Category Archives: talent shortage

Seven Tips for Holiday Hiring

Ready or not, here they come!

Whether you’re a retailer, a manufacturer, a distribution channel or a professional services firm, the holidays are coming and you feel the pressure on your business as seasons change and customer demand increases.

Here are seven things to consider as you prepare to hire for your busy season:

  • It’s never too early to create a strategy. Be ready to hire well before you need to.  Think about how and where you are going to recruit and exactly what you are going to have the seasonal workers do.
  • Understand your market. As the unemployment rate continues to fall and the demand for qualified workers rises, know what you might need to pay for the skill set you need and how long it might take you to fill your open positions.
  • Create a “quick start” training program and be willing to train to the job. The reality is that as you enter your busy season, you typically need to ramp up quickly.  Identify transferable skills and hire people who have excellent work ethic and a willingness and ability to learn quickly, and then be willing to train them.  Keep it as simple as possible.
  • Develop a retention program. One of the biggest challenges when you hire workers for what they know will be a short time is retention.  Consider developing a retention plan where you build incentives into the duration of your project and award workers that stay and perform well along the way, and then finish with a completion bonus.  The cost of the bonus will likely be far less than the cost of continuous recruitment and training.
  • Ask for referrals. Before you spend thousands of dollars in recruitment advertising, ask your best current employees for referrals and make it worth their time to give them to you.  Remember that saying “Birds of a feather, flock together?” Great people usually know other great people.
  • Never say never. In this employment market, be open to offering long-term positions to your best seasonal workers. You may not know if you “need” them for the long term when you hire them, but finding something for workers that are already proven and trained may be an investment worth making.
  • Find a Hiring Partner. You don’t need to do it alone.  Find a hiring partner that takes the time to understand your business and needs, and develops a plan to help you fill those needs.  Not only will a great partner come to the table with inventory, they will likely come with years of experience doing similar projects and a staff ready to support you.  Why would you want to assume additional liabilities like payroll taxes, unemployment costs and liability and worker’s compensation risk?  Take advantage and find a partner you can work with.

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, 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!

 

 

Invest in Your Workforce to Grow Your Business

Your business has two options: invest in the time to train your workforce or refuse to because you’re too busy and pay for it later. Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development released the State’s latest employment data. Unemployment numbers are at their lowest point since 1999. These numbers reflect a job market where talent is tight and recruiting is a challenge. Your best choice? Hire to train and train to retain.

There are many upsides to training your existing workforce or hiring trainable people. First, employees that feel they are being given opportunities to improve upon their skills are often more loyal to their employers. The training makes them feel valued and they appreciate the job growth and the recognition that acquiring new skills brings. Second, an employer that is able to train a worker in their own environment has a distinct advantage in teaching that worker company-specific procedures and cultures. Time is not wasted explaining why things are done differently, because the process and reasons behind it are being taught from day one. Third, being open to investing in a training program may not impact your overall costs as much as you may think. For some employers, hiring workers at a slightly lower wage with a paid training program may prove to be a more economical way to hire both skilled and unskilled workers. Wages can increase once an employee completes training and has proven him/herself to be both competent in the skill set and a proven hire. Last, implementing on-the-job training programs provides additional leadership opportunities to other more experienced staff and is also a nice way to promote from within. This type of culture allows workers to see that good work ethic and proven results will be recognized and rewarded.

Of course, there are always downsides to every solution. We cannot create more time in the day and training someone takes time—both for the trainee and the trainer. Productivity can be lost because of the learning curve and time it takes to direct and re-direct a new employee. Developing a training program can be expensive, because the front-end preparation is a crucial step in the process. However, we encourage you to look at this time spent as an investment and not just an expense. As more and more experienced workers leave the workforce due to retirement, a company that is set up with a forward-thinking approach will be in a better position than a company that merely waits and then panics. You may need to step outside of your comfort zone and hire someone with those “untrainable” soft skills and a proven work ethic, and invest in BOTH of your futures.

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. Employers of choice understand their existing workforce and their target workforce and make the necessary changes to appeal to both. They listen to feedback and evolve as they need to. They make strategic decisions about company culture and create appeal. In short, they identify what is most important to today’s job seeker and do what they need to do to attract and retain them.

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!

 

Battling in the War for Talent

April’s Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development report shows unemployment at 3.2%, the lowest point in 30 years. Area employers are quickly reaching a point of pure frustration as they try to fill open jobs throughout Southeastern Wisconsin, and especially in highly populated markets in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. But before you throw in the towel, we urge you to start thinking proactively. At Nissen Staffing Continuum, we are constantly looking for new and creative ways to strategically recruit for our clients. As the saying goes, “the best defense is a good offense.”

Today’s job seekers are looking for VALUE and view jobs as opportunities. They are trying to understand their purpose in a job and how they can contribute with their own unique gifts and talents. They are looking for belonging and a greater purpose, and want to feel like others care about them and their success. And once they understand their value and greater purpose, they are looking to become masters in their roles and apply that mastery through to a promotion.

As employers, we urge you to look at things like benefits and job descriptions and incorporate the needs of today’s job seekers into every step of your hiring process. Ask yourself the tough question of “Why would someone want to work here?” and then incorporate those things into your descriptions, postings and interview questions. Sell it. Make them understand not just the job, but the FEELING behind the job and the vibe of your business.

Staffing experts say that a performance-based job profile is essential to an effective hiring system. This type of job profile helps to define what success is on a job by spelling it in specific and measurable terms. According to Lou Adler, CEO and Founder of the Adler Group, an ideal job profile is a one-page document and includes some important items:

  • The 5-7 most important deliverables required to be successful in the job.
  • The qualities of a successful person in terms of knowledge, skills & abilities.
  • Specific short- and long-term performance expectations that define success.

We will talk more about performance-based job profiles in a future blog, and provide some examples and success stories we’ve had by utilizing this philosophy.

While helping an employee define success is imperative, it’s important to remember that today’s job seekers have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. Websites like GlassDoor, Google, Yelp and social media applications give employees (current, future and former) the opportunity they want to both give and read feedback. Own your feedback and respond to it. Build your own brand in terms of job satisfaction and employee engagement. What you don’t share, someone else will and it is in your best interest to make sure that your message is on point.

To find the best people, you will need to be a best in class employer. Sometimes, this means making changes to your work environment. While these changes may be simple or complex, they are always worth the effort. Making these changes and increasing your ability to recruit talent has an added perk:  retaining the great talent you already have. Understanding your own current and future workforce is the first step in ensuring your company’s success for years to come.

You only get one chance to make a first impression; make sure the first impression you make is a positive one. An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum can help you make your next great hire. 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!

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

 

Happy 20th Anniversary Nissen Staffing Continuum!

2017 marks the 20th anniversary for Nissen Staffing Continuum, Inc., one of the largest staffing companies in Southeastern Wisconsin. Nissen Staffing Continuum has grown from the dreams of President/Founder, Scott Nissen, to a company with revenue reaching over $32 million in 2016. A celebration is planned for spring, where the company will invite clients to an open house.

Company President, Scott Nissen, remarked:

“The overriding theme for the last two decades was change, both dramatic and evolutionary. From high-demand job orders for our clients to low supply of talent in the labor market, we’ve seen and experienced a combination of sudden waves and gradual shifts that have shaped our human capital solutions and culture of service.  The staffing solution provider space continues to be a source of reinvention, innovation, and value creation.  We have flexed our business model to accommodate the market changes and have embraced the disruption as new opportunities for our firm. Today our book of business spans all industries, more occupational titles, and greater geography than ever before.

The one constant at Nissen Staffing Continuum that we take great pride in is our core values. Our values guide our behaviors and actions on a daily basis – truth, outstanding performance, engagement, serve others first, diversity, leadership, teamwork, and flexibility.

Thank you, Nissen team members, clients, and associates, for the roles that you have played in our success – we could not have done it without you and we look forward to creating new value, together, for all those we serve in the years to come.  Building a great company and teamwork has been like driving a car.  It calls for us to gain hindsight or experience, by glancing in the rearview mirror, looking back on all that has happened before, which is now history.  It calls for us to take the time to reflect on our successes, our failures, our mistakes, and our missed opportunities.   It calls for us to look through the windshield, imagine a better future ahead, and to gain precious foresight by passing on our trials, errors and achievements as lessons in leadership.  It calls for us to live in the present, worrying about neither yesterday, nor tomorrow, but rather facing the challenges of what today offers, one interaction at a time. To all those we touch, thank you for your confidence in us. We strive to be a firm of excellence and will continue to learn from experience, and build our business around exceptional customer satisfaction while implementing continuous process improvements in the years to come.”

Nissen Staffing Continuum was originally comprised of only three employees and has been rapidly growing since. They are now the sixth-largest staffing company in Southeastern Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. NSC has also received several prestigious awards this past year, including their third MMAC/COSBE Future 50 Award and the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Firms award twice

About Nissen Staffing Continuum

Nissen Staffing Continuum is a team of human resource experts who provide creative staffing solutions for clients, and career opportunities for associates. “Our history of making successful connections between our clients and associates since 1997 has resulted in thousands of new jobs and new hires! We have proven to be successful across the full spectrum of employment solutions – from entry-level to professional, temporary to direct hire,” Nissen Staffing Continuum’s President and CEO, Scott Nissen said.

If you are interested in working with Nissen Staffing Continuum, visit www.nissenstaffing.com or give them a call at 262.544.4787.

Nissen Staffing Continuum 2017 – Leadership and Management Team

Rolling Out the Welcome Mat – Tips to Welcome New Employees

The employment market is tight. In today’s economy, there are more jobs than there are qualified workers.  You have finally hired the perfect person to fill your open job.  Don’t lose them on their first day. Taking the time to make your new hire feel welcome may not only result in better employee retention, it may also result in some great employee referrals.

Here are some helpful tips to welcome your new employees:

  • Remember that they are starting. Don’t laugh; all too often a new employee shows up to blank stares and that is not the way to tell someone you are happy they have joined your company.  If you have a reception area, make sure you tell your front office staff who you are expecting and who should be contacted when they arrive.  A small welcome sign is a nice touch.  Be present and make sure they know that they are a priority in your day.
  • Assign a New Employee Mentor. Do you have an employee that is always looking for leadership opportunities?  Give them the chance to be a new employee mentor.  Having a single point of contact to ask questions is very reassuring to a new employee and gives the new employee an immediate connection.
  • Spread out the Paperwork. New hire paperwork is a necessary evil.  Between payroll paperwork, procedure sign offs, and training/procedure logs, new employees could easily be left alone for hours reading manuals, watching videos and completing forms.  Spread it out a little; that much time alone can make new employees feel isolated and definitely not part of the team.
  • Create a Space. Make sure your new hires have workspace, basic supplies and working technology.  Give them a little time to get their work area set up, letting them know where to request or obtain additional office supplies.  Show them how to use the phone system.  Have your IT department assist them in getting logged into their computer and make sure that they have access to whatever systems they need to start their training.   Also make sure that they have an ID, security card, or whatever else is necessary for them to get in and out of your facility as a staff member.
  • Give Them a Plan. Most employees appreciate knowing what is expected of them and when.  Often, a timeline or orientation checklist gives a new employee a visual of what they need to accomplish.  Be sure to include contact information for each area, in case the employee has questions.
  • Be Sensitive to the Schedule. Is Monday your busiest day of the week? Don’t start someone on a Monday. Does your business become a ghost town on Friday afternoons during the summer?  Avoid Friday starts.  When you plan the first day for a new employee, think about the other people that will be needed to make them feel welcome, and be sure that the start day and time makes sense for all those involved.
  • Give team-led tours. Make sure your new employees get to know your business.  One great way to do this is by giving them a tour and having someone in that department/area introduce the new hires to the staff in that department and tell them a little more about what they do, and how they may be interacting in the future.  Don’t forget to show them the restrooms, where they can hang up their coat, where they can eat their lunch, and any other common areas that may be important to them.
  • Make time for social connections. A great thing to do on an employee’s first day is take the time to offer an opportunity to connect and get to know some of your staff on a more casual level.  Think about a breakfast, or lunch, or even a casual after work get together. Be sure to tell them ahead of time, so they don’t make other plans that they need to awkwardly cancel.

You only get one chance to make a first impression; make sure the first impression you make is a positive one.  An award-winning staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin in manufacturing, clerical, professional and light industrial placements, Nissen Staffing Continuum can help you make your next great hire.  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!

 

 

 

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.