The Staffing Edge Blog

Focus on your core business. We’ll take care of the rest.

Anna Mastrandrea

Anna Mastrandrea is the team lead of the payroll department at The Staffing Edge. For over 10 years, Anna has been providing the highest level of customer service to our members. Anna is an important part of our back office operations, running payroll for all of our members assignment employees, ensuring all proper payroll deductions have been set up, billing clients, and processing record of employment and filings to Service Canada. Her goal is to make sure all of our members assignment employees are paid properly, and most importantly, on time. Anna’s passion for challenges, learning, and problem solving makes her a great asset for our members, as no one member’s situation is ever the same. When Anna is not on the job, she enjoys spending time with her family, indulging her love for great wines, and playing volleyball.

Recent Posts by Anna Mastrandrea

6 Tips to Improve Your Staffing Agency’s SEO

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Aug 15, 2018 9:00:00 AM

6_Tips_to_Improve_Your_Staffing_Agency_s_SEOLike almost every business owner today, you know the importance of taking your business online. You need a website and a social media presence so clients and potential candidates can find you. If you’re not using LinkedIn or allowing people to search your website for jobs, does the business even really exist?

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Being visible and being easy to find are two driving goals for most businesses with their online presence. It’s no different for a staffing agency. One of the best ways to improve your site’s online visibility is to improve your search engine optimization.

How do you improve your staffing agency’s SEO?

There are many tips and tricks for improving your staffing agency’s SEO, including putting mobile first, moving from content product to content library, ensuring you have quality backlinks, and more.

1. Clarify Your Intent as a Staffing Agency

In the past, SEO was largely centered on choosing the right keywords. Things are changing, and today’s SEO best practice puts intent at the heart of content. What should users be looking for when they search for your staffing firm or your brand?

As search engines become smarter, keywords will become less important. Focusing on the purpose or reason for your content will help your SEO continue to shine even after this shift.

2. Focus on Mobile

Increasingly, people are using their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices to do more online. Whether they’re checking social media or shopping, they’re likely on mobile. A large portion of online searches are now performed on mobile as well.

This means your website will need to be optimized for mobile, and search engines will be placing more emphasis on mobile performance. Google, for example, has been using mobile-first indexing since 2016. As a result, SEO strategies are shifting to favour the mobile consumer.

3. Backlink to Quality Sites

This change comes out of the improving intelligence of search engines. Backlinking, or linking to other sites, used to be all about quantity. Most search engines quickly caught on to this strategy, and they now evaluate links for quality. Good SEO means you need to link your website visitors to quality content on authoritative sites.

4. Shifting from Making Content to Housing a Library

Another way SEO has changed recently has been in the way search engines evaluates content. It used to be that SEO depended greatly on how frequently you published new content and how recent your content was. Relevance was also important, but less so.

Search engines are shifting with their users, and users are increasingly looking for great libraries of content. They’re no longer interested in one topical piece, but whether or not you can provide them with great depth on any given subject. Once they’ve found your agency, they don’t necessarily want to go searching for another resource.

This still means you need to produce great content, but the overall focus should be shifting from quick production to quality production.

5. Add More Than Text

How often do you post infographics or videos? Today’s search engine user, whether they’re a client or a candidate, prefers to receive information in graphic form. You can make your staffing agency website and its content more appealing just by adding some high-quality graphics. Video and infographics are also popular, so don’t neglect them.

6. Improve Your Design

Think about what your staffing agency website looks like to someone visiting for the first time. What does it convey to them? How easy is it for them to navigate the site and find what they want?

This is also important to your SEO rankings, and one way to improve your SEO is to optimize the design of your website.

With all these tips in hand, you can easily improve your staffing agency’s online presence.

A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Staffing Agency

How Important Is Payroll Financing in the Contract Staffing Industry?

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


May 4, 2018 9:00:00 AM

How_Important_Is_Payroll_Financing_in_the_Contract_Staffing_IndustryEntering the contract staffing industry can be a lucrative venture, so long as you have the infrastructure to sustain your business. With an ever-increasing number of Canadian professionals looking to achieve more flexible work in the gig economy, a competitive firm has its pick of a high volume of skilled contractors to offer. Yet, with a high volume of contractors comes a greater demand for biweekly and sometimes even weekly payroll.

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You’re probably already well aware that clients’ pay schedules won’t always line up with yours perfectly. In fact, in most instances, your clients will have pay schedules that run from 45 to 90 days. While you could wait to pay your contractors until you receive payments from your clients, such a practice will prevent you from landing and retaining the best contractors.

So, how important is payroll financing in the contract staffing industry? The answer is that it’s imperative. Read on if you want to know exactly why you should secure financing that can handle the rigours of Canadian contracting.

Traditional Solutions Are Inflexible

While you might think you have the options of opening a line of credit with your local bank or engaging a factoring firm, these solutions are costly. These solutions actually put your staffing firm at more risk because neither of them can account for the fast-paced growth of the contract staffing industry.

Lines of credit, for instance, can solve the problem of steady cash flow initially. But the amount you’re cleared for by the bank is limited and won’t be easy to negotiate if your firm sees sudden growth. Lines of credit also don’t afford you much room to work with if your firm experiences a slow productivity season. Although interest rate might be lower than your standard credit card, the costs of a line of credit will compound over time.

Factoring firms, which can advance most of your invoice amounts and focus on your clients’ creditworthiness instead of your business’, only sound like a more stable option than lines of credit. In truth, factoring firms often charge anywhere as high as 6 percent of your invoice amounts and require you to share in your receivables risk. These service fees, coupled with no insurance should your clients prove untrustworthy, don’t meet the needs of your contract staffing agency.

Payroll Financing Means Stable Pay Scheduling

When you have access to payroll financing that’s designed for a staffing firm, you have the means to pay your contractors on a consistent schedule. Back office service providers like The Staffing Edge have years of experience in financing solutions for the Canadian contracting industry.

You’ll receive payroll insurance that’s flexible to your firm’s needs and the ability to customize your pay schedule. You’ll always have the money you need to pay your contractors, with low interest fees. This offers greater stability.

Credit Checks Prevent Untrustworthy Partnerships

Lastly, payroll financing is able to account for potential untrustworthy clients who might default or pay late often. Providers can also offer pre-emptive credit checks on prospective clients. Whether it’s due to fluctuations in the market, productivity slowdowns, or just plain bad luck, there are going to be times where clients might be worse off than they project to your firm. You need an option like credit checks to give you vital insights into their credit history.

With financing obstacles out of the way, your firm can unlock a lucrative revenue stream with contract staffing. That’s why securing your payroll financing is of paramount importance.

Everything You Need to Know about Starting a Successful Staffing Firm

Topics: Payroll

5 Surefire Ways Your Firm Will Benefit from Back Office Support

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Apr 6, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5_Sure_fire_Ways_Your_Firm_Will_Bene_fit_from_Back_Office_Support.jpgWhile it would be great if you could rely solely on your core business to pull your staffing firm through to success, you may not operate effectively without back office support. Think of your back office support as the infrastructure that upholds the main structure of your daily operations. You can’t have one without the other.

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There are ways to tell if you need help with your back office support, but, primarily, if your staffing firm is relatively new on the block, you should consider securing a partnership with a back office provider. Such providers can greatly improve your HR, payroll, and compliance processes.

Want to know how that success is defined? Read on for five surefire ways your firm will benefit from back office providers.

1. Your Daily Schedule Is Freed Up

When you have back office support, all those nagging admin tasks like bookkeeping and payroll are no longer bogging down your schedule. Suddenly, you could have several extra hours freed up. You’ll be able to better plan staff meetings and onboard new salespeople in a less hurried manner, and your recruiters will be able to concentrate on what they do best.

You’ll have more time to hit the ground running before other firms do and capture the best talent for your niche market, as well, which brings us to our next benefit.

2. Your Productivity Soars

Last year, a LinkedIn report noted that having access to technology that automated the more mindless tasks of the day helped recruiters get more creative with their talent sourcing. Back office providers offer experts who act as an extension of your business and offer all-in-one software specifically designed to maximize your productivity.

The Staffing Edge, for instance, offers exclusive access to Stafftrak, which is an award-winning software system that integrates applicant tracking, client relationship management, and financial reporting. The more streamlined your admin tasks become, the more your recruiters can focus on refining their hiring strategies.

3. Flexible Financing

Especially when your staffing firm is still new, you want to protect your investment as much as possible. New firms often struggle to grow their businesses because they’re at the mercy of whether their clients have matching pay schedules or can be relied on for punctual payments.

Back office providers afford you the benefit of flexible financing options, including receivables insurance, so you can always pay your workers on time. Access to working capital gives you more room to grow your resources and avoid bankruptcy.

4. Sustainable Canadian Compliance

Canada’s business laws are evolving all the time. Take Bill 148, for example. There have been amendments made to vacation pay, stat holiday pay, personal emergency leave, and minimum wages in Ontario, to name just a few.

Compliance mistakes, whether they regard employment standards or proper tax remittances, are costly. In some instances, you may be both heavily fined and prosecuted. Often, your transgressions will also be made public, and we’re certain you know how that will affect potential candidates and clients’ perception of your firm’s brand.

Back office providers are qualified experts in Canadian business law and will make sure your firm’s due diligence is always met. They know all about T4s, Records of Employment, and all the health and safety standards for various boards.

5. Your Firm’s Growth Accelerates

Needless to say, if you don’t have to worry about your HR, payroll, and compliance admin, you’re set to see your firm expand. Having a robust infrastructure bolsters your core business operations, allowing you to run a competitive and successful staffing firm—one that can even take on multi-national firms!

Consider these five major benefits if you’re considering partnering with a back office provider.

Competing with the BIG multi-national agencies?

Topics: Back Office Service Provider

Want to Start Growing Your Staffing Agency? Here’s What You Need to Do

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Mar 7, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Want_to_Start_Growing_Your_Staffing_Agency_Here_s_What_You_Need_to_Do.jpgSo, you’re relatively new to the staffing industry, but you’ve seen enough of the game to decide that you want to start growing your staffing agency. You’re pretty confident that you can grow enough to compete with the big staffing firms on a national level as well. One question though: Do you have the infrastructure to handle such a feat?

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Aiming big for staffing agency growth is a great start, as you’ll want to focus on steadily improving your day-to-day productivity. You might have noticed, however, that your staffing agency’s growth has stagnated somewhat after the first couple of years in the business. This pattern is normal, so don’t panic!

The truth is if you want to play in the big leagues, growing your staffing agency needs to become much more strategic. Check out below for some foolproof ways to achieve a state of continuous growth for your agency.

Know Your Strengths

One of the biggest boosters for growing your staffing agency is to take stock of your strengths and note where your weaknesses lie. This first tip might seem obvious, but, often in this industry, we tend to focus so much on the growth that we forget to evaluate what it is about our practices that enables growth.

For instance, your staffing agency probably has no problem with sales and recruiting right? Or at least, we’d hope you don’t. Have you taken stock of what prohibits your recruiters from reaching new heights with their on-target earnings, though? Maybe your online marketing needs a little work or you lack a streamlined applicant tracking system. Your payroll processing and compliance responsibilities might be weighing down your core duties.

Capitalize on your strengths by reducing your weaknesses. Otherwise, you could be limiting your ability to grow.

Refine a Niche

Your staffing agency will be spreading its resources thin if it tries to accommodate a broad range of markets. There are many advantages of focusing on a niche, and one of the chief ones is improved growth. When you know your niche inside and out, you’ll be able to guarantee high-quality staffing on a consistent basis.

Consistency is key to ratcheting up your productivity levels. If this sounds like an extension of our first tip, that’s because it is in a way. Your staffing agency’s success is reliant on how well you can anticipate and meet the unique needs of your niche market. When your clients can bank on your abilities to accurately recruit and place star candidates in their field, your brand’s reputation alone will start to attract new clients.

Partner with a Back Office Services Provider

This last point ties everything together. If you’ve done some meaningful introspection on what makes your business tick and have chosen to hone in on your niche market’s wants and needs, then partnering with a back office services provider gives you the infrastructure to excel.

Such providers are experts in payroll processing, HR, and compliance administration. They even have technology that’s geared towards businesses like yours that require a streamlined platform for applicant tracking, client relationship management, and financial reporting. They’ll act as your day-to-day advisers regarding any changes to your niche market and updates to government policies.

With regards to that last point, nothing can frustrate your plans for growing your staffing agency more than changes to employment standards. Partnering with a back office services provider can keep your business compliant on an ongoing basis, allowing you to focus on what will accelerate your growth like nothing else: reducing costs and distractions from your core sales and recruiting duties.

Everything You Need to Know about Starting a Successful Staffing Firm

Topics: Staffing Agency

3 Ways Back Office Service Providers Increase Staffing Agencies’ Productivity

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Feb 14, 2018 9:00:00 AM

3_Ways_Back_Office_Service_Providers_Increase_Staffing_Agencies_Productivity.jpgWith the new year’s hiring season under way, staffing agencies need to kick-start their productivity. One of the best ways to optimize productivity levels is to tighten up your agency’s best practices. With every new year, you should be reviewing your best practices and replacing outdated strategies to ensure your recruiters can do their best work.

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One sure-fire way to improve several of your staffing agencies’ best practices that affect productivity is to secure a relationship with a back office service provider that specializes in helping agencies streamline their daily operations. Curious about how exactly such providers can accomplish this?

Check out below for three significant ways back office service providers increase your productivity by employing specialized expertise and technology in your agency.

1. Reducing Admin Busywork

Administration is arguably the most ungainly portion of staffing agencies’ responsibilities. All of the day-to-day drudgery such as payroll, compliance, and bookkeeping is integral to your operations. At the same time, all these admin tasks are a massive drain on your core business responsibilities like sourcing promising candidates and placing them with your clients quickly.

Considering that just sourcing candidates alone is one of the top challenges agencies are facing this year, you need to save and maximize your salespeople’s time. If your agency is growing fast, then it’s imperative you seek back office support. Otherwise, you’ll find your agency practically drowning in paperwork.

When you outsource your admin tasks to a service provider that employs admin experts and develops cutting-edge software to automate time-consuming processes, your productivity will begin to climb. One of your best practices for 2018 should be to minimize busywork.

2. Keeping Payroll and Financing in Check

Whether you’re a new agency or not, we can all agree that making sure payroll is processed on time and according to the right rates is important. A lot of time and effort will go to waste arguing with candidates if payroll is mishandled or withheld because there’s no financing infrastructure in place to ensure your agency and your talent are taken care of.

Back office service providers offer a range of tools to help you keep payroll accurate and on time, every time. A service provider will give you the ability to run credit checks on prospects, making certain you’re making the right decisions regarding clients. Providers also offer payroll financing, offering a bank account with receivables insurance that will help you pay all workers according to your schedule. All branded invoices, government remittances, and collections are handled by the provider as well.

The result is no more headaches and split focus about whether you’re balancing the books. Once you have your payroll and capital in order, you’ll be ready to unlock a lucrative revenue stream with contract staffing.

3. Optimizing Your Ongoing Compliance Measures

As of April 1, 2017, onward to March 31 of this year, the Ontario Ministry of Labour is conducting its annual round of workplace inspection blitzes. Such blitzes in recent years have been uncovering an increasing number of non-compliant bosses who have been failing employment standards and failing to pay their workers.

Many blitzes also catch newer staffing agencies by surprise as well, because Canadian provincial and federal legislation and regulations are constantly evolving. As of November, for example, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act has brought several updates to wages, standards, and laws.

Back office service providers are experts in Canadian compliance and will act as advisors who will keep you up to date on the latest changes to legislation and regulations. They also offer a guarantee that, in the rare chance that there are any misclassified independent contractors, they will assume financial responsibility for audits or penalties.

Your agency needs to focus on what it does best: sourcing and providing top talent. Outsource the tasks that weigh down your core business, and watch it grow with ease.

Competing with the BIG multi-national agencies?

Topics: Back Office Service Provider

Expanding into the Canadian Market? Here’s How to Get the Help You Need

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Jan 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Expanding_into_the_Canadian_Market_Heres_How_to_Get_the_Help_You_Need.jpgExpanding into the Canadian market is a very enticing notion for many American staffing firms. Based on the proximity and the relatively similar culture, it seems like a no-brainer for companies to tap into this lucrative market. If you’re looking to get in on the action, it could be a fruitful business venture for you and your agency.

There’s only one problem: How should you go about expanding? It’s not as simple as just picking up and setting up shop in Canada. You need to get in contact with the right people to make your expansion a success. Who are they? These are three people you might want to talk to if you’re considering expanding into the Canadian market.


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Get in Touch with a Lawyer

If you’re considering expanding into the Canadian market, you need a lawyer to get your business up and running.

During the initial stages of business development, there will be many legal documents you’ll need help with. From commercial leasing to contract creation, your lawyer is there for you.

First, your lawyer will help you determine your business structure so you can file the proper forms to register as a business. Once that is set up, a lawyer will help you create all the legal contracts and agreements your business requires. Once your business is set up, you likely won’t require the services of a lawyer often. If you need any additional paperwork completed down the line or have any legal compliance questions, it is useful for agencies to have a Canadian lawyer on retainer.

Looking to Immigrate?

If you’re serious about expanding into the Canadian market and you’re ready to hit the ground running, you may want to pack your bags and settle in at your new location. Setting up shop can be difficult at the best of times. When you add the long distance of managing expansion from abroad or across the border, things get more difficult.

If you’re wanting to settle down in the True North for the time being, you’ll likely want to speak with an immigration expert. Applying for Visas can be tricky, so you want to make sure you’re applying for the right Visa and that you submit all of your necessary documents.

While immigration experts can help you personally before the move, think this through logically—are you prepared to be away from your business’ home front? What if you aren’t approved for a Visa? Thankfully, for those who realize disrupting their lives may not be the best idea for business, there are back office solution providers.

The Answer to All Your Problems: Back Office Solution Providers

With a back office solution provider, you don’t have to worry about all the administrative ins and outs of a new country. These providers can work on your behalf in Canada. This includes taking on tasks such as your payroll, benefits, record keeping, compliance, and taxes. All of your back office tasks are met and dealt with; it’s as easy as that.

What’s even better about a back office solutions provider is that they can help you navigate this new landscape better than anyone else. While lawyers can offer great legal compliance advice, their time is expensive and it can be hard to get an appointment to address all your compliance-related needs. You may also have to manage the work yourself after getting advice. You can get the same quality advice by trusting your compliance needs to a back office solutions provider. The provider is not only more cost-effective but will manage the workload and paperwork on your behalf.

Get Started Today

What are you waiting for? Contact a back office solutions provider to start expanding into the Canadian market and tap into a new lucrative revenue stream.

A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Back Office Service Provider

Think Adding Temp Staffing Is Too Hard? Think Again

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Dec 11, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Think Adding Temp Staffing Is Too Hard Think Again---1.jpgAt this point in 2017, it’s hard to remain unaware of how the gig economy has reshaped the job market. Not only is it a skilled candidate’s market out there, there are also many companies that are starting to prefer hiring temporary workers over permanent employees. Sounds like an equation ripe for a staffing firm’s growth, right? Yet there are many firms (perhaps yours is one them) that believe adding temp staffing is too difficult.

Download "10 Things You Need to Know When Starting a Temp Staffing Agency"

We’re here today to help dispel any misconceptions you might have about offering temp staffing services. Now is the best time to add temp workers to your recruitment offerings. Read on to learn about just how viable, not to mention lucrative, temporary recruitment truly is for your staffing business!

Administration Doesn’t Have to Be a Headache

One of the most prominent sources of doubt staffing specialists harbour about temp staffing is the challenge it presents for administration. Since most placements for temp workers are short, you must deal with the ongoing administration of onboarding and offboarding new workers.  

But the thing about temp admin is that there’s specific proprietary software that’s built to streamline all of that. Automating admin tasks is one of the key strategies staffing firms have been implementing to stay competitive in 2017, as it maximizes their budgets and optimizes their efficiency.

Some firms even partner with the vendors of their proprietary software, giving them ready access to HR, payroll, and compliance experts as well as payroll financing.

Worker Classification Is Simpler Than You Think

It’s understandable that your staffing firm might be wary of offering temp workers. Temp workers can be potentially risky regarding classification, but only if you’re not aware of best practices for determining whether you’re dealing with independent contractors or employees.

The CRA has developed a four-point test for determining worker classification. These four factors are as follows:

  1. Control: If the schedule, workplace, and the manner of the work done is controlled by the payer, then you have an employee, not an independent contractor.
  2. Ownership: Independent contractors supply their own supplies and tools.
  3. Risk: Perhaps the most important factor, an employee is guaranteed to profit from their work, while independent contractors take the risk of losing out if their placement goes poorly.
  4. Integration: This last factor is more subjective to the opinion of your CRA auditor, but generally a worker is classified as an employee if their activities are integrated with their payer’s. An independent contractor is acting independently.

More details on how to determine the differences in worker classification are offered in CRA’s RC4110 document.

What’s more, you can outsource compliance to a back office solutions provider to solve this issue.

Workforce Flexibility Is Your Greatest Asset

You might be thinking that this era of precarious work is only offering more problems than it’s solving regarding sourcing skilled talent, but it’s actually the opposite case. Due to the workforce being made up largely of millennial candidates and the unpredictability of the market, both veteran and new grad candidates often prefer temp work to achieve a better work-life balance. Many of your clients and leads also prefer a flexible staffing solution as well.  

Temp staffing offers your clients appropriate manpower for their busy and slow seasons, and gives them a greater command of their budgets. You’ll find that if you don’t offer temp workers, you could start losing some of your long-term clients to firms with more diverse solutions.

Being capable of providing a solution that is in demand in the gig economy opens the doors for your staffing firm to grow rapidly. And with effective back office solutions available to handle the trickier aspects of temp staffing, there are virtually no barriers to adding these services to your firm’s offerings.

Unlock a Lucrative Revenue  Stream With Contract Staffing

Topics: Contract Staffing Agency

5 Costs That Ruin Employment Agency Profit Margins

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Nov 13, 2017 9:00:00 AM


Running an employment agency, even in the age of a soaring gig economy and the ongoing skilled worker shortage, is tough. While you might have a niche that’s in demand and potentially lucrative, your employment agency’s success is dependent on whether you can keep your books balanced.

Download "10 Things You Need to Know When Starting a Temp Staffing Agency"

You could have the best talent on your roster, but you could still find that your profit margins are narrow. The reason for this is complex, but a lot of it comes down to improper back office administration and untrustworthy clients.

Curious about which costs can wreck your employment agency profit margins? Check out five of the worst issues below.

1. Disorganization

This might not seem like the worst offender on the surface, but disorganization (particularly regarding your accounting paperwork) can shrink your employment agency profit margins in several ways.

Let’s say your agency is new. Chances are you won’t be focusing on accounting as much because you’re preoccupied with sourcing talent and drumming up clients who want that talent. But once you start regularly placing candidates, you’ll most likely have misplaced an invoice or two, not to mention time cards. An inefficient financial reporting system can quickly hurt your profits due to late payments.

2. Non-Paying Clients

Non-paying clients coupled with a disorganized back office could spell disaster for your employment agency profit margins. Some clients are simply looking for free labour. Cash flow management for employment agencies is difficult. You must pay your temps on time, even if your clients haven’t paid you, which means non-paying clients can seriously set back your agency’s growth

Credit checking before you start a relationship with a client is vital to keeping your employment agency profit margins healthy.

3. Poorly Matched Pay Schedules

Unfortunately, there are going to be instances when your profit margins are down due to late payments from clients. Every business has its own individual pay schedule, and not all of them are going to be perfectly in sync with your agency’s schedule.

A typical payroll schedule for an employment agency is weekly or bi-weekly, but what if your client only pays every 60 or 90 days? That means you’ll be using your own funds to pay employees until your client finally pays you.

4. Compliance Woes

Canada has many employment laws and standards that staffing agency owners must meet. Keeping track of ever-evolving legislature and ensuring your agency is always compliant is a difficult task. Employee misclassification is a real—and costly—risk in the industry. You also have to comply with minimum wage, overtime laws, holiday pay standards, and so much more.

Add to the above missed tax returns and remittances (which will be inevitable if your back office is very disorganized), and your profit margins will rapidly shrink.

5. No Payroll Financing

Just as you trust your clients to pay on time, your temps trust your agency to pay on time, which is why payroll financing is vital to the financial health of your staffing agency.

Keep these five costs in mind when launching your agency, and you should have no trouble keeping your profit margins up!

Everything You Need to Know about Starting a Successful Staffing Firm

Topics: Staffing Agency

Top 5 Costs Eating into Staffing Agency Profit Margins

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Oct 30, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Top 5 Costs Eating into Staffing Agency Profit Margins--.jpgTemp staffing agencies may be on the rise but they can have a tough time keeping afloat financially.

Download "10 Things You Need to Know When Starting a Temp Staffing Agency"

For a new staffing agency to become more competitive and achieve sustainable growth, it must ensure its overhead isn’t exceeding its profit margins. The key to determining what costs are eating into your staffing agency profit margins is zeroing in on what aspects of your agency are the most inefficient.

With the above in mind, here are our top five costs that are eating into your staffing agency profit margins.

1. Non-Compliance

We know keeping on top of paperwork duties might be a pain, but it’s paramount for your staffing agency profit margins. If your agency is found to be noncompliant with Canadian business legislation and employment standards, your finances will take a downturn. 

You could face penalties and fines that can run into the thousands. 

If you aren’t on top of your compliance, it’s a sure bet your staffing agency profit margins are shrinking. Canadian business legislation is constantly changing, and you need to keep up to avoid costly fines.

2. Taxes and Government Remittances

This second cost is part of your compliance responsibilities, but it’s a matter that also entails how efficient your financial reporting system is. When it comes to paying taxes and government remittances on time, you literally can’t afford to be late. Staffing agencies that miss their remittance deadlines must deal with automatic penalties from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), rush to make payment arrangements, and appeal in court to contest fines. 

Of course, all the issues just mentioned cost your staffing agency precious time that could’ve been spent focusing on sourcing talent and securing placements for clients. One way agencies avoid this problem is by implementing proprietary software that has a built-in financial reporting system.

3. Non-Paying Clients

One of the key things you should know about starting a temp staffing agency is that your reputation is dependent on your ability to enter into valuable client relationships. If you’re too focused on the number of placements you make, you run the risk of connecting with clients who refuse to pay your agency (on time or at all).

You need to run credit checks on clients before you enter into a partnership with them. And your screening process should be thorough. Otherwise, you risk your profit margins and your employer brand in one fell swoop!

4. Overtime and Holidays

You need to know what the laws are for overtime and statutory holidays in your agency’s province. Every Canadian province has varying rules and standards in both cases. If you don’t follow them, you could find yourself dealing with extra costs if your temps have worked overtime or holidays during their placements.

5. Payroll Financing

Even if your clients are trustworthy, their business payroll schedule might be divergent from yours. Your candidates must be paid on time, regardless, or you risk losing their talent and dealing with complaints and a bad reputation. You could end up paying a lot of interest on lines of credits or other financing options from a bank, making it difficult to profit. That’s why staffing agencies seek services like receivables insurance to keep their payroll consistent.

Stay on top of these five potential costs, and your staffing agency will be able to keep its profit margins strong!

Everything You Need to Know about Starting a Successful Staffing Firm

Topics: Staffing Agency

5 Traits of a Great Back Office Solutions Provider

Posted by Anna Mastrandrea


Oct 4, 2017 9:00:00 AM

5 Traits of a Great Back Office Solutions Provider--.jpgAs a new staffing firm, you’re likely learning very fast that there’s limits to how much back office administration you can handle. From HR and compliance to payroll structures and government remittances, you’re practically drowning in paperwork. That’s why having a back office solutions provider is so necessary. Your core business efficiency (the key to growing your firm) is at stake, after all.

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That’s why you should take the time to find not just any back office solutions provider, but a great one. But what traits define a “great” provider? To the end of answering that question, we’ve gathered together five key elements that make for a provider that’s proficient at solving staffing firm-specific challenges.

1. Expert Knowledge of Canadian Business and Industry

The thing about running a staffing firm is that its success isn’t just dependent on the current job market. In truth, it’s dependent on the current job market in the context of the country you’re operating in. Running a staffing firm in Canada is divergent in many ways from operating one in the United States, or Europe for that matter. 

Especially if you’re a foreign company opening business in Canada for the first time, you have a lot of catch up to do regarding employment standards and labour laws. To keep your due diligence ongoing, you need a back office solutions provider that has expert knowledge of the constantly evolving Canadian business legislation and how it affects the staffing industry. Great providers should be able to advise you on changes in legislation as they occur.

2. Investment Protection

The Canadian staffing industry is on the rise, with the gig economy in full swing and many sectors needing a niche staffing firm to provide temporary and contract workers. But despite this opportune market for growing your firm, your great investment won’t be sustainable if you don’t have a way to protect it. 

A great provider should be able to offer your firm options for receivables insurance and running credit checks on clients before you enter into agreements with them. You’ll learn that in the staffing industry, your payroll schedule won’t always be the same as your clients. Not to mention some of your candidates might be less trustworthy than they first appear, leading to a need to provide theft insurance for clients.

3. Payroll Structure and HR Administration

Speaking of payroll schedules, your firm must have a provider that’s flexible with payroll structures. How your firm handles payroll will never remain an exact constant, which is why you need customizable invoices.

Great providers put their Canadian business expertise to use in conjunction with their knowledge of your firm and its individual payroll admin needs. A provider’s payroll solution should position them as an integral part of your customer service, handling direct deposits, pay stubs, T4s, and government remittances.

4. Compliance Expertise

Your staffing firm should be 100 percent compliant, all year long. To that end, you must ensure your records of employment (ROE), your taxes, and classification of your placements are correct. A great provider is proficient in Canadian employment standards, and will ensure that you are ready for inspection at all times.

5. All-in-One Technology

Lastly, a great provider should have an effective suite of technology to help facilitate all the above. The Staffing Edge has award-winning software, Stafftrak, that can handle applicant tracking, client relationship management, and financial reporting.

A great provider can help a new firm like yours compete with the big staffing firms. So be sure that you choose a provider that possesses all these traits.

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Topics: Back Office Service Provider

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