Posts Tagged: temps


Outside-In® Talent Seminar: Trends of the Contingent Workforce

March 3rd, 2014

Last Thursday, we held our second Outside-In® Talent Seminar of 2014, Trends of the Contingent Workforce. Business professionals and knowledge-seeking individuals joined us at Newark’s own Klondike Kates for some hand shaking, a hot breakfast, and a very illuminating discussion.

workforceFounder and CEO of the Outside-In® Companies, Chris Burkhard, led the conference on the realities of todays evolving workforce. Through discussing the outlooks of the three different age brackets, Chris illustrated how the nature of employment is evolving, and how the workforce (people) and the structure of work (business) are rapidly changing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there are now 2.78 million contract and temp workers in the U.S.—an all time high! This increase proves that a structural shift is occurring as the career system is quickly evolving.

Many of our guests provided positive feedback about Chris’s natural ability to public speak as well as the networking and intriguing discussions that occurred afterwards. “I appreciated the upbeat atmosphere and the opportunity to meet some different folks from the community,” said Patricia Dill. “Chris’s comments were interesting and thought provoking. My daughter and her beau are in the demographic he discussed and they are both seeking work that is meaningful. They want whatever they end up doing to have an impact in addition to paying the bills.”

Interested in attending our Outside-In® Talent Seminars? We’ll be offering eight more seminars this year, continuing Thursday, March 27th with The Importance of Planning your Workforce and Working your Talent Plan, presented by Outside-In® Group Lead Lisa Van Ess. Join us for a valuable discussion on the steps and strategies Talent Acquisition and Talent Management professionals should take to move upward and onward from “reactivity” to “proactivity”. Get your tickets here.

Placers Announces ‘Agent to the Workforce’ Service

June 24th, 2013

Agent to the WorkforceMembers of the Placers team now provide an added advantage in this tight job market: an Agent to the Workforce.

Placers is the contingent workforce solutions company that in the 1990s was one of Delaware’s largest employers.  Headquartered in Newark, Placers returned to the job scene in 2011 as an Outside-In® partner of CBI Group.

Currently, Placers employs contractors in a variety of positions including manufacturing, healthcare, banking and information technology in positions ranging from support to management.  After being part of Placers, each employee now has the option of working with a job/career coach with Barton Career Advisors (BCA), another Outside-In® partner.

“We believe strongly in supporting and empowering our people,” says Placers and CBI Group Founder and President Chris Burkhard.  “And that includes offering career coaching and support which we think has a lot of value in any economic climate, boom or bust. As our partnership with Barton Career Advisors deepens, we think this is a lasting benefit in support of our people,” Burkhard adds.

Once a Placers employee expresses interest, he/she gets access to a BCA coach for three half-hour sessions usually by telephone, explains Greg Moore, the BCA coach leading Agent to the Workforce. “Then we hook them into our online portal and its modules for career change, resume writing and job searches. And from that one they can just apply online for positions that interest them.”

While this is great for the worker, might it narrow the pool of Placers people making the transition from temp jobs to full-time? “That certainly could happen but we still feel this is an important service to offer,” Burkhard says. “The way to success for a workforce management organization is to have positive, productive people and we see Agent to the Workforce as playing a positive role.”

Placers team member Ginola Johnson says she finds the program very informative and the online components, especially the job search tools, “much easier to use than having to sift through a lot of emails.”  Each participant has access through Barton Career Advisors to a one-source job lead program that issues a daily job lead e-mail message including multiple leads in the person’s field, eliminating many potential messages.

So does she feel a sense of support when it comes time to look for her next opportunity?  “I sure do!” Ginola says.

To learn more about Agent to the Workforce service feature visit the Placers website for more information.

Temps: A Working Solution

March 28th, 2012

By Eileen Smith Dallabrida
Delaware First Media News

These days, “temping” has a whole new spin as high-powered professionals are increasingly turning to interim positions.

The latest assignment for Dave Berlin of Exton, Pa., is as controller for a lumber company.

He also has done strategic financial planning for a maker of online greeting cards and a manufacturer of artificial turf. He served as interim CFO for a recruiting service.

There’s a boomlet in organizations looking for top talent on a contract or temporary basis, says Chris Burkhard, president of the CBI Group, a recruiting firm.

“Organizations are using temporary workers to help find that perfect match for permanent positions,” he says.

This strategy also benefits job hunters, who often wind up on the payroll full time after starting out in a temporary position. Berlin, 49, says he is open to coming on board full time in management at a mid-sized company. But he hasn’t found the right match yet.

CBI specializes in professional positions in a number of areas: sales and marketing; technical, health and life sciences; and corporate accounting, human resources, information technology, finance and legal services.

The agency placed Berlin with the lumber company. Before he began exploring contract positions, Berlin worked in management for Ernst & Young, a large accounting firm.

“I started taking temporary jobs in Pennsylvania and Delaware after I moved from New York to Exton,” he recalls. “I didn’t have any contacts in the area and this seemed like a good way to build a network.”

Sometimes, he finds his own positions, usually through referrals from previous clients. His assignments have lasted from three months to a year and a half. Pay ranges from $50 an hour—“if I’m in a lull”—to $125 an hour.

Berlin is responsible for the considerable expense of paying his own medical benefits. He doesn’t get a paid vacation or sick days.

“The other workers are off on Good Friday,” he says. “For me, it’s an unpaid day.”

Still, he enjoys the challenge of coming in and finding solutions for a variety of companies.

“As a temporary worker you can be extremely effective because you have no baggage, you have no favorites,” he says.

The Produce Marketing Association in Newark has been turning to contract workers for design, marketing and other services for the past four years. CBI acts as the filter, identifying candidates who can get up to speed quickly.

“It’s so dynamic, so fast-paced, we need someone who can jump in,” says Kelly Koczak, PMA vice president of marketing. “We are looking for people who are true collaborators with great energy, which is the ideal fit for our culture.”

Burkhard says there has been a structural realignment in thinking as both hiring managers and job seekers have grown more comfortable with the notion of short-term and interim solutions.

“The days of starting in the mailroom, working your way up and getting a gold watch after 30 years are over,” he says. “The recession made us all look at the way we do business differently.”

Looking forward, he believes there will be increased hiring, both temporary and permanent, as more businesses start growing again.

Burkhard’s informal barometer of the market—his teenage son’s network of Facebook friends—is trending upwards.

“All his friends who couldn’t find work are now getting jobs,” he says. “That tells me that fewer grownups are competing for those jobs.”

Go to the story here.

Temps on the Rise

March 25th, 2012

Employers like ease, flexibility of contract hiring

Written by
ERIC RUTH
The News Journal

Nicole Fullmer may not realize it, but she has become a crucial part of getting the economy back on track — and a symbol of a big part of the job picture in coming years.

The 39-year-old contract worker, along with thousands like her across the state and nation, is at the forefront of the long-anticipated recovery in the labor market, and also a sign of a shift by employers — and willing job-seekers — toward jobs not involving long tenures or career ladders, economists say.

Economists say a current strengthening in the temporary employment ranks is evidence the economy is growing and firms are starting to add people to their payrolls — or creating demand for temps that has temp agencies adding people.

And temporary employment overall is growing, as temp and contract hiring become crucial tools for businesses looking to stay flexible and remain competitive, said Chris Burkhard, president of the CBI Group.

“It will become more of a partnership with large companies that use temporary staffing as part of their recruitment process,” said Christine Proffitt, vice president of sales and operations at Integrity Staffing Solutions, a national placement firm based in Wilmington.

It’s also gaining acceptance among younger workers who are less inclined to see themselves staying with one company for a lifetime, he said.

“For that group, freelance is cool. Or getting a new project is fun,” said Burkhard, who has resurrected his company’s “Placers” temp staffing brand because of growing demand. “The viewpoint of the workforce has shifted.”

Download the full article here.

A Workforce Realignment

March 7th, 2012

With a career dedicated to recruitment and staffing, I am a student of the workplace and workforce. I pay close attention to the realities of the industry as trends emerge and realignments change the way we do things. What do I mean? Workforce realities are the collective impact of globalization, technology, government, demographics and social norms on running a business. And currently, there is a lot of debate about how business is doing workforce planning.

Post-recession thinking has it that business is prone to using a contractual workforce for six months–one year after a recession ends to handle increasing productivity needs. This mild, tenuous recovery followed right along with history, with one big exception! That one year quickly became two, and now three years. So what gives? What happened to the shift where companies stopped using temps and started hiring directly to the payroll? There has been a fundamental realignment in workplace planning thinking.

The business leaders of today know that the range and fluctuation in business can be extreme. Does anyone remember the last recession? Of course we all do. The last recession was akin to that 100 year flood that none of us can imagine happening to our town. But this time around, it was us that lived through it.

We will continue to use temporary workers to be flexible and adaptable to fluctuations in business demand. But the realities of today’s workforce is that we need to get used to it. The social norms still suggest that everyone should go get a good job and work for a great company where they can feel secure. But that security may come from our skills and our focus on building them — more so than where we work. Loyalty may not be completely dead, but almost. No company can make forever employment promises any longer.

Today, we are all responsible for our own career. It is our job to build our skills and to manage our career. And with a shift like this, skill building will come in the form of projects, contract work and temporary assignments.

Are you ready for the shift?

It’s Budget Time — Is Your People Plan Ready?

December 7th, 2011

Wait, maybe it is not that easy! Whether you are in a big company or a small entrepreneurial business, the fourth quarter is a time of planning and forecasting for the year ahead. 2012 is coming, and I am not sure we are all ready. But guess what? 2012 will come whether you plan or not. Why not be as ready as you can? Budget time, yahoo! The largest line item in all of our budgets? People!
 
You would think that with all of our advancements in IT and software that people planning would be easier. Workforce analytics and executive dashboards have come along way, however there is still a lot of managing to be done for most of us. Let’s look to history for our explanation. Traditions in budgets come into play. Long-range planning used to be much longer, 5 years or more. Business did not change as fast. We did not have as much information. The world moved a little slower. Today, one year can be a long time. Business moves up and down much, much quicker too. When it comes to the workforce, everything was more stable. Most of us stayed with one company a little longer. Companies could afford to be “parental” and careers began in the mail room and ended years later with the gold watch.
 
Wow, that sure is not true today. Budgeting for headcount did not change much year to year. Just add a few percentage points to last year for cost increases and move on. NOT ANY MORE. I have a good friend and customer who is in manufacturing. Every year they run an extensive process to plan for people within the business. And every year it is completely wrong. Planning how a business will do is one thing, but planning a business and its people needs? We are talking a completely different level of complexity.
 
The workforce/worker issue today is so complex. Each of us will have 7-10 different careers and many will change paths completely. There are multiple generations in the workforce. Some that remember and miss parental companies and many that know they will never exist again. Why? They grew up in households where their mom/dad/uncle/aunt were caught in down sizing and the realities of today’s world of work. Now there are options for free agency, contingent workers, contractors, temporaries. There is so much for managers to absorb and for the workforce to deal with. And yes, it makes planning for people and budgets harder.
 
Our managers psyche is forever changed. The economy is still so uncertain in its recovery and slowwww to rebound. We see high employment numbers and assume that people planning can and should be an afterthought. “There is so much available talent, just keep them coming.” My company hears this everyday. So many business plans are finished and then HR is asked to fill the openings. The War for Talent still exists. The War is just taking longer. The War is just different than we thought. Many critical skill sets remain difficult to staff with “A” players. Ask any head of engineering or VP of sales. The right talent is still rare.
 
Work is different today too. Most work we need done can be project oriented. Jobs and people are rarely perfectly matched. Change happens. People and jobs outgrow one another. This phenomenon has always happened, it is just speeding up! Technology has made most jobs portable — jobs can be done anywhere one has good Internet and telecom. Staff can be and is global.
 
So what does all this mean for you?

  • The world of work and workers has never been more complex for your business. And our mindsets and tools to manage have not kept pace. We all need to change and evolve.
  • Learn to embrace that the way work is viewed is forever changed. We must become workforce experts as managers of our businesses.
  • Get a rolling forecast going. Yes, build a budget that allows for changes and inevitable surprises. Roll with it.

Holiday Hiring: The Original Temporary Job

November 16th, 2011

It seems that everyone is trying to guess what the story is for holiday hiring this year. Some company’s plans are up from last year, some are down. Many companies are hiring later in the season and others appear to be paying more than in past years. The only consistency is well, inconsistency. This is no real surprise (to me at least) that the hiring picture is so schizophrenic. Holiday hiring is a sampling of the broader marketplace. And in a recovery that is getting better but still uncertain, more work will be temporary in nature. It makes you wonder if temporary work was, in fact, invented at holiday times. The work is seasonal or part-time, peak times.
 
Holiday hiring is temporary work defined.
 
A strong holiday hiring season will ignite the economy. I guarantee it. From where I sit our customers are busy. Hiring is coming back strong for the right skill sets. Unemployment claims are down below 400,000 a few weeks in a row. But there is still a stigma about holiday and temporary work. That must change. Workers must embrace today’s new reality, working is better than not working. Staying busy is better than waiting for the perfect fit, especially if you have been unemployed or looking for some time. Don’t believe me? Get your foot in the door and amazing things can happen. Doing a great job gets you noticed. And perhaps an introduction to others in the business. And a full-time job in your field can happen.
 
At CBI Group, Placers and Barton Career Advisors, we have heard it all around holiday hiring. Here is more advice this season if you or someone you know is looking for work this holiday season.

  • As many as 1/3 of all seasonal jobs will be evaluated for part-time or full-time status after the holiday season. What a wonderful opportunity to show your employer what you are capable of and for you to see if you like working in a particular company.

  • “Hiring does not happen during the holiday.” This is just not true. Yes the world slows down a little. But hiring managers may actually have more time for planning and hiring than the rest of the year.

  • The world is hiring more than retail this holiday season. Temporary work exists for businesses to hire talent quickly; many companies have forever changed their internal hiring resources. And the temporary jobs are abundant well beyond retail. Consider temporary work as a avenue to speed up your job search.

Who is responsible for your workforce strategy?

October 5th, 2011

I talk to many small business and Talent Acquisition leaders and have discovered an interesting trend emerging in terms of how firms use their contingent workforce. Many use a temporary workforce by accident or as a path of least resistance. I am reminded of an old Placers story from many years ago.
 
Our business provided temps of all levels and skills for an entire banking operation. The company was staging planned emergency preparedness drills and the leadership was discussing how to communicate the emergency plan with all their employees. When we suggested that all temps should know about emergency drills, the leader mentioned that it was probably overkill, after all how many contractors did they have in the building anyway? Well wasn’t the President surprised when they had 767?! This news did not diminish their use of temporary workers — it actually encouraged them to use more contractors. If this process was so effective and bug free that the President did not know about it, then why not leverage the use of a temporary workforce to get hiring done. Instead, the news prompted the question, who is responsible for this workforce strategy?
 
Today, with such uncertainty in the economy, doesn’t the rising temporary workforce prompt the same question? Who is responsible for the workforce strategy in your company? If it is not the President, then who is it? There is more visibility and transparency in the business world these days and we are never short of data and numbers to crunch. Gone are the days of the wild west where business does not know about purchased labor or temp usage. Businesses now survive by being flexible, by limiting the built-up, fixed costs in their company. With temp usage on the rise, it is critical to make sure someone is paying attention and managing this part of your business. So how can you apply some simple business principles?

    • Appoint someone on your organization chart to own your workforce strategy.
    • Develop a contingent workforce strategy: what percentage of your workforce should be contractual?
    • Take a look at your work peaks and valleys: how much risk is there in having your entire workforce be yours at the peak?
    • Talk to some staffing partners. Most partners today can be consultative and help you put together a strategy that fits your business needs.
    • Reporting. Do you have visibility into your spend? Into how your workforce is performing? Do you have retention information?

Being accountable is considered “in” today. Sometimes responsibility avoids us because no one has been assigned the job. Are you certain someone is responsible for your workforce strategy? Check your organizational chart please.
 

Isn’t Every Job Temporary?

September 7th, 2011

Sometimes seeing and acknowledging workforce and workplace change happens very slowly. For the past fifteen years there have been predictions that almost 50% of our total workforce will be contingent workers. To be specific, contingent means temporary, contractual labor, even seasonal and part-time workers.
 
We are not close to 50% yet, however, it seems with each economic business cycle the numbers edge upward. And you know what? I am beginning to wonder what ‘temporary’ means when it comes to jobs. But I will get back to that premise in a minute. First, let’s talk about the business side of the workforce.
 
Smart businesses have learned to manage their labor costs. Much attention and press has been given to our slow moving economy and the minimal job growth. Companies survived through the recession by trimming their “core” jobs and by reducing their contingent workers. In fact, from 2007 through mid-2009, the temporary workforce dove by 33.7% while the total private workforce dropped by just 5.8%, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data in The Atlantic.
 
For years the staffing industry has been espousing the benefits of a “contingent workforce strategy.” The numbers from 2007-2009 are evidence that businesses could reduce their costs and were able to do so quickly. In other words, the plan worked. Typically cost comes into play, simply put, there are less employee benefit costs. And for most, cost is a driver for using “temps.” However, the real benefit has been flexibility. The flexibility to lower labor costs quickly. The flexibility to change your workforce overnight. The ability to NOT have to build a permanent Human Resources department to screen, qualify, hire and fire. And finally, the ability and flexibility to add skills and competencies for project work.
 
And the numbers support that. In 2010, employment in temporary help services rose by about 300,000 to 2.21 million, according to the BLS. “By 2012, contingent employment will have returned to 2008 levels,” says Dana Shaw, senior vice president for strategy and solutions at Staffing Industry Analysts in Mountain View, Calif.
 
Growth and decline and temporary jobs will happen as a part of smart business. But isn’t every job temporary anyway? Have you ever looked at the average tenure of leaders of public companies? Some studies support that they average a little over year. I know some contract work that is longer than that! Besides, think about your job. Yes, the one you are in right now. Think about how much project work there is with a beginning and an end. Think about how frequently you are challenged to do things that aren’t written in your job description. Businesses demand both productivity and a growth in skills from its workers.
 
Burkhard theory suggests that most people are congruent or right for their jobs just a few times a year. Companies change fast. Jobs evolve. We grow in interest and in skill, and our job might not. Or the job changes around us and we might not be capable or even interested in how it evolves. If you’re in a fast-growing company, skills and work experience will change faster than people can settle in. If your business is shrinking? Many employees become too experienced for their role.
 
It seems like just yesterday that we all wanted was to work for parental companies and retire with the gold watch after thirty years. Many of us lived through the “age of free agency” in the workforce and perhaps scoffed at it for our own careers. Change comes slowly. However, change does come. And perhaps we are beginning to realize that every job is in fact “temporary.”
 

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