The Staffing Edge Blog

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Why You Should Analyze Your Back Office Data

Posted by Stacey Duggan

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Jan 9, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Why_You_Should_Analyze_Your_Back_Office_DataRunning a staffing firm is full of challenges. For people like you, that’s a good thing. The little ups and downs keep you on your toes. You love being able to sit down with a problem and think it through to find creative solutions.

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One of the most common places to find challenges in a staffing firm is in the back office. With back office data, however, you can start making better decisions to overcome these obstacles.


What Is Back Office Data?

What is back office data, anyway? It’s the data generated by the administrative tasks in your business. Think of the information you generate when administering payroll or creating invoices.

It can also include information about time. How are your employees spending their time? How long does a particular task take in your business?

The information can even include marketing data and overhead costs.

All of this information is important for your business. You probably knew it was important to keep tabs on how much you were spending on payroll and overtime, or how much revenue you brought in.

Back office data can tell you much more about your business, however, provided you analyze it.


What You Can Learn

When you begin analyzing data in your business, you’ll learn much more than just how much revenue you’re bringing in or how much you’re spending.

You might have already known about the kinds of information you can gather in financial data reports. You can see increases in expenditures or decreases in overheads. You can then tie that information back to changes in the regulatory environment or new programs you’ve implemented.

Data analysis can tell you more about the health of the business than just year-over-year growth statistics. It can show you information about things like productivity, efficiency, and other performance indicators.

Suppose you adopted new staffing firm software. You knew this software cost X dollars, and you were also aware you brought in more revenue and decreased expenditures after adopting it.

The data from the back office can show you more of the story. It can show you that your labour costs came down because your team was spending less time fixing mistakes or inputting data. It also shows they were able to accomplish more in the same time, improving their win rate with new clients. You already knew the outcomes, but now you also know how it happened.


Why Does It Matter?

Some business owners might ask if they really care why their expenditures decreased or their revenue increased. Those are both good trends, so it’s less important why they happened than that they occurred.

Understanding why these outcomes occurred is important, however, since it can help you make better business decisions. If you know how much time your staff spends on particular tasks, you can make better estimates about how much time you’ll save by adopting new tools.

This can help you decide whether adopting the new tool is really worth the investment.

You can also glean other information, such as how long it takes clients to pay their invoices on average. This could help you rethink your policies. Is there a way to entice clients to pay sooner?

You might rethink processes as well. How can you reduce the time spent on a task, for example?


Powering Your Business

It should be clear back office data gives you more information about your business. It helps you make smarter decisions.

As a result, you can provide better service to your clients and better experiences for your candidates alike.


Everything You Need to Know about Starting a Successful Staffing Firm

Topics: Back Office Service Provider

5 Client Retention Strategies for Staffing Agencies

Posted by Karen McMullen

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Jan 7, 2019 9:00:00 AM

5_Client_Retention_Strategies_for_Staffing_AgenciesCompetition in the staffing industry is heating up. As the industry continues its steady growth, more people have become aware of the opportunities in this area. The result has been a growing number of staffing agencies offering a growing number of services.

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The good news is the number of clients has also been on the rise. More companies are looking for workforce flexibility, which includes increased requests for temporary and contract workers. Many companies are also turning the process of finding permanent employees over to the staffing firms they work with to find other types of workers.

The question for many staffing agency owners is how to keep clients once they bring them on board. It’s five times more cost effective to keep an existing customer than it is to try to gain a new one. Once you’ve brought someone on as a client, you don’t want them to leave for another agency.

Try one or more of these client retention strategies. Your customers will likely be happier and stick around longer.


1. Staffing Agencies Must Focus on Good Customer Service

At the end of the day, a staffing agency is reliant on its clients. You want your clients to be happy with the services you provide, which means you must provide top-notch customer service.

While your primary goal is placing the right job candidates with the right clients to fill roles, customer service goes beyond this. Ask your clients for their feedback. Check in with them often. If there’s an issue, respond to it promptly.

Providing stellar customer service is the easiest way to keep clients happy and coming back for more.


2. Expand Your Service Offerings

Have you talked to your clients about their staffing needs lately? Someone who came to you looking for temporary staffing services may be looking to make more permanent hires. Others might be interested in contract staffing.

You could also offer other services if your clients demand them. By expanding your menu of offerings, you can keep your clients satisfied. In turn, they will be less likely to go looking for those same services elsewhere.


3. Reward Loyalty

Businesses often focus on getting new customers to sign up, sometimes at the risk of neglecting their existing clients. Think about bank adverts enticing new customers with iPads or free cash in their new accounts. What are their existing customers getting for sticking with them?

Staffing agencies should take the opposite approach. Remember, it’s more costeffective to keep a customer than to get a new one, so reward client loyalty. If someone has been with you for a while, why not send them a gift card and a thank-you note? You might consider offering a discount or another type of reward.

This helps your clients see value in sticking with you instead of setting out for greener pastures.


4. Become More Collaborative

You may believe your clients came to you because they wanted a “hands-off” approach to hiring. At the end of the day, however, they still have some say over who works for them. They’ll decide who’s the right fit and who isn’t.

By becoming more collaborative, staffing agencies can create a more inclusive hiring process for clients. This can eliminate poor hires for the client. It also helps them feel as though you’re responding to their needs, and that you really do care about helping them succeed in hiring.


5. Get the Right Candidates

This is easier said than done. Staffing agencies put quite a bit of emphasis on finding the right candidates to meet their clients’ hiring needs, so you may believe you’re already doing this.

Your clients may think otherwise. If some of your candidates haven’t been the right fit, your client may seek services elsewhere Listen to their feedback and refine your candidate search and hiring process. Your clients will believe their needs are being better served when you show you can bring in the right people every time.


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

Topics: Staffing Agency

How the Wrong Funding Option Could Be Costing You Money

Posted by Chelsea Henry

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Jan 2, 2019 9:00:00 AM

How_the_Wrong_Funding_Option_Could_Be_Costing_You_MoneyEnsuring you have the right funding is crucial to keeping your operations afloat. This is especially true for a staffing agency owner. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re in the middle of expanding your business, the right funding options will keep the cash flowing and your business growing.

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The wrong funding option, on the other hand, could be costing you money, in addition to causing other problems within the business. Here’s how.


The Wrong Funding Adds to Your Bills

If you opt to take out a bank loan, you could actually end up adding to your bills without giving your business the liquidity it truly needs. A loan may seem like a great idea at first, but it deposits a lump sum into your account. Once the money is used, you’re on the hook for paying it back with interest.

This isn’t a long-term solution for a business trying to improve cash flow. Instead, the loan injects cash into your business on a one-time basis and then becomes yet another financial burden for you to manage month to month.


Interest and Debt Pile Up

It should be obvious how a loan can add strain to your finances, particularly if your cash flow is upside down. In the staffing industry, this scenario is all too common.

Once the cash is gone, you have a debt to pay, coupled with mounting interest payments. If your cash flow is uneven, you may find yourself torn between paying the interest on the debt or funding payroll. You might even be tempted to take on more debt to meet all of your financial obligations.

This could mean the financial situation within your business becomes worse instead of getting better, even with the additional funding.


There Are Other Funding Options

Many business owners choose bank loans because they believe this is the only option for them. This isn’t true.

You have plenty of options as a staffing agency owner. A bank loan might be just one of many options available to you, and in many cases, it may not be the right option for your business.

Explore other options to find the right funding for your business.


Are You Getting the Right Funding?

If you’re not sure you’ve picked the right funding option for your staffing agency, you can talk to the experts. They’ve helped many other businesses like yours, and they know what options are available.


how-tse_s-back-office-support-helped-a-staffing-agency-expand-nationally

Topics: Staffing Agency

5 Tips for Pricing Your Services as a Startup Staffing Agency

Posted by Karen McMullen

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Dec 31, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5_Tips_for_Pricing_Your_Services_as_a_Startup_Staffing_AgencyStarting your very own staffing agency is both an exciting task and an exhausting one. You’ll need to make decisions on almost every minute detail, and every decision you make will affect how the business performs.

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You have the skills after years of working in the staffing industry and developing expertise. Nonetheless, there are many tasks you’ve likely never considered. For example, how will pricing work at your startup staffing agency?

Figuring out pricing is actually one of the more difficult tasks facing new staffing agency owners. You don’t want to go too high and scare off potential clients, but you also don’t want to go too low and undermine your operations. How can you figure out what pricing will be just right?

These five tips will help you determine the right prices for your startup staffing agency. By using them, you’ll have an easier time finding prices that work for both you and your clients.


1. Remember You’re a Startup Staffing Agency

The first thing you need to consider when you’re thinking about pricing is that you’re new to the scene. Clients and candidates don’t yet have a reason to trust you. Working with you is a bit of a gamble.

The right price will help them weigh the risk of working with a new, untested agency. For this reason, you shouldn’t price your services too high. This gives new clients an incentive to work with you.


2. You Must Account for Your Costs

You don’t want to go high, but you also don’t want to set your prices so low that you can’t cover all of your costs. As a startup staffing agency, however, it’s difficult to know what’s going to be “too low.”

You haven’t yet had a full year of operation, so predicting exactly what your costs will be is difficult. Even large companies can struggle with this task, particularly if something changes in the market or they’re undergoing growth.


3. Don’t Use the Lowest Possible Price

One good thing to do when you’re working on pricing for your startup staffing agency is to model a few scenarios and find the lowest possible pricing for your services. This may be the break-even point. Under this price point, you’d actually be losing money.

Once you’ve discovered this number, set your prices above it. Using a higher price point will give you leeway if things don’t work out quite the way you thought they might in your break-even model.


4. Look at Pricing Used by Similar Agencies

Another thing you can do is research how other staffing agencies are pricing their services. You might look at the large agencies, but also take a look at other smaller and startup agencies in your area.

These companies are your direct competitors, so you don’t want to be priced too much higher without offering much more in the way of service and value. Their pricing may also indicate something about their overhead costs, which could give you a ballpark figure for your own costs.

Finally, don’t forget to factor in how the company is doing. It can be difficult to find this information, but if the agency isn’t doing well, you probably don’t want to copy its pricing model.


5. Consider Sliding Scales for Your Clients

Different clients have different needs, and the pricing offered at your startup staffing agency should reflect this. You might want to consider using sliding scales for pricing. This gives you more leeway to find pricing that truly works for both you and the client.

Determining a pricing model for your startup staffing agency isn’t always a walk in the park. These tips can make it easier to find the right prices for your new agency.


Things You Need to Know When Starting a Temp Staffing Agency

Topics: Staffing Agency

Staffing Firms: 5 Tips to Start the New Year Right in 2019

Posted by Corinne Camara

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Dec 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Staffing_Firms_X5Tips_to_Start_the_New_Year_Right_in_2019The new year is right around the corner. The last few weeks of the year often put people into a more reflective mood. What did you accomplish this year? What didn’t you accomplish?

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They then begin to look ahead and make plans for the future. What lessons did you learn from failures and successes this year? How can you turn those lessons into goals for 2019?

This is almost certainly true for anyone in business, including staffing agency owners. As you begin to look back at the year that was and the year ahead, take some of these tips to heart. They’ll help you get started on the right foot in 2019.


1. Invest in the Right Technology

If you’ve been putting off adopting a new system or upgrading your current software, January is a great time to make the change. Heading into 2019, technology is more important than ever before.

Those who haven’t yet adopted applicant tracking systems or staffing agency software should review their options. These types of technological tools can help you complete work with more speed and accuracy than ever before.

If you’re hoping to streamline your process in 2019, technology will be key to your success.


2. Consider Some Financial Resolutions

If growth is your goal in 2019, you may need to explore your financial options to help you achieve it.

If cash flow worried you in 2018, then you’ll also have money on your mind. Review the books and look at the financing options you used throughout the year. Are there other, better options you haven’t yet considered?

If you need to raise some capital, consider putting some work into your business plan now or filling out some applications. They could be the difference between having the funding you need on January 1 and starting the year behind financially.


3. Level up Your Marketing Game

If you’re hoping to grow your business in 2019, it’s time to consider taking your marketing game to the next level.

Be sure to do some legwork now and look at the big-picture strategy. Who do you want to reach? What new audiences or markets are you trying to break into? Answering these questions will help you as you devise a marketing plan designed to fuel brand awareness and business growth.


4. Consider Outsourcing

The end of the year is a great time to review your business processes and procedures. What are you spending too much money on? What’s taking up most of your time?

Repetitive processes and a lack of expertise could be holding you back. If you’re spending most of your time on administrative tasks around the business, it might be time to get a helping hand.

Consider outsourcing some of your business processes, particularly those back-office tasks that keep you from the truly important tasks in the business. With payroll, compliance, and bookkeeping in someone else’s knowledgeable hands, you can get back to hiring, networking, and more.


5. Review New Legislation

There have been many legislative changes in some provinces throughout 2018. As you head into 2019, take a moment to review them all. Are you still operating in line with the law, or do you need to make some tweaks to your policies?

This can also be a good time to take a peek at the legislative forecast for 2019. What bills are on the books? Which new laws are set to take effect in the next few months? Knowing in advance can help you prepare for the changes.

With these tips, you can work toward building a better agency in 2019 and beyond.


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

Topics: Staffing Agency

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

Posted by Mai Dowdie

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Dec 24, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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

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


Upgrade Your Staffing Agency Software

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

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

The right software can help you streamline hiring.


Write Better Job Descriptions

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

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


Widen the Net

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

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


Focus on the Candidate Experience

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

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

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


Automate

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

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


Review and Measure the Process

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

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

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

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


A CEO’s Guide: Online Marketing for Staffing Firms

Topics: Staffing Agency

5 Signs You Need to Update Your Staffing Agency Software

Posted by Chelsea Henry

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Dec 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5_Signs_You_Need_to_Update_Your_Staffing_Agency_SoftwareTechnology is one of the main drivers of change in the workplace today. Initially, new technologies may be adopted to make certain tasks faster and easier. Over time, however, technological innovations can completely revolutionize the way you do things.

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Take a look at staffing agency software, like applicant tracking systems. Initially, these software tools were brought into staffing firms to make the task of sorting applications and selecting the right candidates easier. Now they’re an indispensable part of the hiring process, even guiding screening, interviewing, and the writing of job descriptions.

The problem with software, of course, is that rapid innovation means it quickly becomes outdated. Most staffing agencies can’t afford to update their software every year or two, so they try to manage with what they have as long as possible. This strategy can make sense, but it can also leave you using outdated software long after it’s stopped being useful.

If you notice any of these five signs, it’s time to update your software.


1. The Staffing Agency Software You Use Is Obsolete

This is probably the best indication you need to update your software. The company that made it has since sunsetted the product, or they may not even exist any longer.

While your software may continue working for now, it’s only a matter of time before it ceases to be functional. Whether it’s an operating system update or the new hardware of the future, this relic of a program won’t be able to keep up.

Save yourself some headaches and make a switch now.


2. The Software Is No Longer Meeting Your Needs

When you purchased it, this program did everything you needed it to do. This isn’t the case any longer.

This can happen for a few reasons. It may be the software is old and outdated. It could also mean your firm has outgrown it and you require a more robust platform to keep up with your demands.


3. You’re Having Trouble Integrating with Other Systems

Perhaps one of the best signs you need to update the software you’re using in your staffing firm is incompatibility. Your program just won’t connect with the systems your clients and suppliers are using.

This is cause for concern. Part of the reason you use software is to ease tasks like the transfer of data. If the program isn’t meeting these expectations or it’s causing more headaches than it’s solving, it is most definitely time for an upgrade.


4. Newer Software Has More Features You Need and Want

New software incorporates new tools and features. As technology progresses, older tools are updated, tweaked, improved, and even adapted into new features and tools.

While this isn’t a reason to update on its own, it will eventually mean your program no longer has features considered essential to running a staffing firm efficiently. Take the applicant tracking system. A decade ago, these programs were considered state of the art. Today, the software you were using in 2008 would hardly perform all the functions you need.

You don’t need to spring for every bell and whistle on a top-of-the-line program. Just make sure you have what you need.


5. No One Knows How to Use It

Software is improving all the time. Remember when people had to know MS-DOS or another programming language to even use a computer?

An updated program may be easier and more intuitive for your staff to use than older programs. If the one person who knew how to use the program has left, it’s definitely time to upgrade.

Staffing agency software plays an integral role in your agency’s operations. Make sure you keep operations running smoothly by keeping software up to date.


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

Topics: Staffing Agency

5 Reasons Staffing Agencies Need to Adjust to Fit a Millennial Workforce

Posted by Chelsea Henry

|

Dec 17, 2018 9:00:00 AM

5_Reasons_Staffing_Agencies_Need_to_Adjust_to_Fit_a_Millennial_WorkforceIn recent years, much has been made about how the millennial workforce is changing traditional ideas about work. This generation appeared to many as one that was rewriting what work meant and how it was conducted. While many saw negative aspects of this shift, others saw quite a few positive trends.

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At the core, millennials want many of the same things their predecessors wanted from work. Their ideas about how to achieve them and even about what makes a good workplace, however, can seem quite different.

Millennials now make up a large portion of the workforce, and as more boomers and Gen Xers retire, millennials will continue to move into more senior roles and occupy a larger percentage of the workforce. Staffing agencies would do well to take note of these five changes and adjust their operations to fit this new workforce reality.


1. Staffing Agencies Can Help Millennials Find Flexible Opportunities

One of the greatest strengths staffing agencies have is their alignment with flexible work opportunities.

Millennials have a very different attitude to work than earlier generations. They value flexibility, which allows them to work when it suits them. For some people, this means they prefer to work at certain times of the day. For others, it might mean working at one job opportunity for a few weeks or months, then taking some time off.

Staffing agencies align well with this desire for more flexible working arrangements.

If you haven’t started offering contract roles yet, this may be the best time to start.


2. Millennials Want Meaningful Work

One way staffing agencies will have to adjust to the millennial workforce is by shifting the focus to meaningful work. Millennials put emphasis on the need to have a job that means something to them and a job that aligns with their values. They want to feel like what they do matters. If the agency cannot offer these kinds of jobs, they may go elsewhere.

By focusing on cultural fit, agencies can help millennial workers find not only the right jobs, but jobs that mean something to them.


3. Satisfying a Craving for Stability

Many people believe millennials are very different from earlier generations. In some ways, they are. In other ways, however, they’re very similar to boomers and Gen Xers.

One similarity is the desire for stability. Workers want to be assured their job will be there in the morning.

As the gig economy grows, partnering with a staffing agency could give millennial workers the sense of security they crave. Agencies may be able to provide contracts and opportunities on a more regular basis.


4. Can Agencies Answer the Call for Benefits?

Another thing millennial workers want is good employee benefits. This is very similar to earlier generations. At the end of the day, workers want many of the same things, no matter which generation they’re from.

Employers have been rolling back benefits, and the age of temporary and contract work has seen the number of workers with employer-sponsored benefits shrinking. Could staffing agencies be the answer?

Offering benefits could be one way to attract more candidates to your agency and convince them to stay with you.


5. Millennials Seek Opportunities to Learn and Grow

Agencies are also in a prime position to help millennial workers continue learning and growing in their careers. Many millennials want job opportunities that also function as learning opportunities.

By shifting your focus to emphasize the learning opportunities available with different positions, you could create more appeal for millennial workers pondering a staffing agency partnership.

In short, millennials will soon be the driving force of labour. Staffing agencies will need to adjust their approach to meet the expectations and demands of the workforce as the world of work continues to be transformed.


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

Topics: Staffing Agencies

Why Growing Staffing Agencies Need to Consider External Back Office Support

Posted by Laura D’Andrea

|

Dec 12, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Why_Growing_Staffing_Agencies_Need_to_Consider_External_Back_Office_SupportAs the world of work continues to transform, more employers and employees alike are looking at flexible, contract, and temporary work arrangements.

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This has provided staffing agencies with unique growth opportunities. A partnership between agency and client can help employers meet their staffing needs quickly and easily. A partnership between agency and candidate, on the other hand, can help candidates meet their needs for learning, development, and flexibility.

In this environment, many agencies are experiencing growth. If you have a growing staffing agency, you’ve no doubt been faced with some of the common “growing pains.” From difficulties with cash flow to problems in payroll and beyond, you might be wondering what you can do to smooth things over and keep your business growing steadily.

External back office support might be the solution you’re looking for. Here’s why you need to consider this option for your business.


What Is External Back Office Support for Staffing Agencies?

It’s best to start by defining external back office support.

Most businesses, including staffing agencies, have many administrative functions. This includes payroll, accounting, compliance, and other human resources functions. These jobs are often time consuming and they must be completed, but they aren’t the core of your business operations.

More often than not, these back office functions take you away from the true tasks of your business. For staffing agencies, core tasks include gaining new clients and finding and hiring new candidates.

External back office support turns your administrative functions over to a third-party support provider. This then frees up your time to focus on your core tasks.


What Do External Back Office Support Providers Do?

As discussed, back office support for a staffing agency could include any number of administrative functions. This might be your compliance monitoring activities, payroll, or bookkeeping.

The expert team employed by your third-party provider also helps by offering advice and feedback. Their knowledge and experience make them ideal resources for you to draw on when you have questions.

Being able to rely on this team allows you to free up your own team to focus on the jobs that really matter to the business. Tasks are still completed properly and on time, and you get expert insight.


What Are the Benefits of This Support?

The biggest advantage of back office support for staffing agencies is time. You and your team members are able to focus on the things you’re best at. More will be accomplished around the business. Core functions won’t go neglected as you no longer need to deal with the fine print and the paperwork.

External back office support can also save staffing agencies money. This kind of support reduces the amount of time you need to spend on administrative jobs. Overhead costs can thus be reduced. Expert advice may also save you money by helping you avoid costly mistakes.

Finally, staffing agencies can focus on increasing growth even more when they have the right support in the back office. If you’re currently experiencing growing pains or feel like you’ve hit a growth ceiling, it could be time to talk to an external back office support provider.


Do You Need Back Office Support?

It can sometimes be difficult for staffing agency owners to tell when they need external support. There are signs you can watch for.

If you think it might be time to get some help, talk to a provider today. They can help you assess your needs and assist you as you continue on the path to continued growth.


how-a-complete-back-end-solution-helped-a-staffing-agency-get-started

Topics: Back Office Service Provider

Ontario to Repeal Parts of the Previous Government’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act

Posted by Ray Gonder

|

Dec 10, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Ontario_Repeal_Parts_of_the_Previous_Governments_Fair_Workplaces_Better_Jobs_ActIn late 2017, the Government of Ontario introduced its Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. The legislation had been proposed much earlier in the year, but it was finally passed into law after much debate. Even after the Act was passed and changes were starting to roll out, there was still controversy.

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The new Ontario government, elected in June, took a much closer look at the Act. In October, with input from concerned advocates, experts, and businesses, the government introduced Bill 47, which proposed to roll back many of the changes included in the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.

Only parts of the Act are being repealed, with some of the new provisions staying in place. This quick guide will show you what’s changing and what’s staying the same.


What Was in the Fair Workplaces Act?

To understand what’s changing with the introduction of Bill 47, it helps to know some of the new regulations included in the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, better known as Bill 148.

Bill 148 introduced sweeping changes to employment legislation in Ontario. It was based on the report of a committee. In drafting the legislation, however, the government failed to consult with a wide range of stakeholders.

The most talked-about change was the increase to the minimum wage. The Act mandated a hike from $11.60 per hour in October 2017 to $14 per hour in January 2018. It also proposed an additional increase in January 2019 to $15 per hour.

Bill 148 also included new workers’ rights regarding scheduling. Employees could refuse to be oncall if they weren’t notified 96 hours ahead of time. Personal leaves were also expanded to a total of 10 days, with two of them paid.


Stirring Controversy

From the very beginning, Bill 148 stirred controversy in Ontario’s business community. Many felt it created undue burdens for business owners. Some worried minimum wage hikes would push inflation.

The government forged ahead and signed the bill into law, which came into effect in early 2018. One of the earliest signs of trouble was the public holiday pay formula.

The Act introduced a new formula for calculating public holiday pay, but employers quickly found fault with it. In some circumstances, it allowed workers to be paid for the same holiday more than once.

The government suspended the new formula and vowed to review new options. In the meantime, they reinstated the old formula.


Bill 47 Proposes to Undo Much of the Act

When the new government was elected in June, those who had been lobbying the previous government found this new government more open to hearing them out.

Ontario’s government reviewed the Act and echoed concerns that its provisions were creating undue burdens for business owners. To foster a more business-friendly climate and economic growth, the government drafted Bill 47.

Bill 47, entitled the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, reverses much of Bill 148. It suggests puttinga freeze on the minimum wage until 2020 and rolling back personal leave from 10 days to eight, with no paid days.

The old public holiday formula is now staying in place, with no plans to review it and replace it. Other changes proposed include rolling back rights around scheduling.


What Isn’t Changing?

Bill 47 is not repealing the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act in its entirety. While it does propose rolling back large chunks of the Act’s changes, there are also some things that will stay the same.

Minimum wage, for example, will stay at its current level. Provisions ensuring employees of different sexes are paid the same wage for equal work will also remain in place.

With Bill 47, the Ontario government has responded to concerns raised by business owners. With it, Ontario should become a more business-friendly environment.


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Topics: Compliance and Legislation

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