2013 / 06

The Search for a Great Recruiter

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 28, 2013

0 Human Resources Staffing job offer letters, job recruiters seattle, Qualities Of Great Recruiters, recruiters in seattle, recruiters seattle, recruiters seattle wa, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Seattle WA Staffing, Staffing In Seattle, The Search For a Great Recruiter, What To Look For In A Recruiter

A sharp, highly experienced recruiter can be an invaluable member of your hiring team. And establishing an ongoing relationship with a well-connected recruiting firm may be the best hiring move you ever make. But even as your recruiters head out into the world to represent your company and help you find the strongest candidates, you’ll still need to screen and select those recruiters based on your own specific staffing needs. So how can you identify the recruiters and firms that are likely to bring the best results? Here are a few signs to look for before you make a commitment. 1. Great recruiters are great listeners. Your positions come with very specific requirements and skill demands, and in order to understand these requirements, a recruiter has to possess a basic understanding of how your company works and how each position contributes to the larger picture. When you sit with your recruiter and explain a specific role, does he or she listen closely, ask the right questions and remember details accurately? 2. Great recruiters are well connected. They’re socially savvy, tech savvy, and have wide professional networks at their disposal, both online and off. They’re an active presence at industry events, they have long lists of contacts and vast online footprints, and they’re known and respected wherever they go. 3. Great recruiters are experienced. The best staffing and recruiting firms have been in the business for a few years and have had plenty of opportunities to get the lay of the land. They’re also staffed with seasoned recruiters who can share with each other what they’ve learned. A team of five recruiters with an average of ten years in the field should amount to a firm with fifty collective years of experience. 4. Great recruiters can tell the difference between “impressive” and “relevant” credentials. They know how to weigh technical skill sets against qualities like adaptability and resilience. They know that “fit” often matters more than any other quality, and they know how to spot red flags and investigate them further in order to protect their clients from expensive mistakes. 5. Great recruiters use proven methods. They rely on efficient phone screening techniques, first round interviewing models, skill testing, and background checks to separate the best candidates from the rest of the pack. 6. Most important, great recruiters are fast and accurate communicators. When employers need them, they’re there. They answer messages quickly, source and screen applicants on tight deadlines, and make the needs of their clients a top priority. If you’re looking for a top-notch Seattle staffing team, arrange a consultation with the experts at Pace. We can help you find the right people with the skills you need to move your company forward.

What Our Clients Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 28, 2013

0 Affordable Healthcare – ACA Smart, Healthcare Staffing, Staffing News Affordable Care Act, Affordable Healthcare – ACA Smart, American Staffing Association, ASA, Benefits, Healthcare, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Temporary Staffing

What two years ago seemed like an event too far off to care about, the launch of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this coming January 1st is now just around the corner. While there are still significant gaps in the clarity needed to fully comply with the 2700+ page law,  we now know that most of the regulations that are going to be activated in January have been written. It’s now time for employers to make decisions about how they will comply with the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Because we are still hearing our client’s asking questions about the basic components of the law, we wanted to share information provided to us by our national trade association, the ASA (American Staffing Association), which we think does a good job of outlining the key elements of the ACA and what it means to our clients. Since the staffing industry is significantly impacted by ACA mandates, our industry worked closely with the DHSS throughout the writing of the ACA regs. Key ACA Definitions 1. (Eligible) Full Time Employee: Any employee who averages at least 30 hours per week (130 hours per month; 1560 hours per year). 2. Seasonal Employees: Employees working less than 120 days in a year. Generally excluded from ACA coverage because not considered full time. 3. Healthcare Plan—Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC): References the requirement that a compliant healthcare plan after January 1st must cover healthcare basics, “the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease.” Many of the so called “mini med”, wellness, and preventative plans will not meet the MEC requirement. 4. Healthcare Plan—Minimum Value: References the requirement that a compliant healthcare plan cover at least 60% of the overall costs associated with 1) physician and mid-level practitioner services, 2) hospital and emergency care, 3) pharmacy costs, and 4) laboratory/ imaging services. Many high deductible plans will not meet Minimum Value requirements.

  • The IRS and DHSS are developing a Minimum Value Calculator and a safe harbor checklist that employers can use to see if their plan meets the Minimum Value test.
6. Affordability: Refers to the ACA requirement that the employee’s share of the costs associated with single-only plan can be no more than 9.5% of the employee’s income. 7. Play: Refers to the decision an employer might make to offer a healthcare plan that provides Minimum Essential Coverage to 95% of its full time employees and their dependent children under age 26 (NOTE: It is not mandated that spouses be offered the plan). Even employers who “play” may be subject to penalties if 1) their plan is not affordable, 2) they fail to offer the mandated coverage to at least 95% of their eligible employees, or 3) if they do not offer coverage that meets the Minimum Value test. 8. Pay: Refers to the decision an employer might make to not offer the Minimum Essential Coverage, making them subject to “failure to offer” penalties. 9. Administrative Period: Refers to the first 90 days of a new hire’s employment within which their employer is required to offer an eligible full time employee the mandated benefits. 10. Exchanges: The mechanism through which insurers will offer small employers (less than 100 employees) and individuals the ability to purchase health insurance. If a state doesn’t provide an exchange, the federal government is required to do so—Washington, Oregon and California have created exchanges. 11. Subsidies: The credits available to individuals who qualify for assistance in order to purchase coverage through an Exchange. The subsidy assists the individual but is provided directly to carriers Key ACA Requirements 1. Employer Requirements: Employers with 50 or more full time employees (and full time equivalents) must offer a healthcare insurance plan that provides minimum essential coverage (MEC) to 95% of their full time employees and their dependent children (the play option) or be subject to penalties (the pay option). 2. Employer Penalties:  Employers are subject to penalties whether they pay or play. The amount of the penalties varies: 3. Penalties for Employers who Play—“Inadequate Plan” Penalties:  If the plan offered is “unaffordable” or does not provide “minimum value” the penalty is $250/month (up to $3K annually) per impacted employee who seeks and is granted a government subsidy. 4. Penalties for Employers who Pay—“Failure to Offer” Penalties:  If the employer does not offer a MEC plan to 95% of their full time employees and their dependent children, the monthly tax is $167 (up to $2k annually) on ALL full time employees (minus their first 30). NOTE: Pay Penalties apply to all employees, not just the employees not covered and are not tax deductible. 5. Individual Requirements: Individuals must enroll in a healthcare plan that provides them and their dependents minimum essential coverage or pay penalties. If they do not obtain insurance through their employer or Medicaid, they are required to purchase an individual plan that will be offered to them through Exchanges. 6. Individual Penalties: The penalty for failing to have insurance is either a flat dollar amount per person or a percentage of household income.
  • 2014: $95 per person (up to 3 or $285) or 1% of household taxable income
  • 2015: $325 per person (up to 3 or $975) or 2% of household taxable income
  • 2016: $695 per person (up to 3 $2085) or 2.5% of household taxable income
  • 2017 and beyond – same as 2016 with Cost of Living increases
7. Individual’s Eligibility for Subsidies:  Individuals with household incomes determined to be 100-400% of federal poverty levels may be eligible for government funded subsidies that they can use to buy insurance through public health exchanges.  NOTE:  Employees are not eligible for coverage if they are on Medicaid or have been offered a healthcare plan that is both affordable and meets Minimum Essential Coverage by their employer and refused it. 8. State and Federal Public Health Insurance Exchanges
  • Provide a place for individuals or small employers to purchase of compliant healthcare insurance. Available plans will be categorized into one of four groupings: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, plus a catastrophic plan.
  • Determine an employer’s or individual’s eligibility to purchase through the Exchange.
  • Determine the affordability of a plan offered to an individual through their employer.
  • Determine an individual’s eligibility for exemptions or subsidies.
9. New Discrimination Mandates
  • The regulations relating to the new discrimination provisions embedded in the ACA are not yet written and likely won’t be before 2015.
  • 2014 will allow differentiation in the plans offered to different employees and will allow different levels of employer contributions to those plans. Tiered/pay up plans are allowable in 2014.
  • Discriminations in favor of lower paid employees will remain permissible after 2014. Any employer can pay more for their lower paid employees to ensure what they offer meets “affordability” standards.
The ACA and Staffing - Unique Applications  1. Variable Hour Employees: Refers to employees working in a job where the length of employment or the hours of work each week is uncertain. The Variable Hour employee definition is assumed to apply to the majority of temporary or contract workers represented by the staffing industry who work on 1) an undetermined number of “short term” assignments, 2)  with a variety of clients, and 3) likely to be gaps between assignments.
  • Estimates are that only 10% of the current temporary and contract workforce will be benefit eligible.
  • The ASA is advising its members that assignments targeted to last less than six months will not be challenged if classified as “variable.” Assignments intended to last longer than six months are subject to “common sense” interpretations of the requirement of “uncertainty.”
2. Specific Rules for Variable Hour Employees:
  • Measurement Periods and the Look Back Rule: A look back/measurement period is a time period (ranging from 3 to 12 months as selected by the employer) during which a variable hour employee is determined to meet the test of full time status. To become eligible for coverage, an employee must average at least 30 hours per week during the measurement period.
3. Stability Periods. Stability periods must include the same number of months as the elected measurement period but are counted on a go-forward point from date of benefit eligibility. Employees working full time during the look back period will be benefit eligible during the go-forward stability period as long as they stay employed. NOTE: Employee must be covered during their stability period even if their hours of work are reduced to part-time status. 4. Staffing Firm Costs to Play include:
  • The cost of an affordable plan for 95% of eligible employees.
  • Minus the costs that would otherwise be associated with employees who opt out because they have coverage elsewhere
  • Plus the cost of penalties for any employees that receives subsidies because the plan offered is not affordable.
5. Staffing Firm Costs to Pay include:
  • A nondeductible monthly tax assessment of $166.67/month on all eligible employees (over the first 30). Penalties would be applied to ALL employees, covered or not.
6. Impact of Increased Costs on Clients
  • Expect 1-5% increase in bill rate
7. The Staffing Industry Challenge – “There are not a lot of Health Plans Designed for Temporary Workers“
  • Mini med plans no longer allowed. Fixed dollar indemnity plans—do not qualify as providing “minimum value;” preventive and wellness plans—won’t provide “Minimal Essential Coverage.”
  • New plans are expected to be developed between now and January 1st but with unknown costs and coverage.
The American Staffing Association and the ACA The American Staffing Association played an active role in writing ACA regulations. The ASA supports compliance with the law and urges its members not to participate in practices that violate either the substantive components of the law or its intent. The ASA strongly urges its members to avoid any arrangements with clients aimed at avoiding coverage or penalties. Activities the ASA believes will trigger an IRS audit include: 1) splitting hours of work between two entities when the employee is doing one job, 2) reducing employee headcounts below 50 for the purpose of avoiding ACA requirements, and 3) terminating, refusing to reassign, or limiting the hours of work for employees if the purpose is to deny coverage or penalties. Staffing can continue to be used for valid business reasons; fluctuating workloads, staffing special projects, managing turnover, auditioning processes, and legitimate part time work. For more information on the ACA and how it will impact your temporary workforce in 2014, contact us at infodesk@pacestaffing.com.

When It Comes To Purchasing A Staffing Solution – Words Matter

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 27, 2013

0 Hiring - Best Practices, Human Resources Staffing Consulting Firm, Contracting, IT, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Staffing Industry, Staffing Key Words, Staffing Solutions, Temp Agency, Temporary Staffing

We see the “truth” every day in the work we do as a managed services provider. The words used to describe different “staffing solutions” have come to represent very different views of value and cost in the eyes of those who purchase staffing services. While we totally understand the need for employers to pay differently (more or less) for different service models and to receive different value from the different dollars spent, we’re also maverick enough to point out that some differences we see in the words used to describe the what, are sometimes more about words than substance. As consumers, we all know that the labels that get applied to different products or services can make a big difference in what we are willing to pay for them. For example, we are willing to pay more to eat at a Bistro than we are at a diner. We pay more for a piece of designer apparel from a rack at Nordstrom, than we do for the same garment at Target. Call it great “marketing” or “consumer naiveté,” it’s just the way the world has been made to work by some very skillful marketing at certain points in the selling process. For all the same reasons,  the words a staffing provider uses to describe who they are and what they do, can make a big difference in how many purchasers of staffing services perceive the value delivered and received. When the words match the reality, our customers get exactly what they pay for. On the other hand, the words imply differences that aren’t really there, our customers can end up paying considerably more for the exact same product or service depending on who they buy it from and what words are used to describe what they buy. Our goal is to help our customers go beyond the marketing hype to get and pay for what they actually need. Here’s the deal—at its core, the business of staffing is about delivering workers who do work on a customer’s behalf, eliminating the need for a customer to hire the worker directly. Successful staffing firms are good at recruiting, evaluating and placing talent that matches client needs. This bare bones service description applies just as much to a day laborer provided by ABC Staffing Agency as it does to a Business Strategist provided by XYZ Consulting. While the base transaction stays the same, the customary pricing or mark-up practices for the different types of service delivery firms can vary considerably, with customary mark-ups of pay-rate to bill-rate ranging anywhere from 30-300% depending on who is selling what.  We realize that most service providers don’t or won’t discuss mark-up, but outside of client ear shot, mark-up is the vocabulary du jour. The staffing industry has evolved to a place where it now encompasses a broad range of service delivery models—from “temp agency” to “consulting firm.” While in reality, there are fundamental similarities between all service models. The differences these models represent have been successfully marketed so that users have come to expect something substantively different depending on the label they have attached to the service provider they use.

  • Temporary service providers, for example, have historically provided workers who do lower level jobs, at low level costs, producing minimal value, and are referred to as “agencies.” They charge time and materials for their services.
  • Contractors and specialty contracting companies have done a great job of positioning themselves to earn premium earnings by specializing in what is called Statement of Work (SOW) engagements that add additional levels of accountability and risks by contracting to produce results, not just delivering time and material.
  • Consultants are at the highest end of the value spectrum and have earned the right to bill rates double, if not triple the amounts allowable in the contractor marketplace. Their work is fully at the consultative or architectural level, more about providing direction, than achieving a specific goal, or contributing time and material.
You may have heard it said before that in the real world “we’re all temps” and for a variety of reasons over the last decade the differences between employees categorized as temps, contractors, and consultants have become increasingly blurred. This is particularly true for the types of staffing solutions typically purchased and used by managers working in the IT, Finance, Accounting, and Creative arenas. The reality we see is that:
  • Temp agencies have moved up the value chain to now provide very high level time and material IT and professional staff at all levels of skills and expertise.
  • IT contracting firms often deliver time and material workers, who work well outside a true SOW contract model.
  • Consulting firms have moved out of the “thought” field into “doing work”, offering supplemental labor at high mark-ups to do the specialized work the consultants have recommended.
The long and short of it, purchasers of staffing solutions have many more places they can go to get the “just right solution” for their business needs.  Where they go and the words they use to describe what they want or need can make a difference in how much they pay for the workers delivered. Unfortunately, customer perception has not yet caught up with these changes in who does what in the staffing solutions marketplace. Many purchasers of high level professional and technical staffing services have well entrenched business relationships with existing suppliers, and either do not recognize the opportunities to purchase elsewhere, or just won’t take the time to find and obtain new suppliers—we get that, you’re busy. What we see all too often are assumptions that make the cost companies money. When busy purchasers go to primarily SOW contracting firms to find employees that a good temporary agency could provide at half the cost, the result can be costly. Or, if a frequently used consulting company is asked to provide time and material contractors (or even temps for that matter) at double the cost it would take to get the same employees elsewhere, the cost differentials even on one small project, can be sizeable. Employees are also impacted by the words that get used to describe who they are and what they do. We see it all the time—a highly skilled technical or professional employee can work on assignment for a temp agency at a certain pay rate, but then do a contract assignment for a contracting company at a different rate. Their pay rates for that very same or similar work may vary by 50%; the bill rate to the customer may vary by as much as 100-300%.  In reality, the worker is doing the same work for each client; it’s only the words that changed. Within the staffing solutions marketplace, PACE is not just a staffing company but also a “managed services provider.” We see our job as helping clients become smart purchasers of all types of staffing solutions, making it easy to get the right solution from the right resource. To do that, we help them define the work that needs to be done to make sure they know what type of service provider they need to go to for whichever type of service delivery they need. If they need a true SOW solution, where the work they need done needs to be defined in terms of outcomes, not time and material,  we encourage them to pay the premium it costs to use a contractor who specializes in a deliverable or results focused services. In comparison, if what our client needs is simply a time and material worker who will work as part of their expanded internal team, they should purchase that service from a more staffing-focused provider who knows how to quickly and efficiently deliver the type of employee needed in a cost effective manner. jeanneBottom line, if our client needs work done that can be done by a temp; we make sure they are not charged rates or mark-ups that are more customary in the SOW/contractor marketplace. If they need a contractor, we help them avoid being charged rates and mark-ups that are normal in the consulting marketplace. In the end, our mission is to help our client’s make decisions that deliver the services they actually need—quickly, simply, and cost effectively, and represent a range of suppliers and solutions under our network umbrella. This article was prepared by Jeanne Knutzen, Founder and CEO of the PACE Staffing Network using information from a variety of sources. For more information on how your company can better navigate the complexities of the staffing marketplace, and/or to learn more about how to differentiate between jobs that should be serviced by different types of third party employers, contact us via infodesk@pacestaffing.com.    

In Pursuit of Accountability

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 26, 2013

0 Human Resources Staffing Contract Employees, Fearless Leadership, Loretta Malandro, Managers, PACE Staffing Network, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Industry, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Temporary Employees

Despite the countless management and leadership books written about the virtue of accountability, according to most employees there are significant gaps between management’s knowing and doing when it comes to accountability. Most employees don’t rate their organizations highly in terms of their ability to hold individuals or teams accountable. While they believe they are personally accountable, they don’t always believe that others in their organization are held to the same “high” standards. Well intended managers can oftentimes fuel these perceptions. Excuses like “they’re new to the job,” or “I probably wasn’t clear in my directions,” can sound more like “permission” to underperform or the avoidance of a difficult conversation, than the commitment to fairness it might otherwise represent. The opposite track, an organization being too quick to act or terminate an employee whose results are off target (i.e. “John’s outcomes are awful. He needs to go,”) can often keep a team from looking at larger issues in market conditions or organizational performance that aren’t about John’s performance. Additionally, a manager who is slow to coach and fast to terminate can erode an organization’s commitment to its employees. Management 101 teaches us that by helping our employees to become more accountable, we make our teams more productive. The opposite is also true. When management drifts away from the habits of “accountability,” a culture of finger pointing, blame, and gossip often takes hold. Issues in productivity and outcomes, almost always follow. Unfortunately, individual managers—senior, middle, and entry level leadership roles—don’t always understand their personal role in an organization’s “accountability culture.” While most managers believe they do a good job of holding their team members accountable, it’s sometimes difficult to see how others are doing the same. When the going gets tough and results are off target, even high performing managers can look to “others”—a better resourced competitor, an underperforming colleague, an overly demanding customer, or an insensitive senior management—as the reason for their own subpar outcomes.  Anytime a manager takes their eyes off their own performance and looks for explanations of outcomes outside themselves, the organization’s “culture” of accountability suffers. In her book Fearless Leadership, Loretta Malandro, PhD., says that, for a business to create an accountability culture management accountability must be 100 %—each manager must become “personally accountable for their impact on people, even if others accept zero accountability.” Dr. Malandro is clearly stating the management challenge; it always has to start within. Managers also need to understand that the drift in an organization’s accountability culture typically happens slowly, then suddenly. While accountability is an intellectually simple concept, in reality it is both emotionally and behaviorally complex. For managers who take their mission to develop people seriously, they must find that just-right balance between holding people accountable and empowering them to make mistakes. Their goal is to help employees work from their strengths, while making sure their weaknesses don’t knock them over. Even a well thought out decision to terminate an underperforming but high impact employee, requires careful organizational planning that almost always involves others—which means that many accountability decisions can’t be made in a vacuum, outside the context of the team and its customers. This is a long way of saying that the balancing acts that in their aggregate reflect how you or your company is managing “accountability” are as easy and straight forward as others would like. It is my belief that a fully accountable culture represents an aspirational vision that is rarely fully achieved, but can produce a whole lot of small but “made a difference” successes along the way. So how do individual managers go about creating a culture of accountability? We have a handful of suggestions, starting with a good reflection of where you are now. Go through some of the checklists we’ve provided below and rate yourself on a scale of 1 -5—with 5 being the highest of the rankings and 1 the lowest. How are you managing your own team?

Self-Rating

1. CLEAR EXPECTATIONS. Does each team member know specifically what is being expected of them? How their work will be measured and/or evaluated?
2. ONGOING, HONEST FEEDBACK. Do team members regularly get all of the metrics and/or the feedback they need to evaluate their own work? Do they know at all times how I am viewing their work and outcomes?
3. ADDRESSING PERFORMANCE ISSUES. Do I follow up quickly to work more closely with team members whose results are off target? Do I listen carefully for obstacles, and coach them on ways to overcome them? Do I have clear processes in place to make sure that any potentially job threatening issues are escalated clearly and appropriately?
4. INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT. Do I manage each member of my team as an individual, setting individual performance goals and avoiding comparisons with other team members?
5. PLANNING AND FOLLOW UP. When my team and I are discussing options, do I follow up to make sure what work needs to be done and by whom? That my priorities are clear? Do I regularly follow up on promised deadlines or benchmarks so that I physically inspect work in progress to ensure that each team member is completing work as promised?

Total Score

  How are you conducting yourself as a company leader?

Self-Rating

1. PERSONAL ROLE MODELING. When things go wrong, do I walk the talk of personal accountability—avoid making excuses or blaming others over explaining myself? Do I personally model my own “empowerment; engaging my team in ways to overcome obstacles, solve problems,   and make progress?
2. COACHING. DEVELOPING OTHERS. Do I spend enough time coaching others to success, avoiding   getting disappointed or angry when a team member doesn’t “get it?” Do I look for ways for my employees to work from strengths, even if that means some adjustments in how work gets done?
3. TRANSPARENCY. Do I make sure I always work from a plan, making my personal contribution to company goals transparent to my boss and colleagues?
4. WORD CHOICES. Do my word choices set a tone with the team and others of “positive problem solving” around things we can control, rather than focusing too heavily on issues and obstacles we can’t?
5. TEAMMEMBER SUPPORT. Do I always communicate in ways that demonstrate my respect for others, my ability to find value in “different” people, talents and perspectives? Do I avoid conversations with team members or colleagues that are more about gossip than problem solving? Do I listen when issues are brought forward, but avoid lengthy discussions about another team member’s performance?

Total Score

  Are you avoiding the assumptions that can erode the habits of accountability?

Self-Rating

1. Good team members always understand what’s expected of them. Am I mindful that clarifying expectations is an ongoing process?
2. Good team members will automatically self-correct. When a mistake is made or a ball dropped, do I help others determine what they will do differently next   time?
3. Everyone knows what I do/what I’m accountable for. Do I demonstrate daily the transparency in my own work that I want from others?
4. Everyone knows what changes need to be made now. How often am I communicating about change, and what we need to be doing differently?   How clear am I about my team’s priorities?

Total Score

  Accountability is an important element in the work we do to help our clients find and place the right employee for each request we fill—either for a job candidate to be hired by our client directly, a short term temporary or contract assignment, or a complex project level assignment involving full team engagement. We always want to know what each of our employees is accountable to produce—what outcome our client needs them to achieve. One of the important side benefits of “temporary” workers is that their accountabilities can generally be defined in simple terms, “achieve this result in this way, ” but the degree to which our customers can spell out these simple statements, the greater the probability that our employee will perform as expected. Our client’s chances for a successful temporary or contract assignment are directly impacted by the quality of information they can provide to all of their employees up front about their business (the context) and their expectations (the deliverable). NancyWe also encourage our clients to provide their temporary and contract employees with timely feedback relative to those expectations—as early in the assignment as possible and as ongoing as is needed. Many issues in employee performance, particularly in temporary or contract roles, stems from the employees not clearly understanding the client’s expectations. Keep in mind many temporary and contract employees go from assignment to assignment with their client’s expectations changing at each assignment. Early course corrections to clarify your expectations can make a huge difference. If you’d like to discuss any of these editorial comments, feel free to contact me at nancys@pacestaffing.com. I’m Nancy Swanson, Vice President of Partnership Development for the PACE Staffing Network.      

Qualifications for Your Financial Team

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 21, 2013

0 Finance/Accounting Staffing Financial Qualifications You Need, financial staffing seattle, Hiring Financial Staff, Hiring Your Financial Team, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Seattle WA Staffing, Staffing In Seattle WA

As your business expands and your market footprint begins to grow, the size of your staff will need to keep pace. Hiring demands will pick up across all aspects of your company from production to customer outreach, and your financial department will be no exception. While you may have handled most of your accounting needs on your own during the early chapters, this just isn’t realistic beyond a certain stage. You’ll eventually need a CPA to manage to your tax responsibilities, a book keeper to monitor your revenue streams and cost centers, and eventually a controller to make sure your shareholders understand what’s happening behind the scenes. What kinds of traits and skills should you be looking for as you move forward with your financial hiring process? Keep these considerations in mind. Chief Financial Officer A CFO manages and oversees all aspects of your company’s financial operations. From keeping costs under control, to improving efficiency in processing, to monitoring all financial reporting, the CFO holds final accountability for this aspect of your company. There are no specific qualifications or licensing requirements for CFOs, but this should be a person you trust as a money manager and also as a leader. He or she should hold a four year degree in business management or finance—at the very least—and should possess exceptional leadership and communication skill. Certified Public Accountant Your CPA is the person who will ensure that your company functions in accordance with state and federal regulations, which include tax payment and filing issues. Since CPAs interact directly with the government and the legal system, they’re required to abide by strict licensing and certification requirements that vary by state. Before you consider any candidate for a CPA position, make sure he or she holds these credentials and ideally has some experience with your specific type of business (LLC, partnership, sole proprietorship, etc). Controller Your controller will handle all your company’s issues related to financial reporting. These will include shareholder communications, long term business forecasting, and budgeting. A controller should possess an MBA or a four year degree in finance or accounting. Advanced CFA, CMA or CPA certification suggest an additional measure of competence. In addition to the positions listed here, you’ll also benefit from the skills of an advanced accounting staff and at least one book keeper, an entry level employee who keeps track of sales figures, invoices, and operating expenses. For specific guidance as you begin the recruiting process for each of these roles, reach out to the financial staffing experts at Pace.

The Secret to Landing a Job in the Cloud: Training

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 11, 2013

0 IT Staffing information technology jobs in seattle, it jobs in seattle, it jobs in seattle wa, it jobs in washington, it jobs seattle, it jobs seattle wa, tech jobs seattle wa

As of 2013, experts estimate that tech employers are struggling to staff as many as 1.7 million open positions related to the growing cloud computing industry. And the number of workers needed for these positions will probably grow by about 26 percent each year between now and 2015. Why are so many cloud jobs going unstaffed? And why is this gap holding steady even in the face of high unemployment numbers? The answer appears to lie in one word: training. Tech professionals are lining up for work in every region of the country, but too many of them don’t possess the training and certifications they need to take on cloud-related jobs. So what does this mean for both hiring managers and job seekers? Open Positions in the Cloud: Job Seeker Considerations Companies are now in desperate need of employees who can create new software for the cloud and develop applications from the ground up. They also need infrastructure experts who can help employers make decisions about vendor contracts, oversee the fulfillment of these contracts, and handle data migration from old systems to new ones. Talented enterprise architects can also help employers manage their growing need for computing capacity and help employers understand how newer cloud based technologies can fit into their existing structures. Cloud based risk-management and trouble-shooting experts will also be in high demand during the next several years. Staffing Cloud-Based Positions: Employers Employers with a strong need for cloud skills and data architects will face a growing tide of staffing challenges in the years to come, but solutions are available for every one of these challenges. And some of these solutions are already on the team and are simply awaiting the opportunity to step into much needed and currently vacant roles. Instead of conducting long, expensive and fruitless global searches for outside sources of talent, managers might be wise to start at home and sponsor training and development programs for existing employees. Then reach out to a staffing firm who has the resources and network to help you land qualified candidates. Industry and university systems are in the process of teaming up to share the cost and benefits of training programs for cloud skills, and in the meantime, employers are recognizing the benefits of tuition reimbursement programs and onsite courses taught by outside teachers and training experts. For more information on how to sponsor these courses and create continuing education programs from the ground up,  reach out to the Seattle IT staffing  experts at Pace.

Get Ready for your Healthcare Video Interview

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 7, 2013

0 Healthcare Staffing healthcare jobs in seattle, healthcare jobs in seattle wa, Healthcare Staffing In Seattle, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Staffing In Seattle, Staffing In Seattle WA, Video Healthcare Interviews

Video interviews are becoming a mainstream way for companies to streamline their hiring process. As the ease of video conferencing increases, healthcare employers are saving money and time by cutting back on in-person interviews, especially during the first round of the selection process. Simply asking a candidate for twenty minutes of online conversation reduces countless energy, cost and travel time for both the company and its applicants. But as it happens, online capability often means shorter notice when interviews are scheduled. While traditional interviews usually involve a few days of prep time, employers often schedule online meetings within 24 hours. So if you have only one day to prepare for your meeting, what can you do to make sure you’re ready? Try these steps.

1. First, make sure you have the right equipment. This includes a working, reliable webcam and all the necessary software you’ll need to establish a connection. Ask the employer if there are any specific programs you should have access to, like Google or Skype, and do all the downloading and installing you need to do right away.

2. Then set the stage. Make sure your backdrop is appropriate, clean, professional and not too cluttered. A simple blank wall will work fine. And pay attention to lighting. Arrange the lamps and natural light in the room to highlight your best features and factor in the time of day when the interview will be taking place.

3. Choose your outfit. A suit, nice blouse, or simple dress will usually do for an interview setting. Just make sure everything is clean and wrinkle free.

4. Plan for contingencies. Arrange child and pet care so you are not distracted. While you’re at it, make sure your neighbors, friends and family know not to stop by and ring the doorbell. Silence the ringer on your phone and anticipate any other potential distractions.

5. Focus on poise, just as you would during an in-person interview. Make sure you direct your attention toward the camera, not the screen. It may seem strange, but this will feel more like “eye contact” to your viewers, even if it doesn’t feel that way to you. Don’t make your interviewers talk to the side of your face or the top of your forehead.

When you’re finally ready for your moment in the spotlight, complete a dry run with a friend or family member to make sure everything is working as it should. Then use your final hours to conduct a little more research on the company and get some well-deserved sleep. Meanwhile, check in with the staffing experts at Pace for any questions about your healthcare job search.