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Each company has its own challenges, but there are common trends.

imagesTop Employees Are Leaving
One trend that companies are starting to see is their top employees are leaving for other opportunities. With the economy improving, many of your top people are beginning to look, or are being recruited by other firms. Employers will need to identify key employees from entry-level to upper-level management and take the appropriate steps to retain these individuals. Sometimes its money, but more often than not, many employees just feel under-appreciated.

Requests for Nontraditional Benefits
Another challenge is that more employees are requesting nontraditional workplace benefits, such as flex time and telecommuting. As today’s workforce seeks to build flexibility into their schedules to accommodate work and other obligations, allowing employees to work from home and more flexible schedules is appealing. But as we saw with Yahoo President Marissa Mayer’s decision to eliminate working from home, there is a feeling that too much flexibility can hinder corporate effectiveness.

Finding Skilled Workers
We continue to hear that finding skilled workers is a challenge. And as our more experienced workers reach retirement age, finding capable replacements is critical. Some reports have Baby Boomers entering retirement at a rate of 6,000 to 10,000 people a day for the next 16 or 17 years. Regardless if it is 6,000 or 10,000 this leaves a large number of positions to fill. If our incoming workforce lacks the proper skills and education that our businesses require, we will all struggle to find sufficient qualified workers.

EA Staffing Services Can Help
There are certainly other challenges out there. Implementing the Affordable Healthcare Act, dealing with immigration reform, and keeping up with technology are just a few more. As you address these issues, recognize that many of these challenges are shared by others in the HR profession. So if we can help in any way, please give us a call.


Pick Me, Pick Me

When it comes to choosing a local staffing company there are a number of choices in Greater Lafayette. Of course we all promise to fill your positions with qualified candidates and in a timely manner, and I’m sure we each strive to accomplish this. So why should you consider EA Staffing Services over other staffing firms? Here are a few key reasons.

• Our 7 Step Evaluation Process assesses and tests candidates to meet your specific job requirements.

• Being ISO 9001 Certified means we have documented, measureable processes that insure consistent performance.

• As Industrial Staffing specialists we are knowledgeable of the skills and requirements for these positions and have qualified candidates available.

• Our profits benefit Wabash Center which supports people with special needs.

A Commitment We Make Everyday
At EA Staffing Services we are committed to making a difference in the lives of our Clients, Employees and Individuals with Special Needs each and every day.

To get the complete story go to the EA Staffing Difference.


Successful Business People.Contract Employee Workforce Growing
It’s hard to imagine, but there are a growing number of “contract” workers who are choosing not to sign up for long term roles with many companies. This seems so contrary to what many used to think was the goal of finding a job. Which was … to find a position that provided long term security, benefits, and a chance to move up the ladder.

Greater Work – Life Balance; Expanded Skills
What is taking place is that more workers are shunning full-time traditional employment and instead are working on a contract basis and jumping from project to project. This is being driven by a desire to have greater work-life balance and the employee’s distrust of employers whose track records with layoffs leaves them skeptical. It is also based on the need and desire to continue to expand a person’s skills and experience base, making them more valuable to their next employer.

“Gig Economy”
In his book Labor Rising, The Past and Future of Working People in America, Richard Greenwald refers to this growing trend as the “Gig Economy” where workers “jump from job to job, career to career, project to project working as consultants.” He contends that this could be “the most fundamental economic shift of the past 50 years”. Greenwald estimates that 50% of all workers will be working on a contingent basis by 2020.

Employers have long recognized the value of using contingent workers as a component of their workforce management strategy. The trend to staff using temporary employees continues to grow today as The Fordyce Letter predicts that the all-time record of 2.66 million temporary workers (set in August 2006) will be surpassed this summer.

Improving Their Market Value
What is changing is that today’s workforce is recognizing the benefits of taking a variety of contract/temporary positions. By doing so they are finding ways to improve their market value and create a life style that offers them more flexibility and personal rewards.


Saying Thank YouSaying Thank You
This is the time of year that we try to express to our customers, employees and business associates just how much we have appreciated their support and business over the past 12 months. Some of us choose to do this at Thanksgiving, others as part of the Christmas season. We send cards, deliver gifts, arrange holiday parties and make heartfelt telephone calls.

Reaching Out Via the Web
As the prevalence of online marketing has grown, more and more individuals and companies are sending notes of appreciation via their websites. This can be an effective way to reach a large, geographically dispersed client base with a sincere message of thanks.

Reminding Others of the Value You Provide
In a recent blog post by Rhoda Israelov of Say It For You, she remarks how she received a thank you card from an association she belongs to not only thanking her for her membership, but also highlighting some of the benefits of being a member. Rhoda noted this was a nice way to show appreciation as well as remind you of the value of your membership. She commented, “Restating those top five benefits made me think about becoming even more involved in taking advantage of those benefits and telling others about them as well.”

As you might expect, this is not a “thank you” and a sales pitch, but a reminder of why you work together with your customers to provide value that both of you receive. Doing this with all your customers will make for a stronger relationship as you move into the New Year.


What's Your Hiring Game Plan?Drawing Up A Game Plan
Most of us would agree that having a “Game Plan” around the hiring process is important. Knowing what steps to take to effectively recruit, interview and select new employees is vital for our organizations growth. When drawing up this plan there are some essential components that need to be included. Starting with ….

What’s your timetable on filling your open position?
Fast, slow, when we find the right person? Knowing how immediate the need is to fill open positions is important so that your HR managers can communicate the length of time the process may take to your candidates. So often this is not done and this can discourage good prospects if they feel there are long delays. This will lead to losing out on good candidates who take other job offers.

Have you defined the essential skill sets needed for the position?
Sounds like this should be the first thing on the list, but surprisingly, many hiring managers want to talk to candidates and trust their gut feelings as to whether a candidate fits their needs. Hiring based on cultural fit while down playing a candidate’s skills will often lead to a bad job match. Defining the skills that are absolutely required needs to be done. With the many assessment tools available your core skill sets can be readily evaluated as part of your decision process.

Who is involved in the hiring decision?
Is it just the human relations department, a single hiring manager, a hiring evaluation team? Although recruiting is often left to the HR department, any successful hiring plan must include the hiring manager. A hiring manager engaged from start to finish will ensure that each candidate will match the requirements needed to be successful in the job.

Are you taking advantage of today’s technology and evaluation tools as you assess candidates?
There are online tools that will help you qualify basic skills, look at behavior tendencies and speed up the interviewing process. Using these assessments along with remote video interviewing can shorten the hiring process and provide useful insights to the hiring manager.

Does your plan insure compliance?
For those who hire frequently you are familiar with the government regulations that are meant to prevent discrimination against protected classes such as race, gender, and age. Firms that hire less frequently need to make sure their hiring plan takes into account these requirements so you avoid issues of non-compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Let Us Hear From You
Leave a comment on our post or contact us via email at EA Staffing Services with any questions you may have.  We look forward to hearing from you.


Bringing New Employees Into Your Organization
Onboarding New EmployeesHow well do you bring new employees into your organization? The effectiveness of your approach can cut the cost of hiring significantly and allow a new employee to become more productive, more quickly. Those employees who learn the values of your organization and its mission, along with the day to day expectations of their new roles, are less likely to leave and will contribute more readily to your operation.

Don’t Overlook the Onboarding Process
Too often, employers ignore the importance of onboarding and orientation programs, focusing on just getting them through the initial paperwork and letting them know “not what to do”. In a survey conducted earlier this year by Accountemps, 34% of the respondents did not have a formal orientation for new hires.

Spelling Out Expectations
A key benefit of onboarding is making sure expectations of the new hire are spelled out. This can give them a clearer sense of their role in the company and how they can add value. It can also help new employees adjust by being more familiar with what others are doing.

Developing An Onboarding Program
For those without a formal onboarding process, or who believe their program has grown a little stale, putting together a new hire approach can pay dividends in lowering turnover and increasing productivity.

Lilith Christiansen, co-author of Successful Onboarding, recommends a “four pillar” approach to onboarding programs:

* Interpersonal network development — helping new hires establish relationships with people internal and external to the organization who can help them succeed in their role.

* Culture — helping new hires get an introduction to the values of the organization.

* Strategy immersion and direction — providing instructive insight around the broader strategies of the organization and how the employee’s role impacts the organization’s success.

* Early success — providing new hires with the right type of assignments, remediation and insulation around the work that they do that helps them gain early successes.

According to Christiansen, the most effective onboarding programs have a degree of customization involved so that different populations of new hires may receive different types of onboarding and support, i.e., new college graduates versus executive hires, or workers engaged in sales versus manufacturing.

Time To Get Onboard
Now that hiring has begun to increase locally, this is the time to make sure your onboarding process and orientation programs are ready to go. Focus on those aspects that increase retention and improve productivity and you’ll inspire your newest employees to jump in with both feet and stick around for the long haul.


Bad Hiring Decisions Can Be Costly
Non Negotiable Hiring TraitsMaking a bad hiring decision can be very costly. A recent survey by Career Builder reported more than two-thirds of employers were affected by a bad hire last year. Of nearly 2,700 employers surveyed, 41% estimate a single bad hire cost $25,000; a quarter estimate a bad choice cost $50,000 or more — not to mention the demoralizing effect on other employees and on the new hire.

Identifying A Strong Cultural Fit
In a recent Harvard Business Review blog post by David K. Williams and Mary Michelle Scott of Fishbowl Inventory Software they noted that they had reduced “bad hiring decisions” dramatically by screening candidates using a list of personal characteristics they call the Non-Negotiables. These personal characteristics have become the primary criteria for hiring decisions — things they value even more than skills and background. The seven Non-Negotiables are Respect, Belief, Loyalty, Commitment, Trust, Courage and Gratitude.

Asking candidates to explain situations in their lives that reflect these characteristics, allows those involved in the interview process to make hiring decisions on how well the individual matches a company’s culture. Fishbowl also asks the same questions of the individual’s references — not the references they list on their resume, but of their former co-workers and supervisors that they identify.

According to Williams and Scott this has led to some unusual hires with less developed skill sets, but a stronger overall fit. They note that the hires that typically have the longest tenures are the ones that match culturally, rather than always being the most technically qualified.

So what are your Non-Negotiables?
Identifying and screening for Non-Negotiable traits that represent your culture will lead to higher job retention rates. If not the qualities identified by Williams and Scott, how about characteristics where candidates talk about how they handled change, a stressful work situation, or where they presented new ideas? Determining if someone is willing to take chances, push back on the status quo, and contribute to building a better business can identify future leaders.

One Cautionary Note
Selecting new employees based on specific value characteristics works only if those values are truly reflected in the culture of your organization. If there is a disconnect between the values that are stated and those exhibited, all the work put into the selection process will be for naught.


Fewer Applicants To Fill Your Positions?
Finding it a challenge to hire employees who are reliable, dependable, diligent, show initiative and are great leaders and great followers? As local business hiring continues to pick up there seems to be fewer applicants that fit our hiring criteria and available to fill our positions.

So where can we look to locate prospective employees that may not have the traditional work experience or skills we are seeking. Individuals for instance who have great skills but no experience in your industry. Or applicants with a solid education, but it is in the “wrong” field. And then there are those whose current or prior jobs lack sufficient “status” or experience.

Looking Outside the Norm
Consultant Jeff Haden suggests that you look for qualified candidates within applicant pools that may be a little out of the norm. This includes those changing careers, former military, those whose current jobs lack status, and young people.

Uncovering Hidden Talents
Prospects that are changing careers often have experience working with people and skills that are transferable to your positions. Those who have served in our armed forces understand leadership, how to accomplish tasks and to take responsibility. Even those who may appear to be working in more menial roles are developing customer service skills and learning to pay attention to details. Granted younger workers often lack experience, but they also have a desire to learn and contribute. This energy can often create a more positive work environment.

Finding the ideal employee is always a challenge. That’s why looking at candidates from a more varied applicant pool might just lead you to your next “super star”.


Accidents in the workplace occur approximately 3.3 million times a year in the United States. This is an alarming statistic, especially since most accidents, even minor ones, typically require a certain amount of time away from work. In 2007, a total of 34 million work days were lost because of workplace-related accident or illness. Of these, 6 million were due to injuries within the workplace, while 28 million were ‘work-related’ ill health days. It is, therefore, very important to identify the major causes of accidents as the first step in preventing them in order to reduce injury and health care costs. People working in different types of job obviously face a range of different hazards. For example, an office worker is much less at risk from burns than a chef, but there are a range of common accidents and injuries which occur across all occupational sectors.

 Slips, Trips, and Falls

In 2007, these accounted for almost four out of every ten major workplace injuries. While they are technically three different accidents, they are often grouped together as one large problem. Slips, trips and falls can often result in serious injuries, from pulled muscles to broken bones. There are several ways to reduce these types of injuries. Use signs to warn others of wet floors, make sure walkways are always clean and clear, and never run wires or cords across high traffic areas. Employees should immediately report any spills, slick spots, or other hazards to their supervisor.

Electrical Accidents

These types of accidents can be extremely dangerous. If the voltage is high enough or the current passes through the heart, a person can be killed. Also, many fires in the workplace are caused by faulty electrical wiring. Electrocution can be prevented by checking cords and wiring for frays or tears before plugging them in. This will reduce the chance of starting a fire. Never allow drinks or other liquids near electrical equipment as they could spill and cause the wiring to short out.

Manual Handling Accidents

These types of accidents often involve lifting, pushing, lowering, carrying, and several other types of strenuous movements. These accidents most often result in sprains, strains, back injuries, and neck injuries. The number of manual handling injuries in the workplace can be reduced by practicing proper lifting methods. If something is too heavy to be moved or lifted alone, employees should find help or use a machine to ensure the job is done safely.

Statistics show that serious workplace injuries are far too common. In 2010 alone, over 4,500 American workers were killed on the job, while millions more suffered serious non-fatal injuries. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that workplace deaths and non-fatal accidents have been decreasing in recent years, there is still a lot of room to improve workplace safety.

“Every day in America, 12 people go to work and never come home,” Hilda Solis, the Secretary of Labor, wrote in a blog entry. “Every year in America, 3.3 million people suffer a workplace injury from which they may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy.”

Prevention is the most effective and efficient way to reduce the incidence of common accidents in the workplace so be sure to follow all safety rules and regulations set forth by the employer. If an accident does occurs, immediately report it to a supervisor so that it can be determined if medical attention is necessary.

Richard Wahlquist, President and CEO of the American Staffing Association, commented over two years ago that, “labor market flexibility is going to be an even more important component of economic growth and global competitiveness as businesses are becoming more wary of labor overcapacity.” As we continue to work our way out of this period of slow economic growth, Wahlquist’s predictions are right on target, both nationally and locally.

Survey Shows Use of Temporary Staffing Growing
According to the results of a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive of more than 3000 hiring managers and HR professionals, 36% will hire contract or temporary workers in 2012 compared to 34% in 2011, 30% in 2010 and 28% in 2009. The increased use of temporary staffing allows cautious increases in workforce numbers along with the flexibility to adjust staffing levels to accommodate fluctuating business demands. It is also a highly effective means of evaluating candidates for permanent positions as production, technical and administrative needs increase.

Wahlquist’s comments are coming true. Businesses are finding ways to manage their workforces with greater flexibility. By doing so they are finding new ways through the use of temporary staffing to remain competitive in today’s ever changing global economy.


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