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

4 Strategies to Reduce Administrative Costs at Your Staffing Agency

Posted by Mai Dowdie


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.

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

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.

Things You Need to Know When Starting a Temp Staffing Agency

Topics: Staffing Agency

Civic vs. Statutory Holidays: What Staffing Agencies Need to Know

Posted by Mai Dowdie


Sep 5, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Civic_vs_Statutory_Holidays_What_Staffing_Agencies_Need_to_KnowStaffing agencies need to pay attention to a number of different factors related to payroll, including regulations about remittances and deductions, overtime, and more. Holidays are another important consideration for those administering payroll and helping clients staff their worksites.

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

Staffing Agencies Need to Know What a Statutory Holiday Is

Statutory holidays are also known as general or public holidays. They’re legislated by the federal or provincial government. Some of Canada’s holidays are legislated at the federal level.

There are five nationwide statutory holidays throughout the year. These are New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day, and Christmas Day. In addition, there are several statutory holidays offered to federal employees. These include Easter Monday, Thanksgiving, and Remembrance Day.

Statutory holidays can also be legislated by provincial governments. Many provincial stat holidays mirror the federal ones, including Thanksgiving Day, Victoria Day, and the August Civic Holiday.

Other Provincial Holidays Abound

In addition to the nationwide statutory holidays and the provincial holidays mirroring the federal list, there are also a number of provincial and territorial holidays. These are not legislated in every province, and they’re not always called the same name.

For example, Ontario schedules the third Monday of February as “Family Day.” Other provinces take this day as a statutory holiday as well, but it may have other names. In Manitoba, for example, it’s known as “Louis Riel Day,” and in Prince Edward Island, it’s “Islander Day.” BC also has a family day, but it occurs on the second Monday of February.

What Is a Civic Holiday?

The other thing staffing agencies need to know is what a civic holiday is. The legal definition is any holiday for which employers are obliged to offer holiday pay. These holidays are legally recognized.

The term “civic holiday” is also used to describe the August long weekend. Not all provinces and territories offer the first Monday of August as a holiday, such as Yukon and Quebec. In BC, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Nunavut, this holiday is a statutory holiday.

In Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Prince Edward Island, the August Civic Holiday isn’t a statutory holiday. This means staffing agencies aren’t obligated to offer this holiday to employees, although many employers opt to. Many businesses remain open nonetheless.

Since the Civic Holiday isn’t a statutory holiday in some provinces, it also isn’t technically a civic holiday under the legal definition either.

What Are Optional Holidays?

The August Civic Holiday in Ontario and Alberta is a good example of an optional holiday. Employers are under no obligation to offer either the day off or holiday pay, although many choose to.

Throughout the provinces and territories, there are many optional holidays. Staffing agencies will need to check with their clients to see if they offer any of these holidays to their workers. Remembrance Day is an optional holiday in Ontario. In Prince Edward Island, the Civic Holiday, Thanksgiving Day, and Boxing Day are all optional.

For staffing agencies, it’s important to know which holidays are optional and which are statutory in each individual province. You’ll also need to know which optional holidays your clients give to staff, and you’ll need to understand the rules around scheduling shifts and paying employees for working on a holiday.

Take a look at the rules where you operate and stay one step ahead on holiday pay and scheduling.


Topics: Compliance and Legislation

4 Business Support Offerings for Staffing Firms

Posted by Mai Dowdie


Aug 29, 2018 9:00:00 AM

4-Business-Support-Offerings-for-Staffing-Firms-compressorRunning a business is no walk in the park. It takes time, effort, and ingenuity. Staffing firms are no exception to this rule, as you already know. You’re constantly moving from task to task, ensuring the business keeps running smoothly. You may sometimes wonder what kind of assistance exists for companies like yours.

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

Back office support is some of the most valuable assistance available to a staffing firm today. What is back office support?

Support for the back office includes a variety of administrative tasks, such as human resources, payroll, compliance monitoring, and benefits administration. It can also lean to the financial side of things, helping you secure funding to keep cash flowing or assisting you with collections on accounts receivable. Moreover, back office support provides you with an expert team you can rely on for great advice.

What can back office support truly do for staffing firms? Take a look at some of these business support offerings, and consider which could help in your day-to-day operations.

1. Staffing Firms Can Get Help with Payroll

Payroll is a time-intensive task for most businesses, staffing firms included. While this task may seem straightforward at first, it can become quite complex, particularly if you offer temporary staffing services. In turn, mistakes in payroll can have some serious consequences, from penalties from the Canada Revenue Agency to audits and more. 

Getting business support could mean getting assistance with your payroll activities. A support provider can help you administer payroll quickly and correctly. This task is shifted from your own HR team, so they can focus on other crucial tasks in the business. At the same time, payroll is completed correctly by knowledgeable staff.

2. Compliance Monitoring Can Help You Stay Ahead

Speaking of time-intensive tasks, how much do you dedicate to compliance monitoring in your business? With changing legal frameworks in almost every province in the past couple of years, you may have decided to spend more time and effort on your compliance.

Your in-house staff is already so busy. Why add to the workload? Compliance monitoring is time-intensive and ongoing, so you may quickly see it go by the wayside as more important tasks take over.

Shift your monitoring activities to a support provider to free up your own staff. While they move on to other tasks, you can rest assured someone is keeping an eye on this important aspect of your business.

3. Get Access to Expert Advice for Staffing Firms

No matter how long you’ve been in business, there are no doubt times you have questions about what the right move is for your staffing firm. Should you expand into another province or open another location nearby? Is it time to restructure? What could you do to save more on administration tasks?

Back office support providers are staffed by teams of knowledgeable people with experience in the industry. They can provide their own insights and offer you advice as you consider your options. You can rest assured you’re making the right choice by getting outside insight.

4. Get a Helping Hand with the Financials

Some back office support providers can assist with the financial side of things as well. They may be able to provide access to capital, such as a service such as payroll factoring.

This alleviates many of the financial headaches staffing firms encounter. It can help you manage cash flow more effectively, while assisting you in collecting on your invoices sooner rather than later. 

Back office support is clearly an advantage for staffing firms. Think about the services offered and how they could benefit your business. If you’re still unsure, talk to a provider today and discover how they could help your business.


Topics: Back Office Service Provider

The Importance of Client Site Safety Inspections prior to Placing Temporary Employees

Posted by Mai Dowdie


Aug 6, 2018 9:00:00 AM

The-Importance-of-Client-Site-Safety-Inspections-prior-to-Placing-Temporary-Employees--compressorWorkplace safety is a topic of concern for many people. Employees, their families and friends, and even the general public are concerned about safer places to work. Governments are also concerned with the subject. They create legislation governing workplace safety for many different industries. 

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Employers should also be concerned about workplace safety. After all, accidents and injuries may damage their reputation, increase their workers’ compensation obligations, or even end with a lawsuit. 

As a staffing agency owner, you too should be concerned about safety in the workplace. It’s why client site safety inspections should be a priority.

What Is a Client Site Safety Inspection?

A client site safety inspection is a safety inspection you or your officers carry out at a client site. Your personnel or an independent, neutral third party you hire will arrive at the client’s site and inspect it with an eye to safety

This should be done prior to placing any temporary workers on the site. It’s a good idea to conduct a safety inspection for every potential new client prior to working with them. You may also want to carry out follow-up inspections on a regular basis.

Why You Need to Do It

In many cases, the staffing agency acts as the formal employer for temporary workers. Your name will be noted down, and if anything should happen to a worker while they’re working on a client’s site, you could be held responsible. 

While it’s the client’s job to ensure the site meets all safety standards and regulations, you can’t assume all clients will ensure their sites are up to date with safety regulations.

It’s imperative you take steps to protect the people working with your agency. Performing a site inspection prior to placing temporary workers is of vital importance.

What Happens If You Don’t?

If you don’t investigate a client’s site prior to placing temporary workers, you may be unknowingly placing your people in unsafe conditions. Temporary workers often feel they don’t have the right to refuse unsafe work, so they may not report unsafe conditions on a client’s site.

This increases the risk of someone being injured on site. While it’s impossible to avoid all workplace accidents, due diligence must be done to ensure all necessary steps to prevent such accidents and injuries were taken.

As the staffing agency owner, you may think only the client would be held responsible. After all, it’s their site and they were the ones who failed to ensure compliance with workplace safety regulations.

It is up to you, however, to ensure the environments you send temporary workers are safe for those workers. You are also liable if an accident or injury occurs. Completing an inspection is important for you and your workers.

What If a Client’s Site Is Unsafe?

If you conduct a client site safety inspection and find it to be unsafe, you have a few options. You can provide to the client a list of things that need to be corrected and steps to be taken. Insist these changes be made before you place a temporary worker with this client.

If this is a new client, you may decline to work with them. This may be the right option if the client indicates an unwillingness to make the necessary changes.

Keeping your temporary workers safe and healthy is important to you. A client site safety inspection is one step toward this goal.

Things You Need to Know When Starting a Temp Staffing Agency

Topics: Compliance and Legislation

4 Resources Your Staffing Agency Should Invest In

Posted by Mai Dowdie


Jul 16, 2018 9:00:00 AM

4-Resources-Your-Staffing-Agency-Should-Invest-In-compressorRunning a staffing agency is no walk in the park. In a crowded market, it can be difficult to stand out from your competitors. With Canadian unemployment at a 40-year low and talent shortages in many industries, clients are turning to your agency, but even you may be having difficulty sourcing candidates. 

Download a Staffing CEO's Guide to Online Marketing

These challenges are nothing you can’t overcome, and part of the reason you’re in this industry is that you like to be challenged. Growing your business is a high priority, and you have plenty of ideas for how you can reach your goals. 

Some resources will help you continue to grow strategically. If you’re hoping to continue expanding your company, consider investing in these four resources.

1. A Back Office Solution

Every business comes with an administration side. While this is important for keeping the lights on and the business running, it may not be the part of the business that truly holds your interest. Administering payroll, doing the books, and other paperwork-based tasks are often time-consuming, sometimes tedious, and occasionally a bit dull. 

Why put your efforts here when you could be focusing on revenue-generating activities? A back office solution is the answer you’ve been looking for. Whether it’s implementing new software or partnering with a team of experts, a back office solution can free up your time and allow you to focus on the activities that truly need your attention. 

You’ll be able to focus on growing the business and reduce the cost of your back office operations in one fell swoop. It’s a surefire recipe for growth.

2. Online Marketing

You’re already aware of the importance of marketing for your staffing agency. Marketing has moved increasingly online in the last few years, however, and many businesses across many industries have struggled to keep up. Your agency may be one of them. 

Some business owners have hesitated to invest in online marketing because many of the tactics are experimental. Some haven’t yet been proven to work. Nonetheless, there are still many different online marketing tactics that do work, and you should be investing in them if you want to grow your business. 

Why is online marketing so important? Job searching has largely moved online. You’ll find both job seekers and potential clients online now. If you want to keep growing your business, you need to be where these people are.

3. Training and Development

How much training and development opportunity do you provide to your own staff? One of the top reasons for leaving a company is a perceived lack of opportunity. If your employees are bored or feel they’re going nowhere, they’re more likely to leave.

You rely on knowledgeable, well-trained staff to keep operations running smoothly, so reducing turnover is likely high on your priority list. Consider offering a training and development program for your employees.

Training is vital in an era of constant technological change. If you plan to upgrade your software or introduce new solutions into the back office, you’ll want to ensure you’re helping your employees stay up to date with their skills by providing training.

4. Recruiting Software and Solutions

Another resource staffing agencies should consider investing in is recruiting software and solutions designed especially for those in the industry. You might consider adopting an applicant tracking system (ATS) or another program designed for general use by hiring managers in other companies.

You should always ask yourself if these sorts of solutions truly meet your needs. Specialized software solutions for staffing agencies do exist, and they’ll likely suit your needs better.

These are some of the most important resources a staffing agency can invest in. Consider adopting some of them for your firm, and watch your potential for growth expand.


Are You Using Staffing Agency Software Yet?

Posted by Mai Dowdie


Jun 27, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Are-You-Using-Staffing-Agency-Software-Yet-compressorTechnology has revolutionized almost every aspect of daily life. It’s most certainly changed the way people do business. Social media has connected people around the world and changed the way marketing and sales people carry out their campaigns. Cellphones have made it possible to track your position on a running trail or to answer an email from halfway around the world.

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

Most businesses adopt new technology because it has advantages for them. It may help them automate certain tasks, allowing their staff to turn to other, more important issues. It can assist you with gathering data and even analyzing patterns in order to make better business decisions. It can certainly increase efficiency and improve productivity. In short, technology can change the way you do things for the better.

With that in mind, have you adopted staffing agency software yet?

What Is Staffing Agency Software?

Staffing agency software is exactly what it sounds like. It’s software designed specifically for use by staffing agencies like yours. Unlike generic software or software developed for use in other industries, it is configured with the needs of staffing agencies in mind. 

Staffing agency software can assist you with every step of the staffing process. It often includes an applicant tracking system (ATS) to help you keep track of all of your candidates easily. It will assist you with reviewing applications, communicating with candidates, and speeding up the hiring process. It also has reporting and analytical capabilities.

Make Hiring Faster and Easier

Perhaps the biggest benefit staffing agency software can offer your business is a faster, easier hiring process. Instead of tracking every candidate by hand or in spreadsheets, the ATS allows you to keep better track of applicants. From there, you can make use of the software’s capabilities to sort through applications. Finding the best people in the pool has never been easier. 

You can then quickly assess candidates and move right on to the interview process. You can also pass candidates’ applications along to your clients for review. The program may even be able to help you administer any tests to be completed prior to a hiring decision. 

Once the decision to hire has been made, you may also make use of the software to assist with onboarding, payroll, and more and keep track of post-hire activities as needed.

Increase Your Flexibility

You want to be able to respond to your clients’ needs quickly. After all, they depend on you for quality workers to fill positions. Some clients have needs that change on an almost daily basis, so you need to be ready to assist at any time. Staffing agency software can assist you in achieving this kind of speedy turnaround, filling positions for your clients sooner rather than later.

Staffing agency software allows your own employees to free up their time and become more responsive to clients. Automating tasks helps your team members respond to clients quickly and easily. It also reduces their workload, making them more available when your clients need them.

You can even maintain a smaller staff when you use staffing agency software. This is good news for small agencies where the limited number of staff members may present an impediment to growth. When your staff is more efficient, you’ll discover more room and potential for growth.

Better Reporting and Analytics

Reports and analytics are important to any business these days, including staffing agencies. You want to know how you’re performing, so you must measure some performance goals. Staffing agency software can give you better insight into your own operations.

If you haven’t started using staffing agency software yet, it’s time to consider adopting it. It has so many advantages for staffing agencies, it’s almost essential to stay competitive.

A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Staffing Agency

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?

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

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

Is Your Payroll Processing Sustainable?

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

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

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

Do You Have a Talent Pipeline?

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

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

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

Is Your Back Office Administration Wasteful?

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

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

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

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Topics: Staffing Agency

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