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Your Flexible Workforce – A Temporary Annoyance or Strategic Opportunity?

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 28, 2014

0 Blog, Flexible Staffing Strategies Charles Handy, direct hire, flexible workforces, strategic staffing, Temporary agency, temporary agency Kent, temporary agency Seattle, temporary help services

You've likely noticed that the number of temporary and contract workers in your workplace has been steadily increasing and probably more than ever since the start of our last recession in late 2007. In December 2013, we learned that the economy added a disappointing 74,000 jobs—but even more disappointing for some was the fact that over 40% of those 74,000 jobs were temporary positions, targeted for project work, or to last for short periods. Since the 2007-2008 recessions, the number of temporary or contingent jobs has outpaced the growth in core positions by a ratio of 2-to-1, a labor trend poised to be replicated for the next decade.   Since the publication of Charles Handy’s Age of Unreason in 1989, Prof. Handy and other futurists have predicted the growth of non-traditional staffing models. Believing that workforce flexibility would be a key driver of organizational success in a global marketplace, futurists rightly projected that outsourcing the employer relationship was one of the primary ways companies could ensure workplace flexibility. Up and downsizing core workforces are costly propositions. Up and downsizing a workforce composed of workers who aren't your employees, and are only attached to your workforce on a temporary basis, not so much. While the earliest predictions regarding the relationship between flexible to core workers, frequently targeted to reach 40% have fallen short, current research is still pointing to employers increased reliance on flexible labor pools to meet their business needs. In their 2012 Workforce Management Report, the Aberdeen Group predicted that 27% of the worker population will be attached to the workforce in temporary, contingent, or other non-traditional roles. For some companies these types of predictions create discomfort and angst. For others, they earmark opportunities to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. If current trends hold up and flexible workforce solutions become the staffing strategies of choice, it is important to ask just how forward thinking your company has become in terms of embracing this shift in workforce demographics. Do you tend to view your flexible workforce as an annoyance—a necessary evil that is only in place to deal with temporary issues or periods of uncertainty? Or, is it embraced as a workforce solution that your company can use to set itself apart from its less nimble counterparts? Here are ten questions you can ask yourself to find out if you’re ready to turn your flexible workforce into a competitive advantage. 1. How transparent are the staffing strategies already in place? Do you know when, where and why your company will use a flexible workforce model instead of hiring direct? Is there a clear philosophy about what staffing scenarios dictate flexible rather than core staffing solutions? 2. Is temporary or contract staffing visible in your operating budgets and considered a part of your overall staffing costs—or do the costs of your temporary and contract workers get buried somewhere in administrative overhead, making it impossible to  identify what your company is actually spending on the people it needs to get work done? 3. How effectively have you integrated your core employee screening and selection standards with the standards applied to your flexible workers? Do these two components of your staffing operation tend to work together or are they seen as two different functions with little to no overlap? 4. Have you optimized how your company uses temp-to-hire auditioning processes as a way to leverage your internal recruiting resources, reduce turnover, and lower your costs of hire? How carefully have you thought through your temp-to-hire auditions to ensure they allow the right talent to be identified, auditioned or to surface during the audition? To be hired after the audition has been completed? 5. How often and in what ways do you work with your temporary staffing agencies as talent acquisition partners? How often do you use their talent pools for direct hires? If not, why not? 6.  What is it costing you to select and manage your current suppliers? Are you getting the results you need? How many suppliers are you currently using to deliver your flexible workforce? What have you done to vet these suppliers and/or manage their service performance? What controls have you implemented to ensure uniformity in what is paid to your flexible workers and/or the suppliers delivering them to your organization? 7. When was the last time you did an analysis of the relative costs of an internal vs. internal employer solution - hiring direct as opposed to using the services of a third party employer? Are you up to date on the current trends in staffing to know what kind of employer of record services and service platforms you might use to drive down your overall staffing costs? 8. How do you know if the monies you are currently spending on your flexible workforce are market competitive? When was the last time you compared you current bill rates and pricing models with what might be available in the staffing marketplace? 9. When was the last time you reviewed your risk mitigation policies and practices specific to your flexible workforce - co-employment, the handling of confidential or proprietary information, and access to facilities, equipment or other security issues, etc.? How safe do you feel from unknown legal or accounting liabilities associated with an increasedNancy level of flexible workforce complexity? 10. Have you established some key performance metrics and standards for your staffing operation—flex and core? Are you reviewing your staffing performance regularly to improve internal efficiencies and the ease with which your company has access to flexible workforce solutions? The PACE Staffing Network has been helping clients design and optimize their flexible staffing solutions for close to three decades. We believe that the right mix of core and non-core employees integrated inside a larger talent acquisition strategy can become a significant and competitive advantage for companies willing to embrace change. For a complimentary consultation to assess just how ready your company is for the new world of flexible work models that is fast becoming the marketplace norm, contact Nancy Swanson our Vice President of Partnership Development at nancys@pacestaffing.com.  

Why “Hands Off” Always Starts with “Hands On”

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 20, 2014

0 Blog, Management.Supervision direct hire, Seattle Temporary Staffing, staffing agency Bellevue, staffing agency kent, staffing agency seattle, staffing partnerships, Temp to hire, Temporary Staffing

Part of our “How to Get the BEST from your Staffing Partner” Tool Kit       While many staffing companies, the PACE Staffing Network included, will advertise their services as a  “hands free” staffing solution, in reality we all know that getting to  “hands free” always starts with our customer’s “hands on” commitment to building a staffing partnership.    Here are 7 “hands on” things you can do to get the best out of PACE or another staffing partner of your choice, when it comes time to use our services to hire the “just right” employee. 1. COMMIT TO A PARTNERSHIP, NOT A SCRAMBLE.  Some hiring managers believe that the best way to ensure hiring success is to bomb the market - to send out written job descriptions to multiple staffing agencies, post their job on multiple job boards, and then sit back and wait for the response. The motive for this approach is to hire quickly and efficiently, finding the employee amongst the sea of candidates that will be uncovered using this approach.   In reality, the result is often an unintended and unwanted opposite. Here’s why… Most high performing staffing companies will not commit internal resources to work on requests where they believe success is either not likely or determined more by luck than skill. They are also reluctant to represent jobs that have been commoditized, i.e. widely available in the candidate marketplace. They know that when multiple agencies are asked to scramble for candidates, the candidates that are assembled quickly are often not the right fit, lengthening the hiring process and expanding the time spent screening unqualified candidates The alternative? Select one, possibly two, staffing companies who have a financial incentive to invest in the time necessary to ensure quality screening. Spend YOUR time making sure your staffing partner has the information they need to source the right candidates and screen them according to your criteria. Let your staffing partner decide how best to source for the right candidates, so that you no longer have to worry about job postings. If you have given your staffing partner enough time to do their work in a quality way, and they don't perform in the timeframes needed, you've likely selected the wrong partner—a staffing company that doesn't have the resources you need. The right staffing partner will align their services with your work style and standards. 2. PLAN FOR SUCCESS. One of the best ways to start a partnership is to spend time at the beginning of your HIRING project, planning for a successful outcome and all the steps in between. Share all you know about the job you need filled and the type of candidates you believe are most likely to be successful in the job. Your pre-hire homework should include talking to those people who know what the job entails; who have a perspective on what type of candidates will do the job well, and where there have been problems with certain types of candidates in the past. Make sure the information you are providing to your staffing partner captures current work content and all the nuances important to placement success. Job descriptions are helpful, but typically need to be updated when it's time to replace an existing employee.  And if you’re hiring a temporary or contract worker to fill a job formerly filled by a core employee, make sure you assess exactly what you need from that temporary or contract worker. The work to be done and the skill requirements for the right candidates are typically quite different for temporary compared to core hires.   Create a realistic timeline for each step in the hiring process—sourcing, evaluating, interviewing, selecting and onboarding the right candidate. Know what’s at stake if the steps in the timeline aren’t completed as planned so all eyes stay focused on addressing the business need, knowing where you have wiggle room and where you don’t. Memorialize your timeline so that both you and your staffing partner know exactly what’s expected, and by when. Reach agreement about how, when, and what will be communicated throughout the hiring process so that you stay in sync throughout the process – no surprises for you or your staffing partner. 3. DEDICATE THE TIME NEEDED! In today’s job market, the competition for talent often translates into the need for hiring managers to give the hiring process their undivided attention. Once your staffing partner has sourced, recruited, evaluated and submitted candidates, there are critical steps in the process—interviewing, evaluating, and deciding—that, only you can do. Trying to sandwich in resume reviews or candidate interviews in-between other work you consider more important, is not a formula for hiring success. So, we like to make sure our client’s work schedules are arranged to have enough time to review submittals, conduct interviews and provide timely feedback. Because the best candidates are typically in the job market for short periods of time, we recommend that you stay prepared to respond to candidate submittals within 24 hours of receipt and be available for a candidate interview 1-3 days from their submittal.    You also must be available to provide feedback, field questions, or address issues with your staffing partner as they come up. Your staffing partner’s recruiters need to know that the work they are doing to attract candidates to their client's jobs will have a payoff for themselves and their candidates. In the staffing business, we refer to customers who request and then don’t respond to candidate submittals, as “black holes.” Too many “black holes” and even the most sought after clients can lose recruiter attention, reducing the chances of a positive outcome. 4. GET CLEAR ON KEY REQUIREMENTS – REALLY! It’s easy to create a long list of “attributes” that you’d like to see in the hired employee. It’s much harder to prioritize that list so that you know which requirements are key to placement success! If you ask your staffing partner for candidates lucky enough to have “everything” on your list, be prepared either to get no candidates or too many candidates, who perhaps more problematically, lack the requirements you believe to be key. Make sure you are clear on the difference between attributes candidates “must have” and the attributes that are better left as “would like.” The take away from any planning process is full agreement with your staffing partner on a SHORT LIST of candidate attributes considered “key” to placement success. And here’s an important tip, once you’ve agreed on key requirements, ask your staffing partner to present prospective candidates using a summary worksheet of how each candidate meets your key “must have” requirements. Don’t let yourself get distracted by impressive resumes or cover sheets that cover up a lack of skills or experiences in areas considered key—a common cause of hiring errors.     5. MAKE SURE THE CANDIDATE YOU REQUEST IS THE CANDIDATE YOU CAN AFFORD. The candidates who CAN DO the job come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and costs. They will have different skill sets, work experiences, each dictating the amount of money they will request as their pay and benefit package. Be prepared for your staffing partner to share information about the realities of the current job market—things you need to know about what type of candidate’s are available in the marketplace, at what price. If you find that the information you are getting differs from what you thought, don’t shoot the messenger or ignore their message by continuing to insist on the impossible. To make the right hiring decision, the type of candidate you are looking for has to be available in the marketplace and meet the parameters of your budget. Sometimes this requires both discovery and negotiation. For example, let’s say you need to hire an administrative employee to manage your calendar, schedule appointments, and remind you of upcoming tasks. This is a job requiring a very specific set of mechanical skills and a mastery of calendaring technology. If, in addition to these skills, you want to hire someone who will work independently, use their own judgment to arrange meetings and activities on your behalf, keep others informed of projects you are managing, etc. that’s a different set of skills and experiences. Do you need to pay for the higher of the two skill levels? Only you can decide. However, your staffing partner should be able to point out the impact of each requirement on the required pay package. Some employers will simply elect a “developmental” strategy and hire the lesser skilled candidate in order to stay within budget requirements. Others will spend the money on the more highly skilled employee because they need the services of an assistant, not just a technician. 6. BE PREPARED TO BE FLEXIBLE – TO ADJUST THE PLAN. While pre-hire planning is important to an organized, efficient, hiring process, some of the steps in the process or plan often need to be adjusted when faced with the nuances of candidate needs and availability. A candidate who needs to relocate in order to accept your job offer may delay the starting date, requiring you to decide if the candidate is “worth the wait.” A highly skilled candidate whose pay requirements are considerably more than what you had budgeted may or may not be the right hire—but you need to be prepared to decide. Our point? Be prepared to deal with real life candidate situations as they come up, knowing that hiring in today’s marketplace often requires flexibility and creativity. Don’t be afraid to use your staffing partner as your marketplace expert. If you don’t hire the candidate that needs to relocate, what are your chances of finding a similar candidate locally? Is the job you have going to be meaty enough for the higher skilled candidate? Let your staffing partner guide you through your search for answers to these questions. 7. COMMUNICATE CANDIDLY AND OFTEN.  When things change for you, make sure you let your staffing partner know. The work it takes to source, screen, and prepare a candidate for specific work requirements takes time. Your staffing partner doesn’t like wasting time any more than you do and that’s what happens when they don't have the information they need to do their job efficiently. Reciprocally, expect your staffing partner to keep you posted on their candidate sourcing successes as well as information they gather as they track their candidates throughout the placement process. Many times they will be privy to candidate information that will let you know if your preferred candidate is actually going to accept your job offer if extended. We recommend daily touch-points between our recruiting team and our clients to make sure we stay current on what each of us is experiencing as we interact with potential. Feedback processes should be honest, candid and ongoing. This is particularly true with regard to submittal reviews and/or follow-ups after interviews. Your staffing partner needs your feedback ASAP, as they use that feedback to make adjustments in their sourcing and evaluation activities. Don’t be embaNancyrrassed if you don’t think the candidate your staffing partner thought “should be perfect” was not the right fit for you. Selecting the right candidate isn’t about being “right or wrong” in your assessment, but is about gathering as much information as you can on each candidate so your hiring decision can be based on a broad base of information and perspectives. For more information on “how to get the best from your staffing partner” contact me, Nancy Swanson, at nancys@pacestaffing.com or (425) 454-1075 ext. 3010. I’m PACE’s Vice President of Partnership Development – I am focused on helping our customers develop the type of recruiting partnerships that we know will optimize their staffing results.  

What to Look for in a Military Candidate Resume

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 15, 2014

0 Blog, Recruiting. Best Practices Job Recruiters for Veterans in Seattle, Job Recruiters for Veterans in Seattle WA, Job Recruiters for Veterans Seattle, Jobs for Veterans in Seattle, Jobs for Veterans in Seattle WA

Resumes come in all shapes, sizes and formats, and they can be extremely difficult for many people to write, especially our returning military veterans.  This is a key issue for many, because of the nature of the job search today. Today, veterans are returning to a grateful nation, but also to an economy that has been challenged by stagnant job growth.  Competition for any available job is fierce. This is a hard set of circumstances for any job seeker, but it is made a thousand times worse for returning veterans. Many, after their discharge, simply do not know how to begin looking for a job in a planned, productive way. They have received little job search training, and most do not know how to write a resume, one that adequately translates military jargon to “civilian speak,or how to handle themselves in an interview. For most veterans the key stumbling block is the resume. Many were recruited right out of high school and have simply never had the need to write a clear and compelling resume. Because it is not up to par, they do not even make it through to an interview.  Therefore, in order to benefit from these high-caliber job seekers, employers should look for certain components within the veterans’ resume. 1. Key “soft skills”. Veterans are different kinds of candidates—invaluable candidates—with battle-tested leadership skills, a strong work ethic, and the ability to learn new skills quickly. These skills will serve you well, but are hard to quantify and define on a resume. Look for proof of their existence throughout the document. 2. Achievements. Everyone has achievements, regardless of their background. Everyone is proud of what they have done.  Achievements should be listed on the resume, and will help you understand the vet’s character, work ethic and values. 3. Proof of training. If the veteran has trained others, that indicates an ability to communicate effectively, learn difficult/complicated material and engage others in the process. 4. Applicable skills. A veteran’s resume is never going to a mirror your job requisition. The working environment within the military is simply too different. However, approximately 80% of the jobs in the military are non-combat oriented. This means that veterans are learning applicable skills in addition to their strong work ethic, dedication and leadership skills. Read through the job duties listed in the resume and look for evidence of any applicable skills—management of resources, supervisory experience or network / programming knowledge. Veterans will not enter your hiring process empty-handed. They bring stupendous leadership and management skills to the table—skills that are the hardest to grow. If you are interested in leveraging this powerful arm of the American workforce, the hiring experts at PACE Staffing Network can help. If you are looking for job recruiters for veterans in Seattle, contact our Hiring Heroes placement consultants today.

Selecting Your Staffing Partner

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 13, 2014

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles

Selecting the right partner to support your needs for temporary and contract staff is becoming an increasingly important purchasing decision. As companies migrate to more flexible staffing strategies, they rely on their staffing vendors to staff long term projects or to be a source of employees they can hire directly. Your staffing partner can oftentimes make or break your operational performance.     Many of the RFP processes often used to select staffing vendors can miss the mark because they focus on a vendor’s written and verbal persuasion expertise, rather than those factors that really matter in terms of service delivery.    Here are 10 ideas for you to consider when selecting a staffing partner: 1. Meet their service staff, not just their sales team. The folks selling staffing services are hired because they look and sound good, but it’s the people doing the actual service delivery that will matter most to partnership success. Are they people you can communicate with? Trust? Rely on? Do they have the expertise that will help your company take your staffing operation to the next level? Do they have the same values around communication and results that you do? 2. Assess their ability and willingness to customize. How easy will it be to adjust your vendor’s services to compliment your staffing process? How broad is their scope of staffing expertise and resources? Are they able and willing to make changes to accommodate your needs? Will you have access to the company’s management/decision makers so that changes can be orchestrated quickly? How good are they at listening to your needs and bringing fresh new ideas to the table? 3. Understand how they organize their client teams to deliver service. How many service personnel would be assigned to your account? In what roles? We believe that even the smallest employer needs at least two points of service contact:   a. Someone to manage the placement process—how orders are taken and filled. In our company we call these people “order managers or service coordinators.” They take your requests, making sure that the worker you are requesting actually exists and will work for the pay you are offering. They also do the recruiting themselves or make sure our recruiting team is focused on the right candidates. They act as our client’s primary “point of contact.”   b. A second person you can go to when there are issues or concerns about the service process or need to expand the type of services you are requesting. In our company we call them Service or Solutions Managers. They provide general oversight to your account, making sure your service program is what you need. The more complex your staffing needs, the more roles that need to be assigned to service your needs. Make sure your vendor has the recruiting resources it takes to fill the quality and quantity of staffing needs you anticipate. 4. Understand their pricing philosophy. A rate sheet is not enough. You need to know what factors are considered when your vendor establishes their bill rates or service fees. How comfortable are they talking about their costs and how those impact their bill rate? In our judgment, the more transparent your staffing partner is in terms of revealing their “costs of doing business” the more likely you are to have a partner that will pass the test of time, most able to work with you on making adjustments when budgets change. 5. Ask about their staffing metrics.  Staffing companies, who are good managers of performance, regularly measure their performance against industry benchmarks. They should have data on their:   a. Placement Ratios – the % of staffing requests that they fill.   b. Cycle time – how long it takes to fill requests.   c. Placement Outcomes – the % of placements that result in either a hire or a successful completion.   d. Customer Satisfaction. 6. Understand how they recruit and evaluate potential employees/job candidates. Do they have a flow chart that describes the steps in their recruiting and candidate evaluation processes? If not, ask them to walk you through each step in their recruiting and evaluation processes. Make sure these processes are a good fit for your standards and that they are either currently doing or are capable of meeting your compliance requirements AND can provide you with audit ready records of their compliance administration. What testing do they administer? How do they evaluate the “soft” skills important to placement success? 7. Check out their technology – what they will be doing to streamline your service relationship. In today’s marketplace, there is an abundance of automated technologies that are used to manage many of the interactions between the staffing provider, you, and the employees being placed in your work environment.   a. Can you place an order online?   b. Can you check on the status of an order online?   c. How will you receive candidate submittals? What documentation will accompany those submittals?   d. How will you approve hours of work?   e. How will you receive invoices? Can invoices be broken down in accordance with your accounting needs?   f. What kinds of utilization information and reports can be made available to you online? Make sure you are working with a partner who regularly invests in state-of-the-art staffing technology. 8. Assess their track record of success as a service partner. Learn more about their current and past client relationships. Ask for the names of their “oldest client,” a relatively “new client,” a “former” client, and a dissatisfied client who they “turned around.” Talk to each about what they like best and least about their partnership. Don’t expect perfection – staffing is too people-dependent for that, but do check out how they tend to respond when issues arise. How quickly and creatively do they solve problems? How have they adjusted to their client’s changes? Brought new service ideas to the table? Been a real partner when things got tough 9. Identify differentiators that will make a difference to you. Although most staffing companies look and sound alike, there are actually fairly significant differences in how they approach their service delivery and develop their relationships with customers. Ask potential partners about how they differentiate themselves from others, use your reference conversations to verify that what they say is what they deliver, and select a staffing partner whose “sweet spot” best matches your needs. 10. Understand what it takes to build a true service partnership. Expecting a new staffing provider to achieve performance perfection out of the gate, oftentimes without client involvement, is all too common and presents unique challenges to the staffing community. A vendor who promises to deliver immediate success should be suspect, as building a true staffing partnership requires a long term commitment from you and your vendor. Your vendor must do the homework, solve the problems, and work thoughtfully through issues to earn their partnership stripes. Auditions, where staffing companies compete for your business by filling open orders, can be helpful IF used to reveal eachNancy unique approach to long term placement success. Filling orders is less important to the audition than is experiencing the vendor’s approach to profiling worker requirements and gathering information important to long term placement success. How does the vendor develop relationships with its clients? With HR? With your hiring managers? What processes do they use to continuously improve their staffing performance and your service results? What are their expectations of you as their staffing partner? If you are looking for a new staffing partner or wondering if your current staffing partnership is still meeting your needs, contact our Vice President of Partnership Development, Nancy Swanson-Marschall, for information-focused consultation to help you with your real needs.  You can reach Nancy at nancys@pacestaffing.com.

Top Tech Jobs that Will Grow in 2014

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 7, 2014

0 Blog, IT Staffing Technology Jobs in Seattle, Technology Jobs in Seattle WA, Technology Jobs in Seattle Washington, Technology Jobs Seattle, Technology Jobs Seattle WA

Strategic thinking will be king in 2014.  Rote programming skills will not even get you across the moat. Employers are looking for IT professionals who can not only succeed operationally, but can bring a certain level of business acumen to the table. Regardless of your role, starting in 2014 you will need to have an understanding of the strategic business environment that your department (and even your team) works in. The year 2014 is shaping up to be a mirror image of 2013 as far and job opportunities are concerned. According to research firm, Foote Partners, the following three job categories are poised for another stellar year. However, the reasons about it have more to do about strategy and business know-how than with pure, raw programming skills: 1. Cloud Professionals – In 2013, companies hired enterprise architects, cloud administrators and resource planners …outperforming 348 IT skills and 293 IT certifications… according to Foote Partners’ annual survey. It is expected that the demand for cloud architects, solution architects, administrators and integrators will continue to rise. IT professionals that understand not only what the cloud portends but also have the ability to align business requirements or modify business models in anticipation...well, they will be ahead of the curve. 2. Big Data Experts – There is a ton of information on the Internet today...information that is expected to double every 40 years.  Companies are putting a lot of effort into not only capturing it, but putting it to work. With more and more companies using big data, the demand for business data analysts – or big data experts - is increasing rapidly. Business data analysts know how to manage the overwhelming amount of information these systems generate and then put it into a useful form. They are able to assess the data, spot patterns and draw conclusions...making an overwhelming amount of “noise” usable by decision-makers and providing real business value. 3. Mobile App Developers – Some retail companies earn 40% of their revenues through their mobile apps. As businesses are seeing mobile contribute a larger and larger part of their revenues, the demand for mobile app developers will continue to skyrocket.  However, a developer needs to have a working knowledge of the industry being worked in as well as an understanding of in-app purchasing, paid subscriptions and even mobile display ads. If the app is sold, the developer should be able to provide data points on how much should be charged. Another emerging role in the mobility space this year will be device manager. Device managers may work in-house or for third-party firms that oversee “bring your own device policies” and the myriad of security issues involved. No one understands the IT job market better than Seattle IT hiring pros at PACE Staffing Network. If you are looking to make a change and want a new technology job in Seattle WA, contact us today.

Use Your Company Culture to Attract Talented Healthcare Employees

by Jeanne Knutzen | December 17, 2013

0 Blog, Healthcare Staffing Seattle Healthcare Staffing, Seattle Healthcare Staffing Agencies, Seattle Healthcare Staffing Agency, Seattle Healthcare Staffing Company, Seattle Healthcare Staffing Firm, Seattle Healthcare Staffing Firms, Seattle WA Healthcare Staffing

If you’re a staffing manager or an administrator for a successful healthcare facility, then you already understand the value of selective hiring, strong retention efforts, fair compensation, and worker friendly company policies. You know how to earn the respect of your staff by placing patient care and employee needs at the top of your long list of corporate priorities. But how much do you invest in workplace branding? The best way to manage and retain great employees is to attract great employees in the first place. And sometimes the best way to attract great employees is to leverage the ones you already have. Keep your teams happy and thriving, and they’ll become excellent ambassadors and terrific recruiters. Here are a few ways to set the stage. 1. Keep an open door policy between your teams, their managers, and your HR department. Strong relationships based on open communication form the foundation of any healthy workplace culture. If your employees have complaints or suggestions, they should feel no sense of hesitation about speaking up. And when they need to clear the air or make a request, they should have easy access to all the proper channels. 2. Keep a close eye on bad apples. If you have individual staff members or managers on your teams who bring others down, recognize the signs and know when it’s time to step in. Coaching and clear performance management can keep toxic vibes from spreading. Walk chronically angry employees toward the door, and recognize the red flags that indicate bullying and harassment. 3. Take complaints and resource requests seriously, and act on them immediately. Don’t make your employees jump through hoops to gain access to the basic tools they need to do their jobs. And when something goes wrong and it’s brought to your attention, act. Don’t delay your decision hoping your employees will forget about the issue. 4. Show gratitude. Thank your employees loudly and often. Show appreciation verbally every single day, and make sure your individual managers and team leaders do the same. 5. Spread the word. If you have a great culture that makes you proud, and your employees feel the same way, encourage them to share this fact. Reward employees for posting positive comments about the company on social media. And when you have an open position to fill, ask your current teams to solicit applications from their friends, family and personal networks. Provide generous bonuses for successful referrals. For more on how to make your employees happy, and then leverage that happiness into a magnet for talented applicants, reach out to the Seattle healthcare staffing pros at Pace.

Temp to Hire Strategies – Do they Work? Do they Reduce or Increase our Staffing Costs?

by Jeanne Knutzen | December 12, 2013

0 Blog, Flexible Staffing Strategies, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS, Recruiting. Best Practices, Temp-to-Hire. Best Practices agency staffing, contingent staffing, contract staffing, direct hire, PACE Staffing Network, Seattle Staffing, staffing, temp staffing, temp to hire staffing

We get asked these questions all the time and each time our answer is a resounding, YES! Temp to Hire staffing strategies reduce costs of hire, lower the costs of early hire turnover, and provide employers with quick and easy access to hard to find talent pools—in a “just in time” format. HR departments, while sometimes quick to criticize a temporary or contract workforce as being less committed or talented than their core workforce, generally like a certain percentage of their workforce as contingent as they represent employees who can be converted to direct hire status quickly when business heats up. But the real value of contingent workers is not just in providing companies with increased flexibility, but also the ability a contingent workforce provides for companies to tackle change quickly, with quick access to employees whose skill sets are unique and not easily developed “within.” Temp to hire strategies directly impact an organizations recruiting, staff and organizational development costs, impacting a company’s ROI for years to come. Temp to Hire contingent workers also impact bottom line profitability by driving down unemployment claims, workers compensation claims, upgrading employee quality (only the very best employees are eventually hired), and keeping core workers  “on their toes” with a fresh pool of new talent becoming the workplace norm. NancyThe mathematical difference between the costs of an auditioning employee compared to the costs of a fully benefited core hire almost always pencil in favor of the temporary worker as the lower cost solution. The design and execution of temp to hire staffing strategies is a core area of expertise for the PACE Staffing Network. Over 35% of the employees we place on temporary or contract assignments end up being hired by PACE clients each year. For programs specifically designed for hiring, the conversion rate can be closer to 85%. For a personal consultation on the effective utilization of temp to hire staffing strategies and to do an analysis of how a temp to hire model could impact your overall staffing costs, contact me, Nancy Swanson at nancys@pacestaffing.com, I am PACE’s VP of Partnership Development.  

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.

Medical Jobs in Demand at the End of 2013

by Jeanne Knutzen | November 19, 2013

0 Blog, Healthcare Staffing healthcare jobs in seattle, healthcare jobs in seattle wa, healthcare jobs in seattle washington, healthcare jobs seattle, healthcare jobs seattle wa

Attention recent graduates, up-and-coming 2014 graduates, and those who are just at the beginning of few long years immersed in an academic program. Here’s some news that may help you lay out your plans and plot the course that lies ahead: medical jobs are in demand right now. And some are more in demand than others. While the world will always need physicians, RNs, and surgeons, the healthcare employment field is incredibly diverse, and the positions below are experiencing regional shortages and peak demand as 2013 comes to a close. This can mean higher salaries and more leverage at the negotiating table for job seekers in these fields, and it can also mean a wider range of job options for those who are trained in these areas. Healthcare IT Experts This isn’t a clinical field, of course, but healthcare facilities need IT experts, and demand is expected to stay strong for several years to come. Along with network implementation and medical records management, health information security is a hot button concern right now. If you have the skills to help employers and medical facilities deal with their current IT challenges, you’re in luck. Clinical Support Physicians assistants and LPNs are greatly needed in underserved areas of the country, and even in heavily populated areas, healthcare facilities are becoming increasingly diverse. Patients once had two basic options when they needed care—a hospital or a private clinic. Now facilities are available that specialize in all forms of inpatient and outpatient treatment, and residential facilities are on the rise. All of these care providers will need every level of support staff in the years ahead. Pharmacists Pharmacists, pharmacy support teams, and pharmaceutical researchers all form vital links in a growing and essential part of the chain of healthcare delivery. Depending on certifications and levels of experience, both the opportunities and the salaries available to pharmaceutical experts will rise steadily over the next decade. RNs Registered nurses are in high demand almost all the time, in almost every region of the country. But highly experienced nurses with specializations in oncology, cardiology, maternity and pediatrics, anesthesiology, surgery, public education and patient outreach are experiencing growing leverage with employers as facilities expand and specialize. For more on how to enter into the fields above, which certifications to pursue, and which training programs to add to your resume, reach out to the Seattle healthcare staffing experts at Pace.  If you are looking for healthcare jobs in Seattle, contact us today.

Setting Up Your Year-End IT Reviews

by Jeanne Knutzen | November 6, 2013

0 Blog, IT Staffing information technology employment agencies, information technology employment agencies seattle, information technology employment agencies seattle wa, information technology employment agency, IT employment agencies, IT employment agency

The end of the calendar year is just around the corner, which means it’s time for colder weather, quarterly reports, and holiday related festivities and interruptions. It’s also time for performance evaluations, and like it or not, these evaluations are a required part of most standard workplace HR policies. Before you even begin to schedule and sit down for review meetings with each of your IT staff, start weeks in advance and take these important preparatory steps. 1. Choose a structure. If your HR department allows flexibility on this score (or if your own your own business and can do as you choose), you’ll need to find an evaluation format that fits your workplace and your culture. Most IT managers choose a weighted metric system, or a 1-5 scoring mechanism for a list of specific characteristics, like leadership, innovation, commitment, and timeliness. But others choose a nine box or essay style format. 2. Choose who will evaluate each employee. While traditional reviewers are conducted by direct supervisors only, modern IT departments are increasingly relying on the 360 degree evaluation method, which allows each employee to receive a rating from her supervisor, coworkers, and direct reports as well. This method can provide useful insights, but it can be very inefficient (and therefore expensive). 3. Set up self-evaluations that reflect the style of the formal review. Whatever format you choose, provide each employee with self-evaluation guidelines that reflect that format and can measure the answers the employee provides against those provided by her reviewers. Allow plenty of time to complete them and plenty of time to factor them into the formal reviews. 4. Arrange specific meeting times that account for the length of time you’ll need to spend with each employee. Some employees may need more explanation, evaluation, and coaching then others. As a side note, it may help keep the process on schedule if you place at least two managers in the room during weaker or potentially tense reviews. Make sure you allow time to complete the review, measure it against the self-evaluation, and have a detailed and meaningful conversation with the employee about his or her professional goals and milestones for the year ahead. When it comes to planning performance reviews, preparation is essential to successful execution. To learn more about laying the groundwork for a meaningful yearly exercise, reach out to the IT staffing pros at Pace. If you are looking for information technology employment 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.

Seattle Accounting Career Options

by Jeanne Knutzen | October 22, 2013

0 Blog, Finance/Accounting Roles, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR JOB SEEKERS accounting jobs in seattle wa, jobs in seattle, Jobs In Seattle WA, jobs seattle, jobs seattle wa

Are your about to complete your degree in accounting or finance and start searching for accounting positions in the Seattle area? Maybe you’re in the midst of a career transition and you’re on the verge of completing your CPA exams and taking a full time position in field of public accounting or private financial management. In either case, now is the time—if you haven’t done so already—to explore your options in three different areas of the accounting field. Seattle positions in all three of these focus areas are widely available, but each field varies widely in terms of growth, responsibilities, and continuing education options. So you’ll need to conduct some research and choose the path that best fits your personality and long term goals. Tax Accounting As a tax accountant, it will be your responsibility to make sure your clients are following applicable tax laws and making accurate payments based on current state and federal requirements. Available exemptions, payroll taxes, taxes on investments and dividends, and taxes on imported and exported products will all fall under your purview. Financial Accounting Financial accountants also help clients stay compliant with financial reporting requirements, including accurate communication with shareholders. As a financial accountant, you may be reviewing quarterly reports before they’re disseminated and helping shareholder boards make financial decisions that keep them in line with their fiduciary responsibilities. Financial accountants also help companies monitor expenses and track revenue streams in order to use financial resources efficiently. Management Accounting Management accounts focus on helping the company cut expenses and increase its revenue by making intelligent decisions based on cost-benefit ratios and customer demand. If you pursue this type of accounting career, you’ll be employed by one company, and you’ll play a crucial role in helping the company pursue a strategy that leads to growth and long term financial health. This position may require some management training and a CMA certification. For more information about the specific responsibilities and training required for each of these areas of public and private accounting, arrange an appointment with the Seattle financial staffing experts at Pace. If you are looking for accounting jobs in Seattle WA, contact us today.

Step into a Position in Healthcare Administration

by Jeanne Knutzen | October 16, 2013

0 Blog, Healthcare Staffing healthcare jobs in seattle wa, healthcare jobs seattle, healthcare jobs seattle wa, jobs in seattle, Jobs In Seattle WA, jobs seattle wa

A promising career in healthcare administration starts with an undergraduate degree (and ideally a graduate degree as well) in business, finance, healthcare administration, or healthcare policy. Some administrators begin with a degree in the life sciences, or even a full initial career in a clinical healthcare setting. But when it’s time to make the transition, most career shifters need to return to the classroom to gain the administrative and management background that employers usually require. But what comes next? When you’re ready to step onto the job market with your diploma in hand, how can you give yourself every available advantage in a competitive marketplace? Networking is Essential Start by growing your network. In fact, it’s a good idea to start building your network long before you complete your course work and exams. Join professional societies and local networking groups, and spend some time and effort reaching out beyond the boundaries of the healthcare industry. The more connections you maintain and the more you circulate actively among those who hold second and third degree connections that can help you, the faster you’ll reach your destination. And remember: what you can do for others is always more important than what they can do for you. Think in terms of offering and providing instead of requesting and demanding. Licensing and Professional Memberships After you acquire your state license, improve your marketability by applying for professional membership in any of the following societies: the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM), the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), “a resource leader for healthcare administration management and medical practice managers”, and the Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP), an “organization for administrative professionals who support our nation’s healthcare leaders.” Your specific career goals will determine which professional societies are right for you, but it’s a good idea to conduct some research and make contact with the branches in your area. In the meantime, determine the skills and specific areas of expertise your target employers are searching for and be ready to work your way into the field from the ground up. Reach out to the healthcare staffing experts at Pace for more information. If you are looking for healthcare administration jobs in Seattle WA, contact Pace today.

IT Management: Should You Hire Externally or Train Existing Employees?

by Jeanne Knutzen | October 10, 2013

0 Blog, IT Staffing information technology employment agencies, information technology employment agencies seattle, information technology employment agencies seattle wa, information technology employment agency, information technology employment agency seattle

Almost every business owner or decision maker will eventually face some version of a universal staffing question: Is it wiser and more cost effective to launch an external search for new managers? Or can the best candidates usually be found among existing teams? Should candidates be sourced through national job boards, or groomed and trained through an existing internal pipeline? This can be an especially challenging question in the IT field. Excellent IT employees usually possess strong technical skill sets, some of which can take years to acquire, but technical and programming skills don’t automatically translate into management skills. And IT leaders often make the mistake of promoting employees to management positions based on their technical performance. Before you take this route or decide to do the opposite and focus your search outside the company, ask yourself these three critical questions. How much time do you have to fill the gap? If you have the luxury of time, you can start cultivating leadership skills in high potential employees who won’t officially step into management roles for months or even years. When you’re faced with an open position, you can carefully evaluate candidates drawn from both internal and external sources, and simply chose the candidate that best meets your established criteria. But be cautious; if internally trained and groomed employees know that they’re competing with outsiders for management positions, they may resent taking a subordinate position to the applicant who represents you final choice. Are you dealing with a skills issue or capacity problem? Do you simply need managers to handle budgets, schedules, motivation, and workflow for a growing group of employees? Or do you need managers who can address skill-based performance problems and direct employees on the finer points of specific programming issues? If capacity is your primary concern, outside candidates with no need for management training may be easier to find. But if skills are your focus, trusted and proven internal employees may be a better bet. Will your decision be a short or long term goal? Where would you like this decision to take the company in six months? How about five years? If one matters far more than the other (if, for example, you have a very short term, high-demand project to complete for a single client), then you’ll need to factor this into your decision to mentor and train an internal candidate or hire from the outside, possibly through a respected staffing firm. For more information and guidance that can help you resolve tricky management questions like this one, reach out to the Seattle IT staffing experts at Pace. If you are looking for information technology employment agencies in Seattle, contact Pace today.

Is Your Company Fully Optimizing it’s Flexible Staffing Strategies? Ten Questions you can ask yourself!

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

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.

The Benefits of a Temp Job in Seattle

by Jeanne Knutzen | September 26, 2013

0 Blog, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR JOB SEEKERS temp jobs in seattle, temp jobs in seattle wa, temp jobs seattle, temp jobs seattle wa, temp jobs seattle washington

If you've been on the job market for a while and you haven’t yet secured the permanent, full time position you’re looking for, you may be thinking about taking a closer look at your options, revising your search strategy, or starting to reach out for professional career guidance. These are all wise moves, especially if you haven’t received any viable offers for six months or more. While you’re turning outward for resume assistance and job search tips (the experts at Pace are a great resource!), it’s also a great idea to consider stepping into a temporary job. If you've never considered this option or you think temp jobs aren't right for you, take a closer look. Decades ago, temporary employment provided a transitional option for those involved in secretarial or administrative work, but at this point, temp agencies have come a long way. These services now provide support to almost every profession, from food service to engineering, healthcare, manufacturing, and marketing.  Regardless of your skill area or level of expertise, a professional staffing agency can connect you to the employer client you need.  Here are a few ways a staffing firm can support your career. A Temp Job Keeps Your Resume Active Stop worrying about the growing gap in your resume. Even if the temp job you step into isn’t what you want to be doing from now until the day you retire, this position can keep your resume fresh, updated, and active. It feels nice to list a “current employer” at the top of your work history section when you send your resume off to a hiring manager. New Experience and Skill Sets No matter where your next temp job takes you, this position will provide you with exposure to a new aspect of your current business, or a new business altogether. And with new experience coms new skill sets. Learn how to handle a new content database or customer relationship management system and you can add this to your career toolkit (and your resume as well). A temporary position can also keep you immersed in your own field and allow you to stay on top of industry trends and changes. New Names and Faces Along with new skill sets and exposure, a temp job can introduce you to new people and keep your network active and growing. The more people you meet and contacts you establish, the stronger your foothold will become in a job market where no position is entirely secure. If you are looking for a temp agency in Seattle WA, contact PACE today.

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.  

Frequently Overlooked Accounting Skills

by Jeanne Knutzen | September 18, 2013

0 Blog, Finance/Accounting Roles accounting job in seattle, accounting job seattle, accounting jobs in seattle, accounting jobs seattle, accounting jobs seattle wa

Job seekers considering a future in accounting often turn away from this career path because of a simple set of misconceptions about the skills accountants need for success. And unfortunately, managers and recruiters aren’t doing much to alleviate these misconceptions—often because they simply don’t know how pervasive these myths are among young candidates and new grads. If employers made an active effort to set the record straight, they'd have an easier time attracting talented candidates to the profession. And if students and job seekers take a closer look, they may recognize that this field offers plenty of rewards for those who really do have what it takes to become an excellent accountant. Some of these overlooked skill sets are described below. Language and Communication Skills If you thought math and quantitative skills top the list of must-haves for accountants, think again. In fact, success in the field depends most heavily on an employee’s ability to communicate clearly in spoken and written formats. Accounts have to explain complex issues to those outside the profession, and they also need to form coherent arguments, describe plans of action, and point out problems and solutions in an articulate and convincing way. All of these require face-to-face, email, and telephone communication skills. Computer Skills The technology landscape evolves very quickly, and when it comes to back office management and accounting software, the pace of this evolution is especially fast. An employee may master a program or accounting utility today only to see this program replaced or phased out within a year. But savvy, adaptable employees have the flexibility and resources necessary to stay on top of these shifts and embrace new technological paths to the same goals. Networking and Social Skills Do you have what it takes to establish and maintain a wide network of social contacts? Can you form relationships and establish partnerships with diverse people across every age, discipline and background? If you can make friends everywhere you go and strike up a conversation with anyone about anything, you’ll be poised for success in the accounting business (and almost any other business you decide to enter.) For more information about the real skills accountants need to navigate the challenges of this profession, make a call and talk to the Seattle financial staffing experts at Pace. If you are looking for accounting jobs in Seattle visit our job board today.

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.

Why Pursue a Career In Healthcare Management?

by Jeanne Knutzen | September 10, 2013

0 Blog, Healthcare Staffing medical staffing seattle, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temp Agencies, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Staffing In Seattle WA

If you’re on the verge of choosing a college major or making a mid-life career transition, consider adding healthcare management to the options on your list. Healthcare management/ healthcare administration offers a promising path for those who are passionate about some but not all aspects of healthcare, and who have a natural talent for business. A flash of social savvy, the ability to think critically, and strong analytical skills can also help in this field. Generally, healthcare management is an ideal place for those who like the challenges of administration and enjoy helping people overcome medical challenges, but who prefer to work in an office rather than a clinical setting. Does this describe you? If so, you may enjoy the challenges and rewards of managing a hospital, private medical practice, residential facility, or care clinic. Here are a few other reasons this profession might be the right one for you. 1. Opportunity The healthcare field is growing fast, and hiring is on the rise in every area of the country. To accommodate the healthcare needs of a wave of retiring baby boomers, clinics and private practices are opening everywhere, and these facilities need to hire and manage staff at a rapid and growing rate. If you have a degree in healthcare policy, healthcare administration, or business, the door to this field is wide open. 2. Earning Potential While healthcare managers may have educational debts to pay off immediately after graduation, salary potential in this field can be high, so these debts may not last for long. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, salaries for entry level positions in this field may start at around 40,000, but they can grow quickly into the six figure range. Larger clinics and hospitals in urban areas can usually provide faster salary growth. 3. Career Flexibility Healthcare management skills are highly transferable from one employer to the next, and these skills can also support success in other fields as well. These skills involve staffing, coaching, motivating a team, and managing complex budgets and schedules. 4. Advancement Potential In healthcare management, when it comes to career growth, the sky is the limit. If you’re looking for ways to take on more responsibility, increase you salary, and expand your field of influence, this career offers a great place to start. At the very top, large hospital CEOs are some of the highest paid professionals in any field. To learn more about what it takes to launch your career in this demanding field, make an appointment with the Seattle staffing and career management experts at Pace.