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

Networking Strategies for Recruiters

Posted by Mai Dowdie

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Mar 27, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Networking Strategies for RecruitersRecruiters rely on networking. Almost anyone you encounter could be a client or a candidate. Whether you meet them at the gym or scope out their profile on LinkedIn, you never know who will prove to be a valuable lead.

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Networking is one of the most crucial parts of any recruiter’s job. If you’re not networking, you could be restricting your agency’s growth, either by not finding new clients or by not being able to source the candidates you need.

Recruiters sometimes find networking intimidating. After all, there are many different ways to go about it, and every social interaction could become a lead. How can you be sure what you’re doing is effective?

Try a few of these strategies to improve your networking efforts. Maybe you’re using some already. If so, you’re likely well on your way to recruiter success. If you haven’t tried these activities yet, the good news is it’s easy to get started.

Leverage the World of Social Media

The internet has made networking easier than ever. If you’re a recruiter, one of your first stops might be LinkedIn. On this social platform, you can connect with a number of different professionals.

You can also seek out potential clients and candidates on other platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Keep in mind that social media platforms have different demographics.

Don’t be afraid of networking with almost anyone on these platforms. It’s often tempting to aim for the top, connecting with CEOs and other members of the C-suite. You should also connect with hiring managers and other professionals. You may not think an engineer is a useful connection, but they could be involved in hiring decisions for their department.

Some of these people might also be passive candidates. They’re not looking for work right now, but they’d be open to the right opportunity.

Connect with Other Recruiters

As an independent recruiter, you may see all other recruiters as your competition. As such, you try to avoid them at conferences or on LinkedIn.

You should embrace other recruitment professionals. You never know who is going to move into a role as a hiring manager. Maybe someone refers a new client to you because you have expertise in a particular area.

Other recruiters also have the benefit of experience and insights on best practice. Getting great advice is never easier than when you can crowdsource the wisdom of numerous recruiters.

Research Events and Choose the Right Ones

If you’re a recruiting expert for the IT industry, it makes sense to attend a conference for cybersecurity professionals. If you primarily recruit engineers for the oil industry, this conference might have little to offer.

Research conferences and other networking events carefully. Choose those that most benefit you. Events that speak to your niche are good choices.

If you find it difficult to approach new people once you’re at the conference, there are some tactics that can help. One is to pretend you’re the host of the event. Since every host wants to make sure their attendees are having a good time, this mental roleplay can make it easier to approach other attendees.

Be Prepared

If you do head out to a conference or another event, make sure you’ve created a plan beforehand. Try to scope out some of the other attendees and ask if they’d like to meet with you.

Remember to be prepared whenever you head to a meeting. Keep business cards on hand.

These strategies can help as you try to network more effectively. By connecting with more people, you’ll grow not only your network but your business too.

Download The Complete Guide to Starting Your Own Staffing Agency

Topics: Independent Recruiters

3 Wrong Ways to Become an Independent Recruiter

Posted by Mai Dowdie

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Mar 18, 2019 9:00:00 AM

3 Wrong Ways to Become an Independent RecruiterBecoming an independent recruiter is a great career move for many professionals in the staffing industry. Perhaps it’s the right move for you. If you’ve gathered experience at an agency, learned about the ins and outs of running a business, and developed a great contact network, it could be the best move you’ll make.

Download the Ultimate Guide for Independent Recruiters Looking to Offer  Contract Staffing Services

That said, there are quite a few stumbling blocks you should watch out for when you want to become an independent recruiter. There are many right ways to go independent, but there are just as many wrong ways. Here are a few of the most common mistakes staffing industry entrepreneurs make.

1. You Try to Convince Clients to Come with You

If you’ve been working at an agency and developed strong relationships with some of the clients there, you may think it’s only natural to ask them to come with you.

Unfortunately, this can land you in legal trouble. Most employment contracts will contain a non-compete clause. If you change jobs, you’re not allowed to entice clients to follow you.

This restriction applies even when you start your own business. If you ask clients to follow you when you leave your current job, you could be in breach of contract.

The good news is that most of these non-compete clauses expire within a few years, but you should always check the terms of your contract. It can be difficult to maintain a relationship with a client you’re no longer working with, but once the non-compete period has expired, that client may be delighted to hear from you.

Be sure you have a pool of clients who aren’t drawn from your current client portfolio, and you’ll be in much better shape.

2. You Think You Have to Do It All

Another common mistake for staffing industry entrepreneurs is taking the “independent” label to heart. You may believe that as an independent recruiter, you have to do everything alone.

You may feel pressure to take care of every task in your new business. Financial concerns are often the reason recruiters take on tasks like payroll, marketing, and bookkeeping.

This can hinder your business’s growth. You may think you’re saving money, but the hours you spend on payroll can cost you more than you realize.

The good news is affordable help is often much closer than it seems. If you need help with marketing, talk to a marketing agency. If payroll or other administrative jobs are holding you back, talk to a back office service provider. They can take over these crucial roles and free up your time to look after your core responsibilities.

3. You Get Pricing Wrong

How much should you charge for your services? It’s a challenging question for anyone in the staffing industry. Even agencies sometimes struggle with balancing costs and their fees.

Many independent recruiters believe they have to undercut large agencies in order to win any clients. This often leads them to underprice their services, which makes it far more difficult to break even and keep the doors open.

Large agencies often achieve their prices using economies of scale. Since they’re large, they buy up more services, which drives down their costs. As an independent recruiter and small business owner, you don’t have this same advantage.

Revisit your pricing on a regular basis. You may need to charge more in order to turn a profit. You shouldn’t worry too much about this. Clients who want your expertise will pay a bit of a premium to work with you.

These are only a few of the common mistakes independent recruiters make when they set out on their journeys. If you avoid them, you’ll be well on your way to success.

7-questions-independent-recruiters-need-to-ask-before-placing-their-first-contract-roles

Topics: Independent Recruiters

Your Brief Guide to the Employment Standards Act in BC

Posted by Mai Dowdie

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Feb 20, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Your_Brief_Guide_to_the_Employment_Standards_Act_in_BCDoes your staffing firm have operations in British Columbia? Maybe you’re planning to expand into Canada’s westernmost province this year. If so, you’ll want to become familiar with the provisions of the Employment Standards Act.

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This guide will walk you through some of the basics to help you get started.


Minimum Wage and Overtime in BC

Like other provinces, BC mandates a minimum wage to be paid to all workers. The province has been slowly increasing the minimum with a series of scheduled changes. The most recent increase happened in June 2018.

The current minimum wage is $12.65 per hour. Liquor servers have a lower legislated wage, earning $11.40 per hour.

The Act also outlines minimum daily pay. Under this provision, a worker must be paid a minimum of two hours’ wages when they report to work. If they work less than two hours, they still must be paid for two hours. If you send them home or they need to stop work for a reason beyond their control, you must also meet the minimum daily pay requirement.

Overtime provisions are laid out in the Act. You must pay time-and-a-half after eight hours of work. Double time is paid after 12 hours worked in a day.

Workers who exceed 40 hours of work per week are also entitled to overtime pay. Only the first eight hours of a shift count towards the 40-hour workweek.


Breaks and Leaves

BC’s labour legislation contains rules pertaining to breaks. The Act states that employees are entitled to a 30-minute meal break if they work more than five consecutive hours. This break is unpaid unless the employee is required to work or be available.

You don’t need to provide coffee breaks, whether they’re paid or unpaid.

Annual vacation is also outlined. After one year of employment, an employee is entitled to two weeks of paid vacation. This increases to three weeks after five years of service.

Vacations must be scheduled in weekly periods unless the employee requests otherwise. Finally, vacation has to be taken within 12 months of being earned.

The rates of pay for vacation are four percent for employees with less than five years of service and six percent for those with more than five years’ service.

The Act also requires employers to provide unpaid leaves. These include pregnancy leave, parental leave, bereavement leave, and compassionate care leave.


Payroll Rules

The Government of British Columbia mandates that employers pay employees at least twice monthly. The Act also says pay periods can’t be longer than 16 days.

You must provide paper or electronic statements of pay to your employees. This should give information about hours worked, the rate of pay, earnings, and deductions. You’re required to keep payroll records for two years after an employee leaves the company to remain compliant.

You must pay employees in full within 48 hours of terminating them. If the employee quits, you have six days to make payment. This includes weekends and holidays.

You’ll also need to make payroll deductions, which are outlined in the Act. These include income tax, Employment Insurance, and Canadian Pension Plan deductions.

If you wish to deduct other amounts, such as a co-pay for benefits, you’ll need the employee to agree in writing.

The law prohibits you from docking an employee’s pay for losses, such as cash shortages or customers leaving without paying.


Holiday Pay

BC has 10 statutory holidays. Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, and Boxing Day are not statutory. To qualify for holiday pay, an employee must have been employed for at least 30 days and have worked at least 15 of those days.

These are just some of the basic provisions of the Employment Standards Act. The best thing you can do is to become familiar with it and partner with a back office provider who knows the ins and outs.

running-a-staffing-agency-the-who-what-when-why-and-how

Topics: Compliance and Legislation

5 US Payroll Pitfalls to Avoid

Posted by Mai Dowdie

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Feb 11, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_US_Payroll_Pitfalls_to_AvoidAdministering payroll can be one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. The task needs to be completed on a regular basis. You also know it needs to be done correctly. Otherwise, you could face steep fines, penalties,and an audit.

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You’re likely aware of the rules for administering payroll in Canada, but what about US payroll? If you’re hoping to expand across the border and offer services to clients with US employees, you’ll need to know the rules there too.

As with Canadian payroll, there are many pitfalls to avoid. Watch out for these ones, and you’ll have a much easier time administering payroll in the United States.


1. One Danger of US Payroll Is Misclassifying Employees

Employee misclassification is a hot topic south of the border. Canadian staffing agencies should be particularly aware of the differences in the definitions of “employee” and “contractor.”

You might be confused by talk of 1099 employees. These workers actually aren’t employees at all, which is why there’s so much confusion. They’re contractors, and you hire them much the same way you would here in Canada.

The IRS uses a test to determine if a worker is truly a contractor or an employee. Your responsibilities are much different in either case, and misclassification can be costly.


2. The State Equation

There are other intricacies involved in US payroll. One of the complicating factors is the differences among states.

Another complication can be deciding where to pay taxes. This can be challenging if you’rehiring employees who will travel for work, or if they work remotely for your clients. You’re supposed to pay your taxes in the state where the work was performed, not necessarily where the worker lives.

You’ll want to check up on the rules around payroll in the states where your clients operate. If you’re unsure, asking for help from an expert team is a great plan.


3. You Didn’t Tally All Your Costs

The largest component of US payroll is undoubtedly the hourly wages you pay to employees. There are other costs as well, some of which you may not think of immediately.

You’ll need to check in on the costs of Social Security and Medicare. Unemployment insurance rules vary from state to state, but almost every state has some form of insurance.

You’ll need to calculate the costs of each of these for each employee. If you don’t, you could find yourself in trouble when it’s time to pay US payroll taxes.


4. You Don’t Keep Good Records

In Canada, it’s a legal requirement to keep records. In the US, the situation is a little different, but you’ll still want to make sure your record-keeping is in order.

If you’re not keeping good records, you may miss notices sent to you by the IRS. If you fail to respond to a notice, the IRS may penalize you or even audit your agency. Having a paper trail is essential, even if you take steps to avoid being audited.

Keeping good records can help you respond to IRS notices in a timely way and reduce your risk of being audited.


5. You Make Late Deposits

The IRS has a very strict schedule for remitting payroll taxes. If you’re late, you could face steep penalties. You may also trigger an audit.

Late payments are common for a few reasons. One, you may not be using the most efficient payroll processes. Two, you might not have the cash on hand to pay your remittances when they’re due.

Better cash flow management and assistance with your US payroll activities can help you. If you need a hand delivering payroll in the US, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the experts.


the-ultimate-guide-for-independent-recruiters-looking-to-offer-contract-staffing-services

Topics: Payroll

5 Pricing Mistakes Independent Recruiters Should Avoid

Posted by Mai Dowdie

|

Jan 14, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_Pricing_Mistakes_Independent_Recruiters_Should_AvoidIndependent recruiters have both an exciting and a challenging market ahead of them. Many changes in the past few years have forced recruiters to change their tactics and become more competitive. Other changes have opened up more opportunities than ever before.

Download "Running a Staffing Agency: The Who, What, When, Why, and How" Guide

The staffing industry is currently in an immense growth phase in Canada, spurred by shifting employer and employee demands. Employees want more flexible workplaces, and employers want a more flexible workforce. Staffing industry professionals can help both sides achieve what they want.

One of the most challenging aspects of operating an independent recruiting business is setting prices for contract services. Going too high or too low can spell trouble, among other things. Here are a few of the most common pricing mistakes, and how you can avoid them in your business.


1. Independent Recruiters Can’t Go Too Low

As an independent recruiter, it might be tempting to set your prices at the lowest possible point to undercut your competition. If you offer the best price, it’s likely you’ll drum up the most business, right?

Unfortunately, going too low can cause problems. If your prices are too low, you may not be able to break even, let alone turn a profit. Your competition may have set their prices higher for a reason.

Another issue with low pricing is that it can turn potential clients away. They may feel you must offer poorer service or are unable to truly deliver what they need based on your prices.


2. Sky-High Prices Are a Problem Too

On the opposite end of the spectrum are independent recruiters who set their prices too high. They may bank on selling their clients superior services, but many will see the price tag and turn in the opposite direction.

High prices will limit the number of clients who will utilize your services. As you can see, setting prices for independent recruiters is truly a “just right” scenario.


3. You Didn’t Conduct Market Research

Pricing your services too high or too low often stems from another mistake. Many independent recruiters don’t research their market thoroughly enough. Good market research should reveal to you the “sweet spot” for pricing.

Market research includes surveying your clients and prospects about what they’re currently paying and how satisfied they are with their services. You can also ask what they’re willing to pay or what they believe they should pay for superior service. You can also discover what your competitors are charging.

From all this information, you can begin to determine the right pricing structure for your contract services.


4. You Don’t Offer a Sliding Scale

Another common mistake is charging all clients the same fee across the board. This means your large clients pay as much as your smaller clients, even though you may end up doing more work for those larger clients.

This often ends up driving certain clients away. Smaller clients may feel they’re paying too much if they’re being charged the same as larger clients, for example.

A sliding scale can help you meet every client’s unique needs more easily. Determining the right price is easier when you build flexibility into your pricing model.


5. You Use a Flat Rate

Do you charge the same price for every service you offer? Some independent recruiters do. This is often because they’ve just started offering contract staffing services, and they’re not quite sure how to price this service versus their permanent staffing solutions.

Again, your market research can help you find the right price for all the different services you offer.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to creating a lucrative independent recruiting business.


7-questions-independent-recruiters-need-to-ask-before-placing-their-first-contract-roles

Topics: Independent Recruiters

How to Improve Your Staffing Agency’s Recruiting Process in 2019

Posted by Mai Dowdie

|

Dec 24, 2018 9:00:00 AM

How_to_Improve_Your_Staffing_Agency_s_Recruiting_Process_in_2019The new year is right around the corner, and you’re likely turning your thoughts to how you can improve your business in the upcoming year. As you look back on 2018, identify both successes and failures. Knowing what worked and what didn’t can help you make better decisions as you look towards improving 2019.

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One of the targets for improvement in any staffing agency is likely the recruiting process. What can you do to improve your process in the year ahead?


Upgrade Your Staffing Agency Software

One of the first things you can do when it comes to improving the recruiting process is to upgrade the technology you’re using. If the applicant tracking system you’re using is out of date, it might be time to upgrade to a newer model.

Another thing you might want to consider is staffing agency software in general. This kind of program is designed specifically for staffing firms, so it meets your unique needs better than other products on the market.

The right software can help you streamline hiring.


Write Better Job Descriptions

Have you been finding the candidates you want to hire? If not, it might be time to consider the way you’re writing job descriptions. Focus on making the requirements of each job more specific, and be sure to use keywords.

You can work with your clients to craft better descriptions. They may have a better idea of what the role requires, while you have a better idea of how people will discover the posting.


Widen the Net

If you’ve been advertising your clients’ open positions in a few select places, hoping to draw in the right candidates, it might be time to spread the net a little wider.

You don’t need to post every position in every single location, but identifying more niche job boards could help you locate the right candidates.


Focus on the Candidate Experience

How quickly do you get back to your candidates once they’ve applied? Do you communicate with them throughout the process, or do they get radio silence from you?

Communication is just one step towards improving the candidate experience. There are other steps you can take as well. For example, you can work with returning candidates more closely to find more jobs they might be interested in.

Providing a better candidate experience will ensure even unsuccessful candidates tell others about you in a positive light.


Automate

As you move into 2019, consider automating more of the recruiting process. Your upgraded software can help you with this.

Automation has been a building trend over the last few years, and adopting it in 2019 can help you make the recruitment process faster and easier for your agency. Sorting through applications, contacting candidates, scheduling interviews, and even administering tests has never been easier.


Review and Measure the Process

Before you begin implementing changes, take stock of where you are right now. Review how you currently recruit. See how it stacks up against some of the goals you might have set for yourself in 2018 or goals you want to achieve in 2019.

How quickly do you place candidates? Where do you source most of your candidates? What job postings received the best response?

Knowing this information gives you benchmarks. It can also offer insight into where and how to improve. If you know which job postings performed the best, analyze them. What did you do that made them stand out?

As you implement changes, be sure to continue reviewing and measuring your success.


A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Staffing Agency

7 Factors That Are Stopping You from Growing Your Staffing Agency

Posted by Mai Dowdie

|

Nov 12, 2018 9:00:00 AM

7_Factors_That_Are_Stopping_You_From_Growing_Your_Staffing_AgencyIt’s no secret that the staffing industry is experiencing exponential growth in Canada right now. With both employers and employees seeking more flexible working arrangements, the gig economy has been growing, and staffing firms have been benefiting.

Download "Running a Staffing Agency: The Who, What, When, Why, and How" Guide

If you run your own staffing agency, you might be wondering why you have yet to reap the benefits of this massive amount of growth in the gig economy. It turns out, there could be a few things preventing you from efficiently growing your agency.

Take a look at your business. If you notice any of these seven factors, it’s time to make a change to start growing your staffing agency again.


1. Growing Your Staffing Agency Is Easier with a Back Office Service Provider

This is usually the most challenging factor when it comes to growing your staffing agency. You want to grow the agency and provide more services to your clients, but that means more administrative work, more payroll, and more compliance checks.

How are you supposed to get all of that done with so few hours in the day? Expanding your agency requires a little help from the professionals. Team up with a back office service provider to help ease the growing pains and simplify administrative tasks.


2. You Aren’t Sure Where to Source Candidates

Another thing that might be preventing you from growing your staffing agency is a lack of candidates. If you don’t have enough candidates to fill open positions for your clients, your clients will take their business elsewhere.

The job market right now is incredibly competitive, thanks to low unemployment rates. There are talent shortages in almost every industry. You need to know how to source candidates efficiently and effectively.


3. Your Marketing Plan Needs Work

Your staffing agency could benefit from some additional marketing, but you just don’t have the time to put into it. Perhaps you believe marketing is ineffective. Your business will sell itself.

There’s an easy fix for this issue. All you need is a marketing plan. If you already have one, but it’s not quite cutting it, take a look at some simple tweaks to help you get more out of it.


4. You Aren’t Using the Right Software

Another thing that may prevent you from growing your agency at the rate you want to is the software you use around the office. Are you using an applicant tracking system (ATS) to help with the screening and hiring process?

It could be time to invest in software designed specifically for staffing agencies. With the right software, you’ll be more prepared to meet the challenges of growing a staffing agency.


5. The Bank Won’t Give You Another Loan

Did you know bank loans aren’t always the right choice for financing your agency’s activities? It’s true. Financing can come from many different sources, and some of them are more flexible than a bank loan.

Check out your options and consider whether a bank loan is truly the right choice for your staffing agency. There may be other avenues open to you that can provide you with the resources you need to expand, such as payroll funding.


6. You Can’t Find Clients

Another challenge can be finding clients. Since the market is growing, there’s competition between many different staffing firms. Smaller agencies often struggle against larger, national firms.

The right combination of technology and people can help you find more clients and compete with larger firms.


7. You Need to Do Some Hiring

Do you have the people you need on staff? A growing staffing agency requires many helping hands. It could be time to hire a few more people to assist you.

These are all relatively common challenges to growing your staffing agency. Luckily, they’re all easily overcome.


running-a-staffing-agency-the-who-what-when-why-and-how

Topics: Staffing Agency

Why Staffing Agencies Need Back Office Support

Posted by Mai Dowdie

|

Oct 31, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Why_Staffing_Agencies_Need_Back_Office_SupportThe staffing industry has been growing by leaps and bounds in North America. It’s been necessary as the gig economy has shifted into high gear. Employers and employees alike are both realizing the benefits of more flexible work arrangements.

Download "Running a Staffing Agency: The Who, What, When, Why, and How" Guide

Staffing agencies are uniquely positioned to help serve the new needs of today’s flexible workforce, but even agencies need a helping hand themselves.

One of the most common ways for an agency to get a helping hand is to partner with a back office support provider.

What is back office support?

Back office support helps agencies manage all sorts of day-to-day administrative tasks, including payroll, accounting, HR, compliance, and more. Essentially, it takes the pressure off your existing staff and allows you to focus more on other activities, like recruiting and customer service.

Why consider back office support for your staffing agency? There are a few reasons you need this kind of support.


Smaller Staffing Agencies Need a Helping Hand

One of the reasons a staffing agency might need back office support is that the existing staff don’t have expertise in key areas. If you’re an independent recruiter, your own strengths likely lie in the areas of recruitment, hiring, or client services.

You’re probably not an expert in payroll or compliance. In fact, perhaps no member of your staff has the skills you need in these areas.

Back office support solves this issue for staffing agencies. Whether you need assistance in the arena of accounting and payroll or you could use a helping hand with HR or compliance activities, partnering with a back office support provider could be the solution.


You Can Offer More Services

One of the biggest challenges for smaller staffing agencies and independent recruiters has been competing with larger staffing firms. These firms have ample access to personnel and resources, and they often seem to have the market locked down for temporary staffing services.

By getting back office support for your staffing business, you can offer more services. Many smaller firms and independent recruiters only have the resources to offer permanent staffing services. Temporary staffing requires a different set of skills, resources, and expertise, which you may not have access to.

With back office support, you’ll have access to the resources you need to offer these additional services.


Your Clients Will Be Happier

Another reason to enlist the help of a back office support provider is to provide better customer service to your clients. This is probably one of the reasons you offer the services you do or you want to expand your service offerings.

Getting back office support can help staffing agencies meet their clients’ expectations and offer them more services.

Back office support doesn’t have to mean expanded service offerings. In many cases, it improves the flow of operations, ensuring everything is completed on time and accurately. Since it also frees up your time, you can work on sourcing candidates for your clients more quickly and placing job seekers sooner.


Your Candidates Will Be Happier

Your clients aren’t the only ones who benefit when you use back office support for your staffing agency. Your candidates will also enjoy some benefits. One of the major ones is payroll, since the right back office support ensures your payroll is finished on time and accurately.

You’ll also be able to work on placing candidates sooner and at more appropriate positions. Job candidates may also have a better experience with you, increasing the likelihood they’ll come back for more jobs through you.


Get a Helping Hand Today

Back office support is clearly advantageous for everyone in the staffing industry, not just staffing agencies. If you’re ready to see what a back office support provider can do for you and your business, get in touch with the experts today.


running-a-staffing-agency-the-who-what-when-why-and-how

Topics: Back Office Service Provider

4 Smart Reasons to Become an Independent Recruiter

Posted by Mai Dowdie

|

Oct 29, 2018 9:00:00 AM

4_Smart_Reasons_to_Become_an_Independent_RecruiterThe staffing industry in Canada has been growing quickly. Employers and employees alike are realizing the benefits of flexible workforces. They’re taking full advantage of everything the gig economy has to offer.

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

Given this situation, you might wonder what the best role is in the staffing industry. Yes, you could go work for a large staffing agency. In fact, you might already be working for someone else, either at a large agency or at a smaller firm.

Have you thought about striking out on your own? There are many good reasons to become an independent recruiter. Here are a few smart reasons you’ll want to consider as you weigh your career options.


1. You Get to Be Your Own Boss When You Become an Independent Recruiter

This is the number-one reason people choose to become an independent recruiter. Instead of working for someone else, you get to be the one in charge. This means you have more leverage and decision-making power.

While being an independent recruiter has its challenges, it also means you can easily decide the business direction. If you want to specialize in a particular area or you want to take the business in another direction to better serve your clients, you can.


2. You Want to Offer the Best Possible Customer Service

Many clients have been turning to large staffing agencies because they offer the best price or access to a larger pool of job candidates. In some cases, the large agencies are better able to offer a wider array of services.

If you ask around, however, very few will claim the large agencies provide the best customer service. In fact, most clients would actually prefer to work with an independent recruiter. Independent recruiters usually work closely with their clients, and their customer service is often considered the best in the industry.

The number-one reason clients work with large agencies is due to their ability to provide more services. When they need the best candidate for the job or a permanent hire, however, most will turn to an independent.

If you love providing the best possible customer service to your clients, then the decision to become an independent recruiter could be the right move.


3. You Can Compete with Large Agencies

One of the big drawbacks to becoming an independent recruiter is the need to compete with the large staffing agencies. You may believe you can’t actually compete with them. Many independent recruiters have lost business to these agencies over the years.

That being said, clients still prefer independent recruiters, and they’d gladly work with you if you could provide the same services. The good news is that you can easily offer the same services to your client.

Working with a third party vendor for back-office and administrative support can help you offer services like fixed-term contracts to your clients.


4. Your Agency Can Grow the Way You Want

When you work for someone else, you have relatively little control over the direction of the business.

When you become an independent recruiter, you get to decide the best way to grow your business. Is it specializing? Perhaps it’s branching out and offering more services, or maybe it’s focusing more closely on providing excellent customer service to a few clients.

If you become an independent recruiter, you’ll be able to serve the staffing industry and its clients the way you see fit.


Unlock a Lucrative Revenue  Stream With Contract Staffing

Topics: Independent Recruiters

4 Strategies to Reduce Administrative Costs at Your Staffing Agency

Posted by Mai Dowdie

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Sep 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

4_Strategies_to_Reduce_Administrative_Costs_at_Your_Staffing_AgencyRunning a staffing firm can be a lucrative opportunity. With a stable base of reliable clients, great job candidates, and a growing demand for flexible staffing solutions, you can continue growing your agency.

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One of the biggest challenges facing staffing agencies today is the cost of administration. You’re likely responsible for a number of different HR tasks, including hiring, payroll, and benefits administration.

How do you reduce administrative costs at your staffing agency?

There are several different strategies you can use, including getting back office support, streamlining your processes, reducing redundancies, automating tasks, and more. Take a look at these strategies and apply some of them to your business.


1. Back Office Support Is the Best Solution for a Staffing Agency

If you run a staffing agency, you’ll likely want to check into back office support. These third-party partners can help you administer all sorts of tasks, from payroll to benefits.

Since they’re experts, they’re able to complete these tasks quickly and easily. They can also offer you expert advice.

Since they help many different clients as well, they have all the infrastructure in place. Look for a provider who offers a total back office solution instead of piecing together services from several different providers.


2. Use Specialized Software

Specialized software will help you streamline your processes. Generic software is often advertised as being flexible, but it won’t always allow you to complete certain tasks without complicated workarounds.

Those can take time, and as the old saying goes, time is money.


3. Automate Where You Can

Many of the time-intensive tasks your staff perform are also rote tasks. They don’t require a lot of talent or keen insight, but they do take time. Data entry is a prime example of this. It’s easy enough to do, but if you have lots of data to enter, it will take time.

If you can, automate tasks like data entry. Even some tasks related to hiring, such as scanning job applications for keywords, can be automated. This can help you streamline your process by selecting candidates who meet certain criteria.

Compliance is another area you might consider automating. Monitoring can take a large amount of time. By automating the task, you can free up your time for other things, while still keeping a close eye on the legal framework.


4. Provide Training for Staff

At first glance, offering training for your staff may seem like an additional cost. The skills they learn through additional training will often balance out any training expense.

First, your staff may learn skills they can then apply to their everyday work. It can help them become more efficient and productive workers.

As an added bonus, your staff will likely remain more engaged and motivated if you provide them with opportunities to learn new skills. Engaged workers are less likely to leave, reducing turnover and hiring costs. They also improve their productivity.

If you’re hoping to reduce administrative costs in your staffing agency, try one of these strategies on for size.

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Topics: Staffing Agency

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