Archives For Temp Workers

Last week, Alicia explained what questions interviewers should avoid. This week Eric explores the answers candidates shouldn’t give!

bizarre candidates

We’ve all been there. You think you’re prepared, but you’re nervous. Then the interviewer asks you THAT question – and your mind goes blank. Or you’re so excited to get the interview that you immediately focus on what the company can give YOU, rather than what you can bring to the company. Or you’re flustered because so far it’s been a bad day. For whatever reason – you make one of these interview faux pas that can take you out of the running for the position. Keep these tips in mind when you’re in the hot seat so you shine.

Q: “What are your biggest weaknesses?”

A: Some variation of “I work too hard” or “I don’t know when to stop working.” Nobody’s perfect. Interviewers are looking for people who genuinely know their weaknesses and make efforts to learn from them. Turning a strength into a weakness shows the interviewer that you don’t focus on personal growth.

Q: “What do you know about our company?”

A: “Not a lot” or “I didn’t know you made that. I love that product!”
Do some research before the interview. With pretty much any information you need only a few mouse clicks away, not knowing anything about the company you’re interviewing for is inexcusable. Do your homework! Use Google, LinkedIn, and employee reviews on Indeed. Even if your mind goes blank, have a few things written down that you can refer to if needed.

Q: “What salary do you expect?”

A: “I don’t know.” Or “What do you suggest?”
Once again, do some research. www.payscale.com and other salary sites are available to see what the average salary for your position is. Interviewers are looking to see if you know what you’re worth and if it aligns with their company.

Q: “What was your manager’s biggest weakness?”

A: “He/She was a horrible boss!”
Be careful about badmouthing former employers and colleagues. You never know what ties they will have to the companies you’re interviewing for now. Have a plan about what you are going to say about your current (or most recent) job and manager, and why you are looking for a new position.

Q: “Do you have any questions for me?”

A: “No, I think we’re good.” Or some variation of that answer.
Always have some parting questions – either to firm up next steps in the process or to generally find out more about the company culture, the job, the customers, and the team. Find out how you can fit in, and if this is a place you really want to work. Remember if you get the interviewer talking, it will take some of the pressure off of you.

In general – be prepared to give real answers to questions and avoid the “I don’t knows” as much as possible.

And don’t worry – you’ll nail it!

casual employee at deskThe future of work is changing. Temporary, part time and contract workers are taking the place of salaried workers in a marketplace inundated with the unemployed and newly graduated. However, this change to the structure of the workplace doesn’t necessarily have to be negative.

In the analysis of this change, Thomas W. Malone, Director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, explains:

“I think we are in the early stages of an increase in human freedom in business that may, in the long run, be as important a change for business as the change to democracy was for governments… [That] means we can have the economic benefits of large-scale enterprises, such as efficiency and scale, and at the same time have the human benefits of small scale, such as motivation, creativity and flexibility.”

Temporary workers and telecommuters can be smart hires for your business. Here’s why:

A changing workforce

Using temporary or contract workers can benefit businesses that are affected by the current slow-growth economy. They may not have enough resources to hire a full-time employee, but still need someone to handle certain tasks. These tasks can be fulfilled by workers who telecommute, work online, or come in to the office.

  • 45% of the US workforce currently holds a job that could easily transition to telecommuting. Telecommuting saves employees time, gas, and effort and can save employers the cost of office furniture and work space.
  • Job seekers are aware of the benefits of telecommuniting and are looking for the option to when job searching. If your job offers telecommuting, be clear about the nature of it in the job ad.

Changing labor needs

Hiring temporary workers can also help your business with a variety of labor needs.

  • They can cover regular employee absences due to illness, leave, or sudden departure. They can also fill unexpected or temporary demands of your business that require you to find extra help for a short time.
  • Temporary workers can be a great cost-effective hiring solution as your business is also not responsible for paying additional employee benefits – sick days, jury duty, vacation time, unemployment insurance and workers comp – that raise the actual cost of W-2 employees. Though their hourly rate may be higher, it can save you a lot of cash in certain circumstances.

According to Joe Broschak, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, temporary workers can display better job performance and productivity that meets or surpasses their full-time counterparts; and may continue displaying these qualities when they transition to full-time work.

Consider hiring telecommuters, part-timers, or temporary workers to complete special projects or fulfill an unexpected need within your small business.

Megan Webb-Morgan is a web content writer for Resource Nation. She writes about small business, focusing on topics such as call center software and small business loans. Find us on Facebook, too!

By Eddie Cantave & Alicia Hall

temp worker

Despite the changes that the professional world has undergone in the last 60 years, the temp industry is alive and thriving.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional and administrative services displayed the largest employment gains in July this year, creating more than 49,000 jobs, and of those jobs, almost a third (14,000) were temporary help positions.[i] The BLS also found that “temporary help services have recovered 98 percent of the jobs lost during the most recent downturn.”[ii]So why are so many companies turning to temp workers?  How do you know if bringing on a temp is right for you? We put together a short list to help you gauge whether working with a temp agency should be your company’s next move:

1. Your revenue stream is either cyclical or seasonal.

Many businesses work in cycles; they have times during the year when work slows, only to pick up later on. For these companies, it’s not always financially feasible to keep full-time employees during the downturns, but they also can’t stay understaffed when that surge hits. Temps allow companies the flexibility to meet the dynamic needs of their business cycle — bringing in extra hands when the need arises and letting them go when that need disappears. Since the temps are still employed by the agency, the separation process is as simple as a phone call to the agency alerting them that the project has ended and you no longer require your temps.

2. You need a new employee but want to “try before you buy.”

One truth about the workplace is that you never know how the person you just hired will do in their new position. All that the interviews, testing, and background checks do is stack the deck in your favor that you’ve hired the right person for the job. The only way to know for certain how someone is going to do is by actually seeing them work. By starting with a temp, you’ve given yourself the chance to evaluate a new worker to see if they fit into the role as expected. You can continue to “test drive” the temp for as long as it takes to convince you that the person is able to handle the responsibilities that you’ve given them. If, for whatever reason, the potential new employee doesn’t measure up, once again it’s a painless separation process that the agency handles for you.

3. You have a sudden surge in new business and don’t have the time to hire.

If your company is experiencing a sudden boom in business, you may need to bring in additional people just as quickly to handle the extra work. Even if you have a dedicated hiring manager, the process of bringing on new people takes a lot of time and energy – either of which may be in short supply. Unless that expansion is going to be a gradual and deliberate process, bringing on more hiring staff is not the immediate solution you need.  By working with a temp agency you have that immediate solution you’re looking for.  You have the ability to use multiple temps to fill as many positions as needed. If you know exactly what type of employee and skill sets you’re looking for, a good temp agency will find, screen, and send you qualified candidates to step into the roles you’re looking to fill.

Regardless of the economy, temp agencies will continue to offer a cost-effective solution to filling the labor needs of the business community, sparing them the time, money, and energy expense of the recruitment process.  They also give companies the flexibility to bring on additional workers when needed, and the freedom to separate from those workers when the need disappears.  In the end, working with a temp agency can be a boost to your bottom line as well as a time-saver, freeing you up to deal with other pressing needs.

 

NewHire is a recruiting software & services company, but we also provide temp workers to businesses around the Chicago area through NewOffice. Our temps are pre-screened and pre-qualified and we provide temp workers to fit a variety of business labor needs. Contact us for a quote.

 

There’s a feeling afoot that the economy is improving. We’re certainly seeing evidence in the hiring activity of our clients. No one will be sorry to put the events of 2009 and 2010 in the rear-view mirror. New statistics on what cost-of-living by state.

But, as we start to hire again it’s important for us to make sure that all of our jobs provide a living wage. It’s not just a moral imperative; it’s good business. Here’s a link to an interesting new study that gives details on just what constitutes a living wage today. I’d love to hear your feedback.

When we create jobs that a real person can do in a reasonable workday for a decent amount of money, we create stability within our companies. When our companies retain stable employees our clients are happy. This causes clients to do more business with us and refer us to their friends and colleagues.

Way back when in the history of our temp agency we had a contract with a large Chicago bank which had a contract with the IRS. The bank provided tax form processing to the IRS for 941 quarterly taxes. To fulfill the contract the bank hired temps who would work 60 hour weeks for 3 weeks around the quarterly tax deadlines. The IRS, and therefore, the bank were insistent that the same temps work once a quarter for 3 weeks making about $8 to $10 per hour.

We didn’t last long providing temps to this project because we always hated the fact the client wasn’t providing a means for the employees to earn a living wage. In fact the IRS expected that these temps would use government resources like Unemployment, Food Stamps, TANF and Welfare to make up for the periods when they weren’t needed to process taxes.

So, where possible, it’s incumbent on us to do our best as employers to create jobs that provide a living wage. Your thoughts?