The Staffing Edge Blog

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

Shannon Dowdall

Shannon Dowdall is a business development specialist at The Staffing Edge. She brings 10 years of extensive customer service and sales experience to her role. Shannon studied business marketing at Sheridan College and proceeded to work in the hustle of the fitness industry as a sales and marketing manager selling commercial fitness equipment. Passionate about sales and marketing and having grown up in the recruitment industry, the move to The Staffing Edge was a great fit. Shannon enjoys working with new potential members to help them discover how we can help put them on the path to prosperity and focus on the future, without all the worry that comes with owning a staffing company. In her free time, she enjoys being active outdoors by playing soccer, skiing and snowboarding, and hiking. The Staffing Edge works seamlessly with our members and Shannon makes sure all new members are equipped with the information and tools they need to move forward with a “business edge.”

Recent Posts by Shannon Dowdall

5 Clear-Cut Signs It’s Time for Back Office Support

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Feb 25, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_Clear_Cut_Signs_It_s_Time_for_Back_Office_SupportYour staffing agency is a busy place these days. You’re growing, and you want to stay on that path.

Download "How Small Firms Can Compete with the Top Staffing Agencies" Whitepaper

There may be a few things holding you back. One of them might be the state of your back office. The back office most often takes care of the administrative functions in a business, such as handling payroll or administering benefits.

While these tasks are important, they’re also a distraction from your core business. When you’re busy focusing on HR, payroll, or compliance, you’re neglecting your candidate pipeline or cutting back on time spent looking for new clients and winning new contracts. It might be time for back office support.

How do you know if it’s time to get administrative support? These five clear-cut signs can tell you.

1. Your Staff Is Asking for Back Office Support

One of the best indicators you need support in the back office is that your staff is overworked and asking for help. They may feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks on their plate, or they may be falling behind on payroll every week. Whatever the case, they know they need help, and they’re asking you to provide it.

You have a few options in this situation. One would be to hire more staff members, such as a payroll administrator or compliance expert. You can also hire a provider to get the expert help you need in all areas immediately.

For many staffing agencies, working with the back office provider will be the best way to get the help they need. The provider’s assistance is scalable, which means it can grow as you need it. For most, it’s also the more economical option.

2. You’ve Received Payroll Fines or Penalties

Payroll is one of the biggest tasks you face in your organization.

If you’ve received penalties from your federal revenue agency in the last 12 months, it’s time to consider back office support. The expert team will help you administer payroll correctly and on time for every pay period.

3. Compliance Is a Concern

Payroll penalties are a subset of a larger problem for staffing agencies. Compliance extends far beyond making sure deductions are withheld correctly and payroll remittances are sent in on time.

Compliance can also mean monitoring the labour legislation where you operate and updating your policies as needed. It may mean you need to conduct more health and safety training, create a worker classification program, or revise wage scales and leaves.

The staff at a back office support provider can help you monitor the situation and make the adjustments you need to stay compliant.

4. Your Technology Is Out of Date

Another common sign you need support in the back office is your own technology. How recently have you upgraded your ATS or other software? If what you’re using looks like it runs on Windows 98, it’s definitely time to upgrade.

A provider can help you modernize the technology you’re using. Most providers offer state-of-the-art proprietary software for the front and back office, which you can leverage as their client.

5. You Need Help with Benefits Administration

Benefits include everything from vacation to public holiday pay to healthcare. Compliance is a concern in this area, and you need to make sure you’re staying on top of administration as well.

A back office provider can help you stay on top of all of your obligations in this area, ensuring you meet the stringent and ever-evolving regulations.

Have you noticed any of these signs in your business? If so, it’s time to talk to a back office provider about getting the support you need.


Topics: Back Office Service Provider

Is Your Application Process Costing You Top Talent?

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Feb 4, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Is_Your_Application_Process_Costing_You_Top_TalentToday’s job market is firmly in the candidates’ favour. Low unemployment has been the story across both Canada and the United States. In Canada, some industries are even facing talent shortages that have been growing for years.

Download "7 Questions Independent Recruiters Need to Ask before Placing Their  FIrst Contract Roles" Whitepaper

In this environment, it’s tough for staffing agencies like you to find top talent. Competition for the best of the best is fierce, so you’ve been working on better compensation packages and job offers to help you attract the right talent.

If you’re still not finding the people you need, it could be time to take a look at the application process itself.

Make It Easy to Apply

Many employers use outdated or complex application systems that make it harder for candidates to apply. If you ask job candidates to upload their resumes and then add all their information to a form anyway, there’s a good chance they’ll stop part of the way through.

Some systems are also difficult to use because they’re not up to date or compatible with certain browsers.

You might think having candidates email their resumes or even mail them to you is an easier solution.

The easiest solutions are actually one- or two-step web applications. LinkedIn offers inApply, which allows candidates to send their profiles to you with a single click. Other applications might allow candidates to upload their resumes and have fields auto-filled by artificial intelligence that reads the application.

In either case, you can likely make the application process easier.

Making Job Posts More Visible

Another problem you may be experiencing is getting the word out to candidates in the first place. If the only place you post about your open positions is your company website, you may not be reaching your target audience.

Be sure to take advantage of other services, including social media. You’ll probably find more top talent if you use a wider network to get the word out to job seekers.

Your advertisements should all direct back to your application process.

Making the Most of Mobile

Another thing you should be doing is using mobile to your advantage. Mobile has surpassed desktop as the most common way to access the internet. The share of people accessing the internet via mobile keeps growing.

People of all ages use mobile to search for jobs. They may use a specific app, or they may be accessing your application site on their phones or tablets. Whatever the case may be, you need to be prepared.

If you have your own application form or site, it may be time to upgrade it. Mobile-friendly sites are easier to navigate, and they rank better on Google.

How Many Questions Do You Ask?

Another thing you should keep in mind is the length of your application. If you require more than an upload of a resume, you should make sure you’re getting the information you really need.

It’s important to conduct some screening, but if your application process includes pages and pages of questions, you could be turning away top talent without knowing it. To simplify your application process, be sure you ask only those questions you truly need to ask on the application.

Be Sure to Communicate

One more way you can make applying for a job with you easier is by improving your communication. Consider adopting an AI chatbot to help candidates apply if they’re having trouble.

You can also use AI or automated responses to thank applicants for taking the time to apply. This can help improve the candidate experience.

Adjustments like these can improve your application process. When it’s easy to apply, more of the right candidates will take the time to submit applications.

A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Recruiting

5 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job and Become an Independent Recruiter

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Nov 5, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5_Signs_It_s_Time_to_Quit_Your_Job_and_Become_an_Independent_RecruiterWhether you’re just setting out in the staffing industry or you’ve been working for a staffing firm for some time, you might be considering branching out on your own. The idea of becoming an independent recruiter appeals to you.

Download "7 Questions Independent Recruiters Need to Ask before Placing Their  FIrst Contract Roles" Whitepaper

What skills are required to be a recruiter?

In addition to the technical skills of recruitment, such as knowing how to use software and social media, and in addition to understanding the job market, you’ll want to master a few skills before you strike out on your own. Time management, communication skills, negotiation skills, and people skills are must-have talents.

You might also want to work on your marketing and sales skills, along with other soft skills like problem-solving. You’ll be relying on your own know-how and talent far more when you strike out on your own.

How do you know you’re ready to go the independent route? These five signs will tell you it’s time to quit your job and take the next step.

1. You Want to Be an Independent Recruiter

This is probably the first good sign you should be considering the road to independence in the staffing industry.

Becoming an independent recruiter takes commitment and motivation. If you don’t want to become an independent, then you shouldn’t consider taking the next steps. If you’re prepared to work hard, learn new things, and build your business from the ground up, you might be ready.

Of course, wanting to become an independent isn’t necessarily enough. That’s why you should look for some of these other signs.

2. You Have a Large Network of Contacts

You might think that, once you strike out on your own, you’ll be able to keep working with certain clients. You’ll need to convince them to switch, but so long as you can convince one or two people, you’ll have a great foundation.

Keep in mind most employment contracts have non-compete clauses, which means you won’t be able to take clients with you. For that reason, you’ll want to make sure you have a large network of potential clients, which can be people you’ve never worked with but have met at conferences or been introduced to by clients.

3. You Understand the Inner Workings of an Agency

Another sign you’re ready to take the leap and become an independent recruiter is that you understand the back office side of a staffing firm. Many people believe they can successfully run their own businesses with nothing but recruiting skills.

Once you’re working on your own, you’ll need to do things like monitor compliance, seek out new candidates and clients, perform your own client safety checks, and more. Knowing where to turn to get assistance with these tasks and more is important.

4. You Understand the Job Market

If your understanding of the job market is relatively shallow, you’ll likely want to hang tight at your current job. Independent recruiters have to be attuned to trends within the job market in their area and across the country.

Right now, recruiters who understand the gig economy and the talent shortages in certain industries will have a distinct advantage over those who fail to see the opportunities and challenges created by this environment.

5. You Have the Experience

How long have you been at your current job? How long have you been working in the staffing industry? The longer you’ve been working for someone, the more likely it is you have the experience you need to make it as an independent recruiter.

If you notice any or all of these signs, it might be time to quit your job and consider the next step. Independent recruitment businesses are booming right now, and it might just be the best career move you’ll ever make.


Topics: Independent Recruiters

5 Reasons Candidates Aren’t Returning Your Calls

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Jul 23, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5-Reasons-Candidates-Aren’t-Returning-Your-Calls--compressorFinding qualified candidates to fill positions with your clients is a challenge, especially in this environment. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 40 years, and industries across the country are facing talent shortages.

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

Staffing firms are also feeling the squeeze. Not only are you competing with your competition to find the best candidates, you’re also competing with other employers who are trying to hire the best and brightest. It can be frustrating when candidates stop returning your calls.

There are numerous reasons candidates may not be calling you back about job opportunities. One of the most common reasons is they’ve found full-time employment and haven’t let you know yet. Other reasons may not be as benign. Here are a few of them.

1. They’re Working with Your Competition

The staffing firm industry is competitive at the best of times. Low unemployment and a high work scarcity situation only make it more competitive. Many smaller staffing firms struggle to keep up with their larger competitors.

It’s quite possible some candidates aren’t returning your calls because they’re working with one of your competitors. Take a moment to evaluate what you offer to candidates that your competitors can’t or don’t offer. Think about how you can better serve candidates to keep them coming back.

2. They’re Not Interested in the Opportunity

Some candidates can be rather passive when it comes to turning down job opportunities. Rather than returning the call and saying, “I’m not interested,” they’ll express their disinterest by not returning the call.

If the candidate doesn’t return your calls on a regular basis, it could be time to check in and see if they still want to work with you. Ask them about the types of job opportunities they’d be interested in. If you still can’t get a hold of the candidate, it’s time to stop calling.

3. You Have the Wrong Number

It’s quite possible a candidate isn’t returning your calls because you have the wrong number. If this is the case, hopefully you get an early indication, such as the wrong name on the voicemail or something similar.

Candidates sometimes change their numbers, especially if they happen to be using a mobile phone. A sudden move or change of address can also result in a change in phone number. If you can, try contacting the candidate another way. An email or LinkedIn message may have a better chance of getting through, and you can then confirm the candidate’s contact information.

4. They’re Not Sure Who’s Calling

With so many scam calls going on, you can’t blame people for being a little suspicious. In the age of call display, many people let unrecognized numbers go to voicemail. If you need to leave a message, be sure to clearly identify who you are and why you’re calling. Keep the message as short as possible.

If you can, ask candidates to program your number into their phones. That way, it will never come up as an unknown number. They’ll know who’s calling and they’ll know to pick up.

5. Your Message Isn’t Compelling

“Give me a call back” isn’t always the best way to get candidates to call you back in this day and age. Many of them want a good reason to call you back. If you can, mention what kind of opportunity you have for them or which client is looking. Candidates are more likely to call back about job opportunities they’re interested in or companies they want to work for.

A compelling message is almost guaranteed to get most candidates to return the call.

If you can’t get a candidate on the line and they’re not returning your calls, it could be time to try another contact method as well. All in all, keep trying until a candidate tells you not to bother, especially if you’ve got the perfect opportunity.

A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Recruiting

4 Reasons Your Candidates Aren’t Coming Back for More Jobs

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Jul 2, 2018 9:00:00 AM

4-Reasons-Your-Candidates-Arent-Coming-Back-for-More-Jobs-compressorStaffing agencies are somewhat like any other employer. They look to find the best and most talented people, and then retain them. The difference is you send your candidates out to other clients to complete jobs. In the end, the candidate has the opportunity to keep working with you and take on more assignments.

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

There are many reasons candidates may not be coming back to your staffing agency after one or two jobs with you. Some of those reasons are quite understandable. Some people may take temporary employment to help them fill in a gap after graduation or between semesters at school. When they find permanent work or return to school, they won’t be back for more jobs with your agency.

There are some other reasons you may want to pay close attention to. Here are a few of them.

1. You Didn’t Provide a Good Candidate Experience

There has been a lot of recent talk about the candidate experience. Canadian unemployment is at its lowest point in 40 years, and many industries are experiencing talent shortages. As a result, competition for job candidates has increased. In turn, business owners, including staffing agency owners, need to pay more attention to the candidate experience they provide. 

If a candidate found it frustrating to work with you, for almost any reason, chances are they won’t come back. If they found communication was slow, thought it took too long to get a job, or didn’t like the job they did receive, they’ll opt to look elsewhere. 

There are steps you can take to improve the candidate experience. By focusing on a better candidate experience, you can ensure more of your top candidates return for more jobs.

2. Your Competitors Offered Better

There’s no denying the staffing agency market is crowded right now. This naturally fosters competitiveness between agencies, which is only compounded by low unemployment rates and talent shortages. 

Think about what you offer your candidates. Your competitors may be offering them a sweeter deal. While staffing agencies must follow the rules set out in provincial and territorial legislation, the laws most often establish minimum standards. Are you doing anything to go above and beyond? If not, your candidates could be turning to your competitors.

3. You Haven’t Vetted Your Clients

Every time you propose to work with a new client, you should be evaluating them. Conduct a client site safety inspection prior to signing any agreement. Be clear about expectations for temporary workers placed with any client business. How will they be treated? What duties will they perform?

All of this contributes to the experience your candidates have when they work with you. If you don’t properly vet your clients, you could be sending your temporary workers to unsafe work sites or allowing the client to change the terms of employment. Your candidates may not say anything to you, but they won’t return for more jobs.

Ensure you conduct a thorough inspection of all your clients before you place workers with them. This is best for everyone, and it helps keep your candidates safe.

4. You Weren’t Compliant with Law

It can be difficult for staffing agencies to keep up with the changing legislation. Ontario and Alberta have just conducted major overhauls of their employment legislation, and Quebec seems poised to follow suit. Most of these new laws have had repercussions for staffing agencies, and you may still be in the process of updating your policies to be compliant.

Many workers are aware of their rights, however, and they may not come back for more jobs if they believe your agency wasn’t complying with new legislation requirements. Double-check your new policies and see how you can streamline implementation.

By taking some simple steps, you can ensure your candidates come back for more jobs with your agency. They may even recommend you to other job seekers.

Competing with the BIG multi-national agencies?

Topics: Recruiting

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

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Jun 18, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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

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

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

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

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

1. Leave Legislation Is Changing

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

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

2. Changing Requirements for Compressed Work Weeks

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

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

3. Changes to Wages

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

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

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

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

Why You Need to Know

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

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


Topics: Staffing Industry

Why Staffing Agencies May Want to Seek Back Office Support

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


May 21, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Why-Staffing-Agencies-May-Want-to-Seek-Back-Office-Support-compressorStaffing agencies spend a lot of time and resources trying to keep their administration up to current standards. Between trying to reduce the need for recruiters to do double-duty on paperwork and data entry, and managing your business in a compliant manner, your back office can derail your front office’s daily priorities. You need to focus on core business tasks in order to become a competitive staffing agency. 

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

The catch-22 of the staffing industry is that your back office is essential to the success of your front office, but your front office tasks are what drive your business. You need your recruiters to concentrate solely on using their expertise to source candidates and fill work orders. What’s a viable solution for staffing agencies? Consider seeking back office support.

Canadian Staffing Industry Standards Are Constantly Evolving

Back office support is key to staying on top of Canadian compliance. Your staffing agency must remain compliant no matter how quickly legislature changes. In worse-case scenarios, you could face major penalties (both monetary and legal) that will impact your business in ways that are hard to recover from. 

If staffing agencies want to keep their growth sustainable, no matter their size, they need to minimize the risk of non-compliance. When you outsource your back office, tasks like payroll, worker classification, and HR are taken care of. Back office providers can also serve as integral advisors on new developments to Canadian business legislation as well, keeping you abreast of new compliance regulations.

Flexible Payroll Financing Is a Crucial Asset

No matter how long you’ve been running your staffing agency, you’re probably more than aware of how difficult landing flexible payroll financing is. In the staffing industry, cash flow management is often difficult due to mismatched payroll schedules with your clients. Other liabilities can include clients defaulting on their payments and struggling to maximize ROI because of expensive payroll financing solutions like lines of credit or factoring firm partnerships. 

Back office support can offer flexible financing solutions that stop payroll liabilities before they happen. A back office provider can run credit checks on prospective clients and send regular account status inquiries to clients who are taking longer than usual to pay. There’s also payroll insurance that’s tailored to suit the needs of your staffing agency to ensure your workers are always paid on time. 

The more flexible your payroll financing becomes, the more your staffing agency can improve its bottom line. That’s why payroll financing that can handle the rigours of the staffing industry’s upside-down cash flow is a crucial asset.

Automation Streamlines Daily Administration

Lastly, staffing agencies will want to consider how back office support can reduce administrative busywork. Back office providers have proprietary software designed specifically for the staffing industry. One such proprietary software system, StaffTrak, has won awards. Applicant tracking, client relationship management, and financial reporting can be handled by staffing agency technology like StaffTrak.

For your staffing agency to compete with the big staffing firms, your infrastructure needs to be digitally transformed. And digital transformation is a process that expert back office providers know well. Make sure your staffing agency’s back office is optimized because it’s imperative to the success of your front office.


Topics: Back Office Service Provider

How to Evaluate Back Office Software for Staffing Agencies

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


May 14, 2018 9:00:00 AM

How-to-Evaluate-Back-Office-Software-for-Staffing-Agencies-compressorIf you want to run a successful staffing agency in the age of mobile and online recruitment, you’re going to need to digitally transform your business. One of the most effective ways to automate your operations is to invest in software for staffing agencies. 

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

Software for staffing agencies focuses on streamlining your back office duties so that your front office can fully concentrate on core business responsibilities. Not all software is created equal, however. To ensure you get a system that can handle your workload and create greater efficiencies, you need to do some research. 

A recent study by Gartner has forecasted that companies will spend $3.7 trillion on IT solutions this year, with spending on software in the billions! A lot of this spending is part of a sunk-cost trap that staffing agencies can easily fall into. If you answer the questions we pose below, you’ll be able to evaluate back office software more effectively to ensure you’re investing in the right platform.

Does the Software Account for Common Industry Challenges?

This question seems simple but is imperative to answer in the case of software for staffing agencies. Whether your staffing agency is a small startup or a larger operation that’s been around for a few years, you need software that will account for common industry challenges. 

For instance, can the software you’re evaluating scale up applicant tracking and client relationship management for high volume, as well as provide payroll processing that’s compliant with current Canadian legislation? These are issues that will dog your productivity with endless bookkeeping and non-compliance troubles if your solution isn’t comprehensive enough. So, always pay attention to whether software addresses common staffing industry challenges.

Does the Software Update to Reflect Current Canadian Legislation?

We mentioned briefly that one of the common challenges software must solve is compliant payroll processing. Payroll processing is constantly evolving parallel to updates made to Canadian legislation. Think about all the major changes in wages, vacation pay, and personal emergency leave that Bill 148 brought to Ontario as of last November. 

If the software for staffing agencies you’re evaluating can’t update its functions to match current Canadian legislation, it’s not worth investing in. Canadian compliance is complex and constantly evolving, and you need to be able to keep up. 

Your agency will be best served by software that will help you keep all the ins and outs of compliance straight, with little to no errors in payroll or HR. The Staffing Edge’s (TSE) award-winning software StaffTrak has recently made four updates that address the changes that Bill 148 has brought to Canadian compliance. Your staffing agency can get into trouble quickly when non-compliance penalties begin to compound.

Is the Software an All-in-One Solution?

There’s a lot of software out there, and another easy way for you to fall into a sunk-cost trap is to purchase all your solutions separately. Instead of spending more money to acquire multiple solutions, your agency should invest in an all-in-one software system.

To be more specific, you’ll want a complete back-end solution. Often, you’ll run into individual software, like an industry-specific applicant tracker system (ATS) or client relationship management system (CRM) that handles specific functions well but can’t work well in tandem with each other. If all your solutions together make your back office more digitized, but no less cumbersome than before, what’s the use?

That’s what makes TSE’s StaffTrak software ideal for staffing agency back offices. StaffTrak combines an ATS, CRM, and a financial reporting system into one, resulting in a solution that addresses all common back office challenges. No matter what solution you invest in, your agency is always better off for evaluating a software’s viability beforehand.


Topics: Staffing Agency

Is Starting a Staffing Agency a Lucrative Business Decision?

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Apr 23, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Is_Starting_a_Staffing_Agency_a_Lucrative_Business_DecisionStarting a staffing agency in the current gig economy boom can be a lucrative business decision, but at the outset, it can also be a gamble.

Download "How Small Firms Can Compete with the Top Staffing Agencies" Whitepaper

A staffing agency is one of the trickier small-to-medium business models to handle. From the start, you’re technically operating on a deficit, hoping that clients’ pay schedules line up with yours and that they’ll pay on time so you can pay your workers. You also must ensure that you can land enough skilled candidates in a niche that businesses are actively hiring for and handle their payroll in a compliant manner as well. Those are just a few of the worries potential owners like you probably have.

Fortunately, it’s all a matter of perspective. If you want to know the honest truth about whether starting an agency is a lucrative business decision, keep reading.

A Costly Misconception

Did you know that the gig economy is potentially valued at trillions of dollars? According to a recent report by McKinsey, the gig economy and the online platforms that help facilitate the workers in this economy could boost the global GDP by $2.7 trillion. If this doesn’t bust the misconception that there isn’t a strong enough ROI in the staffing agency business, we don’t know what will.

There might be some challenges in setting up the correct infrastructure when you’re starting a staffing agency, but these challenges (and their costs) are more than outweighed by the ROI of working in a booming economy. Many businesses in various industries are looking for talented temps, contractors, and permanent placements, and there are many opportunities to make your mark within an in-demand niche.

Once you have your infrastructure and niche established, your staffing agency will begin to generate revenue streams.

Healthy Competition

With such huge rewards to reap within the gig economy, you’d be correct to assume that competition can be fierce in the staffing industry. Regardless, this fact shouldn’t deter you from setting up an agency. Competition is, in fact, the lifeblood of the staffing industry, forcing agencies to always improve their recruitment processes in creative ways and hone their expertise within their niches.

Staying competitive in the staffing industry will help your agency remain productive and find new ways to maximize your budget. Many staffing agencies have discovered one of their greatest assets—back office service providers—via their efforts to stay competitive.

Industry-Tailored Infrastructure

Back office service providers like The Staffing Edge offer a host of services to facilitate staffing agency administration. Providers like TSE can help your new agency compete with the big staffing firms by giving you the power to outsource Canadian compliance, payroll, and HR to experts. Such providers even have award-winning proprietary software designed to streamline payroll bookkeeping, and more in your agency.

All that really stands in the way of starting a lucrative staffing agency is obtaining the right infrastructure and possessing the undying determination to carve out a staffing niche.

Starting a staffing agency is a lucrative business decision.

Download The Complete Guide to Starting Your Own Staffing Agency

Topics: Staffing Agency

Staffing Agencies: 5 Ways to Get Your Clients to Pay Up

Posted by Shannon Dowdall


Apr 4, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Staffing-Agencies-5-Ways-to-Get-Your-Clients-to-Pay-Up---compressor.jpgSince staffing agencies often operate within the gig economy, their businesses are subject to the same financial woes freelancers face regarding late payments. There are many reasons why your clients might not be paying up in time for you to pay your temporary workers, and sometimes it’s not due to untrustworthy clients. In some instances, it’s a lack of communication, a lack of customer service, or mismatched pay schedules. 

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Whatever the case may be for your clients not paying up, your staffing agency is bound to run into trouble with cash flow. You can’t afford to postpone your workers’ payroll or have your resources dwindle. So, you must become savvy about how to get your clients to pay up on time. 

Check out below for five ways to secure payments for staffing agencies.

1. Offer Optimal Customer Service

When your clients feel valued and aren’t viewed as just another revenue stream, they’re more likely to prioritize payments to your staffing agency. It’s a commonly held myth that staffing agencies are just after the money, so you should make it part of your mission to dispel that misconception. 

Make sure you maintain friendly, fairly regular communication with your clients. Check in with key contacts at client companies to see how they’re fairing with your placements. Let them know they’re valued. Clients are much more likely to prioritize paying your agency if they receive optimal customer service from you.

2. Include Clear Payment Terms in Your Contracts

Staffing agencies are well aware of how paperwork can make or break their businesses. Your agency should work on effectively negotiating work contracts with clients.

Before you enter into a partnership with your clients, ensure your contracts include thorough payment terms that include billing schedules and penalties for late payments. While not every client will have the same billing schedule as you, they should be willing to find a middle ground that will accommodate both parties.

3. Invoice in a Timely Manner

Timely invoices showcase to your clients that you’re punctual and place importance on deadlines and terms of agreement. Your client will pay up sooner if you prove to them that your staffing agency values its professionalism and is expecting the same level of professionalism from them. 

Don’t be afraid to enforce specific terms on your invoice, such as: “Upon receipt of this invoice, your payment is due in X days.” Clients will know that you aren’t messing around and will respect that you’re giving them a clear and manageable timeframe to work with.

4. Have a Strict Payment Schedule

This builds on the last strategy but has more to do with consistency. Decide on an invoicing schedule and stick to it. Whether your agency’s optimal cycle is net 30 or net 21, make that schedule gospel.

A consistent billing schedule further showcases your high level of professionalism and gives clients a reliable timeframe that they can prepare in advance for. Your workers will also appreciate a consistent payment schedule because it means they’ll be paid on time as well.

Another way to keep your payment schedule on track is to attain payroll financing. Back office service providers offer receivables insurance so that late or defaulted payments don’t eat into your revenue streams. You can set up automatic payroll so that on the date you choose, your customized invoices are sent out as well.

5. Run a Precautionary Credit Check

Back office service providers also offer the ability to run credit checks on your potential clients before you enter into any contracts with them. You’ve worked hard to grow your staffing business, make sure your interests are protected so you’re able to compete with the big firms.

Everything You Need to Know about Starting a Successful Staffing Firm

Topics: Staffing Agency

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