The Staffing Edge Blog

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

Mai Dowdie

Mai Dowdie, an expert in customer service, is the team lead of the member relations department at The Staffing Edge. Prior to working at The Staffing Edge, Mai worked as a recruiting consultant for VPI Inc, Kelly Services, and Elite Plus Temporaries. With 15 years of experience working in the staffing industry, Mai brings a wealth of knowledge to her role. Each day, she provides the resources and tools to help our members grow and become successful partners, through training, problem solving, and technical support. Mai enjoys a good night out singing karaoke, art, and home improvement projects.

Recent Posts by Mai Dowdie

What Is Quebec’s Bill 176?

Posted by Mai Dowdie


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.

Download "How a Complete Back-End Solution Helped a Staffing Agency Get  Started" Case Study 

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.


Topics: Staffing Industry

The Perils of Employee Misclassification and How to Reduce Your Risk

Posted by Mai Dowdie


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.

Download "How TSE’s Back Office Support Helped a Staffing Agency Expand  Nationally" Case Study

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.


Topics: Back Office Service Provider

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

Posted by Mai Dowdie


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?

Download "How TSE’s Back Office Support Helped a Staffing Agency Expand  Nationally" Case Study

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

How to Run a Successful Staffing Agency from the Ground Up

Posted by Mai Dowdie


May 11, 2018 9:00:00 AM

How-to-Run-a-Successful-Staffing-Agency-from-the-Ground-Up-compressorThe gig economy is booming, and more entrepreneurs are considering starting staffing agencies to take advantage of this boom. 

But running a successful staffing agency isn’t as easy as it may look. 

Download "How TSE’s Back Office Support Helped a Staffing Agency Expand  Nationally" Case Study

There’s a catch to learning how to run a successful staffing agency from the ground up. Your business’s compliance, administration, and financing must be top-notch right from the get-go if you want to succeed. If you want to know how to run a successful staffing agency and overcome these common industry challenges, then read on.

You Need Compliance Expertise

Canadian business legislation varies from province to province and is tricky to navigate on your own. Not to mention, there are often major changes made to employment standards. If you want to know how to run a successful staffing agency, the first step you need to take is ensure you’re compliant. 

Common infractions, like payroll miscalculations and late or missed remittances, can cost you thousands in fines (often with interest) and penalties. 

The most effective solution is to engage Canadian compliance experts via a back office service provider. Access to compliance expertise will keep you abreast of and compliant with evolving Canadian business legislation.

Get Help with Administration

When your admin suffers, your staffing agency’s productivity suffers. How much time you have to source worthy candidates and compete with the big staffing firms’ volume of placements is directly affected by how much administration is diverting your attention from those core tasks. 

To optimize your productivity, you need to automate and outsource your most time-consuming tasks. Automating repetitive tasks like data entry, pre-screening resumes, and creating job postings can save your staffing agency 6+ hours per week. Outsourcing admin for payroll and compliance will save you many headaches as well.

Get Payroll Financing

The last step tip is to secure payroll financing early. Your staffing agency needs robust options to keep your pay scheduling consistent and to protect your investment against clients who may not pay. Especially since you’re a smaller operation than most staffing agencies, you’ll want to ensure that you can always pay your workers on time without breaking your business’s bank.

Back office service providers that are dedicated to the staffing industry offer payroll insurance that will kick in whenever your clients’ pay schedules don’t match up with yours. Such providers can also provide custom invoicing and credit checks for prospective clients, options that lines of credit and expensive factoring firms can’t offer you.

With your compliance, admin, and payroll taken care of, you’re all set to start a successful staffing agency.

Things You Need to Know When Starting a Temp Staffing Agency

Topics: Staffing Agency

How Having Proactive Staffing Solutions Can Encourage Business Growth

Posted by Mai Dowdie


Apr 25, 2018 9:00:00 AM

How-Having-Proactive-Staffing-Solutions-Can-Encourage-Business-Growth-compressorThe gig economy may be our norm for hiring today, but that doesn’t mean the demands of the Canadian market stay still. Your staffing firm must keep apace of Canada’s evolving best practices in order to stay competitive, and one way your firm can do just that is by investing in proactive staffing solutions.

Download "How TSE’s Back Office Support Helped a Staffing Agency Expand  Nationally" Case Study 

An important part of any staffing firm’s growth strategy is being able to set your firm apart from the others. Staffing solutions that account for the usual setbacks staffing firms encounter can significantly differentiate your business in several ways.

Optimizes Productivity

Partnering with a back office solutions provider can enable you to optimize productivity. When you’re not focusing all your time on tasks like compliance, payroll, and HR, you can get back to the work that matters—namely, sourcing candidates and generating business. Your partner will handle the rest. 

What’s more, back office solutions providers often offer proprietary software that can help you automate repetitive tasks, further optimizing productivity.

Greater Accuracy with Placements

With your recruiters no longer bogged down in administrative work, they can redirect their focus towards improving their hiring strategies and making more accurate placements with your clients. Often, when staffing firms are struggling with balancing back and front office duties, the quality of placements suffer as a result. This situation can be detrimental if your clients find they are repeatedly unsatisfied with the candidates you place them with. 

If you have solutions that you can rely on for your back office duties, you can give clients and candidates assurance that your placement will satisfy their requirements. Businesses are more likely to partner with you when you have a good track record of not just being able to fill orders but a reputation for placing quality candidates they can count on.

Guaranteed Legal and Financial Security

Finally, staffing solutions can encourage your firm’s growth by ensuring legal and financial security. In addition to compliance experts who can keep you abreast of changes to Canadian business legislation and proprietary software that includes financial reporting, back office providers also offer payroll financing.

Payroll financing includes the following features: payroll insurance from the provider’s bank (in case of client defaults or mismatched schedules), credit checks on prospective clients, custom payroll schedules and invoicing, and direct deposit and compliant administration. All of these features ensure that your cash flow remains consistent and your workers receive their hard-earned pay on time.

Your firm, no matter if it’s new or established, will be best served when it has options to protect its investment. Your candidates, workers, and clients will put their faith in your agency when you’re able to keep your firm legally and financially secure. Your clients may also recommend your business to their peers.

Growing a staffing firm in Canada’s gig economy boom isn’t easy. There are many administrative challenges that can slow down the rate of your agency’s growth. With the right solutions implemented, however, even a smaller new firm can accelerate its growth and compete with the big staffing firms.


Topics: Back Office Service Provider

5 Ways Staffing Agencies Can Stop Payroll Liabilities Before They Happen

Posted by Mai Dowdie


Apr 13, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5_Ways_Staffing_Agencies_Can_Stop_Payroll_Liabilities_Before_They_Happen.jpgThe first year or two of growing a business in any industry can be rough, but the staffing industry has it rougher than most. Right from the start, a staffing agency’s cash flow s upside down. You’re often at the mercy of whether your clients’ pay schedules line up with your agency’s payroll.

Download "How a Complete Back-End Solution Helped a Staffing Agency Get  Started" Case Study

Ultimately, your cash flow determines your ability to pay your workers. To succeed in the staffing industry, your agency has to become proficient at preventing payroll liabilities because that’s what will help you retain your valuable talent and grow your resources, not to mention uphold your brand’s reputation.

Read on to learn five ways you can stop payroll liabilities before they happen.


1. Credit Checks

Before you enter into contracts with your prospective clients, you should have the ability to run credit checks on them. There’s nothing worse than finding out a client can’t pay after you’ve started hiring workers for them.

The importance of this pre-emptive strategy can’t be overstated. Credit checks can tell you whether a client’s financial history is spotty with fraud or poor credit, as well as how much financial stress that client is dealing with. While credit checks don’t guarantee a client is 100-percent trustworthy, you’ll have a much better impression of how likely (or capable) they are to hold up their end of the deal.


2. Timely Invoicing

Payroll liabilities can also result from your agency’s lack of timely invoicing. Being able to invoice clients and pay your workers according to a consistent schedule greatly improves your brand’s professional credibility.

Adhering to a punctual pay schedule also motivates clients to pay their bills on time; they’ll see you value timeliness. A back office service provider can take over invoicing for your clients to ensure you’re not holding up accounts receivable.


3. Account Status Inquiries

Part of ensuring your working relationships with your clients remain smooth is periodically checking their account status. You can’t rely solely on a “one-and-done” credit check for your clients. Maintaining effective payroll administration means checking in to see that your clients are still capable of meeting your payment terms.

Periodic account status inquiries, made around the time of invoicing, help you keep your clients accountable. Inquiries can also help you renegotiate payment terms with clients if they have a good track record with you and have perhaps fallen on hard times.


4. Compliance Expertise

If we’ve learned anything about Canadian business legislation in the past year, it’s that you can always count on it to change.

Whether accidental or otherwise, non-compliance can be costly, both to your resources and your legal reputation. Your agency should have access to compliance experts so that you remain in the know and avoid payroll liabilities.


5. Receivables Insurance

There will be times when late payments will be unavoidable. When this occurs, you need to have a back-up plan in place so your workers are still paid on time. Receivables insurance is an ideal back-up plan, one that gives your agency access to a bank account that’s able to cover your payroll in the instance that a client defaults on a payment.

Your best bet for covering all bases is to partner with a back office services provider. Providers like The Staffing Edge act as an extension of your customer service team and can offer all payroll financing strategies mentioned above and more. Gain access to tools that can help you run a successful staffing agency.


Starting a Staffing Agency

Topics: Payroll

3 Tips for Small Staffing Agencies in Canada

Posted by Mai Dowdie


Apr 9, 2018 9:00:00 AM

3_Tips_for_Small_Staffing_Agencies_in_Canada.jpgCanada’s economy is booming right now, having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. The rate for the country’s own records alone is the lowest in 40 years. A large part of this statistic is owed to the gig economy becoming the norm for an increasing percentage of Canada’s workforce. Distance work is also contributing to this flexible work norm as well.

Download "How a Complete Back-End Solution Helped a Staffing Agency Get  Started" Case Study

There’s a catch to this more-than-promising state of affairs, however. Namely, raging competition within the staffing industry. If you own one of Canada’s up-and-coming staffing agencies, chances are you have a lot of competition for the same highly skilled candidates. Some of your competitors will be on the same scale as you, but you must also account for national firms.

Fortunately, you won’t need to sweat the small stuff when it comes to building your brand if you follow these following three tips to become a force to reckoned with among small staffing agencies in Canada.

1.Secure Your Financing

Many small staffing agencies realize too late that they should have insured their cash flow. No matter how effective your recruiters are at amassing great candidates and successfully placing them with clients, your agency’s days are numbered if you cannot manage your cash flow. This is because your agency’s cash flow is considered “upside down.”

What upside-down cash flow refers to is the fact that while you must pay your workers (whether it’s a weekly or bi-weekly schedule), your client might not have the same pay schedule as you. Not to mention, if you happen to partner with an untrustworthy client, you might not receive any payments. So, if you don’t have proper payroll financing, you could be consistently operating at a loss.

Make sure you have access to options like receivables insurance and credit checks for potential clients. Proficient back office service providers offer payroll financing as part of their services, so consider partnering with one to optimize your return on investment.

2. Make Your Canadian Compliance Sustainable

Small staffing agencies like yours could have trouble keeping up to current employment standards, since often your attention is split between competitive recruitment and sales and back office paperwork.

To survive the first few years running a smaller staffing agency, you must keep your compliance robust; otherwise, you risk serious monetary fines. In worst-case scenarios, breaking Canadian business laws, such as those governing misclassification of workers, can even lead to prosecution.

Outsourcing compliance matters to Canadian back office experts can save your staffing agency’s reputation. Candidates and clients are also more likely to trust agencies that are diligent about their compliance.

3. Access All-in-One Software

You have a lot of information to manage, including payroll and invoicing, T4s, records of employment, vacation and emergency leaves, government remittances and employee and client files.

Smaller agencies benefit greatly from choosing the right software to help keep vital information straight. The right software is one that rolls all the major information sets from applicant tracking, client relationship management, and financial reporting into one system.

Partnering with a back office services provider like The Staffing Edge gives you access to such an all-in-one system.

Together, these three tips will help you start your staffing agency successfully!

Things You Need to Know When Starting a Temp Staffing Agency

Topics: Staffing Agency

3 Tasks Your Temp Agency Should Outsource

Posted by Mai Dowdie


Mar 14, 2018 9:00:00 AM

3_Things_Your_Temp_Agency_Should_Outsource.jpgRunning a temp agency in a way that boosts its chances of success can feel like an uphill struggle at times. You need to ensure your recruiters are at a consistent level of productivity so that you can meet your on-target earnings. You must have the infrastructure in place to guarantee your workers are paid on time, every time. And then there’s the matter of compliance.

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

The daunting amount of busywork (and the paperwork it produces) just seems to continue to multiply and hinder your temp agency’s efficiency. Now that the gig economy is the new normal, with Intuit reporting that almost half of the Canadian workforce will be part of it by 2020, you’re going to become busier than ever.

The above is why you should consider outsourcing some of your more time-consuming tasks to back office experts. To be more specific, there are three significant areas outlined below that, when outsourced, will boost the productivity of your temp agency.

1. HR Administration

Your temp agency needs to maximize its budget (that includes both time and money) so that you have more resources to accelerate its productivity. Often, your recruiters aren’t able to devote enough of their schedules to core business duties, like sourcing talent and matching them with the right clients, because they’re too busy attending to HR admin tasks.

While sharing HR admin duties might seem prudent at the outset, it’s actually stretching your resources thinner than manageable. When your recruiters are doing double-duty for both their everyday duties and HR duties, they’re only able to devote half their skills and attention to your core business duties.

Outsourcing your agency’s HR admin helps you deal with paperwork for employment standards, contracts, and more. And, quite simply, outsourcing this task unencumbers your recruiters, making them twice as effective.

2. Payroll Financing

Payroll can be a pain to deal with as an agency, especially a growing agency. While you’re trying to balance your finances, you need to be able to reconcile the differences in pay schedules between your agency and your clients’. You need to be capable of paying your candidates and recruiters on time. How do you manage that and not be constantly in the red?

The answer is outsourcing your payroll financing to a back office service provider that offers receivables insurance. Whenever there’s a pay period that happens to fall on unlucky dates for your agency (or a client defaults), receivables insurance will protect your business and ensure that all your workers are paid promptly.

Other payroll and accounting matters you should consider outsourcing are customized invoicing, credit checks on clients, deductions, and remittances.

3. Compliance Expertise

Keeping compliance matters squared determines your ability to start a staffing firm successfully. Compliance regulations in Canada are always evolving and run the gamut of everything from proper payroll deductions and remittances to correctly classifying your workers and keeping your employment standards for occupational health and safety up to date.

When you’re not trained in compliance and aren’t making it your business to keep current with every update to compliance laws as they’re passed, it’s easy to make mistakes. These mistakes can cost your agency not only hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars, but your brand reputation as well.

Outsourcing your compliance headaches to those who are Canadian compliance experts extends your capability to maintain stellar relationships with your workers and protect your interests.

Back office service providers want to act as your personal advisors regarding compliance and will help you achieve outstanding levels of customer service. Outsourcing the tasks discussed in this blog allows you to reduce the duties you know your agency doesn’t excel at, so you can focus on your key strengths.

Things You Need to Know When Starting a Temp Staffing Agency

Topics: Back Office Service Provider

What You Need to Know about the Employment Standard Changes in Alberta

Posted by Mai Dowdie


Mar 5, 2018 9:00:00 AM

What_You_Need_to_Know_about_the_Employment_Standard_Changes_in_Alberta.jpgAs we all know, compliance errors can cause major trouble, both monetarily and legally for staffing firms. As of November 2017, Bill 148 was passed in Ontario, bringing with it amendments to several significant areas, including minimum wages, personal emergency leave, and statutory holiday pay. Yet, Ontario isn’t the only province that needs to worry about new amendments to business legislation.

Download our free guide on everything you need to know about starting a  successful staffing firm.

Alberta is another province seeing major changes to employment standards put into effect since January 1st, 2018. If you’re a staffing firm owner in Alberta or are curious what changes the new Employment Standards Code have brought to the province, keep reading.

Wages and Overtime

It was recently announced that Alberta plans to increase its minimum wage to $15/hour on October 1st of this year. The province states the goal is to give employees a “living wage” to meet basic household needs. Employers are also no longer allowed to pay employees with disabilities less than the minimum wage.

Regarding amendments to deductions, employers can now only take deductions from their employees’ earnings if they fall under the following criteria:

  • Albertan law requires it
  • Deductions are authorized by a collective agreement
  • Deductions are authorized in writing by an employee

Deductions for company pension plans, dental plans, social funds, and registered retirement savings plans must be agreed to by the employee on commencement of working for the employer.

As for overtime, amendments include: allowing time to be banked for six months instead of the previous employment standard of three and calculating banked overtime at 1.5x for all hours worked.

Unpaid Leave of Absence

Many amendments have been made for unpaid leaves of absence, as Alberta’s employment standards have stood untouched for decades. Some highlights of new leave of absence legislation include:

Employees are eligible for current and new job-protected unpaid leaves of absence after 90 days, down from the previous one year. This legislation excludes reservists leave, however.

There are several newly created leaves of absence, including:

  • Long-Term Illness and Injury Leave (up to 16 weeks)
  • Personal and Family Responsibility Leave (up to 5 days)
  • Bereavement Leave (up to 3 days)
  • Critical Illness of an Adult Family Member Leave (up to 16 weeks)
  • Critical Illness of a Child Leave (up to 36 weeks)
  • Death or Disappearance of a Child Leave (up to 52 weeks)

Several changes have also been made to the existing Compassionate Care Leave (extended to 27 weeks) and Maternity/Parental Leave (extended from 15 to 16 weeks and from 37 to 62 weeks, respectively). Non-primary caregivers are now included in the Compassionate Care category, with notice periods from employees shortened. For the full details of changes made to these existing categories, you can review Alberta’s new guide.

Termination and Holidays/Vacation

As you might have guessed, many changes have been made to termination and holiday pay as well. For termination, changes include:

  • Rules of termination or layoffs, as well as recall notices for temporary layoffs, must be clarified in writing and addressed to the employees concerned.
  • Employers are prohibited from forcing employees to use entitlements (i.e., vacation, overtime) during the termination notice period, unless both parties agree.
  • Group terminations are increased and scaled (full details of the legislation are available on Alberta’s government site).
  • The possibility of indefinite layoffs will be eliminated, with layoffs being limited to 60 days within a 120-day period. Layoffs can be extended if wages and/or benefits are paid and employees are in agreement with the employer.
  • Termination pay will now be calculated based on the employee’s previous 13 weeks of employment when the employee actually worked.

Holiday and vacation requirements no longer include having worked 30 days in the 12 months prior to vacation. There’s also no longer a distinction between regular and non-regular work days.

General holiday pay is now calculated at five percent of wages, general holiday pay, and vacation pay earned four weeks immediately preceding the holiday. Lastly, employees must receive four percent of their total wages as vacation pay and receive at least six percent after they’ve been employed for five years.

Are you struggling with these new changes to Alberta’s employment standards? It’s understandable. Partnering with a back office solutions provider can help you stay on top of business legislation changes and compete with the big firms

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