The Overlooked Values of Working With a Staffing Service
Partnering with a staffing service can be defined as an agreement between a business and a staffing service where both parties profit from the relationship. Exactly what is that relationship? And how does each benefit? The answers to these questions are as varied as the types of problems businesses have. Consistent elements, however, are that both parties respect and trust each other, and by working closely, they find solutions where otherwise none might have been found. Partnering is more than just a good position fill, quality service or being responsive to business needs. Successful partnering brings long range strategic value to each organization, helping to increase productivity, control expenses and improve profitability.
Partnering is occurring for strategic purposes in countless businesses today. To illustrate the point, here are three case studies of how businesses are profiting by partnering with a staffing company.
Case Study #1
Industry: Manufacturer of cast aluminum products
Challenge: The client needed a variety of skilled workers for positions such as assembly, shipping, production lead, CNC machinist and CNC programmer. They traditionally used the temp-to-hire process but over the past year had been unable to find applicants with sufficient skills and experience.
Objectives: Find highly skilled employees to help reduce turnover.
Partnership: The staffing firm suggested that the manufacturer consider direct hire. The firm acknowledged that there are advantages to temp-to-hire, particularly the ability to "try the person out" before committing to hire, and the ability to avoid paying a direct hire fee. However, the disadvantage they have been experiencing is that temp-to-hire gives them access only to the unemployed. That group of workers is less than 10% of the available workforce. Direct hire opens up the pool of potential candidates to all those currently working, which is a much more substantial number of people.
The staffing firm also pointed out that their direct hire guarantee allowed them to "try the person out" and the fees compared well to the cost of cumulative temp bill rates.
Results: The manufacturer is now able to hire people for jobs that have been open for a year. In one case, a machinist who was working for $14.00/hour at another company was looking to find a job with pay more equal to his experience level. He was attracted to their position, which paid $18.00. He would not have considered the position had it been temp-to-hire.
Case Study #2
Industry: Healthcare, fully accredited network of HMOs
Challenge: In an industry that is being driven by cost control, a regional HMO in Orange County, California was experiencing growing labor costs and difficulties in finding and keeping temporary employees.
Objectives: Retention of a flexible workforce due to an internal headcount restriction and cost control.
Partnership: The HMO and a staffing service teamed to provide an innovative solution where after six months the contingent staff would transition to the staffing service employ. The employee would receive a comprehensive benefit package where costs would be shared between the staffing service and the HMO. Also, a cost reduction plan was implemented based on length of service of each employee. A partial list of the benefits are: holiday and vacation pay that mirrors that of the HMO's regular employees, health insurance, a 401k plan, direct payroll deposit, annual merit review, credit union and child care discount.
Results: This program began with seven employees, and now has over 40 employees participating. This comprehensive program has resulted in higher self-esteem of the contingent workers, higher productivity, lower turnover, reduced training expenses and increased employee referrals. In addition, the HMO has lowered its labor expenses and enjoyed increased profits.
Case Study #3
Industry: Public school district: substitute service, custodial, clerical and warehouse departments
Challenge: All substitute employees must meet the same employment requirements as current district employees. A strong union must agree to the staffing arrangement as part of its collective bargaining agreement. Finally, employees must be integrated into the system quickly and efficiently.
Objectives: Reduce payroll expenses, maintain high standard of employment and centralize scheduling and dispatching of staff while meeting the union's approval.
Partnership: A staffing service accepted the challenge and developed an innovative program. The staffing service agreed to accept current substitute employees onto their payroll. They also recruited new employees that met the district's standards (reading, background checks, etc.), and they centralized notification and dispatching of substitute employees to the appropriate work location.
Results: Working closely with the school district, the staffing service implemented a program that is proving to be a winning program for the district, its supervisors and the substitute employees. Due to the efficiencies gained from centralized staffing, the average hours worked per substitute increased over 200% from 15 hours to near 40 hours per week. This made the substitute employees happier and reduced turnover. Subsequently, the district spent less time on non-productive activity. The supervisors spent less time on paperwork and more time managing the staff. Also, the payroll and accounting departments had less paperwork due to less turnover and more work from fewer substitute employees. The district accomplished its overall goals of reduced payroll expense (less overtime due to more efficient scheduling) and greater productivity from its employees. The staffing service secured a long term contract for the partnering program allowing better planning and recruiting.
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