Which Costs More: Paying Overtime or Bringing in Temp Help?

April 24th, 2015

Your business could use a few more hands. You’re entering your busy season, or you’ve just received an unexpected avalanche of orders, and you need to add a little hustle to your workplace in order to stay on top and come out ahead. So how should you handle this temporary spike in your labor requirements? Should you pay overtime for your existing teams, or should you reach out and bring on a few temporary employees who will be paid a regular hourly wage and then leave when your level of demand returns to normal? As you make your decision, keep the following considerations in mind.

Don’t Break Your Budget

Paying overtime can work well for you if your current employees are able and willing to put in the extra hours required to get the job done. But if this extra load is burdensome for them, and you’re paying more than you can afford in order to keep them in the workplace after hours, stop and reconsider. Weigh the cost required to train your temp staff—which may not be as high as you imagine—and keep in mind that your temporary employees will be happy to share the load.

Lay the Groundwork for Future Hiring Plans

If there’s a chance that your elevated needs are permanent, not temporary at all, then you’ll eventually need to create and staff some new full time positions. And when you do, you’ll be facing an unknown candidate pool and you’ll need to make your decision based on nothing more than resumes and 30 minute interviews. But temporary staffing can reduce your risk. As you get to know your temp staff on a personal level and see them in action, you may be able to hire some of them full time—after you’ve gained a mutual level of trust.

Temporary Staffing Means Reduced Paperwork

When you partner with a trusted staffing agency, the agency handles payroll, tax reporting, and other issues that can slow you down. The candidate is technically employed by the agency, not by you, so you can leave the paperwork to us and keep your attention focused where it belongs: on your business.

Stay Flexible

One of the most difficult challenges of rising and falling business demand is a human concern: what happens after the demand subsides? If you hire full time employees or increase the salaries of your current staff, you’ll need to scale back eventually when your business contracts. But when you take on temporary staff, your workers are simply reassigned by the agency. They stay flexible and mobile and so do you.

Need to know more about establishing a relationship with a temporary staffing agency? Contact the experienced business management professionals at PSU.


Discussing Your Previous Jobs During Your Interview

April 17th, 2015

At some point during almost every professional job interview, your potential employer will move past the basic pleasantries and get down to business. This will probably involve asking you talk a little bit about yourself in an unprompted way…and eventually the conversation will turn to the subject of your past positions. When this happens, you’ll need to cover a few important aspects of your background, whether your interviewer specifically asks you about these area or not. Before the conversation ends, make sure you hit each of the points below.

Make it Clear That You Understand what the Current Position Will Entail

If you know what it will take to succeed in this role, make this clear. If you don’t, feel free to ask as many questions as you need to. The more the better, since every detail the employer provides can help you recognize how well this position aligns with your plans and your personality.

Make it Clear that You’ve Done Similar Work in the Past

Explain exactly how your past positions align with the requirements of the position at hand. Draw a clear line between what you’ve learned from the challenges of the past, and how these lessons have prepared you for the future. For extra impact, deliver this information in the form of a story. For example, explain your preparation for a demanding role in sales, healthcare, or customer service by describing the most significant customer service challenge or the most difficult sales call you’ve ever faced. How did the story end? Do you know what you might do differently if this situation arises again?

Mention what you Like Most about this Kind of Work

Discuss your passion for this work by describing the traits, feelings, and events that drew you to this field in the first place. Then talk about the reasons why you stay. What you do love about your customers, or your product? Who do you identify as stakeholders, or people who benefit from your work? How would you describe as a perfect day on the job?

Addressing Things That Went Wrong

At some point, your interviewer may ask you what happened that caused you to part ways with your last few employers. If you were so happy and fulfilled, why did you leave? This question is almost inevitable (most responsible employers need a few answers before they commit to a candidate), so prepare your response before the day of your meeting. Keep your answer honest and positive, and as soon as possible, move the conversation back to the subject of your qualifications and credentials.

For more on how to win over your interviewer and land the job you’re looking for, reach out to the staffing experts at PSU.


Evaluating a Candidate’s Work Ethic during an Interview

April 10th, 2015

By the time your candidate arrives on the day of her interview, her name and her basic credentials should already be familiar to you. By this point, you’ve had plenty of time to review her resume and you’ve had time (even a few minutes can be sufficient) to align some of your interview questions with what you already know about her background. So as you assess her work ethic, keep your questions open ended and let her resume and cover letter guide the conversation. Keep these considerations in mind.

Start your assessment with the most recent position.

The position at the top of the “work history” section of the candidate’s resume can be a perfect place to launch a discussion about his or her work ethic. Ask what the position entailed, ask about the most serious challenges the candidate faced in this role, and of course, ask why he left. If the “challenges” don’t seem very substantial, the position doesn’t align with your company’s needs, or the candidate left under questionable circumstances, investigate further.

Ask narrative questions.

Sometimes the best way to learn about someone is to provide them with a theme, then sit back and listen to them talk. Ask your candidate how she would define “hard work”. Ask her to describe a specific day or week of her career when she worked harder than she’s ever worked before. What responsibilities did that day or week entail? What kinds of hours did she invest in the project at hand?

Describe the challenges of your open position.

After the candidate has explained his own definition of hard work, share your version. Describe the hours this position will require and the specific challenges of the job that may tax the candidate’s work ethic. Be honest, but spare no detail. Make sure the candidate is over prepared rather than underprepared for the tasks that lie ahead if she steps into this role. Ask her how she feels about these tasks.

Ask the candidate for her elevator pitch.

After you’ve described the challenges of this position, specifically as they relate to the employee’s work ethic, ask the candidate to explain why he believes he’s a match for this job. Ask him to explain what special talents, experiences or skill sets he can bring to the team that will help him deal with extended overtime, late nights, early mornings, wearying travel, or long hours spent tied to a desk. Let him explain his ability to meet these standards in his own words. If you need more details or evidence to support his claims, now is the best time to request them.

For more on how to assess your candidate’s work ethic and find a match for your open position, reach out to the staffing experts at PSU.

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