The Staffing Edge Blog

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

Wish TSE Luck on our Passion Capital Submission

Posted by Ray Gonder

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Sep 24, 2014 8:30:00 AM

The Staffing Edge Canadas Passion Capitalists resized 600The Staffing Edge has entered to win Canada’s Passion Capitalists Recognition Award. The Passion Capitalist Award Contest is derived from the book ‘Passion Capitalist’ written by the President of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, Mr. Paul Alofs. The national awards program came about to recognize and celebrate great Canadian organizations that have achieved sustainable success by creating ‘Passion Capital’ among their people.

What is a Passion Capitalist?

As seen on Canada’s Passion Capitalist website, the definition for a Passion Capitalist Organization is:

“A Passion Capitalist is an organization that has achieved long term success by creating Passion Capital; the energy, intensity, and sustainability needed to generate superior results. It’s what enables small start-ups to compete with large multinationals, and large multinationals to stay relevant over time.”

The Staffing Edge believes we have achieved our own long term success over the last 19 years through a cumulative passion for the staffing industry and the drive of each employee to help our staffing agency members succeed. Of the 29 employees at The Staffing Edge currently, well over half have been with the company for more than 5 years.

Larry Lacombe, Credit and Collections Manager at The Staffing Edge, credits his own longevity at the company with the contagious energy inside TSE. “We push each other forward with technology, customer service and coaching. We are a very cohesive team dedicated to our members and what we can do day in and day out to aid in their success.”

Culture at The Staffing Edge

The distinctive culture at The Staffing Edge makes for a fun, think-tank type of environment.  We celebrate company achievements, member achievements and personal ones as well. Our motto should be work hard, play hard, as we do both well. Everyone’s opinion is valued and everyone’s contributions are acknowledged.  Holly Power-Cormier, Marketing Coordinator, has worked at TSE for less than a year but understands why people stay with the company; “everyone’s input and opinion is valued and there are no closed doors”.

The culture at TSE is one of a kind as we have maintained a small business, family like feel among the different departments although we’ve grown to support over 120 contract staffing firms across Canada. We maintain great relationships with our members, getting to know them as people as well as entrepreneurs.  We hold member appreciation events, networking opportunities as well as our Annual Staffing Summit.    

Don Wilson, owner of Nu-way Personnel and PDQ Personnel, has been a member of The Staffing Edge since 1998.  “Throughout the years, I’ve always known I can count on TSE to be there no matter the situation, they work with us hand in hand until the job is complete.”

Our Passion Capital Video

The Passion Capital contest was brought to the TSE’s attention from Ingrid Gondoza, a member of the credit and collections department. “I saw an opportunity for TSE to really shine with this award as I see passion in my job and in my co-workers every day.  At TSE you don’t feel like a number, every person has the ability to help the company move forward”

With only one week to create and edit our passion capital video as part of Phase 1 in the application process, we decided to split the team into groups: the newbies who’ve been with TSE for less than a year, the veterans who have over 10 years of tenure and those in between.  We even invited a few members to comment on our passion and how it affects their business.

Chris Malakovski from Clek Staffing was thrilled to be asked to contribute to the video.  A member of The Staffing Edge for just over a year, he had lots to say about how TSE helped him build his budding business.  "I've had the luxury of dealing with TSE for various challenges from workers comp to RFP's and it has been a very rewarding experience."

Watch TSE’s Passion Capital video on our YouTube channel.

The great news is that our video passed and we are now in phase 2 of the contest! The next steps for winners selection; Regional Judging Panels will select finalists from each of the following regions; Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, and Western Canada.  The winners will be announced on November 20, 2014.

For further information on Canada’s Passion Capitalist Recognition Award or Paul Alofs' book ‘Passion Capital’ please visit www.canadaspassioncapitalists.com and cross your fingers for us!

The Staffing Edge is a back office service provider to the temporary staffing industry providing unlimited payroll financing, the best insurance package in the business, and unparalleled staffing industry expertise.

Contact us to learn more about our passionate company and subscribe to our blog to stay up to date on Canadian staffing industry news. 

contract staffing

Topics: The Staffing Edge Staffing Industry Expertise The Staffing Edge Members The Staffing Edge Events The Staffing Edge Employees The TSE Team

26% of Canadian Firms Plan to Expand their Workforce

Posted by Stacey Duggan

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Sep 11, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Over the last 2 months we have seen contract staffing numbers increase much more than in previous years leading us to believe we have an employment boom on our hands.  Members of The Staffing Edge have certainly seen not only a huge increase in temp orders but an overall diversity of clients and more professional contract roles.  Every department at TSE has been in full throttle supporting our over 120 agency members with back office services.

The Staffing Edge Index

BMO Bank of Montreal conducted a survey in March of 2014 of more than 500 Canadian businesses to assess their hiring plans over the next year.

BMO Employment Growth Forecast

According to BMO Bank of Montreal and BMO Economics, employment opportunities bode well for the oncoming year. Some key employment growth indicators outlined by BMO and as seen on the Staffing Industry Analysts include:

  • 26% of Canadian firms surveyed plan to expand their workforce
  • Canadian firms in the manufacturing sector plan to increase net hiring this year by 18%
  • The service sector expects a 17% hiring increase
  • Retail sector expects a 7% hiring increase
  • Service sector job growth has been stronger than manufacturing

The research also gave insight into what Canadian provinces can expect to see the most growth in employment opportunities.  35% of Canadian businesses in Alberta plan to expand their workforce with Atlantic Canada a close second at 32%.  Canadian businesses in the Prairies and British Columbia expect the least amount of change to their workforce.

The Staffing Edge Index Spikes 15 points in week 33!

Further signs of employment growth are represented in the Canadian and American staffing indexes. The Staffing Edge Index for contract staffing jumped a significant 15 points in week 33 (mid-August), and shows no sign of slowing down as we head into the busy fall season! Noteworthy is the fact that the industry did not see the typical drop in business levels for July and August due to vacation and summer shut downs, rather saw a ramp up to the busy fall season much sooner than normal.

Steady Economic Growth = Employment Growth = Increased Staffing Demand

If you’re not offering contract staffing services, you are missing out on a big part of the busy staffing industry.  Not only are we seeing a significant increase in business levels now but it’s expected to lead right into the spring of 2015. 

This is an exciting time for contract staffing firms but can be a stressful time as well. Here are some tips to help you enjoy this demanding, stressful time.

With the increase in orders, the diversity of clients and the back office support of The Staffing Edge, our 120 members across Canada are set to corner the market on contract staffing as they have the flexibility of unlimited financing, the technology to support heavy volumes, a collections representative to ensure cash flow as well as a network of like-minded staffing firms for order sharing.

To learn more about how we foster success in the staffing industry across Canada, contact us today!

staffing agency cash flow

Topics: Staffing Industry Expertise Economic Growth The Staffing Edge Index Canadian Staffing Index Staffing Forecast

How our Tools Give Contract Staffing the Freedom to Focus!

Posted by Ray Gonder

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Jul 28, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Staffing Edge Logo NoBrackets Beige Chubby Bus Cards resized 600For the over 120 members of The Staffing Edge, having the tools to achieve business success and the freedom to focus on sales and service is a necessity in the very competitive Canadian staffing industry.

They started their staffing firm to do what they love best – sell and recruit - not get caught up in the red tape of administration!  That’s why they rely on TSE to handle not only their back office management but to keep them up to date on best practices, employment legislation and legal ramifications in the industry.

When shopping around for a service provider whether it be for financing, payroll or government compliance, keep in mind that no-one in Canada offers it all under one roof like The Staffing Edge.

Our members enjoy the following services as part of their back office solution for staffing that isn’t offered together anywhere else:

Canadian Staffing Expertise

Canadian Expertise

We’re proud of our unparalleled Canadian expertise across all provinces in Canada. Will your payroll or finance provider understand the liabilities of Bill 139 in Ontario or the statutory holiday rules in Alberta? Many providers will state that they have Canadian expertise but when you dig deep you may learn that the head office is in the U.S.  How dedicated to the Canadian staffing market are they? 

 Payroll financing from The Staffing Edge

Payroll Financing

Meeting payroll while waiting on receivables can present a challenge to many staffing firms. We are the only company to offer our members UNLIMITED payroll financing for your temp staffing payroll not only that but we are one of the few who don’t upcharge when the client takes more than 30 days to pay. Our receivables insurance covers your invoices if a client goes bankrupt or has financial difficulty – no other service provider can offer that. 

 Canadian Staffing Workforce Compliance  

Workforce Compliance

When it comes to Human Resources, the government of Canada has a myriad of ever evolving rules that must be followed. Keeping up with these rules, never mind understanding and complying with them, takes experience that few companies have in house. The Staffing Edge members enjoy Workers Compensation Cost and Case Management, Appeals & Tribunal Representation and Health & Safety Programs & Manuals.  How much will you pay a lawyer to appeal your WSIB claim?  Will they even understand the intricacies of temp staffing? The Staffing Edge has an appeals winning ratio of 79% for WSIB and 99% with the Ministry of Labour.

How much time are you willing to spend on putting together your    candidate and client templates and then keeping up to date as the rules change?  With TSE, we provide you with all the templates you need and keep them up to date as things change so you can keep on doing what you do best.

 Technology for The Canadian Staffing Industry  

Technology

When sourcing an ATS ensure the company behind it is Canadian.  If it’s not Canadian chances are, their software was made around another country’s rules for workforce compliance. You’ll find yourself making work arounds to document Bill 139 or the new Safety Awareness Training.  Wouldn’t it be nice if your ATS had fields to capture this and create reminders and reports around it? The Staffing Edge started almost 20 years ago by a Canadian Staffing Agency Owner, Lou Duggan who was frustrated with the lack of support for the Canadian staffing industry.

The Staffing Edge evolves in the world of technology to keep you ahead of the curve. Our award winning proprietary staffing software, StaffTrak, is an ATS, CRM and financial reporting system all in one. StaffTrak not only gives you the ability to track orders, clients and candidates but company performance and staff productivity as well. The web based system can be accessed anywhere, anytime, even from your mobile device using our mobile app and can be linked to your own website for online registration and job posting.

What else? The best insurance in the business, Independent Contractor Compliance, Payroll plus HR Administration, credit checking, collections, invoicing … Everything as an entrepreneur that you don’t want to do!  It’s our very reason for existing.

Meet our members who utilize all of the above in one back office service package.

Contact The Staffing Edge today to take advantage of our tools for the Canadian Staffing Industry offering you “the freedom to focus and the tools to achieve”.

staffing agency cash flow

Topics: The Staffing Edge Back Office Service Provider ATS Insurance Coverage Staffing Industry Expertise Payroll Financing Back Office Payroll Financing The Staffing Edge Members Technology

The Best in Staffing Attend Toronto Networking Event

Posted by Ray Gonder

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Jun 20, 2014 9:07:00 AM

Erik Simins, Jenna Kash and Govinda Butcher at the Toronto Networking Event for staffing professionalsThe Toronto Networking Event last Thursday was a great success with some of the brightest professionals in contract staffing making an appearance. TNE, hosted by The Staffing Edge, is an annual networking event for staffing professionals within the Greater Toronto Area.

The gorgeous weather allowed attendees to enjoy the beautiful patio of Bar Milano near the Toronto harbour front. Pictured on right (left to right): Erik Simins of Magnus Personnel, Jenna Kash of JK Consulting and Govinda Butcher of People Reps who is a member of TSE. 

The four hour, come and go event, saw a steady flow of staffing professionals from all industry sectors who stayed to enjoy a few drinks, delicious food, the soccer game on a big screen and of course the opportunity to chat about:

  • Order Sharing
  • Current Challenges in the Staffing Market
  • Current Opportunities in the Staffing Market
  • Non-members got to learn more about The Staffing Edge from our management team and through face to face testimonials from our members
  • Perm staffing pros learned how to branch into temp and contract staffing

The overwhelming theme at the event was that contract staffing continues to flourish, providing many staffing firms growth opportunities that they haven’t seen in past years.

We’d like to thank everyone who attended and look forward to hearing from staffing professionals interested in our back office staffing services and unlimited payroll financing. Thank you Bar Milano for the beautiful venue and delicious food, we will definitely be hosting future networking events at the harbour front.

Interested in keeping informed of what’s happening in the staffing industry?

Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

staffing agency cash flow

Topics: staffing needs Staffing Industry Professional Advice Staffing Industry Expertise Staffing Agency The Staffing Edge Members Toronto Networking Event

Staffing Firm Growth Reliant on Payroll Financing Options

Posted by Stacey Duggan

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Jun 16, 2014 8:30:00 AM

The Staffing Edge and Payroll financing for staffing industryStaffing firms in Canada are tasked with matching thousands of people with thousands of temp, contract and perm positions. With such a great focus on sales and service, it can be hard to keep up with cash flow requirements to keep any business stable and secure.

You Have Financing Options

The staffing industry is a competitive environment that sees financially stable staffing firms prosper and achieve business success and longevity. To achieve optimal financial stability you have three financing options for your staffing agency to meet payroll obligations: A line of credit, a factoring firm or payroll financing.

A line of credit is not always the best option for staffing agencies as bankers don’t understand the ups and downs of temp and contract staffing. You may find yourself with a sudden increase in orders but the inability to fill them due to the bank’s refusal to increase the line for payroll purposes. The bank will rarely take future sales into account when assessing your ability to pay a line increase.


A factoring firm buys your invoices and takes anywhere from 2.5-4 per cent for themselves. That percentage might seem reasonable but consider this; a factoring firm’s percentage will increase the longer it takes for the client to pay. In fact, a factoring firm may deny an invoice all together if the client is known to take over 60 days to pay. In the end, a factoring firm may only be able to help you with a certain percentage of your clientele and, as we all know in the staffing industry; clients can fluctuate just as much as temps can. You need a partner that can support your full book of business, no matter what.

The above options offer your employment agency nothing more than payroll financing.

Big Competition

We know your start-up or small to mid-sized staffing firm is faced with the pressure of competing with the multi-national staffing firms that have access to financing, technology, insurance and a bevy of expertise when it comes to HR, legal and government issues. Can you compete with them and gain a level playing field? Of course you can! It’s on this precedent that The Staffing Edge was started over 19 years ago. Our founder, Lou Duggan, a staffing firm owner himself at the time, experienced the disadvantages an independent staffing firm faces such as expensive technology, banking needs that he didn’t qualify for, and a complicated government bureaucracy that took him away from his core competency; sales and service. Since then, The Staffing Edge has grown to foster over 120 independent staffing firms and is recognized for its expertise in the staffing industry.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a solution tailored for your staffing firm that supports your vision of independence? Here’s what The Staffing Edge package solution for employment agencies contains:

• Payroll Financing
• Full Payroll Processing
• Complete Employee and Employer Remittances
• Exceptional Insurance Coverage
• Credit Checking, Invoicing and Collections
• Receivable’s Insurance
• Worker’s Compensation Management
• Complete Government Compliance
• In house Legislative, Employment and Legal Expertise
• Award Winning Staffing Software

The Freedom to Focus and the Tools to Achieve! Please visit our services page for more information.

Competing with the BIG multi-national agencies?

Topics: cash flow Temp Staffing Agency Payroll Payroll Administration Back Office Service Provider Staffing Industry Expertise Payroll Financing Back Office Payroll Financing Cash Flow Management

CASL Will Change the Way Staffing Firms Connect

Posted by Stacey Duggan

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Jun 9, 2014 9:15:00 AM

CASL new law in Canada taking affect on July 1 2014 also known as Canada Day! Image courtesy of The Staffing EdgeCanada’s new Anti-Spam Legislation is taking effect on July 1, 2014 and requires changes to how your temp or contract staffing agency sends commercial email correspondence to clients and candidates. What do you need to adjust to be compliant? Read on…

Canada’s new Anti-Spam Legislation is the toughest anti-spam law in the world so naturally your staffing firm may be overwhelmed by the strict guidelines and unsure of how to incorporate the new rules into your marketing campaign.

The Canadian government has added hefty monetary penalties to the legislation if companies are found in breach of CASL. 

  • For individuals a single violation of CASL could be up to a $1 Million fine
  • For organizations like temp, perm or contract staffing firms, a single violation could be up to a $10 Million fine

Take those numbers in and put a plan in place now for your staffing agency’s email communications reorganization strategy.

Does Canada’s Anti-Spam Law apply to my staffing agency?

CASL regulations referred to in this article pertain to Commercial Electronic Messages or CEM’s, sent via electronic message mediums, email or text message. If the recipient is located in Canada, the law applies to you. If the recipient is located outside of Canada and you are sending the message from within Canada, the law applies to you.

Some examples of email marketing your staffing agency may currently send out would be  daily, weekly or monthly newsletters, and promotions to clients & candidates’ about career fairs, outlining company news, or automated 'hot candidate' alerts etc.

Implied Consent vs. Express Consent Conditions

Implied consent is a regulation clause to the law whereby if a recipient on one of your email lists has done business with you within the last six months there was implied consent. Some examples of doing business with you include exchanging of business cards, fishbowl submissions, verbal consent and signup forms where explicit consent was not gained. Implied consent lasts two years from the date it was obtained therefore you have two years to gain explicit consent which offers the best protection against violation allegations.

Express consent is the best way staffing agencies can protect themselves from a spam complaint because it lasts until the list recipient withdraws their consent. Implied consent may be harder to prove in a court of law and can easily be disputed without written proof or a date and time stamp stored upon signup when obtaining express consent.

We know you want to build your list of contacts through whatever email marketing portal you use (MailChimp or Constant Contact to name a few) but to comply with CASL you must practise permission based email marketing!

If a candidate fills out a sign up form to submit their resume through your website or to get a call back from your staffing agency, that does not give you permission to send them CEM’s. To gain explicit permission you would have to add an unchecked radio button to the sign up form explicitly asking for their permission to send job alerts, promotional messages and newsletters.

One last thing regarding your email content

All CEM’s must have an unsubscribe mechanism and all CEM’s (email or text messages used for a commercial purpose) must clearly list the senders name and address. Sign up forms will also need to have your staffing agency’s name and address listed below the form or close to the submit button.

The Staffing Edge is committed to permission based email marketing and is working diligently to ensure our methods of correspondence with our contract staffing firm members and non-members is compliant.  We pride ourselves on offering professionals in the contract staffing industry  relevant, timely and innovative  information giving them the freedom to focus on sales & service and the tools to achieve success.  

Competing with the BIG multi-national agencies?

Topics: recruiting agency Back Office Staffing Industry Expertise Staffing Agencies Staffing Agency Marketing

Statutory Holiday and Pay Entitlement for Contract Staffing

Posted by Karen McMullen

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Jun 6, 2014 9:15:00 AM

Stat Holiday Pay Eligibility

No matter where your contract staffing firm has candidates one thing is certain; every province has different rules and regulations in regards to statutory holiday pay eligibility. For example, in Ontario an employee is eligible to be paid for a stat holiday right from day one, in Alberta the employee must have been employed for the last 30 days before the holiday with actual working days totalling more than 15 in order to start receiving this pay.

Since each province in Canada varies and changes to public holidays do happen, staffing firms need to stay informed on changes in employment standards to ensure compliance for every province. Stat holiday pay calculation is based on previous hours worked within a certain timeframe.

Every province has different rules as far as paying temporary or contract workers for stat holidays. Some of these regulations include:

  • Employees to have worked a set length of employment anywhere from 30 days to 3 months with their present employer to qualify for stat pay.
  • Working your regular scheduled shift the day before and after the holiday.
  • A requirement to have earned wages for a certain amount of days before the statutory holiday.

Checking provincial websites for their specific rules will ensure compliance with stat pay and entitlement guidelines. The calculation for statutory holiday pay varies from province to province as well.  For example the calculation to pay statutory holidays for Ontario employees is:
4 weeks gross earnings plus vacation pay divided by 20.

Staffing agency members of The Staffing Edge aren’t required to keep track of stat pay for temporary or contract workers no matter their province as we not only ensure compliance but provide system reporting so payroll runs smoothly. Our expertise in the staffing industry for payroll, employment standards, HR legislation, and staffing agency software is why our members love us! 

Statutory Holidays in Canada  TSE resized 600

 

Download a PDF of our services

Topics: Statutory Requirements Staffing Industry Expertise Contract Staffing Agency Stat Holidays ESA

Recruiters: How Blogging Will Get You Noticed By Your Clients

Posted by Stacey Duggan

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May 30, 2014 8:30:00 AM

Blogging resized 600

 

If your temp or contract staffing agency doesn’t utilize online marketing tools for search engine optimization, how are potential clients finding your website? In today’s day in age, your contract staffing agency’s website is your new business card.

Having a nicely designed website with basic information such as your office location with a map, company contact information, a list of services offered, an online submission form to contact your staffing agency are pretty much standard website inclusions nowadays.

However, a website parked online will not magically summon clients to it. Having some form of relevant content being optimized with the keywords your candidates and clients are inputting into Google to find your company is imperative.

 

Why should your temp or contract staffing firm start a blog?

You’ll Attract Clients and Candidates to your Website
Blogs are a great way to attract visitors from search engine result pages. When you write a blog post you should optimize it to have 5-10 keywords per post, and incorporate those keywords throughout the article.  By providing information on specific topics (“temp staffing agency in Brampton”) you are attracting relevant traffic sources to your website. Regular posts will help capture new visitors and potentially new clients by continually adding new information to catch both the human reader and the Google one.

FAQ’s Can be Addressed Through your Blog
Topics that matter most to your clients and candidates should be used to create your blog content. Think about the top questions and comments you get from clients and candidates via email or in person and blog about it! If they are asking you these questions chances are they are searching for the answers on the web as well. Make sure that they find the answers on your website. Once your blog has regularly scheduled content and starts getting relevant traffic and a regular audience you will get comments and questions on your blog posts. Moderate your blog post on a regular basis for inappropriate comments, spam and most importantly questions or comments that need to be followed up on.

Easily Show Off Company Achievements & Highlights
Does your contract staffing agency give back to its community? Blog about it. Is your agency onboarding a new team member? Blog about it. Giving your staffing clients and potential clients’ transparency in your agencies’ business dealings by updating them on these activities will increase trust, build credibility and keep potential clients interested in the possibility of doing business with you

Brand Your Contract Staffing Agency an Expert in your Niche
Does your temporary or contract staffing agency fill orders to a specific industry or similar position (etc.: administrative, IT, engineering)? Utilize your niche market by writing relevant content for that niche and in time you will become an expert in your field and your blog will be the go to destination for industry information. 

The Staffing Edge is dedicated to the success of our member staffing firms so watch for more articles in the coming weeks about social media marketing specific to the staffing industry and how utilizing it can increase your contract staffing firms bottom line.  

Competing with the BIG multi-national agencies?

Topics: contract staffing Back Office Service Provider Staffing Industry Expertise Staffing Agency IT Contract Staffing Agency Staffing Agency Marketing Staffing Agency Sales

Staffing Industry Advice Can Be Hard to Find: 5 Areas to Consider

Posted by Karen McMullen

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May 12, 2014 8:35:00 AM

Your passion for the staffing industry drives you, the entrepreneur, to move from employee to owner, but the red tape that comes along with being your own boss can be daunting. Entrepreneurs know they must seek out the advice of professionals like employment lawyers, accountants and financial consultants to help them understand the steps needed to not only protect them legally, but also to ensure that they have met their due diligence when it comes to government compliance, reporting and remittances. But when it comes to staffing firms, generic business consultants, whether they are a lawyer or an HR expert, may not understand the unique realities of the staffing industry well enough to be able to best advise and protect you, their client. 

Top 10 Things You Need to Know When Opening a Temp Staffing Firm resized 600

Contract Staffing Industry Advice Agenda:

  1. The right paperwork from the get go
  2. The need for ongoing expertise
  3. Business Fluctuations
  4. Who do you go to when a worker is injured?
  5. Acquisition, Expansion and Retirement

The Right Paperwork Right from the Get Go

One area where a staffing industry blind spot can bite you is the contract documents you use. First, a staffing firm needs an ironclad Client Service Agreement that will stand up in court, if need be. The service of providing people is much more complicated than a business providing equipment, products or other business services. The agreement you sign with your clients’ needs to reflect this difference, and outline the responsibilities of the client regarding the care and welfare of your temp workers.

A good service agreement needs to include a non-solicitation clause with the client agreeing they will not hire your workers on their own as applicable by law. There must also be terms describing the client’s responsibilities for any costs associated with employment standards regulations, including stat holiday, overtime and termination pay.

Also needed is temp worker paperwork that meets all government employment standards regulations. Typical employment agreements do not take into account the fact the temp’s place of work is offsite.

The Temp Agency/Temp Employee paperwork must reflect this distinction, and should always detail terms including no guarantees of length of assignment, an availability policy, and the requirement for them to call the staffing firm for authorization if the client asks the employee to perform work outside of the original job description.

The Need for Ongoing Expertise

Not only does your staffing firm need experts that are keeping abreast of the ever-evolving changes in government legislation, your staffing firm needs these advisors to understand how these regulations impact your business and be able to make the necessary changes to all your policy and contract documents to keep them current.

For example, Bill 139 in Ontario added new regulations to the Employment Standards Act regarding stat holiday and termination pay for temporary staffing agency employees. All your paperwork must be updated to reflect these kinds of regulatory changes. These kinds of new regulations directly affect how contract staffing companies do business, and must be reflected in both the contracts signed with clients and the employment agreements with temporary employees.

For instance, a general employment lawyer not well-versed in staffing may not understand the importance, in light of these new laws, of including a co-responsibility clause into client agreements, leaving a staffing firm open to liabilities and unexpected costs.

Business Fluctuations

When starting a staffing firm, many entrepreneurs turn to their local bank for financial advice and support, which can be fine as long as the bank is willing to continue to increase credit limits to match your firm’s growth. But what happens when they don’t, or even worse cancels them altogether?

For example, during the recession of 2009 many staffing firms found themselves scrambling as their banks called in the credit lines they had been relying on to manage payroll. Adding to this cash flow stress was the lack of, or slower payment by clients also affected by the broad economic shifts occurring everywhere. Traditional sources of business financing can leave staffing firms high and dry.

Who Do You Go to for Advice When a Worker is Injured?

You do your best to ensure the safety of your temp workforce, but accidents still just happen (in Ontario alone, there are over 300,000 new workers’ compensation claims with the WSIB each year). When they do, the provincial Workers’ Compensation Board is there to ensure all proper procedures have been followed, and if not, to lay fines and penalties against the employer. But it is not their job to provide expertise to employers about how to conduct themselves during the investigation, including managing the physician consultations and properly submitting the appropriate forms, never mind advising how to dispute a claim.

Engaging a consultant that knows and understands the staffing industry couldn’t be more important when it comes to representing your rights in Workers’ Comp cases. But retaining an employment lawyer to ensure the rights of the staffing firm are upheld and effectively represented can cost thousands –money clearly not well-spent if the lawyer’s first-hand knowledge of the staffing industry, and your firm in particular, is limited.

Acquisition, Expansion and Retirement

An expert who understands the staffing industry can help you evaluate the worth of a company that you may be looking to acquire or merge with. Someone without staffing expertise may not understand how the worth of a permanent placement firm is very different than one with a solid book of contract business.

For instance, clients of a permanent agency often walk away when the principal leaves, diminishing the firm’s value, while a contract staffing business based on ongoing steady cash flow is worth much more, sustaining a business through any change of ownership. That same industry insider expertise is also invaluable when you are looking to sell your business and retire.

Proper valuation is paramount to your successful exit. A lack of accurate market knowledge could leave you dangling for months without attracting a buyer before you realize the price you are asking is too high. Or even worse, the business quickly sells before you discover you could have sold for much more for your retirement cushion.

The Staffing Edge offers solutions to temporary and contract staffing agencies to allow recruitors the freedom to focus and the tools to achieve. Our services include unlimited payroll financing, a robust Applicant Tracking System, unparalleled Canadian compliance expertise and much more. Contact the Staffing Edge today!

Topics: Outsourced Back Office Government Compliance Receivables Insurance Staffing Industry Expertise Health and Safety Regulations Business Cash Flow

Contract Staffing Firms: Independent Contractors or Employees?

Posted by Stacey Duggan

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May 8, 2014 12:02:00 PM

In the past few years, The Canada Revenue Agency has held a magnifying glass on the staffing industry due to past abuse of ‘encouraging’ workers to become independent contractors so the agency could avoid paying employer taxes or to meet the client’s expectations for a cheaper bill rate. 

Misuse of placing independent contractors who didn’t qualify to be paid as such, triggered audits of staffing firms across Canada who received not only fines and a reprimand but caused those agencies who are compliant in there qualification process when engaging with independent contractors to be under the watchful eye of the CRA.  

Many agencies are now in fear of placing independent contractors at all - even if they do meet compliance. This leaves the contract staffing agency unable to service their clients who look to their competitors to provide candidates with that level of expertise that only a qualified independent contractor can provide. 

The importance of employment agreements and independent contractor agreements are of paramount significance when placing candidates for temporary and contract staffing orders. Many employers and recruiters find it frustrating that many employees use the title of self-employed worker until it no longer suits them when their business relationship ends with the contract. In this case, many independent contractors will come back and request employment insurance benefits or severance pay when they are simply not entitled to them as independent contractors.

Contract Staffing Firms: Use the Four Point Test

The Canada Revenue Agency has a four point test method to help contract staffing agencies decipher between a self-employed individual and an employee; control, ownership of tools, chance of profit/risk of loss, and integration. Let’s look at each of these from an independent contractor perspective vs. an employee perspective:

Independents Chart resized 600

 

For further reading on this issue see Lexology.com “Independent Contractors: A Different Perspective” by Blaney McMurtry and William D. Anderson:

“Mr. Rennie was a helicopter maintenance engineer and maintained helicopters owned by VIH Helicopters Ltd. Both Mr. Rennie and VIH Helicopters considered Mr. Rennie to be an independent contractor. Other similar individuals chose to be employees. Mr. Rennie took the position that it was to his advantage not to be an employee. For the purpose of filing his income tax returns Mr. Rennie reported business income and deducted the expenses associated with running his business. In matrimonial proceedings with his former spouse, affidavits were filed which expressly stated that Mr. Rennie was self-employed, which apparently suited his purposes during those proceedings too. Upon termination of his business relationship with VIH Helicopters, however, Mr. Rennie came to the opposite conclusion and stated that he was really an employee. Mr. Rennie sought certain legal remedies available only to employees under the Canada Labour Code.

In its decision, the Court clearly disapproved of Mr. Rennie’s duplicity in referring to his relationship with VIH Helicopters as an independent contractor for some purposes, but as an employee for others. The court decided before answering the question of whether Mr. Rennie was or was not an employee at law first whether or not Mr. Rennie was “estopped” from asserting that he was an employee. That is: (1) did Mr. Rennie lead VIH Helicopters to understand that their relationship was not that of an employer and employee? (2) Could he change his position?; and, (3) Did VIH Helicopters alter its legal position to its own detriment as a result?”

Needless to say the court ruled that Mr. Rennie was in fact a self-employed individual and could not pick and choose his status between self-employed and employee now that his contractor agreement had ended. Candidates and recruiters have to weigh their options carefully as both titles  come with their  own set of pros and cons. Staffing firms engaging in the services of independent contractors should be well aware of the rules and regulations and have a solid process in place to ensure their compliance when placing them. 

The Staffing Edge has a solid, CRA approved, checklist when it comes to placing independent contractors so their member firms can be assured of expert advice and compliance. Contact us today for  more information on how we can ensure your independent contractor compliance so you can compete in the busy contract market.

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Topics: independent contractors independent contractor compliance Staffing Industry Expertise CRA CRA Independent Contractor Re-classification

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