As the economy slowly begins to improve, many companies are seeing their business doing the same. However, they may be reluctant to hire additional workers to handle the workload, fearing that it may drop off again and they will be stuck with employees they don’t need, says Danny Spitz, founder and president of Everstaff.

“The solution is temporary staffing,” says Spitz. “Businesses are more comfortable bringing on staff on a temporary basis until they make sure that the workload is going to continue. Although they are cautiously optimistic, they are skittish about hiring permanent workers. First, they want to see the skill sets and want to know that the work is going to last. So they continue to favor temporary staffing.”

Smart Business spoke with Spitz about how a recruiting and staffing firm can supply the right temporary workers to help you control your work force on an as-needed basis.

How can temporary staffing help a company control its work force?

It allows a company to staff for peak needs, with the flexibility of letting those people go when they no longer need them. When some companies have an increase in workflow, they are afraid to hire. So they ask their existing employees to do extra work and sometimes work overtime.

Partnering with a staffing agency to bring in temporary workers can help avoid burnout among your employees, improving their overall productivity and allowing them to continue to focus on their main job tasks. When companies are looking to cut costs, often the first place they look is payroll. And when a company downsizes, it will ask its staff to go into overdrive and handle responsibilities that they are not used to handling. Temporary staffing can help keep your current employees happy and allows you to bring in specialized talent for certain tasks, which, in the end, results in better service and better products for your clients or customers.

Temporary staffing can also help you control your work force because if the workload does continue, you have already trained that individual and you have the option of hiring him or her as a full-time employee. This arrangement allows you to try before you buy, evaluating whether they will fit in the corporate culture and with other employees, see what their work habits are and identify any weaknesses that might not be evident in the interview process before you hire them full time. It allows you to give someone the opportunity to work for your company but say that that person has to earn the right to be a full-time employee.

How can temporary staffing help cut costs?

Because the recruiting and staffing firm — not your company — is the physical employer of the temporary staffing people, you don’t have to worry about them filing for unemployment when they are no longer needed. This can reduce the overall operating costs for a business because it does not affect what the employer pays for unemployment insurance.

It can also keep costs in check because the business is not responsible for paying for benefits. In addition, the staffing firm handles all employer-employee responsibilities, such as workers’ compensation, and the employer doesn’t have to provide sick time and vacation time or contribute to a 401(k) plan.

Temporary workers can also cut costs by stepping in to handle overflow work instead of the company paying overtime to your existing workers.

How can a staffing firm help a company with the interview process?

With unemployment at an all-time high, the number of applicants for an open position is also at an all-time high. If you have one position and 300 people apply, where do you start? How much time and energy are you willing to put into that? An HR person could spend days going through hundreds of unqualified resumes just to identify a handful of appropriate applicants to prescreen for an interview.

A specialized staffing firm like Everstaff will take on that role and mirror the company’s procedures as an extension of the HR department and management team. The firm conducts a thorough screening and very specific skill testing to find a candidate with the right skill set, as well as a candidate who truly wants to work. The firm will mirror exactly how a company does its internal hiring. If it’s two interviews, a background check, drug testing and skill evaluation, the staffing firm will do the same things, so someone who comes in on a temporary basis and then is hired full time has been through the same process as everyone else.

What would you say to an executive who says his or her company doesn’t have a need for temporary workers?

If you don’t have a need now, that is the perfect time to meet with a staffing and recruiting firm. The last thing you want to do is to try to determine the right partner to meet your needs when your need for help is now. Take a proactive approach and take the time to develop a relationship with a staffing firm to identify potential needs.

That way, when someone resigns with little or no notice, or if something in your business changes, the staffing firm already has someone in the pipeline to step in when needed without affecting your productivity.

Danny Spitz is founder and president of Everstaff. Reach him at (216) 674-0788 or danny@everstaff.com.

Insights Recruiting & Staffing is brought to you by Everstaff

Published in Cleveland

When there’s a strong, open partnership between an employer and its temporary staffing agency, both parties can realize profits and cost savings. The goal for both sides is to determine the right value and form a relationship that makes it more cost effective to hire a staffing firm than it would be for the employer to perform those duties, says George Thomas, senior vice president of Everstaff.

“It is our job to make sure that the client understands all of the costs, liabilities and exposure that they defer when using a staffing agency for temporary and temporary-to-permanent placement,” he says.

Smart Business spoke with Thomas about how to maximize your savings by partnering with a staffing firm.

How does the cost relationship between a business and a staffing agency work?

There’s a common misperception that a company isn’t realizing savings when paying for the services of a staffing firm. Two significant costs are along the lines of direct and indirect liabilities. These are the insurances that the staffing company covers as part of payroll, including workers’ compensation and unemployment. There are also additional liabilities and sometimes very significant costs associated with workers’ compensation and unemployment claims, which are passed directly to the staffing firm.

The employer also gains significant savings through the indirect costs of marketing and recruiting. Businesses will ultimately spend more time, money and resources when recruiting seasonal and permanent staff due to the fact that most HR departments are smaller and too busy dealing with day-to-day employee issues to focus efforts on sourcing and recruiting candidates. This is where the staffing agency can use its expertise in recruiting and placement to sort through resumes, bring people in for interviews and ensure the employer gets an employee for the job who has both the hard and soft skills necessary to be successful. In addition, recruitment is becoming more costly today, with many employers requiring background checks and drug screenings, even for low-wage jobs.

How can using a staffing agency help with employee retention?

A lot of temporary staff turnover occurs in the first two to three weeks, especially in manufacturing. When a business doesn’t use a staffing firm, it incurs the front-end costs of recruiting — bringing people on board and training them — only to end up losing many of them in the first few weeks or months. When using a staffing agency, though you will lose productivity when there is turnover, you will not lose the up front costs associated with sourcing, screening and placement.

As far as retention, a good staffing firm will know the client and be involved in proper orientation, pre-employment screening and ‘after-placement’ coaching to reduce turnover. When the staffing firm plays a key role in the coaching of the temporary work force, retention always improves.

How can employers maximize cost savings through a staffing firm?

You and your staffing firm need to have a clear understanding about what resources you require for your type of business, where your gaps are in productivity and what your short- and long-term visions are to build a strong strategic partnership.

Next, you will want to make sure that the value proposition for you and the staffing service is such that both parties are happy and that the service can provide the resources you expect to be successful. Many times a company will go with the lowest price it can possibly get and then realize after a few months that the agency has moved its resources to more profitable accounts. Make sure the price is not only fair to you and your company, but also for the staffing firm.

Once you’re in a relationship with the staffing agency, you need to continue to work with it on developing the relationship. For example, in manufacturing, a staffing company may get feedback from temporary employees that a certain line has a potential danger or it may learn that there is turnover on a certain shift because of training issues, a particular supervisor, leadership style or operation tempo. Working together to minimize potential workers’ compensation and unemployment claims will help the staffing agency with its costs and minimize your productivity loss.

How should companies set pricing when using a staffing firm?

Don’t be afraid to ask the staffing company what the insurance burdens are for a particular state, realizing that those costs vary year to year. Understand that, depending on the department and the job the temporary employee will be filling, those burdens can differ even within a facility.

It’s up to the staffing company to inform you of the direct costs and insurance burdens, as well as the costs for payroll, recruiting, recruiting support and corporate overhead. Many times a company will assume that if the state and federal insurance burdens come out to 24 percent and the staffing agency markup is 41 percent than the difference is all profit for the firm, which is never the case. When everything is completely transparent, everyone knows where they stand and can find a fair price for each party.

You should always ask for the detailed breakout of burden from the staffing company so you can see exactly what the cost savings will be for you to use temporary staffing or temporary-to-permanent staff instead of expending the resources to do it yourself.

George Thomas is a senior vice president with Everstaff. Reach him at (216) 369-2566, ext. 104, or gthomas@everstaff.com.

Insights Recruiting & Staffing is brought to you by Everstaff

Published in Cleveland

You’ve been hearing for months that the recession is over, but like many other business owners you might be adopting a wait and see attitude. The only fact that seems undisputable is that the economy’s next move is not easy to predict.

In an uncertain environment, one solution for employers is to hire temporary employees for any downturns — or upturns — they face.

“Businesses used to have a steady flow of business throughout the year and they were able to budget for what their staffing needs would be and hire full-time,” says Scott Adamonis, director of sales for Everstaff. “Nowadays, business ebbs and flows and having a relationship with a staffing company allows companies to be able to fluctuate.”

Smart Business spoke with Adamonis about how companies can roll with a changing economy using temporary employees.

How common is the use of temporary employees?

More companies are shifting toward a flexible workforce, especially with the instability of the economy over the past five or six years. It’s very unpredictable and having a staffing company able to provide contingent labor is a great business model that many have adopted. More often than not, the decision of how many temporary employees to use is based on the business environment and is not necessarily industry specific.

Temporary or contingent employees aid companies because of their flexibility. In the past, businesses would use temporary employees to cover for vacations, maternity leaves or something along those lines. Now business is fluctuating — based on what the economy is doing — so employers need to have a flexible work staff in order to ramp up and ramp down based on their business needs.

Along with flexibility, what are some additional advantages of temporary employees?

Flexibility certainly is one of the largest advantages as it fills the widespread need for an adaptable workforce, especially for companies that experience ups and downs in their business activity with project work or seasonal swings. Employers are slowly bringing people back into their workforce but in contract or in contingent labor positions as a test of the economy. Then, if business activity decreases again, employers can — with the help of a staffing agency — respond quickly to changes.

Hiring temporary employees is also a great cost-saving tool. For example, a company will utilize contingent labor to handle unexpected increases in workload and accomplish this without the burden of hiring additional full-time employees or forcing overtime hours on their current staff.

The most expensive item on a P&L or balance sheet is labor expenses — from salary and benefits to unemployment and employee taxes. Partnering with a staffing firm can help a company ease some of these burdens by providing a flexible workforce on an as needed basis

Using supplemental staff for large projects or seasonal work increases the morale of your core full-time employees. When you, as an employer, get major orders and you already have full-time staff working 10- or 12-hour days, you don’t want to increase their workload and risk those employees burning out.

Employers also can treat these temporary employment situations as working interviews, utilizing short-term work to assess work ethics, cultural fits and skill levels.

As a business owner in an uncertain environment, how do I identify my staffing needs?

Forecasting who, what, where and when those needs are going to arise is a difficult task in today’s world and partnering with a staffing company is an excellent solution. A lot of times you think projects are coming in and can anticipate them, but other times you might not be able to do that. You don’t want to have your workforce sitting around waiting, so you can build a relationship with a staffing company and use it as an extension of your HR department. A quality staffing company will recruit and build a specific pipeline of talent so the turnaround time of implementing your workforce is seamless.

You always want to ensure your full-time employees are taken care of first. Many employers offer extra hours to their permanent staff initially, but as the year goes on they need the additional help of temporary employees. It’s an added resource that companies can utilize as needed.

What should an employer know about hiring temporary employees through a staffing agency?

The most important aspect of partnering with an outside source is to have your relationship in place with a temporary staffing agency ahead of time. The more a staffing agency knows about your company, the better the agency is going to be able to find people who fit your needs. The staffing agency does much of the groundwork before placing someone, so a strong prior relationship will enable the agency to understand the company’s culture or the background checks and screening requirements that are necessary to work at its facilities.

A close relationship between a business and the staffing agency not only alleviates turnover but also speeds the hiring process. Employers may not have any staffing needs for several months, but when they do require temporary employees they will need them quickly.

When looking for the right staffing company, don’t be afraid to review all your options. There are many specialty staffing companies that are job-type specific, others offer employees for a variety of jobs such as general labor; office and administration; accounting and finance; sales; legal; call center; information technology; and engineering. Look for an agency that can blend your staffing needs, company goals and culture with the right skill set, service, and technology to deliver the solutions necessary to help manage an ever-growing need for a flexible workforce.

In the end, there needs to be a comfortable working relationship where the hiring managers and staffing companies share the same business philosophies and practices.

Scott Adamonis is the director of sales for Everstaff. Reach him at (216) 369-2566, ext. 111, or sadamonis@everstaff.com.

Insights Recruiting & Staffing is brought to you by Everstaff

Published in Cleveland

Establishing job expectations and aligning training to those expectations is crucial to retaining newly hired personnel and enabling them to transition into being a valued member of the business.

Twenty-two percent of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment and the cost of losing an employee in the first year is estimated to be at least three times that of the person’s salary. However, new employees who go through a structured training program were 58 percent more likely to still be with the organization after three years, according to a study by The Wynhurst Group.

“When new employees receive quality training, it builds a comfort level that the company is investing in them and leads to longer-term employment,” says Danny Spitz, CEO of Everstaff.  “The new employee should understand the company’s goals and how he or she can help in achieving them. At the same time, if somebody is fully trained, you should be able to encourage feedback for process improvement, which will allow the employee to take hold of the position and understand where he or she can make a difference.”

Smart Business spoke with Spitz about how businesses can use their orientation and training programs to ensure job responsibilities and expectations are clear.

How significant is a first impression, and how can you guarantee it goes well?

It’s extremely important because the first impression sets the tone for accountability. When hiring, it is essential to discuss what is required from the person and what the day-to-day responsibilities will be if hired. Explaining this during the interview process will allow both sides to have the same understanding of what the job entails and will cut down on turnover, as the expectations have been discussed. When the newly hired employee starts, it is important to have an up-to-date training program that matches the company’s operations and individual position responsibilities. This is where showing strong organizational skills as a manager is critical.

What’s important to remember when setting expectations for your new hires?

Having already discussed this during the interview process, it is still recommended that the manager outline the daily responsibilities and expectations during first-day orientation. I find it important to cover, but even more important to explain how the company will provide the training and resources to make the person succeed in their new position. More information provided to the individual will allow for a stronger comfort level, and even discussing the finer details such as hours, company standards, etc., is recommended.

What can employers do to make sure their training works with job expectations?

It’s good for managers to refer back to when they started, either in their current position or in a previous position when they were unfamiliar with the company. Remember what type of training was provided and build the current training around your experience. Recognizing the strengths and deficiencies of the training you received will allow you to build your own successfully program.

Often, the manager is fully responsible for training, but if it’s a larger organization, you can use current employees to conduct training on individual responsibilities of the job. Identify the strengths of your current staff members will allow you to involve them in the training of the new employee.

It all goes back to not waiting until the day before the person starts to develop a training plan. As you continuously evaluate your company, you should always update your training module and have a clear understanding of how long each step of the training process will take.

Successful managers have a set schedule, often two weeks, that maps out which functions should be trained when, giving time in between so the new employee can digest the task and not get overloaded. With a training schedule stretched out over a certain period of time, you can train the new employee, and then let that person go live on those responsibilities, allowing him or her to utilize the training to complete the individual task before moving on to the next training piece. Everybody has gone through training where you’ve done a quick overview, but once you get to the actual function and you’re on your own, you have to guess because it was covered so quickly.

If the resources are available, shadowing is great tool for training. Have the new employee shadow one of your senior employees doing the job function and then reverse the roles. The senior employee will shadow the new employee to make sure everything is being done efficiently and properly, while being a resource for additional questions. You always want new employees to ask questions — that’s part of the training.

How often should training programs be updated?

Your training program should be updated two to four times per year, although each update doesn’t mean there are large overall changes. It also depends on how often you hire.

Once you finish the training process, get feedback from the new employee on what he or she feels was a benefit. You really should do 30-, 60- and 90-day reviews, which will allow you to ask about their level of comfort with the daily responsibilities and see if additional training needs to be done.

These reviews give the newly trained employee a higher success rate of the job responsibilities and allow you to update the training module for the next hire.

Danny Spitz is the CEO of Everstaff. Reach him at (216) 674-0788 or dspitz@everstaff.com.

Insights Recruiting & Staffing is brought to you by Everstaff

Published in Cleveland

Any company can attract average employees, but it takes developing your brand to become an employer of choice to attract and retain the best and brightest, says George Thomas, senior vice president of Everstaff.

“Developing your brand is key,” says Thomas. “You need to have a consistent message, a strong ethos and a clear vision that can be understood at all levels of the company. Everybody needs to be able to conceptualize and understand that vision, and everyone needs to be working toward a common goal.”

Smart Business spoke with Thomas about how to develop your brand to become an employer of choice.

Why is it important for everyone to understand the vision?

If don’t have a clear vision as a company, you’re dead. To use a military analogy along the lines of the Napoleonic leadership style, Napoleon was a very successful leader because he knew what he did well, understood his limitations and always had a clear vision for his troops. There was always a clear focus on everyone in every unit (including the lowest ranking foot soldier) understanding all of the tactics to be used in a particular encounter (or battle) and thus bought in to the big picture and were better prepared and motivated to influence the outcome. Having a vision is key, and to develop the vision, you have to understand first what you do well as a company and then what you want to do well. Once you align those two, you can make it happen.

How do you begin communicating that vision to employees?

The goals and vision should always be simple at all levels — don’t complicate it and make sure everyone knows how they impact the ‘big picture’ at their level. There should be reports and metrics that can be used daily by employees so that everyone understands exactly where you are as a business, why you’re there, where you need to be and the steps you need to take to be successful. If everyone understands the vision and expectations, no one should ever be surprised by anything that happens in an organization.

What is the difference between a good company and a great one?

To move a company from good to great, everyone needs to understand where the company is going and that, no matter their level in the company, they play a key role and more importantly, understand what that role is. They’re not doing things just because you said so but because they understand their role in getting the company and themselves to the next level.

Too often, the vision gets watered down. Many times at the senior level, there is a complicated vision that is then simplified for mid-level employees. But it shouldn’t be that complicated at any level, as everyone should be able to understand it and conceptualize it in the same manner.

Without a common goal that they can communicate to each other, people become siloed and are likely to just do what they have to do to keep their jobs. They aren’t sharing ideas or communicating about how to improve the company, they’re just working for themselves. In that case, you are not going to get buy-in, which is the key to success in any organization. You only get  buy-in when people understand why they are doing what they’re doing and how it impacts the overall success of the company. If you don’t get buy-in, people are just going to be processors, not producers. And processors don’t make a company great.

How can a company begin to change its culture to become an employer of choice

Start with introspection and be most critical of yourself first. Say, ‘I’ve done a lot of things right to get where we are now, but I may have a dysfunctional company because we don’t have a strong ethos, or I don’t have a clear vision, or people don’t understand why they do what they do. I want to stop treading water and go from good to great, so what do I need to do to improve?’

Then get input from middle management, as they are key to understanding what is going on at your company. Next, go down to the employee level to get feedback on what they think you’re doing well and what you’re not doing well. You’re going to hear a lot of things you may not want to hear, but you need to encourage honest feedback in a professional and constructive manner because it’s going to help you improve your company. Once you’re gathered that information, you can work with senior management to produce a vision and a plan to get your company to the next level

Is this a difficult process?

Change management is by far the most difficult thing you are ever going to deal with as a company. But if you can figure it out, you are going to succeed. It’s well know that employees don’t necessarily love sweeping changes and especially in a company that has been siloed, they’re going to be suspicious. Overcoming that suspicion takes time and patience. If you try to change too much, too quickly, you’ll throw off your operations and productivity because people will be focusing too much on the changes. You have to be willing to invest the time and money to implement change properly.

How can creating this culture help improve your brand?

By attracting the best people. If you can get your best employees to take ownership and have a sense of worth in where the company is going, then they will network with other great people and you will attract the best talent instead of having to search for the best talent.

Your brand is a byproduct of your company culture. You can have a strong brand, but if your culture is not good and everyone knows that, people may recognize your brand, but they recognize it for the wrong reasons.

Take it slowly, get buy-in, make sure people know why they’re doing what they’re doing and communicate the vision in such a way that everyone can conceptualize. Develop the culture, and the brand will follow.

George Thomas is senior vice president at EverStaff. Reach him at (216) 369-2599 or gthomas@everstaff.com.

Insights Recruiting & Staffing is brought to you by Everstaff

Published in Cleveland

If you think your business may need to use a staffing firm at some point in the future, you should start doing something about it now.

Waiting until you actually need those services could prove to be a huge mistake, says George Thomas, senior vice president at EverStaff.

“Obviously, it’s always best to think about it before you need it,” says Thomas. “Often, by the time you have a need, it’s already too late. Planning ahead by establishing a relationship with a staffing agency can ensure that you have a partner that will be properly prepared to fulfill your staffing and placement needs when they arise.”

Smart Business spoke with Thomas about how to develop a relationship with a staffing firm so it can stay ahead of your needs.

Where should a business owner start when considering a partnership with a staffing firm?

Before you begin, recognize that there could very well be a disconnect between your operations, human resources and finance departments. In many cases, the finance department is going to look at staffing (as they should) based on a cost savings proposition focusing on liability, overall exposure of work force and the staffing company markup. The HR and operations departments will also be looking at cost and exposure, but will be more focused on the quality/reliability of candidates and the impact on production. As the CEO, you want to align all three departments and ensure that you are taking into account the full impact of what the service offers, focusing on the total value proposition. This means getting HR, finance and operations all in one room together to figure out what your company expects to gain from the use of a contingent labor work force. Second, it is key to determine a healthy percentage of contingent work force to permanent work force. Once you have determined this, you are now prepared to consult with a contingent staffing service to best determine how you will move forward.

How do you determine the right firm for your needs?

If your company has any chance of using a staffing firm, your HR employees probably hear from staffing services several times a week so there is no need to look in a phone book. Start by asking them what they know about the local services, as they should know who is out there and have an opinion.

An important consideration when choosing a firm is determining whether the company is merely happy to be a subordinate vendor and order taker to you, or if it wants to be a trusted partner. It’s not a question you can ask directly, but you can ask about relationships and the expectation of those relationships during fact-finding meetings. Also, listen to the questions the recruiter asks. If the staffing firm wants to be a trusted partner with you, the recruiter is going to try to learn about your business and get into your operating reality. He or she will use effective questioning to get to the root of your needs and learn everything he or she can about your facility and specific operating style. Then the recruiter will use that information to form a proposal about how the staffing firm can improve your operations with contingent staff.

It’s a matching process, not just order filling, and a staffing firm can’t make a proper match unless it can get into your operating reality and understand your company’s culture. It is very easy to find candidates with the proper hard skills, but much more challenging to find someone who is going to fit in with your company culture and be a long-term match. The difference between a good and great staffing company is that the great ones can make the match.

If a prospect staffing company simply walks in with a pricing sheet without first doing a proper analysis and says, ‘Whoever you’re doing business with, I can do it cheaper,’ that’s a good indication that that company has no interest in being a partner and is happy to be a vendor. That relationship never lasts long.

How can developing a partnership benefit a business?

Too many CEOs look at the staffing industry as a necessary evil, because they can’t carry all of the liability that comes with hiring and their HR departments are normally too small to recruit all positions internally. Because of that, they see staffing firms as disposable, something they can replace tomorrow if need be. As a result, they often throw out a job to several firms, and the first one to find a worker wins.

You can do that, but it’s not doing you any good because you’re not developing a key partner relationship. You need to think of your staffing firm as the third arm of your HR department, as an external recruiting department. Have them at your meetings so they understand your business from an operational standpoint. Keep them engaged to keep them out in front of your needs.

How can partnering with a staffing firm help with retention?

Statistics show approximately 60 to 70 percent of turnover occurs in the first two to three weeks at a new manufacturing job. People are experiencing many different things and moving in ways they’re not used to, so they may be sore, or not used to specific odors, environment, etc. If there is someone coaching them through those weeks and letting them know that it’s going to get better, there is a higher likelihood that they will stay and your retention will improve.

Proper orientation is a key to retention in contingent staffing and you need to ensure that you work with your staffing partner on orientation. Improper orientation always leads to misunderstandings. In the staffing industry,  much of our turnover is based on misunderstanding. For example, if someone shows up on day one and doesn’t know where to go, doesn’t have a proper orientation, or took a break in the wrong space and is disciplined, then they are likely to not return the next day. By partnering with a trusted staffing firm, you get more than just warm bodies on the job. You get the correct candidate and the right match, which is critical to your company’s operating success.

George Thomas is senior vice president at EverStaff. Reach him at (216) 369-2599 or gthomas@everstaff.com.

Insights Recruiting & Staffing is brought to you by EverStaff

Published in Cleveland

Every company seeks top talent to help grow its business and succeed, but not every company knows how to find it.

Too often, businesses settle for job candidates who meet some of the criteria for a position because they tire of interviewing, or simply don’t know where to find more qualified candidates. But a specialized recruiting firm can help you find those candidates after you have carefully evaluated your needs for a position, says Danny Spitz, president of EverStaff.

“Companies often go into the recruitment process with high expectations when hiring new individuals, and working with a specialized recruiting firm can help you meet and fulfill those expectations instead of falling short,” says Spitz.

Smart Business spoke with Spitz about how to evaluate your company’s staffing needs and how a specialized recruiting firm can help find individuals to meet your expectations.

How can a company begin to identify its staffing needs?

Start by evaluating your current staff to identify strengths and weaknesses within each department or within individual positions. Develop a current job description and evaluate it to make sure that is what is actually being done on a day-to-day basis. Update those descriptions annually, because in this economy, companies must be flexible and job responsibilities change to meet requirements. This process will allow you to make sure you are maximizing the position for your company’s requirements.

Once you’ve done evaluations, a specialized recruiting firm can do a full analysis of the department, or the individual positions, to understand how the recruitment process can enhance performance by identifying the right talent.

Should a company evaluate only open positions?

No. Meeting a company’s high expectations doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a current job opening. The best time to start looking for talent and raise expectations is actually when you have someone currently in the position but know you could hire someone with better talent that will enhance the company’s performance.

A lot of times, companies have someone they like, who is a good worker, but that person is not able to keep up with the growth of the company or take on additional responsibilities because he or she has hit the ceiling. Every year, a company should analyze every position and every function within that responsibility to make sure that the person is meeting or exceeding standards. And if he or she is not meeting or exceeding standards, that’s an opportunity to evaluate whether there is someone in the market that you can bring in to enhance that position.

This applies to upper management, as well. It is critical that you have the right managers in place, because if your management team is not exceeding expectations, it’s very likely that their teams are not meeting expectations, either.

Companies should continually try to upgrade positions if they believe there is better talent out there. Sometimes that means moving the person currently in that position to one more suited to his or her skill set, and sometimes it means letting that person go. Those are critical decisions that every company is faced with to make sure it has the right people to take it to the next level. Every company should be looking for those people who are constantly going to add value and help you get to the next level.

What would you say to a business leader who is reluctant to let someone go or move someone to another position?

It’s tough to recognize that the company has outgrown the skill set of someone you like. It’s difficult because you’re not evaluating someone on a personal level as much as if his or her talents are a good fit for the company. If the company is hesitating to make that transition, it is suffering as a result.

The management team needs to look at where the company needs to be in the next year, or next five years, and come up with a plan that will ensure it has the right staff in place to allow it to continue to hit those levels of success.

How can a specialized recruiting firm help identify the right people for a company’s needs?

While a company should do the evaluation process on its own, when looking to make improvements, partnering with a specialized recruiting firm is critical.

The recruiting firm will analyze a company’s expectations and determine if they are reasonable and, if so, how it can meet those expectations. The recruiting team will do customized searches based on where it thinks the company’s weaknesses are, where the position stands in terms of weaknesses and where improvement needs to be, and focus on identifying individuals who have the strengths to offset the weaknesses the company is facing.

It’s a very in-depth process, as the specialized recruiting firm not only takes individuals through the interview process but tests their skills, evaluates computer and personal skills, identifies where their strengths are and matches those to the company’s weaknesses. That’s what needs to happen to meet the company’s high expectations, because it’s looking for improvement out of that position.

The specialized recruiting firm will then narrow the pool of candidates based on the specific criteria developed between it and the company. It’s a very time-consuming process, but taking the time to recruit and attract the best talent will allow a company to save money by having the right individual in place or make more money by having better talent.

Danny Spitz is president of EverStaff. Reach him at (216) 674-0788 or danny@everstaff.com.

Published in Cleveland

Every company seeks top talent to help grow its business and succeed, but not every company knows how to find it.

Too often, businesses settle for job candidates who meet some of the criteria for a position because they tire of interviewing, or simply don’t know where to find more qualified candidates. But a specialized recruiting firm can help you find those candidates after you have carefully evaluated your needs for a position, says Danny Spitz, president of EverStaff.

“Companies often go into the recruitment process with high expectations when hiring new individuals, and working with a specialized recruiting firm can help you meet and fulfill those expectations instead of falling short,” says Spitz.

Smart Business spoke with Spitz about how to evaluate your company’s staffing needs and how a specialized recruiting firm can help find individuals to meet your expectations.

How can a company begin to identify its staffing needs?

Start by evaluating your current staff to identify strengths and weaknesses within each department or within individual positions. Develop a current job description and evaluate it to make sure that is what is actually being done on a day-to-day basis. Update those descriptions annually, because in this economy, companies must be flexible and job responsibilities change to meet requirements. This process will allow you to make sure you are maximizing the position for your company’s requirements.

Once you’ve done evaluations, a specialized recruiting firm can do a full analysis of the department, or the individual positions, to understand how the recruitment process can enhance performance by identifying the right talent.

Should a company evaluate only open positions?

No. Meeting a company’s high expectations doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a current job opening. The best time to start looking for talent and raise expectations is actually when you have someone currently in the position but know you could hire someone with better talent that will enhance the company’s performance.

A lot of times, companies have someone they like, who is a good worker, but that person is not able to keep up with the growth of the company or take on additional responsibilities because he or she has hit the ceiling. Every year, a company should analyze every position and every function within that responsibility to make sure that the person is meeting or exceeding standards. And if he or she is not meeting or exceeding standards, that’s an opportunity to evaluate whether there is someone in the market that you can bring in to enhance that position.

This applies to upper management, as well. It is critical that you have the right managers in place, because if your management team is not exceeding expectations, it’s very likely that their teams are not meeting expectations, either.

Companies should continually try to upgrade positions if they believe there is better talent out there. Sometimes that means moving the person currently in that position to one more suited to his or her skill set, and sometimes it means letting that person go. Those are critical decisions that every company is faced with to make sure it has the right people to take it to the next level. Every company should be looking for those people who are constantly going to add value and help you get to the next level.

What would you say to a business leader who is reluctant to let someone go or move someone to another position?

It’s tough to recognize that the company has outgrown the skill set of someone you like. It’s difficult because you’re not evaluating someone on a personal level as much as if his or her talents are a good fit for the company. If the company is hesitating to make that transition, it is suffering as a result.

The management team needs to look at where the company needs to be in the next year, or next five years, and come up with a plan that will ensure it has the right staff in place to allow it to continue to hit those levels of success.

How can a specialized recruiting firm help identify the right people for a company’s needs?

While a company should do the evaluation process on its own, when looking to make improvements, partnering with a specialized recruiting firm is critical.

The recruiting firm will analyze a company’s expectations and determine if they are reasonable and, if so, how it can meet those expectations. The recruiting team will do customized searches based on where it thinks the company’s weaknesses are, where the position stands in terms of weaknesses and where improvement needs to be, and focus on identifying individuals who have the strengths to offset the weaknesses the company is facing.

It’s a very in-depth process, as the specialized recruiting firm not only takes individuals through the interview process but tests their skills, evaluates computer and personal skills, identifies where their strengths are and matches those to the company’s weaknesses. That’s what needs to happen to meet the company’s high expectations, because it’s looking for improvement out of that position.

The specialized recruiting firm will then narrow the pool of candidates based on the specific criteria developed between it and the company. It’s a very time-consuming process, but taking the time to recruit and attract the best talent will allow a company to save money by having the right individual in place or make more money by having better talent.

Danny Spitz is president of EverStaff. Reach him at (216) 674-0788 or danny@everstaff.com.

Published in Cleveland

As the economy slowly begins to improve, many companies are seeing their business doing the same. However, they may be reluctant to hire additional workers to handle the workload, fearing that it may drop off again and they will be stuck with employees they don’t need, says Danny Spitz, founder and president of EverStaff.

“The solution is temporary staffing,” says Spitz. “Businesses are more comfortable bringing on staff on a temporary basis until they make sure that the workload is going to continue. Although they are cautiously optimistic, they are skittish about hiring permanent workers. First, they want to see the skill sets and want to know that the work is going to last. So they continue to favor temporary staffing.”

Smart Business spoke with Spitz about how a recruiting and staffing firm can supply the right temporary workers to help you control your work force on an as-needed basis.

How can temporary staffing help a company control its work force?

It allows a company to staff for peak needs, with the flexibility of letting those people go when they no longer need them. When some companies have an increase in workflow, they are afraid to hire. So they ask their existing employees to do extra work and sometimes work overtime.

Partnering with a staffing agency to bring in temporary workers can help avoid burnout among your employees, improving their overall productivity and allowing them to continue to focus on their main job tasks. When companies are looking to cut costs, often the first place they look is payroll. And when a company downsizes, it will ask its staff to go into overdrive and handle responsibilities that they are not used to handling. Temporary staffing can help keep your current employees happy and allows you to bring in specialized talent for certain tasks, which, in the end, results in better service and better products for your clients or customers.

Temporary staffing can also help you control your work force because if the workload does continue, you have already trained that individual and you have the option of hiring him or her as a full-time employee. This arrangement allows you to try before you buy, evaluating whether they will fit in the corporate culture and with other employees, see what their work habits are and identify any weaknesses that might not be evident in the interview process before you hire them full time. It allows you to give someone the opportunity to work for your company but say that that person has to earn the right to be a full-time employee.

How can temporary staffing help cut costs?

Because the recruiting and staffing firm — not your company — is the physical employer of the temporary staffing people, you don’t have to worry about them filing for unemployment when they are no longer needed. This can reduce the overall operating costs for a business because it does not affect what the employer pays for unemployment insurance.

It can also keep costs in check because the business is not responsible for paying for benefits. In addition, the staffing firm handles all employer-employee responsibilities, such as workers’ compensation, and the employer doesn’t have to provide sick time and vacation time or contribute to a 401(k) plan.

Temporary workers can also cut costs by stepping in to handle overflow work instead of the company paying overtime to your existing workers.

How can a staffing firm help a company with the interview process?

With unemployment at an all-time high, the number of applicants for an open position is also at an all-time high. If you have one position and 300 people apply, where do you start? How much time and energy are you willing to put into that? An HR person could spend days going through hundreds of unqualified resumes just to identify a handful of appropriate applicants to prescreen for an interview.

A specialized staffing firm like EverStaff will take on that role and mirror the company’s procedures as an extension of the HR department and management team. The firm conducts a thorough screening and very specific skill testing to find a candidate with the right skill set, as well as a candidate who truly wants to work. The firm will mirror exactly how a company does its internal hiring. If it’s two interviews, a background check, drug testing and skill evaluation, the staffing firm will do the same things, so someone who comes in on a temporary basis and then is hired full time has been through the same process as everyone else.

What would you say to an executive who says his or her company doesn’t have a need for temporary workers?

If you don’t have a need now, that is the perfect time to meet with a staffing and recruiting firm. The last thing you want to do is to try to determine the right partner to meet your needs when your need for help is now. Take a proactive approach and take the time to develop a relationship with a staffing firm to identify potential needs.

That way, when someone resigns with little or no notice, or if something in your business changes, the staffing firm already has someone in the pipeline to step in when needed without affecting your productivity.

Danny Spitz is founder and president of EverStaff. Reach him at (216) 674-0788 or danny@everstaff.com.

Published in Cleveland