The Staffing Edge Blog

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5 Secrets to a High-Performing Independent Recruiting Services Business

Posted by Laura D’Andrea


Mar 6, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_Secrets_to_a_High_Performing_Independent_Recruiting_Services_BusinessYou’ve reviewed your resources, and it’s time. You’re going to make the leap to running your own independent recruiting services business. Or maybe you’ve already taken this step and you’re now in the middle of learning how to grow your business.

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In either case, you’re asking what the secrets are to ensuring success. What can you do to turn your start-up into a high-performing powerhouse in the recruiting industry?

These five secrets will help you unlock your business’s potential.

1. Independent Recruiting Services Go Niche

As an independent recruiter, you’re likely wondering how you can compete with the large, national staffing firms. They seem to service every industry across every part of the country. How can you possibly go toe-to-toe with them?

One secret for those offering independent recruiting services is to go niche. Instead of going wide, think narrow.

You no doubt have expertise in one area or another, and you may be able to offer more in-depth knowledge in the technology industry or the manufacturing industry. This is a competitive advantage for a smaller business like yours; it allows you to focus your limited resources on an area you excel in.

If you want better performance, think depth over breadth.

2. Innovate with Your Recruiting Services Offerings

What kinds of offerings do you provide for your clients? If you only offer permanent placements, it’s time to rethink this strategy.

You may not want to go wide in the sense that you offer services to all industries or all geographic areas, but you should offer a wide array of services in the areas you specialize in. Your clients in the manufacturing industry will know they can come to you for all their hiring needs.

A great first step is offering contract staffing services. This may seem like the domain of the big staffing firms, but it’s easier than ever for independent recruiters to offer this option to their clients.

3. Work with a Back Office Provider

If you want better performance for your independent recruiting services, it’s time to take the administrative load off your desk. Functions like payroll and compliance are integral to your business, but they’re also bogging you down.

If higher performance is on the list, it’s time to send those tasks to someone else. Team up with a back office provider to find operational efficiency. With your time freed up, you can get back to your core tasks.

4. Focus on the Experience

Ask yourself a couple of questions. Why do your clients keep working with you? Why do your job candidates come back again?

In the past couple of years, there has been more talk about the experience of working with an independent recruiting services business. You’ll want to think about both the candidate experience and the client experience.

Pinpoint why your clients want to work with you. If there were clients who parted ways with you, ask yourself why they didn’t come back and what you could do to change it. Ask your current clients what they wish you could do better.

The same is true of candidates. Ask why they love working with you, and ask what makes it less pleasant. Focus on improving the candidate experience to keep job seekers coming back.

5. Invest in Your Technology

Take a moment to consider the technology you’re using. If your systems are outdated, you may not be able to perform the way you want to. New technological tools will help you improve efficiency in the business.

In turn, you can improve operations by leveraging these new technologies. Can you improve the screening process for candidates? Does a new applicant tracking system mean it’s easier to sort the best candidates from the rest?

These tips are designed to help you transform your independent recruiting services business. If you want to power performance, look no further.


Topics: Independent Recruiters

How Will the Staffing Industry Change in 2019?

Posted by Corinne Camara


Mar 4, 2019 9:00:00 AM

How_Will_the_Staffing_Industry_Change_in_2019With a new year comes new opportunities. As your staffing agency continues to grow into 2019, you may be wondering what the road ahead has in store for you. If you’re just thinking about jumping into this industry, you might be wondering if now is really the best time.

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Here are a few predictions for what you can expect from the staffing industry over the next 12 months. Suffice it to say the outlook is bright.

The Staffing Industry Will Keep Growing

All signs point to the staffing industry continuing to pick up steam. Research for 2018 suggested the industry was experiencing growth over 2017, and it looks like the trend will continue holding for the year ahead.

All estimates have suggested the total US staffing market will top $150 billion, and growth had already picked up by October 2018. Demand and the expanding gig economy appear to be major drivers behind the expansion.

Unemployment Remains Low

One of the things driving demand is the historic low unemployment rates Canada and other countries have been experiencing. Employers are having a harder time finding the talented workers they need, and they’re turning to staffing industry experts to help them find the right people.

This is both good and bad for the industry. On the one hand, it represents an increasing number of clients. On the other hand, the tight labour market could mean recruiters struggle to fill jobs just as much as employers themselves. Competition is definitely heating up, which means you need to be on your toes to stay in the race.

One potential change is expected. Unemployment statistics do not capture those who are not actively seeking work, so there’s a high possibility that the inactive unemployed will re-enter the labour market. This would increase the number of job seekers, making recruiting at least a little easier.

A New Focus on Experiences

Another trend in the staffing industry right now is an increasing focus on both the client and candidate experience. Staffing agency owners like you are considering what they can do to retain their clients and attract more candidates. One of the answers has been to improve their experience.

What does this mean? You’re providing more support and customization. In many cases, it means offering something your competitors can’t or won’t. You must differentiate yourself in the market and ensure people enjoy working with you, so they come back again and again.

Look for staffing agencies to become increasingly experience-oriented in 2019.

Going Mobile

If your staffing agency isn’t already optimized for mobile, it’s time to get on board with this trend. Most job seekers today are using their smartphones and other mobile devices when they look for work.

In fact, mobile use has already surpassed the use of desktops and laptops in most countries, and mobile just keeps growing. If you want to be sure you’re reaching the right people, mobile is a must.

Updating Technology

Another change you can see in the staffing industry is the increasing concern about technology. Many industry professionals believe technology sets them apart from their competition, and they often agree that not using the latest, most up-to-date solutions harm their business.

Technology investments have been increasing in the last few years, and the trend is going to hold for 2019. You should expect to see the technological gap growing between staffing firms. Those who invest will gain a competitive advantage over those who don’t upgrade their systems. It would be wise to put the time and money into the technological side of your business if you haven’t already.

What’s the easiest way to stay on top of these trends? Working with a back office provider can ensure you’re one step ahead of the game.


Topics: Staffing Agency

5 US Employee Benefits Predictions for 2019

Posted by Ray Gonder


Feb 27, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_US_Employee_Benefits_Predictions_for_2019In the United States, benefits are often a hot topic. Staffing firm owners have been concerned about rising costs, particularly those associated with healthcare insurance. At the same time, they’re also keenly aware that a great employee benefits package can help them attract and retain top talent in their field.

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Employees are also concerned about the benefits they’re provided. Most of the Millennial workforce indicates that benefits are a key factor in their decision-making. If the choice is between your firm and another, benefits could make or break the deal.

Running a staffing agency means keeping up with changing legislation and trends. If your agency is servicing clients in the US, you should know what’s on the horizon. What will happen with US employee benefits packages in 2019? Here are a few predictions for the emerging trends in the new year.

1. Employers Improve Benefits Packages

In recent years, the trend has been for employers to reduce or even eliminate benefits. Restructuring has also been common, as employers have tried to curb the costs associated with offering benefits.

Heading into 2019, however, the picture is different. The big change has been the strong economy. With low unemployment becoming the new norm, employers have been faced with a candidates’ market. Talent is becoming scarce, and job seekers are in the driver’s seat.

In this environment, it becomes imperative for employers to have better offerings than their competitors. If you want to attract the best talent, you’re going to need to offer them more than just a competitive salary.

For this reason, you can expect to see US employers offering better and more robust benefits plans.

2. Direct Contracts Become the New Norm

The importance of improving benefits plans doesn’t mean employers aren’t still worried about costs. This is particularly true for healthcare costs, which have risen exponentially over the last decade. Their upward trajectory is predicted to continue.

Employers know they need to offer better benefits, but they also need to be sure they’re keeping costs in check. One of the ways they’re doing this is by turning to direct contracts.

With a direct contract, employers can find better deals. A large care network often increases costs. It may even affect the quality of care provided.

3. Security Is on Your Mind

The tech backlash is continuing in 2019, and benefits administration is no exception to the rule. Employers and benefits administrators alike are more concerned about data security than ever before. Chances are your employees are also concerned about security.

Technology has allowed for many advances in benefits administration, such as increased personalization. For successful customization, however, benefits administrators need to collect more information about individual employees.

Keeping this data safe has become a top priority. The trend began in 2018, and you can expect to see increasing concerns about security factoring into almost every benefits decision made in 2019.

4. A Focus on Communication

Hand in hand with customization is a desire for more communication. Today’s employees are more independent than ever. It’s why they love employee benefits portals and personalization. These features put them in control of their benefits.

This trend is likely to continue strong through 2019. Employees want more tailored benefits packages that fit their needs, and they want more direct communication to get that customization. They don’t want to go through the middleman in HR.

5. Congress Creates Lingering Confusion

Since the end of 2016, the Affordable Care Act’s fate has been undecided. There have been several attempts at reform, and recent developments make it seem as though the Act could be altered or even repealed.

One thing is certain. Both parties are seeking reform, and employers will need to stay on their toes to keep up.

If you’re operating in the US market or plan to expand, keeping an eye on these US employee benefits trends is a smart idea.


Topics: Compliance and Legislation

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.

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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

Your Brief Guide to the Employment Standards Act in BC

Posted by Mai Dowdie


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.


Topics: Compliance and Legislation

6 Things to Know about Alberta Payroll, Taxes, and Regulations

Posted by Karen McMullen


Feb 18, 2019 9:00:00 AM

6_Things_to_Know_about_Alberta_Payroll_Taxes_and_RegulationsDoes your staffing firm have operations in Alberta? Maybe you’re hoping to expand your operations to Canada’s Wild Rose country in the near future. If so, you should be aware of the rules and regulations surrounding employment, payroll, and taxes.

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Here are a few of the basics to get you started.

1. Alberta Has Canada’s Highest Minimum Wage

On October 1, 2018, Alberta surpassed Ontario by increasing minimum wage to $15 per hour. Since Ontario rolled back legislation increasing the minimum wage to $15 in January 2019, Alberta now maintains Canada’s highest minimum wage.

Employers are required to pay this amount to any employee, and many positions will need to start above it.

2. Legislation Governs Working Hours and Breaks

Like most of the other provinces, Alberta has employment legislation that governs employee scheduling and breaks. For example, if you send workers home early, you must pay them for a minimum of three hours’ time. If you require an employee to be present, you must pay them. If you want employees to report 15 minutes early, then you must pay them for the extra 15 minutes.

You also need to give workers 24 hours’ notice if you want to change their shifts. Overtime pay kicks in at 44 hours or if a worker works a shift longer than eight hours in a single day.

Breaks are also legislated. Employees cannot work more than five hours without a break. After five hours, they’re entitled to 30 minutes of rest. This can be paid or unpaid, and you can give it out in blocks of 10 minutes or 15 minutes, or as one 30-minute break.

3. Overtime, Holiday, and Vacation Pay

Alberta’s updated labour standards revised the formulas for vacation pay, holiday pay, and overtime.

Overtime hours can now be banked for up to six months, at a rate of 1.5 hours for each hour of overtime worked. This generally allows the employee to trade overtime hours for time off.

General holiday pay is calculated as five percent of wages, general holiday pay, and vacation pay earned in the four weeks before the holiday. There’s also no requirement to have worked 30 days in the past year to be eligible for pay.

Vacation pay must be equivalent to four percent, or two weeks, of total wages until an employee has been employed for five years. After five years, the rate increases to 6 percent.

The revised standards also allow employees to take half-days as vacation.

4. Terminations and Layoffs

Alberta’s revisions to labour standards also introduced some changes to how employers must handle terminations and layoffs. One example is that indefinite temporary layoffs are no longer allowed.

Employers also can’t force employees to use vacation or overtime entitlements during a termination notice period. Termination notices for large groups were increased.

5. Small Businesses Have a Tax Reduction

In recent years, Alberta reduced the burden of tax on small businesses. This was achieved by lowering the small business tax rate to two percent, from three percent. The Small Business Deduction (SBD) was increased from nine percent to 10 percent.

Businesses in Alberta must collect GST from their clients.

Employers are also expected to deal with payroll taxes. Most of the regulations around this are federal, although the rates of income tax withholding will vary with provincial rates. EI and CPP payments may also vary by province and worker salary.

6. Improved Leaves

Like other Canadians provinces, Alberta also made changes to leave entitlements for workers in its updated standards. The new personal and family responsibility leave provides five unpaid days per year for employees to take leave.

There are many new unpaid leaves employers need to be familiar with, offering up to 52 weeks in some cases.

If you’re planning to operate a staffing firm in Alberta, you need to know these regulations and more. A back office provider can help.


Topics: Payroll

7 Ways Staffing Firms Can Better Compete Against Job Boards

Posted by Stacey Jones


Feb 13, 2019 9:00:00 AM

7_Ways_Staffing_Firms_Can_Better_Compete_Against_Job_BoardsThe latest figures show job boards are as popular with job seekers as ever. For many staffing firms, this presents a problem. How can you effectively compete with giant job boards like Indeed and Monster?

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This is especially the case as Indeed recently announced it would stop providing free traffic to staffing firms. This disrupts the industry standards, which saw job boards and staffing agencies work in tandem over the last 15 years or so.

As Indeed and other job boards slam the door on this long-lived cooperative stance, what can you do to improve your ability to compete? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Staffing Firms Can Still Pay to Play

The first thing to do is realize that Indeed hasn’t said they won’t provide candidate traffic to staffing firms. They simply want a fee for the service, as do many other job boards.

Evaluate your current traffic. If a significant portion of it comes from job boards that are now demanding a fee, it might be worth paying for the service. If your traffic from them is low, you should shift your focus anyway. There are other, more lucrative opportunities for your staffing agency out there.

2. Make the Most of Social

A free alternative to job boards is social media. If you’re not already using your Twitter and Facebook accounts to reach candidates, you should put some effort behind this option in 2019.

Staffing firms can also take the budget they might otherwise allocate to job boards and put it into social media advertising. For example, you can post jobs freely on LinkedIn and Facebook, and then support those postings with ads on both social networks.

3. Adopt Inbound Strategies for Recruiting

You’ve likely heard about inbound marketing, which draws prospective clients to you. In fact, you might already be using it to help build your client base.

You can also successfully use inbound strategies to improve your recruitment process and draw in more candidates. Think about creating a content strategy to draw job seekers to your website and encourage them to apply. Can you offer them tips or how-to videos on improving their resumes? Think about how your expertise can assist job seekers, and then answer their questions.

4. Check Your Recruiting Funnel

Job boards aren’t driving all of your applications, even if they do provide a significant portion of traffic. A bigger problem may be your own recruitment funnel, which could be leaking potential candidates.

Check your funnel so you can convert more visitors to your website and job board. Make sure your website is responsive and mobile friendly, and streamline your application portal to simplify the process.

You can even add a chat feature to answer questions and engage job seekers before they apply. In short, make it easy for people to apply through your own website and you’ll see this traffic source increase.

5. Try Different Advertising Avenues

The big job boards aren’t the only places staffing firms can advertise jobs. If you’re not varying your advertising efforts already, it’s time to start.

Social media advertising is one option that was already mentioned. You can also try search engine marketing and SEO. There are also job aggregators and even talent community websites. Target some of these additional avenues, and watch your traffic sources shift.

6. Focus on the Candidate Experience

Another thing you can do is put more emphasis on the candidate experience. Word of mouth is still an important marketing tactic, and the best way to control it is to ensure each person who applies has a great experience with you.

7. Leverage Technology

Are you using an applicant tracking system? If so, make sure you mine it for candidates before you start advertising. The perfect person may be hiding right under your nose.

With these tips in hand, you can prepare to go toe-to-toe with the biggest job boards.

A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Staffing Agency

5 US Payroll Pitfalls to Avoid

Posted by Mai Dowdie


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.


Topics: Payroll

Servicing Clients in the US? 5 Labour Law Differences You Should Know

Posted by Chelsea Henry


Feb 6, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Servicing_Clients_in_the_US_5_Labour_Law_Differences_You_Should_KnowIf you’re running a staffing agency, you may think a great way to expand is to cross the border into the United States. Maybe some of your clients have American branches, or maybe you’re in an area close to the border and know many local businesses that could benefit from your services. You may even be thinking of expanding on a larger scale.

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While international expansion is a great goal for any business, it comes with its own challenges. One of the most common for businesses moving across the Canada-US border is an understanding of labour law.

Labour law in Canada and the US can be quite different. If you’re planning to provide service for clients in the US, you should be aware of these five differences.

1. Understand What a 1099 Employee Is

Employee misclassification is an important legal issue in both Canada and the US. The IRS and many US states tend to shine more of a spotlight on the issue than Canadian governments do.

Part of the problem is the confusion between an employee and a “1099 employee.” A 1099 employee, so named after the tax form you’ll provide them, is actually a contractor. Using a contractor can reduce your obligations to the worker.

Some employers take advantage of these reduced obligations and purposefully misclassify employees as contractors. You might also be at risk of misclassification if you don’t understand the differences between the two terms in the US.

2. At-Will Employment

In Canada, there’s no such thing as at-will employment. You must have solid grounds for terminating someone’s employment with your firm. Termination must be carried out in a specific way, which includes proper notification and the payment of severance.

In the US, at-will employment allows employers and employees to terminate their relationship at any time. Employers don’t need to provide lengthy notice or hefty severance packages. You also may not need as much reason to dismiss someone.

3. Rules around Non-Compete Clauses Vary by State

In Canada, non-compete clauses are somewhat difficult to enforce. Nonetheless, many employers still make use of them. They’re governed by common law.

This is somewhat different from the United States, where non-compete clauses are easier to enforce. The rules change, however, from state to state. Some states will permit the modification of a non-compete clause, rather than striking it out entirely, if it’s deemed too restrictive.

4. Obligations to Employees with Disabilities

You might be familiar with Canada’s rules around accommodating employees with disabilities. Generally speaking, the employer is expected to accommodate an employee with disabilities, such as providing specialized equipment to use or modifying the duties of the role.

It’s difficult to tell where the employer’s duty to accommodate ends. Canadian courts usually draw the line at significant financial burden to the company, but you may be required to prove that.

In the US, you’ll see your financial threshold is much lower. Companies do not need to undertake “significant” financial burden before they’ll be judged to have fulfilled the duty to accommodate.

5. Creating a Severance Policy or Package

In the United States, you might be expected to create a severance policy or package for your employees. This can be quite different from Canada because severance is usually laid out within provincial law. Even having a policy or package may not override your obligation to provide notice of termination.

In the US, where at-will employment exists, employers don’t necessarily need to provide severance or notice. A severance policy usually favours more senior employees, but you may need to know your way around such policies to provide proper support to your clients.

These are just some of the differences between Canadian and American labour law. There are many more. If you’re expanding into the US, it might be helpful to work with a back office solutions provider who can give you the guidance and the support you need to deliver services to your US clients.


Topics: Compliance and Legislation

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.

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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.

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Topics: Recruiting

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