must receive a W-2 by January 31 of the year following the employment year. Those who do maintain an independent contractor status and earned more than 600 dollars in compensation should receive a 1099 instead.

4. File and Pay Federal and State Taxes on Time

You can avoid tax penalties by paying your federal and state taxes on time. Your federal tax deposit must be made electronically through one of these methods:

  • The Treasury Department’s free Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)
  • A trusted third party, such as a payroll service or tax professional
  • A financial institution that can initiate an ACH Credit payment

Many states now also require your deposits to be made electronically. Consult your state agencies for more information.

All deposits must be made on time. If your due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or national legal holiday, you have until the close of the next business day to complete your deposit.

5. Maintain Proper Records

Once you have successfully distributed all your W-2 and 1099 forms to your employees and independent contractors, you must make sure that you have proper records that explain the payroll taxes that you paid for the year. Per the federal requirements, keep all records for at least four years before destroying them. Check your state record-keeping requirements as well.

Should the IRS ever question your payroll or business, these records must be kept for examination. Make sure that you have:

  • The names, addresses and Social Security numbers for every employee
  • The period of employment and compensation for each employee
  • The total amounts of pay given to each employee
  • The amounts of each payment kept as taxable wages
  • Complete copies of each employee’s W-4 form
  • All dates and records for each tax deposit made by your company
  • Thorough copies of all tax returns filed
  • Any and all W-2 forms that were undeliverable to past employees

All of these records must be kept in an orderly fashion to be immediately examined by an IRS official if requested.

For more information about taxes and for staffing news, follow Triumph Business Capital on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.

Staffing Trends

5 Staffing Trends for 2016

As a successful staffing professional, you’re probably in the process of setting your goals and objectives for the coming year. In doing so, it’s important to consider the trends that are expected to occur over the next 12 months. This will help you to better align your own business strategies with what the industry is projected to experience in the near future. With that said, here are some of the biggest predictions to date:

Trend #1: Temporary staffing will see a significant spike.

A recent forecast conducted by CareerBuilder indicated that 47% of employers are planning to hire temporary or contract workers over the coming months. This is in line with many expert opinions that the freelance economy will continue to disrupt the workforce.

Trend #2: Mobility will become even more of a priority.

According to a recent Glassdoor survey, 9 out of 10 job seekers use their mobile devices to search for work. That’s 89% of the candidate pool, and based on past statistics, it’s a number that is projected to continue rising. What this means for staffing professionals is that recruiting strategies must focus on marketing to the mobile market.

Trend #3: The blended workforce model will become more prominent.

With technology like cloud computing and real-time video conferencing, more and more organizations are embracing the concept of the blended workforce. That is, a combination of in-house, contract and remote employees. Look for this more flexible model to become even more prominent over the coming months.

Trend #4: Fresh, new talent will be entering the workforce.

As the Baby Boomer generation begins to make its exit out of the workforce and into retirement, a younger demographic of skilled workers will be taking their place. It’s no surprise then that employers expect to hire 11% more new college graduates in 2016. Of course, adjustments and changes will need to be made to accommodate the unique needs, desires and strengths of this younger group, which leads to the final trend.

Trend #5: Recruiting and retention strategies will need to evolve.

With the Millennial generation poised to take over the workforce by the year 2020, adjustments will have to be made at businesses across every industry. This is particularly true for the recruiting and retention process. Organizations and staffing professionals will need to develop new and better ways to attract, recruit and retain top talent.

By staying apprised of staffing news and knowing what trends to watch for ahead of time, you can better plan and hone your own strategies to position your business for increased success over the coming months.

For additional staffing and recruiting resources, such as how accounts receivable factoring can improve your company’s bottom line, contact us today.

Staffing Agency, Working woman

Growing a Staffing Agency with Invoice Factoring

Ask any CEO what the main challenges of their business are and in the top five will likely be attracting and retaining top talent for their business. Being able to provide your clients’ access to top talent in their industry can set your staffing agency apart from others. Even if “top” talent is for a warehouse or clerical office work, the bottom line is you need to be able to meet your obligations as a staffing company to your employees – and the main one of these obligations is being able to make payroll without fail.

Reliably making payroll is one of the biggest challenges of running a staffing agency. You may not get paid in 30-60 days, but your employees need to be paid every 7-15 days. With today’s margins being more compressed by competition, it’s likely you don’t have a big stack of cash lying around to help you wait those 30-60 days for your customers to pay! So how do you retain top talent, maintain your margins and run your business well? Payroll funding through invoice factoring may be the answer.

With invoice factoring, you no longer have to wait 30-60 days to be paid. A factoring company, like Triumph Business Capital, will purchase your accounts receivables less a small percentage so you can get your cash quickly to make payroll. By using Triumph to bridge that 30-60 day gap, you can confidently grow your business as much as possible, knowing that payroll needs will be met.

Triumph also provides back office solutions such as checking credit on new customers and helping you collect your invoices. Triumph has over 10 years of experience in helping clients with their invoices. Add to this that we’re part of a regulated bank and a public company (NASDAQ: TBK) and you can rest assured your account will be in good, professional hands.

Don’t confuse invoice factoring with a loan. It’s scalable to your business. It grows with you…and almost as important, it shrinks with you too. Think about it: if you take on a loan to service a large account and that account then goes away, you still owe the money on that loan. With invoice factoring, because it’s all based on your invoices, it grows and contracts with you, leaving no debt behind hanging around your business’ neck.

Phone Interview

Now You Can Conduct the Perfect Phone Interview: Well, Hello, Hire!

When they’re done right, phone interviews can save time by pre-screening candidates and provide information you won’t find in any resume. Done poorly, they can be awkward, impersonal, and ultimately ineffective as a screening tool. These 10 Tips will help you become a more effective interviewer, and narrow down candidates before face-to-face interviews:

1. Be Prepared.

You wouldn’t go to a job interview without learning a little about the company — so don’t conduct a phone interview without familiarizing yourself with the candidate’s background. Before your call, block out some time to review the candidate’s resume, LinkedIn profile, and any other relevant information.

2. Be curious.

If you work at a staffing agency, chances are you’ve seen a lot of resumes. Make the resume review process more interesting by cultivating curiosity about the person you’re interviewing. As you review the profile, jot down any questions you have.

3. Choose a quiet place.

More and more, people are conducting business outside of the office, and there’s no reason why you can’t do your interview offsite — just make sure the location you choose is quiet, and has good connectivity. Loud coffee grinders, barking dogs and poor reception can be distracting.

4. Stay focused.

Ever had a phone conversation with someone who is reading an email or browsing the Internet at the same time? It’s about as frustrating as a dinner date with someone who’s glued to their phone. Resist the urge to check email, read status updates or conduct other business during an interview.

5. Be brief.

Phone interviews are meant to be more efficient than face-to-face interviews, so try to limit your call to no more than 30 to 45 minutes. We’ve heard this referred to as the 5/20/5 rule: spend about five minutes introducing yourself and the company you represent, and describing the position. Then, spend about 20 minutes interviewing. Use the last five minutes of the call to answer questions from the candidate, and communicate next steps.

6. Ask thoughtful questions.

You already have the candidate’s resume — so ask questions that dig a little deeper. For example, ask about short-term and long-term career goals. Ask about financial and personal goals, too. The answers may provide practical information (the client is open to relocating to another city), financial insights (they need upward mobility to be happy) or clues about cultural fit (they want a better work/life balance). Questions like, “What career accomplishment are you most proud of?” and “What qualities are most important to you when seeking a new position?” provoke more thoughtful answers than, “What did you do at your last job?”

7. Ask about likes and dislikes.

Everyone likes to talk about strengths. No one likes to admit weaknesses. A good way to get around the classic interview question, while still getting the information you want, is to ask candidates what professional tasks they like and dislike most. People usually enjoy doing things they are best at, and dislike tasks where they feel less competent. If your candidate dislikes a task that’s a major part of the prospective job, you’ll know it’s not a good fit.

8. Listen more than you talk.

It’s good to be forthcoming and answer relevant questions. However, be sure to keep the focus on the candidate, and do more listening than speaking. The good thing about this approach is that you can relax and worry less about what you’re going to say. After all, the interview is not about you: it’s about them.

9. Take notes.

Staffing companies conduct countless interviews, and it would be unreasonable to expect you to remember every detail you discussed. Instead, take notes during your call. This way, you can share the information you learned with other people involved in hiring decisions.

10. Say thanks.

Thank the candidate for their time, and let them know you’ll follow up.

Staffing companies bridge the gap between job seekers and employers, and when you prepare well for your a phone interviews, you’ll create a more favorable first impression for both parties. At Triumph Business Capital, we’re committed to helping staffing companies like yours succeed. Need help with funding or capital expenses? Call us any time.

Recruiting Strategies, Stanton Williams

What to Look For When Hiring a COO

Part 2 of an interview with Stanton Williams, a growth-driving president/CEO with two decades in the financial services industry and co-founder of a mobile app/social media technology venture. In this article, he discusses the role of a company’s chief operating officer and the importance of identifying the right person for this critical leadership position.

Q: You previously explained that the two most important leaders in organizations are a Visionary/Trailblazer and an Architect/Integrator. The Visionary is typically the CEO and/or founder, while the Architect/Integrator is the COO. How would you describe the qualities and leadership style of this key leader?

SW: Clearly, visionaries and integrators have different strengths. Architects/integrators are assertive, take-charge people. They’re analytical thinkers who require factual information. They want and need to solve problems quickly and want to get projects completed. Although they often don’t communicate to others what they are doing, when they do communicate, their style is no-nonsense: blunt, authoritative, factual.

How does the COO need to balance the CEO?

SW: You have to have someone detail-oriented who can keep up with the visionary who’s out there making things happening, or who will even take the foot off the gas sometimes. There tends to be a healthy tension between the two. They have to essentially leave each other alone, but they have to be on the same page. I’m a visionary. The success I’ve had in my career has been when I’ve had a really strong operator off whom I could bounce ideas. I almost always get a different perspective that I value. I don’t want a “yes” person. I want someone strong enough and smart enough to be my balance. I take this person’s perspective into account before making decisions.

Q: How do you identify the right individual for that role?

SW: I’m actually in the process of buying a company. I’m buying it because I know I can help grow it and because the current president is an excellent operator. I’ll be the CEO and she will be my COO. Her skills and strengths represent those needed for a leader in this role to excel:

  • Business acumen – While she is good at what she does, she is also very aware of the business environment, which enables her to avoid the trap of complacency.
  • Honesty – Honesty is the first ingredient for effective relationship building. She is absolutely authentic and honest, which has enabled her to win the trust of team members.
  • Creating an inspired corporate culture – Team members believe they are working for a cause greater than themselves.
  • Continual innovation and adaptability – This has positioned the company to compete head-to-head with industry leaders.

Just as important, she and I have a shared vision for the company and our daily focuses are complementary.

Q. On the flip side, what mistakes have you seen in companies when hiring a COO?

SW: I’ve seen companies go astray in multiple ways – not properly vetting candidates, being too narrow in who or what they consider, or not fully grasping how well a candidate fits with the culture. Some key mistakes include:

  • Failing to do adequate reference checks, including verifying academic credentials. You would be surprised how many times candidates falsify their academic achievements.
  • Limiting candidates to only those with direct industry experience. Excellent COOs bring deep experience, much of which is transferable across industries. The best COOs are able to work with existing experienced staff to form a strategy with the benefit of an outsider’s perspective.
  • Failure to consider a fractional COO. In some situations a top-tier COO, whose talents can be harnessed for a fraction of a full-time salary, can be an excellent alternative to a full-time hire.

Q: When seeking a COO, how much do the requirements depend on the organization?

SW: Finding the right COO depends on the company, the culture and the team. You can find an individual with extraordinary skills, but if they mix like oil and water with the other leaders, it’s not going to work. It’s imperative to clearly understand the candidates’ vision for the company culture – and make sure that vision is an excellent match for where the company wants to be. The COO will have a great deal of influence on the company culture. That means a great candidate will put the company on the path to foster the desired culture, but the wrong candidate can have a devastating impact. Also, if the talent coming in doesn’t do a good job quickly gaining the respect of the team, it’s not going to be a good hire. Recruiters need to ask questions about the culture and the people to find the right candidate.

Stanton Williams, Recruiting Strategies

A CEO’s Perspective on Executive Staffing: Interview with Stanton Williams

Stanton Williams is a growth-focused president/CEO with extensive experience driving results in a fun, accountable culture. He recently acquired and became CEO of V-Rooms, a 10-year-old company that enables the secure sharing of sensitive business documents. Prior to that, he was a cofounding partner of Reach 1-2-1 Mobile, a mobile app and social media technology venture. Previously, he rose to president of SourceCorp Professional Services. Under his leadership, it vaulted from $3.9 to $14.8 million in revenue and into the nation’s largest single-source provider of federal tax saving solutions for partner accounting firms.

Mr. Williams recently shared his insights and perspective on key leadership roles within companies and how they affect staffing. This is Part 1 of a two-part series.

Q: What two types of people are most important to a company’s success?

SW: My leadership experience has taught me that organizations that grow must have key leadership strengths, and these strengths almost always consist of two strong complementary leaders. Gino Wickman, in his book Rocket Fuel, argues that organizations that see explosive growth have two key types of leaders working closely together to drive that growth – Visionaries and Integrators. I’m a huge fan of the book because it details the way my teams have driven companies to success.

Q. How would you describe each leader? What are their roles and talents?

SW: The Visionary is typically the spiritual leader of the company. These people are out front: They’re growth-driven, low on detail, highly results-oriented leaders, and often their companies’ rainmakers. They may also be called trailblazers. These individuals are idea generators who see the big picture and envision the future, wrapped up in the mentality of a hunter. Visionaries/trailblazers are their organizations’ entrepreneurial spark plugs: They’re the source of passion and inspiration. They’re the cheerleaders and champions who develop the big ideas and create the company vision. They develop the breakthroughs and solve the tough problems. Visionaries close the big deals while continually learning and researching.

The Architect, or Integrator, is the organization’s glue, holding the people, processes, systems, priorities and strategy of the company together. He or she is the visionary’s right hand and more detail-oriented. Wickman explains that, “The Integrator is a person who has the unique ability to harmoniously integrate the major functions of the business, run the organization, and manage the day-to-day issues that arise.” Architects/integrators are strong leaders and managers – decisive, good at planning and organizing, solving problems, adaptable and focused on achieving goals. They’ve also got the people skills to understand and evaluate others, so they’re effective in developing and coaching their teams, keeping them cohesive and managing conflicts. Yet, they’re also forward-looking and conceptual thinkers. Like visionaries, architects are continuous learners.

Q: Do most organizations have both?

SW: Some organizations have one of the two leaders; few have both. It’s rare to find organizations growing quickly without both because each of these strong profiles brings unique and critically important strengths to their organization. True Visionaries and Integrators each represent only 3% of the population – they’re very hard to find. Finding Visionaries and Integrators with specific industry experience may be even harder.

Q: How do they complement each other?
SW: Without an Integrator to turn a vision into reality, a Visionary is far less likely to succeed long-term and realize the company’s ultimate goals. Likewise, with no Visionary, an Integrator can’t rise to his or her full potential. When these two people share their natural talents and innate skill sets, they have the power to reach new heights for virtually any company or organization. Working together they push each other, support each other and appropriately challenge each other so that the organization grows in a way that is controlled but that is far faster than their peers.

How do Visionaries and Integrators need to interact?

SW: The Visionary and the Integrator are both very strong personalities and must be intentional about respecting each other. The Visionary tends to get the glory and the integrator tends to be in the background. The integrator is also most likely labeled as a pessimist because the Visionary believes that any and everything can be accomplished – and quickly.

Q. Can you share an example from your own experience?

SW: I was promoted to president of a professional services company in 2001. I enjoyed substantial success in my career to that point by driving sales for the company. I believed that the role of president meant that I had to assume roles that didn’t necessarily play to my strengths as a visionary, an idea generator. Our team also needed strengths in people, processes, systems and conflict management. While I worked very hard to be everything our team needed, I didn’t fool my team or myself when I worked to excel in areas that were not my strengths.

Tom had been with our company for a number of years and had shown himself to be loyal, detail-oriented, ambitious and passionate in his area. He had my respect and the respect of our team. I knew my strengths and I knew our team needed leadership that I believed Tom would provide. It was a theoretical risk but far less of a risk than not making the move to promote Tom to COO of our company.

Leaders earn a title and a role based on stepping up and assuming duties well before being anointed with the title. Tom earned his promotion by demonstrating the kinds of leadership and skills the role required – well before he was given the title. His appointment to COO set me free to drive sales and to strategize with him about other offerings we could add. It was a great working relationship that enabled our company to grow; I was the visionary and Tom was the integrator. We strengthened each other while advancing our team members’ careers.

Invoice Factoring Staff

Analysis of the Staffing Industry: Growth & Looking Forward

Economists say post-recession growth is sluggish — but the staffing industry is doing great. Read on to learn how staffing growth compares to the overall economy, which sectors are growing fastest, and what to expect in 2016.

Long Recession. Slow Recovery.
Unemployment is down. Job growth is up. So, why are economists complaining? According to a September report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment has increased by an average of 198,000 jobs per month so far in 2015. It sounds like good news — but compared to last year, when employers added an average of 260,000 jobs per month, the growth is not as impressive. And when you consider the big picture, it’s clear we still have a lot of catching up to do.

It has taken nearly five years to recover jobs lost during the18 months of the Great Recession. During that time, which began in the first quarter of 2008 and ended mid-2009, real gross domestic product (GDP) dropped in five out of six quarters. Overall, the GDP lost 4.3%, making this recession worse than any since the end of WWII. The Great Recession also lasted longer than the 10 prior post-war recessions, which lasted an average of 10 months each. Pair a lengthy recession with a poky recovery, and the result is a slow-growth economy. Since the recovery began in June of 2009, the GDP has shown an average of 2.2 percent annually. It’s good — just not great.

Better-than-Average Growth for the Staffing Industry
Compared to the overall economy, the staffing industry is growing quickly. A new industry forecast by Staffing Industry Analysts predicts industry revenue to reach a record $142.4 billion next year. The industry is projected to grow by 7% this year and 6% in 2016. So, why is staffing doing so well?

For starters, many businesses restructured operations at the beginning of the recession, downsizing staff to offset lower profits. However, as corporate profit rebounded and business confidence increased, the industry began to recover. To reduce risk, more companies began making smaller commitments to staff, using temporary employees instead of permanent full-time employees, and relying on staffing companies to support growth. The trend continues to have a positive effect on the industry.

Healthcare Jobs Boosted by Affordable Care Act
The largest growth is in the healthcare sector, which has reached 17% for 2015. Part of this growth is due to higher bill rates, as a result the Affordable Care Act. In the period from late 2013 until now, we have seen the largest expansion in insurance coverage since the decade following the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. As more individuals are able to access care, healthcare spending has increased, and hospital job growth is surging. This is excellent news for staffing companies — especially those that specialize in healthcare.

Are you ready to grow?
As the economy continues to recover, staffing companies are well positioned to meet growing job needs. However, it’s important to proactively plan so that you may respond quickly. Implementing scalable processes and outsourcing back-office tasks can help.

When it comes to scaling up, access to working capital is a common challenge. If you need cash to cover payroll and “staff up” for large assignments, you may wish to consider invoice factoring. This financial tool is a good one to have if your clients pay reliably, but not as quickly as you might like. Invoice factoring companies like Triumph Business Capital pay cash for your unpaid invoices, and take over collections. This not only provides you with capital — it also reduces the burden of collection from your back-office.

How Long will the Recovery Last?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the Great Recession, it’s that we can’t always predict what will happen next. However, analysts are concerned that since the current expansion has lasted longer than pervious ones, it may be coming to a close soon. Most are now predicting that 2016 will see a decline.

Only time will tell how long the recovery will last — so it makes sense to take advantage of today’s good fortune while you can. If your staffing company needs assistance with working capital, give us a call today!

Payroll Pitfalls

How to Hire the Right People

As a staffing agency recruiter, you’ve been rewarded with revenue and loyalty from great hires – and felt the fallout from bad ones. According to the Harvard Business Review, bad hiring choices result in 80 percent of employee turnover. No wonder companies today are being more cautious. And, it makes sense to take a smarter approach to the hiring process. The goal is to hire the right person for the job – deliver maximum value for your clients and reinforce the positive impact you and your company make on their business.

Create a plan for hiring success

For you to fulfill your clients’ or the hiring manager’s requirements, there needs to be a clear plan detailing the qualities the contractor or hire must have with an emphasis on measurable results. It should factor in the company’s business goals and be tailored to the characteristics and skills the new hire must have to dovetail with the firm, says David Snyder, author of How to Hire a Champion (Career Press, 2008). Beyond job-specific skills and experience required, work with your client to address and evaluate the following factors in this process:

  • The company’s culture
  • The role of self-motivation
  • Skills
  • Soft skills such as leadership and communication
  • Past history
  • Intangibles beyond skills

Practice the Law of Three

Brian Tracy, chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, advocates a concept called the Law of Three because it has a high success rate based on feedback from business owners and executives. It works like this:

  1. Interview a minimum of three job seekers.
  2. Interview your favorite candidate three times.
  3. Interview the No. 1 candidate in three different locations.
  4. Allow three other people in the organization to interview the top candidate.
  5. Contact a minimum of three references from the job seeker.
  6. Ask the references for the names of others to ensure you go three deep.

Business owners’ smart hiring tips

It’s always a good idea to listen to and to learn from others. It saves a lot of time, trouble and money. Consider the hiring advice of business owners and executives from across a variety of industries relative to job hopefuls:

  • If they don’t share the company’s values and sense of humor, don’t hire them.
  • Find out what they are passionate about and determine if it’s your company.
  • Listen to what they say and learn whether they are a good fit.
  • Determine whether they are creative problem-solvers.
  • Give them an assignment to test their skills.
  • Assess their attitude.
  • Only hire people who walk fast because they have little time to waste.
  • Find out what their work ethic is.
  • Focus on what they offer now and what they can provide as they grow.
  • Check their work samples.
  • Evaluate whether they have a sense of urgency to meet deadlines.
  • Treat them like valued collaborators who are smart, capable and know what they bring to the equation, not lowly applicants who have to prove they are worthy of and willing to grovel for a precious job.

Carefully review past performance

How do you find out whether the job seeker has the skills needed to do a great job? By carefully interviewing to get a strong grasp of past history, results, and successes and failures. Make sure the candidate’s skills – hard and soft – are an excellent match for the job.

Hiring smart is your responsibility

With all of the personality and emotional intelligence tools available, it’s a good idea to learn as much about job seekers during the interviewing process as possible. Take the time to do your homework and plan for a successful hire by creating a dynamic, inclusive and comprehensive hiring process. Identify whether candidates are smart, personal, and a fit for the culture. Ultimately, selecting the right people to join your or your client’s organization is critical for long-term success, motivation and self-esteem. Slow down the process to ensure smart hires.

Payroll Pitfalls

8 Common Payroll Pitfalls Facing Staffing Agencies

Making sure that employees’ paychecks are correct and on time – every time – goes a long way in keeping them satisfied. If your staffing agency fails to pay employees correctly, watch out for poor performance and low morale. And that’s just the beginning.

At least 33 percent of businesses make payroll mistakes, according to the IRS. And, almost 40 percent of small businesses face an average IRS penalty of $845 a year. Errors such as failing to pay the correct amount of state and federal taxes or not documenting payroll records will place your staffing agency in hot water. Tack on potential litigation or other legal matters such as labor court actions and your business is in even bigger trouble.

Here are the eight most common payroll problems:

  • Becoming a victim of payroll fraud
  • Relying on a single person to handle payroll
  • Missing deadlines
  • Failing to save payroll documents
  • Forgetting to record paper checks
  • Setting up payroll incorrectly
  • Running payroll too late
  • Miscalculating overtime

Steps to prevent payroll-related headaches

Improve your payroll processes to avoid problems with these tips:

  • Split payroll assignments among different employees thereby minimizing the chance of payroll fraud happening. If only one person is running your company’s payroll system, it’s much easier for fraudulent activities to take place and harder to spot.
  • Divide responsibilities for timekeeping, updating employee information, payroll authorization, and reconciling payroll among multiple department team members. This keeps the entire workload from falling on one person and limits opportunities for fraud.
  • Maintain a regularly updated payroll calendar that lists all federal, state, county and municipal tax deposits and filing deadlines for the current year and the upcoming one.
  • Keep your payroll records for a minimum of the last three years, but find out what your state requires by contacting the state labor office. Generally, your company is required to hold on to the following records: I-9s, W-4s, timesheets, and payroll files (tax forms, pay stubs, etc.).
  • Make sure to record all information regarding paper checks given to employees right away. Immediate documentation will keep your books balanced and your tax deposits current. Failing to record a paper check is a costly mistake.
  • Withhold the correct amount of taxes from employees’ paychecks to ensure your payroll is set up correctly. If you don’t have the know-how, hire an accountant who has experience in this arena or consider using a payroll service. If you choose to do it yourself, tap online information from federal, state and local government websites.
  • Use a payroll service and avoid having a late payroll. Otherwise, you may end up paying a lot more than you expected because of fines.
  • Look up the rules for paying overtime by contacting the Department of Labor and use its overtime calculator to determine the correct overtime compensation.

Ready for terminations?

Not only are employee terminations – whether via firing, layoff or resignation – challenging to deal with, they also require special preparation. Final paychecks must be issued immediately or you risk being sued for failing to comply with labor laws. Plan ahead for these events by ensuring payroll team members are trained in these matters, and capable of logging into the payroll system and quickly processing the paycheck or payment.

With proper planning …

Ever heard the saying “Proper planning prevents poor performance?” Well, take it to heart when it comes to your company’s payroll deadline. Here’s wishing your staffing agency a smooth payroll experience.

Invoice Factoring

20 Key Questions to Ask Candidates’ References

As a staffing agency recruiter, you understand the fallout that can result from an inadequate reference check when vetting job candidates. Not taking the time to do a thorough reference check, or asking the wrong questions can cost your firm in lost business, contracts and goodwill. In fact, a 2013 CareerBuilder survey revealed that 27 percent of employers lost more than $50,000 because of a single bad hire. Not only are bad hires expensive, they are demoralizing. You can improve these practices for better-informed hiring decisions by asking each candidate’s references the right questions. Close the door on low performers or problematic workers before they even get the job.

Some sobering statistics:

  • Fifty-three percent of résumés and job applications are loaded with inaccurate information, according to The Society of Human Resource Managers, ADP and Accu-Screen, Inc., who directed a 2012 survey.
  • A poll of 18,000 job seekers found that nearly 10 percent said they lie – a lot – on their résumés.

How to plan for a successful reference check

A more robust reference check can help your staffing agency learn whether a candidate is a good fit for the job. During the interview process, get consent from the candidate to contact their references in order to ask about their employment history. Advise job seekers that you intend to talk to their former managers and ask for at least three work-related references. Create a questionnaire before calling references to ensure each is asked the same set of questions.

Here is a helpful list of questions time-tested by employer and agency recruiters to elicit a more accurate, multidimensional view of a candidate’s performance and interactions on the job. Clearly, not all questions are relevant for every candidate and references may have limited time, so select the most relevant, high-priority questions for your questionnaire. You may also have others specific to the position or role to add.

20 questions to help you dig deeper with references:

1. What was the candidate’s job title and work duties, and when did the candidate work for your company?
2. Were you the candidate’s manager or did you have a different role?
3. Do you know what’s on the applicant’s current résumé about your company?
4. May I share with you what the résumé says the candidate accomplished at your organization?
5. Who does the person get along best with: subordinates, co-workers or superiors?
6. Is there any reason you would hesitate to place the candidate in a position of trust involving a lot of money, small children or vulnerable adults?
7. What’s the best way to create an environment of success for (candidate’s name)?
8. Was there ever a time that it became necessary to discipline the applicant? If so, why?
9. What responsibilities did the candidate have at your organization?
10. What was the applicant’s work performance like?
11. How would you describe the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses?
12. Is the candidate a hard worker?
13. Was he/she punctual?
14. What was the candidate’s attendance record?
15. Why did the applicant leave your company?
16. If you could rehire the applicant today, would you? Why or why not?
17. What are the results of this candidate’s last performance review?
18. How often did (candidate) get a raise? Bonuses? Perks? Incentives?
19. Do you have any other comments or advice about this person?
20. Is there anyone else I should speak to about this applicant before making a decision?

Thorough candidate research enhances your reputation and opportunities

With today’s online career portals, the Internet and social media, it’s even more important to know how to hire smart. In his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t, management consultant Jim Collins says “… every minute devoted to putting the proper person in the proper slot is worth weeks of time later.”

Staffing Trends

Seven Staffing Industry Trends to Track and Tap in 2015

The good news halfway through 2015: Unemployment is relatively low and staffing needs remain robust. But competition for top talent – individuals with coveted skills and capabilities – has ramped up too. This requires employers and staffing firms alike to bring their “A” game; maintain an appealing, dynamic presence using candidates’ preferred media; and be inventive. Here are seven top trends shaping the industry today:

Engaging, interactive employer brands make a critical difference

Nine in 10 job candidates consider an employer’s brand highly influential in choosing whether to apply. And, in today’s social network-savvy, video-obsessed environment, candidates and employees increasingly expect a seamless, interactive, multichannel, multidimensional brand experience. Addressing these expectations, and creatively leveraging video and social platforms, can positively impact your recruiting, onboarding, training, recognition, employee communications and performance management efforts.

Accelerated emphasis on a blended workforce

Continuing the trend from the last several years, companies increasingly seek the flexibility, cost savings and reduced liability of a blended workforce model. In this scenario, they maintain a cadre of traditional, direct-hire employees coupled with a corps of contractors that is sized and tailored to address evolving business needs.

A focus on aptitude, cultural alignment and personality

According to LinkedIn’s 2015 survey of U.S. staffing trends, aptitude and attitude relative to the job will trump traditional hiring criteria, such as specific qualifications. Clearly, company culture can be a huge competitive edge in attracting and retaining top talent. Organizations must shift to emphasize a candidate’s capacity to do the job, approach, personality and cultural fit – and invest in equipping workers with the qualifications and skills to succeed on the job. Doing so will position companies to boost their talent pool and enhance their culture. What’s more, many candidates know that skills gaps limit their employment opportunities – and look to staffing firms to help close those gaps.

Candidates and clients want to interact on-the-go via mobile devices

Seven in 10 staffing firm candidates have job-searched on a mobile site. With smartphones ubiquitous and usage of mobile devices spiraling ever higher, so are expectations that candidates can search, apply and engage on the spot from any device. Not only is a mobile-optimized website imperative for candidates, you need to ensure all of your client-facing systems are easy to use on mobile devices. Two-thirds of clients communicate via text with contacts at their staffing or recruiting firm; 44 percent review applicants forwarded by their firm on their mobile device.

Pumping up the talent pool through vibrant, engaged communities

The impetus today is on active, ongoing, thoughtful recruitment that captures and sustains candidates’ attention. Building a robust talent pipeline requires continually identifying and engaging talented workers, regardless of whether they’re active or passive candidates. Workforce planning means maintaining an easy-to-find, branded talent network – database of prequalified candidates who can be contacted and called in to interview in a snap. This reservoir should include past applicants, current and former employees, and other community members who help employers and staffing firms find the talent they seek. On a related note …

Boomerang rehires point to gold in your talent pool

“Boomerang” rehires have proven to be some of the lowest-risk, highest quality hires, and there is an abundant talent pool to tap. The explosion of social media and professional networking on LinkedIn have made finding and keeping tabs on desirable former employees much easier. Boomerang rehires are predicted to reach 15 percent of all hires at major firms in 2015, thanks to their speed, low cost, and higher quality of hire.

Online profiles begin to challenge résumés

Busy, employed candidates who may not be actively job-hunting likely do not have the incentive or time to update their résumés with more recent accomplishments, skills, responsibilities, etc. If they can’t become a candidate for an opening without updating and submitting their résumé, they can disappear into the ether. Better to accept readily accessible, more current LinkedIn profiles for referred candidates, and at least the initial application for regular job openings.

Benefit from these trends – and our financial resources for staffing companies

Our invoice factoring services convert your billings into immediate cash flow, ensuring that you make payroll right on time, week in and week out. In addition to this advantageous approach to accounts receivable financing, Triumph offers valuable resources to support your firm in supplying human resources. These include an expanding suite of financial services, including community banking, insurance and equipment finance. Also tap our credit, collections and document management solutions.

Keep up with more Staffing Trends by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

Staffing Agency

6 Reasons Staffing Agencies Fail

There are about 17,000 staffing and recruiting companies in the U.S., according to the American Staffing Association (ASA) — but not all of those agencies will succeed. The ASA recently reported that staffing industry growth is outpacing overall economic and employment growth, even though labor force participation is at the lowest level in decades. That means serious competition for staffing agencies. If you want to know more about how to run a successful staffing agency given the current economic climate, it can be helpful to look at the top reasons why staffing agencies fail. Look out for these six common mistakes to increase your chances of success:

1. Hiring the wrong people

It seems simple enough — find the right person for the job, and your job as a staffer is done. However, if matching candidates to positions was that simple, no one would hire a staffing agency in the first place. While no staffer can be expected to achieve 100% retention rates, if you place the wrong person too many times, you may be the one visiting a staffing agency. These quick staffing tips can help:

  • e-Verify Applicants.

    Hiring someone who is not legally qualified to work in the U.S. is one of the biggest mistakes a staffing agency can make. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest mistakes to avoid. Simply download Form I-9 from the U.S. Customs and Immigration website, complete required fields, and verify the documents requested from potential employees. With the new e-Verify system, it’s even faster to ensure a legal workforce.

  • Find the right fit.

    You already know you should listen to what an employer wants, search for candidates that match, perform background checks, and call references. So, if you’re still hiring the wrong people, you may need to refine your recruitment process to learn how to hire top talent. Go beyond the basic job requirements, and look for other factors in making a successful hire, like ensuring a candidate’s personality fits well within the corporate culture, seeing that financial expectations are in line with the salary, and checking that career goals are a good fit for the position. You may also try casting a wider net to get more applicants in the beginning, and narrowing down your search later, so that you’re not tempted to present a candidate who isn’t a top contender. Including keywords in your job posts, and using creativity to attract the type of candidate you want can also be helpful.

2. Not making payroll on time

Your employees are your business’s lifeline — and they deserve to get paid on time. Unfortunately, you may have to wait 45 to 60 days for your clients to pay. Some staffing agencies don’t realize they are expected to pay the difference out of pocket, until they receive funds from their clients. Invoice factoring companies like Triumph can help you access working capital to bridge this gap. Beyond getting funding, you’ll also need to set up a payroll system to ensure employees are paid on a regular basis, calculate overtime, vacation and holiday pay, and remit taxes to government agencies. If this is outside your realm of expertise, consider hiring a payroll administrator or outsourcing payroll.

3. Falling behind on laws and regulations

Taxes. Sexual harassment. Workplace safety. Laws and regulations governing the staffing industry change all the time, and it can be difficult to keep up. Many agencies fail because they don’t follow legal requirements. However, a lack of knowledge is no excuse for lack of compliance with the law. The ASA website can be a great place to begin educating yourself on staffing laws and regulations in your state. Be sure you understand the basics, and then seek out legal counsel to ensure you’re operating in full compliance. An attorney can provide invaluable legal advice and draft Employment Agreements, Termination and Layoff Clauses, Disciplinary Policies, Health & Safety Policies, Workplace Violence and Harassment Policies, Service Agreements and more.

4. Not securing insurance

Staffing insurance is one of those things you may not know you need until you need it — only then, it may be too late. If staffing ethics aren’t enough to compel you to get insurance coverage, a potential client might. Many customers will want to know that you have sufficient insurance to cover damages for which your employees might be responsible. While it can be expensive to obtain coverage, it can be even more costly if you don’t. Speak to a reputable insurance company or broker who understands the staffing industry, and ask for recommendations on the type of coverage you need.

5. Not being transparent

When it comes to keeping your clients happy — and staying in business — honesty is always the best policy. It can be tempting to tell potential employers that you have fast access to a certain type of worker when in fact, you don’t, but resist the urge to stretch the truth. You’ll only set up unrealistic expectations that you’re unable to fulfill. Be transparent in your business dealings and don’t overpromise. Instead, tell the truth about what type of worker you can provide and how long it will take. Then, if you are able to deliver more than promised, they’ll be pleasantly surprised. (And that’s a much better type of surprised.)

6. Not verifying references

It’s awkward. It’s time-consuming. It requires an actual phone call rather than a text or e-mail. But verifying references is one of the most important things you can do as a staffing agency. You’d be shocked to learn how many people give false references — and how many candidates assume you’ll never call them. Not verifying references can cause staffing agencies to place candidates who are not qualified for positions — which can result in the agency’s downfall, and far worse. Always check references, and you may prevent the worst. And at best? You might just learn something about a candidate that their resume could never have told you — like that they are honest, reliable and kind, or that they seem professional at first, but never show up to work on time.

Staffing agencies are in the business of helping people and companies succeed — and when you avoid common mistakes and abide by staffing ethics, your chances of success are greater, too. If you need assistance securing working capital for payroll, insurance, or other staffing agency expenses, contact my friend, Blaine Waugh, at Triumph Business Capital.