Blog

  • Temp help wanted: Employers’ demands for temp staffing are growing

    Temp staffing is on the rise, not just here in southcentral Pennsylvania but across the commonwealth. Last year in Pennsylvania, an average of 120,000 temporary employees worked each week, according to the American Staffing Association—a 5 percent increase from the year before. A total of more than 582,000 people filled temp jobs during 2017, an increase of 12.6 percent.

    A substantial temp workforce is picking up the labor slack resulting from a shortage of skilled employees during this period of historically low unemployment. Businesses find that temp workers not only get them out of a jam but also have other advantages. Hiring temps can reduce their labor costs, unemployment claims, and time spent on recruiting.

    There’s good news for temps, too. For many, the flexibility of briefer assignments matches their lifestyles and personal schedules. In addition, the chance to learn new skills increases their professional marketability. Some are even offered full-time positions with their temporary employer.

    The hottest job opportunities for today’s temp staffers

    In our service region, we’re definitely seeing a need for temps in some fields more than in others. Positions most in demand are in customer service and call centers, as well as in accounting support (mainly billing and accounts payable). ... Read More

  • Managing low performers: Confront, communicate, coach. Then commend or can them

    One of the most challenging tasks facing managers is how best to handle low-performing employees. Questions abound: Can they make an acceptable turnaround? What help should we give them? How many strikes until they’re out? How long until we cut them loose?

    If they show a sign of promise, you might want to give them a chance to redeem themselves, particularly now when good employees are hard to find and recruit. Try coaching low performers and developing action plans for them. But know how and when to terminate them properly.

    “While it’s never easy confronting individuals about poor performance, tolerating it is a failure of leadership,” says John Baldoni, executive coach and leadership educator.

    Use a mixture of sensitivity and firmness when approaching low-performing employees. Don’t express anger toward them, and never disparage them in front of fellow employees. While no process is the only right way, here are eight effective steps to address subpar performance with employees from our HR consulting firm:

    1. Address the situation as soon as you recognize a problem. Don’t procrastinate or wait for a performance review while the problem continues.
    2. Find the cause and be objective. (Employees’ lack of skills, training, or motivation? Personal problems? Unclear expectations? Poor two-way communications?)
    3. Begin ... Read More
  • Looking for experience when recruiting employees? Consider older workers

    With the low unemployment rate coinciding with many older adults working longer, it would be wise to be more open to the skills of well-experienced workers when recruiting employees.

    The unemployment rate in southcentral Pennsylvania ranges from 3.7 to 4.2 percent, and businesses remain challenged by the difficulty of finding skilled workers. At the same time, employees age 55 and up have been the fastest-growing segment of the American labor force for more than 20 years. The U.S. Department of Labor expects this trend to continue through 2026.

    A 2016 Gallup poll showed that one in every three employed adults intends to work until age 68 or older. But despite the tight labor market, many of them have been downsized from their jobs and have had difficulty finding a new one.

    Include qualified older workers in your plans for recruiting employees

    About 60 percent of older workers who lose their jobs retire involuntarily because they can’t find new ones, according to a report from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. So, why don’t they want to retire early? Of course, some older persons need to work for financial reasons, but not all. Some prefer to keep working because they are healthy and ... Read More

  • Less stress is best: our seven HR consulting tips to de-stress your workplace

    While a certain degree of stress in the workplace can be expected, too much of it isn’t healthy for employees. Furthermore, it can hinder a company’s productivity by increasing turnover and absenteeism.

    According to a survey on anxiety and stress by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, seven in 10 adults who experience work-related stress say it affects their personal relationships, mainly with spouses.

    The survey’s results show the main sources of workplace stress are deadlines, 55 percent; interpersonal relationships, 53 percent; staff management, 50 percent; and dealing with problems, 49 percent.

    But, most workers aren’t comfortable talking with their employer about their stress. Fewer than 40 percent of employees who said stress interfered with their work spoke with their employer about it.

    That’s unfortunate because managers can play an important role in creating less stressful work environments and helping employees address and manage stress.

    Here are seven ways to de-stress your work environment

    1. Allow flexible work schedules, if possible. This can reduce stress related to commuting, child care concerns, and overall work-life balance.
    2. Communicate openly with employees. Keep them informed of departmental and company changes. Ask for their feedback and be available to talk anytime.
    3. Speak positively and give sincere compliments of work done well. Recognize ... Read More
  • When should you hire a recruiting agency? Take our five-question quiz to find out

    Company hiring managers may be uncertain as to whether to engage a recruiting agency or handle the challenge of recruiting themselves. But with most professionals currently employed and reasonably satisfied, finding candidates for key positions is proving more difficult than ever.

    As 2018 began, 86 percent of highly qualified candidates for job vacancies were employed and not actively seeking new jobs, according to a survey by Talentnow, a recruitment software company. On the management side, 73 percent were struggling to find suitable candidates. As we near the end of the year, the situation remains much the same.

    If you need to find the best candidates for a key position, don’t procrastinate. Your search could take even longer than it would have a year or two ago.

    Take the quiz—then learn what recruiting agencies can do for you

    Below for your consideration are five questions to help you decide whether to embark on recruitment independently or contact a professional recruiting agency.

    The more “yes” answers you have, the greater the urgency for you to contact a job recruiter.

    1. Is this position particularly vital—one that has an effect on company performance and profits?
    2. Are you consumed with other responsibilities, giving you little time to devote to a search?
    3. Do you ... Read More