Tag: temporary agency Seattle

Seattle’s New Minimum Wage – Like It? Follow It!

by Jeanne Knutzen | July 15, 2014

0 Blog, What's New in Staffing? Employee Seattle Sick and Safe, Employment Agency Seattle, jobs seattle, Minimum Wage in Seattle, Seattle Staffing Agency, temporary agency Seattle, Temporary Employee Pay Rates Seattle, Temporary Employees Seattle, Temporary Staffing Seattle

Seattle is once again leading the way on issues designed to improve employee work life! Two years ago, Seattle Sick and Safe required employers to provide employees with up to 9 days a year of paid time off for personal or family health or abuse issues. This June, the Seattle City Council voted to move forward with the plan to increase the minimum wage for Seattle employees to $15/hr. The implementation of the new minimum wage will be phased in. In April of next year, minimum pay rates will increase from $9.32/hr. to either $10 or $11/hr. depending on whether you are (or work for) a large or small employer (differentiated by more or less than 500 employees). By January of 2017, all large Seattle employers must meet the $15/hr. minimum wage, unless they offer healthcare benefits, in which case they can delay the $15/hr. pay minimum until the following year. Small employers (less than 500 workers) have until January 2021 to meet the new minimum wage standard. In charted format, here’s an overview of Seattle’s phase in plan: While most of the questions about the short and long term impact of minimum wage adjustments are unknown, critics of Seattle’s $7/hr. minimum wage increase continue to make the case that the actual economic impact of the wage adjustment will actually hurt the very employee populations the mandates are targeted to help. They argue that as increased wages kick in, pay gains will be offset by increased costs of goods and services. Or put another way, while improving “acceptable pay,” the underlying issues of affordable city living and the declining skillsets of US workers largely go unaddressed. They also worry about the employer’s changed motivation to fuel job creation or hiring in all areas directly (or indirectly) impacted by increases in minimum pay rates. As employees start to enjoy the benefits of more pay and purchasing power, the longer term impact on job availability and security may end up being the price paid. Both employers and employees will need to wait - to see! Anticipating impact to my own industry, staffing, I see both positives and negatives. While overtime opportunities for core employees will likely be reduced if not eliminated, there will be an offsetting need for more flexible or cyclically scheduled employees - a positive. But for those segments of the temporary help industries that employ large numbers of low skilled, low cost, entry level workers, and the landscape could be quite different. With both “temps” and “core workers” now being paid the same, some of the cost containment advantages of using unskilled “temporary employees” for beginning/entry level roles will go away, changing the hiring patterns of staffing industry customers. As for the predicted job loss, we've already heard the stories of Seattle based companies who are moving their facilities out of the costly Seattle corridor. In some cases we see companies relocating themselves into more rural communities, away from the influence of Seattle’s wage and benefit mandates. Some of these moves are a matter of survival. Companies who compete directly with third world labor pools are always impacted by changes in mandated pay and benefit programs. There is no question that the staffing (recruiting and retention) strategies of both Seattle employers and employees located in nearby employment communities, will change. Whether you are a large or small employer, located in Seattle or Bothell, you are competing for employees from the same labor pools. Pay and benefit plans must remain competitive. Unfortunately it will be increasingly difficult for employers to find a safe haven from the influence of government pay and benefit mandates. With all the good intentions of making living in their city “affordable” or to ensure “compassionate” treatment of employees in need, many city councils in and outside the state of Washington are looking closely at similar wage and benefit adjustments. With Seattle just unseating San Francisco as city with the highest minimum wage in the nation - other cities, including San Francisco, are not far behind. And if the cities aren't budging, chances are the states will. Massachusetts set an $11/hr. minimum wage to kick in 2015. Earlier this year, Minnesota raised its guaranteed wage by over $3/hr. California, Connecticut and Maryland have all passed laws increasing their respective wages to $10 or more in coming years. As for federal level influence on minimum wage, the Obama administration has been a serious advocate of raising the minimum wage since 2008 when they inherited a $7.25/hr. minimum wage. Lacking congressional support for federal level minimum wage increases, President Obama recently used an Executive Order to increase minimum pay to slightly over $10/hr. for federal contractors – a gesture with primarily symbolic impact. Neither Canada, Germany, Mexico nor China have national minimum wage programs, preferring instead to let local governments set pay in line with local costs of living that can vary dramatically. To date Australia has the highest global minimum wage of $16.88/hr. Compare that with China, where typical minimum wage mandates hover around a U.S. equivalent of less than a dollar an hour. One thing is sure – the real impact of Seattle’s minimum wage mandates will be revealed over time. Never in the history of either State or local mandates have minimum wage increases approached the level being put in place over the next 3 years.

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.