Archives for Unemployment

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

 

Employment Equation

02d06a5  “The strongest pace of job growth we’ve seen since 1997” was the statement recently attributed to Paul Ashworth, the chief U.S. economist with Capitol Economics.  The U.S. Labor Department advised that employers added 257,000 new jobs in January, 2015 besting the forecast of 228,000.  Job growth estimates in November, 2014 were upwardly revised to 423,000, the most in 17 years.  December job growth estimates were increased to 329,000 up from the original estimate of 252,000.

There was a slight increase in average hourly earnings of $0.12 per hour in January, 2015 and that suggests the labor market is tightening.  What does all this mean for you and for us?  It may well mean that our job of finding the talent you need is going to get a bit more difficult, and it might mean that the talent we are able to locate will expect a bit more money in hourly wage or salary.  Predictions are that wage growth will continue into 2015, and that this is likely to show itself across all sectors.

You and we all have been here before.  When jobs are plentiful and labor is tight, the cost of new employees rises while the supply is obviously diminished.  When workers are more plentiful, the cost of employees holds steady or reduces.  We usually think of an expanding economy as being good for most of us, and that is our feeling with today’s news.

We’d rather participate in a growing economy and most of our client employers would prefer that as well.  If you are seeking a better job, give us a chance to help you with that search.  This is a great time to be seeking to improve your situation.  If you are seeking to add employees, this is also a great time since employees recognize this is a better job search market than they have seen for several years.

If you expect to need more employees, this is a good time to begin that search.  If you would like to confidentially explore the market for a new position, this is a good time to begin that effort, too.  We are ‘matchmakers’ and we are good at it.  We have had a lot of experience on both sides of this equation.

Let us hear from you.

Alan Campbell,  Account Manager

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Good News/Bad News

goodGreat news!  The economy continues to improve and unemployment has gone down to 5.6%!  That ‘great news’ also brings a potential downside where WFA Staffing can help.    Unemployment standing at 5.6% means much of the formerly available talent is likely already employed.  That can limit the number of people you might be able to interest in your direct ‘help wanted’ advertisements, and that hits you at the very time your business is picking up and your need for new people is critical.

We can help with this ‘good news can be bad news’ situation.  We understand the needs of employers and have worked on delivering qualified talent for many years.  Those years have seen high unemployment as well as low unemployment.  Interestingly, we find that our business, the business of recruiting talent, isn’t necessarily adversely affected by these swings.

The growing economy helps to create an awareness in many of the already employed that there might be a more desirable position available given business expansion, and that helps us recruit some talented and experienced people that otherwise wouldn’t be in the marketplace.

The growing economy also helps by getting currently unemployed or under-employed people thinking that they might be able to find a better job even though they might’ve given up on that during the past year or two.  We find some very good people in this group who have simply become demoralized and given up searching.  They often blossom very quickly into some of the best people an employer could ask for.

We have ‘staffing’ in our name for a reason.  Give us a call.  We can help make ‘great news’ even better!

 

Tom Krist, President

Tom Krist

Attitude is Everything

Attitude Blog Pic 12-23-2013

There is a somewhat worn-out phrase but I find it to be among the most important thoughts I can imagine.  That phrase is simply:

Attitude Is Everything

Yes, attitude is everything.  This truth is proven again and again, and yet there are many for whom this is never given a thought.  If you stop to analyze yourself and include your successes as well as your failures, you are likely to find, if you are brutally honest with yourself, that your attitude in each situation had a good deal to do with the outcome.

I have long liked another phrase that says, “Smile and make people wonder what you’re up to”.  That is a bit off track however if you stop to think about it, it makes sense.  If you have a smile on your face, people seem naturally to wonder what you have to smile about.  Smiles are infectious, and every place of employment, except possibly for funeral homes, needs smiles amongst its staff.

Look back at school and to places you have worked.  Think about the various personalities you’ve experienced.  Think about those people who always seemed to have a great attitude.  Did you enjoy being around those people more than being around someone who always seemed to be ‘down in the dumps’.  None of us like to be drug down by someone moping around with a long face.  It is just human nature to want to be around people who have positive attitudes and who smile a great deal more than they frown.

Now, imagine how positive attitudes and genuine smiles come across to prospective employers?  Or to prospective clients?  Or to that special person you’d like to get to know better?

Attitude really is everything.  Simply by adopting and maintaining a good attitude, you have the ability to change your circumstances.  We, at WFA Staffing, will make every effort to get you into a good place as quickly as is possible.  We know that your attitude is going to make us and you look great in the eyes of that employer to whom we’ve introduced you.

You are, however, the only person who can make this true about you.  You have to be the one to smile and the one who exudes a good attitude, and you have to be genuine while doing so.  You can’t fake a good attitude just as a phony smile shows right away.  You may need to practice that attitude thing but it will be an investment of time that will pay big dividends.

You may not display that new and improved attitude all the time, but you will find that what you wear on your face has a lot to do about how you’re feeling.  You will find that you are the only person who can control your destiny and that control includes a willing smile and a good attitude.

Tom Krist – President

Tom Krist

 

A Bad Time to Search?

Bad Time to Search edited ppt

A Bad Time to Search?

We are in the holiday season and there is a significant concern on the parts of many as to whether a search for qualified candidates is worthwhile or not during this season.  We believe that this can be one of the very best times for searching out the ideal candidate.

We humans tend to become more focused on ourselves and our families during this time of year.  We are reflective; we think about the good and the not-so-good things that have been part of our lives in the year that is coming to a close.

That thought process coupled with an aggressive search mounted by WFA Staffing can hit at precisely the right time in the lives of the candidate and his or her family.  It is not unusual for the remaining vacation time to be used during this period and that makes out-of-town searches all the more possible.  Bonuses that might have served to tie people down even if they were unsatisfied in their positions will have been paid out thus eliminating another barrier to interviewing.

On top of that, we tend to think of things we’d like to change for the coming year as we move closer to year-end.  If we have no children in the home, this time is as good as any time for a ‘new beginning’.  Even with kids in school, this is a good time to have interviews and begin to make plans for later in the spring.  In some cases, employers may be willing to extend themselves to get the right person recognizing that he or she might need more time off given a family left behind until school is over.

All in all, we find this as good a time for interviews as any time in the course of a typical year.  We even find that the holiday spirit can have a solid effect on the results of interviews.  We are a bit more laid back and might be willing to spend more quality time in meaningful interviews as the year winds down.  We are more in tune with others and that can be nothing but good for the prospective employee and for the prospective employer.

Give WFA Staffing an order and let us find that perfect candidate no matter what time of year is upon us.  We’ll even put a bow around the whole experience!

Tom Krist

President – WFA Staffing

Tom Krist

 

Great Candidates are Hard to Find

“Great Candidates Are Hard to Find” question

It seems that all employers agree, it is harder than ever to find great candidates.  We are all looking for that same person, great experience, good work ethic, acceptable background and a job history second to none.  It seems like those employees used to be easy to find.  I think the headlines of high unemployment have lead us to a false belief.  Those people have never been easy to find and now it is even harder.  If you have a record like that, even in the recession of 2009, most likely the employee found a job.  That is because that type of person looked for and found a job even if it wasn’t exactly what they were looking for.

So, what do we do now?   Even back in 2010, when it should have been easy to find people. An article in CBS Money watch, I can’t find a good employee from Generation Y, goes on to discuss how hard it is to find good people. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505143_162-40241500/i-cant-find-a-good-employee-from-generation-y/

Perhaps we are looking for too much. One of my early clients when I was a self-employed CPA frequently told me that she had to hire and fire 10 people before she found one that was good enough for her to keep.  Admittedly she was a person of high expectations, but shouldn’t we all be?  After all, we are paying the person for their work.

This in fact may be a large part of the problem.  Due in part to the recession, many current employees are doing their own job plus at least part of the job of someone that was laid off back in 2009 or 2010.  By 2013, these people are simply worn out.  AOL Workers Stressed  So when someone new is actually hired, even if they underperform, the current employees don’t want to let them go simply because they are desperate for some relief.

Bottom line, this is a great reason to use WFA.  We personally interview all candidates.  The average experience of our agency is over 15 years. Yes, in the people business “Experience Counts” Call us and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

-Todd Strehlow, CPA

CFO/Principal at WFA Staffing Group

Todd Strehlow, CPA - WFA Staffing - Milwaukee, WI