The Hourly Recruit….

Recruitment Process

CertaStaff

The Hourly Recruitment Process

By: Jill Friedman

The hourly recruitment process can be both easy and painstaking at the same time.  Typically with hourly personnel we get a broad mix of people in the office to interview.  In my office, I have had everything from people with blue hair who have spent time in prison, to white collar workers making over $200K a year who got laid off, and are seeking gainful employment. After sitting and chatting with them for about 10-15 minutes I can get a pretty good idea whether they will work out as a good candidate or not.

Much of the interview process is about reading body language and differentiating what a person is saying versus what they really mean.  Every person that comes in for a job interview is typically going to put their best foot forward to have their best shot at the opportunity.  You would think one wouldn’t walk into a new possibility with a bad attitude and say “I don’t really need a job, I’m just here to see what you can do for me,” but you might be surprised to know that some people say and do.  In our office, we find that typically the 18-25 year olds on average tend not to work out in the job market very well, at least when it comes to warehouse work or manual labor of sorts.  There is a very large disconnect in our society between this age group and actually having to put in work to earn money, the millennials are definitely a different breed. 

Some of our best hourly employees that have come through our firm, surprisingly enough have been between the ages of 25-45, and have either done jail time or been laid off and looking for something to hold them over until another direct placement job becomes available.  These people have typically gone through some hard times in their lives, whether it is self-inflicted or out of their control, they understand the value and worth of hard labor and try to earn an honest living and have truly been revived by reality. 

Let’s take a peek inside what it would look like as a candidate.  I am looking for a warehouse worker with forklift experience being a bonus but not required, so I hop onto one of my many search engines available after going through our files of people that have already been prescreened.  I find a young man who has worked in a warehouse before and seems like he would be capable of doing the job as described, so I give him a call and set him up with an interview to come into the office.  He shows up at the office 5 minutes early for his interview and in his own vehicle, “first impression, he’s punctual, shows he is responsible,” I think to myself.  He is dressed well and has everything he needs with him, so far this interview would seem off to a good start.  He begins filling out paperwork, and we begin to chat.  As an interviewer I ask many different questions, everything from what he is looking for in a new opportunity, to what his experience has been, and why he has left various work places in the past.  At this point I will typically begin to describe the opportunity I have available so the candidate can decide if it is a good fit or not. 

Everything up to this point seems to be running smoothly, then come the more serious questions.  For some people this set of questions proves to be more difficult than others.  We have to run a background check for this position, are we going to find anything on there?  For almost everyone the immediate answer is always no.  When posing the same questions in different manors, demeanors of the candidate can sometimes change and start to act differently and people tend to start opening up a little bit more, they start coming out with the truth.  Now, this scenario doesn’t hold true for everyone, however it does play out this way more often than not.  For some companies certain misdemeanors or even certain felonies don’t have an impact on one’s ability to be eligible for a job, for others, the company needs a squeaky clean background.  This is where the body language and ability to interpret what someone is truly saying comes in very handy.  I feel being a woman puts me at a slight disadvantage over my male counterparts in the office, because people are less likely to commit to a past discretion with a female than they are a fellow male, I have seen this situation unfold numerous times before my eyes.
When a person is deemed an appropriate candidate for a position, we consider them prescreened.  We let the hiring manager know that we have some people ready for the position and wait for word from the hiring manager for a start date.  If a person does not pass the prescreen portion for a specific job, we hold onto their information for the next hourly position that comes available that may be a better fit for them based on what we found in the screening process.  Our process, however long and tedious, really helps our employer clients with turnover and has yielded great employees, which have put up some serious numbers for them. Great thing is, many of our hourly employees stay with us for years!

Staffing a Growth Industry

Growth Industry

CertaStaff

Staffing a Growth Industry

By: James Sutton

During the recession of 2008, companies were faced with major setbacks and layoffs. As the unemployment rate increased, causing firms to have to make challenging decisions, organizations had to learn how to strengthen their financial position. Their options were to either downsize head-count or to eliminate operating costs in order to regain their financial health. 

When the economy started recovering from the recession, firms had to ramp up again – increasing headcount rapidly. This put many companies in a pearl because they did not have the technical recruitment resources needed to fill the open requisitions.

So their best option was to go to third party staffing and recruiting firms for support.
After the recession, businesses had an increasing need for candidates who were seeking temporary, and/or temporary to permanent placement. Many firms had discovered value in the transitory nature that the temp-to-perm process offers also known as the contract-to-hire service, that placement firms offer – where companies to try employees out before offering them full time positions – reducing their cost to hire;

as well as having the ability to try out several different employees at the same time. This service proved to be the best avenue to bring head-count numbers back up in their organization, and BOOM, the Staffing Industry exploded. Many firms grew at double-digit rates from 2012 to present day and are still growing. Another key factor, was the new health insurance costs related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which took effect January 1st, 2015, many companies found themselves burdened with higher costs that they were not affected by previously.

This legislation became a huge driving point for the increase within the staffing industry as well, being now, that any company with 50 or more employees are required to offer Healthcare coverage to their associates and their families. Business Leaders learned that by off-setting these workers with an Employment Agency, companies can effectively remove those burdens from their P&L, increasing their bottom line, thus adding to the immense growth of the Staffing Industry. I foresee this growth to only continue as the years go by and Staffing firms are going to be the go-to partners for many businesses which previously never consider them.

Starting a Staff….

Staffing Agency

CertaStaff

Starting a Staffing Agency

By: James Sutton

Opening a Staffing firm can be quite the accomplishment and adventure at the same time. Many people I speak with are interested in how I got started and how I grew my firm to be a million dollar company in such a short time frame. I always respond by saying that it wasn’t easy and it entailed a lot of planning, executing, rejection, and most importantly – grey hair. Starting a staffing firm sounds easy to many people initially, but until they actually try and open one up, they won’t know all the particulars needed to be successful. There are many legal hurdles, insurance requirements, contract obligations, and cash requirements needed to get a firm off the ground. In this blog, I will discuss what I went through in order to get my firm opened and to profitability, let’s get started.

First off, I started my career in Human Resources and worked for the Fortune 500 bracket for about 5 years before I jumped into Staffing and Recruiting. HR taught me a lot about how the recruiting process worked within large companies and what happened after candidates were received from 3rd party recruiters, something many recruiters are not experienced with, in this industry. Coming out of HR gave me an edge in the staffing world, being I knew the ropes and language of HR, and I could communicate that when attempting to get on with a new company. This for sure helped me leverage new contracts and recruit higher level talent in the long run. After 5 years in the hamster wheel, I decided it was time to launch out and create CertaStaff.

In 2011, I researched as much as I could about how to open up my own firm before I took the plunge, and one of the major questions I had, was how much capital was required? I read several articles that stated everything from as little as 10k to as high as 50k in cash needed. I found this to be half true, it’s much more than 50k in total. One major cost that is not associated with opening up your own business is your personal living expenses for the first year. This seems to almost always be forgotten when discussing new ventures. For instance, year one of a small business is much like a newborn infant. You have to be there 24/7 and not take food out of the baby’s mouth – in this case “money”. Your new business has to grow and be able to make money and re-invest that money the first year, which means that you will need another account to live off of in the meanwhile. On average (depending on how big your family is), you may need anywhere from 50k-80k a year to support yourself and your family while your business is starting to grow. So, with this being the case, I recommend adding this amount to your capital requirements needed to open your agency, and could be the difference between making it to year 2 or flopping completely within the first 6 months. 

Now comes the part of how much you need to just open up the doors, well, depending which  city you are living in, you should start with a minimum of 60k and if you live in a high-cost area (like NYC), that number could be as high as 120k. The majority of this money will be put in a reserve payroll account, for staffing headcount and financing new contracts – about 75%. The remaining 25% will be used for opening up operations. This would include everything from leasing your first office space, furniture, websites, job sites, insurance, hiring staff, marketing, and etc. You should plan on working this Operating budget for periods of 90-120 days before seeing any revenue come in. The trick is to develop business from day one and get new contracts in place ASAP! Once you have done that, you must start placing the staff immediately and start billing out; usually these invoices have a Net-30 day invoicing period on them, so plan on adding another month onto the time you actually start billing clients as well. This is what’s known as working a full-desk – finding the clients and fulfilling the job orders at the same time. It is essential that you master this piece of the process, if you want to build and grow a successful firm. You can’t just hire people to do it for you, because you as the owner must put your hands on this process and own it. It is very important that the head of the company, knows what it’s like to their own due diligence on each potential client. It’s up to you to deem if a company is a good client or not, any mistakes in this crucial function within the first year can bankrupt you, if the client decides not to pay up!

Starting a staffing firm can be grueling and often difficult to get off the ground, but when you do, it can make you a very wealthy person. The key is differentiating yourself within the industry, because there are so many firms out there and they are all competing amongst each other. Which career areas do you specialize in? Which industries do you have experience with? Can you Recruit or Staff in other states? And most of all, why should I use your firm? All these questions are very important to understand and consider before spending your first dollar opening up. Research and planning are essential in every new business and that includes the staffing & recruitment industry. Being prepared with a detailed business plan and capital requirements will put you in a great position to succeed, but making it to profitability – is all sales. Good Luck!

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