Human Resource Roles

The Do’s and Don’ts of Employee One-on-One’s

by Lauren Molitor | June 23, 2017

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS

One-on-one meetings with your employees might seem like a time-consuming effort, but the return on investment is huge. … Read More »

How to Know if you are Working with the RIGHT Recruiter!

by Marketing Team | June 9, 2017

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS get connected, main whats happening

We know how important the hiring/recruiting process has become. And it all starts with selecting the RIGHT RECRUITER or RECRUITING ORGANIZATION … Read More »

From “Personnel” to Strategic Partner. The Evolution of Human Resources!

by Jeanne Knutzen | August 12, 2016

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS get connected

The PACE Staffing Network has been around 40 years - long enough to experience the changing role of Human Resources in the local business and professional community. … Read More »

PACE Celebrates Human Resources…

by Marketing Team | August 5, 2016

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR JOB SEEKERS

PACE Celebrates HR professionals who play a critical role in the success of NW businesses! … Read More »

Admins are Filling BIG SHOES in our Local Marketplace!

by Marketing Team | June 20, 2016

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS main whats happening

Today, the requests we get for Administrative Assistant or Executive Assistant roles are just as detailed as any request for someone to fill a professional or managerial role. … Read More »

* Hiring is Never Easy. Finding the “Right Fit” is Even Harder!

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 20, 2016

0 Blog, Hiring.Best Practices, Human Resource Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS get connected

We know there are some timeless “best practices” for hiring right that are particularly important when talent pipelines are lean. … Read More »

The NHRMA Conference is Right Around the Corner…

by Jeanne Knutzen | May 25, 2016

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS, PACE News!

We’ve Signed Up to be at the NHRMA Conference in Bellevue, WA... Have You? … Read More »

Human Resources is the Place to Be!

by Marketing Team | May 18, 2016

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR JOB SEEKERS, What's New in Staffing? Whats Happening

While large employers have been beefing up their HR teams for the last several years, smaller, more medium sized companies are just getting into their recruiting rhythm and are adding HR staff as their way of getting into the race. … Read More »

* To Rise “Above the Crowd” You Must “Make a Difference”

by Jeanne Knutzen | September 3, 2015

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR JOB SEEKERS above the crowd, differences, employers, Employment Agency, Employment Agency Bellevue, hiring, Hiring Seattle, jobs, jobs seattle, make a difference, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Staffing Agency, temp jobs, Temporary Staffing

“Above the Crowd” is just one more way for us to talk about “making a difference” which has been a watchword for our company, the PACE Staffing Network, since its founding over 35 years ago. Being different by finding people for our clients who “make a difference”, and by helping our clients differentiate their businesses from their competitors, is, for us, the one and only way to truly rise “above the crowd”. … Read More »

* Three Entrepreneurial Tips to Make Your Company More Nimble

by Guest Author | August 11, 2015

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles employers, entrepreneurs, tips

instead of abandoning your employer, consider how you could take a page out of an entrepreneurial playbook and inject new energy into your organization. … Read More »

Seattle’s NEW Minimum Wage Goes Into Effect April 1!

by Jeanne Knutzen | March 27, 2015

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS, Legal Issues - Staffing

Beginning April 1, both large employers (501 employees or more) and small (500 or fewer employees) located in SEATTLE must pay their employees no less than a hourly rate of $11/hr. – or a base of $10/hr. … Read More »

4 Tips for a Merrier Holiday Office Party

by Jeanne Knutzen | December 23, 2014

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles

By Josh Tolan The winter season, and all its attendant holidays, can make you really take stock of what you have. This is why many companies throw holiday parties for employees. It's a great way to say "thanks" for a job well done this past year. But holiday parties can come with their own set of minefields to navigate. An awkward holiday party is like an employee getting coal in their corporate stocking. Here are some tips to avoid this fate and keep your holiday party as merry as Santa Claus: 1) Keep Your Spirits Bright...but Under Control Tis the season to keep spirits bright, but employees who imbibe too many spirits can be a recipe for a holiday party disaster. By spirits, of course, we mean alcohol, which is often a key component to an office holiday party. You just need to look toward pop culture for an example of how dangerous drinking to excess at the holiday party can be. On the AMC's 60s-era drama Mad Men, a booze-filled party turned into a disaster when a drunk employee ran over the foot of a superior with a lawn mower. Most likely having a few too many drinks won't result in bodily injury, but it can certainly hurt your employee morale. Instead of pouring out hard liquor, pick something more mellow such as wine or something seasonal like eggnog. Watch employees who look like they might be on the verge of drinking to excess and quietly cut them off. Or you could even decide to forgo the alcohol entirely and instead provide fun seasonal beverages. Whatever you do, make sure employees don't wake up regretting their actions at your holiday party in the next morning. 2) Know Your Staff To craft the perfect holiday party, you'll first need to understand the makeup and needs of your employees. These are the same people you connected with in the hiring process, whether through an in-person interview or through online video. Think about their unique needs before scheduling your office party venue. Do most of your workers have families or are they single and ready to cut loose? If your employees are mostly family-minded, you don't want to schedule your holiday party at the new hip bar in town. Instead, you might decide on a holiday fair or family-friendly activity everyone can take part in. Likewise, if your employees are mostly single and looking to have fun this winter, a night out might be more alluring to them than going to a production of The Nutcracker. Many offices, however, have a mix of both types of employees. In this case, you'll want to schedule something that will be fun for everyone. For instance, going bowling or attending a karaoke night will allow the single workers to grab a few drinks and have fun while the families can still tag along and enjoy themselves. 3) Rock Around the Holiday Tree Winter is a great time of year in which many holidays occur. Staying clear of religious affiliation is a great rule of thumb in the office in general, but it's even more important around the holidays. Not all of your employees will observe the same religious holidays, and therefore it's good to keep this time of year as nondenominational as possible. Put aside the manger and Hanukkah candles for twinkle lights and snowmen. It will make your entire workforce feel included instead of just the members that share your religious views. 4) Consider ditching Secret Santa Secret Santa can be very stressful, especially if you end up with a coworker you don't know very well. The episode of NBC's The Office, where horrible boss Michael Scott reacts badly to a homemade present, shows the shortcomings of secret Santa present swaps. Avoid the awkwardness of buying the wrong present by encouraging your office to give to others instead. Start a toy drive or pool all the money that would be spent on gifts to give to charity instead. After all, the season is about giving back and being grateful for the gifts we already have, and no one really needs another scented candle from a coworker who has no idea what to get you. Holiday and Christmas work parties can be great ways to bond with your workforce and say a special thanks for a job well done in 2014. So before hanging up twinkle lights, make sure to check these holiday party tips twice.


  Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Twitter.

9 Low-Cost and No-Cost Ideas for Motivating Employees

by Jeanne Knutzen | November 21, 2014

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles Coaching Employees, Employee Motivation, Job Shadow Program, Mentoring Programs Work Place, Val Grubb, Valerie Grubb

By Valerie Grubb Managing employees can be one of the most challenging–and also most rewarding–responsibilities as you move up within a company. When your management works and you see your employees surpass even their own expectations, it's wildly exciting and incredibly fulfilling! If you're new to managing employees – the great news is that you don't need a big budget to inspire your employees. The strategies listed below can help you motivate and engage your employees, even under the tightest financial constraints. 1) Provide Interesting Work Management theorist Frederick Herzberg once said, "If you want someone to do a good job, give them a good job to do." So give your employees good jobs by making sure that at least part of their responsibilities includes something of great interest to them. Even for those jobs that are inherently boring, having at least one or two stimulating projects can motivate employees to perform well in the mundane tasks, too. Recommend your employee to a new task force your CEO is forming, for example, or let him or her take the lead at your next staff meeting. Find out your employee's career aspirations, then identify assignments that will expand his or her skill set in the desired direction. The increased productivity you gain by providing interesting projects beyond the day-to-day tasks will more than compensate for the time your employees are away from their regular jobs. 2) Require Managers to Coach and Develop This strategy may sound like a no-brainer. But it bears repeating, because we all know managers who are slackers when it comes to coaching and developing their employees–and in these uncertain times, employees need feedback more than ever. Remember, employees join companies, but they leave managers. So hold your managers accountable for coaching employees to achieve outstanding results and developing their staff through mentoring and training opportunities (see the next two bullet points). If they aren't fulfilling those responsibilities, replace them with people who will. 3) Establish a Mentoring Program Seventy-one percent of Fortune 500 companies offer mentoring programs to their employees. Why? Because those companies recognize that such programs bring a multitude of benefits to both protégé and mentor. Mentoring employees (especially new hires) can lead to better retention while mentoring aspiring talent can form the cornerstone of succession planning. Mentoring programs traditionally pair a junior employee with a more experienced colleague, but there's no need to stick only to this format. Reverse mentoring, for example, can help senior executives keep up with cutting-edge technology and with company issues that are usually only on the radar of junior staff. Group or situational mentoring is also on the rise for issues such as diversity or high-potential training. And if your company doesn't have a formal program, create your own! Establish mentoring relationships for your employees by tapping fellow executives (and agree to mentor their employees in return). 4) Train Your Employees Training doesn't have to cost money. No-cost and low-cost internal training options include:

  • Establish a job-shadowing program – even if you're the executive your employee is shadowing! Allow your high potentials to gain exposure to senior executives through the projects on your plate.
  • Arrange for monthly luncheons with your top executives whereby they can interact and ask questions.
  • Allow your employees to represent the company at a public function (charity fundraiser, sporting event, etc.), teaching them the responsibilities when in front of clients.
  • Expose employees to organizations with relationships to yours (e.g., visit a vendor, take a trip to customer's site).
  • Rotate employees into areas in which they need to improve their skills or gain exposure for continued growth.
  • Invite employees to spearhead projects in areas where they need improvement.
  • Read case studies and books on issues that are relevant to your organization, and discuss with fellow executives. (Be sure to find out what books your CEO recommends!)
  • Encourage employees to volunteer for industry organizations where they can develop leadership and management opportunities. Local non-profit groups, school organizations, or community-based programs may also be an option.
5) Roll Out Financial Training All employees need to understand how your company makes money, how individual department budgets connect to the organization's products and services, and how all that information describes the company's financial health. Unfortunately, most employees (including some senior leaders) are woefully ignorant in this area. So have your HR and finance departments team up to teach classes on budgeting and its connection to your company's financial well-being. By teaching fiscal responsibility, you'll soon have employees identifying cost-cutting measures, because they'll be as eager as your CFO to save the money and improve the company's finances. 6) Invite Involvement and Ownership in Decisions Most companies don't prioritize involving employees in decisions that affect them. Perhaps it's time to reconsider that practice, though. Keeping employees in the loop is not only respectful, but it's also practical: people who are closest to a situation typically have the best insight on how to improve it. Employees on the ground floor of an issue often know what works (and what doesn't) and can provide valuable insight into how to resolve the issue quickly and effectively. In addition, employees who have a hand in crafting a solution are more invested in working toward its success. 7) Increase Visibility and Opportunity Motivate employees by recognizing when their performance goes above and beyond. You can do this through publicly crediting them for their work, for example, or by giving them new assignments or additional responsibilities. Keep in mind, however, the first strategy in this list: make sure those additional responsibilities are of interest or value to the employee. (After all, having to deal with even more mundane tasks isn't the reward most people are looking for.) Remember, you get what you reward. 8) Provide autonomy Employees value the freedom to do their jobs as they see fit. So if your employees are able to get their jobs done (and done well) on their own, leave them alone! When you give high-performing employees more autonomy, you increase the likelihood that those employees will continue to perform as desired. Even with new recruits who haven't yet proven themselves in your company, you can provide autonomy in work assignments by telling those employees what needs to be done without dictating exactly how to do it. 9) Train your Managers to Provide Greater Recognition A 2012 Bersin & Associates study indicates that, compared to companies without recognition programs, those organizations that do have such initiatives enjoy 14% higher employee engagement, productivity, and customer service and 31% fewer voluntary turnovers. So tout the accomplishments of employees–and require your managers to do the same. And if your company doesn't already have a formal recognition program, perhaps now is the time to push for one. Next Steps Even if you do have a big budget, simply throwing money around rarely creates a more engaged and motivated workforce. Don't get me wrong–if your employees are underpaid, money is the first step toward making them happier and more valuable members of your organization. But if you really want to engage them, you need to think beyond the paycheck. Many employees work longer than an eight-hour day because that's what it takes to get the job done, but all of us probably know people who put in the extra time and effort because they are totally committed to their company (or have a passion for a particular volunteer organization or cause). They have this drive in large part because they're getting more than a paycheck. There's something that motivates them to go above and beyond–and with the strategies outlined here, you can cultivate a similar commitment and drive in your own employees! Valerie Grubb of Val Grubb & Associates Ltd. (www.valgrubbandassociates.com) is an innovative and visionary operations leader with an exceptional ability to zero in on the systems, processes, and personnel issues that can hamper a company's growth. Grubb regularly consults for mid-range companies wishing to expand and larger companies seeking efficiencies in back-office operations. Her expertise and vibrant style are also in constant demand for corporate training classes and seminars. She can be reached at vgrubb@valgrubbandassociates.com.

Stuck In the Middle

by Jeanne Knutzen | November 21, 2014

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles Employee Development Opportunities, Employee Recognition, Employee Training Opportunities

By Chad Savoy Who gets the bulk of your attention? The people who do really, really well at everything, consistently exceed targets, go over and above and serve as a shining beacon of light, hope and inspiration to the rest of the organisation? The people who never seem to get anything right, to the point where you're left wondering why exactly they're working for you in the first place? (For a given value of 'work'). Or the other people. The quiet inoffensive ones who come in and do their work with zero fuss and then go home? It's always never the quiet ones Nearly 80% of employees are 'consistent performers' (* Bersin & Associates High Impact Performance Management research 2011), while managers spend about 80% of their time focusing on the other guys. What usually happens is that these solid workers live under the radar, going largely unnoticed while attention and energy gets spent on the flashier people; your stars or problem children. The people in the middle may have the potential to be stars themselves, but without development that potential may just go to waste. Stars get retreats, fancy rewards, training and development; low performers get more supervision, additional coaching and mentorship...and the middle child usually gets by with a performance review. How many of them interpret this lack of attention as a sign of their work's unimportance and slip quietly away? Look past the stars It costs you less to keep your average workers around than it does to hire in new people. ESPECIALLY stars, who – frankly – you just can't afford outright. Hiring new people also usually results in losses from a drop in productivity due to onboarding and upskilling and orientation and all that just starting out stuff – and even then the new hires might not fit. Your consistent performers are already attuned to your culture, and hold a wealth of company-specific knowledge and experience. They've already proved themselves reliable, stable, sane workers so they're pretty good ambassadors for all things you and shouldn't go maverick if elevated to management positions. They're a known quantity, and that quantity is a decent one. And face it: every company needs employees who'll just...produce. Solidly – without requiring a parade when they deliver, and without needing constant supervision. Your reliable performers have a history of supporting your stars and picking up the problem kids' slack, so why wouldn't you want to keep them around? Be the phone booth How then do you make sure you hang on to these solid if unremarkable performers; maybe even encourage your Clark Kents and Peter Parkers to live up to their superhero potential (costumes optional)? Figure out who they are and what they do. Collect detailed information on their skills, competencies, what they've worked on and how they've worked with others. Profile them and record their progress over time. Then explore these things: Recognition. By making thanks and recognition part of your culture, you start actively looking for things to celebrate – big things, small things, the kind of things the quiet people work quietly on. Training opportunities. Open access to a range of professional and skill development courses would be a good start for your average joe. Just don't waste resources pushing them into something generic and irrelevant that's not going to pay off! Career paths and obvious development opportunities. Give them somewhere to go and something to aspire to; make the path to stardom an obvious one and support them on their way. Goal contribution. So they AND YOU can see how their good work is actually making an impact on the organisation's overall achievement. Bottom line: you hired them for a reason It's easier to keep these people than to hire new people. So show them a little love and one of two things will happen: 1. They'll stick around and keep on keeping on. This is good. 2. They'll thrive under the attention and join the ranks of your stars. This is better. Then you just have to work on keeping them! Chad Savoy is Cornerstone's VP of worldwide sales for the SMB market. A seasoned sales professional, Chad is passionate about recruiting, hiring, training, and mentoring high potential professionals to become high performing stars.

A Check Up for Your Team – Eight Factors Important to High Level Team Performance

by Jeanne Knutzen | March 5, 2014

2 Blog, Human Resource Roles Assessment Center, Candidate Assessments, Hiring Team Players, Hiring/Firing, Seattle Staffing, staffing Seattle, Team Performance, Team Problem Solving, Team Work, Teams

Doing the work to build a high performing team always seems like a daunting task. So many different personalities, agendas and styles have to come together in order for the team to achieve its goal of accomplishing considerably more than what could be accomplished by individuals, working separately. And when you think you’ve (finally) arrived, figuring out how to keep a successful team motivated to keep performing at increasingly challenging levels can be an equally daunting challenge. What does it take to keep a team continuously improving? To embrace a new mission? To tackle new goals? Sometimes the real issue isn’t about the team’s performance, but about a lack of recognition of where the team is going, or knowing when you’ve arrived—making it easy to get lost or disillusioned along the way. The following is a list of eight characteristics we believe define a high performance team. To get your team involved in their own self-assessment, ask each team member to rate their team on each characteristic using a scale of 1-5. At your next team meeting, have each team member share their scores and comments to see where the team agrees there is opportunity for improvement. 1.  Problem Solving. The team has normal and routine ways of tackling problems, addressing issues, and handling conflict together. All team members know when and how to escalate issues to team problem solving formats and do so as needed. Problems tend to be addressed proactively, before they have grown into serious issues. Rating                                                   2.  Synergy. It is clear to all team members that they accomplish more together than they could individually. Team members feed off one another, generating new and creative ideas that wouldn’t be generated by working alone. The team regularly sets goals for what they can do together, that are much bigger than the sum of their individual efforts. Rating                                                   3.  Adaptation. Flexibility. High performing teams have learned how to be flexible, responsive, orderly and direct. They regularly move into unknowns where they must quickly adapt to new information or situations as they are presented. They have routines, but are open to changing them quickly when they no longer work. Rating                                                   4.  Open and Authentic. The team regularly uses active listening to ensure information is exchanged between team members as intended. Conflict is encouraged as a way to constructively explore something new or different. Curiosity is more important to the team than is judgment. Rating                                                   5.  Results Focused. No matter the obstacle, the team finds a way to deliver the high quality work they all know is ex pected of them—on time and within budget. The drive for results frequently trumps other considerations and team members “buckle down” when the going gets tough. Personal challenges are acknowledged, but are never allowed to supersede the team’s mission. Rating                                                   6.  Always Learning. The team places a high value on its collective learning and is constantly exploring new knowledge and new ways of working together. Individuals frequently take responsibility to bring back information to the team as a way to grow the team’s expertise and ultimately its performance. Rating                                                   7.  Accountability. Team members take full accountability for both team results and their own contributions to those results. When things go wrong, there is no finger pointing or blame—team member’s step up to the plate regularly to diagnose personal or team mistakes and explore ways to avoid them in the future. Rating                                                   8.  Support.  Members of most high performance teams spend time supporting one another in a variety of ways that reflects their mutual respect and encourages their enjoyment of each other. Team members regularly extend their personal efforts to ensure the success of others on the team. Rating                                                   The PACE Staffing Network has been helping HR and Hiring Managers put together the right combinations of people and skills to create high performance teams for over three decades. Our Assessment Centers help customers not only select employees who have the hard skills needed to be successful on a team, but the necessary aptitudes and work styles needed to become strong team contributors. If you’re having difficult putting together the right team, please contact 425-637-3312 for a complimentary exploration of the many things you can be doing to improve team performance.

How do I Format and Draft a Job Offer Letter

by Jeanne Knutzen | November 26, 2013

0 Blog, Hiring.Best Practices, Human Resource Roles accounting staffing agencies seattle, staffing agencies in seattle, Staffing Agencies In Seattle WA, staffing agencies seattle, staffing agency seattle, staffing agency seattle wa

After weeks of careful sourcing, resume collection, conversations with recruiters, and a long, meticulous interview process, you’re finally ready to choose a candidate. And luckily for you, the choice is easy. Your final contender has it all: wits, drive, a strong work ethic, a pleasant attitude, and affordability. So now you need to make it over the final hurdle: presenting an offer she can’t refuse. And making sure she isn’t lured away by your competitors before her start date. Just to stay on the safe side as you draft your offer letter, keep a few tips in mind: first, retain two back up candidates so you can don’t have to start over if this one gets away. And second, remember that your letter is only part of the process. You also need to reach out to the candidate by phone, and you’ll want to stay socially connected with her between the date of the offer and the day she steps onboard. Try to prevent a change of heart by keeping her thoughts focused on a future with you, not her past with the company she’s leaving behind. Here are a few ways your offer letter can send the right message and accomplish this goal.

1. Be personable. The legal language of the letter is important, but give your words a personal touch, and make sure the tone is warm, welcoming, and enthusiastic. Make it clear that her arrival is considered an exciting and positive event, not just another bureaucratic item to check off a list.

2. If the offer will be contingent on anything, from a criminal background check to a medical exam, social media review, reference check, or blood test, make each of these items clear. Arrange them not in a block of text, but in a list of distinct bullet points.

3. Provide clear instructions to the employee regarding her next step. Will she need to sign the letter and return it by mail or email before a certain date? Will she need to contact the HR office by phone to formally accept the offer? Will she need to submit any additional material to deal with the contingency items listed above? These instructions should appear in the letter’s final paragraph, right before the close.

4. The terms of employment should be made clear in the letter. If this is an at-will agreement or a defined contract, include the terms in the letter or attach them in a separate document.

5. Summarize the insurance benefits associated with the position and clearly state the annual compensation.

The requirements and recommendations associated with your offer letter will vary with the position, the industry, and the laws in your state. If you are looking for staffing agencies in Seattle, contact us today.

How to Include Temp Work on Your Resume

by Jeanne Knutzen | October 29, 2013

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR JOB SEEKERS temp agencies in seattle, temp agencies seattle, temporary employment agencies in seattle, Temporary Employment Agencies Seattle, temporary employment agencies seattle wa

As some job seekers look for a long term position in their chosen industry, they tend to reach the “work history” section of their resumes-in-progress and pause to consider a nearly-universal question: What’s the best way to address a period of temp work? How can you use your resume to frame your short term job and clarify the relevance of your temporary responsibilities to the position you’re currently pursuing? Some job seekers are tempted to gloss over this period as a necessary, but not very noteworthy, place holder. Some even omit this entire chapter from their resumes. But there’s no need to take this step if you can describe your temporary work accurately and stay on message. Keep these tips in mind. 1. Include the name of the staffing firm that placed you in the position. Some staffing firms are known for their specific focus on IT work, financial clients, or medical positions, and some have a reputation for working with clients in every industry. Listing the name of your firm can help employers understand a bit more about your focus area and the kind of work you’re looking for. 2. Include the length of your assignment or assignments. Just add start and end dates to each temporary position you held while you worked with a given staffing firm. This can give employers a sense of your versatility and your ability to handle different types of responsibilities. It can also show how adept you are at learning new procedures quickly and staying flexible. 3. Include specific detail about the responsibilities you handled during your longest, proudest, or most relevant position. Feel free to describe the professional teams you joined or supported, the larger goals of your projects, and the ways in which your work contributed to company success. Even if you weren’t there during a project’s inception and didn't stay to see the ultimate outcome, you still invested heavily in the company during your tenure. Share your level of commitment and document what you accomplished. 4. Explain how your temporary accomplishments and responsibilities contributed to your growth as an employee, and discuss how this work prepared you for the job at hand. Employers will want to know how your three months as an admin or technician helped you learn the finer points of customer service, sales, public speaking, horizontal management, etc, etc. For general job search guidance and more on how to use the details of your temp position to help your resume stand out, contact the Seattle staffing pros at Pace. If you are looking for temporary employment agencies in Seattle, contact us today.

Are You Making the Most of Your Temporary Staffing Options?

by Jeanne Knutzen | October 1, 2013

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles Contract Employees, Downsizing, Flexible Staffing Models, PACE Staffing Network, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency, Shamrock Organization, Staffing Solutions, Temporary Staffing, WorkForce Optimization

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]1. What percentage of your total workforce currently falls into one of the flexible worker (temp, contract, part-time) categories?  While there is no magic ratio of flex-to-core employees, if your percentage of core to non-core staff is 10% or below, look hard at the things your company is doing to embrace the “flexible work” model. The “shamrock organization” that has been widely touted as the model for the future, suggests that as much as 33% of your workforce can be contingent workers, while another 33% are the workers provided by “outsourced” service providers. Only 33% of this shamrock workforce are core employees, with the responsibility to manage and coordinate the work of the contingent others. Does this staffing model make business sense for your company? Your team? How much money could you shave off your operating budget if you became more “shamrock” like? 2. Is the demand for your goods or services increasing or decreasing? How have you adjusted your headcounts to deal with these trends? Reducing or adding to your temporary/flexible workforce is fast becoming the preferred staffing model to cushion the highs and lows of economic volatility. The notion of “right sizing” isn’t just about reducing staff; it’s also about not making permanent commitments to core employees until you know for sure that a business trend is stable. Using a flexible staffing strategy to always stay “right sized” has become a strategic method used by employers to transition wage costs from a fixed cost to a variable cost. Investing in or holding onto fixed costs that your competitors treat as variable will eventually impact profitability and your ability to compete. 3. Do you have a good handle on the rhythms of supply and demand for your department’s particular goods and services? The reoccurring low and high points of your team’s work cycles? With the growth in popularity of temporary and contract staffing options, an employer’s ability to move employees in and out of work environments quickly has significantly improved. Many employers have made a science out of staffing their teams at levels to support the lowest points in the demand cycle and using flexible workers to cycle-up or cycle-down in response to business need. “Workforce optimization” software’s have been developed to help companies track productivity requirements prior to impact. 4. How much overtime is currently being required of your workforce – core and flex? Overtime is very costly and is often a reactive strategy rather than the result of a well thought out plan. Staffing with the right number of core employees and augmenting up or down with flexible employees should eliminate most overtime requirements. 5. When special projects or reworks come up, do you typically have enough employees currently on staff to handle the extra work load? If you have core staff that consistently have the time to volunteer for additional work, chances are your company has too many fixed wage costs embedded into your workforce strategies. Most work that is non-reoccurring or not part of your regular routine should be done by your flexible workforce, not your core. 6. How long is it taking you to hire a core employee? What is the impact to your business of an inability to hire? If you need to move quickly and it takes too long to hire a core employee, you can miss important opportunities. Temporary or contract employees with the skill sets you need, can be brought in and put to work quickly. Temp-to-hire staffing models have dramatically increased over the last two years. Workers who have found themselves suddenly out of job are oftentimes willing to work in non-core ways. Many of these employees will bring new ideas and new ways of working to your company, promoting an atmosphere of change. 7. Are there jobs under your direction with high turnover, requiring you to be constantly in “hire” mode? Reoccurring turnover can be a sign that the job you are trying to fill just might not lend itself to a core staffing model. Many work groups composed of workers with low to moderate skill levels have been fully converted to a temporary staffing model. Another way of dealing with a high turnover job is to use a rotating group of auditioning contingent workers who you can use to keep work flowing, while giving workers a chance to demonstrate their special interest in or talent for the work to be performed. This auditioning process allows you to “always be hiring” while outsourcing much of the staffing costs to a third party employer. 8. Are there jobs under your direction where the morale of the work group seems to be an issue? Or where a large number of employees are no longer on their A-game? In large teams performing repetitive tasks, there are oftentimes cycles in employee performance that can be managed just like any other business cycle. If your productivity goals are such that all employees need to be on their A-game always, you might consider a more flexible staffing model that capitalizes on the opportunity to bring fresh new employees into your work group at just the right time—recycling employees who might have “burned out” into other work or jobs. 9. Is your team undergoing significant process changes? Bringing on new ways of working? New technologies? Periods of rapid or longer term change are often times when you need to slow down your commitments to core hiring and convert to a more flexible and short term work model. It is not unusual for work groups dealing with extended periods of uncertainty or change to be composed of more temporary than core workers. 10. How much of your operating budget can you devote to temporary or contingent staff? Many companies that monitor hiring levels carefully will at the same time provide considerable budget dollars for temporary/interim staff. One of the ways to add to your workforce without breaking full time employee (FTE) rules is to identify an employee you want to hire and instead of hiring them directly, you use an “employer of record” service through a third-party employer service. This staffing strategy avoids most of the hidden costs associated with core employees, retains the flexible component of an hourly employee who can go in and out of your workforce “at will”, plus protects your current core employees from the stress of trying to do more than they have core FTE to do. For more information about ways to drive down fixed costs by using flexible workforce strategies, contact the PACE Staffing Network at infodesk@pacestaffing.com.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Workforce Trends – time to reboot how we staff our companies?

by Jeanne Knutzen | September 24, 2013

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles Contract Workers, Employment Data, Hiring Trends, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency, Staffing Agency, Temporary Workers, Temps, WorkForce Data

We wanted to share with our customers an edited version of a recent article by John Zappe published in The Fordyce Letter. Here’s the data Mr. Zappe is referencing—data from a recent study conducted by Duke University, polling over 500 US CFOs. It would appear that US companies are shifting away from a reliance on full-time, permanent workers and moving to workforces with larger representations of temporary, contract, and part-time employees. When I see data like this I remember back to the days when I first became a student of staffing and heard futurists like Charles Handy (author of Age of Unreason) talking about the future of the work force looking like a clover leaf—33% core employees; 33% temp employees (auditioning for core positions) and 33% outsourced providers (doing work for an organization that fell outside the organization’s core competencies). Mr. Zappe attributes the current trend to “a fragile economy and the looming implementation of the national healthcare program.” As reported in this study, 59% of CFOs have increased temporary and part-time workers and are turning with greater frequency to outside consultants and advisers. “The results show the emotional impact of the recession lingers on, keeping CFOs wary about spending, especially on hiring, even as they are more optimistic about their company’s financial health.” The level of optimism about profitability was good. US CFOs reported their expectations that profits will raise an average of 10%. At the same time, they predicted hiring to stabilize at the current low levels, overall headcounts to increase by only 2%. Outsourced employment was targeted to grow at 3%--significantly faster than other types of workers. Kyle Update SignatureEconomic uncertainty was cited by 44.3% as the reason for not hiring permanent full-timers. The new healthcare law was cited by 38%, while 24% said salary considerations kept them from full time hiring. Of the 28% of companies reported to be employing workers outside of the US, almost 75% expected to add additional workers in the coming year, with the majority of them adding at least as many overseas as in the United States. This article was prepared by Kyle Fitzgerald, Client Solutions Manager of the PACE Staffing Network using information from a variety of sources. For a conversation with our consulting team on what this change in workforce demographics means to you and your company, email us infodesk@pacestaffing.com.  Our mission is to help companies use alternative staffing strategies to their competitive advantage.  

25 things you need to know in order to hire the “right” employee

by Jeanne Knutzen | September 18, 2013

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles Job Market, pace staffing, Recruitng Profile, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Staffing Agency, Temporary Staffing In Seattle, Work Environment

Hiring the right employee isn’t just about finding the best talent in the marketplace, but finding and eventually hiring an employee whose skills, work style and motivations best “fits” the unique requirements and offerings of a specific job and the work environment that goes along with it. To “hire right,” hiring managers and recruiters need to first understand the type of employee who best fits the actual work requirements—to create what we call a RECRUITING PROFILE.  Recruiting profiles are different from JOB DESCRIPTIONs, in that they are singularly focused on defining the qualities of candidates best suited to do the work identified in the job description. An effective RECRUITING PROFILE helps recruiters and hiring manager’s source candidates from the right places, recruit them for the right reasons, and hire the one candidate who best fits the full scope of work requirements. It focuses on KEY REQUIREMENTS, both the hard and soft skills needed for success, instead of wasting recruiter time chasing a perfect candidate who may or may not exist. Here’s our list of 25 things recruiters and hiring managers need to know about a job BEFORE they begin the search for candidates. This is a list based on our years of experience supporting countless hiring decisions, paying attention to what works and what doesn’t. THE WORK 1. Why Does this Job Exist? From an organizational perspective why is this job needed?  What is it intended to accomplish/contribute different from the contribution of other jobs on the team? 2. How Will the Employee Spend Their Day? What are the reoccurring tasks the employee will need to perform on a regular/daily basis? How will the employee spend most of their time? Doing what type of work/tasks? 3. Variety. Scope of Work. What is the range of work or variety of tasks that must be performed in order to produce the work product needed?  How varied in terms of content or complexity? How much organization is required to deliver the results needed? 4. Work Cadence. What is the typical pace of work that is required to achieve deadlines? Will the employee be expected to be an accomplished multi-tasker? How frequently are they asked to meet deadlines and what is the impact to others for an employee missing a deadline? 5. Key Deliverables. What are they key outcomes or work products that must be delivered on a regular basis by the person doing this job? What is the impact to the team/organization if the work doesn’t get done? Who/what is impacted? 6. Complexity. How would you describe the level of detail or complexity that goes into the completion of each deliverable/work product? How many factors must be considered before taking action? How much coordination must be done with others? 7. Quality or Quantity? Is the work content or expectations the type that would require an employee to consistently choose between quantity or quality? Or is the balance somewhere in between? 8. Problem Solving/Challenges. What types of problems are typically addressed by this employee? Will the issues that come up tend to be unique or reoccurring requiring application of proven solutions? Will the employee be asked to think outside the box—to come up with something new or innovative, or are more tried and true solutions more valued? 9. Interpersonal Communications. Who and what type of people does this person interact with on a regular basis? How often?  Written? E-mail, etc.? Are there any special circumstances surrounding the people they will communicate with regularly? Styles they need to accommodate? 10. Influence. Persuasion. Negotiations. How often will they be required to influence, persuade or negotiate with others? Will those people tend to be bosses? Peers? Direct reports? THE WORK ENVIRONMENT 11. Decision Making/Autonomy. How many and what kind of decisions will this person make at the direction of others? How many and what kind of decisions are they expected to make on their own? 12. Change. Would you describe the work environment as organized, structured and stable, or in frequent flux, subject to change without a lot of notice or preparation? How are changes handled in the work environment? 13. Training/Mentorship Availability and Requirements. What level of training, mentorship or hands on instruction will be available to the candidate? How much of the work to be performed will require company-specific training? 14. Teamwork. Collaborations. How often will the employee be asked to collaborate with others on getting work done, to make decisions?  To put team goals ahead of personal goals? 15. Learning. To deliver the outcomes required, how often and in what ways will they be required to learn something new?  Are they required to do most of their learning on their own, or how is new knowledge introduced into your work environment? 16. Management Style. Goal Setting. How tightly will the employee be managed with respect to goals, expectations and performance tracking? How will goals and expectations be communicated? Measured? What are the consequences of below target performance? 17. Management Style.Feedback and Support. How often and in what ways will they be given feedback? How available is their supervisor to answer questions, provide support? KEY REQUIREMENTS 18. Required/Preferred Skills. To deliver the work products required, what skills will be required that can’t be acquired on the job, via training or instruction? What skills would be helpful, but not absolutely necessary? Will the required skills be needed at the entry, intermediate, or advanced levels? 19. Required/Preferred Knowledge. To deliver the work products required, what knowledge or subject matter expertise is needed? Preferred? What components of the knowledge required can be taught or learned on the job rather than via formal education/training? 20. Required/Preferred Work Experience. To deliver the work products required, how much actual on the job experience is required? Preferred? Is it possible that a fast tracker could have acquired the skills or knowledge needed with less work experience?  Are there some specific types of work experiences more valuable or relevant than others? 21. Required/Preferred Personal Qualities Important to Success. What are the key personal qualities that a candidate needs to have in order to be successful? How would you describe the qualities of previous candidates who have been successful in the role? How are those traits different from those who have been unsuccessful 22. Required Certifications/Education. What certifications or licenses are required in order to perform the required job functions? MOTIVATORS 23. Attraction Opportunities. What are some of the special opportunities that will be available to the employee who accepts this job?  Opportunities to learn new things? To advance their career? To make a noticeable contribution? In other words, why would someone want to take this job? Where in their career cycle would the preferred candidate likely be, entry level? Mid/aspirational level? Mastery level? 24. Attraction Elimination Issues. Are there any factors in work content that would eliminate candidates based on certain personal preferences or restrictions? Travel? Availability? Pay rate? Physical working conditions? 25. “Corporate Fit.” How would you describe the “selling features” your company typically uses to recruit and retain its employees? Opportunity for advancement? Pay/Benefits? Entrepreneurial environment? Industry leadership? For a copy of a one page RECRUITING PROFILE which will summarize all of the information needed to focus your search for the right candidate, contact us at infocenter@pacestaffing.com. You can also inquire about additional interviewing guides, tools and checklists that are a part of our HiringSmart Best Practices Series.