Category Archives: Recruiting Strategies

Your Business Could Use a Little R&R* *Recruitment and Retention

In late October, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released a report showing that the state unemployment rate was at 4.1%, the lowest since February of 2001.  Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was even lower than the already low national unemployment rate, which was 5%.  The positive thing is that people are working and businesses are growing.  The negative thing is that businesses are having a hard time hiring and retaining enough qualified employees to meet demand.  So, what can you do?

In a tight labor market, there are several things to consider.

  • Where are you recruiting? To recruit employees in Southeastern Wisconsin, you might need to get a little creative and be willing to invest in job-specific training programs.  Focus on identifying interest areas that you can apply to your business.  Think about where these people “hang out” and then go meet them there.  Gone are the days of more applicants than openings.  For example, let’s say your business is in the automotive industry.  Think about where people that are interested in the automotive industry spend time.  Is it at a car show?  It is on certain social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) groups or special interest sites?  Is it at specific vocational/trade schools?  Are there clubs?  Get creative and start targeting people who are interested in what you specialize in in your business.
  • Who are you recruiting? Have you thought through the transferable skills necessary to be successful in the role you are trying to fill?  Does it matter that they don’t know how to use a specific piece of machinery if they are mechanically inclined and have used similar machines in the past?  Probably not.  Think about the skills that are at the very core of what you are trying to accomplish and then go from there.
  • Who are you retaining? Imagine filling a large tub of water.  The water coming out of the faucet is like the new staff members that are joining your organization.  Have you checked to make sure you remembered to close the drain?  Don’t lose great people you already have because you are so focused on adding new members to your team.  Think about the work environment you have created.  Get people engaged.  Make them feel valued and appreciated.  And most importantly, establish a clear path for growth and provide opportunities for career development.  Every dollar spent in this area is money well spent.
  • Are you willing to pay? They say that money talks, and whether or not you want to hear it, you may need to pay a bit more in a tight employment market to attract the type of talent you want to hire.  Be aware that higher starting wages could have a ripple effect on your organization.  Be prepared to justify, and if necessary, adjust other wages.  While this may seem trivial, it can often be a short-term fix that allows you more time to create career development opportunities and gives you an opportunity to focus on retaining the talent you have.

Your goal, of course, is to become an employer of choice.  An employer of choice is able to weather the storm a bit when things get rough.  An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in finding great employees in Wisconsin for both your short-term and long-term needs.  As your strategic partner in a tight employment market, 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!

 

Do You Know How You Rate?

If the 2016 Presidential Election has taught us anything, it is that press is press.  Good or bad, the presidential candidates have learned that getting people talking can sometimes be more important than what they are saying.

Not true in your service oriented business.

In your business, WHAT is being said is everything.  About five years ago, Nissen Staffing Continuum partnered with a firm out of Portland, Oregon to conduct satisfaction surveys based on the Net Promotor Score (NPS) philosophy.  Like you, we didn’t know a lot about the NPS method and had to do a little research. As we go into our 6th survey in the next few months, we thought it might be helpful to share some information about the NPS methodology and why it might work well for your business.

NPS has some specific benefits:

  • IT’S SIMPLE: Most NPS driven surveys ask only 3 questions that drive the NPS score.  Some surveys will ask a few yes or no type questions to give the company additional feedback, but the first three questions drive the NPS score, and only require a 2-3 minute (or less) effort on the part of the responder.
  • IT’S TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN: Since the questions are limited and answers specific, it allows for fast collection & analysis of data.
  • PREVENTS BAD SERVICE: Since NPS feedback can be almost immediate, it produces a ripple effect for response.  Rather than waiting to respond to service concerns, your staff can respond immediately.
  • GIVES YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO BENCHMARK: If done within a specific industry, it is easy to compare your own results to that of your competitors.
  • IDENTIFIES TRENDS: When done multiple times, it is easy Identify trends and gain valuable feedback, identifying areas of needed improvement and learning where you excel.
  • IT’S CREDIBLE: NPS scores are very objective, even more so when conducted by a 3rd Party Administrator.

What does an NPS survey look like?  A NPS survey asks 3 NPS questions:  the first is on a 1-10 Scale, and the other two are open ended questions.  Ours looks like something like this:

  • On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being least likely and 10 being most likely, how likely are you to recommend Nissen Staffing Continuum to a friend? (Rate 1-10)
  • What is the primary reason for that rating? (Open Ended)
  • What is one thing we can do to improve our service? (Open Ended)

Our survey also asks a few direct questions about your service experience with us, in an effort to give our staff more specific feedback.  However, the first three questions are the most crucial.

But what do the ratings mean?  In short, an NPS score looks at Promoters, Detractors, and “Neutral” respondents.  It all but ignores any rating that is 7-8, and focuses on those rating a business 6 and under (detractors) and those rating a business a 9 or 10 (promoters). The idea is that promoters are out in the market place talking your business up.  They are the ones who would send you referrals, who talk positively about your business over lunch and who would immediately respond with your company name when someone asked them for a recommendation.  On the other hand, those that rate you a 6 or under, are detractors.  They are not recommending your business, they may be somewhat dissatisfied, and they are not a “cheerleader” for your business….in fact they are quite the opposite.  Those in between MATTER, but only in the sense that their goal is to move you to become a promoter.  They know that, in general, your business is doing a decent job, but at the same time they are not “wow’ed”.  The NPS score is determined by taking your total percent of promoters and subtracting out the total percent of detractors.

Once you know your NPS, you can easily compare yourself to other organizations known for World Class service (like Amazon or Google) and see how you rank.  If you use a 3rd party service that surveys within your industry, you can even compare yourself to your competitors.

Even more helpful are the answers to the open ended questions, and the immediate feedback that a short survey like this gives.  You can immediately respond to concerns and deal with detractors.  As we will discuss in a future article, often your reaction to a problem is more memorable to a customer than the problem itself.

When you are on the receiving end of a survey like this, it is helpful to know how the survey is being measured.  Normally, when we give a company an 8 on a 10 point scale, we are feeling like we rated them pretty high.  But remember, if you are someone that would promote the business, you should rate them a 9 or 10.  On the other hand, if you are dissatisfied, rating them a 7 puts you into the “neutral zone, “ so if you are truly dissatisfied and would never recommend them, you should rate them a 6 or lower.

Net Promotor methodology works best when its format is followed.  The survey should be short, the questions should be clear and the open ended feedback should be used to make immediate improvements.

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!

 

The Case for Millennials

Unfocused.  Unrealistic.  Idealistic.  Lazy.  Disrespectful.

You may think these adjectives describe the newest generation of workers.  But actually, they are words that described many of this generation’s grandparents back in the 1960’s, as that generation donned their flowered clothing and organized peaceful protests, while experimenting with drugs and listening to Bob Dylan.

The Millennial generation gets a bad rap, just ask the generations before them.  They don’t understand how they think, and are appalled by how they operate.  They assume they don’t care and shake their heads in disbelief…just like the Baby Boomers did when watching how Gen X entered the workforce.  Every generation is judged by those that came before them.  And every generation has people within it that can easily be described by any of the words at the top of this page.

The reality is that by 2020, Millennials will comprise 46% of the workforce (Maximizing Millennials in the Workplace, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, 2012.) The importance of understanding and engaging this workforce cannot be understated.  Our businesses NEED this workforce to ensure a strong economy, market growth and innovation.  So where’s the gap?  How do we bridge the workplace philosophies and foster understanding, while implementing programs and creating work environments that will bring out the best in everyone?  As with anything in life, we look for strengths and build on them, and we identify weaknesses and address them.

Let’s think about Millennials and just a few of the traits they bring to the table:

  • Millennials were practically born multi-tasking. Think about when YOU first started using a computer.  Were you writing correspondence in Word Perfect for DOS?  Do you even remember not being able to have multiple windows and tabs open at the same time?    Millennials don’t remember that at all, because they were born AFTER these types of applications were invented.  Millennials were born multi-tasking and while it may appear at times that they lose focus, they are often simply accustomed to doing more than one thing at a time. This is not a bad trait to have in the workplace.
  • Millennials are resourceful. Gone are the days of library micro-fiche or calling “Ready Reference.” (Yes, really, I’m that old.) Millennials know how to find information and how to find it quickly.  They do not wait for a subject-matter-expert to spoon feed them information, they are accustomed to the “information superhighway” and finding the information themselves.  Will they sometimes need a little coaching to identify valid sources or utilize industry specific software or databases?  Yes, they might.  So coach them.
  • Millennials are always learning. Millennials grew up in a world of constant IOS updates, new phones, new technology, new apps, new teaching tools, and new expectations for self-directed learning.  Most of them also grew up teaching, whether it was with peers, at school, or even their parents.  In the season finale of “Modern Family,” high school student Manny becomes exasperated trying to explain the “double click” to his step-father Jay.  While seemingly insignificant, Millennials are constantly teaching.  While other generations may look at change as something that is scary and overwhelming, Millennials see change as a way of life.  Again, not a bad trait to have.
  • Millennials want to make a difference. We have raised this generation to be inquisitive.  We have encouraged them to ask why (or why not.)  Because of this, Millennials want to understand WHY they are doing something and HOW it impacts an organization.  Experts say that the best way to motivate a millennial is to share your problems, goals and objectives and then get out of their way.  An engaged millennial, who shares your company’s philosophies and understands your short and long term goals, can be your biggest asset.  But, if your company operates in a “because I said so” type of mentality, you will continue to witness turnover because Millennials simply do not operate that way.  Look for ways they can make a difference.  Ask them what they think.  Be open to a new way of looking at things.  They are a reflection of your customer base and they may have ideas on how you can reach a segment of the marketplace that they understand better than you.
  • Millennials are team players. You can focus on participation awards, scheduled playdates and select sports and say that this generation does not know how to be self-sufficient and has an inflated sense of self-worth, OR you can focus on the fact that this generation has learned to function in an organized group setting and collaborate with others to meet a common goal and has been doing so all their lives.

No generation is perfect.  Taking the time to re-think how you manage your business to capitalize on your employees’ talents and strengths is one of the most important things you can do.  It’s not about giving in, it’s about evolving. Coach your employees, provide them with feedback, allow them to collaborate and set up space and systems that give them the opportunity to talk to each other.  Explain your company goals and objectives and ask for input.  Allow them to help design solutions rather than dictating them.  Encourage their ability and need to learn.  Invest in training, be it company led or self-directed.  Stop judging and start listening.  You may be pleasantly surprised what you learn.

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!

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

FIND GREAT EMPLOYEES BY CONSIDERING ALL OF YOUR STAFFING OPTIONS

For at least the last year, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has reported monthly unemployment rates that have hovered in the mid 4% range, sometimes a full point lower than the national average.  Economic growth, a demographic shift as Baby Boomers exit the workforce, and a shortage of skilled labor employees have some Wisconsin employers shaking their heads and wondering what they need to do to hire quality workers.

As your staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, we can assure you that you have hiring options.  Whether it’s switching over to a fully contingent workforce, making the choice to develop on-the-job training programs, or working hard to become an employer of choice, choosing an experienced staffing partner is an essential part of your hiring strategy.  Over the next few months, we will be discussing hiring trends and tips about how we can help you to hire and retain great employees.

Tip 1: Consider Direct Hire

Consider this: you have an opening for an entry-level machine operator in your food manufacturing facility.  Typically, you have partnered with a staffing company via only a temp-to-hire arrangement.  Your biggest competitor is also hiring, and is looking for the same skill set.  They, too, only hire people on a temp-to-hire basis.

FACT:  Both you and your competitor are competing for the same manufacturing skill set.

FACT:  Since you are competitors in the food industry, in the same market, you both have similar cost structures and therefore pay similar wages.

FACT:  Since you are both hiring only on a temp-to hire basis, you are competing for the same workforce sector.

FACT:  The unemployment rate is around 4.5%.  Available employees, especially qualified manufacturing employees, are scarce.

CONSIDER A DIFFERENT HIRING SOLUTION:  

Open yourself up to the option of Direct Hire.  While you may very often find great candidates through Temp-to-Hire arrangements, you have now done two important things:

  • You have differentiated yourself from your competitor.
  • You have allowed your staffing partner to tap into a group of people that typically won’t look at a temp-to-hire job: the currently employed.

Recruiting someone that is already employed, whether they are actively seeking a new job or are passively looking, opens your hiring options.

  • It is sometimes less expensive than hiring a person on a temp-to-hire basis.
  • It allows your recruiter to look at the most QUALIFIED candidates versus the most AVAILABLE AND QUALIFIED candidates.
  • It allows you to hire someone that has a proven track record of success because they are currently performing the job that you are looking to hire them to do.
  • It allows our team of dedicated Sourcing professionals to provide candidates to our recruiters without having to consider whether or not they are currently working.

An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum can assist you in finding great employees in Wisconsin. 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!

Positioning your Company for Success During the Talent Shortage

lack of skilled workers in the workforceIndustry survey after industry survey has produced the same results: today’s employers perceive a shortage of skilled workers as a major obstacle in the next decade. Three factors have contributed to the talent shortage: 1) the amount of Baby Boomers leaving the workforce in the next 10 years; 2) an expanding US economy; 3) the shortage of young workers trained in certain key industries.

Before we continue, let’s make a key differentiation between a labor shortage and talent shortage. A labor shortage is, to be frank, not enough warm bodies to fill open positions. A talent shortage is a lack of skilled workers with specific training and skill sets needed in the workforce. Examples of specific skilled industries projected to have a shortage include sales, STEM, drivers, IT, and manufacturing. Faced with the dim outlook, industry experts have suggested companies use these three popular strategies to cope with the skilled talent shortage:

  • Buy talent.
  • Build your workforce.
  • Both.

Of course, these options are a simplification of how your company can leverage human capital to weather, and even thrive, during the predicted talent shortage. Employers have to use creative staffing strategies, and employ a hybrid of “buy” and “build” solutions to meet their short- and long-term staffing needs. While every company’s culture and needs are different, there are some general staffing strategies and solutions that can be utilized during the talent shortage:

  1. Know skilled workers’ value. The days of searching for the cheapest skilled workers are over. While companies always have to be conscious of their bottom line, paying workers less than industry value is a sure-fire way to create a revolving door of skilled employees and their talents. Research and know what skilled workers are worth in your local market, and create a benefits and compensation package that attracts, and retains, these valuable human assets.
  2. Create a company culture that skilled employees flock to. High employee retention rates are driven by more than just compensation; use our recent blog post to create a company culture that attracts and retains talent. Be conscious as you select your management team; great leaders are the key to an excellent team.
  3. Build a program to develop workers. The cost of training employees that can contribute to your business for an extended period of time is insignificant when evaluating costs associated with high employee turnover and extended position openings. Don’t look at your development program as a solution only for existing employees; employee development can start before the date of hire by knowing what general qualities you want in a new employee, with the understanding that you can train and develop skills over a period of time. If needed, extend your new-employee probationary period to accommodate training and development schedules. Sometimes the best skilled employees are grown, not hired.
  4. Engage in succession planning. Succession planning is more than sitting down and graphing who is next in line for a management-level skilled position. With a bit of foresight, succession planning can be done years in advance by strategically planning how to pass on expertise and practical knowledge from one generation of workers to the next. Integrate cross-training as a regular standard operating procedure where applicable; adaptation to an ever-changing business climate and your customers’ needs are crucial.
  5. Utilize creative staffing options. The one-size-fits-all permanent hire only model does not work for every company. Consult staffing experts to explore and utilize creative staffing options to your advantage. For example, if you need skilled workers but not always on a daily basis, a skilled temporary employee for a short period of time can be a more cost-efficient staffing solution. Creative staffing solutions can also mean fewer dollars spent on training and man hours spent on human resources paperwork.
  6. Consult with the experts to continually increase recruitment and employee retention rates. With a continually evolving business atmosphere, don’t feel your company has to keep up with the latest staffing trends and best-use practices. Consult with an established staffing firm, like Nissen Staffing Continuum, with the experience needed to recruit and retain qualified skilled workers that your company needs.

Is your company recruiting without strategic planning and staffing assessments?

planning for recruiting staffIt’s a classic case of putting the recruiting cart before the horse. While appropriate recruiting strategies and hiring practices are integral to the success of a company, these human resource practices can be a nightmare for employers who don’t regularly assess staffing needs and use human resource planning for their company staffing. The result is a repeated cycle of ineffective recruiting strategies, lay-offs, unnecessary human resource expenses and high turnover.

The answer? A regular human resources assessment and plan that meets the staffing needs of the company and is compiled methodically and strategically:

  1. Assess your company business cycle. Don’t repeatedly blindly recruit and hire. Do a regular assessment of your company business cycle. Use your past company business cycles to create a needs assessment, recruiting strategy and hiring plan that fits the ebbs and flows of your business.
  2. Forge a human resources partnership to keep abreast of trends, staffing solutions and evolving legalities. The business world is a climate of evolutions and impact. Think of the incredible impact of the Affordable Care Act and the evolution of staffing solutions such as on-demand, seasonal and temporary employees. Keep abreast of the changes and staffing solutions that impact your bottom line by partnering with a human resource expert. An outside human resource expert, such as a staffing firm, is a valuable resource to access your company’s business cycle and staffing needs.
  3. Think out of the box, and know who you need to recruit. A traditional employee is not always the right type of employee for your business. Seasonal, on-demand and temporary employees are “out of the box” staffing solutions that require different recruiting strategies. If you’ve never delved into these staffing solutions, contact an experienced staffing firm for information.
  4. Create clear job descriptions. Once you’ve done a full assessment of your staffing needs, this simple recruiting step is one of the most basic, and significant, steps to attracting employees with the right skill set for your open position or positions. Use our blog post about job descriptions as a guide for writing an accurate, legal and compelling job description.

Get your assessment process started by locating a local staffing firm with the knowledge, recognition and services you need. Contact Nissen Staffing Continuum. With experience, immediate connections to job seekers and recruiting and hiring expertise, Nissen Staffing Continuum can give you access to potential employees and can provide consultation services on best-use staffing solutions and practices. These attributes make Nissen Staffing Continuum a huge asset so you can maximize staffing assessments, recruiting strategies and hiring practices for your company.