A local company contacted two of the staffing firms it regularly works with, inquiring about obtaining resumes for experienced word processors. A temporary replacement would be needed to cover the desk for a worker who would be going out for hip replacement surgery, and would be away for at least nine weeks or more. The employee’s work was specialized, and there was a long list of specific programs the replacement would need to know. The firms were only too eager to go into hiring mode and field some prospects, but they were faced with a challenge: time. Whereas the firms were accustomed to handling their own business in a timely manner–for example, ensuring their employment agency insurance renewals were always attended to with plenty of advance time–they could not do the same for the new hire because they weren’t driving the request. The result: by the time each firm found suitable candidates and the hiring process was complete, nearly half of the short-term assignment was over, which meant the firm that placed the temp found its potential earnings reduced by half.
Calendar creep and how to avoid it
The challenge lay in the employer’s lengthy requirements due to the sensitive, proprietary information handled in the course of daily operations. This required workers to travel to a particular facility where a drug test would be administered. Presuming the worker passed the test, the worker’s background would be screened by a third-party company. The Procurement department told the staffing firms that it could take two weeks or more to go through all the screens and background check, depending on the complexity of the applicant’s background (e.g., how many times she had moved, how many jobs she had, etc.)–time that the manager who needed the temp employee simply didn’t have, but there was no getting around the staunch requirements.
The firms learned a valuable lesson, though–they started a communication plan to touch base with their top clients on a advance, scheduled basis, particularly before long holidays, school breaks, and other times when workers are often out of the office, to inquire about upcoming absences. Of course, there’s no way to plan ahead for sudden injury or illness that results in a worker being off for a period of time. However, other absences are often planned for, well in advance. The companies’ repeated contacts netted good results–they learned several weeks out of upcoming plans that enabled them to find, interview, and do the testing and screening on applicants in plenty of time, so much so that they even had time to bring in the workers a couple of days ahead of schedule to get trained by the people whom they would be filling in for.
Contact your top clients frequently to assess upcoming staffing needs that they may not yet have realized should be in the pipeline for action. Contact your professional insurance agent for a comprehensive mix of coverages comprising a first-rate employment agency insurance package. Your agent will assess your risks and analyze your operations to tell you what requires action on your part. Talk to an agent today to learn more.