Tag: Seattle Staffing Agency

Need Your Temporary Employee to Make A Difference? Try Beefing Up Your Onboarding Process!

by Jeanne Knutzen | May 6, 2014

0 Blog, Management.Supervision Contract Employee, contract staffing, Flexible WorkForce, hiring, Onboarding, Orientation, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Temporary Employee

Speaking as a company who takes the time to 1) understand the work our temporary employees will be doing for our customers, 2) determine the skills, knowledge, and experience our workers need to have to do the work at the levels needed, and 3) evaluate each employee in terms of the soft skills important to placement success – we know that even the “right fit” isn’t always good enough to ensure that a temporary employee will hit the floor running. If our clients have high stakes work in play and need our temporary employee(s) to perform at high levels right out of the gate, we suggest a thorough onboarding process to get our employees up and running quickly. It goes without saying that the days of greeting a temp, showing them their work station, lunchroom and bathrooms, and then leaving them alone to figure out what to do next, are long gone – if they ever existed. Work is much too complex, the importance of following work policies too critical, etc. to leave a temp’s orientation to chance. While temps are known for the ability to figure things out, because work environments are almost never the same, when it comes to temporary or contract workers more time needs to be spent up front, explaining all those things that are unique about you, your work environment, and your expectations of their work. In some ways, because you need/expect productivity quickly from your temporary/contract workers, the timing and importance of their orientation may even be more important than the timing and importance of the orientation you provide to your core workforce. The two orientations are, of course, quite different. Orienting your temporary/contract employees must be done quickly and efficiently, requiring a clear roadmap or checklist of what they need to know. Here are FIVE THINGS you likely will want to cover: 1.  The Circumstance – the reason why you chose to hire a temp rather than a core worker.  Why does their job, even if temporary, exist? What goals must be reached in order for the employee’s work to be considered successful? You might be amazed at how important it is to share your reasons for hiring a temp instead of a core employee – it gives the temp a sense of purpose, sometimes showing them how they are both a unique and special contributor to an important team goal, “I chose to bring on as a temp, because I needed a level of skill and experience I didn’t have with my current team. Your skills are so strong in (describe) we are going to let you take the lead in those areas where that skill is needed.” A temp, who clearly knows you value them as a “contributor” if only for a short period, is an employee you can count on to go out of their way to “make a difference.” 2.  Your Expectations and Priorities.  “In order for our time together to be considered successful, I need you to__________________.” Define the work outcome you are trying to achieve, how success will be defined and the impact of success. Examples of goals might be, 1) “I need you to complete this project within the time frame frames we’ve discussed,” 2) “I need you to work very cooperatively with our accounting team who is watching this project with a very critical eye” or, 3) “I need you to bring any issues to my attention right away as it is important that we work through any and all problems very quickly. Senior management has their eyes on this project.” The impact of their work is also an important element to be communicated, “This project is one of three projects we will be working on this year that are most related to our company’s ability to compete for business in South America.” 3.  Explain when, how and how often they need to be checking with you.  If you need quick updates at the end of each day, let them know. If you want them to stop by your office at least once a week, let them know. Knowing what you expect from them in terms of keeping you informed is a key element of placement success. We’ve seen very talented temporary or contract employees not meet our customer’s expectations simply because they didn’t know when or how often to communicate with our client. 4.   Identify challenges and what they should do when they encounter them.  “I want you to know you are likely to uncover challenges with_______________________. When that occurs, I want you to get help from George who knows how to push through these types of obstacles.” Fill in the blank, honestly and completely, so that your temporary worker knows what to expect and how to get issues resolved. 5.  Your hiring policies. The employees’ chances of being hired.  Don’t beat around the bush – implying there is a chance your temporary employee can be hired if that chance is minimal. At the same time, if the chances are good that their time as a temp is looked on as an audition for a direct hire opportunity, let them know. Describe the policies and processes in place that allows a hiring manager to consider (or not consider) hiring a temporary employees and what they would need to do in order to be considered. If you have clear policies, you can expect your staffing vendor to have shared this information with their employee prior to their placement, but re-stating these policies during an onboarding process, is a good way to reinforce the rules. Some hiring managers will imply a higher probability of hire than actually exists as a way to keep the temporary employee motivated. In fact, just the opposite is what’s created when the offer of employment isn’t forthcoming. Kyle Update SignatureThe onboarding of temporary employees is another area of managing a flexible workforce that needs careful planning and preparation. The PACE Staffing Network typically works closely with our employer clients to share the responsibility of a well engineered communication process where both PACE and our clients need to pay a role. For more information about employee onboarding and other factors important to managing a high impact flexible workforce, contact me, Kyle Fitzgerald, at kylef@pacestaffing.com. I am PACE’s Director of Business Operations and part of what I do is consult with employers on how to use temporary/flexible employees in ways that create a competitive advantage.  

Five Ways to Make a Difference as a Recruiter

by Jeanne Knutzen | March 11, 2014

0 Blog, Recruiting. Best Practices job seeker, recruiters, Recruiting, recruiting team, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency, social media, staffing

When recruiters think about improving their effectiveness as recruiters or as a recruiting team, they often think in terms of what changes in technology or recruiting content might do for them. We could be so much more effective if we had a new ATS? More access to (expensive) job boards? A better social media strategy? A more attractive compensation or benefit package? Because of the many things in the recruiting process recruiters can’t control, they often overlook the things they can. Here are five things that come to mind for recruiters who want to make a difference: 1.  Know Your Recruiting Story – Tell It Often and Well A good recruiter knows that at some point in the recruiting process, the mechanics of a particular ATS system or their skills to find the hard-to-find no longer matter. Their ability to tell the story of “why this job, this company, should be the job or company for you" is what makes the difference. “Why do I want to work here?” is the fundamental question candidates are asking as they start an application process or accept a job offer. Effective recruiters have a range of stories to answer that question. And for different candidates, a different job, the story needs to be told differently, depending on the candidate’s individual needs and preferences.

  • How will taking this job impact the life or career aspirations of the “right” candidate?
  • What causes are important to your employer that will mean something to a particular candidate?
  • What will working for this company, this boss really be like? Can you tell that story in an honest compelling way?
It goes without saying that at some point stories can’t be told via recruiting brochures or e-mail exchanges. Good recruiters need to be able to tell their stories in up close and personal ways. 2.  Be Honest. Be Real. Make It Easy! Fancy job postings filled with standardized text describing a lot of company information many times irrelevant to a particular job seeker, can be a turn off to job seekers who prefer to be talked to in a more personal, authentic way. While your job postings need to be well organized with key information easily available, the words you use to describe the job and your company need to be believable—as if you are talking in person to the right candidate. Avoid company jargon, keep the writing simple and short, organize information so that the job postings can be skim read quickly. And a special touch would be to invite candidates to engage with you in ways other than filling out a lengthy application—a real differentiator in today’s marketplace where candidates are  tired of dealing with the black holes of “in the cloud” interactions. Most will welcome a chance to "interact" either before, during or after the formal application. Top candidates always have choices as to where to work, and often need to be romanced before the dating can effectively begin. 3.  Prioritize First Impressions – Be Urgent. Responsive.     Moving quickly and responsively to the candidates who elect to approach your company for a job is a HUGE opportunity for differentiation in today's job market. If part of your job includes a responsibility to respond to candidate inquiries, make sure you respond with URGENCY, preferably NOT with an automated response. You would be amazed at how many companies lose talent battles simply because their initial contact to a candidate was too slow (someone got there first) or impersonal, treating the candidate as if they were one of thousands. Candidates form first impressions about your company and you as a recruiter just like you do. The kind of impression you have on job candidates in general can make a difference to how your candidates think about you and your company as a place to work. 4.  Become a “Servant Recruiter”       Using John Kennedy’s famous challenge to America in his inaugural address “Ask not what the candidate can do for you, but what you can do for them,” we believe the impact of the same paradigm shift for some recruiters can be dramatic. You’ve heard of becoming a “servant leader,” well by becoming a “servant recruiter” can significantly grow your recruiting effectiveness. Here’s how it works. Instead of being that “gate keeping authority” messaging to candidates that they either “meet certain job requirements or go away,” become a career partner—someone candidates can share their true selves with, someone who candidates know cares about them as individuals, someone candidates can invite into their professional lives as a valued adviser and partner. Talk about a way to build pipelines of active and passive candidates for future staffing needs? It goes without saying that a candidate who experiences you as a “recruiting servant” will become a candidate who is not only ready to go through the application process today, but someone who will sing your praises to others in the talent community tomorrow. 5.  Optimize Technology But Know Your Value! The range of recruiting technologies available in the current marketplace is mind boggling and there is no question that the impact of these new technologies has been game changing for both recruiters and their employers. The truth is that these technologies are tools – simplifying and automating those parts of the recruiting process that are amenable to that automation, but leaving a lot of room for recruiters to make a difference in all those places in the recruiting process that only humans can impact. A recruiter 1) who tells the “why this job is the right job for you” story often and well, 2) who has changed their paradigm from “gate keeper” to “servant recruiter,” 3) who is prioritizing urgency in how they create first impressions, and/or 4) who knows how to communicate simply and authentically in ways that invites candidate trust is a recruiter who will always be more effective than their more technology-reliant counterparts.   Keep your technology robust and current but make sure the “human touches” that only recruiters can deliver are the real differentiators in your recruiting process.    The PACE Staffing Network has been using cutting edge recruiting technology since we first automated our staffing operation in 1984 – long before automation was a staffing necessity. We have learned firsthand the things even the most powerful recruiting technology can do and the things it can’t. Our strategy is to take full advantage of the best technology has to offer, while preserving our up-close-and-personalized approaches to candidate and client relationships. Our staffing network is made up of independent recruiters and staffing suppliers who operate from that same operating philosophy. Our unique network approach is why, regardless of our client’s needs, we always have either the candidate they need somewhere in our network, or the recruiting solution that will uncover them quickly. For a personalized introduction to the power of our recruiting network and how it would deliver value to your company, contact us at 425-637-3312.

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.

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.

Engage Potential Candidates

by Jeanne Knutzen | July 23, 2013

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles Build Candidate Engagement, Engage Potential Candidates, Engage Talented Applicants, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Seattle WA Staffing, staffing agencies seattle, Staffing In Seattle WA

You know that your job post provides potential candidates with their first—and sometimes only—contact with your company and your brand. And you know that a well written job post can mean the difference between a vast, highly talented candidate pool and a thin pool with a lower level of average ability. But beyond clarity, honesty, and striking the right tone, what steps can you take to get the best candidates to emotionally engage with this opportunity? Keep these considerations in mind. 1. Encourage daydreaming. If possible, get potential applicants to envision themselves in this position, literally sitting at this desk or working on this job site. The lives they lead in this vision should offer everything they want, whatever that may mean—including glamour, personal reward, new experiences, travel, or any other relevant form of personal satisfaction. 2. Know your target audience. Know what your ideal candidate wants, but more specifically, know what kind of person she’d like to be. Adjust your job post to reflect positively on this goal. 3. Put yourself in her shoes. Remember the last time you were on the job market. Remember the difference between finding a position you felt relatively sure you could tolerate and finding a job post that made your heart beat a little faster. People light up when they get a glimpse of something they truly want, not just something they feel like they should want. 4. Leverage your brand. Even if your company is small and not well known in the larger marketplace, use whatever small leverage you have to grab your candidate’s attention. If you can just inspire a talented candidate to make the two clicks it takes to visit your company’s website, you’re halfway home. (Of course, you’ll need to control what she sees when she visits your site or runs your name through a search engine.) 5. Be ready to draw her into the application process. When your ideal candidate submits a resume, she should get an instant message letting her know her application was received. From that moment forward, she should be treated with respect and kept informed of all relevant timelines throughout the selection process. Turn a great first impression (your job post) into a great second, third, and fourth impression. For more information on how to grab and hold the attention of highly talented potential applicants, reach out to the Seattle staffing experts at Pace.

Should You Become a Healthcare Administrator?

by Jeanne Knutzen | July 2, 2013

0 Blog, Healthcare Staffing A Career In Health Administration, healthcare administration jobs in seattle, healthcare administration jobs seattle, healthcare administration jobs seattle wa, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Seattle WA Staffing, Staffing In Seattle

Healthcare Administrators, also sometimes called Health Administrators or Healthcare Managers, form the backbone of functional healthcare facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, and urgent care clinics. While doctors, RNs, and medical practitioners handle the clinical needs of patients and clients, healthcare administrators oversee the entire clinic and handle the hiring and scheduling of these practitioners. Administrators also manage the operational needs of the facility including vendor contracts, supplies, and budgeting. This is a position of high responsibility and high reward, and the outlook for this role is very promising. Healthcare administrators are in high demand right now, and this demand is expected to grow substantially over the next ten years. Should you pursue a career in this field? Here are few considerations that can help you decide.

  • The pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare administrators can expect to make an average of about 45,000 dollars at the entry level, and more experienced administrators can earn salaries between 50,000 and 110,000 per year. This rate varies slightly by geographic area.
  • The available opportunities. Healthcare administrators can pursue management positions in both large and small facilities in both the public and private sector. As a wave of baby boomers approach retirement age, the healthcare industry is expected to expand rapidly, and a parallel trend is occurring as facilities become increasingly specialized. Where people used to face only two choices when they needed treatment—hospitals and private clinics—they can now choose between a wide range of options from urgent care clinics to physical therapy centers.
  • The path. Those who choose to enter this field usually start by earning a four year degree in health administration, public policy, or business management. Some administrators then go on to obtain a Master’s degree, while others launch their careers with state or federal healthcare agencies working to shape the laws that impact public health.
  • The qualities necessary for success. Healthcare administrators who tend to thrive in this field usually possess qualities like a strong work ethic, organizational skills, and high levels of emotional and social energy. They often have excellent business sense and planning skill. Many of them enjoy the personal sense of reward that comes from helping those in need, and this role provides that reward without involving the hands-on clinical side of the healthcare industry.
If a future in healthcare administration seems like a match for your skills and interests; reach out to the Seattle healthcare staffing experts at Pace.

The Search for a Great Recruiter

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 28, 2013

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

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

Qualifications for Your Financial Team

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 21, 2013

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

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

Get Ready for your Healthcare Video Interview

by Jeanne Knutzen | June 7, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avoid These Financial Resume Mistakes

by Jeanne Knutzen | May 21, 2013

0 Blog, Finance/Accounting Roles Avoid These Financial Resume Mistakes, Avoid These Resume Blunders, financial jobs seattle, Financial Resume Mistakes, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Seattle WA Staffing, Staffing In Seattle

Mistakes like the ones listed below can spell trouble for any resume, regardless of your industry or the specific position you’re looking for. But in the financial world, these are especially common and can cause disproportionate damage to your candidacy.  Before you attach your resume to your introductory message and click send, make sure you aren’t guilty of any of these blunders.

1. No reference to your target company’s primary product or financial instrument

If you’re looking for a position in financial advisory services, your employers will want assurance that you understand how their specific market works. Whether they deal in futures, equity funds, securities or ETFs, your record will need to show some experience in this core area. If you don’t have this experience, you’ll have to emphasize your other credentials. But if you do, make sure this information comes through clearly.

2. Emphasizing “impressive” credentials over relevant ones

If you need to organize your work history section according to relevance rather than chronology, that’s fine. If you decide to stick with a chronological layout, that’s fine too. But remove irrelevant positions from the line up if they stand in your way or confuse the issue. This will clear away the clutter and allow the important parts of your background to shine.

3. Excessive or inappropriate use of buzzwords and jargon

The financial field is loaded with insider terminology and acronyms, which are perfectly acceptable when they’re necessary. But unfortunately, this field is also crowded with buzzwords, empty terms, and business-sounding nonsense. And this latter category can spell death for a resume, especially at the entry level. Get to the point, be clear, and if you find yourself using empty self-descriptive terms like “change-driver” or “success-driven”, stop and rethink. Be specific. Say things about yourself that don’t also apply to everyone else in the world.

4. Any attempt at spin, smoke throwing, or exaggerations

Any attempts to hide or cover up previous job losses by manipulating employment dates are a bad move. So are exaggerations, especially those referencing the number of people you managed, the revenue your brought in for previous employers, or the projects that you may or may not have completed single-handedly.  Experienced employers can factor your age and other telling details into a realistic assessment of what you’ve actually done. Stick to the facts and you’ll be fine.

5. Sloppy or weak command of the language

Communication skills are vital in the finance industry, so an articulate resume with smooth transitions from one thought and point to the next will earn respect. Choppy, confused statements and clumsy phrasing will do the opposite.

For more specific guidance and editing help with your financial services or accounting resume, reach out to the Seattle staffing and job search experts at Pace.

Technical Interviews: Make the Most of the Process

by Jeanne Knutzen | May 7, 2013

0 Blog, IT Staffing IT development jobs seattle, Make The Most Of Technical Interviews, Respond To Technical Interview Questions, Seattle IT Staffing, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle WA Staffing, Technical Interviews

Technical interviews are a common part of the job selection process within fields that demand programming skill. While no responsible hiring manager bases an entire hiring decision on technical questions alone, they nevertheless provide employers with a few key insights into a candidate’s readiness, insights that can’t be drawn from a resume, a cover letter, a work sample or a set of questions dealing with personality and behavior. Technical interview questions may begin with a candidate being handed a marker and a whiteboard and asked to solve an algorithm problem. Candidates might be asked to write the binary search algorithm or write code that will rotate an array in place without requiring additional memory. Sometimes candidates will be asked to find the longest palindrome in a string, or solve troubleshooting problems. The First Rule of Technical Interviews: Keep a Cool Head The entire concept of a technical interview often upsets, intimidates, or makes candidates feel a little resentful. After all, most experienced code writers and programmers know that when these problems arise on the job, the answers can easily be looked up. Even the most talented and experienced employees don’t usually carry these solutions and algorithms around in their heads. But when employers ask these questions, they aren’t just looking for straightforward answers. In fact, simply pulling the solution out by rote or from memory won’t really do anything to win them over. Instead, interviewers are presenting these questions in order to expose a candidate to a real world problem and observe the steps she takes to break the problem down and find a solution on her own. So the best way to prepare for this kind of interview won’t come from memorizing every possible answer to every coding problem imaginable. Instead, candidates should keep a cool head and call upon their experience, basic logical ability, and reasoning skills. Prepare for your interview by practicing with a friend, preferably a friend with some relevant technical experience. And remember that even if your potential employers put you on the spot by presenting you with real-time coding problems, they’ll balance your response to these questions with the details of your entire profile. If you looking for IT development positions in the Seattle area, contact the staffing experts at PACE today!

Full Time Employees or Outside Consultants? The Benefits and Drawbacks of Each

by Jeanne Knutzen | April 30, 2013

0 Blog, What's New in Staffing? Full Time Employees Or Outside Consultants, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle WA Staffing, staffing agencies in seattle, Staffing And Hiring Decisions, Temporary Staffing In Seattle, The Benefits Of Outside Consultants

Non-standard working arrangements between employees and the companies that hire them are on the rise. At this point, data suggests that about 30 percent of employer-employee working arrangements in the U.S. fall outside the traditional 1099 model defined by details like eight hour days, onsite task completion, taxes directly withdrawn from paychecks, and employer-provided health insurance. And this number appears to be growing rapidly. As you staff your open positions and search for the most efficient ways to pair workers with vital tasks, how can you decide between traditional employment contracts or consulting agreements with independent providers? Here’s a quick list of pros and cons that can help you move forward. Salary Costs You’ll usually need to pay your outside consultants more per job/hour/project than you would pay a full time employee. But there are several benefits you’ll receive in return for this increase. For example, consultants don’t need to be paid between jobs or kept on board during lulls in your business cycle. They typically show up, provide the skills sets needed, and then move along to the next job when company demand scales back. And they don’t require standard benefits like health insurance and retirement savings plans. In the long run, the amount you save on HR costs, benefits, hiring expenses and the stability that shelters an employee from market highs and lows will equal the extra amount you pay the consultant for his or her services. Skill Sets Consultants can usually offer a higher level of a specific required skill than you may find among your full-time employee pool. So they’re usually called upon to tackle work that’s time critical, skill specific, or too complex for companies to complete themselves. Because they make a living this way, consultants are wise to continually and aggressively build new skill sets, unlike employees who may be less motivated to personally investigate new corners of the industry. But at the same time, employees offer years of experience within their own areas, and they possess intangible institutional knowledge that consultants don’t have. Tax Complications Employers are responsible for deducting all applicable taxes from the paychecks of their traditional employees, which may include federal taxes, unemployment insurance, social security, and state and local taxes. This can add bureaucratic hassle to the full-time staffing process, while outside consultants don’t require this service, since they typically handle tax issues on their own. But again, the more labor and energy the consultant puts into a specific job, the higher the rate he or she can charge an independent employer. And employers will still need to collect W9 forms from consultants and report their earnings to the IRS. This list of pros and cons is by no means comprehensive, but the choice between traditional vs. non-traditional hiring contracts can mean the difference between success and failure for companies with narrow margins. So don’t face these challenges alone. Hiring a full-time or temporary employee can be beneficial to your business. Before you make your decision, reach out to the Seattle staffing and employment experts at PACE. We have the resources and network to help you manage your staff and draw in new talent.

Your 1099 Employees – Avoiding the High Costs of Misclassifications

by Jeanne Knutzen | April 24, 2013

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles, What's New in Staffing? 1099, 1099 workforce, Independent Contractors, PACE Staffing Network, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Temporary Staffing, Workers Compensation

While companies who have effectively used independent contractors to provide quick and easy access to specialized talent or consulting expertise are often considered amongst our most nimble, some of these same companies have recently found themselves facing hefty bills for back taxes, or complicated law suits stemming from workplace accidents or injuries involving a member of their 1099 workforce. Here’s the deal, if the IRS determines that a worker originally considered “independent” was actually an employee, companies can find themselves liable for unpaid Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment taxes. The IRS couldn’t be clearer, they see “employee misclassification” as a source of hidden revenue, and has budgeted several billion dollars to “identify and prosecute” employee misclassification issues. But unpaid taxes aren’t the only risk associated with the 1099 workforce. Additional issues have developed around workplace accidents where, because a worker was classified as an independent contractor and not covered under the employer’s Workers Compensation policies, the employer was not protected from the limited liability provisions of Workers Compensation and found themselves sued for double and triple damages. A nuance in Washington State law is that employers who use Independent Contractors are required to pay the Workers Compensation insurance and the state’s SUTA tax on hours and dollars paid to their 1099 workers. Not all states have this provision, nor do all employers in the State of Washington abide by this little known component of our state law. Bottom line, employers are at risk of incurring serious damage costs from a workplace injury by an “independent contractor.” One of the confusions we have seen employers make regarding their use of “independent contractors” stems from the mistaken notion that if the “contractor” is legal, meaning they have a business license or legitimate UBI (tax ID)  number, then they automatically pass the “test”, and can be considered “independent”.  The IRS, on the other hand, makes it clear that the “legality” of the claim of independent contractor status lies with the nature of the work to be performed and the degree of control the employer has over how and when it is performed.   The IRS offers several tests an employer can use to determine a worker's status:

  • The degree of control over the worker’s behavior, which addresses the extent to which an employer controls the work performed. The more control an employer has over how a worker performs the work—specifying where, when, and how the work is done—the less likely the worker will be considered “independent.” Employers who place their independent contractors on work teams with required hours of work, mandatory attendance at meetings, required collaborations around work products, etc., often put an independent contractor at risk of being re-classified as an employee, subject to all the provisions and benefits available to an employee.
  • The degree of control over a worker's financial opportunity, which relates to how a worker gets paid for the work performed or reimbursed for the costs they incur in performing the work. The more control an employer has over a workers total source of income, the less likely that worker will be considered “independent.” An agreement to pay a regular wage/salary for example, can be just as suspect as is an agreement to pay a worker hourly, but with an estimated work schedule of 40 hours each week. Work agreements that tie a worker to an employer who then becomes their sole source of income, suggests a less than “independent” relationship with that employer. A related financial consideration is how much personal investment the worker has in the tools they use.  Are they using their own tools/equipment or the company’s tools/equipment?
  • The type of relationship that is formed between worker and company, oftentimes construed as the exclusivity of the relationship, or the duration of the work commitment. Case law around the permanency of a relationship suggests that work assignments intended to last six months or longer better support the notion that a worker is an employee, compared to shorter term work arrangements. A related factor is whether or not the worker is free to pursue other business opportunities during the term of their agreement to provide their personal services to a company. If an employer is asking or assuming someone will work 40 hours/week on their behalf, it is hard to make the argument that they are free to pursue business opportunities elsewhere.
Unfortunately, case law on the use of these IRS tests to determine employee or independent status is riddled with inconsistent outcomes, making it hard for businesses to make quick, definitive classification decisions. An employer who wants to fully protect themselves can file IRS Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding. The downside, it often takes several months to get a response on a particular request. In light of the growing number of state or federally generated tax audits, we are seeing more and more companies who have historically relied on independent contractors for specialized work in the IT, engineering, or other professional services areas now looking differently at that staffing solution. Some companies have elected to hire these workers directly; others have elected to end long term relationships with 1099 contractors, sometimes leaving significant expertise holes in their organizations. A third option involves a new category of staffing service that allows an employer to continue to utilize their highly valued but flexible 1099 workforce, while avoiding the legal or financial risks being created by the revitalized audit efforts of state and federal agencies. The PACE Staffing Network now offers a full range of  Employer of Record services that can quickly and cost-effectively convert a client’s current 1099 workforce into a “legally compliant” W2 workforce without adding the additional costs normally attributed to a core workforce. The PACE Staffing Network regularly provides Employer of Record services to customers who are looking to optimize workforce flexibility, while avoiding the risk of unforeseen liabilities. For a complimentary discussion about how your company currently uses 1099 contractors and the options you have to mitigate the risk of misclassification, contact infodesk@pacestaffing.com.

Top Skills Accounting Managers Will Need In 2013

by Jeanne Knutzen | March 20, 2013

0 Blog, Finance/Accounting Roles accountant staffing seattle, Accounting Management Skills, Management Skills for 2013, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Staffing In Seattle WA, Temporary Staffing In Seattle, Top Skills For Accounting Managers, Value Managerial Skill Sets

You’re no longer just an accountant or an employee; you’re a manager now. And it’s no longer 1995; this is 2013. Before you leap into the year ahead thinking your technical job skills and basic, outdated management approach will carry you to easy victory, think again. Make sure you work hard to actively build each of these core competencies into your career toolkit. Mast Valued Managerial Skill Sets for 2013 1. An entrepreneurial approach It’s no longer enough to simply execute the tasks handed to you by your boss. Recognize that your company is a work in progress, a growing entity that depends on your ideas and energy, not just your willingness to follow orders. Keep the big picture in focus—not just sometimes, but all the time. 2. Coaching ability The world of effective management has evolved, and it’s no longer enough to simply tell employee what to do and expect them to clamor for your approval. Teach, don’t dictate. And coach; don’t just expect employees to pursue new information, new regulations, new software language, and new skill sets on their own. 3. Emotional intelligence Human capital is the most valuable capital your company owns. It’s also the most expensive and the most complex. If you’re not using every part of your brain to understand your employees and help them do their jobs—including your intuition, your experience, and your emotional intelligence—fix this. That includes your ability to read between the lines of human interaction. 4. Replace cost cutting with ROI Build your company’s investments with the future in mind. Don’t just look for ways to save nickels and dimes at the expense of global initiatives and long-term goals. 5. Situation awareness Before you can develop a plan of action and make a move, you need to fully understand all of the current factors at play. This takes a sharp understanding of your business model and target market. It also takes a willingness to listen before you speak, stay awake to nuance, make complex connections quickly, and think before you act. 6. Social media skills The internet is now an established way of life and a permanent presence in the global marketplace. And while individual social media utilities may come and go, your ability to master new ones and understand their general impact on your business will be crucial in the years ahead. 7. A focus on personal development Great managers are always growing, on both a professional and personal level. If you never rest, never become self-satisfied, and keep embracing change and staying flexible, you’ll be poised to thrive no matter what comes your way. Turn to the Seattle staffing and business management pros at Pace for more information on how to get ahead of the curve and stay ahead, whatever the future may bring.

Employment Background Checking – What’s happening?

by Jeanne Knutzen | March 13, 2013

0 Blog, What's New in Staffing? Background Checks, Credit Reports, Employee Screening, Employment Background Check, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Fair Credit Report Act, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency

While more and more PACE customers are requiring an increased number of background checks prior to allowing even their short term temporary employees to work on-site, recent trends are starting to reveal just how slippery a slope we’re all on. Here are the trends we see and want our clients to know about. 1. The EEOC is watching closely. With 9 out of 10 employers conducting criminal background checks on some, if not all job candidates, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been paying increased attention to the employer communities’ improper use of arrest and conviction records as part of their hiring process. Their concern?  Making sure that an employer does not check for criminal history too early in the process or reveal the results to all players in the hiring process—thus creating unfair or discriminatory barriers for ex-offenders. Don’t expect them to be definitive—just pay special attention. 2. New Regulations (Re: Credit Reports). Seven states, Washington being one of them, currently have laws limiting the use of credit report checks by employers for employment purposes. Washington’s law, passed in 2007, prohibits employers from obtaining a credit report as part of a background check unless that information is substantially job related.  It requires employers to state in writing their reasons for using this information—for example, could their credit information be relevant to their job performance. 3. Social Media – Increasingly prevalent, but still controversial. While some employers have been found negligent by not tapping into information readily available to them via social media venues, employers have also learned to tread with caution.  The information you read is not always 100% accurate and you could face issues related to violation of privacy and possible discrimination.  A recent study by social media thought leader, Jobvite, suggests that 86% of recruiters will, on occasion, view a candidate profile on a social media venue—61% say they do so regularly.  By searching these social media venues for possible job candidates, employers are potentially facing a slippery slope. 4. Automation – Balancing efficiencies with risk. While technology advances have created a robust landscape for employers to select their screening providers—who advertise fast, accurate and inexpensive results–the risks of misusing unfiltered or inaccurate information continue to increase. Whole new industries and services are being created to certify a vendor’s use of “best practices.” For example the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) has created an accreditation rating for its screening provider members. Employers are urged to select their background check vendors against measured forms of knowledge and process execution. 5. Lawsuits – More coming on all fronts! With the advancement of Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) regulations, employees and their attorneys are now looking closely at how those regulations have been implemented inside specific employer organizations and how they have impacted specific employees applying for work. Not unexpected, however, are the increasing number of FCRA infractions and other related lawsuits. The result is the “perfect storm”—with employers facing the risk of being sued by their own employees for workplace crimes committed by other employees that were negligently hired, while also facing lawsuits from job applicants complaining of inaccurate reports or failures to meet FCRA disclosure requirements.

75% of Your Workforce is “Always Looking”

by Jeanne Knutzen | March 12, 2013

0 Blog, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR JOB SEEKERS, What's New in Staffing? American Staffing Association, American Workforce, Facebook, Job Seekers, Jobvite, LinkedIn, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temp Staffing, Social Media Recruiting seattle, Twitter

According to social media thought leader, Jobvite, in their 2012 Social Job Seeker Survey, 75% of US workers are constantly looking for work—a number that is up six percentage points over the comparable count in 2011. While 1/3 of these job seekers feel less optimistic about finding a job today than they did a year ago, 41% of employed job seekers believe they are overqualified for the jobs they currently hold.  Jobvite's Social Job Seeker Survey 2012 polled over 2,100 adults, 1300 of that number were either currently employed or unemployed and considered themselves actively looking for work. According to the Jobvite survey, Facebook is the leading social network in the American workforce with 83% participating at some level in Facebook activity. Both Twitter and LinkedIn enjoyed major increases in 2012 compared to 2011 with Twitter now being used by 46% of the workforce; LinkedIn used by 41%. Not surprising, those people considered job seekers were shown to be more social than the overall workforce—88% had at least one social networking profile; 64% had accounts with at least two networks and 44% using three or more. With 1 in 4 job seekers (24%) indicating that they were asked for their social media profiles as part of an application process, more workers reported they had updated their profile content with professional information in 2012 than they had in the year prior. In previous studies, Jobvite has found that 86% of recruiters occasionally look at social profiles for candidates they interview, with 48% reporting they always do so.  According to press releases by Jobvite, Dan Finnigan, President and CEO said that “maintaining an online presence and keeping employment top-of-mind at all times are vital to professional success.” Facebook Stats

  • 52% of job seekers use Facebook to help find work, up from 48% in 2011
  • 14% searched for jobs on Facebook
  • 17% provided their Facebook profile on a job application or during an interview
  • 70% of Facebook-using job seekers are male, 63% are under the age of 40, 40% earn more than $75,000 and 36% are college graduates
LinkedIn Stats
  • 38% of job seekers use LinkedIn to help find work; up from 30% in 2011
  • 19% had a contact share a job on LinkedIn (vs. 8% in 2011)
  • 11% searched for jobs on LinkedIn
  • 9% provided their LinkedIn profile on a job application or during an interview
  • 60% of LinkedIn-using job seekers are male, 62% are under the age of 40, 51% earn more than $75,000 and 50% are college graduates
Twitter Stats
  • 34% of job seekers use Twitter to help find work; up from 26% in 2011
  • 11% had a contact share a job on Twitter (vs. 7% in 2011)
  • 10% searched for jobs on Twitter
  • 10% provided their Twitter profile on a job application or during an interview
  • 67% of Twitter-using job seekers are male, 69% are under the age of 40, 46% earn more than $75,000 and 44% are college graduates
Jobvite is a leading recruiting platform for the social web, providing companies with applicant tracking, recruiter CRM and social recruiting software.  Information on their press release was provided by the American Staffing Association. For more information on Jobvite and their 2012 Social Media Survey, visit www.jobvite.com.

When is Work, Work?

by Jeanne Knutzen | March 7, 2013

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles Employer of Record services, Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, FLSA, Non-Exempt Employees, PACE Staffing Network, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency, Temporary Workforce

Under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all non-exempt employees must be paid the minimum wage for all hours worked in a work week and must be paid overtime at the rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week. What isn’t often discussed is what hours of work or work related activity must be included in the count of hours of work paid at either regular or overtime rate. We run into these issues periodically when working with our hourly paid flexible workforces. Whether these workers are categorized as exempt or non-exempt, they must be paid for all hours of work. The following is a list of situations where we frequently field questions from our clients:

  • Pre and Post-Job Activities. All job-related activities required as a part of an employee’s work must be calculated as hours of work.  This includes work performed either before or after the employee’s  actual work schedule and includes pre-start orientations, required after hours meetings, or any hours spent by workers for their employer’s (or our client’s) benefit. Examples of time to be paid would be the time it takes to complete a time card, to change in or out of required work clothes or equipment, to assemble materials needed to perform the work, or to receive instructions about the work—all are considered hours worked and the employee must be paid.
  • Waiting Time. Employees who arrive at a work site early—earlier  than the required start time—are not automatically entitled to be paid for any time they spend waiting to begin work.  However, if an employee reports at the required time and then waits because there is no work to start on, the waiting time is compensable.
  • Stand-By Time. Workers who are required to stand-by at a worksite “ready” to work, must be paid for this waiting time.  Stand-by time typically refers to short-term time periods where a worker is not officially working but is asked to “stand-by” ready to work. The defining rule for stand-by time is that if the employee remains under the employer’s control to the point where they cannot use their time for their own purpose or benefit, the stand-by time must be paid. 
  • On-Call Time. On-Call time is different from Stand-By time in that it includes time spent by an employee “available” to be called into work while free to pursue activities for their own benefit. The FLSA requires employers to compensate workers for on-call time when such time is spent “predominantly for the employer’s benefit.” This means that an employee, who is only required to be available for work if asked, is not considered working and is not paid for their time on-call.
  • Meal and Break Periods. Under FLSA rulings, time spent for meal or rest periods may or may not be compensable, depending on the amount of time provided for the break and to what extent the employee is relieved from their work duties while on break.
Bona fide meal periods need to be of sufficient duration (30 minutes or more) and free of work duties in order for the meal period to be exempt from required pay regulations. If, for example, an employee is asked to sit at their desk to answer phones during their lunch break, they should be paid for their meal break. While employers can have policies prohibiting employees from leaving the work site for a meal break, it is only when work is required of them during the break, that their time must be compensable. Rest periods, on the other hand for shorter periods (5 to 20 minutes) are always counted as hours worked.
  • Unauthorized Hours of Work. Employees who, with the direct or implied awareness of their employer, start work before their work is scheduled,  work through unpaid breaks,  or continue to work after their work schedule is officially over, are considered to be working during all these times periods and their time “at work” must be paid. This is true even if these hours of work were performed voluntarily and are considered by their employer to be “unauthorized.” If the work performed during these “unauthorized hours” benefits the employer, the FLSA requires that the employee be paid. This puts the burden on management to make certain that regular work time rules are rigorously enforced, perhaps even promising disciplinary action for employees who work in unauthorized ways.  Merely stating that all work be authorized is not sufficient.
For more information on the work rules outlined by FLSA regulations and as applied to either your temporary or hourly workforce, contact our infodesk@pacestaffing.com.

Top 10 Suggestions for Supervisors – 2013

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 14, 2013

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles Employee Evaluations, HR tips, human resources, Job Performance, Job Performance Evaluations, Management Tips, PACE Staffing Network, Seattle Staffing Agency, Temporary Staffing In Seattle, Work Place Environment

The following article was published by the ASA, as written by A. Kevin Troutman of Fisher & Phillips Law Firm.  As the New Year unfolds, supervisors may have even less time to manage all the complexities that arise in the world of employment law. With goals and deadlines to meet, well-intentioned managers may be tempted to rely on experience and “common sense” to guide them. Unfortunately, this approach often creates headaches and even litigation, despite managers’ good intentions. Today’s alphabet soup of employment laws (ADA, ADEA, FMLA, OSHA, NLRB, etc.) are simply too vast and complicated for most supervisors to digest on their own. Other issues are so subtle or counterintuitive that even seasoned HR professionals can find it difficult to recognize and/or deal with them. There is a silver lining to this cloud. A few basic practices can help supervisors avoid many problems—or at least recognize when to turn to HR for guidance. 1. Always tell employees the truth This rule encompasses more than avoiding outright falsehoods. Instead, it emphasizes the importance of making sure that employees always know how you assess their job performance. Of course this includes telling employees what they are doing well—but perhaps even more important, it means telling them how and where they are not meeting expectations. While many supervisors may prefer to avoid delivering “bad news,” this rule is an increasingly critical aspect of their jobs. Performance evaluations illustrate this point.  Audits routinely show that well over half of all evaluations rate employee performance above average, a de facto impossibility. Unfortunately, evaluations that overrate employees’ job performance can be devastating during litigation. Judges and juries are generally unsympathetic toward supervisors who suggest that they did not really mean what they wrote on a performance evaluation. This simple rule is so important that companies should consider discontinuing annual performance evaluations unless they can be done accurately and honestly. 2. Communicate clearly and directly Going a step beyond Rule No. 1, supervisors should expect employees to do their jobs and cannot let “politically correct” language obscure their message. Specifically, they must communicate clearly without being insensitive or disrespectful. For example, instead of telling an employee that he or she has an “opportunity” to improve, identify what specific aspects of performance are below expectations and what must be done to improve. Offer to assist, but make it clear that you expect improvement. When documenting these communications, be succinct and explicit. Always try to address “who, what, when and why.”  (As simple as it seems, this includes ensuring that documentation is legible, dated and signed where appropriate.) This rule applies to policy violations, poor attendance and simple coaching or reminder sessions. 3. Avoid surprises Many lawsuits result from anger or hurt feelings, which may be the result of an employee being surprised by disciplinary action or a termination. Remember, a supervisor’s silence is typically interpreted as approval, but if communication is consistent, clear and direct, employees should never be surprised by disciplinary action. They may not agree with the supervisor’s decision, but they should never be able to say truthfully that they did not see it coming. 4. Always get both sides of the story It’s surprising how often supervisors violate this simple rule. As a practical matter, there should be no exceptions to it. No matter how egregious or clear-cut the facts appear to be, always give accused employees a chance to tell their side of the story. (The only possible exception might be when there is a legitimate objective or safety concern that would prevent this from occurring.)  Consistent with this rule, do not document conclusions or prepare termination paperwork until the investigation is finished. 5. Keep your promises Don’t make promises that you cannot keep. Supervisors who promise to meet periodically with employees or to provide periodic feedback must do so. Again, jurors are unlikely to forgive supervisors who criticize an employee’s job performance, but fail to abide by their own follow-up schedule. So do not set deadlines or timetables that you cannot meet—instead, maintain some flexibility. Don’t make oral promises such as, “as long as you do your job, you will always have a place here.” In some states, these promises can be legally enforceable. 6. Do not ignore protected status in making employment decisions At first blush this rule may seem illogical, but when considering disciplinary action it is always important to consider how you have handled similar situations in the past. If an employee in a protected classification (race, sex, religion, age, disability, etc.) is treated differently under the same circumstances from someone who is not in the protected class, supervisors and HR must be able to justify the reasons clearly. When considering which employees fall in a protected classification, don’t overlook employees who recently took FMLA leave, sought an accommodation under the ADA, or provided information in response to an investigation of alleged workplace discrimination. These activities protect employees from retaliation and likewise require consideration of comparable situations where no employee had engaged in protected activity. 7. Think before hitting “send” Email traffic provides increasingly fertile ground for both sides in employment cases. Supervisors must therefore recognize that their email messages are potential trial exhibits. A quick, off-hand message has the potential to be extremely embarrassing if presented out of context to a jury. Therefore, it is never a good idea to fire off quick responses, especially when emotions are running high. Wait a few moments before hitting “send” and be especially careful about using the “reply to all” button. 8. Document important facts when they’re still fresh Important details can easily get muddled in today’s fast-paced work environment, so make a habit of jotting down those key facts when they occur. When doing so, be sure the documentation is dated, legible and understandable (see Rule No. 2). Always include objective language describing “who, what, when, where, why” and identify any witnesses. Identify the author of the documentation—sometimes nothing can be more difficult than retrospectively trying to determine who prepared unsigned material. 9. Send it to HR When supervisors keep files containing notes or information that has not been forwarded to HR, it almost always creates problems when litigation ensues. This can force the employer to change a representation it has already made to the EEOC or plaintiff’s counsel. More importantly, it can support a plaintiff’s contention that the supervisor (who is usually the alleged wrong-doer) cannot be trusted or is hiding something. On a related note, always refer employment verification and reference inquiries to HR, who will ensure company-wide consistency in responding. 10. Never forget that you are the boss Even during meal breaks, after hours, on weekends, or away from the workplace, supervisors still carry the mantle of company authority. Unguarded, inappropriate or “joking” comments can and do come back to haunt supervisors who forget this. When an employment relationship goes bad, seemingly innocuous comments often emerge. Comments made in jest rarely look good in front of a jury.  This is a critical and sometimes painful lesson for supervisors to learn. Bonus Rule 11 Always strive to be fair, consider “how would this look to a skeptical third party (like the EEOC or a jury) who knows nothing about me or the employee?” The workplace is complex and demanding, especially for supervisors striving to meet deadlines, maintain positive employee relations and avoid legal pitfalls. While they are not a “cure all,” these suggestions can help supervisors manage more effectively.