When it comes to increasing competitiveness, companies have to take a realistic look at what is needed to move forward. As productivity improvements are made, it’s clear that everyone on the team needs to be an “A player.” Having an employee that is adequate at their job isn’t good enough – your company really needs all staff members to exceed expectations and bring you to the next level.
Human capital is the value of an employee to an employer. According to a recent survey of CEOs, human capital is the highest employer concern for this year. If you are a hiring manager, hiring the right people to meet the goals of your company is the most important job you have.
Analyze what you need to accomplish and assess how much talent you need to hire. Hiring the right talent and finding a workplace culture fit are the best ways to achieve great results.
Here are the characteristics that every member of your team should have
- Integrity: Integrity at the core of every personal and business decision a person makes. Hiring people with integrity is what allows you to sleep at night.
- Flexibility: Flexibility governs an employee’s response to the many hurdles that arise in everyday business. If your employee is flexible, your employee will be a true team member.
- Communication Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and most of all, listening – these are the skills that we use every day in everything we do. Excellence in communication is a must for an employee.
- Customer Service Skills: It takes five times more resources to attain a customer than to keep one. An employee with customer service skills will help you maintain and gain customers.
- Intelligence: A fast learner can adapt to constant change and learn new technologies or concepts as they come along. Intelligent employees will keep your company competitive.
- Attitude: Employees that have a good attitude are pleasant to be around and will make you enjoy coming to work every day.
- Desire to work: This may seem obvious, but don’t assume everyone is a worker. Many employees have all the right skills but just don’t want to apply themselves.
Additionally, assess your current staff. Your “A” players will possess these skills. They are the top 10% of your staff for that reason -- let them do their thing. If you have employees that are lacking any of these skills, it is probably time to make a change. These employees are likely to be your low performers, and trying to change them will be counterproductive. Don’t focus on what percent of your team the “C” group is. Whether “C” players comprise 10% or 80% of your staff, you need to put a plan in place to find more “A” players. The process of replacing “C” performers is called topgrading. For more tips on identifying weak links in your team, contact The Daniel Group today.
This year, businesses have to do more than just address customer demand. Companies need to simultaneously finish their daily tasks and complete projects that support growth. This is why increasing productivity should be a top focus for organizations.
Although critical, increasing productivity can be challenging… mainly because employers run the risk of working their staff too hard. Employee burnout can actually lead to less productivity, and even turnover in some cases.
Keeping your staff happy and healthy is the key to increasing productivity. Here are three workforce initiatives to keep in mind as you look to ramp-up production:
Obtain more employee buy-in
As an employer, it would be impractical to allow your employees to have input in every one of your decisions. However, whenever you implement an initiative that will change or improve operations, it’s crucial that you have buy-in from your staff – and right from the start. Instead of just informing your employees that “x,y or z will change,” take the time to explain why the change is being made and how it will benefit them in the long-run. Also give them set periods of time where they can provide feedback openly and honestly. This will make them more enthusiastic about the planned changes and increases the likelihood that your changes will be sustainable.
Encourage employee vacations
A recent survey from Harris Interactive found that nearly 60% of workers don’t utilize all of their vacation time, with multiple studies supporting this notion. When staff members don’t take the time to relax and recharge, it’s harder for them to stay energetic and positive. Remind your employees that it’s important for them to take their allotted days or time. They’ll return to work better than new.
Leverage contract workers
Bringing in some additional help is critical to growth. Contract workers can help get some projects off the desk and into action. This will alleviate some of the burden from your current staff. Contract workers can also offer a fresh new perspective and inject some new ideas into the mix.
Increasing productivity will remain an important goal for employers throughout the year. If you are considering contract workers to help boost productivity, The Daniel Group can help. Click here to submit an order!
As our economy continues to recover, many employers are facing a similar challenge – they’re experiencing an increase in demand, but don’t have enough staff to manage productivity. For this reason, many employers turn to contract workers for help during periods of economic recovery.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, businesses employed 15,500 contingent workers per month in 2012. Furthermore, overall contingent employment increased by 7.7% from the previous year.
While there are numerous reasons why employers utilize a contingent workforce, here are the top five reasons:
- Flexibility – Contract workers allow you to address your current needs without making any long-term personnel commitments. This will allow you to maximize productivity with fewer burdens.
- Support Growth Projects – Your business should be concentrating on more than “getting the work done” – you should be focused on implementing initiatives that will help you achieve growth. You can use contract workers to manage growth projects. Or, you can use contract workers to handle your workforce’s current responsibilities while they focus on growth initiatives.
- Burnout Prevention – Employee burnout leads to mistakes, low company morale and turnover. Contract workers will provide some relief for your team and perhaps even encourage much-needed employee vacations.
- Eliminate Employment Costs – You don’t just pay an employee’s salary or hourly wage. There are many other expenses including payrolling, benefits spending and administrative costs. Staffing agencies manage these expenses for contract workers.
- Test Drive Employees – Contract arrangements allow you to “test drive” how an employee fits in with your company culture. If this professional ends up being an “A player”, you can bring him or her onto your payroll.
Contract workers can help you improve productivity, efficiencies and ultimately profitability. To place an order for contract workers, click here!
Picture yourself in this scenario: While sitting at your desk, your phone rings. Your top competitor’s chief salesperson is on the phone. He tells you that his company is closing and asks for a few moments of your time to discuss his next career move. Do you take him up on his offer?
You are similar to many managers if your answer is yes. You understand that key talent is challenging to find and pivotal to your organization’s growth. One of the most important roles of a leader is making sure your company has access to the right talent. A chief point in reaching the company’s goals is having the right workers in place.
To make sure that the right employees are in place to support your company’s business strategy, you need a hiring plan. Now is the perfect time to create a hiring plan for 2013. Your plan should include information on:
Your company’s business strategy:
Evaluate what factors are most important to your company. Take into consideration the core values, culture, mission and overall strategy of your company. These factors should all be evaluated when developing your hiring strategy, as they should all be aligned.
Your current staff:
- Do you have the right people in place?
- Does the current staff create the culture you want to achieve?
- Is everyone working to capacity?
- Is training needed to increase skills?
- Is turnover an issue for your company?
- Do you need to rethink your current job requirements? Are you expecting too much? Are you demanding too little?
- Is anyone scheduled to leave or retire?
- Should you upgrade technology to make your staff more efficient?
The staff you will need for the future:
- Do you need to upgrade any of your current staff?
- Is there a career path in place for each team member?
- What additional staff is needed to help you reach your goals?
Once you have determined what staff you will need, lay out the plan for how you will recruit and qualify your staff. Do you have a recruiting manager? Will hiring managers be responsible for their own staff? Will you partner with a staffing agency to help you identify top candidates for your team?
Your 2013 hiring plan should also address onboarding new hires and setting a career path within your company. You will need to improve your communication with new employees if your company’s turnover rate is high. This will ensure that they are assimilated into the team.
Smart Business: Houston recently featured Jarrod Daniel, CEO of The Daniel Group, in an article about how a company should establish a comprehensive hiring plan. The article can be viewed by clicking here.
Creating a strategic hiring plan after taking the time to think through these issues will go far in ensuring company success. If you would like help developing your staffing strategy or would like to place a job order, click here to contact us.
Your most important businesses asset is your staff. They are the source of your company’s operational performance and its future competitive advantage. Consequently, maximizing the success of each new hire is becoming increasingly important. Factors such as the growing costs associated with employment, global competition and an uncertain economy mean that employers must strengthen their hiring process even more. In order to effectively manage your workforce, you must understand what a bad employee looks like and what your ideal workforce looks like.
To understand the type of employee that you want to avoid, think about the worst hire you’ve ever made. Your thoughts might jump to a short-lived disaster where the employee was terminated for a clear inability to do the job or a breach of company policy. However, it's also important to think about a less "clearly obvious" bad hire. This may be an employee who didn't necessarily do anything outrageously bad, but an employee who also doesn't do anything great. Employees that are not helping your company build for the future can be equally harmful to your bottom line. They fail to produce, waste management’s time and impact everyone around them.
On the other hand, think about your best hires. These star players make magic in the company. Think about the following factors that contribute to their success:
- What are the employees’ traits?
- How did the employee gain basic skills and experience?
- What companies did the employee work for in the past?
- What schools did the employee attend?
- What are the employee’s hobbies?
- Are there key personality traits that seem to work best in your environment?
Determining the type of person that fits best into your organization is as important as understanding the required skill sets.
Be sure to examine the demographics in your area when hiring. You may think you know the ideal candidate, but you cannot create that person based on what you need. You are going to have to choose candidates that exist in your region. For example, you may need to hire someone that has a proficiency in an accounting software program. If no other companies in your geographic area use that same software, it is likely that you will not find someone with that skill. You will need to train them instead. According to a recent survey, “Two-thirds (68%) of employers surveyed reported not having analyzed the demographics of their workforce. These companies are not aware and unprepared to make necessary changes to effectively manage the changing workforce.”
A bad hiring decision can be a large expense with many costly factors: advertising, recruiter time, managers’ interviewing time, training resources and more all are factors when hiring. Hidden costs include loss of productivity, lost opportunities for growth, onboarding efforts, employee morale and company image. The cost of a bad hire varies from company to company, and understanding how to avoid a bad hire can quickly boost the bottom line.
At The Daniel Group, we deliver expert staffing solutions that help drive your success. For more information on employer services and to place a Job Order, click here.
Leveraging the resources of staffing firms is an effective strategy for employers during a recovering economy:
- Different hiring options (contract, contract-to-direct, direct-hire, executive search) offer employers flexibility
- Staffing firms eliminate the “hidden costs” associated with hiring including payrolling, administrative costs, benefits spending and unemployment claims
- Temporary and contract workers prevent employee burnout while increasing production levels
- Staffing firms use their expansive recruiting network to identify top talent
The recession affected many companies and as a result, businesses have cut back. To maintain production levels, the employees that remained were asked to take on work left by previous workers and diversify their workload.
The result of this change was that businesses became more lean and efficient. Until they were assured that the worst was behind them, managers were hesitant to hire permanent workers. As the recovery sputtered through 2010 and 2011, managers were beginning to have a paradigm shift. The option of a contract workforce gave managers more flexibility and helped them manage costs. These workers brought a new enthusiasm to the workplace and often added valuable and necessary skill sets. A “permanent” contingent workforce was becoming the new normal. Temps were becoming permanent.
These trends “are part of a larger trend in which work has become increasingly informal in recent years," says Nik Theodore, director of the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois.
"Temporary jobs are the tip of the iceberg of ways that work has become casual-ized," he says. Many industries have accepted a permanent contingent workforce as their norm. The global workforce paired with an uncertain economy has resulted in companies rethinking their staffing strategies.
“The trend is subtly reshaping a workforce in which businesses traditionally employed workers through good times and bad, protecting them with benefits and job security. The basic bargain at the center of work used to be, employees gave loyalty and the organization gave security," says Daniel Pink, author of Free Agent Nation. "That bargain is kaput."
Please join us in celebrating National Staffing Employee Week! At The Daniel Group, we deliver expert staffing solutions that help drive your success. To place a job order, click here or call your local office today!
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Many organizations evade workforce planning until a staffing emergency occurs. Evaluating the required skills for a team member and the corporate culture are not tasks that should be rushed. Assess your current staff now and plan ahead so that you will be able to cover your production levels and create the company culture that you’d like. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What positions do you normally hire for and what can you expect for this year?
- In the last two years, how were the best candidates found for your company?
- Where do you believe the best candidates may be currently working? Is it at a competing company?
- What skills do you find the most difficult to hire for and where is more training required?
- What existing employees may be ready to take on additional responsibilities?
- What existing employees are retiring soon or may be leaving the company?
- What did you learn from previous exit interviews that can help you strengthen the engagement of current employees?
- What is planned for the year that will help your organization grow?
You can estimate the number of new hires you will require based on your answers to these questions.
Understand the Applicant Pool Now
If you are proactive, you will be able to make a better hiring decision because you will have a greater understanding of the applicants in your area. Create an open door policy and reserve time each week to interview available candidates. This will help you determine:
- Which organizations in your area have employees that best equal your culture
- Which college programs include training that is valuable in for your work environment
- What skills set are available in your geographical area and which skills will you need to provide training for
Use All Accessible Resources
Many companies partnered with temporary agencies during the economic downturn to help fill open positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the temporary help services industry accounted for 91% of the total non-farm job growth from June 2009 through June 2011. Nine out of ten employees added to the workforce were contract workers during this time of economic down turn. Two key factors contributed to the increased use of staffing agencies to increase headcount:
- Lack of company resources to handle the hiring process
- Reluctance to add to permanent head count due to economic uncertainty
Hiring “A” players is not a matter of luck. Careful planning and a hiring strategy are necessary for workforce success. You aren’t able to hire an outstanding performer if you only meet with or see average performers. Consider multiple sources for finding your candidates: set up a candidate friendly website, use employee referrals, network in business organizations and partner with a recruiter that has knowledge and experience with the culture of your company.
To place a job order or speak with someone about creating a staffing plan, Contact The Daniel Group today.
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Last week, it was reported by the Labor Department that new jobless benefits claims had dropped to 350,000 per week, the lowest level in four years. Despite conflicting reports about the true meaning of this, most experts concur that this is a sign of continued improvement for our economy. Because the recession is said to have ended in 2009, we can take these signs of growth as indicators of economic progress. Businesses across the nation are now busier, but are consequently burdened with an overworked staff. As a result, a top concern of employers in 2012 is employee burnout.
The average workweek increased by six minutes to 34.5 hours in June, according to recent reports. American companies have been foregoing hiring and relying solely on their current staff. “Firms are still seeing an increase in demand, and there is a need for more labor,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts.
If you are wondering if it’s time to increase your payroll, use these five indicators to determine whether or not you should hire:
1. Overtime is consistently at a high level: Make sure to measure overtime costs in real dollars as well as potential employee burnout. If the company’s workflow is regularly higher than your staff can keep up with, it’s time to hire.
2. Your current staff cannot maintain the level of your sales: You may need to increase your staff if you can’t meet service deadlines. Be sure to give yourself the time to hire and train a new employee. Waiting too long to do so could cause a problem.
3. You are unable to keep customer service at the most favorable levels: Acquiring a new client has a higher cost than keeping an existing one. Make sure that you have the right staff size to satisfy your current customers’ needs.
4. Your goal is to increase sales: If your industry is seeing growth, it might be time to acquire market share. Compare costs versus the benefits of hiring. Hiring a sales person can help you increase revenue.
5. You have sufficient funds to hire: Your budget should allow for an increase in staff.
Once you’ve concluded that you need to hire, you must weigh the pros and cons of a direct-hire employee versus a contract worker. If your heavy workload is due to seasonal surge or a one-time project that isn’t typically a part of your core offerings, a contract worker may be your best bet. Many companies are using temporary or contract employees, as staffing for temps recently rose by 25,200.
If your company can relate to all five signs listed above, your needs may require a full-time employee. Also, if you are “in between” or unsure, a contract-to-direct arrangement may be the best fit for you.
To place a job order for a new employee, contact us today. The Daniel Group is involved at all stages of the engagement. You will receive personalized service from a seasoned professional who knows your business and is accountable for your satisfaction.
Now that summer is officially upon us, vacation and relaxation naturally come to the minds of employees. While workers use their hard-earned vacation days to rest and avoid burning out, employers must think about how to keep productivity levels high. According to a recent survey from CareerBuilder, these are just two of the top seven main concerns of hiring managers in 2012:
- Retaining top talent - 35%
- Providing competitive compensation - 35%
- Worker burnout - 32%
- Maintaining productivity levels - 29%
- Providing upward mobility - 26%
- Finding high-skilled applicants - 24%
- Lack of recruiting budget - 13%
Employers are reluctant to increase permanent staff in their companies, given the unstable growth that the economy is seeing as we emerge from the great recession. Many employees now have heavier workloads as their companies have experiences downsizing or layoffs, resulting in stress and burnout. Ensuring that your employees maintain a healthy work/life balance has become harder than ever.
According to a survey by Harris Interactive, about 57 percent of working Americans had unused vacation time at the end of 2011, and most of them left an average of 11 days on the table – that’s nearly 70 percent of their allotted time off. Also, an Expedia.com survey discovered that only 38% of U.S. employees are taking all of their earned vacation days. The average used only 14 out of 18 days.
Why so many unused days? Because they have extra workloads, employees are more hesitant to take their vacation time. Many workers find that taking a vacation only means that work piles up in their absence. This hilarious graph published by PHD Comics helps to put things into perspective.
Taking a rest from work is necessary for most people, and some companies believe it is the key for success. In a post for Inc., Joe Reynolds of Red Frog discusses why giving your employees unlimited vacation days can boost productivity, promote employee development and solidify employee retention.
Managers may not be able to offer unlimited vacation days to employees, but encouragement to take their vacation time is critical. Utilizing a temporary employee to replace them while they are out will prevent a buildup of work and help maintain productivity levels, all while giving your employee that much needed break.
The interview is one of the most important ways to assess a candidate’s ability to perform on a job, and it is also an opportunity to gauge a candidate’s personality traits. While there is added pressure on the interviewee to present themselves well, be prompt and know about the company, there are also pressures on the interviewer.
As the person conducting the interview, there are a number of ways to ensure an interview’s success. So what are the characteristics of a great interview? Keep in mind the following when you are preparing to conduct your next interview:
- Do Your Homework – Take the time to prepare. Review the candidate’s resume ahead of time, rather than in the interview. Prepare several interview questions beforehand that you can ask, and make sure that they are a combination of leading, behavioral and open-ended questions. Know the type of candidate you are looking for and their ideal qualities.
- Manage the Interview – As the interview’s conductor, you set the tone for the entire meeting. Let your candidates know that you are glad to meet them and that you appreciate the time that they have taken to come to the interview. Explain to them the format of the interview and stick to the time frame that has been set. Don’t waste your time or your candidate’s time by prolonging the interview past your allotted time.
- Take Notes – Make sure that you write notes from the interview down so that you can review them at a later time. If you are interviewing several people for the same position, you will need to refer back to them for the highlights of each candidate.
- Avoid Sensitive Subjects – Steer clear of questions about age, citizenship or marital status. While some job positions require you to ask if the person is authorized to work in the US, asking flat-out about these topics is illegal and could get you into trouble.
If you would like assistance in the interviewing and screening process, another option is to outsource to a staffing firm. The Daniel Group’s in-depth candidate screening process includes background and reference checks, skills testing, drug screens and e-verify, which is recommended by the Department of Homeland Security to confirm citizenship.