10 types of employees you need to fire immediately

Hire slowly and fire quickly is a well-known business maxim. But when your agency is facing a talent shortage, it’s easy to fall into the reverse pattern, filling positions quickly and, worse, letting bad hires linger too long in your organization.


While it may seem harmless, keeping one bad apple can quickly have a greater impact on your organization than just one individual’s performance. A bad employee can:


  • Contribute to bad employee morale
  • Lower the productivity of other team members
  • Sabotage the success of policies and processes
  • Cause others to ignore safety rules and protocols
  • Damage your reputation with clients


Knowing the signs of a bad hire will help you quickly identify the employee who is a wrong fit and minimizes these consequences. Here are 10 types of employees quickly part ways with.

1.     The employee with “old job” syndrome. Past job experience should be a valuable asset for a new employee, but that experience can work against your business when someone is reverting to “how we did things at my old job.” Employees who feel that they always know better can undermine processes and policies that you have put in place for a reason. If a new employee is refusing to do things your way, show that person the door

2.     The all-day breaker. Breaks are important and offered for a reason. People need time to blow off steam and socialize with their colleagues, which ultimately contributes to a stronger culture and increased productivity. However, people who don’t differentiate between break times and the regular workday are not productive, whether they are checking Facebook in meetings, texting all day at their desks or making more personal phone calls than client ones. This employee does need a break – but a permanent one.

3.     The provoker. Disagreements among staff are often a positive and necessary function of organizational creativity and innovation. But constant arguments will cause rifts in your culture, especially if one person is always the instigator. If you are getting complaints about a new hire being pushy or confrontational with colleagues, the situation is not likely to change.

4.     The employee with time management issues. Punctuality and meeting deadlines are musts for any employee in a customer-facing role, and especially temporary staff who are representing your business. If a new hire is showing up tardy or unprepared, it may be time to tell that person to stop showing up at all.

5.     The blamer. Explanation or excuse, this person always has someone or something to blame for dropping the ball or producing less than quality work. Employees who don’t own up to their mistakes aren’t good team players, and as a result, won’t inspire the trust of your customers or their colleagues. Even the most talented employee isn’t worth breeding negativity to keep.

6.     The dishonest employee. This one is a no-brainer. Yet dishonest employees can be harder to pinpoint than other bad hires due to their attempts to be discreet about bad behavior. If you find out an employee is being untruthful or hiding things from supervisors or colleagues – even if they are small thing – trust your instincts and get to the bottom of it. If the lies continue to add up, it’s time for that employee to move on.

7.     The needy employee. Job negotiations should take place before a new employee comes on board. Yet some people wait to make additional asks after they are hired, from more vacation days to a better computer and a bigger expense account. Those who always needs one more thing to accomplish a job and can’t work with the resources at their disposal aren’t a good fit.

8.     The distractor. Distractions are everywhere, from funny cat videos in your inbox to friends updating their Twitter feeds. The only thing worse than the person who is easily distracted (see the employee who is always on break) is the person who distracts other people from getting things done. Is the new woman always stopping by for a “quick” 30-minute chat or encouraging other employees to leave early or take a longer lunch break?

9.     The box checker. You might overhear the box checker say things like, “I’m just building my resume,” or “I only want to be here for a year.” This person is using his or her position as a steppingstone to bigger and better things. This is fine for some organizations, but if you’re looking for a long-term team member who is going to contribute to your growth, there are better people to invest your time and money into.

10.  The bad attitude. This person comes with a stellar resume and great references, and is probably likeable. But within weeks, he or she is complaining about everything from the schedule to the manager to the office coffee. A bad attitude is contagious and isn’t likely to improve, and firing quickly is critical to keeping your culture healthy and positive.


Sometimes making a bad hire is unavoidable, not matter how much due diligence you’ve done. The important thing is to recognize when someone is a bad fit and be honest about it, so both parties can move on.


The BEST day of the week to do anything related to business

shutterstock_192632465_daysoftheweekIf you ever refer to Wednesday as hump day, down an extra cup of coffee on Mondays or avoid scheduling meetings on Fridays, you already know that the day of the week can affect your attitude on the job.


Mondays are hectic. Mid-week is filled with meetings, and on Fridays, people are thinking about the approaching weekend. But while these weekday highs and lows may be unavoidable, they don’t have to work against you as an employer. In fact, studies show that companies can use many weekday norms to their advantage by taking certain actions – from sending emails to sharing bad news – on certain days.


Here is a quick breakdown to help you plan your most effective workweek ever.


MONDAY – Fire an employee.

Many variables factor into the timing of when to let an employee go. That said, a large contingent of employers say that it is best to let an employee go early in the week. Not only can people get started right away on the job hunt, but firing people early in the week allows them to work with your HR team to get lingering questions and concerns answered as they arise, as opposed to a Friday, when they could be left hanging until the following week. Firing on a Friday also gives people time to stew over the weekend and may lead to a heated confrontation come Monday.


TUESDAY – Schedule a meeting.

Having trouble getting that big meeting on the calendar? Minimize scheduling conflicts by setting it for Tuesday afternoon. Recent data shows that Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. is the time period that most people accept meeting requests, potentially due to a jump in productivity and focus after Monday’s chaos. It’s also among the most popular times (along with Wednesday and Thursday afternoons) for people to read emails and direct mail. Coincidence?


WEDNESDAY – Post for new hires.

Recruiters take note: Halfway through the workweek is prime time to post that new job opening. Although many employers like to post new jobs on Mondays, reposting in the middle of the week could help you break through the noise to capture the attention of top talent. Even better? Post at the beginning and middle of the week to boost visibility.


THURSDAY – Deliver bad news.

There is never a good time to share bad news. But if you need to get the message across, most experts agree to wait until later in the day and toward the end of the week. This helps ensure that people don’t mull over the news all week but still have time to voice concerns. Thursday is also an ideal day to make a job offer for this reason, as you’re giving the candidate time to think through the offer without giving him or her the entire weekend to weigh competing options.


FRIDAY – Post on Facebook.

Don’t burn through your good social media posts too early in the week. New data from Adobe’s 2014 Social Intelligence Report found that Friday is the day when people are most likely to share, like and engage with posts from company pages, earning about 15.7 percent of the week’s total post impressions.


Try these tips and see how your week shapes up.





The top concerns of employers hiring new college grads

shutterstock_interviewSummer is here, which means a new batch of college graduates is gearing up to join the workforce. For the majority of employers, the seasonal influx of new talent is welcome news, as 57 percent of companies plan to hire new graduates this year, according to a new study from CareerBuilder and CareerRookie.com*.


But are new graduates as prepared for the real world as they need to be? Twenty-four percent of employers surveyed say no, indicating that they don’t feel today’s institutions are providing adequate preparation for the jobs they need to fill. Some concerns cited by employers include:


  • There is too much emphasis on book learning vs. real-world learning (53 percent).
  • Entry-level roles are becoming more complex (26 percent).
  • There is not enough focus on internships and apprenticeships (16 percent).
  • Technology is changing too quickly for academics to keep up (16 percent).

If your staffing firm is recruiting new graduates, ensure you are hiring candidates that today’s employers will find attractive. That means looking for graduates with a good mix of academic and real-world experience.


While job history and internships are important factors in hiring decisions, today’s companies place a high value on candidates who can bring real-world knowledge and learning to their roles. This relevant business experience could come in the form of volunteering, extracurricular activities, travel abroad or other activities that show personal efforts.


The same goes for graduates who take steps to hone their skillset for a particular field outside of the classroom. Such candidates are not only more desirable to employers who are looking for employees who are proactive, but those candidates also prove they are prepared to adapt to new technologies, whether it’s by attending technical workshops or maintaining a blog about industry trends.


(*The online survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals ages 18 and older between Feb. 10 and March 4, 2014.)


Workers’ comp: 3 things you aren’t doing that could hurt you

shutterstock_workerscompBy law, your agency — not your clients — is charged with providing a safe work environment for your temporary employees. This means ensuring they have the right equipment and training to do their jobs safely, and providing workers’ compensation coverage to protect them in the event of injury or disability.


Failure to provide workers’ comp coverage can result in costly penalties for your business. Yet deliberate negligence is rarely what gets staffing agencies into trouble, as state and federal laws clearly spell out the minimum coverage you need to provide.


However, doing the minimum often leads to back-office errors and poor recordkeeping — mistakes that cost employers a lot of money. Here are three mistakes you may be making with your workers’ compensation program that could be costing you money.


The mistake: You don’t screen temporary employees.

Screening temporary employees may seem to be an unnecessary and added cost, especially when you are regularly adding and turning over staff. But it’s worth it to pay a little more in upfront costs to reduce work-related injuries, keep your insurance premiums low and ensure that employees are properly trained for the jobs they’ll be performing.

The fix: Screen your temporary employees, as well as your full-time staff. A thorough screening should include a background check and prior injury history. And depending on the job requirements, additional screening may also be appropriate — for example, a motor vehicle records check is important for candidates whose role will involve significant driving.


The mistake: You don’t have the proper state coverage.
No matter what industry you’re in or how careful you are, accidents happen, and no business is immune. Carrying the proper workers’ comp coverage for every state you operate in will keep your agency protected when the worst occurs.

If you’re operating in multiple states, your agency needs to be familiar with the variations in workers’ comp laws in each state you are doing business in, federal laws and classification codes for your industry or industries. For example, you will not be able to place temporary workers in other states if you have a single state, state fund or assigned risk policy. Coverage needs also vary for different industries due to different levels of risk.

The fix: If you are running your own back office, it is essential that you know and follow state rules and regulations for all regions in which you do business, both to avoid being sued for employee negligence and to ensure you know your legal rights if a claim is filed. Visit workerscompensation.com to learn about the laws for your state(s).


The mistake: You don’t plan for employee fraud.
You probably trust your employees and it’s part of why you hired them. It’s also why many agencies can’t believe that one of their staff members would file a fraudulent workers’ comp claim.
Although studies show that just 1 to 2 percent of workers’ comp claims are fraudulent, false claims can drastically increase your premiums. Without clear processes in place to collect and record information for workers’ comp claims, you are an easy target for fraudulent activity, as you are less likely to see the warning signs.

The fix: Do your due diligence so that you recognize the signs of workers’ comp fraud. Red flags include not having witnesses to the accident, conflicting accounts of what happened, late reporting and difficulty reaching the claimant. While these are not necessarily definite indicators of fraud, two or more red flags in one incident is cause to investigate further.


Workers’ comp coverage is one of the largest expenses for staffing agencies. Yet the cost is even higher if you aren’t proactive about how you maintain coverage for employees. Knowing how costly errors originate will help you adjust your behaviors to better serve your employees and improve productivity.



Creative ways to motivate employees and improve productivity

shutterstock_172900565_motivationThere’s no denying the power of a salary bump, bonus or increased 401(k) match to motivate employees. Money talks. And there is certainly value in showing employees, in transparent, financial terms, that you appreciate their efforts.


At the same time, there has been growing employer backlash against the belief that money is the best or only way to boost employee performance. Recent studies show that the sense of self-worth that people earn on the job is a far more significant driver of motivation than financial incentives from other sources. These findings — along with a new generation of employers — have prompted more companies to experiment with fun, creative ways to reward employees, aside from the “pat on the back” and “more flexible hours” that are often suggested. And many of the rewards don’t cost a thing.


How can you tap into your employees’ sense of self worth and productivity? Here are a four unique (and inexpensive) ideas to motivate your team.


Reward good ideas that fail

While not all ideas work, the fact that your employees are innovating is something to celebrate. Yet rarely do companies recognize people for the good idea that fails — unless you are lan Weiss, president of the Summit Consulting Group Inc. According to an article in HR World, when Weiss was CEO of Calgon, he created an annual award for “the best idea that didn’t work,” which was presented at the company’s annual awards dinner. “This stimulated innovation and positive behavior, not ‘winning,’” he said.

Try role reversal

Another way to incentivize new ideas is to empower them. Brian Halligan, CEO of the marketing software firm Hubspot, told Inc.com that he sometimes rewards employees who bring him new business ideas by firing them from their day job and appointing them CEO of a new startup division of the company. “We want to empower the edges of the organization, and we want to let the people who really understand our customers to make decisions,” Halligan said.

Give people the good parking spot

Parking lot politics can work in your favor, according to Professor Linda M. Lopeke, principal of SmartStartCoach.com. When an employee goes above and beyond, consider upgrading his or her parking spot. Giving model employees prime parking isn’t just cost effective, it shows people the value you place on their contribution to the company, Lopeke told HR World.

Encourage chill time.

Hard-working employees can burn out if they don’t occasionally take time to disconnect and recharge. So why not let them do it in the office? By converting quiet or open spaces in your office into areas for people to meditate, read a magazine or even take a nap, you can actually boost creativity and productivity. The CEO of Pontiflex, Zephrin Lasker, turned a room full of computer servers into a napping area for team members. “I’m a huge believer in napping,” Zephrin Lasker told Inc.com.




Where does your agency’s compensation rank?

shutterstock_125292026_compensationRetaining talented recruiters is a critical component to your staffing agency’s success — and to that of your customers. But how do you know if you are paying competitive wages? And how frequently do your employees expect compensation increases?


Of all the metrics that matter to staffing agency professionals, salary information ranks at the top of the list. Thanks to a recent report by Bullhorn, staffing agencies can now get a better idea of where they stand in terms of total compensation according to industry, job roles and agency size.


Conducted as part of its research for the 2014 North American Staffing and Recruiting Trends Report, Bullhorn compiled survey results from 1,337 recruiting agency professionals to create “Money Talks: The 2014 Compensation Report.” The report analyzes a number of compensation benchmarks within the recruiting industry, including compensation expectations for 2014, performance year over year, and the real kicker — what industry professionals actually made in 2013.


Here are some key findings from the report.


Compensation expectations for 2014

  • Recruiting professionals were more optimistic about raises in 2014 than in 2013 or 2012.
  • 84 percent of respondents expected a pay increase in 2014.


Compensation performance in 2013

  • By industry type, respondents focused on telecommunications saw the most increase in compensation (69 percent got an increase last year), while those in packaging and transport recruiting saw the smallest increase (42 percent saw an increase).
  • Fewer respondents saw an increase in compensation from 2013 over 2012 than in the previous year.


Actual compensation figures

  • Salespeople and account managers (regardless of industry) made, on average, more than recruiters ($92,000 versus $74,000).
  • CEOs at large firms made the second-highest salaries among their peers ($154,000). Only CEOs of lower-midsize firms (11-25 recruiters and salespeople) fared better, with an average compensation of $215,000.
  • Recruiters at large firms made the least among their peers (an average compensation of $62,000).


To learn more about where your agency’s compensation ranks, click here to download the full report for free.

5 tips for selecting a reliable payroll factor

There are many payroll factors to choose from, but it is important to take the time to find one that fits your staffing company’s specific wants and needs. Before choosing a factor, it’s important to evaluate both your company and the potential factor to ensure the relationship will be mutually beneficial. Here are 5 tips for choosing a reliable, and credible, payroll factoring company:

1. Assess your needs

Prior to beginning your search, review your company to determine which services you want and need. Do you want a strict payroll outsourcing company without any administrative management, or do you also want help filing payroll taxes and/or executing collections? Understanding your needs before beginning your search allows you to find the factor that best fits your company.

2. Tap your contacts

Learn about payroll factors straight from the source: your peers. Ask for referrals, whether anyone has used the factor and what the experience was like. This allows you to narrow your prospects and strike potentially negative companies off of your list.

3. Research the company

A quick search engine query can turn up any negative comments or news stories regarding the factor. Also, check the Better Business Bureau for reports. Look for experience. If a company has been in business for 20 years, for example, that is an indication that it most likely has the know-how to sufficiently serve your company. In addition, look at the payroll outsourcing company’s specialties. A factor that specializes in staffing firms will better understand your business’s unique needs and how it operates. If the factor does not specialize in staffing firms, ask how it plans to aid your specific business.

4. Keep communication open

A reputable factor will answer all of your questions and reply to your calls and emails promptly. Flexibility is key, and your factor should be willing to work with you by providing unique solutions that serve your company.

Customer service is also important. The factor should respond to your needs in a meaningful way and not just provide you with lip service.

Finally, ask about the company’s source of cash so you can be assured you will receive your funds. The company should be able to grow with you as your company gets bigger, providing additional funding and responding to additional needs as they develop. This is a main difference between payroll factors and banks. While banks provide a fixed loan or line of credit amount, factors should scale their funding to meet your needs with less approval time.

5. Review your options

Even if you are happy with your payroll outsourcing company, you should review your options annually. If you find a better rate, go back to your factor with the information. Chances are it will beat the price to keep you as a client. However, keep in mind that the factor with the lowest rate is not always the best one for your business, and you should consider service as part of your decision.


Is “insourcing” the new “outsourcing”?

The demand for temporary workers has risen at staffing agencies, and onshore workers are also increasingly in demand over offshore workers.

This increased demand is reflected in the industry’s growth. The staffing industry grew 4 percent in 2013 over 2012, according to the American Staffing Association, and that growth is continuing in 2014, as the week of March 31 to April 6 showed growth of 4.59 percent compared with the same week in 2013.

Consider these factors that are creating increased demand.

  • Flexibility. In the wake of the recession, companies are more commonly hiring temporary workers to test out employees or positions before committing to a full-time job with benefits. This process is much easier, and less expensive, using local employees who have little to no moving or transportation costs. In addition, many workers who lost their jobs during the recession have found temporary staffing a great way to re-enter the workforce, resulting in an increased domestic pool of skilled workers. Millennials entering the job market especially enjoy the freedom and flexibility that temporary staffing provides, as opposed to being tied down to one job or industry, increasing the pool of available temporary candidates.
  • Communications gap. Staffing firms and their clients have grown frustrated with the difficulty communicating in the outsourcing process to foreign markets. In addition, offshore workers often have trouble fitting in with U.S. company culture and practices.
  • Made in the U.S.A. In the wake of 9/11, the “buy American” sentiment has increased and translated to personnel, as well, making insourcing versus outsourcing the preferred option.
  • Skills. During the recession, U.S. businesses learned to do more with less. That mentality still exists, as companies now seek well-rounded employees who can handle multiple tasks and roles. American employees are adapting to this environment, honing their skills and learning to balance multiple functions.
  • Hiring incentives. Staffing firms hiring employees from certain designated categories may qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Hiring from among veterans, vocational rehabilitation referrals, ex-felons, summer youth employees, those who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income or food stamps, or other designated community residents help businesses attract qualified domestic employees while benefiting the firm financially.

Full-service vs. money-only payroll factoring

Payroll factoring is one of the most popular types of business finance. Within that, there are two types of factoring: money only and full service.

Money-only invoice factoring provides strictly payroll funding. You process your own paychecks, print your own invoices and file and pay your own taxes, while the factor delivers cash to cover your expenses.

With full-service factoring, your factor handles your temp agency’s payroll, invoices and other administrative burdens, freeing you to focus on growing your business while the factor handles the details such as:

  • Paying your temporary employees
  • Filing and paying your company’s payroll taxes
  • Invoicing your customers
  • Collecting from your customers and following up on delinquent accounts
  • Preparing and sending W-2s
  • Paying workers’ compensation premiums
  • Providing certainty with one low, fixed fee

In this role, the factor operates as a virtually invisible partner. Your employees and customers still see your temporary staffing firm’s name on their checks and invoices, and when the factor performs collection assistance, it does so as a representative of your company.

Full-service factoring can benefit all staffing firms, but it is especially valuable for startups or inexperienced firms because it allows them to focus on setting up and operating the business while the factor handles the minutiae. It also provides peace of mind that these functions are being handled correctly. When staffing firms find themselves in a cash flow crunch, the top things they often don’t pay for are taxes and workers’ comp premiums, which can result in substantial fines and legal problems. With full-service factoring, you don’t need to worry about cash flow and can rest assured these things are being paid.


Staying ahead of the ACA

The good news for staffing firms is that the requirement for providing health care coverage to employees has been delayed until Jan. 1, 2015. This applies to all large employers, or those with more than 100 full-time or full-time-equivalent employees in 2014. Those with between 50 and 99 employees have until Jan. 1, 2016 to provide health care coverage.

Most staffing firms fall under the former category. And although the requirement has been delayed until 2015, now is the time to start preparing and planning.

Understanding the requirements

While staffing firms traditionally have not provided health care coverage to temporary employees due to the high costs associated with turnover, firms must now offer “minimum essential coverage” to at least 70 percent of full-time employees in 2015 and 95 percent in 2016, and to their dependent children under age 26. If they fail to do so, they will be assessed a penalty of $2,000 per full-time employee, although the first 30 full-time employees are exempt.

If at least one full-time employee receives a premium tax credit because the employer’s policy is either unaffordable (costing more than 9.5 percent of the employee’s yearly household income) or does not cover 60 percent of total costs, the employer must pay the lesser of $3,000 for each employee receiving a credit or $750 for each full-time employee total.

Under the act, full-time employees are those who work an average of 30 or more hours per week, although staffing firms may be able to classify employees as variable-hour or seasonal, allowing them to evaluate the employee’s hours during a look-back period of the initial 12 months of employment before offering health care coverage if the person averages at least 30 hours per week.

 Determining costs

While costs will vary among staffing firms depending on the coverage they choose and the number of employees, the American Staffing Association has created a checklist to help firms estimate their costs.

  •  How many employees will qualify as full time?
  • Assuming health insurance plans are available for temporary employees, how many employees will participate in the plan?
  • What will the firm need to contribute to make the health insurance plan affordable to the employee?
  • How many employees will be enrolled in Medicaid, which may reduce firm costs?
  • How many employees may be eligible for ACA subsidies?

And while firms may think it is a good idea to try to reduce costs by supplying only part-time employees, terminating an employees or reassigning them to avoid reaching full-time status, doing so can be viewed an abuse of an employee’s hours and result in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act investigation and penalties.

To get a better idea of costs, ASA members can also access a cost calculator at aca.americanstaffing.net.

Following developments

The ACA and its impact on staffing firms continue to change and evolve. Stay up to date on the latest news by frequently visiting healthcare.gov and americanstaffing.net. In addition, speak to your lawyer, accountant, financial adviser, human resources manager and other affected parties to ensure current and continued compliance.