Priority Personnel Blog

Team Players

May 4th, 2015

How to Be a Successful Team Player at Workthumbnail

Super Bowl Sunday is this weekend.
Right now is a good time to think about a few key points of being a team player which include:

Punctuality
Dependability
Strong Work Ethic

Click here for additional tips on : “How to be a Successful Team Player!”.

 

 

What Employee Turnover Really Costs Your Company

December 13th, 2011

Many surveys say that the number one issue facing businesses today is finding and keeping good employees. That’s partially because nationally, the average annual employee turnover rate is 14.4 percent – and it can cost companies thousands or even millions of dollars a year.

While companies normally record and report costs such as wages and benefits, workman’s compensation insurance, utilities, materials and space, most companies don’t track and report the cost of employee turnover.

How to Estimate Turnover Costs

  • SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, once estimated that it costs $3,500.00 to replace one $8.00 per hour employee when all costs — recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training, reduced productivity, etc., were considered. But SHRM’s estimate was the lowest of 17 nationally respected companies who calculate this cost!
  • Do a quick calculation: Think of a job in your organization that has experienced high turnover, maybe supervisors. Estimate their annual average pay and the number of supervisors you lose annually. If their average annual pay is $40,000, multiply this by 1.25 (125% of their annual pay). The result? It costs $50,000 to replace just one supervisor. If you lose ten supervisors a year, you’re spending $500,000 in replacement costs just for supervisors.

Do These Numbers Seem Unbelievable?

Actual turnover costs are usually much higher than we think they are.

If you want to find out exactly how much turnover is costing your organization, find an online employee turnover calculator. Just remember that only tangible costs can be calculated on these sites. Intangible costs are just as real and sometimes much greater than quantifiable costs, but they are difficult if not impossible to measure.

Why Don’t More Companies See This as a Costly Problem?

Many companies don’t realize the true cost of turnover, which costs companies in both expertise and dollars, because they have never examined it. Here are four possible reasons:

1. No process is in place to tabulate the costs of turnover.

2. If they are measured, those costs are not reported to top management.

3. Employers think it’s an inescapable cost of doing business — but it’s not!

4. Costs are underestimated, so they don’t cause concern.

How Can You Measure Turnover Costs in Your Organization?

A comprehensive program measures the following costs:

  • · Separation costs
  • · Replacement costs
  • · Training costs
  • · Vacancy costs

Separation costs include:

  • administrative functions related to termination
  • separation/severance pay
  • any increase in unemployment compensation.

Replacement costs include the cost of:

  • attracting applicants
  • interviews
  • preemployment administrative expenses
  • acquisition and dissemination of information.

Training costs include both formal and informal training costs. Vacancy costs include the net cost incurred due to increased overtime or temporary employees needed to complete the tasks of the vacant position.

How can you reduce turnover?

When turnover costs are unacceptably high, do an assessment. Find out who is leaving and why. Exit interviews can help you gain information. Then develop a retention program based on your findings.

As an award-winning employment agency serving central Texas employers since 1993, Priority Personnel can help you lower your turnover costs. Contact us today!

 

 

Top Staffing Myths and Misconceptions

August 30th, 2011

The staffing industry is not what it used to be.  In decades past, employers typically viewed staffing services as a “necessary evil” – a last resort when a low-level employee called in sick.

But not anymore.

Today’s staffing industry is comprised of diverse, robust organizations whose services can greatly enhance your company’s productivity and profitability – even in a tough economy.  Still, a significant portion of the business community doesn’t really understand what we do, or how we do it.

So if you think that staffing services are too expensive, or that you can’t find an ideal candidate through an employment agency, take a read through this quick post.  It debunks five common staffing myths:

Myth #1: Staffing firms are too expensive.

Fact: If you focus solely on bill rates and placement fees, you may conclude that staffing services are more expensive than a DIY staffing approach.  In reality, staffing firms can actually save you money.  You can leverage their recruiting expertise and economies of scale to quickly and cost-effectively access the talented candidates you need.

You can also reduce overtime, training and payroll administration expenses by using temporary employees to handle your extra workload.  Additionally, staffing experts can show you how to lower your labor costs by reducing your core staff to meet the low end of your production cycle, and then bringing in supplemental help for busier times.

Myth#2: Temps are all secretaries.

Fact: Temporary employees now work in virtually every industry and increasingly include highly skilled professionals.  In additional to administrative and industrial workers, staffing firms now regularly supply medical, technical, legal and executive-level professionals to tackle mission-critical projects.

Myth #3: You can’t hire a good employee through a staffing firm.

Fact: Staffing firms use rigorous screening, interviewing, skills testing and background / reference check processes to ensure the quality of talent they supply.  And unlike an individual you recruit on your own, a staffing service’s candidate comes with a guarantee.

Myth #4: Staffing firms only provide “temps.”

Fact:  Today’s staffing suppliers offer a wide variety of services that can be customized to suit your workforce needs, including:  temporary help, direct hire, temp-to-hire, contract staffing and payrolling services.

Myth #5: Temps are only good for “fill-ins.”

Fact: Beyond filling in for vacations or illnesses, employers regularly use temporary and contract employees to: provide extra support during busy times; staff special short-term projects; access specialized talent; evaluate talent for permanent positions.

The Truth about Priority Personnel

The truth is, Priority Personnel can certainly fill your last-minute staffing needs.  But we can do so much more for your business!  With eighteen years of experience serving Central Texas employers, we can help you use staffing to reduce overhead, complete critical projects and improve productivity.

What can Priority Personnel do for you?  Contact us today.

Assessing Your Hiring Needs, Part 2: Should you DIY or use a direct placement service?

August 16th, 2011

Once you’ve determined that it’s time to hire, you face another critical decision:  should you do it yourself, or work with an experienced recruiting service like Priority Personnel?

It would be easy (and logical) to use this question as a launching pad for a sales pitch.  The true answer, however, is more complex.  What’s right for one employer, under a certain set of hiring, employment and market conditions, is not necessarily right for another.

So how do you decide if you should hire on your own, or partner with a recruiter?  Here are a few critical questions to consider:

Evaluate Your Current Hiring Practices

  • How do you typically hire personnel?  Have you always done it yourself, or do you have a good working relationship with a recruitment firm?
  • How much do you really spend on hiring on your own? Be sure to consider HR time, legal costs, management interview time, opportunity costs, vacancy costs and the cost of a bad hire – in addition to the cost of advertising.
  • Do your DIY recruiting methods yield enough qualified candidates?

Conduct a Needs Analysis

  • Do you have the time and resources available to properly recruit, screen, interview, assess, reference check and follow-up with candidates on your own?
  • How much would it cost you to replace a bad hire in this position (i.e., do you need a guarantee)?
  • Does your hiring situation require confidentiality or anonymity?
  • How quickly do you need the available position filled?

Consider Current Market and Employment Conditions

  • What is the current unemployment rate – not just in general, but specifically for the level/type of candidate you need?
  • How desirable is your location?  Have you had difficulty attracting candidates to work there in the past?
  • What are the emerging industry trends which could impact your ability to hire the talent you need?

Consider the Advantages Recruiters Offer

With budget constraints remaining a key concern, you may lean toward a DIY approach for recruiting.  But before you start posting to job boards, remember these key advantages Priority Personnel can provide:

  1. Improved focus. We free you to focus on your key priorities.
  2. Specialization. We know how and where to find the high-caliber talent you require.
  3. Temporary and contract staffing options. If your needs are short-term or project-oriented, we can provide access to the skilled individuals you need without adding to your headcount.
  4. Access. We maintain robust candidate databases and relationships with passive job seekers.
  5. Simplification. We save you considerable time and stress, while ensuring that correct selection and screening procedures are utilized.
  6. Guarantees. We reduce the stress, expense and risk involved with hiring and/or replacing a new employee.

When working with a recruiting service makes the most sense for your organization, Priority Personnel is the ideal choice for your placement needs. With over 18 years of experience serving the central Texas area and diligent screening processes, we are uniquely qualified to deliver the talented candidates you need.

Contact Priority Personnel today.  We can help you analyze your recruiting needs and determine if our services could help you hire more quickly, accurately and at a greater cost savings.

10 Must Ask Interview Questions

July 27th, 2011

Finding out how a candidate will fit into your corporate culture is nearly as important as technical skill, education and professional background. As competition for positions remains fierce, some candidates are also skilled at giving the “right” answers to popular interview questions. So how do you break through and determine if a candidate is the right fit?

Here are 10 questions that can help you dig a little deeper, and determine if a candidate is a good fit, personality-wise…

Time Out! U.S. Workers are Foregoing Vacation Plans, But is This Really in Your Company’s Best Interest?

July 5th, 2011

Work/life balance.  It’s one of those nebulous issues with which employers continually wrestle.  On the one hand, work needs to be done.  On the other hand, the pressure to get that work done can lead to a host of problems which zap employees’ productivity.

Financial constraints and demanding work schedules have made work a higher priority than ever for Americans.  A recent study by CareerBuilder shows that, as a result, many U.S. workers are foregoing vacation plans this year:

  • 24 percent of full-time workers say they can’t afford to take a vacation in 2011, up from 21 percent in 2010.
  • An additional 12 percent can afford a vacation but don’t have plans to take one in 2011.

While these statistics may mean more total hours worked in your organization, your company might actually see greater benefits from encouraging employees to take time-off.

Why?

Overwork can increase absenteeism, burnout and turnover, and make employees more prone to errors on the job.  Conversely, workers with a healthy work/life balance tend to have less burnout, greater creativity and higher quality output.  And when things get stressful on the job, “balanced” employees are better equipped to handle the burden.  Bottom line, taking time-off is vital not only to an employee’s well-being and performance, but to your company’s, too.

As our economy heals, here are a few recommendations for encouraging your workers to take the time-off they need, while keeping your business running smoothly:

  • Require sufficient notice.  If you don’t have one, develop formal policy outlining guidelines for taking vacation (i.e., giving adequate notice, coordinating with other employees’ requests for time-off, scheduling time-off before or after big projects/events, etc.).  The more lead-time you have, the better equipped your company will be to handle the extra workload.
  • Encourage shorter, more frequent breaks. If employees can’t take a number of days off at once, suggest they take long weekends or midweek breaks.  Shorter vacations still afford employees the ability to recharge, with less disruption to your workflow.
  • Ensure adequate coverage. Require employees to cross-train and prepare co-workers, to ensure adequate coverage while they’re gone.  At a minimum, ask employees to review: critical responsibilities, upcoming deadlines, where information is stored, key contacts and parameters for reaching them while they’re on vacation.
  • Lead by example. Are you a workaholic?  If so, here’s a perfect reason to reform your ways.  Management support for work/life balance is critical and must come from the top.  Set an example of maintaining a healthy balance and make it known that the same is expected from rank-and-file employees, too.
  • Call Priority Personnel for the support you need. If your business is like most, your staff is already stretched thin.  When one person goes on vacation, it can be difficult for others to manage the additional workload.  Call Priority Personnel to provide the talented, reliable individuals you need during vacation periods.  Our employees hit the ground running and keep your business running smoothly, so your employees can take the time-off they deserve.

Are Credit Checks a Legitimate Screening Tool?

June 14th, 2011

The use of credit checks has grown over the last several years.  According to a 2010 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 60 percent of employers used credit reports for some or all of their background checks.

Employers use credit reports as a screening tool for a number of reasons:

  • They believe it allows them to predict future behavior based on a candidate’s financial history.
  • They are trying to prevent employee theft and assess the applicant’s trustworthiness.
  • They want to reduce legal liability and negligent hiring.

But checking a job applicant’s credit is not without its potential drawbacks:

  • An applicant who has been unemployed for a long period of time may have no choice but to incur inordinate amounts of debt and fall behind in paying bills.  If the candidate has been out of work for months, that doesn’t necessarily mean he should be disqualified for employment.
  • Credit reports fail to provide context.  For example, if debt problems are the result of expensive medical procedures, a low credit score may not indicate anything about future job performance.
  • Credit reports are not perfect.  Ambiguous, dated, inaccurate and/or redundant data create the potential for credit score errors.  While these errors are generally minor, employers should be aware that they exist.
  • Credit reports may not be relevant for the job in question.  Unless the person you’re hiring will have access to sensitive financial information, make financial decisions or handle money, a candidate’s credit report may be of little significance.

Given the potential benefits, as well as the potential drawbacks, are credit checks a legitimate screening tool?  It depends on whom you ask.

According to Christine Walters, a representative for the SHRM during last October’s EEOC public hearing on the practice, effectiveness and impact of credit checks as a screening tool, “SHRM believes there is a compelling public interest in enabling our nation’s employers – whether that employer is in the government or the private sector – to assess the skills, abilities and work habits of potential hires.”

She and other hearing panelists pointed out that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) of 1970 restricts employer use of credit reports to employment purposes.  Under the law, the employer must give a job candidate the right to defend himself against (including refuting, explaining or correcting) any collected credit information that might weigh against him.

Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center in Boston, expressed a different opinion.  Given the state of the economy, she said that using credit history as a screening tool is “a practice that we believe is harmful and unfair to American workers.  The use of credit history for job applicants is especially absurd when you are looking at an unemployment rate of 10 percent and have many workers looking for a job.”

As an employer, you are within your rights to check a job candidate’s credit.  Before you do so, you should consider:

  • how relevant the information you’re collecting is to the available position;
  • the cost involved versus the benefit to be gained;
  • whether or not your internal staff is trained in how to interpret the complex information contained in today’s credit reports;
  • whether or not there may be potential adverse effects to checking an applicant’s credit.

Ensure Successful Placements with Priority Personnel

Finding the perfect candidates for your organization requires experience, in-depth knowledge of your business and a comprehensive screening process.  Priority Personnel combines all of these to ensure the success of your next hire.  Partner with Priority Personnel today and connect with Central Texas’ top light industrial, office/clerical, technical, professional and retail talent.

Profitable Temporaries: Ways Temporaries Can Drive Profits in Your Organization

May 31st, 2011

Can staffing services really drive profits?  In a word, “Yes!”

In today’s economy, businesses need to do everything possible to maximize the R-E=P equation.  And if your company is like most, your employment-related expenses are among the biggest line items on your company’s P & L.  The more actively you manage these expenses, the more profitable you can become.

Of course, driving profits is about more than just cutting costs.  It’s also about maximizing workforce productivity and effectively matching your human resources to the changing challenges and opportunities your business faces.  Used properly, staffing services can play a vital role in achieving all these ends.  Here are just a few ways temporary employees can drive profits in your organization:

  • Stay lean and flexible. Design a strategic staffing strategy that limits core employment to that necessary for minimum production volumes.  Staff up with skilled temporary employees to meet peak demand periods or sudden surges in business.
  • Focus on core activities. A staffing professional can help you critically examine work flow processes in your organization to identify administrative, repetitive or other support tasks that are being performed by highly compensated employees.  Bring in temporary or part-time contingent staff to take over these tasks and free valuable team members to focus on their most vital priorities.
  • Lower employment-related costs due to turnover. Take a look at your hiring and termination costs by job functions.  Determine where high turnover positions exist and re-staff with temporaries to reduce hiring, training and termination costs.
  • Reduce overtime expenses.  Work with your staffing representative to analyze your overtime expenditures.  Look for opportunities to use supplemental temporaries instead of overtime to reduce labor costs and prevent employee burnout.
  • Shorten learning curves. As your company incorporates new technologies, bring in contract technical professionals to support your project teams.  They can help get your employees up-to-speed and productive more quickly, saving time and money in the process.  Once training is done, so are your training expenses.
  • Capitalize on new opportunities. Have you ever had to table a great idea, simply because you didn’t have the resources to work on it?  For those times, consider supplementing your team with temporary and contract employees.  From support staff to senior executives, highly qualified temporary employees can be brought in to either manage the execution of new ideas or support your internal team while they work on the new opportunities.

Priority Personnel – Driving Profits for Central Texas Employers

Need to aggressively manage staffing expenses?  Looking for new ways to increase productivity?  Have a great business idea, but lack the human resources to turn it into a reality?  Contact us todayPriority Personnel has the knowledge, business expertise and highly skilled candidates you need to get work done and become more profitable.

The Benefits We Offer Our Temporary Employees Directly Benefit YOU

May 17th, 2011

Benefits.  Perks.  Extras.  Whatever you call them, they really make a difference in today’s changing job market.  Here are a few key ways the benefits we offer our temporary employees directly benefit you and your organization:

  • Attract the best candidates. Today’s job seekers are savvy.  Most know to choose a reputable staffing firm that provides extras like health insurance, dental/vision benefits and direct deposit.  Priority Personnel’s value-added services help us attract, recruit and retain central Texas’ top talent – and put them to work for you.
  • Keep the best candidates. Some staffing services are plagued by extremely high turnover rates, which translate into a “revolving door” of temporaries for their clients.  The benefits and value-added services we provide not only attract top candidates, but keep them working for us.  When temporary employees stay with us, they’re much more likely to stay working for you, delivering greater continuity throughout your assignments.
  • Ensure workers stay healthy, focused and productive. The medical, dental and vision benefits we offer allow our employees to take care of their health issues.  When employees are healthier, they have better attendance records and stay more focused on the work they do for you.

Priority Personnel Benefits – The Right Thing to Do

The economy is still tough and we realize that many people who come to us have lost their jobs and health benefits, too.  Admittedly, Priority Personnel offers benefits to gain a recruiting advantage and deliver the best results for our clients.  But honestly, the main reason we do it is because it’s just the right thing to do.

Why HR Professionals Need to Participate in Social Media

May 3rd, 2011

Still on the fence about using social media?  Consider these statistics from the recent Cone Business in Social Media Study:

  • 93 percent of Americans believe that a company should have a presence on social media sites.
  • 85 percent believe that these companies should use social media to interact with consumers.
  • 60 percent of Americans regularly interact with companies on social media sites.

The truth is, social media can help expand your business network, enhance your career, recruit employees and more.

According to HR expert Susan M. Heathfield, About.com Guide, HR professionals need to participate in social media for career success – and she should know.  She is a management and organization development consultant who specializes in human resources issues and in management development to create forward-thinking workplaces.  Susan is also a professional facilitator, speaker, trainer and writer.

Heathfield’s About.com article “10 Reasons Social Media Should Rock Your World” details the rationale behind making social media time investment mandatory for every HR professional:

  1. Stay in touch with colleagues and friends. Social media makes it easier than ever to re-connect with former colleagues, classmates, teachers and other professional contacts.
  2. Make it easy for others to find you. Maintain both individual and company profiles to make it simple and convenient for customers, employees and candidates to reach you.
  3. Find potential job candidates. For example, you can e-mail social media contacts with job requirements and ask them for referrals.
  4. Investigate potential career opportunities. If you’re interested in finding a new job, social media sites like LinkedIn can be invaluable in your search.  You can use the site to network, garner recommendations and learn about new job openings.
  5. Establish your online brand. You can use social media to promote your career progress by establishing an online presence that defines who you are professionally and what you want to be known for accomplishing.
  6. Join groups that share your professional interests. As a group member you can give and get information about recommended reading, industry trade shows or other professional meetings/events.
  7. Develop social connections. Sites like Facebook are rapidly gaining mature professional members.  Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook is ideally suited to having fun and developing social contacts over time.  A word of caution:  carefully manage your Privacy Settings and critically examine content – before you post or upload – to make sure it’s compatible with your professional image.
  8. Provide a space in which users of your products/services can interact with you. Use social media to expand your customers’ opportunities to discuss their wants and needs – with you or with other customers.
  9. Build community around your products or services. The people who are the “face” of your company should leverage social media opportunities to build relationships with consumers.  Forums and blogs on your company website (and within your HR Intranet), as well as fan pages, can help you build this sense of community.
  10. Finally your company, in addition to individual employees, should establish a company presence on major social media sites to stay in step with the changing interests and needs of consumers.  The Internet has opened up worldwide communication.  Why not use its social media components to make you and your company more successful?

Priority Personnel – Leveraging Social Media for Recruiting Success

Priority Personnel leverages social media to locate the talented, experienced and hard-working individuals you need.  Contact us today to learn more about our staffing and recruiting services for San Marcos, Texas employers.