2015 / 02

2015 Hiring Trends Now Available!

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 24, 2015

0 Staffing News Employment Agency Bellevue, Employment Agency Everett, Employment Agency Kent, Employment Agency Seattle, Employment Agency Tacoma, Employment Agency Washington State, Temporary Staffing Bellevue, Temporary Staffing Everett, Temporary Staffing Kent, Temporary Staffing Seattle, Temporary Staffing Tacoma, Temporary Staffing Washington

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Silhouettes ConnectedPlanning on hiring in 2015? For many small to medium sized businesses,you will be engaging in the employment marketplace for the first time in a long while…and brace yourself for a very changed marketplace. While candidate shortages in some of the traditionally hard-to-find job categories – IT, accounting, etc. – are not going away, what is happening differently in 2015, is all job categories are going to be impacted by both low levels of unemployment and serious gaps between the skills employers need and the skills available in the workforce. Our CEO, Jeanne Knutzen, has written about 2015 hiring trends and some ideas to “hire smart” in a very changed job market in a newly released white paper.

Click here to see the 2015 Hiring Trend webpage!

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It’s Official – PSN’s Clinical Staffing Network is Now Fully Launched!

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 24, 2015

0 Managing People. Team Leadership, Staffing News Employment Agency Bellevue, Employment Agency Everett, Employment Agency Kent, Employment Agency Seattle, Employment Agency Tacoma, Employment Agency Washington State, Healthcare staffing, Temporary Staffing Bellevue, Temporary Staffing Everett, Temporary Staffing Kent, Temporary Staffing Seattle, Temporary Staffing Tacoma, Temporary Staffing Washington

As our loyal fans and friends know, the PACE Staffing Network has been medical_symbolsupporting the administrative, distribution, facilities, customer service, revenue cycle, finance/accounting, management, creative and IT areas of healthcare for several decades. We’ve mastered the nuances of healthcare focused screening and placement processes as well as the stringent compliance and onboarding requirements critical to our healthcare customers. We’ve custom designed service models to align with our healthcare customer’s needs for service – ranging from basic recruiting support for temporary, contract or direct hire candidates, to more comprehensive managed services programs that deliver a full range of employees needed via a quick easy and cost effective process and technology. We have now expanded our NETWORK of suppliers to include clinical staffing companies in all areas where our clients have clinical needs! Effective February 15th, 2015, we’ve launched our first ONE STOP managed services program in a large and diverse healthcare environment for our anchor client, Group Health Cooperative. To service the full scope of GHC’s needs, which includes staffing for clinical settings from Bellingham, Seattle to Spokane – our Network now includes 20+ clinical partners. The majority of these suppliers are companies with facilities located right here in the Pacific Northwest. They have been carefully vetted for their ability to deliver the quality of candidates and services our healthcare customers need, but don’t always receive from staffing agencies without a local presence. For our healthcare customers, our network delivers:

  • One call access to multiple suppliers with a range of expertise in clinical staffing
  • Automatic supplier call outs – our team, not yours, makes sure your orders get filled
  • Standardized supplier pricing and service delivery
  • Fully outsourced vendor contracting
  • Your business rules – managed consistently
  • Comprehensive compliance management including on demand audit ready records
  • One invoice and other streamlined administrative processes
All ONE STOP services are vendor funded and therefore are delivered at no cost to our healthcare customers! For more details on our ONE STOP service model or our newly expanded clinical supplier network, contact Nancy Swanson, our VP of Partner Development at 425.637.3312.

Long Term Disability and Health Insurance

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 24, 2015

0 Affordable Healthcare – ACA Smart

By Strategic HR Inc. Question: I have an employee that is on long term disability. How do I handle their health insurance benefits since they are no longer actively employed? Answer: Ideally, employers should address this in their employee handbooks prior to such an event happening so they have a clear practice in place before such a stressful situation arises. Determining how benefits are handled while someone is out on any type of leave should be clearly defined. In most instances, employers continue to carry employees on health insurance for a pre-determined time period after going on a leave. There really is no "typical" time period, but regardless of what you choose, ensure that your insurance carrier will allow the continued coverage. Some employers terminate coverage as soon as the disability is approved; others after six months of LTD; and even some that agree to cover those on disability up to one year. In these situations, employers typically require the employee to pay their "normal" employee contribution for health care and the employer handles them just like an active employee – subject to the carrier agreeing, of course. Keep in mind that after coverage is terminated, if you are subject to COBRA you must offer COBRA coverage for the employee as well. Regardless of the length of time you agree to continue coverage, be sure to get approval from your insurance company and be consistent in your application of the continued benefits. Strategic Human Resources, Inc., is a national full-service HR management firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our president and founder, Robin Throckmorton, can be reached at Robin@strategichrinc.com

Don’t Be an Exclusionary Leader

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 24, 2015

0 Human Resources Staffing

By Michelle M. Smith Leaders are busy people who need to set and manage priorities, often dismissing or delegating tasks that don't provide a strong return on their investment of time. Nonetheless, there's one area of responsibility that leaders should never ignore...their employees. Gallup has repeatedly found that leaders who compliment their teams enjoy extremely low (1%) employee disengagement levels. When leaders criticize employees, disengagement levels rise to 22%. However, disengagement almost doubles to a shocking 40% when leaders ignore their direct reports. The prevailing thinking has been that even negative feedback from a leader demonstrates some level of care and interest in the employee, making it more welcomed than no feedback or attention at all. And new research from the University of British Columbia's (UBC) Sauder School of Business supports Gallup's findings, suggesting employees are better off getting negative responses from their bosses than not getting any attention at all. (Although neither the researchers nor I are advocating negative interactions with employees – we're simply demonstrating the harmful impact of exclusion.) Being excluded impacts far more than engagement levels. Being ignored at work is worse for an employee's physical and mental well-being than harassment or bullying. YOUR FIRST INSTINCTS MAY BE INCORRECT Researchers found most people consistently rate workplace ostracism as more socially appropriate, less psychologically harmful, and less likely to be prohibited than workplace harassment. When leaders' to-do lists are too long and the days are too short, ignoring distractions from their stated goals seems like a smart plan. And they would be so wrong. Employees who experienced exclusion are significantly more likely to report health problems, a degraded sense of workplace belonging and commitment, and a stronger intention to quit their jobs. "We've been taught that ignoring someone is socially preferable – if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all," said Sandra Robinson, one of the study's authors and a professor at UBC. "But ostracism actually leads employees to feel more helpless." "There is a tremendous effort underway to counter bullying in workplaces, but abuse isn't always obvious," Robinson said. "There are many people who feel quietly victimized and most of our current strategies for dealing with workplace injustice don't give them a voice." WHAT'S THE IMPACT OF EXCLUSION? Exclusion feels threatening and causes defensive reactions to kick in, as well as feelings of withdrawal and the need to form alliances. Humans are social animals, so exclusion is often perceived as a form of punishment, especially when it originates from a leader. While leaders rarely intend to exclude individuals, many are unaware they're excluding people who have a different perspective, set of interests, self-identity, or expertise. HOW TO BE MORE INCLUSIVE Inclusion is a highly productive state where all employees feel welcome and accepted, especially members of underrepresented groups. But how do we cultivate it if leaders aren't even aware they're being exclusive? The answer involves developing leaders who are focused on results, capable of setting goals, holding staff accountable, and being able to both deliver and receive feedback. Inclusive leaders, like all good leaders, understand themselves and model transparency, openness, and valuing others' input. They also communicate and connect with their teams to accelerate their development and performance. Most importantly, they build a culture where every member of the team is appreciated for their contribution and perspective. Because there isn't any return on investment in ignoring employees. Michelle M. Smith is vice president of business development at O.C. Tanner as well as a world-renowned speaker, writer, consultant, and trusted advisor to Fortune 500 companies and governments. She is president emeritus of the Incentive Marketing Association and past president of the FORUM for People Performance at Northwestern University. She can be reached at michelle.smith@octanner.com.

7 Signs It’s Time to Optimize Your Recruiting Function

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 24, 2015

0 Human Resources Staffing

By Linda Brenner Recruiting is a totally different function than it was just 10 years ago. The traditional role of the recruiter has expanded and evolved so drastically it can feel nearly impossible to keep up. With the latest tools, best practices, and an ever-growing list of new job requirements for talent acquisition specialists it requires a constant need to evaluate, assess, and optimize the recruiting process. Let's do a quick audit of the common signs of a broken recruiting function. Your Time-to-Hire is Dismal Time-to-hire is considered one of the most important metrics in recruiting performance by many experts. As the hiring time lengthens, the cost increases and the responsibilities of unfilled positions burden current employees, and, to boot, company leaders get frustrated. For context, time to hire is currently at a 13-year high, at an average of 25 working days. In other words, even the current average shouldn't be considered acceptable. What Company Culture? A very common sign that recruiting needs improvement is when you look around and can't see, feel, or hear the company culture. Recruiting should always be concentrating on finding candidates who exemplify the organizational values, goals, and culture. When fostering the company culture through new hires fades away (or wasn't there to begin with) you will start to see negative bottom line impacts. Not the Good Kind of Turnover The average cost of replacing an employee is just under $60,000. Combine that with the fact that 75% of the demand for new talent is to replace workers who have left the organization, and you've got a costly recruiting issue. While not all turnover is bad, seeing an increase in costly, voluntary turnover is a sign that recruiting is in trouble. Although the employee turnover metric is not solely the responsibility of recruiting, it is considered an important metric in recruiting success. You're Still Working with Spreadsheets and File Folders The level of sophistication that HR technology has reached in a very short amount of time cannot be ignored. Companies who have invested in keeping up with the HR tech boom are able to expedite and optimize every step of the recruiting and hiring process. As metrics and analytics become increasingly important to stay relevant and competitive, their accompanying technology has become the standard for all types and sizes of organizations. Recruiting Doesn't Know the Organizational Values and Goals HR thought leader Dr. John Sullivan explains this common recruiting team issue perfectly: "Unfortunately, in my interactions with corporate recruiting leaders, I am frequently surprised to find that they don't have a formal set of strategic goals for their talent acquisition function. That's a major problem because you certainly can't be strategic unless you have a formal written strategy (most don't) and a corresponding set of goals to make it clear to everyone what you're trying to accomplish." As the highest and most impactful spend in business, shouldn't the goals, vision, and objectives of company leaders be part of the hiring process? It all starts with recruiting. You're Still Posting and Praying Successful recruiters are no longer working with best guesses or hunches. The right analytics tools can make sure recruiters are placing their spend optimally. Instead of posting and praying, recruiters can now gather the when, where, and why behind a poor performing job listing. This information gives them the ability to tinker with every aspect of candidate attraction to find the perfect mediums and messaging. "The big data movement has proven effective and will, therefore, last," explains Dominic Barton, chief operating officer at Broadbean Technology. "A recent Deloitte study revealed 57% of human resources departments increased their spend on analytics. This is the direct result of tools that render previously useless data now actionable and objective information. Recruiters today have solid data to replace assumptions and best guesses." Leaders Are Cutting You Out On Hires Perhaps the most embarrassing sign of all is leaders bypassing recruiting to source and hire their own people. While we all know they are going to make the classic mistakes that recruiters have the experience and training to avoid, the fact remains that you are now in a position where these leaders feel they could do a better job than you...and that stings. A successful recruiting team is not one still operating with the same processes, practices, and tools we were working with a decade ago. While metrics are always a solid way to assess your recruiting state, there's a little more to it. How about your professional relationships within the organization, your rapport with candidates, or the ability to proactively address talent needs? Although this list isn't exhaustive, it's a good starting point to determine if it's time to audit the recruiting function in your company. Linda Brenner started Designs on Talent with the vision of helping HR leaders drive faster and better results in talent acquisition and talent management. Visit Designs on Talent online at www.designsontalent.com or e-mail Linda at Linda@designsontalent.com.

In Pursuit of Accountability and an Accountability Culture

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 12, 2015

0 Managing People. Team Leadership

Despite the countless management and leadership books written about the virtue of accountability, according to most employees there are significant gaps between managements knowing and doing. Few employees believe that their organizations do a good job of holding 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.  Even well intended managers will fuel these perceptions. Excuses like “they’re new to the job,” or “I probably wasn’t clear in my directions,” can sound more like management giving “permission” to an employee to underperform or a hesitancy to have a difficult conversation, than the commitment to fairness it might otherwise be. The opposite track, 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 isn’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 off 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 hold their own team members accountable, many have a hard time seeing others doing the same. And 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. Anytime a manager takes their eyes off their own performance and what they can impact, and looks for explanations of outcomes outside themselves, 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 culture of accountability happens slowly, then suddenly. While accountability is an intellectually simple concept, in reality it is both emotionally and behaviorally complex. A healthy accountability culture requires 100% of its leadership to first hold themselves fully accountable for their own behavior and outcomes in light of a large number of factors they don’t directly control. How easy is it for a manager to say “if only our sales team would have brought in more new clients we would have made our numbers?” or “if only our product had                 , we would have sold more business?” Accountability starts with individual manager’s doing individual work to ensure they are always acting and talking in ways that supports both organizational teamwork and accountability. And managers, who take their mission to develop people seriously, often struggle to find that balance between holding people accountable, while 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 the thoughtful decision to terminate an underperforming but high impact employee, requires careful organizational planning that will impact the perception of accountability. None of the balancing acts that in their aggregate reflect how you are 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.     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 accountability eroding assumptions?  
 

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 work with our clients to 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. 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).   We 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.   When it comes to organizational accountability or a culture of accountability, neither PACE Staffing Network or me as its CEO claims to be an expert, but if you’d like to discuss our editorial content on this significant management practice in more detail, feel free to contact me at jeannek@pacestaffing.com.   

How to Hire for Cultural Fit During the Holidays

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 12, 2015

0 Recruiting - Best Practices Temp Agencies in Tacoma WA, Temp Agencies in Tacoma Washington, Temp Agencies Tacoma, Temp Agencies Tacoma WA, Temp Agencies Washington

Hiring managers are besieged with the same message over and over again in the 21st century workplace: Attitude matters more than aptitude. In other words, cultural fit can be a strong determinant of candidate success, sometimes even stronger than skill sets or experience. So it’s a good idea to hire candidates who fit in, not just candidates who can do the job. But knowing something needs to be done and knowing how to do it are two different challenges, so with that in mind, here are a few simple cultural hiring tips.   1. Know your culture. Before you decide that a given candidate is or isn’t a match, you’ll need to perform an honest assessment of your existing workplace. Don’t delude yourself, and don’t decide that your office is populated with collaborative innovators when it’s actually staffed with rigid, ambitious loners. Take a close look at your existing teams and view a given candidate through their eyes. Will they like and respect him, or not?   2. Know the signs of a strong match before your interview process begins. What does a high aptitude candidate look like? What does his resume look like? What does he sound like when he talks? What are his interests and how do these interests mesh with those of your existing teams? Don’t just assume you’ll recognize these traits when you see them.   3. Don’t confuse cultural matching with foolish bias. Keep your teams diverse in terms of race, gender, age, background, and ethnicity. But across these lines, find candidates who have similar feelings about the industry, a similar work ethic, and a similar approach to teamwork, communication, and idea sharing.   4. Target your post to a specific audience. If you have an ideal candidate in mind, publish your post in a place where you know your candidate will be looking for work. Don’t just rely on huge national online job boards. Reach out to experienced staffing firms, niche industry groups, and blogs and websites with a highly targeted appeal. Of course, you’ll also want to tap into your social network, which will start with the friends and family of your existing employers. Offer referral incentives for successful hires.   For more on how to hire for attitude, not just aptitude, contact the Seattle staffing and business management experts at Pace. If you are looking for temp agencies in Tacoma Washington, contact us today.

1099 Worker Classification Audits on the Rise!

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 4, 2015

0 Legal Issues - Staffing 1099 Worker, 1099 Worker Classification, Employer of Record, Employer of Record Service, W2 worker, Worker Classification Audits

PACE Purple Banner with Quote 3 A Special Alert for PSN Clients and Friends! By Jeanne Knutzen, CEO, Founder As we have discussed on multiple occasions, the misclassification of workers continues to be an audit target for federal and state unemployment agencies, impacting any employer who uses 1 or 20 independent contractors as a way of doing business. When workers who are essentially treated as W2 workers, but who are misclassified as 1099 independent contractors, both federal and state agencies lose payroll tax revenue along with their ability to protect and insure the individual from workplace accidents and claims of unemployment. These issues have gotten their attention for some time, resulting in the passage of new legislation in 2014 that will provide additional funding for 2015 audits and new ways of syncing up federal and state tax authorities to identify potential offenders. Although Worker Classification Audits are not new and have been in play for decades, third-party administrators everywhere are putting their clients on notice to expect a significant increase in the number of employee classification audits. Targeted audit strategies will be able to focus on employees most likely to be misclassified, making it increasingly important for employers to make accurate determinations of “worker type” at point of hire—going thru all details of the 20 point test suggested by the IRS as an acceptable classification process. States who have already volunteered to be a part of the new audit process include Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Utah and Washington. We wanted all our clients and friends to know that we are in one of the states who will be increasing its “watching”…plus, to also let you know the PSN team has a solution! The PACEjeanne Staffing Network has been providing “Employer of Record” services for companies with “suspect” 1099 workers since 2000. Our Employer of Record Service Packages can include a quick audit of your current 1099 workers, but most importantly provides an easy and low cost remedy for any exposure to unpaid taxes or penalties you want to avoid NOW. For more information on Employer of Record Services and to put them to use quickly, contact our Partnership Development Team at 425-637-3312 or by emailing infodesk@pacestaffing.com. This article was written by Jeanne Knutzen, founder and CEO of the PACE Staffing Network.