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At Alternative Staffing we make it a point to reduce, reuse and recycle. We’ve made “Go Green in 2019” our slogan. Recycling bins around the office make sure that employee are recycling all products available. Reuse of one sided copy paper is flipped over and used again by owner, Jan Cappellini.

Alternative Staffing is always looking for ways to better our carbon footprint. So we did a little research and came up with a few office practices to incorporate into our days; and we encourage other businesses to do the same!

Tips to Going Green in 2019:

  • Recycle. If recycling seems so simple, then why don’t more people do it? Make it convenient for your employees. Put a recycling bin right beside every trash can – then no one has an excuse to pop that can in the recycling bin instead of the trash. Put a sign on the recycling bin to tell people what they can/cannot recycle. For example: Please recycle all paper, plastic, glass, and tin. Thank you! Sometimes people respond better when they see something word for word. Reuse your paper like us! Just flip it over and reprint on the other side. And who needs post-its when you have a plethora of note pads at your fingertips? Reuse copy paper by cutting it up into square pieces to use for notes, voicemail messages, and more!
  • Metal Straws. We’ve purchased metal straws to be washed and reused. We’ve given many of these straw out with our marketing material. These straws go great with the popular Yeti Tumblers.
  • Get rid of plastic water bottles. First of all, there is a lot of health conscious skepticism around the use of plastic water bottles; but we will focus on the earth friendly benefits of limiting the use of them! According to Ban the Bottle, Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year. However, the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles – more than $1 billion worth of plastic – are wasted each year. So nix the plastic water bottles and switch to refillable water bottles. Add a purifier to your tap and you’re done! Again, you can customize for each employee and add company branding. Plus: This will reduce your office expenses!
  • Limit your gas consumption. We all know that highways in the Charleston Tri-County area can be a disaster from time to time. Make your commute fun and carpool with a co-worker, while using less gas. Use your bike to go to work if you live close by. Instead of driving somewhere for lunch, take your bike or add a brisk walk.
  • Reusable grocery bags. Make plastic and paper bags a thing of the past and go green with reusable bags! These are perfect for going to your local office supply store to buy supplies, office grocery store runs, or picking up lunch for the team. Do you see another branding opportunity here? We do!
  • Go green, literally, with plants. Having beautiful plants in the office are not only nice to look at but they make you feel better and even improve air quality. According to a NASA study, houseplants were able to remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours; and a study from Exter University concluded that employees were 15% more productive with plants in the office. Tip: Double dip and invest in an aloe plant. If someone gets cut or is burned, snip a piece of the aloe and rub on your skin!

Join Alternative Staffing and make the commitment to GO GREEN IN 2019 for a sustainable work environment! Mother Earth will thank you!

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Does your 2019 business plan include supplementing your full-time staff during the summer or other busy seasons? This should be part of your overall hiring strategy: knowing exactly which employees you need and when, with a talent pipeline in place for the unexpected needs that will inevitably occur.

The Power is in the Planning

Your search for right-fitting talent should be ongoing throughout the year. Success is based on continuously assessing needs and anticipating when you’ll have to make changes.

  • Look at your sales plans and current coverage. Then you can statistically forecast your staffing requirements. Create a roadmap and from there, fill in the blanks. For instance, when will you need more sales strength? What about extra help in the stockroom? Are there specific time slots that will need fleshing out?
  • Always be recruiting. Use your contacts, professional networks and a staffing agency partner to build a pool of qualified candidates who can hit the ground running when the need arises.
  • Make sure job descriptions are correct, complete and current. Consider asking the author of each job description to spend a few hours shadowing an employee in the relevant position.
  • Provide adequate resources for onboarding seasonal staff. You can’t just throw them onto the factory or sales floor and expect them to flourish. Don’t view them merely as a way to fill your schedule, but rather as the company representatives they are. Customers won’t forgive poor service, regardless of who provides it.
  • Think ahead. Give preference to candidates who are likely to return for another season. This will streamline your hiring in the years ahead.

No Shortcuts or Assumptions

Seasonal workers can be a valuable repository of talent for your company’s future. You have the opportunity to make employment decisions based on hard performance data built up over the length of their assignments. Industry experts have noted that “in an ideal world, all our full-time people would have started out as part-timers.”

  • Hire for attitude as well as aptitude. The best seasonal workers are flexible and can get up to speed quickly. At the same time, they are highly dependable, support your mission, and place a high emphasis on safety and customer focus.
  • Don’t shortchange HR processes. It may be tempting to bypass certain procedures to save time and money, but this can lead to longer-term problems. Keep seasonal workers on you regular HR platform. Disseminate related information – such as interview and hiring procedures, orientation and training instructions and relevant paperwork – to satellite sites or branch offices that utilize seasonal employees.
  • Provide incentives for workers to stick out the season. Consider structuring compensation to reward those who stay as long as you need them. This avoids having to “replace your replacements.”

Partnering with a recruitment firm that specializes in your industry can yield excellent strategic results to meet all your hiring needs. To learn more, contact Alternative Staffing today at 843-744-6040.

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Rule number one of searching for a job: always make a good first impression.

If your initial contact with a hiring agent or prospective employer is a personal meeting, it is essential to dress well, act courteously, and do whatever else it takes to demonstrate your poise and professionalism.

The same is true of your online job search process. Often, before there is a resume, a cover letter, or a verbal conversation, there is an email. Your positive image begins with the very first words in that message: the subject line.

How to “Get the Open”
HR professionals and recruiters are besieged with email messages every day. As a decision maker scans his or her mailbox, make sure that one of the messages opened and read is yours. Here are some tips for creating subject lines that are dynamic, interesting and professional – and take your job search to the next level:

  • Be Specific.
    Using as much detail as possible, use full words, not acronyms or slang, and list the full position you’re interested in. Some examples include “Materials Management Director Position” and “Human Resources Specialist Position #12345/Your Name.” If you’re seeking an exploratory interview, your subject line might read “Exploratory Interview Request – Communications Manager.”
  • Be Professional.
    Avoid silly remarks and stay away from statements which may seem catchy or humorous on the surface, but could be misconstrued. Likewise, avoid exclamation points. Do not use capital letters, which make text harder to read and are considered “shouting” at your reader.
  • Be Concise.
    A recent study found that subject lines of 35 characters or less received 52 percent higher open rates. So choose your words carefully and be detail oriented, but keep your subject line clear and on point.
  • Be Nice.
    Personalize your message and avoid bragging or appearing pompous or overly assertive. If you’ve been referred to a job or recruiter by a contact person, leverage that information appropriately, but don’t just name drop.

 

Remember, your goal in crafting the best possible subject line is to incite the reader to open and read your message. From there, the content of that message and the ensuing steps you take will set you on the path to career progress. But, if you miss that first step, you could take quite a stumble.

Building the right tools and the best plan for your job search takes strategy and hard work. Contact the professionals at Alternative Staffing if you need an experienced partner on your career pathway.

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Finding the perfect employee can be a difficult task. However, the perfect employee isn’t one who does whatever you say, but someone who knows what to do without having to be told. That employee is someone who performs the job without constant prodding, someone who can manage himself or herself with a minimum of interference from supervision.

Here’s what to look for in a self-managing employee:

  • Goals. Look for people who set their own objectives and push themselves to achieve them. Instead of accomplishing the bare minimum, they stretch to do a little bit more, or a little bit better, without anyone else telling them to.
  • Guidance. An effective self-manager doesn’t pretend to know everything. The people you want aren’t afraid to ask for advice or assistance, or to seek someone else’s opinion when necessary.
  • Creativity. Pay attention to employees who are willing to suggest and try different solutions, who think about old problems in new ways and aren’t afraid to risk making a mistake or two.
  • Self-improvement. Does an employee take the initiative in learning a skill? You want employees who don’t wait for you to send them to a training seminar, but who identify gaps, or things they’d like to learn, and take steps on their own to move forward.
  • Challenge. Look at employees who seek out bigger projects, more responsibility, or a way to contribute more. The desire to grow is a valuable characteristic to nurture and reward.

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Finding Good Talent Becoming A Struggle?

Having the right staff can be the difference between a smooth, drama free work environment and feeling like every day is a struggle just to make ends meet.

This is a common occurrence in today’s low unemployment rate workforce, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 6.7 million job openings in the US and only 6.4 million workers are available to fill them. This leads to lower and lower quality of employee when you are “scrapping the bottom of the barrel” per say.

5 TIPS FOR FILL YOUR TEAM WITH QUALITY EMPLOYEES

  1. HIRE FROM WITHIN

If you have an opening for a supervisor position, make sure you consider the employees you already have for a possible promotion. Giving those that have been loyal to you a chance to excel is great motivation for them to work harder and find more purpose in their work.

  1. UNDERSTAND WHAT IS ACTUALLY NEEDED

You may have an idea of what you are looking for, but the people that really know what is going to complete their team is the team themselves. Give them a chance to contribute to the thought process as you consider what type of individuals you are looking for. Opening up this opportunity to them will allow them to recommend possible candidates they may know and offer their help to you by reviewing resumes and qualifications of possible candidates.

  1. RESEARCH YOUR COMPETITION

Not everyone likes to consider themselves competitive, but comparing yourself to your competition is not aggressive, it simply helps you understand where you need to set the bar to be successful. If other companies in your industry are offering higher pay rates and benefits to their employees, there is no doubt that the truly talented workers will want to work there. Offer something that is just a little better than your competitors and you will be the top choice for your ideal candidates.

  1. CHECK REFERENCES

Calling a candidate’s references always feel like a nuisance, but it is incredibly necessary if you want to be sure that you are hiring someone you can depend on. Anyone can look up a resume online and read what kind of answers make them sound experienced in an interview, you need to be sure that they actually have the experience they claim to have and talk to one or two people who have worked with them. Furthermore, you should always conduct background checks for each person for the safety of your other employees and your company. If anything goes wrong, you could be liable for it if you failed to do the background check.

  1. USE A ALTERNATIVE STAFFING

Alternative Staffing not only does the background and reference checks for you, they have interviewed each of their candidates and collected a group of skilled individuals they can feel confident in. A staffing agency only matches people with companies that are sure to be a great fit. It saves you the time of having to post the position, filter through all of the responses and go through all of the interviews when they may not even prove to bring in any strong options. They speak with you in depth about what you are looking for and make it their prerogative to help you build a strong team that will last.

FINDING TALENT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A PAIN

You know what it is that your company needs to accomplish, but it is not always easy to find enough people that will be dedicated in a way that will get the job done right.

By looking within the staff you have and then speaking to Alternative Staffing, you will find you no longer have to worry about the stresses of losing employees and filling positions.

 

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5 Benefits of Working with

Staffing Agencies for Warehouse Workers

 

Demand for warehouse workers is increasing every year. Staffing agencies help job seekers to fill positions throughout the entire year, especially during high demand periods.

Distribution and warehouse centers are where the majority of temporary job seekers are able to find work, so staffing agencies have gotten very familiar with the industry. If you are looking for warehouse work, here are six benefits you will get from using a staffing agency to do so.

STAFFING AGENCIES HAVE YOU COVERED

If you work with a seasoned staffing agency, like Alternative Staffing, they will know how to navigate getting you the best position for your skills. Some examples of benefits you will experience from taking this route include:

1. Experience Is Not Required

If you don’t have any experience or have never had a job before, the warehouse industry is a great place to start.

2. Start Right Away

Staffing agencies know where the work is. They have all the connections and they can find you work when you need it. Warehouse positions are open all the time and they will work with you to match up to what you are looking for.

3. They Want To Place You Where You Will Be Most Successful

Staffing agencies are paid by the warehouse company. Therefore, agencies are determined to find employees that will do a good job for their partner companies. Agencies will make sure to look at your individual personality and skill set and do their best to match you with the positions that best suit you. You are less likely to end up in a position you have difficulty with if a staffing agency is assisting you because they want you to succeed.

4. You Won’t Get Bored

Doing temporary warehouse work allows you to change things up every so often without the stress of having to search for a new job all on your own. You will have the refreshing change of a new environment and project to work on, but the consistency of working for a staffing agency that knows you.

5. Potential For An Eventual Full-Time Position

Temporary work might not always be what you prefer. Working with a staffing agency will get you into many different doors and gives you an opportunity to develop relationships with companies that may wish to bring you on full time. Through your different experiences you will gain knowledge about the warehouse industry and the type of environment you prefer so that when the times comes, you will know if the company is somewhere you would like to stay permanently.

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The partial federal government shutdown resulting from the fight over the best and most cost effective way to protect the US and its citizens from the threat of illegal immigration has effected hiring for any company that uses the E-Verify system in a highly ironic way. (This includes all companies in the state of South Carolina).

E-Verify, the government’s system for verifying a new hire’s eligibility to work and reducing unauthorized illegal immigration employment, has been shut down. So while bickering takes place in Washington over the funding of a wall, the ability to use E-Verify to protect american jobs and ensure companies hire a legal workforce has been disbanded in the desert without a horse.

Makes total sense, Right!

This is one of many shutdown paradoxes for sure, which is especially noticeable today as employers begin to onboard their newest batch of hires in 2019. As it stands now, potential options to reopen portions of the government are being sent through congress, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether the parties can come to an agreement which will enable the government to re-open its doors, or simply the doors to the Department of Homeland Security.

Many employers may remember the last big federal government shutdown (in 2013), when the E-Verify system remained offline for 16 days – leading to a huge backlog of new hire cases and pending resolutions which had to be addressed when the government finally reopened and the system resumed operations. For those of you who weren’t involved with I-9s and E-Verify back in 2013 (including myself), here are some FAQs and best practices on how to manage your I-9 and E-Verify cases during this latest government shutdown.

It is important to note that the USCIS may change their current instructions for managing the E-Verify shutdown once the government resumes. With that caveat in mind, let’s begin!

(1) When did the E-Verify shutdown begin?

Contrary to what you might think, E-Verify did not immediately cease operations when the federal government officially ran out of money. The system actually continued accepting new cases throughout the morning and early afternoon on Saturday, December 22nd before coming to an abrupt halt.

(2) How exactly is E-Verify affected by this latest government shutdown?

In a nutshell, the E-Verify system is totally unavailable. This means employers (and E-Verify employer agents) will be unable to do any of the following:

  • Enroll any company in E-Verify
  • Create an E-Verify case
  • View or take action on any case
  • Add, delete or edit any User ID
  • Reset passwords
  • Edit your employer information
  • Terminate an account
  • Run reports

In addition, E-Verify Customer Support and related services will also be closed as well. This means:

  • Employees will be unable to resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs)
  • Telephone and e-mail support will be unavailable.
  • E-Verify webinars and training sessions will be cancelled
  • myE-Verify will not be available for individuals

(3) How do I manage my I-9 and E-Verify obligations for new hires during the shutdown?

The first and most important thing to note is that you must still complete the Form I-9 for all new hires, regardless of whether or not the E-Verify system is online, offline, or just taking a temporary break. As we often discuss, E-Verify is never a replacement for the Form I-9 process, and so the federal government shutdown should have absolutely no impact on your regular and routine I-9 obligations.

Once the Form I-9 is completed, however, you will be unable to create a case in the E-Verify system within three business days after the employee starts work for pay (as is required by the E-Verify system). This so-called ‘three-day rule’ for E-Verify cases will be suspended for cases affected by the shutdown, but employers will need to eventually submit these I-9s to E-Verify once the system comes back online.

In 2013, the USCIS provided employers with a limited amount of time to enter/create all of these cases, so employers will want to make sure to keep track of all new hires during the shutdown and maintain easy access to the I-9 files (as well as copies of required supporting documents for photo matching). Employers using electronic I-9 systems can benefit from automatic queuing and submitting of the E-Verify cases – saving a significant amount of time and worry.

(4) How do I manage pending TNCs that I received prior to the government shutdown?

If the federal government shutdown prevented your employee from contesting a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC), he or she will be allowed additional time to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) once the system resumes. According to the latest guidance, the number of days E-Verify is not available will not count toward the days the employee has to begin the process of resolving their TNCs.

Employers should be careful not to take any adverse action towards employees with TNCs during the shutdown, including terminating, suspending, or withholding training, hours, or pay.

(5) How will the government shutdown affect federal contractors or subcontractors with looming E-Verify deadlines?

Federal contractors and subcontractors will be unable to enroll or use E-Verify as required by the FAR (federal acquisition regulation) federal contractor rule. If your organization misses a deadline because E-Verify is unavailable or if it has an upcoming deadline for complying with the federal contractor rule, you will be instructed to complete your cases (following the same guidelines mentioned above) and to notify your contracting officer of these instructions.

 

Hopefully you will keep these things in mind while employing your new hires during this impasse of government. I know it feels like a wall of paperwork is building up, but with planning and organization, eventually you will make it to the other side.

(all puns intended)

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Temporary staff helps alleviate some of the burden that is caused when increasing production for a brief period of time. However, there are some issues that could arise if your company doesn’t go about this process the best way.

KNOW YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO YOUR TEMPORARY STAFF MEMBERS

Sharing joint responsibility of a temporary staff member can be a little confusing when it comes to OSHA and other federal regulations. Every client’s circumstances can have little things that can change, so make sure the contract between the staffing agency and your company clarifies where responsibility lies.

The most common aspects of safety that you will be responsible for will be in regards to the workplace and any equipment/hazard training necessary in order to ensure that the employee is properly informed. Here are some other practices that will help with workers compensation issues and how to avoid injuries on your company’s premises:

  • Communicate thoroughly with the staffing agency that all necessary personal protections equipment is understood and who provides the equipment.
  • Check on the conditions of the workplace to ensure that their workers are in safe environment.
  • You must be aware of all existing hazards within your workplace, ignorance of these are not an excuse.

 

It is in your best interest to have a system created so you can be sure that you have covered all of the necessary bases with each new temporary employee. This system will be most effective if you:

Make sure you are fully assessing the amount of labor needed to accomplish the job you are hiring them for. It will be much easier for you to recruit 3 temps at once rather than to find yourself shorthanded and have to scramble to find a couple more as you discover a lack of progress. In addition, as mentioned before, you will want to be fully aware of the conditions of your workplace and any precautions or information you need to communicate to new employees to ensure their safety. This is to protect everyone involved.

Your new temp’s training should begin from the moment that they are hired on. They should be treated just as any regular employee would be and given training when required.

The most important thing is to know what your responsibilities are and how you best can prepare your temporary hire to do the job you require of them. Make sure you cover all of the bases by communicating with your staffing partner, creating awareness around existing hazards, and training each individual fully. If you have anymore questions about your personal responsibilities when hiring on temporary workers, please feel free to call Alternative Staffing at 843-744-6040.

 

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The secret to effective management is finding the best in each of your employees and using it to everyone’s advantage. This involves leading a myriad of personality types and individuals. The old cliché rings true: It takes all kinds to make a world – or in this case, a workplace.

With this in mind, how do you best manage over and underachievers? Often, employees on the extreme ends of the achievement spectrum simply need a little extra guidance in order to maximize their potential.

Overachievers.

  • Take on extra tasks without being asked, go beyond the boundaries of their job description and may become overly concerned with accomplishing tasks on or ahead of deadline.
  • Often avoid working in teams or don’t take the time to follow basic processes or job functions.
  • May forget to communicate information, take short cuts or leave job details to others.
  • May take unnecessary risks and don’t stay in one place – or one position – for very long.

Underachievers.

  • May not truly understand the requirements and expectations of their jobs. And this may not be their fault. Perhaps they didn’t get the orientation or training they needed, or they simply need a refresher on what they need to accomplish.
  • May not have the resources they need to do their best work.
  • May have distractions that keep them from performing at peak level.

Help Them Succeed.
Chances are, you can identify both the over and underachievers on your team. Once this is done, your job as manager is to help them achieve their personal best.

Managing Overachievers.

  • Learn what motivates them. Completing tasks above and beyond expectations gives them a “high.” But, this sensation can be harder to come by as time goes on, so they may not be comfortable in one position for more than a few years. Be aware of this and keep them constantly challenged.
  • Give them a flexible environment. This includes involving them in planning and decision making whenever possible.
  • Provide emotional coaching. They may not seem to need a pat on the back, but they’ll respect you more if you acknowledge them. They may get bogged down in details, so they appreciate a manager who motivates, sets goals and provides solid direction.

Maximize Results With Underachievers.

  • Ask them to list their job duties. This will clear up any misunderstandings about expectations and give you an opportunity to take corrective measures.
  • Inquire about personal distractions that may hinder performance. When you ask, be supportive, but don’t pry. Asking specific questions about personal matters can lead to employment discrimination claims. But you need to understand the situation – and provide reasonable time off to deal with it, if necessary.
  • Monitor their achievement. Meet with underachievers frequently and keep communication lines open. Reward progress and provide constructive suggestions.