The Staffing Edge Blog

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What Is Quebec’s Bill 176?

Posted by Mai Dowdie

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Jun 20, 2018 9:00:00 AM

What-Is-Quebec’s-Bill-176--compressorIntended to take effect in January 2019, Quebec’s Bill 176 will affect non-federal employees in Quebec, or about 90 percent of the workforce. This means changes to employment legislation in the province will also affect many staffing firms and employers alike.

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Bill 176 seems to be following a trend to update employment legislation taking place across the country. In 2018, both Ontario and Alberta saw new legislation come into effect. Quebec’s proposed legislation seems poised to follow in their footsteps.

Amending Labour Standards

Similar to Ontario and Alberta, Quebec’s Bill 176 is aimed at updating and amending the labour standards. In fact, the proposed law is literally named “An Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards.” 

The legislative bill’s title suggests the primary reason for these changes is to facilitate family-work balance. This could have been a response to other provinces surveying their own labour standards. It could also have been a response to the backlash from Quebec nurses facing what they feel is excessive overtime.

Major Changes Ahead

Any time legislation is proposed to make changes to existing labour codes, staffing agency owners should sit up and take notice. Governments can often be reactive, introducing hastily drafted legislation without fully considering the impacts on employers, employees, and the broader society. Ontario’s Bill 148 is a good example. Current federal legislation about legalizing marijuana is yet another. 

If Bill 176 does proceed, it would take effect in January 2019, which gives employers little time to prepare for the changes the legislation is proposing to make. 

As a staffing agency owner, you too need to be aware of the coming changes. They’ll also affect your business.

What Changes Are Coming?

One of the proposed changes staffing agency owners should pay particular attention to is the prohibition against paying employees lower wages for doing the same tasks in the same establishment. Bill 176 suggests this regulation should apply to all employees, regardless of employment status or rate of pay, such as overtime or holiday pay. 

Under Bill 176, an employee will also have the option to refuse to work more than two hours beyond their normal daily hours. Currently, an employee can be asked to remain four hours longer. An employee can also refuse an overtime shift if the employee is not given five days’ notice. Some exemptions will be made. 

Vacations and other leaves are also facing changes. Bill 176 will change the length of time an employee must be employed to receive three weeks’ vacation from five years to three. The current requirement to work three continuous months to qualify for up to 26 weeks leave would be eliminated.

Balancing Family and Work

With relation to the “family-work balance” part of the title, changes will affect an employee’s options for personal leave. The law will revise the duration of unpaid leaves of absence depending on circumstances. This includes bereavement leave. 

Bill 176 will also address the definition of an “employee relative.” Employees must often take leave to act as a caregiver, and more consideration will be given in these cases. A revised definition would also affect bereavement leave and adoption.

Agency Changes

Perhaps the most important change for staffing agency owners operating in Quebec will be licensing. Bill 176 proposes those operating personnel placement agencies or recruitment agencies will need to be issued a licence by CNESST. Employers who work with unlicensed agencies could be fined up to $6,000.

In addition to paying employees equivalent wages, personnel employment agencies will be liable for adhering to these new regulations. This includes holiday pay, vacation pay, and so on.

This is just a brief survey of the changes Bill 176 proposes to the labour standards in Quebec. There are other regulations that will take effect if and when Bill 176 passes. Staffing agency owners should be aware and prepared but also voice their concerns about unintended impacts to the government. Bill 176 isn’t yet law, and amendments are possible.

how-tse_s-back-office-support-helped-a-staffing-agency-expand-nationally

Topics: Staffing Industry

3 Things Staffing Agency Owners Must Know about the Alberta Standards Code Changes

Posted by Shannon Dowdall

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Jun 18, 2018 9:00:00 AM

3-Things-Staffing-Agency-Owners-Must-Know-about-the-Alberta-Standards-Code-Changes--compressorThe world of work and business is evolving. As technology changes how virtually everything is done in business, employers must keep up with the new demands of a competitive marketplace. They’re also looking to keep pace with the changing expectations and demands of employees.

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The rise of just-in-time production has spurred the growth of just-in-time staffing, which has led to the growth in temporary and contract work. The gig economy is now in full swing, and many workers have embraced the increased freedom and latitude it brings. Staffing agencies are more popular than ever before, for employers and job seekers alike.

Governments finally seem to have noticed the significant changes, and now they’re attempting to modernize their employment legislation and standards for this new reality. Ontario introduced a number of changes to employment legislation, and Quebec appears ready to follow suit. Alberta has introduced a raft of changes to the Alberta Standards Code.

If you’re a staffing agency owner, you need to know these three things about the changes.

1. Leave Legislation Is Changing

One of the important changes coming is new leave legislation. One change of potential concern to staffing agency owners is the length of time prior to eligibility for leave. Under the previous version of the code, employees had to remain with an employer for one year before they’d be eligible for any leave.

The revised Code shortens this period significantly, making employees eligible for all current and new leaves after just 90 days. Other changes include extending compassionate care leave and maternity and parental leaves.

2. Changing Requirements for Compressed Work Weeks

Many employers utilize what’s been known as a “compressed work week.” A good example is a weekend shift that encompasses three 12-hour shifts worked on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This is just shy of the traditional 40-hour workweek but occurs in a much shorter period of time.

This type of work is to be renamed “averaging agreements” and will allow employers and employees to average the employees’ worked hours over a period of one to 12 weeks for the purposes of determining overtime. It must have majority support from affected employees.

3. Changes to Wages

The new Alberta Standards Code has several provisions pertaining to wages. Perhaps the biggest change is to the minimum wage, which will rise to $15 per hour in October 2018. This will be the highest minimum wage in Canada until Ontario follows suit with a $15 minimum wage in 2019.

The revised Code also contains provisions about general holiday pay, overtime, and vacation pay. Holiday pay will now be calculated at five percent of wages, holiday pay, and vacation pay earned in the four weeks preceding the holiday. Employees are no longer required to have worked 30 days in the past year to be eligible.

Vacation pay is now set at four percent of wages for employees who have been employed five years or less. For those who have been employed for more than five years, the rate is six percent.

Overtime banking is now being extended from three months to six months, allowing employees to bank overtime hours for longer. The revised code also allows a banked overtime hour to count as an hour and a half, rather than the straight hour-for-hour formula used previously. Thus, an employee who banks 40 hours of overtime can do so over six months, and they would be entitled to 60 hours of lieu time.

Why You Need to Know

Many staffing agencies offer payroll services to their clients. It’s thus important for them to be aware of changes to employment legislation, especially surrounding leaves, vacations, overtime, and wages.

Keep these changes to the Alberta Standards Code in mind and you’ll be better prepared to serve your clients with operations in Alberta.

how-tse_s-back-office-support-helped-a-staffing-agency-expand-nationally

Topics: Staffing Industry

6 Thriving Sectors in the Staffing Industry

Posted by Karen McMullen

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Jun 13, 2018 9:00:00 AM

6-Thriving-Sectors-in-the-Staffing-Industry-compressorThe Canadian economy has remained strong in recent years. Many companies have expanded their operations, which has led to an increased demand for specialized personnel. The employment outlook remains rosy with the economy firing on all cylinders.

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The rate of unemployment fell to 5.7 percent in December, which is the lowest level in the past 40 years. And the positive job outlook will likely continue in 2019 and beyond. Jobs are popping up at an expedited rate.   

So, what are the in-demand roles and sectors in the staffing industry in Canada? Here, you will learn about six thriving professions in the staffing industry.

1. Fulfillment Associate

Fulfillment associates obtain and process orders from customers at distribution centres. They are in demand at the moment due to an increasing number of consumers ordering goods online. The popularity of online sales has led many warehouses to pop up in the country, thereby increasing demand for fulfillment associates.

2. Construction

Construction has picked up steam lately, driven by the housing boom. An expanding population has resulted in increased demand for residential houses. In addition, increased corporate activities have also led to increased demand for commercial buildings.

The construction industry in Canada has continued to grow in the past two years. Urban areas including the GTA are driving the construction sector. This has resulted in an increased demand for construction workers.

3. Alternative Energy

The alternative energy sector is also driving demand for specialized professionals. Interest in renewable energy has increased over the years. There are already many job openings, mainly in the province of Alberta. The number of skilled workers is far below the demand, which is something that staffing firms should consider when creating a recruitment strategy.

4. Business Analyst

Business analysts are also in demand in the country. They play an important role in ensuring efficient business operations. They make sure the business makes the best use of resources and technology, resulting in increased operational efficiency and profitability. With businesses keen on improving operational efficiency, the demand for business analysts will remain strong.

5. Software Engineering

The demand for software engineers will continue to rise in the coming years. They are needed to build applications for different industries. From banking to the pharmaceutical sector, every business today relies on software engineers to keep them a step ahead of competitors and increase profitability.

 6. Project Management Engineer

Project management engineering positions also remain strong in Canada. The booming housing sector has resulted in increased demand for project management engineers. Staffing firms need to develop a strong strategy to solve the shortage of engineers in the country and effectively meet client demand.

With the improving Canadian economy, industries will demand additional labour. Staffing firms should go the extra mile to ensure employers’ demands are met in the most efficient manner. Improving your agency’s operational efficiency through the use of technology and outsourcing non-core tasks to a back office services provider will help your team focus on recruiting the best talent that will effectively meet client needs in the staffing industry.

Everything You Need to Know about Starting a Successful Staffing Firm

Topics: Staffing Industry

The Perils of Employee Misclassification and How to Reduce Your Risk

Posted by Mai Dowdie

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Jun 11, 2018 9:00:00 AM

The-Perils-of-Employee-Misclassification-and-How-to-Reduce-Your-Risk-compressorStaffing agencies need to be more careful than ever when classifying their workers. The Canada Revenue Agency is cracking down on misclassification, meaning it is crucial your agency remains strict with your classification procedure.

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Not all misclassification errors are done on purpose. While some businesses do knowingly misclassify their employees to avoid taxes and benefit payments, most of the time, simple mistakes are to blame. That is why it’s so important you have a worker classification program in place and that all your employees know the risks involved with misclassification.

It Can Happen to You

A recent story in the Toronto Star highlighted a classic case of misclassification and the problems it caused to not only the temp staffing agency but its client and the employee as well. In this case, after working on Thanksgiving and being told he was to be paid a regular hourly wage, George Fawcett was told by his temp agency he was classified as an independent contractor. However, he was being treated as a regular employee by his employer.

This error meant that he was not covered under the Employment Standards Act and therefore not entitled to holiday or overtime pay. However, he was still required to be trained by his employer, maintain regularly scheduled hours, and use the employer’s equipment, which is contrary to normal independent contractor tendencies.

This type of complaint, which is currently being investigated by the Ministry of Labour, is more common than you might expect. With the growing number of temp agencies opening across Ontario, it is important to fully understand the liability, costs, and risks associated with worker misclassification.

Independent Contractor vs. Employee

With the passing of Bill 148, if there is any dispute whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor the responsibility falls on the employer to prove they have classified the worker properly. However, both temp agencies and their clients are responsible for unpaid wages, overtime pay, and public holiday pay if a worker is deemed an employee.

When considering whether your newest candidate will be an employee or a contractor, take some of the following into consideration:

  • The ownership of their working equipment or tools
  • The length of the engagement
  • The degree of control your client has over the worker, both financially and behaviourally
  • The terms of payment
  • The type of work being performed

An employee will be expected to work on your client’s schedule, use their equipment and tools, and perform their tasks as they are structured and regulated by your client. On the other hand, if the worker has the ability to subcontract out work, can work on their own schedule, or are working on a project-by-project basis, they are more likely to be classified as an independent contractor.

What Risks Do Staffing Agencies Face?

With the rise in temporary placements and the CRA taking these types of errors more seriously, worker misclassification can lead to serious consequences. By misclassifying, you may be violating the following employment laws:

  • Wage Law
    • All employees must be paid minimum wage and overtime pay, as well as vacation, holiday, and public holiday pay. Employers found in violation of wage laws could be involved in a costly lawsuit along with having to pay back wages and other penalties if found guilty.
  • Tax, Canadian Pension Plan, and Employment Insurance Violations
    • All employers are responsible for making sure their employees are paying applicable taxes and their CPP and EI premiums. If an employee is misclassified as a contractor, you will be required to repay the full amount owed plus interest fees and penalties.
  • WSIB Violation
    • Most businesses must insure employees through WSIB. If a worker is misclassified, not only are you liable for unpaid premiums, but if they are hurt on the job, all lost wages and other costs must be covered.

There are many other risks besides these three major violations.

How to Avoid Misclassification Errors

Fortunately, you can minimize your risk of misclassification errors with the implementation of a worker classification program. Although there is always a risk of human error, the more your employees know about the Employment Standards Act and associated legislation, the better they can analyze the classification of a worker.

A worker classification program helps your agency stay compliant. By implementing such a program, you can ensure your employees and candidates are thoroughly vetted and all classification factors are taken into account so they are evaluated properly.

These types of programs do take some time and effort to implement, but they are vital to the success and reputation of your business. No one wants to be like George Fawcett, a year into his placement and unsure of his true employee status. If you don’t have the resources to get a classification program off the ground, consider partnering with a back office solutions provider like The Staffing Edge. By outsourcing this time-consuming and complex task, you can let your employees work at placing and recruiting while leaving compliance to the experts.

Starting a Staffing Agency

Topics: Worker Classification

Why Back-Office Support Is Key to Increasing Efficiency

Posted by Mai Dowdie

|

Jun 8, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Why_Back_Office_Support_Is_Key_to_Expanding_NationallyA well-oiled back-office operation can help keep operational costs low and boost productivity. However, most companies don't take steps to make their back-office operations efficient. This results in decreased cost efficiencies and reduced profitability.

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Back-office operations relating to accounts, IT, HR, and legal compliance support front-end employees. No business could function without their support. The efficiency of the front-end operations, in fact, depends on a solid backing from the back-office employees.

One of the best ways to improve the efficiency of the back office is to outsource the operations to a professional back office solutions provider. Why? Here are five benefits you’ll gain from outsourcing back-office operations.


Gain Cost Efficiencies

The foremost benefit of external back-office support is that it helps in cutting costs. Paying for internal back-office operations can cost a lot of money. You have to provide health insurance, holiday pay, disability payments, and pay for many other mandatory employee benefit plans. All this can take a big chunk out of the operational costs.

By outsourcing back-office operations, you can significantly cut down internal costs. You no longer need to employ staff to perform any back-end operation. Letting a specialized firm handle all your back-end tasks can result in savings of up to 70 percent. You can invest the savings in growing your business or making it more efficient.


Focus on Core Activities

Outsourcing back-end operations to a company will let you focus on your core business activities. In this way, you can channelize all your time and effort to improve the core business operations. This can result in better business performance and improved profitability.


Benefit from Specialized Services

Outsourced vendors employ highly experienced and specialized staff for different back-end operations. By hiring their services, you can get the specialized support that can make operations faster and more efficient. This is particularly valuable for new companies that don't have the resources to invest in experienced staff for accounting, legal, HR, or other back-end operations.


Improved Internal Control

The expert staff of outsourced back-office vendors is experienced in ensuring compliance with standards of governance and compliance parameters. They can make sure that the internal operations conform to legal requirements. This helps you avoid legal trouble down the road due to noncompliance with provincial or federal rules.


Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

Lastly, letting a back office solutions provider handle your back-end operations will result in improved customer satisfaction. Proprietary software helps you track all orders and clients from one place. This will help your sales and customer support personnel to more effectively meet the needs of customers, which will have a positive effect on the company's bottom line.

Let a back-office solutions provider take care of all your back-end needs.


how-tse_s-back-office-support-helped-a-staffing-agency-expand-nationally

Topics: Back Office Service Provider

Is Your Staffing Agency Leveraging the Gig Economy?

Posted by Ray Gonder

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Jun 6, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Is-Your-Staffing-Agency-Leveraging-the-Gig-Economy-compressorYou’re probably aware of the rise of the gig economy by now. Not only is the term buzzing everywhere in the business world, the temporary and contract workers that make up the gig economy are fast becoming a global norm. Your staffing agency stands to benefit greatly from the gig economy and its talent in various industries. 

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The key question to ask, however, is whether your staffing agency is leveraging the gig economy. If your answer is “no” or even “not yet,” it’s time to make a change. Leveraging the gig economy can mean the difference between running an agency that struggles to survive and running one that’s sustainable long into the future.

Tapping into the Gig Economy Means Gaining a Talent Pipeline

Let’s say your staffing agency only offers permanent solutions for a specific niche. While this isn’t a bad business situation to be in within the staffing industry, your risk for productivity slowdowns during off-peak seasons is much higher. You also might have a much more limited base of candidates to select from for your clients. 

When you leverage the gig economy, your agency gains a talent pipeline—a vital asset for any agency aiming to become sustainable. Talent pipelining allows your agency to become more attractive to potential clients by giving you the ability to fill work orders quickly and with versatile talent; you’ll have more than enough time to evaluate your talent for cultural fit before the right client comes looking for it from your agency. 

All the above is possible because the gig economy is packed with skilled recent grads and passive candidates seeking more work-life balance or a supplementary income. 

Expand Your Staffing Solutions

With access to the gig economy comes the ability to add contract staffing to your staffing solutions and unlock a lucrative revenue stream. While your niche specialization is what clients will seek you out for, there are more clients you might not be reaching because your staffing solutions are too limited. Especially during the holiday season and the summer, potential clients are seeking skilled contract workers to fill gaps caused by staff on vacation or personal leaves. 

There are other major benefits associated with offering contract staffing as well, one of the chief ones being that you will retain more clients. When your agency becomes known for its productivity and consistently high-performance rate by offering skilled contract workers, you strengthen the bonds with your clientele. Repeat business is excellent for improving your business brand and by extension brand loyalty, which is important to attract today’s brand-conscious clients.

Generate More Revenue

Growth, of course, isn’t all there is to leveraging the gig economy. Your agency also gains the opportunity to reduce its costs when you access temporary and contract talent. Many businesses prefer to hire temporary and contract workers. Being able to offer a flexible solution for your clients’ business demands is important. We’re living in an age where constant digital transformation often leads to businesses needing to scale up or down in an agile manner.

The gig economy can give you a steady flow of candidates in your talent pipeline and enough clients to increase revenue. When you’re able to more than cover the overhead for your staffing agency, you’ll know that your business is able to stay in the industry for the long term.

So, make sure you strongly consider leveraging the gig economy and the benefits it has to offer.

how-tse_s-back-office-support-helped-a-staffing-agency-expand-nationally

Topics: Staffing Industry

The Importance of a Great Candidate Experience

Posted by Chelsea Henry

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Jun 4, 2018 9:00:00 AM

The-Importance-of-a-Great-Candidate-Experience-compressorYour staffing agency’s overall success can be impacted by the effectiveness of your candidate experience. When you take a look at some of the latest statistics about how a poor candidate experience affects your business progress, everything is put in perspective. A particularly significant statistic, for instance, is that 58 percent of candidates would not apply to a hiring organization again in the future if they’ve had a prior negative experience with them. 

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Since a staffing agency’s candidates are its lifeblood, you cannot afford to make a bad first impression with them. Despite the fact that sourcing candidates is the primary responsibility of your recruiters, it takes your whole team’s efforts to ensure every part of the candidate experience is a great one. 

If you want to know more about why building a great candidate experience is important, keep reading.

The Candidate Experience Is Integral to Your Brand

How you treat your candidates throughout the hiring process determines how well those candidates perceive your staffing agency. 

One recent survey stated that out of the 826 candidates asked, 72 percent of them who found their candidate experience lacking shared their experience online or with someone directly. These days, there are many sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and PayScale where candidates can go to rate your staffing agency. 

Your agency’s brand is key to your hiring strategy because most candidates (and clients) are attracted to organizations that have values that align with their own. So, in addition to implementing an effective online marketing strategy, you should seek to optimize your candidate experience as well.

Areas for Improvement

Chief among candidates’ concerns during the recruitment process are the length of the hiring process and communication. That 72 percent of dissatisfied candidates cited above? One of the main reasons for their dissatisfaction stemmed from spending hours on the application process, only to get lost in the shuffle of hundreds of applications submitted. The other driving factor for their negative responses to the candidate experience was never receiving any notice regarding whether their applications were reviewed. 

Your staffing agency must review how well it’s managing its applicant data. Agencies these days are often dealing with an exponential amount of data on candidates, current and long-time clients, compliance, payroll, etc. If you find that your recruiters are spending less time on their core responsibilities because of double-duty to wrangle paperwork, something needs to change and fast. 

In other words, when you can save more time per week on admin tasks, your agency’s front-end staff will have a much better chance to engage with promising candidates in an efficient and authentic way.

Achieving a Rewarding Experience

When you take the time to streamline and improve the overall quality of your candidate experience, you’ll notice a significant increase in candidate engagement with your brand. According to some curated statistics by Monster, 62 percent of candidates would apply to the organization again and increase their relationship with the organization’s products and networks if they had a great candidate experience. As well, 78 percent of those happy candidates would refer others to the organization.

Clearly, there’s much to be gained by ensuring your candidate experience is exceptional. Having niche market expertise that’s second to none and a trustworthy client base isn’t worth a whole lot to your staffing agency if you cannot source enough candidates with your current candidate experience. Your business only continues to grow if you can improve your brand and generate an engaged and satisfied talent pipeline.

So, take the time to ensure you have a great candidate experience.

Everything You Need to Know about Starting a Successful Staffing Firm

Topics: Staffing Agency

How Your Staffing Agency Can Win More Business with Automation

Posted by Karen McMullen

|

Jun 1, 2018 9:00:00 AM

How-Your-Staffing-Agency-Can-Win-More-Business-with-Automation-compressorThis might be your staffing agency’s year to grow by leaps and bounds. Canada’s gig economy is thriving and, if your hiring strategies and marketing are on point, you might just find yourself with a sustainable talent pipeline. All this is only possible, of course, if your staffing agency has a proficient infrastructure for its daily operations. 

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The current conundrum of growing a staffing agency lies partially in the ongoing reluctance of owners to invest in automation to streamline their daily operations, despite fierce competition for talent. One recent LinkedIn report even stated that 58 percent of recruiter consider competition for talent their greatest challenge. 

There are many misconceptions about automation in the staffing industry, chief among them being the notion that automation will replace recruiters or decrease the emotional intelligence of the candidate experience. We’re here to let you know that these concerns couldn’t be further from the truth.

Hone Your Candidate Experience

Automation won’t replace recruiters. In fact, you can automate repetitive tasks that often distract your recruiters with busywork, so they can become more present in their roles. Automating tasks like data entry, pre-screening resumes and sending initial notifications of received applications allows your recruiters to dedicate more hours per week towards honing your candidate experience. 

Candidates appreciate when the recruitment process doesn’t feel robotic, and using automation won’t make it seem that way. With automation, your recruiters are free to focus on core tasks, like forming strong relationships with candidates instead of wasting time on data entry.

Gain Vital Data to Improve Your Brand

Data is cited as one of the top four trends changing recruiting tactics in 2018. Staffing agencies amass huge volumes of data in no time at all, and with automation, you have the ability to accelerate the rate at which you can analyze this data to inform your decisions.  

Data analysis helps you do a whole host of things to improve your candidate process including evaluating skills and skills gaps, understanding client wants, building better offers based on these wants, assessing supply and demand for clients, and even predicting candidate success rates. The more you can improve your decision-making when it comes to candidate placements, the better your staffing agency will be capable of retaining talent and keeping clients satisfied with your services. 

Data is a driver for growth in the staffing industry if you can harness it with proficiency. Automation affords you this proficiency and transforms your agency into one that’s capable of competing with the big firms on a national level.

Sustain Professional Standards

There’s one more key aspect of automation: consistency. When you automate your agency’s administration, especially with regards to payroll and financial reporting, your business becomes more compliant. There is software designed to automate payroll delivery, deductions, and tax remittances according to the latest Canadian business legislation.

Your candidates will notice you always pay on time and according to current wage standards. Your clients will appreciate your professionalism when they notice that you always invoice on time and inquire regularly about account statuses as well. When your agency upholds its promises regarding its excellent customer service, as well as compliance, the word spreads quickly among your candidate and client networks.

To put it simply, automation is a tool that optimizes your agency for success in the industry. Moving forward, the digital transformation process will become more integral and normalized within the industry because you win more business when your core tasks are unencumbered by administrative tasks.

how-a-complete-back-end-solution-helped-a-staffing-agency-get-started

Topics: Staffing Agency

What Is Operational Sustainability & Why Should Your Staffing Firm Care?

Posted by Mai Dowdie

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May 30, 2018 9:00:00 AM

What_Is_Operational_Sustainability_and_Why_Should_You_Staffing_Firm_CareYou’ve invested a lot in your staffing firm, and for good reason. Canada’s current gig economy is thriving and is only expected to grow in the coming years. But while business may be fruitful for your firm now, are you sure that you can continue to run at the same pace in the future?

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Staffing firm owners are often caught up in the present moment of growing their businesses, focusing on landing great talent and finding more potential clients. This “strike while the iron’s hot” mentality is necessary in a competitive industry, but only if owners are conscious of how well their firms’ operational sustainability is doing.

What is operational sustainability? The simplest definition is that it’s an evaluation of your day-to-day operations and whether your current infrastructure puts your future business resources at risk. If you want to know why your staffing firm should care about future resources in addition to its current resources, keep reading.


Is Your Payroll Processing Sustainable?

Operational sustainability is often described as a three-part evaluation of profits, people, and planet/environment. In the case of staffing firms, this evaluation considers how your current infrastructure impacts your bottom line, your talent and clients, and your back office administration.

Regarding your bottom line, you should evaluate how much you’re spending on payroll processing. As your firm grows, your payroll processing solution should be able to handle a high volume of workers. No matter whether your pay schedule matches that of your clients’ or not, you need to ensure that you aren’t stretching your resources when you pay your workers.

Your payroll processing isn’t sustainable when you’re bleeding resources and losing talent because of upside-down cashflow without tools to mitigate financial risks (like defaulting clients). If you find that you cannot keep to a consistent pay schedule, and you must rely on costly payroll solutions like an inflexible line of credit or factoring, that’s a sign your operational sustainability is suffering.


Do You Have a Talent Pipeline?

Your firm will only continue to see great ROI if it’s proficient at managing its greatest resource: its talent. Your ability to attract clients, both now and in the future, is determined by how well and fast you’re able to fulfill work orders. As such, you need to evaluate whether your current hiring process is reliant on on-demand talent found in the moment or if you’re focused on growing a roster of talent for future orders. If you rely on the former hiring process, chances are your operational sustainability needs improvement.

When you rely too heavily on hiring only when the need arises, you risk your future business resources if there’s an unexpected change. As we all know in business, change is inevitable over time. Your firm stands a much greater chance of sustaining its business if you have a talent pipeline that you can draw upon whenever a client needs staffing gaps filled.

Talent pipelining is also important for sustaining your client base. Long-standing clients will leave your firm if they find you neglectful of their work orders. When you sustain your talent, you increase the chance of repeat business in addition to attracting new clients.


Is Your Back Office Administration Wasteful?

Your firm’s overhead is greatly affected not just by how well you’re doing with your placements but how efficient your back office administration is as well. Staffing firms are notorious for generating mountains of paperwork in no time at all. The more talent and clients you deal with, the more time and resources are spent on wrangling all the T4s, paystubs, invoices, health and safety contracts, etc.

Sustaining your back office admin means finding a way to digitize and automate all the important data on your talent and clients. If you want your agency to compete with the big firms someday, your back office administration needs streamlining so that your front office isn’t wasting time (and supplies) doing double duty.

Operational sustainability is something you should care about because it concerns your business’ future success. Use the above criteria to optimize your firm’s infrastructure.


Things You Need to Know When Starting a Temp Staffing Agency

Topics: Staffing Agency

5 Marketing Best Practices for the Staffing Industry

Posted by Chelsea Henry

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May 28, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5_Marketing_Best_Practices_for_the_Staffing_IndustryThe staffing industry has never been more competitive. Consequentially, your firm needs to ensure it has a robust marketing strategy to keep its talent pipeline strong and its client base growing. You may know the general steps to marketing your firm, such as focusing on a targeted niche and sharing your expertise, but do you know what the most effective best practices are in the staffing industry?

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To help you get on the right track, we’ve gathered five of the staffing industry’s most significant best practices below for you to consider.


1. Differentiate Your Brand

This should go without saying in today’s competitive staffing industry, but your firm needs to stand out. Whether you’ve chosen a niche for your business or not, you should take time to figure out all the unique selling points of your brand. Granted, knowing your niche helps you pinpoint these strengths more easily, but you should have a concrete idea of how your firm’s geographic location, its hiring process, its candidates, and their skills set your firm apart.

After all, you’re probably not going to be the only firm working in your niche. You must determine your key brand differentiators to effectively attract clients who know they can’t receive the same service from another firm. Differentiating your brand essentially means knowing your niche from the inside out and showcasing your firm’s confidence in its expertise by doing so.


2. Use Online Marketing Techniques

The digital age has transformed the job search process. Most of your candidates and clients measure the strength of your staffing firm’s brand by how up to date your online marketing strategies are. If your firm doesn’t already have a website, build one a.s.a.p. Your niche market is full of savvy online researchers who know how to discern a forward-thinking business from an old-fashioned one, and they won’t engage with brands they can’t relate to. 

Your staffing firm should also publish a blog with relevant content and have several social media profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to help share this content widely. These digital marketing tools help you communicate your firm’s expertise and available services and connect directly with potential candidates and clients.


3. Make Client Retention a Priority

Marketing to get new business is important, but let’s not forget about client retention. Some staffing firms make the mistake of fixating on growing their client base. While you should certainly always be looking to improve your business’ bottom line, you’d be remiss to neglect your current clients in favour of constantly seeking out new ones. Your long-standing clients are vital to your staffing firm, so make sure you show them your appreciation and improve your relationship management.

Reach out to them on a regular basis with news, trends, and changes in the industry. Connect with clients on a personal level and let them know they’re not just a number to you. Marketing automation can help with these tasks. Happy clients mean genuine and productive partnerships, not to mention repeat business.


4. Improve Your Talent Pipeline

Make sure that your firm continuously improves its talent pipeline. Having great talent to offer clients is good, but ensuring you always have great talent on deck to consistently fill work orders on time is even better. Having a talent pipeline is also sometimes considered a part of relationship management, as it’s a marketing best practice that emphasizes building long-term relationships with talent who will be available for future placements.

To improve your talent pipeline, improve your candidate experience and build and share your employer brand online. Over time, you’ll start to be known for your excellent candidate experience, and more talent will flock to your agency.


5. Track Your Firm’s Progress

Lastly, having quantifiable statistics regarding your marketing plan’s effectiveness is always a good idea. Keep track of your website, blog, advertising, and social media analytics to ensure you’re basing your marketing decisions on real data, not emotions. This will help you improve your marketing over time to see even greater results.

These five best practices will help you build your ideal marketing strategy.


A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Staffing Industry

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