Tag Archives: Trends

Changing Tides – The Rise and Fall of a Changing Workforce

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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!

 

 

 

 

KEEPING YOUR EMPLOYEES AND YOUR BOTTOM LINE SAFE

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Can you answer YES to the following questions about workplace safety?

  • Does your company pride itself on keeping your workers safe?
  • Are you committed to implementing safe workplace practices, implementing training and decreasing your workers’ compensation costs?
  • Do you make sure that ALL of your staff, including your contingent staff, are part of your safety programs?

If you are like most companies, you easily answered yes to the first two questions, but hesitated before answering the last question.  You may assume that your staffing partner has provided safety training to the individuals that are working in your facility.  If this is your assumption, you are both right and wrong.

OSHA has stepped up its enforcement associated with the 2013 Temporary Worker Initiative to protect temporary employees from workplace hazards. Penalties for workplace violations have ranged from $700 up to $60,000 depending on the number and severity of violations identified during the on-site inspection. OSHA has emphasized that temporary workers must receive the same protection as other employees covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and should receive the same safety and hazard recognition training that all permanent employees receive.

As your staffing expert in Southeastern Wisconsin, we can assure you we are committed to providing basic safety training to our employees that we send to your business.  We have discussed things like PPE, lifting guidelines and basic workplace safety guidelines.  But every business is different, and your safety-related practices and protocols that are specific to your business cannot possibly be shared in detail by us as your staffing partner.  While our employees are our responsibility, we share the responsibility for a safe workplace with our clients.

The driving force behind this OSHA initiative was the high number of temporary workers that were severely injured or killed on the job. Moving forward, when OSHA inspects a client facility, the inspectors are directed to determine if temporary workers are being utilized and if they are exposed to workplace hazards. Below are a few excerpts related to the initiative for OSHA from Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Labor.

Here are some things to consider to help keep all of your workers safe:

Consideration 1:  Include Your Contingent Workforce in Your Safety Training

Any time your company reviews safety practices, your contingent workers should be included.  If there is a change in your safety protocol, your contingent workers should be included in the training.  Not only is it important for their OWN safety, it is also important to the people working around them.  Dr Michaels commented that

  1. Staffing agencies and their client companies who host temporary workers share the legal obligation to provide workplaces free of recognized hazards. This includes providing required, documented safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.
  2. OSHA inspectors will determine, in every inspection, if every temporary worker on the site has received the safety training and protection required by law for the job. If they haven’t, OSHA will hold their employer accountable.
  3. OSHA expects that documentation is maintained by the EMPLOYER for all safety related issues, including documenting any temporary employees’ workplace injuries on their OSHA 300 log.  It is not the responsibility of the staffing company to record injuries on this log.

Consideration 2: Keep Your Safety Standards the Same for Everyone

According to OSHA, “staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for temporary workers.”  This means that what applies to your own employees applies to your contingent employees as well.  Dr. Michaels noted that “common temporary staffing violations that are being identified are: failure to conduct a hazard assessment of the workplace, undocumented training that occurs by the staffing agency and host employer, exposure to chemical hazards, unguarded machinery, and/or lockout/tag out violations.”

Consideration 3:  Spell It Out in a Job Description

Be sure to provide your staffing partner with an adequate job description that correctly outlines job duties, including physical requirements.  Too often, employers do not want to share these job descriptions and end up frustrated when an employee is not able to complete the work.  Job descriptions are vital in making sure that an employee is capable of safely doing the job.  In addition, most staffing firms function under strict workers’ compensation guidelines.  Sometimes, they are not able to fill specific orders and complete specific tasks because their insurance simply will not allow it.

Consideration 4:  Be Open to Feedback

If a temporary worker reports a safety concern to you, listen and act on the report just as you would if it were your own employee.  In addition, report the concern and your response to your contact at the staffing company so they can properly document and follow up with their employee.

Workplace safety is everyone’s obligation.  Our goal, as always, is to provide workforce solutions to our clients and opportunities for our employees that are mutually beneficial and, above all, safe and meaningful.  Dr. Michaels states, “Whether temporary or permanent, all workers always have a right to a safe and healthy workplace.” We concur.

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. 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

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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!

Four Hiring Trends in the Workplace for 2016

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As 2016 begins, companies will need to think about making changes to their traditional hiring patterns. Instead of merely looking at skills and experience, employers must consider a candidate more holistically to ascertain the best-fit as the hiring process moves forward. As you evaluate potential changes, consider these four of the top hiring trends. Engaging them in the coming year could prove to be quite profitable.

  1. Maximizing technology

Currently, it’s an employee’s job market, and the workforce has opened to a more global scale. As technology enhances candidate mobility and shrinks geographical boundaries, smart candidates “shop” for specific jobs at specific companies. Embrace this as an employer’s advantage.  Yes, technology may increase your candidate flow but it can also bring those top candidates who are vying for positions to the top of the pile. Don’t hesitate to utilize online testing and evaluations, which assess behavior, personality, and cognitive ability, to target the best candidates. Video interviews also provide a low-cost way that employers can holistically pre-screen a candidate and narrow the pool.

  1. Making the most of the Boomer to Millennial transition

Baby Boomers are retiring in droves, leaving gaps in the knowledge and skills base when they exit. Don’t be left hanging. Plan for succession. Embrace the new leadership styles and strengths of Millennials, but utilize the mentoring/teaching skills of Boomers. Whether you keep Boomers on part-time or hire them back as consultants, not only will they share knowledge and value, but their guidance will be well received by your Millennials.

More importantly, meet your Millennial leaders on their playing field. They are typically transformational leaders who prefer a flatter hierarchy, personal connections, and the chance to impact society. By broadening your company’s vision to include support for social causes and leveling the leadership structure, your organization can experience growth in the hands of these new leaders.

  1. Recognizing the increasing need for flexibility

As countless Millennials anticipate having children, the demand for flexibility both in office hours and location increases. In addition to seeking time for personal and charitable endeavors, Millennials also want to spend time with their children, desiring to “flex” their schedules around their children’s needs. If not already in place, organizations would be wise to establish a flex-time policy, building around the principle of work accomplished and projects completed instead of focusing on how or where it happens.

  1. Redesigning the workspace

With flexibility, comes changes in workspace requirements. Many companies will be able to cut costs simply by reducing cubicles and creating “shared” spaces. These “co-working spaces” should be built with easy-to-move furniture and equipment to encourage collaboration and attract talent. Sometimes referred to as “meaningful” spaces, these inviting locations allow coworkers to feel like they are part of the work community, promote collaborative decision-making, and help shape the company culture. Meaningful spaces also promote happiness in the workplace, and therefore, a more productive working environment.

Understanding hiring trends and attracting new talent through workplace flexibility, technology, workplace setup and other strategies will help companies grow and remain competitive in the marketplace. The tips from above will all assist in branding your company as an employer of choice in 2016.

From our Nissen Staffing Continuum family to yours, we wish all of you a very safe and prosperous New Year!  Let Nissen Staffing Continuum help you focus on success. We work as your consultative staffing partner by adding value as a strategic resource. How may we assist you? Contact us today.

 

Preparing for the Exodus

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Back in 1999 and 2000, I spent a lot of time doing demographic studies for our clients that were trying to understand what their employee and customer demographics might look like in the near future.  We all knew it was coming; the “Baby Boomers” were about to check out of the professional world and check into the world of retirement.  These customers asked me a lot of questions:  How will  that impact us?  How do we train new employees?  How do we harness their experience and wisdom now so that our businesses stay knowledgeable and ready to meet the needs of our customers?  It was an interesting conversation to say the least.

Then, on September 11, 2001, our country was attacked and the world changed in a way that cannot even be described.  And as our economy took a downturn and Baby Boomers suddenly saw massive losses in the value of their retirement portfolios, many of them decided that they needed to stick it out and retirement was put on hold, at least for a little while.

Welcome to “a little while.”  That time is now and as we prepare for a mass exodus of the most experienced segment of our workforce, we have to ask ourselves, “Are our businesses ready?” Is your business ready?

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-baby-boomers-retirement-means-for-the-u-s-economy/

HR Hot Trends & Topics

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What are some trends and challenges that HR professionals are discussing this year?  According to SHRM (The Society of Human Resource Management), the list is very specific and emphasizes the need for creative recruiting and retention, knowledge of new laws and an understanding of technology and social media.

  • Competition for in-demand skilled workers.
  • The ongoing influence of developments in information and communications technologies.
  • Demographic changes and an aging population.
  • The importance of flexible and effective work/life strategies.
  • A growing emphasis on measurements and metrics.
  • A rise in uncertainty and volatility of markets.
  • Implications of government legislation, specifically, the Affordable Care Act.

To read the complete report, visit www.shrm.org or click on this link:

https://www.shrm.org/Research/FutureWorkplaceTrends/Documents/13-0724%202014%20Panel%20Trends%20Report%20v4.pdf

Source: www.shrm.org, Future Insights: The top trends for 2014 according to SHRM’s HR subject matter expert panels, 1/22/2014