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Do you own a staffing agency? Is meeting payroll your biggest challenge? Learn how to finance your growing staffing agency.

Financing Your Staffing Agency

Financing Your Staffing AgencyAs a staffing agency owner, your biggest concern is making sure your employees get paid on time - always. In this article, well discuss a tool that will help you get the funds to meet payroll every time. Well also talk about a financing tool that will let you take on new contracts, even those that you think are too big and cant possibly afford to win. This financing tool is easy to qualify for (its NOT a business loan), can be set up in days and can give you all the necessary funding your staffing agency needs.This tool is called invoice factoring, and also referred to as receivable factoring. This financing is not offered by a bank, but rather by a factoring company.If you are like most agency owners, your problem is not lack of work or customers. I am sure you have plenty of both. Your biggest problem is that your customers take between 30 and 60 days to pay their invoices. But, your employees need to be paid weekly (or bi-weekly). And unless you have a fat bank account, the math does not work. Sooner or later, youll run out of money.But what if you could eliminate slow paying clients? No, I dont mean that you should stop doing business with them. I mean, what if you could turn them into quick paying clients? What would happen to your business if every client was guaranteed (yes, guaranteed!) to pay you in 2 business days? How many of those clients could you take?Let me have a guess. You could take as many of those clients as you could get your hands on.By factoring your staffing agency receivables, you can turn your slow paying invoices into quick paying invoices. The process is simple:1. You do your work, as usual. You bill your customer but then submit a copy of the invoice to the "factoring company" for financing2. The factoring company provides you an immediate advance on 90% of the invoice. You can use that money to meet payroll and pay expenses3. The factoring company waits to get paid by your customer4. Once they are paid, they rebate the remaining 10%, less their feesThe main requirement for factoring is that you do business with good paying customers. If your customers pay regularly (but slowly) you can almost always qualify. And as opposed to a business loan, your personal credit is usually not an issue.So, if you own a growing staffing company, be sure to consider "invoice factoring" .

Keep Your Lunch Money!!!

Keep Your Lunch Money!!!

Ahh, we all remember the bully from grade school who performed his usual schoolyard shake down on anyone who was intimidated enough to make with the lunch money or go home with a shiner on the eye. However, many of our childhood stories of bullies end up in some kid finally having the courage to stand up and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!Times havent changed all that much when it comes to the workplace. Increasingly, employees are educating themselves, (or in some cases, educated by others) on the vulnerability of an employer when it comes to claims made through the department of labor.Weve all heard of the thousands of law suits that yield tenacious employees millions of dollars. Disgruntled employees looking for the quick buck may just set their sights on an unsuspecting but well-intentioned employer. So how do we stand up to this bully?Many are saying it will cost the employer less to just pay the employee off and get rid of them to avoid the cost of a lengthy legal battle. To those, the time has come to say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!When investigating a claim from the employers end, the first question, and often the most difficult to answer, is was the scenario intentional. In other words, does the employee have a valid claim? In some cases, the employee may have been mistreated and not given ample opportunity to resolve the matter. However, in other cases the claim is without basis and many times out right fraudulent. The line must be drawn here. By creating an industrial culture that fosters extortion, we simply perpetuate the situation and welcome more claims and more costly legal battles.When confronted with a clearly fraudulent claim, FIGHT IT. Examine your documentation, have your HR Representative assist you in constructing an explanation of the facts. This is what the Department of Labor is most interested in. And as we all know, he with the most documentation WINS. You may find yourself threatened by representatives from the claimants party with promises of lawsuits or other legal action, but fear not. Bowing out gracefully only encourages this type of behavior. As an employer, particularly one with a sizable bank account, you are a sizable and worthwhile target. Minimizing your liability requires strong documentation policies and ethical labor practices.If presented with a claim, consult your HR Representative or a company that does HR consulting immediately and invest the time in presenting a concise, detailed and factual response to the DOL. Fight it, all the way to the top if you have to but FIGHT IT. Particularly if your companys integrity is at stake. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Recruitment as the most important aspect of Human Resource Management

Recruitment as the most important aspect of Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management theories focus on methods of recruitment and selection and highlight the advantages of interviews, general assessment and psychometric testing as employee selection processes. The recruitment process could be internal or external or could also be online and involves the stages of recruitment policies, advertising, job description, job application process, interviews, assessment, decision making, legislation selection and training (Korsten 2003, Jones et al, 2006). Examples of recruitment policies within healthcare sector and business or industrial sectors could provide insights on how recruitment policies are set and managerial objectives are defined. Successful recruitment methods include a thorough analysis of the job and the labor market conditions and interviews as well as psychometric tests to determine the potentialities of applicants. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) also focus on interviews and assessment with emphasis on job analysis, emotional intelligence in new or inexperienced applicants and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Other techniques of selection that have been described include various types of interviews, in tray exercise, role play, group activity, etc.Recruitment is almost central to any management process and failure in recruitment can create difficulties for any company including an adverse effect on its profitability and inappropriate levels of staffing or skills. Inadequate recruitment can lead to labor shortages, or problems in management decision making and the recruitment process could itself be improved by following management theories. The recruitment process could be improved in sophistication with Rodgers seven point plan, Munro-Frasers five-fold grading system, psychological tests, personal interviews, etc. Recommendations for specific and differentiated selection systems for different professions and specializations have been given. A new national selection system for psychiatrists, anesthetists and dental surgeons has been proposed within the UK health sector. Recruitment is however not just a simple selection process and requires management decision making and extensive planning to employ the most suitable manpower. Competition among business organisations for recruiting the best potential has increased focus on innovation, and management decision making and the selectors aim to recruit only the best candidates who would suit the corporate culture, ethics and climate specific to the organisation (Terpstra, 1994). This would mean that the management would specifically look for potential candidates capable of team work as being a team player would be crucial in any junior management position. Human Management resource approaches within any business organisation are focused on meeting corporate objectives and realization of strategic plans through training of personnel to ultimately improve company performance and profits (Korsten, 2003). The process of recruitment does not however end with application and selection of the right people but involves maintaining and retaining the employees chosen. Despite a well drawn plan on recruitment and selection and involvement of qualified management team, recruitment processes followed by companies can face significant obstacles in implementation. Theories of HRM may provide insights on the best approaches to recruitment although companies will have to use their in house management skills to apply generic theories within specific organizational contexts. BibliographyJones, David A.; Shultz, Jonas W.; Chapman, Derek S. (2006) Recruiting Through Job Advertisements: The Effects of Cognitive Elaboration on Decision Making International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Volume 14, Number 2, pp. 167-179(13)Korsten A.D. (2003) Developing a training plan to ensure employees keep up with the dynamics of facility management Journal of Facilities Management, Volume 1, Number 4, pp. 365-379(15)Papers For You (2006) P/HR/254. HRM: methods of recruitment and selection", Available from http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/sprthrm18.htm [22/06/2006]Papers For You (2006) "E/HR/21. Using relevant frameworks and theories critically evaluate the recruitment and selection appraisal processes used by an organisation with which you are familiar contribute. How does it contribute to the performance of the organisation?", Available from Papers4you.com [21/06/2006]Shipton, Helen; Fay, Doris; West, Michael; Patterson, Malcolm; Birdi, Kamal (2005) Managing People to Promote Innovation Creativity and Innovation Management, Volume 14, Number 2, pp. 118-128(11)Terpstra D.E. (1994) HRM: A Key to Competitiveness Management Decision, Volume 32, Number 9, pp. 10-14(5)

Standardize Your Process To Improve The Bottom Line

Standardize Your Process To Improve The Bottom Line

Standardize your processes! You can save time, money and prevent errors. Things you do over and over should be done the same way every time, if indeed you do the task the best way. They say variety is the spice of life, but for healthcare processes it certainly isnt most of the time. Consider this, if you would. Would you buy your favorite brand of soda if sometimes your 12 ounce can were 3/4 of the way full and sometimes almost overflowing. Certainly not. You expect there to consistently be nearly 12 ounces every time. How would a patient behave if the results of a healthcare visit varied wildly? The patient would probably find a new provider. The best healthcare providers deliver a consistently good service; it helps attract new patients and keeps the old ones coming back. Standardization helps save time. As things become routine, a process is easier to do and is done more quickly. For instance, if a primary care physician makes sure that the necessary items for a patient visit are always in the examining room, the doctor wont have to waste time going to look for supplies and waste time for the patient or the doctor. I recommend that primary care physicians along with staff sit down and list the things that should always be in examination rooms and make sure someone is responsible for these items every morning before patients arrive. If this is done, the doctor can save time, thereby enabling him or her to spend more quality time with the patient or see more patients. Standardization saves money. Most doctors face rising malpractice costs, but for one group this has not been trueanesthesiologists. According to an article in the June 21, 2005 edition of the Wall Street Journal, this group over two decades ago began implementing procedures that ensured the safety of their patients. Certain processes have been standardized across the profession so instead of one death per 5000 cases, there is now only one per 200000 to 300000 cases. Because of this, their malpractice insurance premiums plummeted. Standardization prevents errors, as in the above illustration. Another example is drawn form a local hospital. Recently the Chief Financial Officer of the institution and I were discussing the new facility they were building. Instead of building adjacent rooms so that the bathrooms would be back to back to save plumbing costs, each room was designed so that each room will be exactly the same with bathrooms all on the same side. Why? This will prevent errors and in the long run save money for the hospital. It is best if you can measure standardization. The best tool to measure standardization in statistics is variance or standard deviation. I am sure many of you have encountered this measure, but probably cannot calculate it. The best way to calculate it is either in a spreadsheet or on a calculator. For example, the standard deviation for the numbers 8, 12, 1, 4 and 5 is 4.18. For the group 5, 5, 5, 5, and 5 the standard deviation is 0, since there is no variety. So, when you are trying to standardize a process, see if you cannot find some significant measure that reflects the process and try to reduce the standard deviation as much as possible. In fact, this is the heart of Six Sigmareduce the standard deviation as much as possible. The best manufacturers and service providers often use this tool. Once you have standardized a process and have achieved a satisfactory standard deviation, then write down the process in a manual that is a collection of all best practices. This way, anyone who needs to reference how a process should be conducted can refer to the manual. Too, it is an excellent training source for new employees. As you can see in these brief illustrations, standardization or the lack of variance provides safety for patients, a savings of time for the provider and patient, and contributes to an improved bottom line.

Chef Uniforms: Style Made to Order

Isn't it funny how many chef uniforms in high-class restaurants are white? Even a regular person who wears white shirts or pants has a hard time keeping them spot and stain-free on a normal day. Think about how difficult is it for cooks and bakers, who are constantly leaning over soup bowls and sauting vegetables, to keep their chef uniforms clean and tidy.Whatever the reason for the color choice, the crisp white chef uniform sets apart the food preparers from other restaurant employees and represents a well-respected staff member who has earned a reputable position as a chef.While the makeup of a chef uniform may project an image of a simple white smock or coat, there are many more color and fabric choices and accessories that could make up their business uniform.Chef frocks and jackets come in a variety of shades and styles. While most are the traditional white tops with minimal to no color design, others available include red, green and even denim chef uniform shirts. Most are secured by buttons either on one side of the front of the attire or contain two sets, usually sporting black or white colored buttons.A more relaxed, less high-scale establishment could also possibly distribute collared, polyester or cotton shirts to their employees for chef uniforms. To add spiffiness to a chef uniform, accessorize the garments with neckerchiefs. They are an inexpensive item that spruces up the look of a basic chef uniform, adding color and a bit of flash to otherwise basic gear.Some kitchens require their cooks to wear simple black or white pants; others opt for a more unique and colorful chef uniform pant, purchasing cotton speckled or graphic-designed comfortable baggy or straight-legged bottoms. Allowing chefs to sport these comfy pants may give a more creative feel among kitchen staff and are certainly more flexible when sprinting from the salad station to the dessert tray. Spills may also be less noticeable in case a chef is asked to make an appearance in the dining area. Adding a full-length or wrap-around waist apron could also act as a guard for unwanted splatter disasters.Big billowy hats are perhaps the most noticeable and captivating article of a chef uniform. Not only are they fun to look at by restaurant patrons, they serve the purpose of keeping loose hairs secure so that strands don't accidentally fall into the food. Caps are sometimes used as an alternative to chef hats and basically serve the same purpose.Nothing is worse than a scalded hand when a chef is cooking up a masterpiece. For that reason, oven mitts should be a chef uniform requirement for those handling metal pans or reaching into baking ovens. There is one more item that should be kept on hand to keep those chef uniforms looking spectacular. Management should keep a bottle of stain remover accessible to remove surface spatters from chef uniforms as to lighten the washing machine's burden. Suggesting employees purchase a bottle for use at home wouldn't be a bad idea either.

The Impact of Sickness Absence Among Workforce

Studies have revealed that sickness absence, from short-term and longer-term sickness, is one of the major reasons for employee absences. Stress is also emerging as a major factor with its impact higher compared to earlier periods.Any absence management program would hence require special focus on sickness absence. Different Kinds of Sickness Reported for Sickness AbsenceMinor illness such as colds, flu, stomach upset and headaches are the most frequently reported kinds of sickness, among both manual and non-manual employees. Employees might just call in sick reporting such problems.Manual workers engaged in physically demanding work tend to suffer more from physical ailments like back pain and musculo-skeletal injuries. For non-manual employees stress is a major problem, with one study reporting it as the second most frequent type of sickness, after minor illnesses.Recurring medical conditions is another major contributor to sickness absence.Stress-Related Sickness AbsencesExcessive and sustained pressure of work can lead to stress when it goes beyond acceptable levels of pressure. In such cases, employers can be held liable for compensation payments for stress-related injuries.Even psychiatric disorders can result where employees have to work in a confusing, non-rewarding and non-empowered manner, without support and understanding from their managers.Stress adversely affects health, happiness and performance at work. Even without compensation payments, stress can cost the employer in the form of lower level of employee performance.Stress is not a single illness, but a range of health problems arising from varied kinds of work pressures.Under law, employers are obliged to assess stress risks in workplace and manage things in a way to reduce incidence of stress.Impact of Stress Assessment on Sickness AbsenceEven without the compulsion of law, enlightened employers would recognize the impact of stress risk assessment and remedial workplace measures. Stress is estimated to cause the highest level of sickness absence in this century.Interacting with employees through questions, attitude surveys and job satisfaction surveys are the typical ways for stress-risks assessment. The assessment seeks to assess whether:

  • Employees find jobs too demanding
  • Employees are able to control how the work is done
  • They receive adequate support from colleagues and managers
  • They are clearly aware of their roles and responsibilities
  • They have to suffer unacceptable kinds of behavior from others
  • Organizational changes are affecting them unduly
Reducing Sickness AbsenceThe stress risk assessment factors mentioned above would give an idea of how stress can be reduced. Develop policies and job specifications that help employees understand their roles and responsibilities clearly. Give them some leeway in how the work is done. Create a workplace atmosphere where workers seek to help each other instead of find faults with each other. Educate the employees so that they are better able to cope with problems.For sickness absence in general, it is important to let employees know the procedures involved in availing sickness absence. Some kinds of short-term sickness might need only self-certification while others would need a doctor's certificate or even an examination by the company doctor. Employees need to inform their supervisors about their absence and the reasons for it.A return-to-work interview after a sickness absence, particularly short-term sickness, can help the organization identify real problems and take suitable measures. Managers can discuss the situation with the employee and help the latter with the problem.Managers are trained to conduct return-to-work interviews and to help employees with health-related problems. Sick pay is often restricted to discourage availing sick leave to the extent possible.With the help of occupational health specialists, organizations can take steps to reduce the incidence of occupational health risks at the workplace.Measures such as the above could have a significant impact on sickness absence.ConclusionMinor illnesses and stress are emerging as the major contributors to sickness absence. In certain industries, occupational health risks can contribute to increased sickness and absence. All organizations could benefit from carrying out a stress risks assessment survey of their workplaces, and adopting policies and job practices that reduce stress. A return-to-work interview by properly trained managers can help identify problems early, and help employees handle them.

Summary

Do you own a staffing agency? Is meeting payroll your biggest challenge? Learn how to finance your growing staffing agency.