SI Review: July 2013


Expert’s Corner

A Smooth Ride

How to prepare for all the twists and turns in the staffing road

By Shawn W. Poole

In the post-Great Recession world, staffing is increasingly being driven by demands for speed, customization and expertise. Companies can no longer rely solely on strong relationships and hard work to be successful. Smart leaders keep looking for ways to gain a competitive edge. At EmployBridge, we call this continuous reinvention.

Much of the action and activity takes place in the local branch office, not corporate headquarters. At the local level, our applicants join with our clients and create value for all concerned; employment for the applicant, labor need fulfilled at the client and, profits for us.

The optimal situation is when the maximum value is created with the minimum amount of administra tion. Consider this the yin and yang of staffing. How do you achieve this? The following processes and key metrics will guide you:

Selling → Recruiting → Matching → Onboarding → Servicing

Selling. Start with the big questions. What is our value proposition? What prospects need our services? Where are these companies and how do we reach them? The key metrics in evaluating success in this critical first step are:

  • Tracking of all prospects monthly. Both new accounts and expansion with existing accounts.
  • Sales closing percentages. Measure the number of prospects that get converted to opportunities to present and then converted into revenue generating clients.

CFO tip: A sale is not a sale until you get paid. Credit check all prospects.

Recruiting. Based on your client base and value proposition, what type of workers do you need to attract? Where are they? What are they looking for in a job? Some metrics:

  • Number of applicants who are brought in for interviews. If you are getting lots of volume but not many people you can put to work, you are wasting marketing and recruiting money.
  • Number of interviewees who are placed on assignment (i.e. generate revenue). If your teams are bringing lots of people to interview but they cannot assign them, your screening processes are not working.

Matching. Once the team selects candidates and places them on jobs, how long do they stay on the assignment? If the worker leaves the assignment, why? Which clients have the longest-tenured employees? Why?

  • What is your contingent tenure for each assignment and client? Compare that with the total time the contingent works for you.
  • Measure why employees leave by reason. Divide this in positive and negative turnover.

CFO tip: All turnover is bad. It costs you money in additional recruiting and screening costs. You can mediate by getting a conversion fee. Ask for fees whenever a client hires one of your employees.

Onboarding. Many firms declare victory when they place an employee on to a job, but the work is not complete until you have finished the onboarding. This includes safety training, orientation, all the documentation and extensive communication with the worker and the client. In this phase you cannot talk too much.

  • Measure the no-show or tardy rate on the first week/month/year of the assignment. This is an indicator of whether your team onboarded the employee correctly.
  • What is the workers’ compensation incident rate for any type of claim? This indicates whether you have done the job on safety awareness.

Servicing. It is critical that you stay in constant communication with the client on the progress of your employees and the assignments.

  • Track the collections process (day sales outstanding or compliance with payment terms). Payment issues indicate that you have problems.
  • Measure the percentage of total employees at the client to your assigned workers. Also measure the total of all temporaries at the client. Know your client share and its trending.

CFO tip: Never be satisfied. If you are not solving new problems, your competition will.

Like life, good branch operations are a journey. Make sure your team is ready for all the turns and bumps in the road. Stay balanced; the one certainty is change!

Shawn W. Poole is executive vice president and CFO at EmployBridge Holding Company. He can be reached at


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