Continuing with Flex-Team’s Employee of the Month program for February of 2017, we are pleased and excited to announce two winners for this month – both of whom did great work and were recognized by our clients.
First up, Jauron Daniels receives the award from the Canton office of Flex-Team. Jauron was nominated by one of our clients where he has been working due to his “great attitude and excellent attendance.”
Next up, Linda Foutty receives the award from our Akron office. Linda earned the title for this month due to her timeliness, flexibility and positive attitude.
Both these employees of Flex-Team have been presented with framed certificates highlighting their accomplishments, as well as an extra day of pay for their hard work. We appreciate their attitudes and the way they represent Flex-Team while on-the-job, and are proud of our employees for going above and beyond their basic duties to represent excellence while working – not always the easiest of tasks to accomplish at work!
In our salary-glorified society where high wages and the perks of working in salaried positions are the goals of most employees and especially of college graduates, the world of the hourly workforce and of temporary employees is practically a hidden or secret reality. Yet, the majority of employees in America still work for hourly wages, which may surprise many readers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in a report released in 2015 regarding 2014, “In 2014, 77.2 million workers age 16 and older in the United States were paid at hourly rates, representing 58.7 percent of all wage and salary workers.”
Echoing these findings from 2014, a new report from Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) shows that hourly workers have actually increased by a bit of a percentage, based on research conducted over the past three years. As the article states, “The American hourly workforce is a much larger and more powerful sector of the US economy than most people realize, according to research released today by LinkedIn and Job board Snagajob. The Workforce Trends Survey found there are currently 78 million hourly workers in the US comprising 59% of the entire US workforce … Hourly workers tend to be young with 71% under 30 years old (31% under age 20 and 40% in their 20s) … When looking at education levels, the report found 45% of hourly workers over 30 have some post-secondary education, with 15% having at least a bachelor’s degree.”
Two other interesting findings in the report show the ambition of hourly workers. “Hourly workers find the most job fulfillment and stay employed the longest — two-plus years — working in the telecom, grocery and restaurant sectors. Many hourly workers pursue higher education once they have begun hourly work. Of those who do, business is the most popular field of study, but healthcare, IT and engineering are the fastest growth areas of study.”
Flex-Team proudly employs hourly workers and provides them with valuable employment opportunities that often lead to full-time hirings down the road. Read the full coverage on the power and expanse of the hourly workforce from SIA here.
In other news, the industry that Flex-Team calls home – temporary staffing and temp-to-hire placements, is expecting good things from 2017 as our improving US economy improves a bit faster this year and more employees are called-for across the board. Citing another SIA article released just last week, “Recruiting firms are also bullish overall on their hiring plans for 2017. More than two-thirds of companies, 69%, anticipate hiring needs will increase and 67% expect an increase in billable hours. Close to half, 48%, said their temporary placements will rise … 2017 looks like a banner year for the staffing industry in comparison to last year, according to Bullhorn Inc.’s 2017 North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report: Above and Beyond Business as Usual … More than 75% of staffing and recruiting professionals surveyed at the very end of 2016 predicted they would meet or exceed their revenue goals: 42% expected to exceed them, 36% hoped to meet them, and 22% prepared for a shortfall. By comparison, staffing firms are widely optimistic in 2017; 80% expect some revenue growth and 17% expect revenue growth of more than 25%.”
“Such estimates and forecasts are good for everyone involved, not just temporary staffing agencies like Flex-Team,” explains Danielle Hayden, an employment specialist with Flex-Team for over 15 years. “If our business is doing well, that means our clients are doing well also or they would not need additional team players for their production needs. And our employees get placed at these very busy locations – providing them with income and often with a job offer after so many months. Everyone benefits from this arrangement – one of the reasons I still enjoy working in this industry!”
Read SIA’s report on workforce expectations in the temp industry right here. Feeling confident about the direction of YOUR company’s production needs this year? We would love to work with you to construct a proactive workforce management solution to keep your company growing. Contact us here, won’t you please?
It’s an age-old ‘flaw’ in management systems that is often solved through anonymous feedback – disgruntled employees and co-workers who have been rubbed the wrong way or offended by their supervisors then provide their honest opinions through employment surveys, and these results find their way to the “offending” management, who then attempt to do better by their staff based upon the feedback they have received. It’s usually a bit of a shock for the managers to learn about their leadership glitches in such a manner, and it’s normally a relief for the employees themselves since their anonymity protects them from the repercussions that can come from the wounded egos of their bosses. The same is often the case with workers themselves, who bristle at criticism even when it’s deserved.
“One reason we are able to deliver helpful feedback to our temp staff is that we are often looked at as middlemen more than supervisors, even though that’s not the case,” explains Sandi Adorni, a veteran of Flex-Team and the temp staffing industry in-general. “WE are actually the employer for our workers, but because we are relaying feedback from our employing customers, our employees tend to accept it a little better and improve accordingly. They’re not as threatened when we are not their direct critics. It’s just how human nature seems to work quite often.”
The issue of employee feedback in regards to supervisors and managers has been in the news recently due to findings from a new survey by recruiters Robert Half International. The survey, reported upon by Staffing Industry Analysts, cites feedback from employees that communication skills and diplomacy are the areas where most supervisors need improvement – an ironic turn of events considering those skills are the main ones which management are required to utilize with their workers anyways.
As the reporting goes, “Nearly one in three workers, 30%, reported communication and diplomacy are where their managers most need improvement, followed by greater technical expertise and leadership skills respectively. Workers were asked, ‘Which skill do you think your manager needs to improve most?’ Their responses:
‘At the managerial and executive levels, possessing technical skills is frequently less important than being a good leader and communicator,’ said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. ‘The greatest ideas go nowhere if a manager cannot express them effectively, gain consensus and build the work relationships necessary to execute them.‘”
Three helpful suggestions included in the article for managers who wish to do better with their employees offer hope for better rapport all around at the workplace: 360-degree anonymous feedback from those below, above and on-level position-wise with the supervisor; paying more attention to “role model” supervisors who you look up to on-the-job and learning their tactics, and practicing active listening – the art and discipline of actual listening without preparing your mental response while your conversant is still speaking. Together, these tactics can improve one’s diplomatic skills and communication power – always-valuable skills for those in supervisory positions. And welcomed by subordinates!
Since temporary work placements and temp-to-hire employees are our lifeblood in many ways, at Flex-Team we like to spend some time monitoring labor news about trends in employment, where businesses think they’re heading with their labor-supply needs, as well as where the country is heading with GDP in the big picture. These indicators help us to understand the jobs market and what our customers may need of us in the future. Recent news from multiple sources paints an interesting picture of businesses-in-need of more employees than they will be able to secure for the next few years, and of a temporary labor industry working hard to staff those companies with dependable, reliable as-needed employees.
First off, British news service Reuters provided some American coverage recently regarding the jobless rate in America dropping to a near 43-year low. As Reuters reports, “The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to near a 43-year low, amid a further tightening of the labor market that could eventually spur faster wage growth. . . Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ended Feb. 4, the Labor Department said. That left claims just shy of the 43-year low of 233,000 touched in early November. . . Claims have now remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with a strong labor market, for 101 straight weeks. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller. ‘There is no sign of a pickup in layoff activity. We continue to view the signal of extremely subdued layoffs from the jobless claims data as evidence of companies attempting to retain their workers in a tight labor market,’ said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York. . . The labor market is at or close to full employment, with the unemployment rate at 4.8 percent after hitting a more than nine-year low of 4.6 percent in November. The economy created 227,000 jobs in January.”
This indicates that manufacturing firms will be hard-pressed to locate new workers to replace retiring employees, or to find supplemental workers for additional labor demands, though it is good news for temporary labor agencies such as Flex-Team. The lower the jobless rate, the more the need for our staffing services to add-in additional workers to lean labor teams. Read the entire Reuters news article here.
Next up, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reports a “bright outlook” for GDP growth and labor markets over the next three years, which again promises a boon for industry in-general as well as for contract labor providers. Quoting the coverage from their website, “The U.S. economy looks stronger now than it did three months ago, according to 42 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The forecasters predict real GDP will grow at an annual rate of 2.2 percent this quarter and 2.3 percent next quarter. On an annual-average over annual-average basis, the forecasters predict real GDP growing 2.3 percent in 2017, 2.4 percent in 2018, and 2.6 percent in 2019. The forecasts for 2017, 2018, and 2019 are higher than the estimates of three months ago. For 2020, real GDP is estimated to grow 2.1 percent. . . A brighter outlook for the labor market accompanies the outlook for stronger output growth. The forecasters predict that the unemployment rate will average 4.6 percent in 2017, 4.5 percent in 2018 and 2019, and 4.6 percent in 2020. The projections for 2017, 2018, and 2019 are below those of the last survey, indicating a brighter outlook for unemployment. . . The panelists also predict an improvement in the employment outlook for 2017. The forecasters’ projections for the annual-average level of non-farm payroll employment suggest job gains at a monthly rate of 180,300 in 2017, up from the previous estimate of 173,600. (These annual-average estimates are computed as the year-to-year change in the annual-average level of nonfarm payroll employment, converted to a monthly rate.)”
Mirroring the earlier Reuters reporting, lower unemployment rates and higher GDP will spell more need for our temp labor solutions, as companies will have a tougher time finding quality workers who can be depended upon to deliver reliable labor power. The good news is, Flex-Team works proactively to build a cadre of employees who can fill in the gaps for labor requirements. Read the entire article from the Fed Reserve Bank of Philadelphia here.
Last up, Staffing Industry Analysts – a strong voice for reporting on trends in our industry – provided some stats and findings from their Executive Forum North America gathering in San Diego that again point to a robust near-future for the temp labor industry for the next several years. Quoting some of their findings, “Large companies that use staffing plan to increase the size of their contingent work forces. . . citing research by SIA. In 2026, staffing buyers estimated 29% of their workforce would be contingent, up from 22% today. . . The US spent $792 billion on contingent/gig work in 2015, including temporary agency workers, independent contractors, statement-of-work consultants and human cloud workers (online staffing and other parts of the human cloud).”
With the news coverage and analysis all pointing towards the need for more auxiliary workers to boost productivity during times when companies will have difficulty finding more qualified employees for full-time positions, 2017 and beyond appear to be challenging times for manufacturers who don’t look to agencies such as ours for assistance. Read the whole article from S.I.A. here.
Flex-Team remains committed to meeting the additional employment needs of our many clients as well as those companies that may be new to to the world of supplemental contract labor. With recruited, screened and site-specific labor placements our specialty for over 30 years now, we’re focused on helping-out our partner companies so they may continue to thrive in this new year and beyond. Contact us here to get started with our temp labor solutions for light manufacturing and office admin positions, won’t you?
Flex-Team Inc. produced a print and PDF-version of a document recently, entitled “Bridging the Skills Gap.” It addressed the growing concern over jobs requiring skills that a majority of basic job seekers may not have developed in their career lives, and how to deal with those deficits with your work force. This subject is continuing to generate a great deal of discussion as technology continues to flourish in almost all labor sectors and many individuals find themselves lacking the tech fortissimo to handle the duties required of them in new positions.
A recent article in the Milwaukee Business News – Biz Times – featured an interview with Manpower North America Vice President Michael Stull, addressing the job skills revolution. The basic gist of the interview and article sums up nicely the predicament that many employees and employers find themselves within in these early years of the 21st century. “Companies have become consumers of labor instead of builders of talent,” Stull said. “As such, employers are expecting employees to be productive on day one, while individuals have become more responsible for developing their own skills.”
“Part of being a proactive labor supply business is realizing the trends and currents that are active in the greater community of workers out there, and then fashioning strategies to utilize these human resources efficiently,” explains Flex-Team CEO Rick Pollock. Pollock, who ran several successful metal fabrications businesses before taking over the helm of Flex-Team from his father, experienced some of these changes himself and so was ready to bring Flex-Team successfully into the 21st century, which he has done ably. “When new technologies or culture-change movements occur, this can be exceedingly difficult – at least until men and women of the times catch-on to what is required of them and adapt to newer mindsets,” he continues.
As the Biz Times article continues, “The traditional work model, where employees were hired and put on a specific, and often narrow, career path, is outdated, (Stull) said. ‘Today, the path is a much broader labor market.’ Workforce challenges must be addressed, especially the struggle to find qualified workers to fill open positions. ‘A critical shortage of workers continues, but labor participation rates aren’t rising, a sure sign that a skills gap continues to exist’, Stull said. ‘We continue to need to figure out how to get across the divide,’ he said. Employers have been developing intriguing solutions to their workforce needs. Retailers with varying seasonal demands, for example, are engaging in collective work programs. Manpower’s staffing services have been evolving to meet market demand, as well. Traditionally, Manpower primarily focused on finding candidates to fill jobs. ‘With the Internet, candidates and employers both have access to almost everything that is out there,’ Stull said. ‘The value is now in the assessment piece. The closer we can get to a one-to-one fit between an employer and a job candidate, then everyone is better off. Finding an appropriate match leads to more predictable performance,’ Stull added. ‘Although there is a high volume of digital information and services available to match employers and job seekers, the “human touch” remains a needed element,’ Stull said. Guidance often is needed in terms of education and professional development as job seekers look not only for a current job but also a path to their next job.
At Flex-Team we couldn’t agree more. Our 12-Step screening process consists of getting to know each and every one of our hires as our temporary workforce. Our “human touch” works hard to place our temporary workers in the exact positions where they can excel and please our business customers. Our assessments of our employees provide a guiding light as we place workers in the appropriate labor scenarios. Getting them to the next level in technical skills…that’s a piece we are contemplating too, along with most temp staffing companies in North America today. We will let you know what we figure out!
Flex-Team Inc. of Akron and Canton, Ohio is proud to announce that our staffing consultants Sandi Adorni, Bernadette Bolen, Danielle Hayden and Stephanie Quay have recently received the Certified Staffing Professional designation from the American Staffing Association. Professional staffers with decades of collective work under their belts, the CSP certification puts a valuable feather in each of their caps in terms of the temp staffing industry.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment and speaks to the drive and enthusiasm of all four of these individuals towards serving our clients and employees,” explained Rick Pollock, president of Flex-Team Inc. “Earning the CSP accreditation takes hard work, intelligence and a commitment to learning the many intricacies of law and ethics regarding the staffing industry, and produces a more professional mindset towards our work with businesses and individuals. I couldn’t be happier or more proud of this team.”
The CSP® program from the ASA promotes industry-wide competency standards through a uniform national testing process. Credentialed individuals must successfully complete a 100-question exam on labor and employment law principles and ethical practices applicable to the staffing industry, including the Affordable Care Act.
The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its affiliated chapters advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. Visit www.americanstaffing.net to learn more.
Congrats to Bernadette, Danielle, Sandi and Stephanie for their hard work, many hours of study, and commitment to both our employees and our clients who will benefit from their deeper understanding of temporary worker issues and laws and employee placement and management.
Recently, Flex-Team visited the Ohio Means Job Summit County location on Tallmadge Avenue in Akron, Ohio to participate in one of the job fairs held at the large location sporadically, this time sponsored by radio station 107.3 The Wave. It was a good opportunity to let unemployed and under-employed individuals know about our many services that help to connect willing workers with our many manufacturing and light industrial customers.
Since Flex-Team offers temporary employees to companies in-need of extra workers due to vacations, sick days, maternity leaves, terminations and production increases, our services are a win-win solution for both parties involved. For growing companies, we offer temporary workers, temp-to-hire employees and direct-hire placements for individuals straight to our customers – saving them the time of advertising, interviewing, screening and managing those employees’ benefits and payroll duties. For our employees, we offer them the opportunity to get placed in positions where they can earn a gainful living and often transition to permanent employment with our clients once a term of service has been completed.
Pictured above, our latest-hire staffing expert Brandy Preston is seen at the Ohio Means Job HQ manning the Flex-Team table. Brandy is our first Sourcing Specialist – responsible for reviewing submitted resumes and selecting and calling candidates who are applying for the positions that our recruiters have open. Ms. Preston schedules interviews with potential employees, posts ads for upcoming jobs that need filled on our website and on social media sites, and attends various recruiting events. Brandy comes to us from another agency and is also studying Social Work with a concentration in licensed practicing counseling (LPC) at the University of Akron. Her long-term goal is to work with recovering addicts and the homeless population in Summit County – women, men, teens and children who are suffering from the effects of addiction and homelessness. You go, Brandy!