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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Employers Foresee a More Flexible Work Force

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the temporary help services industry added nearly half a million workers and accounted for 91% of total nonfarm job growth from June 2009 through June 2011. 

Additionally, over one-third of companies surveyed expect to increase their use of temporary or contract workers over the next five years to sustain a more flexible labor force.

The current staffing levels are substantial as related to employment, workforce flexibility and training, and ultimately, to meeting annual business objectives.


Staffing companies match millions of people to millions of jobs.
  • 2.80 million people are employed by staffing companies every business day.
  • 12.9 million temporary and contract employees are hired by U.S. staffing firms over the course of a year.
  • 79% of staffing employees work full time, virtually the same as the rest of the work force.


The staffing industry offers flexibility to both employees and companies. People can choose when, where, and how they want to work. Companies can get the skills they need to keep fully staffed during busy times.
  • 66% of staffing employees say flexible work time is important to them.
  • 64% of staffing employees report that their work gives them the scheduling flexibility and the time for family that they desire.
  • 90% of client businesses say staffing companies give them flexibility to keep fully staffed during busy times.


Temporary and contract work provides a bridge to permanent employment. People can try out a prospective employer and showcase their skills for a permanent job.
  • 88% of staffing employees say that temporary or contract work made them more employable.
  • 77% of staffing employees say it’s a good way to obtain a permanent job.
  • 80% of staffing clients say staffing firms offer a good way to find people who can become permanent employees.


Many people choose temporary and contract work as an employment option. They can select their work schedules and choose among a variety of diverse and challenging assignments.
  • 67% of staffing employees say choice of assignments was an important factor in their job decision.
  • 23% of staffing employees have little or no interest in a permanent job—they prefer the alternative arrangement over traditional employment.
  • 33% of staffing employees say they work for a staffing company because they like the diversity and challenge of different jobs.


The staffing industry provides free training for millions of temporary and contract employees to help meet today's demand for skilled workers.
  • 90% of staffing companies provide free training to their temporary and contract employees.
  • 65% of staffing employees say they developed new or improved work skills through their assignments.
  • 40% of staffing employees say they choose temporary or contract work as a way to obtain employment experience or job training.
Staffing Statistics Source: American Staffing Association

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How Much Are You REALLY Paying Your Employees?

My children have always attended a parochial school. Like many schools, ours has been faced with increased operating costs and declining enrollment. Even though it’s an educational institution, I would argue that it’s still a business. And many businesses are faced with similar challenges: providing quality products or services in the face of escalating operating costs and flat or declining revenue.

This year, the school decided to disclose the contribution that the church congregation provides for every student. It was a smart – and long overdue – vehicle for communicating their financial investment in the students.

I’m the first to admit that I was surprised by the numbers. I knew the church funded a significant portion of the costs. But I didn’t know exactly how much, or how their contribution compared to my (increasing) tuition payments. It added perspective to my perception of the value of the education.

A Total Rewards Statement serves a similar purpose. A survey conducted by Harris Interactive and Charlton Consulting Group reported a correlation between employees’ understanding of and satisfaction with their total compensation.

We define total compensation to include all elements of the pay package provided to employees on an annual basis, including all forms of cash, benefits, services and in-kind payments.

Conceptually, employees understand that their employers contribute more than just base pay and cash incentives. I’m betting they don’t understand how much.

Some simple math (and a personalized, spiffy looking chart) reveals the surprising truth. It’s not unlike my monthly Visa statement, where seemingly insignificant charges for gasoline and the occasional trip to Panera (I can’t resist the soup) can add up to well… a lot!

There’s no singular best approach to producing Total Rewards Statements. But producing them is one of the best approaches you can take to communicate the full value of cash compensation and benefits.

Try out our sample Total Rewards Statement.

Authored by Sandy Turba

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Workforce Planning 2012

Combine a stronger Labor Market with a large percentage of workers planning to seek new jobs in 2012, and you risk the potential for large gaps in your workforce and increased hiring activity.

In workforce planning, an organization conducts a systematic assessment of workforce content and composition issues and determines what actions must be taken to respond to future needs. The actions to be taken may depend on external factors (e.g. skill availability) as well as internal factors (e.g. age of the workforce). These factors may determine whether future skill needs will be met by recruiting, by training, or by outsourcing the work.

Workforce planning involves working through four issues:

  • The composition and content of the workforce that will be required to strategically position the organization to deal with its possible futures and business objectives.

  • The gaps that exist between the future "model" organization(s) and the existing organization, including any special skills required by possible futures.

  • The recruiting and training plans for permanent and contingent staff that must be put in place to deal with those gaps.

  • The determination of the outside sources that will be able to meet the skill needs for functions or processes that are to be outsourced.
Finding Outside Sources to Meet Outsourcing Needs

In business/HR alignment and planning, processes and functions are found that might need to be outsourced to accommodate strategic positioning scenarios. As a result of the more detailed staffing assessment and a review of critical skills availability, additional outsourcing needs may surface.

A skill that is critical, in short supply, and needed only periodically is a prime target for outsourcing. If such needs can be handled through contingent staff, for example, by using retirees, the organization will, of course, be ahead. However, many high demand, low supply, leading edge skill needs may have to be met through outsourcing to specialized contractors.

Whatever the reason for outsourcing, a key HR issue is helping to select the outside sources that can supply the needed numbers of people and skills, and their track record with other organizations. Since there are financial and other considerations, selection of outside sources should be a team process. Contact THRD:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Five Suggestions for a Successful Year

I like to start each day with a clean slate. I got this practice from a former boss who believed coming into the office each morning with a clean desk set the stage to begin the day with enthusiasm and a fresh look. I definitely feel that way about the new year. It’s a new opportunity to review methodologies, objectives, processes, mission, human resource practices, why we keep the extra toner by the kitchen instead of next to the printer. So to start the year off right here are five suggestions for a successful year:

  1. Plan what is needed to execute new ideas or fix current processes. Without an overarching roadmap for what you want to accomplish, nothing else can get done.

  2. Evaluate your team for skills or needed training. Determine what capabilities your staff will need to develop in order maximize your chances of reaching your goals. Now is the time to research options such as additional training or outside assistance to fill those gaps.

  3. Clearly explain to your team what is expected of them. Many departments are still smaller than in past years. Make sure each person understands his or her new roles and responsibilities to reduce the risk of falling through the cracks.

  4. Establish a mechanism to provide an early warning for failure. Sometimes it really is best to quit while ahead.

  5. Determine the consequences of failure. Are the consequences big enough for everyone to want to do their best but small enough that employees won’t leave the team rather than fail? If you want your team to follow you through fire, they need to know they won’t get burned…too badly.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get to work!

Authored by Jeanine Maddox

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Social Security Administrations Provides Assistance to HR Professionals

Do you want to help your employees understand their options as they transition to retirement or other life events? If so, the Social Security Administration has a webpage just for you! Go to This site provides information to human resource professionals regarding the various Social Security programs and Medicare. Direct your employees to the site too. There are benefits calculators, retirement planning videos, and a link to find the nearest Social Security office for face-to-face interaction.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

NLRB Postpones Posting of Notice of Employee Rights

The National Labor Relations Board has postponed the implementation date for its new notice-posting rule by more than two months in order to allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses.

The new effective date of the rule is January 31, 2012.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Challenges to NLRA Employee Rights Posting

Several organizations allege the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) exceeded its statutory authority by requiring, beginning on November 14, 2011, most private sector employers to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The following organizations have filed suit in various federal courts against the NLRB to prevent the posting:

  • National Association of Manufacturers

  • National Federation of Independent Businesses

  • National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce

  • South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

In addition, Representative Benjamin E. Quayle (Arizona) introduced the Employee Workplace Freedom Act (H.R. 2833) to repeal the notice-posting rule. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

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