Category Archives: On-demand employees

Temporary Workers and Safety: A Partnership That Requires Some Understanding

In mid-April, Nissen Staffing Continuum had the honor of speaking at the Waukesha Area Safety Council’s monthly meeting.  The topic was the OSHA Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI) and members learned about this 2013 OSHA directive that focuses on “the compliance of Health and Safety requirements when temporary workers are employed under the joint (or “dual”) employment of a staffing agency and a host employer. “  Under this regulation, OSHA outlines the roles and responsibilities of both staffing companies and organizations that use temporary workers (“host employers.”)

OSHA had four main concerns that led to the program development:

  • Employers were using temporary workers as a way to avoid meeting their compliance obligations under the OSHA and other worker protections laws.
  • Temporary workers get placed in a wide variety of jobs, including the most hazardous jobs.
  • Temporary workers are more vulnerable to workplace safety, health hazards and retaliation than workers in traditional employment relationships.
  • Temporary workers are often not given adequate health and safety training or explanations of their duties by either the temporary staffing agency OR the host employer.

Why did we agree to talk about this?  First and foremost—because it’s the LAW, and second, it’s often misunderstood. In February of 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development announced a statewide unemployment rate of 3.7%, the lowest since January of 2000.  With unemployment under 4%, some can argue that those not working are those without adequate basic skills, common sense, and many are what we call “unemployable.”  In addition, keeping employees SAFE is important to the overall health, safety and retention of your current workforce.  Having programs in place to protect your workers and your temporary workers also helps protect YOUR business from costly worker’s compensation costs, decrease your cost of litigation resulting in unsafe work practices and also protects you from workers compensation predators.

The regulation can be broken down into three main parts:  Host Employer Obligations, Staffing Company Obligations and Joint Obligations.

HOST EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS

As a host employer, you have a number of obligations.

  • Maintain a safe work environment: Continually evaluate your workplace and understand and communicate hazards
  • Select a responsible staffing partner: Remember that Cheapest does not equal best.  Understand who you are hiring to help you find workers.  Are they doing their best to screen candidates that are capable of being safe at work?  Are they proactive with safety?
  • Understand that you are in charge of training: You are in charge of all site-specific workplace training, including (but not limited to): Hazard Communications/GHS, Lockout-Tagout, Machine Guard, Forklift or other PIT training, Ergonomics, Safe Material Handling, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Emergency Evacuation, Safety monitoring (hearing, for example) and any other site-specific safety protocols.
  • Keep OSHA records: Temporary employees that experience an injury or illness on your worksite must be included on your OSHA 300 Logs, as your company, in most cases, is the supervising employer and the injury/illness took place at your worksite.
  • Make sure that you cover safety in your contract with your staffing company AND that it includes the host employer’s responsibility for recordkeeping (not only OSHA, but also training, safety warnings/violations, internal accident reports, etc.)

STAFFING COMPANY OBLIGATIONS

Just as you have obligations, so does your staffing company. Being aware of these obligations will help you identify a good partner.  Your staffing company should research your company’s safety record and review your safety and illness prevention program.  They should request to visit your site and do a documented walk-through.  They should understand the job and ask you for a detailed job description that will include essential skills and physical requirements.

The staffing company should also be pre-qualifying employees. At a minimum, they should have a formal application on file, should be doing reference checks and have a clear drug test policy.  Their recruiters should be trained in interviewing techniques that help them evaluate how an employee would handle an unsafe situation.  They should be talking to potential employees about general safety concepts.  Remember, the staffing company needs to work with a cooperative host employer to keep their employees safe.  The host employer needs to remember that choosing a staffing company that does these things will only decrease their own exposure to worker’s comp liabilities and litigation.

JOINT OBLIGATIONS

While each employer (the Staffing Company and the Host Employer) has responsibilities, there are also some responsibilities that overlap.  Be sure to outline in a Memo of Understanding, Safety agreement or contract each employers’ role in ensuring employee safety.  Make sure this agreement is in writing and signed so there is no confusion. Within this agreement, include terms that determine who is responsible for each part of the law, define the scope work and be sure that a workplace hazard assessment has been completed.  In the end, should an OSHA violation occur, BOTH the host employer and the staffing company will be held liable, so it’s best to spell out responsibilities ahead of time.

Safety is a PARTNERSHIP and because it’s a partnership, both host employers AND staffing companies are responsible to ensure the safety of their employees, regardless of whose name is on the employee’s paycheck.  And because they are both RESPONSIBLE, they are both liable.  The TWI protects temporary employees by outlining responsibilities for both employers. You can learn more about this important law by visiting the OSHA website at https://www.osha.gov/temp_workers/

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum is proud of our commitment to safety.  We maintain an active role as the Outreach Coordinators on the Waukesha Area Safety Council and welcome the opportunity to learn from the great speakers that present to the organization.  As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing. Our recruiters are supported by a full-time sourcing department dedicated to finding great employees for our clients. For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

Special Thanks to Helene Browning, Senior Risk Engineering Consultant at Zurich Insurance for her assistance with our research and helping us establish our safety program protocols. 

Today’s Employment Market Forces Employers to be Creative

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development just released February unemployment numbers and the results aren’t surprising area employers:  The State’s unemployment rate has declined to 3.7%, the lowest since 2000.  Pick up an issue of any business-focused magazine, HR-related journal or Google “how to find and keep employees” and you’ll see article after article about the talent shortage. While finding new talent is part of the challenge, keeping that talent is equally as difficult.  While employee recruitment and retention is a huge challenge for employers, it’s a huge opportunity for job seekers.

Employees are no longer lured to a company just by a decent salary and benefit packages.  This generation of our workforce has different ideas and the current employment market is only adding to their cause.  Companies are offering things like unlimited vacation time, flexible work schedules, paid volunteer time and employee wellness programs. Employers are getting creative, doing things like providing free lunches and breakfasts and offering family friendly policies that employees are encouraged to take advantage of.  Some are even allowing employees to bring their pets to work. Today’s employers have had to get creative.

This work environment has made us pause and take note and we wonder, what is your company doing about the talent shortage?  What types of recruitment programs and employment offerings would you consider if it helped you find workers and talent in Southeastern Wisconsin?  What type of creative benefits is your company offering?

Sound off!  We want to hear from you!  Let’s get the dialogue going!

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum is proud of our commitment to capitalize on every employee’s strengths.  As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing with our team of recruiters that are supported by a full-time sourcing department.  For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

Source:  https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/newsreleases/2017/unemployment/170323_february_state.pdf

 

Nissen Staffing Continuum Wins Best of Staffing Client Award For the Second Time

We are pleased to announce that Nissen Staffing Continuum, a leading staffing agency in Southeastern Wisconsin has won Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Client Award for providing superior service to their clients. Presented in partnership with CareerBuilder, Inavero’s Best of Staffing Client winners have proven to be industry leaders in service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients. On average, clients of winning agencies are 2.5 times more likely to be completely satisfied with services provided compared to those working with non-winning agencies.

Focused on helping US companies find the right people for their job openings, Nissen Staffing Continuum’s satisfaction scores were nearly two times higher than the industry’s average. Award winners make up less than 2% of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada who earned the Best of Staffing Award for service excellence.

“We are thrilled to be honored again as a second time Best of Staffing winner. Nissen Staffing Continuum makes exceptional service a priority and we are proud and honored to be recognized for our efforts. We are committed to our mission of providing staffing solutions to our clients, while meeting the career objectives of our associates, where we can create and grow value. Our consistent recognition of exemplary service is evidence of this commitment,” Nissen Staffing Continuum’s President and CEO, Scott Nissen said.

“Staffing firms are giving top companies a competitive advantage as they search for talent in North America,” said Inavero’s CEO Eric Gregg. “The 2017 Best of Staffing winners have achieved exceptionally high levels of satisfaction and I’m proud to feature them on BestofStaffing.com.”

About Company

Established in 1997, Nissen Staffing Continuum has consistently focused on helping businesses grow their organization’s most precious asset:  their people. They understand that to succeed in a fragile economy, or thrive in a strong one, organizations require a staff that is flexible, innovative, and dependable. Nissen Staffing Continuum offers many solutions for all of your staffing challenges, from sourcing temporary help required to meet a tight deadline of a project, to finding capable temp-to-hire personnel, to recruiting a professional with the right background and qualifications. Nissen Staffing Continuum also offers personalized, on-site partnerships to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses that rely on a flexible workforce to meet their customer needs. Nissen Staffing Continuum values partnerships and, as they always say, “It’s not who you know alone, it’s who we know together.” This is their second Inavero Best of Staffing Award.  Visit their website to learn about their service offerings, contact their office or read direct customer testimonials.

About Inavero
Inavero administers more staffing agency client and talent satisfaction surveys than any other firm in the world. Inavero’s team reports on over 1.2 million satisfaction surveys from staffing agency clients and talent each year, and the company serves as the American Staffing Association’s exclusive service quality partner.

About Inavero’s Best of Staffing

Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Award is the only award in the U.S. and Canada that recognizes staffing agencies that have proven superior service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients and job candidates. Award winners are showcased by city and area of expertise on BestofStaffing.com – an online resource for hiring professionals and job seekers to find the best staffing agencies to call when they are in need.

Changing Tides – The Rise and Fall of a Changing Workforce

Take a look at your workforce.  If it looks like most workplaces, many of your most experienced and knowledgeable employees have already retired or are getting ready to retire.  The first of the baby boomers turned 65 in 2011 and the exodus began. Employers need to start thinking about the strategy they will use as more of these employees leave the workforce.

Before you decide you don’t need to worry about this, here are some facts to consider:

  • Wisconsin’s workforce is aging.  During the 2014 census, it was estimated that almost 15% of Wisconsin’s population is over the age of 65.  This number is expected to increase to over 17% by 2020 and over 22% by 2035, as older people live longer and Boomers move fully into retirement. (Source: https://www.dane-econdev.org/documents/pdf/Wisconsin_Population_2035.pdf )
  • Today’s employment market is already experiencing labor shortages.  These labor shortages are occurring as mass amounts of people continue to retire and are more obvious in manufacturing sectors, as new workers entering the workforce are less and less interested in manufacturing type jobs.
  • Contrary to popular belief, our workforce is not going to shrink in numbers.  However, our workforce will shrink relative to the needs of our growing and aging population. 
  • Our economies, both local and global, will continue to experience a shortage of quality and experienced workers.
  • The demand for services will increase and the demand for other goods and services will shift to meet the changing needs of our aging population.

Still think you can wait?  Think again.  This issue is less about the numbers and more about retaining the knowledge and experience of exiting workers.  Employers today are not just losing “a body” – they are losing subject matter experts, mentors and trainers.  They are losing history as these people leave the workforce and this undocumented knowledge base and perspective is difficult to replace.

The impact to Waukesha and Milwaukee County employers, especially those in the manufacturing sectors, is great.  Millennial candidates interested in manufacturing jobs seem few and far between and those that are retiring cannot wait until a replacement is found before leaving their positions.  This leaves employers without any transition and new workers without anyone to train them.  Lack of training can cause frustration and frustration can lead to turnover.  The cycle continues.

It is important to understand your workforce and what it looks like today.  Many employers complain that the next generation of workers lacks loyalty.  We would argue that it is not loyalty that is lacking, but rather an understanding of this generation’s value system.  They, in general, are not looking for lifetime employment.  They are looking for opportunities to learn and grow, and then move on and apply what was learned to the next opportunity.  This is an excellent scenario for companies that value and encourage career pathing and growth.  For those that don’t, today’s workforce will simply move on to go work someplace else.

Our job as employers is to redefine the workplace and re-position ourselves as employers of choice.  Companies need to look to non-traditional means of compensating, recruiting and retaining employees.  They need to make manufacturing jobs more appealing and plan long term.  Companies that offer such things as flexible schedules, benefits for part-time employees and on-the-job training will be better prepared during this time of transition.  Companies need to understand the concept of transferable skills and be able to utilize employees in different capacities—such as mentoring, consulting or teaching—to best utilize their skills and experiences for the good of the organization.  Employers need to be creative and take some risks.  Only these employers will succeed in the marketplace of tomorrow.

While all of these issues can be a bit overwhelming, they are also signs of great change, growth and innovation.  The challenge for employers will be to choose to hop on and ride the wave of change, rather than getting swallowed by it.

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum is proud of our commitment to providing human capital solutions to our clients, while assisting our associates in meeting their career objectives and delivering staffing services where we can create and grow value. As your strategic partner, we’ll help you take your staffing initiatives to the next level, whether it’s onsite programs, direct hire placement, temp-to-hire programs or temporary staffing. Our recruiters are supported by a full-time sourcing department dedicated to finding great employees for our clients. For more information about how we can help you find great employees, contact us today and allow us to help you with your HR needs so you can focus on your company’s success!

 

 

 

 

Could your company benefit from utilizing on-demand employees?

smiling workerIn today’s fluctuating business world, the key to success is thinking “outside the box”—finding flexible and creative solutions that meet your business’ ever-changing needs, including human resources solutions. When your business needs 40 people today, and 100 tomorrow, expanding your staff, without the added expense of adding additional headcount, is crucial to filling customer orders, meeting production goals and satisfying tight shipping schedules.

On-demand workers are flexible self-starters that have a different mindset than the typical temporary employee. Just as the term suggests, on-demand workers come to your business for a short period of time on short notice.When your business demands more workers, consider the benefits of on-demand staffing:

  • Additional production for a short period of time with limited notice. If you have an order that demands higher production for a week, a day or several days, on-demand employees are the answer. On-demand employees are carefully screened and selected, giving your business reliable employees willing to tackle any basic task with just a short orientation.
  • On-demand employees save your business money.When you need to expand your staff, on-demand employees are a cost-effective solution. Because on-demand employees are not a direct business hire, companies avoid paying benefits and taking on the added expenses of a traditional hire. In addition, the staffing company, not your company, is responsible for the day to day HR, legal, and payroll functions, making on-demand workers a great investment.
  • You can use trial-and-error to find the on-demand employee that works for your business. When your business gets busy, you need additional, productive workers quickly. On-demand staffing gives managers the opportunity to find those on-demand employee(s) that are productive and a fit for your business—and allows you to request them whenever needed.

On-demand workers are ideal for manufacturing companies in a variety of industries, but have applications in any business with sudden ebbs and flows. Contact Nissen Staffing Continuum to determine if on-demand staffing is the creative solution that meets your human resource needs and business goals.