This month, it’s Lauren Gallup, our newest Account Executive! She’s joined us after relocating to Chicago from Los Angeles because she’s (obviously!) a Midwestern girl at heart, having grown up in the suburbs of Indianapolis, attending Indiana University for her Bachelor’s in Marketing and Management. Her ambitious nature and hunger for new experiences has brought her down the road to Chicago, and we’re glad to have her!
Lauren’s passion is establishing and fostering relationships, and delivering creative solutions for clients and candidates alike. The boutique scale and attention to service and detail of North Bridge was a big attraction for her. Outside of the office, she’s taken to following the Blackhawks, attempting hot yoga and listening to massive amounts of country music. Like we said…she’s a heartland girl at heart!
One factor that’s driving the reluctance of U.S. companies to bring on fulltime staff is the slowdown that is hanging on in many corners of the world – so much so that experts predict worldwide unemployment growth may not begin to reverse itself until 2017, at the earliest.
That unemployment picture takes a lot of different forms – from a lack of opportunities for U.K. youth to the obvious issues in Greece. In an integrated worldwide economy, though, they make businesses everywhere nervous about the future – which translates into caution and reluctance.
The Berwyn manufacturer with a sizable export business, or the Lasalle Street financial services firm with international exposure, make their local hires on the basis of overseas outlooks. Contingency hiring gives them a buffer against the buffetings of the international economy.
Everyone who gives North Bridge a “Like” on Facebook, becomes a LinkedIn follower, or follows @thejobsgirl on Twitter between February 1-14, will be entered into a great giveaway – we’ll award two VIP Blackhawks tickets!
We’ll announce the winners on February 14th, 2013. It’s a perfect gift for you and that someone – especially if they’re a Blackhawks fan!
Figures from the Conference Board indicate a modest growth in its employment-trends index this past January, but as one economist there put it, “…if the economic activity continues to expand slowly in the first half of 2013, it would be difficult for employers to maintain the current rate of job growth.”
There’s still a lot of hesitancy among employers to bring on fulltime hires, for a number of reasons: is this truly a solid recovery? How will Obamacare affect my bottom line? Plus, many have found that well-managed contingency hiring offers considerable advantages. That’s a key learning forced on them by the rough times of the past several years.
The fact is that temporary staffing jobs dominate the new hiring environment in a big, big way, as employers tread lightly and avoid the commitments and costs of fulltime.
We’re making a donation to “Pizza 4 Patriots” this week – and we’d love it if you did, too! “Pizza 4 Patriots” is a group that ships pizzas to our overseas troops, giving them a delicious taste of home for the Super Bowl!
You can find out more about this worthy cause by emailing us – just drop a line to paige@northbridgestaffing. Or go directly to their website so you can make a contribution…and help kick off a great weekend for our servicemen and women around the world!
How will impending healthcare reform affect the hiring scene this year? When the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, there were many different opinions on its impact, especially on small-to mid-sized businesses, many of them offering up a negative outlook.
One thing that’s clear is that the impact may still be unclear until the new rules actually take effect. That uncertainly is, itself, an outcome: until employers and policymakers can state tangible results, businesses will play it safe – and avoid hiring if there’s a prospective hit on their bottom line.
According to a March 2012 House of Representatives report (page 9):
One-third of uninsured workers (about five million workers) earn less than $3 above the minimum wage. These workers are at significant risk of losing their jobs or being forced into part-time work because of [Obamacare]. The reason: employers are not able to reduce workers’ wages in order to provide the required health insurance. Workers impacted by this provision will be disproportionately young, female, and minorities
Many employers will choose to eliminate full-time employment positions for unskilled workers earning near minimum wage. Since businesses need unskilled workers (not to mention skilled and specialty temps), though, they’ll substitute temporary and part-time positions because temporary and part-time jobs are exempted from Obamacare’s employer mandate provisions. As the House of Representatives report states on page 10:
The employer mandate tax penalty defines a “full-time” employee as someone who works at least 30 hours per week. Part-time employees count toward the 50-person penalty threshold, but businesses do not owe tax penalties on part-time workers (defined as those who average less than 30 hours per week).
For example, a company with 40 full-time workers and 500 part-time workers would only pay a penalty on 10 workers (the 40 full-time workers minus the 30 workers who are statutorily exempt from the penalty). The economic effect of this provision is clear: businesses will have a significant incentive to replace full-time labor with part-time labor to avoid the tax penalty.
If an employer offers insurance, but an employee qualifies for subsidies under the new health care exchanges because the insurance premium exceeds 9.5 percent of his income, his employer must pay $3,000 per worker. This combination of penalties gives businesses a powerful incentive to downsize, replace full-time employees with part-timers, and contract out work to other firms or individuals.
Businesses can reduce costs by hiring part-time workers instead of full-time workers. A firm with 85,000 full-time workers and 7,000 part-time workers that does not offer health insurance would pay a tax of $170 million. By keeping the number of hours worked the same, and gradually reducing full-time workers and increasing part-time workers, until the firm reaches 17,000 full-time workers and 92,000 part-time workers, the tax is reduced to $34 million. If the firm abandons full-time workers altogether, admittedly an unlikely option, but useful for illustration, the tax is reduced to zero.
Some businesses could minimize cost by increasing part-time hourly workers, reducing the number of full-time workers, and dropping employer-provided health insurance. Even if businesses choose to offer health insurance to their full-time employees, the Act gives them an incentive to employ more part-time hourly workers than full-time workers in an effort to maximize tax benefits
So there will be a greater demand for part-time or temp employees as a result of the Act. The most talented of these will be in the greatest scarcity and demand – so employers will need to have internal or outsourced resources at the ready to grab the best available personnel.
“Passive” candidates are people who are currently employed and not in the market for a new job. They make up about two-thirds of the workforce, usually have had a stable, effective career, are happy with their current roles, and are typically more experienced and loyal. That’s what makes them attractive to employers and staffing firms – even those that deal in the contingency/temporary staffing realm.
So how does a firm like yours – or a consulting partner like North Bridge – identify and reach these highly-desirable workers, who are often well-versed in the specialty skills you need? They’re not out looking – so how do we go about recruiting, especially for temporary positions? Particularly since they’re not posting resumes on job boards, and often tend to withhold personal or profile information?
Two words: sweat equity. Finding these people in the first place takes the kind of strong personal networking and direct sourcing that only a great HR professional or hiring consultant can deliver. Then comes the hard part – making it attractive for them to “jump the fence” into the temporary/contingency world.
The surprise is that a lot of Passive Candidates can be very open to the opportunities that a trustworthy contingency staffing firm can put in front of them. The more marketable the skill, the more demand they’ll see – and that can pay off for them in the form of job variety, acquisition of new or expanded skills, or the gratification of taking on a new challenge. Many of them don’t realize they’d be interested, in fact, until they’re approached — with the right finesse –with the right opportunity.
So finding these candidates comes down to the focus, connections and ability of your recruitment assets. North Bridge takes pride in the fact we devote exceptional time and energy to turning Passive Candidates into active, high-value temporary and contingency resources for our clients.
This month, we’re profiling a member of our outstanding temporary staff with a full Q&A about her experience in Chicago working with North Bridge and our clients.
Mary Clare Semler is a graduate of Georgetown who’s working with us as an associate this summer before she returns to Columbia University to pursue her Master’s degree in Social Work; eventually, she’d like to be a licensed clinical social worker and family therapist.
What brought you to Chicago, and how has your experience been thus far?
I moved to Chicago for the summer because I had never been here before and I was looking to explore and experience new things while saving money for school. I was having difficulty securing a summer job on my own and reached out to North Bridge, and North Bridge had me working within a week of my interview. They’re the reason that I was able to stay in Chicago and support myself over the summer.
I love this city so much that I would definitely stay if I didn’t have to return to school!
What was your previous work experience? And what’s your feeling about temping, now that you’ve done it?
Within smaller non-profit or health care settings. By temping, it’s been valuable for me to be exposed to a wide range of other industries and professional settings. I highly recommend temp work for anyone who wants to gain exposure and skills, or to anyone who’s not sure about what field they’d like to pursue.
Do you have any other advice for temporary associates, or someone who is looking for employment?
The best advice I’ve received is to not be afraid to ask for feedback if you’re told you haven’t been picked for a position. I learned a great deal about my personal style of communication by asking for constructive criticism, and that’s helped me improve my interview skills.
What are some goals you’re aiming to accomplish?
First, to finance my graduate education, while still finding opportunities to travel, which is my favorite thing in the world. Temping has helped me save toward a trip to Santiago, Guatamala, this December, where my sister and I will be counseling at a camp for individuals with disabilities. Improving my Spanish is another goal, too, both for travel and for my social work practice.
My summer goal was to train for the Chicago Rock N’ Roll half marathon, which I ran last weekend!
What’s been your favorite part of working at different job sites?
Being new to the city, I have learned so much about Chicago and the “must see” sites just from talking with people at different companies. People have definitely gone out of their way to welcome me and help me out at each visit and they really could not be nicer overall. I was always made to feel welcome and appreciated at each site.
I also love the fact that I have worked in some of the buildings that I learned about on the boat tour. It’s cool to me to work in such historical buidlings. Traveling to different sites has really helped me to learn and appreciate the city.
It’s always good to remind ourselves of the respective benefits – and disadvantages – of permanent versus temporary employees.
The “cons” of temporary hiring can be very real – but can be minimized or eliminated by calling on a qualified recruitment firm – like North Bridge – that knows how to secure the best possible candidates.
- Motivation – for many, having stability is a strong motivator!
- Loyalty and evangelism on behalf of the firm
- Depth of understanding of your business and products
- Cumulative cost of benefits, insurance, et al, and salaries/raises
- Loss of motivation: stability can also cause laissez-faire attitudes
- Dealing with politics and attitudes that can infect a workplace
- Ongoing need for training/re-training
- Motivation/performance: good temps feel driven to prove their value
- Flexibility in bringing on specialized or general talent as needed
- Cost savings
- Allows tryouts of candidates for potential permanent hiring
- Lack of depth or accreditation in your business
- May not be as ‘invested’ in your success as permanent staff