Archives for Recruiting

Cost of New Employees

There is a usual rate of increase in the cost of new employees as anyone in business understands.  We are in a situation today where that increase is greater than it has been in the recent past.  Business in general is on the uptick.  Certain types of people with certain backgrounds are in even more demand than has been usual for the past couple of years and that shows no sign of abating.

The demand for employees is increasing at the same time that people are less available for those positions.

This is contributing to churn in the marketplace that has not been present for some time.  And, it is churn in almost every aspect of employment.  Of course, that impacts the cost of new hires.

This is a time when those who want to explore new positions ought to be polishing their resume and giving serious thought to entering the market.  If you are one of those people, we encourage you to reach out to us.  If you are not yet among that group of employees, you may wish to rethink.  We are happy to engage you in trying to help you decide what you should or shouldn’t be doing today.

The pressure is hitting virtually every aspect of the employment marketplace.  Collar color is not nearly the driver that it usually is given the market.  Of course, those in the relative rarified echelons of employment may find this is not quite so pronounced except in certain types of positions.

Project managers are in greater demand given all the construction and rehabilitating of older buildings as business expands to handle the demand load.  Experienced Project Managers are usually in demand so this added demand represents significant increase in pressure in that world.

Employers are feeling the pinch in many sectors.  Some of this is obviously due to the major projects that have recently hit S.E. Wisconsin.  There is, however, spill-over to sectors that are usually quite stable in demand.  We see needs at nearly double the usual levels in some areas.

Our recommendation to employers is simple: anticipate what your needs may be in six to twelve months and begin the search process today rather than waiting for two or three months.

The Foxconn build-out may not directly impact some employers, but there seems a carry-over from that new activity that is hitting many types of employment.

If you are feeling this pressure or even if that has not quite become your problem yet, we urge you to begin contemplating what your needs may be six to twelve months from now.  Then put a plan into place today to accommodate that expected demand.  We have found that it is less costly to look ahead than to try to hire when the supply is drying up.  Better qualified people are typically available earlier and they are not available long.

Give us a call no matter which end of this situation you may be involved with-an employer seeking the right person, or the right person who might find the perfect spot opening without having been advertised.

 

 Tom Krist                 Fred D'Amato

Tom Krist, CEO  and  Fred D’Amato, President

 

2018- A New Year, A New Reality

What is to come in 2018?

We see a 2018 that will bring with it new opportunities and certainly new challenges.  We know that the pool of great candidates for virtually any and all positions is what it was in the past: too small for us to delay on decisions when we find good people.  In fact, we expect that pool will be smaller than in the past.   Take into account the success our region of the state has experienced in terms of growth.

We see challenges from the already tight labor market for some areas.

Those areas span the full gamut from industrial labor to well-trained and highly experienced talent.  Each of those has both benefit and challenge tied to it.

There will be an inbound migration of talent across all realms and that is likely to be seen starting in 2018.  This will likely continue over the next five to ten years as all the Foxconn supporting industry develops in this new and exciting marketplace.  We will all need to make changes in the way we do business.  Without that we’ll likely not be as effective as we’ll need to be in the new world that is descending upon us.  If we had a functioning crystal ball, we expect it would tell us this:

 

  • Respond to opportunity with a vigorous approach recognizing the probable shortage of qualified people, and the probable impact on wages and salaries driven by this shortage.
  • Be aggressive once you reach the conclusion you believe to be the best available; and, try to reduce the time decisions are taking to be made.
  • Recognize that you might see more turn-over than in the past.  There will be opportunities that didn’t exist or  weren’t as abundant as before this year.
  • Being a better environment for employees may make a big difference.  This could involve things such as a different dress code, or making some positions hours more flexible.

Your company’s reputation as an employer is very important.

That begins on the loading dock or the assembly line and extends through all other positions in the company.  We’ve all had the experience of such an environment in our own dealings whether in a grocery store, a dentist’s office, a bank drive-thru or the local dry cleaners.  We recognize those places instantly because of the vibes we get from their employees.  That is something to emulate if we don’t already have that culture.  Experts anticipate times of lower unemployment and more openings for new employment than maybe was the case in the past few years.

We are moving into that “brave new world” of Aldous Huxley given the conditions we’ll be seeing in coming years.

WFA Staffing stands ready to help you find the right people.  We will try to assist if you have questions on “going rates” for various functions, or on changes we’re seeing in other benefits that may be enticing even though not terribly costly.  Give us a call.  Share your ideas with us.  We abide by the old credo to listen twice as much as we talk.

 

 

Tom Krist  Tom Krist, CEO

Differentiators

Have you given much thought to the impact that differentiators have in your business or your daily life? Those are the sometimes subtle, or sometimes ‘in-your face’ things, that help each of us to make decisions through-out the days and weeks ahead.

A differentiator might be the color of a dress or the pattern on a necktie so far as clothing goes.  It might be the sweep of a body panel on that new automobile, or the interior trim option that you just had to have.  Differentiators can either be subtle or ‘in-your-face’.

WFA Staffing relies on differentiators every day.

We seek out those differences between various candidates that make the choice of one versus another apparent.  At the same time, we rely on differences to break ties between candidates.  Whether you think about that or not, they likely are part of your decision-making process as well as ours.

  It is for this reason that we pay a lot of attention to meeting you, our customer, on your turf.

We want to get to know you and your business.  Every business has a different something about it that resonates, which sets it apart from all the others in that same business.  Our visits in the field tell us a lot about the types of candidates that will fare better for each organization.

We strive to better understand who you are and what your company is and that is an immense help as we screen candidates, a number of whom are likely to have the qualifications but one or two of whom are simply better-suited for your needs in our opinion.  That is the real ‘magic’ of this business if there is any magic to it.  This also helps us save you time; we have gone through the process of sifting and winnowing and arrived at those who best fit the needs.

Our staff has years of experience in this differentiating process.  Visits with you on your ground help us to hone in on just the right set of attributes in the numerous people we interview.  Most of this experience is subtle; it is simply the way we do our ‘thing’ since it has proved to be best for us and our clients (both employers and prospective employees).  You might not be able to place your finger on it, but it is there nonetheless.

We look forward to the next opportunity you provide us in which we can show you how differentiation works to your benefit, too.

 
Al Campbell

 

 

 

 

Loyalty is a Two-Way Street

“Loyalty is a two-way street. If I ‘m asking for it from you, then you’re getting it from me”-  Harvey Specter

In today’s fast moving market employee and employer loyalty is more important than ever. Are you taking the necessary steps to attract and retain the best talent available? As employers we all face similar challenges with the workforce today. Candidates are lacking the basic life skills to compete in this ever-changing job market.

Candidates seem unaware of how to  dress for an interview, complete a math test on our application, or create a resume. Some  lack job stability, basic communication skills, or the necessary transportation to remain reliable. We are now finding candidates no longer providing proper notice to their current employer.  In this market they can quickly move from one position to another.

When we do find the right person to invest in and train, we expect them to be loyal.  Ask yourself, are we in turn loyal to them?

What do we owe a new employee other than what was promised during the interview?  Maybe, if we established a scorecard during that interview, we could both work jointly to have the new hire grow as an employee while we grow as a desired employer.  This can be a two-way street and that is good for both parties. This environment, not often found in today’s hectic workplaces, would cement the bond between us and our new employee.

As we know, opportunity is plentiful, so it is very important we are doing the very best we can to attract and retain talent.  What is a fair salary or hourly wage for the position?   WFA Staffing Group specializes in staffing and executive placement services by providing entry level through executive recruiting services.  Part of our job is to be a good sounding board for our employer clients.  We have a good feel for what the hot buttons of job seekers are today.

For general production opportunities we have found the days of paying $10 per hour seem to be winding down. With the current demand to fill open positions it is a job-seekers market. Offering a fair wage based on shift, skill level, distance the candidate is required to travel, and the position itself will not only attract the best talent available but it will keep them from searching elsewhere once they have accepted the opportunity to join your team.

Remember the hype that has accompanied the news about FoxConn.  That has penetrated both employers thinking as well as prospective employee thinking.  There will continue to be churn in the marketplace, deserved or not, simply because there is about to be a FoxConn next door.

Most employees are truly seeking an opportunity to learn and expand their knowledge and want to work for an organization that will offer long term training for personal and professional growth.

We know this doesn’t apply to all employees. We try to ferret out those before even exposing you to them.  That is an advantage we may have due to  experience we’ve gained over the years.

Successful employers offer job stability, long term professional training, and strong benefit and retirement packages.

Where that might have been a bit unusual in prior years, it is true in the vast majority of companies today.  The largest percentage of employees today, other than for day job/temp employees, are thinking about the longer term.   Including them in long term goals to make them feel a part of the bigger picture can be a good investment made at very low cost.  Periodically taking a careful look at where you are so far as employee relationships can pay big dividends.  That is especially true in today’s world with industry having major growth pains that will only be added to by the FoxConns in the arena.  Are you doing all you can to hold on to your good employees? We’ll be happy to help you in that process.


Roberta Murphy
Roberta Murphy, Vice-President

The Saga of the Job Interview…


The saga of the Job Interview…

This phrase conjures up different thoughts for different people. The person being interviewed thinks about not making any serious gaffes.  The person conducting the interview thinks about not making any serious mistakes in the process of interviewing the prospective employee.

The result of these two sets of dynamics can be problematic even though both the interviewer and the interviewee felt they’d been at the top of their game during the interview.  The interviewer made sure to avoid causing the interviewee any discomfort during the interview and felt the process had gone well.

The interviewee felt he or she had done an excellent job of not making any serious errors during the interview.  True, he or she might’ve played a couple of games during the interview but that wouldn’t matter after he or she had been awarded the new position.  A little misdirection here and a bit of a falsehood there weren’t the end of the world, after all.

So, two relatively well-meaning people met and got along just fine.  They smiled at one and other, were courteous, received good answers or provided safe answers that seemed to fill the bill.  There weren’t a lot of people applying and there was pressure to fill the spot.

So, this interview led to an offer.  This led to an acceptance, which led to a termination a couple months later.

The approach used given the tight applicant market had only served to bring the interviewer back to filling that same position.  The person, who was released or had resigned, blemished his or her employment record given the short period of time in that job.

Enter WFA Staffing and its professional people people.  We interview as a profession, not as an interruption to the day’s usual routine.  We are good at what we do because that is what we do.  Our interviewing is an integral part of our day, not an interruption to be dealt with as quickly as possible.  We are tuned in to the people we work with as well as to the clients for whom we recruit.  This is what we do, all day every day of the work week.

You may think us a little strange. Our recruiters like what we do; we think it is a great profession and are happy to do that work. WFA strives to satisfy our client employers as well as being helpful to the people seeking employment.  And yes, we have likely heard most all the stories and our antennae are ever alert for the parts of the story that need further verification.

That’s what we do for our clients.  And if you’re not yet a WFA Staffing client, that’s what we’d love to do for you and your business.

Fred D'Amato

 

Fred D’Amato, President

 

Challenges of a shrinking workforce…

There is a shrinking workforce in Wisconsin and a recent BizTimes publication highlighted that fact.

WFA Staffing is in the business of locating qualified talent for our client employers, and have been doing that for a long time.  We know the difficulties in searches since we live it day-in and day-out.   Our recruiting staff has come to understand which searches will require a longer time frame, and we have had the opportunity to see what the going rates are in some of the toughest recruiting categories.

WFA views ourselves as partners with our client employers.  Our company has always thought in those terms and we find that many of our client employers are also thinking along these lines.  Our seasoned staff can help employers gain a feel for what timespans ought to be planned for in recruiting.  They can also advise on going rates for the talent being sought.  We know that some positions will simply be tougher to fill. We also want to be open with our clients in that regard.

Frankly, if you are not having those same discussions with our competitors, you might want to give us a call.

We are all looking for the right talent at the right price.

That may sound a bit crass but that is often the name of the game in today’s market.  Especially in certain sectors of employment, available people are in very short supply.  Even though it might be tempting, we do not reach out to former employees whom we have placed.  That is simply not the way we choose to operate.

Given the shrinking workforce, we have had discussions with good long-term clients who are re-thinking their staffing plans. Some are even at the point of relaxing their standards a bit just to be able to continue to serve their clients.  Gone are the days when an employee performing at 80% of requirements could be released.    Finding a good replacement in a few weeks, no longer is an option, at least in certain categories of positions.

Another critical aspect adding to this shortage of talent quite frankly is the numbers of candidates who fail the requisite drug tests.  That seems to be an increasing issue rather than simply being better some months and worse other months.

The laws of supply and demand are active in today’s marketplace.

 

The skill sets in greatest demand carry the highest costs but will also deliver profits in return.  Profits don’t flow if product quality or service is degraded, or if delivery times stretch out to untenable lengths of time for customers.

If you know you’ll have needs over the next few months, please let us know what those are likely to be so that we can be aware and get those wants into our system soon.  A new hire a week or two early is far better than a new hire a week or two or more too late.

Fred D'Amato

 

Fred D’Amato, President

 

Fresh Start for a New Year

A new year has begun, 2017 at that, and we are already hurry-scurrying through the first weeks.

For some, this is a time of reflection on the year just past and on the things we’d have done differently had we the opportunity for a ‘do-over’.  For others the new year is simply that time when we shift into overdrive to gain a step or two on our competition, business competition or personal competition.

A bit of each of those approaches is often ‘just what the doctor ordered’.  We certainly can be helped by a bit of retrospection, not to dwell on the past, but to gain from those experiences.  We ought to take the time to gain from all our experiences, from those that made us feel great and from those that had the reverse effect.  Both are important parts of who we are.

This is a great time in which to look around at the new world of 2017.

If we’ve had a plan for our careers, where are we in that process?  Are we where we wanted to be or have we surpassed our goals?  What is it that we want to be able to say we accomplished come this time next new year?

If we have had no plan for our careers, might it be time to create such a plan?  We are not technically in the personal consulting business, but we do a lot of that as we work to help people understand what we see as their strong suits and where and how they might make themselves more attractive to a new employer.  We have a very good feel for the marketplace and that may be something we can help you bring to your personal conversation.

If we reflect on the past year, as most of us do in one way or another, we probably find that we had anticipated some of what happened but were blindsided by other aspects.  That reflection might include personal situations, workplace situations, whether or not to add more education credentials, and where the future seems to be pointing for those  with our present skill sets.

Once we’ve had that personal ‘sit down’ with self, there is that whole thing of just what we decide we’re going to do to improve or change the situation.

If we are in an industry that is being chipped away at by new technology, we may be at the turning point personally.  If we have just accomplished adding another notch to the experience we have, this may be the year that we try out the new credentials.

Maybe we’ve had a life-changing experience.  If that is true for you, this might be a good time to re-think where you are and where you are going in the new year if you stay on the current pathway.  Part of the job we try to do is to help our candidates be as honest with self as is possible.  That is sometimes a bit awkward, but it is sometimes the wake-up call that is necessary to get a person back on the track best-suited to their experience and current situation.

Feel free to give us a call or stop to see us if you’re in the area.  We benefit by being of assistance to you and unless we get together, we’re both going to miss that opportunity.  Best wishes for a personal best in 2017!

Fred D'Amato

 

Fred D’Amato, President

Looking forward to 2017!


Merry Christmas and Happy 2017 from the whole gang at WFA Staffing.

We celebrate the birth of the Christ child at this time of the year. It is also a time of year when the calendar is winding down on 2016.  We have had a very good year . We are thankful to our clients, our staff and all the employees of WFA Staffing all across southeastern Wisconsin.

It seems that each New Year brings its own set of challenges.  2016 was no different in that respect and 2017 likely will be the same.  Life would be boring if there were not a few difficulties simply to keep us all on our toes and challenged to be even better at what it is that we do.

Our pledge to you, whether already clients and customers and employees, or whether you will become a client, customer or employee this coming year is quite simple. We pledge to be honest, to work diligently and to provide solutions for your needs as rapidly as is possible.

None of us knows just what 2017 will bring to us.  We can be reasonably certain this next year will bring more challenges, and that is good since a challenge requires a solution if we are to continue to excel.  Without the constant challenge, none of us would be as good at what we do as we have become.  Our competition is good.  Lack of competition is not good for any of us.

If this is the year in which you have promised you will improve your position, we’re ready to help you in that process.  Perhaps this is the year in which you’ll expand your business, we’re ready to help you in that effort.  Or if this is the year you told yourself you’d find a better partner, we’d love to try out for that spot.

We are not perfect and we know of no organization which is perfect.  Knowing that, we can always improve and that is the key for us all to be better in 2017 than we were in 2016.  Even though this was very good year, we’ll not rest on our laurels.  You keep us sharp.  You make sure we live up to our commitments.  We are thankful for you and what you do for us.  We hope that you are pleased with our mutual relationship.  If you are not yet a WFA Staffing client, and are seeking a pleasant and productive relationship, we stand ready to take the test.

Have a great Holiday season and call us early in 2017.

Fred D'Amato

 

Fred D’Amato, President

 

 

Constructive Criticism

Contructive CriticismCriticism is something each of us has or will receive.  It is up to each of us as to just how we’ll respond to criticism, and it is up to each of us as to what we will take away from the experience.  There may be a way to avoid criticism, but that would probably entail each of us working for ourselves with no other employees, and then ignoring all the things we’d really know deep down that we should’ve done differently.  Our business probably would never really get off the ground if that were our approach.  We would probably become our own worst critic!

There are people who are able to criticize without that criticism feeling as though someone had stomped on your foot…or worse.  There are other people who seem to be able to criticize only if the message is hurtful, and we never quite know if the message was intended to be hurtful or if that person simply didn’t know how to make criticism feel better, or didn’t care one way or the other.

The people in our lives who know how to criticize without hurting us are showing us they really like our work and want us to do better for them and for ourselves.  That is a most valuable gift.  If you know someone who has that gift, try to determine how you might be able to copy their approach so your conversations with subordinates, even if somewhat critical of their work product, would seem to be meant to help them become better at what they do for the company.

I can remember working for a man who seemed to know when I was capable of a better work product and who would gently let me know he saw that in me and wanted to help me become even more important to his company.  I got the message and I wanted to please him with improved performance.

If you have the need to criticize, try to be professional in the manner in which you criticize and avoid any remarks that might be taken personally by the recipient.  If you are the recipient, try to be receptive to the criticism knowing that if the manager didn’t want you on his or her team, you’d have never been given the chance to improve.

By the way, this world of criticism is also at work for sales people who interact with prospects and customers.  Usually the sales person is the recipient, fairly or unfairly, but these are learning opportunities and can be turned into situations that result in a long-term customer with whom you have a good understanding.

 

Tom Krist

 

 

Tom Krist, CEO

Authenticity- Be yourself!

Be-yourself-in-a-worldAuthenticity is important.  Authenticity in interviews is very important.  What is authenticity?   How can we be authentic in interviews?  It is actually quite easy to define.

We define interview authenticity as you being you in the interview.

You are who you are. You have hair of a certain color; you are so many inches tall; you weigh so many pounds, you talk the way you talk, and your attitudes and experience are what they are.  That is the authentic you.  Authenticity is not something you can conjure up for specific occurrences such as an interview.  Too often, we have seen the situation where a person studies all he or she can about the company with which they are about to interview.  Is that a bad thing?  Absolutely not; you ought to learn as much as possible about your prospective employer before you interview.  But you should not try to be someone you are not and never have been.

Being authentic during the interview simply means that you act like yourself.

You don’t create some new version of yourself because you think that might work better for you during the interview.  You might be able to fool the interviewer once in a great while, but even then what have you gained?  The company thinks they have hired a person who doesn’t really exist.  You cannot be someone other than who you really are.  Actors and actresses play roles but that is only for the time they are onstage or in front of the camera.  You cannot play a role as an employee for 40 or more hours a week and for 50 weeks out of the year with two weeks of vacation to be your real self.

It is important tauthentic-self-picture-quotehat you be your real self during interviews.  That is how you achieve authenticity in the interview.  If the employer isn’t willing to hire the real you, then you are spared having to act the part of someone different for the rest of your career with that employer.  You know that would be impossible, but it is amazing how many times people who are seeking a new position are tempted to do just that.  There can be a lot of pressure to land that new job.  Bills are piling up; your spouse is counting on it; you need that ideal position to feel good about yourself.

But, no matter how rough the situation might be, do not fall into the trap of trying to act like a different person because you think that’ll get the offer to come your way.  It will almost always do just the opposite.  Even if that acting works once in a while, you would be miserable from the first day on.

Be yourself.  Walk the way you walk.  Talk the way you talk.  Tell the truth about your experience and education.  Act the way you’d want to be able to act if you were hired.  Be the real you; that is authenticity in the interview.

Tom Krist

 

 

Tom Krist, CEO