Priority Personnel Blog

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.

Nine Steps to Greater Team Ownership

March 16th, 2011

As a leader, you know results and productivity are higher when people are committed to their work.  But how do you get real buy-in from your team?

The first step is to be genuine.  What are the others?

View all nine steps to greater team ownership.

Improve Your Staffing Results: Educate Direct Employees, Take Advantage of Training

September 7th, 2010

Temporary employees can be a great asset to your organization.  They can help you meet critical deadlines, fill-in for unplanned absences and free your core staff to focus on their most important tasks.

But if your company uses large numbers of temporary employees, it’s easy for your direct staff to fall into an “Us vs. Them” mentality.  And while treating temporary workers as an entirely separate workforce may seem innocuous, the practice can have unintended consequences for your direct employees. 

For example, research from the University of Arizona has found that direct employees (particularly at lower levels) are less satisfied with co-workers and bosses when working with a higher proportion of temporary employees.  Why?  The responsibility of training and socializing temporary workers on company-specific processes is often assigned to direct employees.  As a result, having more temporaries can complicate full-time workers’ jobs.

Here are a few suggestions for improving the working relationship between temporary and direct employees to achieve even better staffing results:

  • Make temporary employees feel welcome.  While temporaries are, in fact, a separate part of your workforce (and must be treated differently because of co-employment laws), you and your staff can still make them feel welcome in your organization.  By encouraging social interaction (e.g., formal or informal introductions) among all workers, you can foster social ties that are essential to a cohesive workforce.
  • Educate your direct staff.  Take the time to clearly explain the role and value of temporary workers.  The better your direct employees understand the benefits temporary help provides, the more likely they’ll be to work productively with them.
  • Take advantage of training.  If you use large numbers of temporaries, many staffing services will develop customized orientation and training programs for specific positions.  This shifts the time-consuming burden of getting new temporary employees up-to-speed off your direct employees’ shoulders.

Bottom line, there are a number of steps you can take keep relations between temporary and direct employees positive.  And the more positive their working relationship, the better your results will be.  Contact Priority Personnel today to learn more about our staffing services for San Marcos employers.

Why the Lowest Price Isn’t Always the Best Value in Staffing

April 20th, 2010

Most of us today are conditioned to look for the best possible price.  In most cases, this makes good economic sense.  But when it comes to staffing services, the company offering the lowest prices isn’t necessarily going to deliver the best value.

Here are a few good reasons why shopping around for the lowest-priced temporary employees might not be the wisest use of your staffing dollars:

  • To offer you the lowest price, a staffing service may be forced to cut back on the quality and amount of service they provide.  They may not be able to afford the same depth of recruiting and screening.  As a result, they may have more difficulty finding the right candidates for your specific needs.
  • Because of simple supply and demand, the staffing agencies that offer better wages to their temporary employees will most likely get the more talented, skilled, reliable and experienced applicants.  Any staffing firm can find a “warm body” to fill your position.  But finding a quality employee that truly fits your organization may be too crucial to risk – especially for what may boil down to a few cents per hour.
  • Not getting the right person for the job can have very costly ramifications.  For example, a temporary employee who is less than qualified for the position can cause the following unforeseen expenses:
    - additional time (money) up front to adequately orient and train the temporary
    - increased supervision for a less qualified temporary
    - mistakes and reworks – the time, money and materials involved in re-doing the work of a less qualified temporary
    - poor productivity – the amount of work a sub-par employee fails to complete (compared to a qualified individual)

The bottom line is, many things in business aren’t worth risking.  The quality of your human capital is definitely one of them.

Priority Personnel:  the Best Staffing Value for Central Texas Employers
When it comes to the quality of Priority Personnel’s candidates, you get what you pay for – skilled, reliable, hard-working and experienced people who truly fit your needs.  Rest assured, we will always deliver the best value for your staffing dollar.

Tips for Creating an Empowered Workplace

April 6th, 2010

As a manager, you know that empowered employees:

  • have the authority, and take the initiative, to make sound business decisions;
  • are energetic, passionate and committed to doing a great job;
  • are creative and innovative problem solvers;
  • continually strive to improve quality, productivity and morale;

all because they feel personally rewarded for doing so.

But while the benefits of empowerment are clear, the steps to creating an empowered workplace may not be.  Use these quick tips to get your business started on the right path:

  1. Understand what empowerment really is.  Empowerment isn’t something you do to people.  It’s an environment you create by giving employees goals, information, feedback, training and positive reinforcement.
  2. Identify an opportunity for empowerment.  Start small.  Create a work team by selecting a few key employees who have the right skills, knowledge and resources to complete a small test project.  This project should be challenging enough to allow your staff to grow and take on additional responsibilities.
  3. Set clear expectations.  Let your employees know what to do and how to do it.  Factors to consider include:  deadlines, channels for sharing information, methods for delegating authority, and ways to check progress / measure success.
  4. Provide decision-making guidelines.  Provide clear instructions for when and how to make good decisions.  Explain when it’s okay to the take initiative and when employees should check with team members first.
  5. Encourage open communication.  Information sharing is a critical component of an empowered workplace.  Create an atmosphere in which employees feel comfortable expressing concerns and sharing new ideas.
  6. Establish accountability.  Provide the advice, perspective and guidance your team needs, but require them to create and manage their own solutions.  If mistakes are made, do not step in and fix them – use them as opportunities for employees to learn.
  7. Let go.  Tough as it may be, don’t micromanage.  Once you’ve established clear expectations and guidelines for the project, it’s time to take your hands off the wheel.
  8. Provide positive reinforcement.  For empowerment to permanently take hold in your organization, your employees have to want to do it.  So celebrate the successes (however small) your employees have while working on the test project.  Provide the feedback they need to feel respected and valued in their efforts.
  9. Review results, then take it to the next level.  Once the project is complete, assemble your team for a debriefing.  How did the group do?  What worked?  What didn’t?  Use the lessons learned to develop a more comprehensive plan for getting your whole company on the road to empowerment.

An Empowered Workplace Starts with Great People

Priority Personnel can deliver the talented office, professional, technical and industrial staff you need to create an empowered workplace.

Tips for Creating an Effective Wellness Program

March 30th, 2010

A well-designed wellness program can be just what the doctor ordered.  Implemented properly, a wellness program can:

  • increase productivity
  • control preventable healthcare costs
  • boost morale
  • reduce employee stress, ER visits and absenteeism

If you’re looking to institute a wellness program for your company, or want to make your existing wellness program more comprehensive and effective, consider these points before getting started:

  1. What are you trying to achieve?  Determine your reason(s) for introducing the wellness initiative before deciding what types of programs to offer.
  2. Whom are you targeting?  Make sure the programs you offer appeal to all age groups and fitness levels.
  3. What’s your budget?  According to the Wellness Councils of America, wellness programs can cost anywhere from $10 to $125 per employee, depending upon how they are structured.
  4. How will you encourage participation?  Consider:  lower premiums or co-pays; cash contributions to health savings and reimbursement accounts; or even a point system where employees can redeem “participation points” for merchandise or money.  Whichever option you choose, keep the incentives positive and never force employees to participate.
  5. How will you gauge success?  To determine how your program is doing, you should design and conduct a longitudinal study for tracking metrics such as:  productivity, absenteeism, workers’ compensation claims, ER visits, hospital admissions and health insurance claims.
  6. What does your attorney suggest?  Ask your attorney about compliance with HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and ADA (the Americans with Disabilities Act).
  7. How will you publicize the program?  Consider both internal communications to explain programs, benefits and incentives, as well as external PR opportunities to enhance your position in the community and attract potential employees.

What do wellness programs and staffing services have in common?

They both provide great ways to manage benefits expenses, improve employee productivity and morale, and gain a competitive recruiting edge.  Contact Priority Personnel today to find out more.

Hiring Assessment Tools

January 19th, 2010

Having the right tools at your disposal can make hiring a lot easier—and a lot more successful.  Here is a quick overview of different assessments tools you can use, beyond the basic job interview:

  • Qualifications Screens – simple questionnaires determine if an applicant has the minimum requirements to perform a job (availability, minimum age, years of related experience, etc.).
  • Job Simulations / Work-Sample Tests – These require the candidate to actually demonstrate or perform job tasks. Simulations may be conducted: as written tests, as role-playing exercises, on a computer, or even in real-life conditions. By design, they generally show a high degree of job-relatedness.
  • General Abilities Tests – Generally used for entry-level jobs or for applicants without advanced degrees. They measure broad mental abilities such as reasoning, quantitative, verbal, and spatial abilities.
  • Specific Ability Tests – Test for distinct mental and physical abilities, such as typing speed, reading comprehension, strength, and mechanical aptitude.
  • Knowledge and Skills Tests – Determine how much an individual knows about a very specific, advanced subject area such as software programming or mortgage laws. Knowledge tests are similar to specific ability assessments, but examine more sophisticated skills.
  • Talent Measures / Personality Inventories – Measure a candidate’s natural personal characteristics like: leadership and management skills; problem-solving ability; motivation; self-confidence; and communication styles.
  • Culture Fit Inventories -  Assess how well an applicant will fit into your corporate culture and work environment, to help ensure organizational commitment.
  • Background Investigations – Gather information from outside sources, such as former employers and police records. Employment, criminal record, and reference checks all help employers avoid potentially catastrophic hires.
  • Drug Screens - Use a physical specimen from the candidate (hair, urine, etc.) to determine past drug or alcohol use. Employers use drug screens to prevent industrial accidents, work-related injuries, and excessive absenteeism.

As one of the leading Staffing and Recruiting Agencies in Central Texas, we use many of these assessment tests on a daily basis to ensure the right fit employees for our clients.  If you would like to discuss how you can implement these types of assessments in your hiring process, contact Priority Personnel today!