November 15, 2017

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5 Things You Should Know About Your Dynamic Workers

1. Dynamic workers need to be treated equally

It’s not just that they want it–by law they require it. In the UK, an agency worker is entitled, among others, to receive at least the National Minimum Wage and the statutory minimum length of rest breaks and holidays. Dynamic workers must also be allowed to use the company canteens, transportation pick-up services and other services that permanent workers may use.

workers canteen

2. They are brand ambassadors

Treating your temporary workers with respect is something we shouldn’t be reminding you to do, but going beyond their expectations can be beneficial for your business strategy. If they like working with you, it’s more likely they will talk about your products or services and will recommend them to their friends and their acquaintances.

Dynamic workers with friend

3. Their feedback is precious

Whether you are a staffing agency that send workers to work to your client’s facilities or you manage dynamic workers in-house, you should really value your staff’s feedback. If you are a staffing agency, they can tell you about certain job-related requirements that your client may not communicate but are important to perform the job. This information gives you the opportunity to brief your candidates to excel above competition in the future. If you occasionally hire dynamic workers in-house, you must consider their comments and feedback, since they come with a fresh pair of eyes to quickly detect inefficiencies and improve your operations.

manager hearing feedback from dynamic worker

4. Dynamic workers want to have control

A typical agency worker likes the flexibility they have when it comes to choosing their availability and applying to the jobs or gigs they are interested in. They appreciate being dynamic workers. Empowering them with the ability to have their work-related information accessible at their fingertips will significantly increase their engagement with your business. Leveraging cloud and mobile technology allows your dynamic workers to instantly feel they belong to your team. Some forward-thinking agencies already use modern shift broadcast systems like F3, or allow their candidates to swap shifts in-app with manager approval.

Dynamic worker using phone app

5. They bring new skills to your team

Having new people in your team is always beneficial if you are looking to address a temporary challenge. It’s not only a clever choice to face a seasonal peak demand, but also to quickly incorporate skilled employees for a business transition or arduous temporary projects. Consider the different talents your candidates bring to your team. Leveraging a temporary agency can be a great resource to find permanent hires for your organisation too! Even in the staffing business, you may find a candidate with relevant skills to help your business from the inside.

dynamic workers waitress

These are just some of the things you should know about your dynamic workers. They help you face your operational challenges, so make sure you keep them engaged with your business! Contact Sirenum today if you want to better manage your dynamic workers.

October 31, 2017

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Temporary Staffing for Dummies: A Six Point Plan for Recruitment Success

Temporary staffing can be ridiculously busy at times, leaving you with little to no time to analyse whether your staff and workers stay engaged while keeping client satisfaction high. If you’re constantly buried in paperwork and can’t keep your hands off the phone, you’re probably desperate to make your operations smoother. Here’s a checklist that you can refer to regularly to make sure your foundation stays strong as you grow your business.

Have your recruitment roadmap clear ✔️

When your operations ultimately rely on your workers, it is essential to be up on industry trends. These will depend on the industries you serve. Some organisations have a higher demand during the summer, others experiment a shortage in the colder months. You may have clients that often have unexpected staffing needs. Knowing your clients’ recruitment challenges is always key.

temporary staffing business roadmap sirenum

Know your industry ✔️

When trying to excel in a specific industry, you need to know what your clients really want. Research should be a priority if you want to know what everyone expects of your staff. Listen to your clients and candidates carefully. You’re responsible for knowing the skills, documentation, and permits your workers need to perform the job. Make sure this information is updated in your system and interacts with your rostering software. If you operate in temporary staffing, it’s unrealistic to expect that everyone in you company knows what every type of job entails so you need help from your technology to make that easier.

Engage your workers with a strong company culture ✔️

If you are in the temporary staffing industry, you know how tedious finding the right candidates can be. You need to make sure you keep the good staff you have. And pay is not the only thing that your workers really want. Communication, however, is key regardless of your size or industry. Empower your staff with the right tools to keep the conversation going. Leverage cloud and mobile technology to maximize your efforts towards engaging and ultimately retaining your workers.

happy team

Transparency is a must ✔️

If you operate in a crowded industry, you want your clients to stay with you. You want to make sure they feel they are in control and that they can rely on your organisation. You need to provide them with enough information. But you also want to perform your best so they know you are trustworthy. Again, knowing your operations is key, and knowing when your workers are running late or are sick, can allow you take prompt action while increasing your client’s satisfaction.

Know your strengths and weaknesses✔️

You have to constantly analyse how can you do better to your workers and clients. Make sure to keep records of specific challenges and achievements, so you can work on what’s wrong and effectively communicate your improvements. Set your goals for the short and long term, and celebrate with your workers when you succeed.

Keep your employees happy ✔️

We constantly meet temporary staffing agencies trapped in a cycle of high turnover. If you are looking to succeed in the long term, you want your workers to commit and stay with you as you grow your business. Make sure you make their jobs easy by providing them with the right workforce management tools. When they work in a mindful environment, their knowledge increases and their stress reduces, making it possible to focus on higher value tasks to constantly improve your operations.

temporary staffing employees engagement

 

October 24, 2017

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World's best boss

How To Grow Your Temp Staffing Business

The Challenge

When you work in the temporary staffing industry, you know how challenging it can be keeping your clients and workers engaged and satisfied. Many times a month your clients call demanding a certain amount of people for an event. And more often than not, the event starts tomorrow or even tonight! Of course, promptness is an asset you want your temp staffing business to be known for. So even though it’s a ridiculous request, you jump at the opportunity.

It can seem easy to manage 20, 30 or even 50 workers. Your managers know their teams and you think they can rely on their memory to know their availability, experience, certificates and payment terms. You ultimately rely on the candidates to have their legal documents up to date. You seem to connect with your managers and your staff. Your clients send you compliments. You seem to be ready to expand your business.

temp staffing business boss

You Start Hiring

When you want to grow your temp staffing business, you expect more opportunities to come from existing and new clients. You want to have a bigger workforce to be able to provide a larger amount of people to that client’s big gig. You want to sell and fill more hours. You want to satisfy your clients so that they will recommend you to others, and slowly but surely you want to keep bringing more and more people to your business and become an industry leader. Everything looks clear in your mind because you’ve been doing so well so far. What could go wrong?

Eve-ry-thing Goes Wrong

You’ve put a lot of effort into bringing your business to the next level. You’ve reinvested, hired more managers, you’ve interviewed more candidates and you have, perhaps, moved to bigger and fancier premises. Your good intentions are undeniable and everyone should see it. But one day, one of your clients calls complaining about the lateness of some of your workers, or tells you that they didn’t even show up! That hard knock repeats week after week and eventually some of your clients stop calling you at all. Many of your managers can’t put up with such long hours and busy work and decide to quit. Some of your candidates quit as well, as they don’t feel engaged at all. You don’t understand why is this happening. Why are the same well proven methods and processes you had as a smaller business no longer sufficient?

temp staffing business challenge

Suddenly You Understand

You do some research, receive good mentoring, you talk to people. Finally you figure out that a larger and more complex workforce require a higher amount of technology to keep track of important things. Their availability, skills, permits, legal documentation, payment terms and more, everything should be unified. You understand that your managers are just human and can only retain a certain amount of information in their memories. They can’t have everyones’ data in their minds AND keep your operations smooth. You understand that your managed teams should be interchangeable between your managers if some of them is sick or need to go on holiday. Quick, immediate, without hours of training. You acknowledge that your clients are looking for the best service. If you don’t provide it, they can go to any of your competitors, which are not just a few in such a crowded industry.

Rebounding

As you know, every cloud has a silver lining. One day you decide to not only grow, but grow stronger by leveraging technology to empower your staff. You start using a cloud-based workforce management solution that allows your managers to work from any device or location, allowing them to work from home when convenient. You keep all the important data up-to-date and available to everyone. You have staff requests at your fingertips and directly implemented into the roster. You leverage GPS technology to know when someone can’t make it in time before they even know, so you can solve the problem. Your roster software suggests the best candidates for a specific job so you don’t need to think who’s the best fit. The system knows who are the best depending on the gig.

Everyone in your company benefits from a mobile app that allows your workers to communicate with your managers to request time off. They can view their incoming shifts and payments. They even receive notificatons with enough time to leave their house for work in time, getting directions to the venue. They use the app to swap shifts with relevant team members, and their managers can approve. Workers would only need their phone to clock in and out and get the client signature–no paper required! These and many other modern functionalities engage them with your business.

Finally, That Day Comes

Cautiously, your instinct and your easily accessible reports tell you how your operations are starting to run so much more smoothly. You start to see how your managers are happier, and they actually like to work for you. They have more free time during the day, so they have started to focus on higher value tasks they were unable to tackle before. One day your temp staffing business receives a call from a big client. They want 50 extra people for tonight’s event. And after what happens next, you don’t suffer anymore: one of your managers inputs the request in the system, all the relevant candidates receive an immediate invitation via app to work tonight, and the 50 fastest fingers click and get the job. Your stare wide-eyed at how your client is still on the line when you can give confirmation. And that night you go to bed knowing that everything will be just fine.

temp staffing business software

As you can see, growing your temp staffing business can be easier when you decide to leverage technology to engage your staff and make your operations smooth. There are a number of KPIs and processes a modern agency should be tracking before making a decision. Check out our Staffing Software ROI calculator today and don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more.

October 18, 2017

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Why Collecting Workforce Availability is Crucial–And How Best To Do It

There’s little doubt that scheduling your dynamic workers causes your teams distress. A big reason for that is getting availability from your workforce. No matter the industry or size of your business, someone needs to put together a schedule, and without accurate availability, that pain is definitely bigger.

puzzled manager

Do You Know Your Team’s Availability?

How often do you review your schedule? And how often do you get your team’s availability? I bet those two are not aligned. When they’re not aligned, you can build rosters that are completely out of whack. And that leads to uncovered shifts, lower productivity, higher turnover, and less satisfied clients.

Takeaway: Minimising availability concerns will significantly improve your bottom line.

Lumbergh TPS Report

How to Collect Workforce Availability–Hint: Not by Paper!

There are two kinds of availability businesses primarily need to be concerned about–general and ad hoc. Traditionally, general availability was collected at the interview–usually on paper–and updated at best every six months, often via phone. Obviously, both of these scenarios are suboptimal, as your data is only available to whoever wrote it down and out-of-date quite quickly as well. Plus, demanding a paper reply to something can be pretty annoying–workers don’t want to be chased by Bill Lumbergh to complete their TPS reports!

On the other hand, ad hoc availability has historically been transmitted via word-of-mouth–“I have to go to the doctor tomorrow.” The cons of such a process are readily apparent–what happens if it’s a different site manager the next day, for example?! Of course, sometimes these updates are handled by paper as well and there’s no shortage of problems with that. If nothing else, the time required to update your scheduling and HR software based on the paper input is time that could be spent on higher value activities

Takeaway: Be wary of any technology that requires you to leverage paper for either of these! No more TPS reports!

A Better Way

But in today’s world, with applicant tracking systems standard at nearly all staffing agencies and many other markets, capturing general availability is relatively easy. But leaving it in your ATS does little for your efficiency. It’s key to have an ATS that integrates with your scheduling and workforce management software.

sending availability via app

But that still leaves ad hoc availability challenges. You’re not going to open up an ATS for every doctor’s visit and basketball game! Since there are now smartphones in the hands (or pockets) of virtually every one of your new workers, why not leverage that as a tool in your arsenal against availability conflicts? Soliciting availability via mobile app–or even SMS if your workers lack smartphones–can dramatically improve your operations. Your workers will be more engaged, you’ll see much lower turnover and higher customer satisfaction.

Takeaway: Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. Meet your workers where they are.

To learn how much you can save by leveraging a mobile app for your dynamic workers and ATS integration for your workforce management and scheduling, please visit sirenum.com/ROI.

October 3, 2017

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Sirenum Defines Five Key Values for Today’s Temp Agencies

London-based workforce management vendor announces new campaign to educate market on the benefits of improved worker engagement, streamlined scheduling, increased mobility, faster payroll processing, and expanded staff monitoring.

Birmingham, UK–Sirenum, the leading UK provider of cloud-based workforce management to the temp agency market, announced its latest educational campaign, “How to Become a Staffing Superhero.” The campaign, which launched today to coincide with the launch of the Recruitment Agency Expo in Birmingham, will highlight how innovative staffing agencies in the temp market will need to behave in the era of the gig economy.

The Staffing Superhero campaign focuses on a team of superheroes and their strengths to communicate the importance of five key areas: improved worker engagement, streamlined scheduling, increased mobility, faster payroll processing, and expanded staff monitoring.

“We talk to agencies every day. No matter the industry or size of agency, our conversations always seem to come back to these five areas,” said Benjamin Rubin, CEO and Founder of Sirenum. “So we set out to determine what we could learn from these businesses and how technology can help, and we’ve synthesised that into something they could all benefit from.”

Staffing agencies looking to learn more can visit staffingsuperhero.com and keep their eyes open for a series of white papers, webinars, and other materials to help them get the most out of their efforts to become staffing superheroes.

Contact: Joshua Pines

May 2, 2017

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My First Job: Constructing a Work Ethic

This is the fifth of our My First Job blog series, where we ask Sirenumates, partners, and customers to reminisce about their first paying job. For more information, see our introduction to the series here.
When I finished high school, I started to look for a job. I was quickly hired by a little company in the construction industry. Being the low man on the totem pole in construction is a really physically demanding job. I had to work 12 hours in a row with little breaks every day, and some of the tasks were hard: breaking walls, clearing breaks, drilling holes, digging the ground, etc.

I feel that I learnt a lot from my first job. My boss was putting me down all the time for poor performance and that made me feel completely unengaged. One day, after a long time bearing with this type of behaviour, I decided to quit. I just put down my tools and left. I was very discouraged and felt like a failure. That’s how my boss had made me feel about my role in the team.

However my boss called me and begged me to return! I decided to give in, since he had apologised, but the truth is that he didn’t change his manner, and even after what had happened, he kept putting me down – but not as much. I figured that he didn’t want to lose me, because training a new worker would have been harder than keeping me. I couldn’t be so bad after all!

After a while I left in order to continue my studies, but 12 years later, when I was planning my wedding, I needed help to put together the lights and such things. I called my ex-boss, who volunteered to do all the work free of charge – as my wedding present. He said he was very grateful for I was the best worker he ever had.
I learnt something important at my first job; while people’s feedback is important, action speaks louder than words. But his words later in life sure did mean a lot to me.

February 17, 2017

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Five Reasons Why Using a Spreadsheet for Employee Scheduling Doesn’t Cut it Anymore

1. Your Information Isn’t Easily Accessible

When you have a staffing business you know how important it is to have up-to-date information on your workers’ skills, where they’re needed for work and when. A spreadsheet is the spreadsheets-dontworkway many companies decide to start, thinking that information will be accessible to everybody at all times. But it’s not. Even with the right setup, spreadsheets are not easily shared or viewable online. Google’s G Suite Spreadsheets have helped close the gap because of their version control and ease of access, but the information is still in isolation–it lives only within G Suite. That means you still have to manually input every piece of information about your workers, setting up their working times and of course transferring this information to payroll and invoicing. Compliance and monitoring of hours are not even possible within spreadsheets. Prior to using Sirenum, one of our clients maintained a set of seven distinct spreadsheets just to keep track of overtime and fatigue. And still was in regular violation of industry guidelines and at risk of significant fines on a monthly basis.

2. You Can’t Scale Your Business

If you manage your own business, growing it is probably the single biggest thing that keeps you up at night. As you grow, you need to hire–and manage!– workers in order to meet a growing demand. Thinking about managing even a couple hundred workers gives some agencies a terrible headache, even when it’s clearly the right thing to do for efficiency and profitability. Creating and maintaining a worker skills and permits database is of course crucial to know who is suitable for each job. But of course using this information is not easy, specially for handling dozens or even hundreds of workers. Going back and forth between databases and spreadsheets is tedious and extremely time consuming. And there’s only a certain amount of information that your managers can retain in their memory in order to set up their people’s schedules. When you’re talking about big numbers, this system just can’t work–it needs automation.

3. You Don’t Actually Know What’s Happening

Success in staffing is not easy. Servicing–and keeping!– big clients can be challenging. Being able to provide accurate information to your clients is a must if you want them to choose you over your competitors. How many hours exactly have your employees actually worked? How many arrived late? Were you able to provide a last minute replacement somebody was arriving late? These are the type of valuable reports that you can sell to your prospects when you have an automated system. Transparency is a game changer. Many of our staffing clients even include service level commitments in their RFP responses.

4. Your Employees Aren’t Engaged

What’s your employee retention like? We often see agencies that are drowning because they can’t retain staff–both temps and in-house operations. Temps often can’t even choose their availability without risking their job! Managers usually find their job really tiring as they need to work really long hours doing repetitive manual work that bores them. If this sounds like your agency, you need a better tool for communications and cooperation. Modern workforce management tools allow candidates to communicate their availability through a mobile app. Managers can learn about it straight from their scheduling view. With an automated system, many organisations have saved up to a third on routine recurring tasks, allowing managers to focus in managing, staying engaged and performing better. On the temp side, both shift coverage and health and safety improve significantly with an engaged workforce.

5. You And Your Team Are Immobile

Most software used by agencies today is still based on an old paradigm. Whether it’s Y2K-era technology built on top of an ERP or even first generation SaaS workforce management software, these tools do not properly take advantage of leveraging data in the cloud or via a mobile device. Cloud-based workforce management solutions allow you to work from when, where, and how you want to. This means that as a manager you can easily see what is going on with your people, even if you decide to work from home, or the beach. This also means that temps can see their shifts, timesheets, and even pay stubs on their mobile device, lessening the burden of communications on your operations teams while making life easier for your temps.

August 24, 2015

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The Hourly Revolution: What It Means for Employers

The Hourly RevolutionIt seems every day there’s another article or piece of research that talks about things like an agile workforce, mobile workers, co-working, or any of another dozen or so terms that apply to the burgeoning new way of working. The trend is clear: fewer workers will work for one company for their career than at any point since the Industrial Revolution. Further, fewer workers will be serial monogamists than ever before. A big factor is what’s been called a millennial mindset–no desire for a mortgage or ownership of large capital goods, thus lowering the monetary requirements of a career. Since by the end of this year, millennials will be up more of the U.S. workforce than any other generation, and that pattern is similar in many other western countries, you can understand the demographic issues at play. We call the intersection of these demographic shifts and the trends away from single longterm employment, “the hourly revolution.”

The hourly revolution is a change for workers and employers alike. Flexibility, in terms of task, location, and more, is prized above nearly all other attributes of a job. The willingness and even enthusiasm of workers to work in an hourly fashion, rather than just a 9-to-5 workday, is a big part of that shift. In addition, many of those workers may have more than one employer. Keeping track of hours, while ensuring the employee feels a productive and valued part of the team is a big challenge for both staff and organisations. And because workers in the hourly revolution have less of a problem with moving to a new employer, the issue is time sensitive for both parties.

As more workers think of themselves as perpetual free agents, there should be an increase in services and corporate cultures aimed at appealing to them. We have already seen this evolution with the numerous remote working spaces now available and monetised around the flexible millennial workday. But with other factors are at play, it’s not just a white collar story. With the expansion of the cloud, the near ubiquity of smartphones, and the general move towards the consumerisation of IT, even blue collar workers should benefit from these massive employment shifts. But too often, they feel left behind and disengaged.

We recently released a white paper on this and other related topics because we feel strongly that no worker, whether white or blue collar, should be left behind in the wake of the hourly revolution. To learn more, please click here to download Employment Matters: Leveraging Technology to Empower Staff.