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Hiring Employees- Direct or Through an Agency?     

            A few weeks back I contacted a Staffing Agency about getting some more attendants at the store.
     Here is the video I posted

     Now it’s time for some updates.

          The Staffing Agency I used sent me a couple of names and I hired one of the people. She worked out for a couple of weeks and then couldn’t seem to get the part that she needed to be at the store for her entire shift at the times she was scheduled. We had some large orders come through and I asked if she could work longer and to what time and we agreed on a time. A couple of hours later after she “went and looked at her cell phone” she wanted to know if it was OK to go and pick up her husband from work. After some discussion I agreed but she never came back and just sent a text message to me.

         They sent another applicant but we agreed that it was just not the job for her.

             Then the Staffing Agency talked with their insurance company and found out they would have to have an additional policy as they would be handling cash at my store. They were really only set up to provide staff to construction and manufacturing facility or others with direct supervision.

               Part of what I am finding out is that many people who work through Staffing Agencies are just filling those type of straight up “Worker Bee” roles.

                 The first staffing agency did have a couple of names they agreed to send to me. I ended up direct hiring a middle aged woman that was looking for a few hours a week but was willing to work. I trained her for a few shifts and things seemed to be going well. She had the laundry processing part down and seemed to shy away from the cash duties but I was prepared to work with that.

              I’ll mention now that my shifts are 7am to 12:30pm and 12:30pm to 6pm. We are open 7 days a week. There is one person on each shift. My two main people work 6 days and are off one.
             Their off days are Monday and Tuesday. This is because I have to work the “Entry Level” days and I don’t (and have been told not to by my boss :0) ) work weekends. 

hiring

               After a few shifts of training my other attendants said the new one had mentioned she really only wanted to work weekends. They were OK with this but knew it was my decision. The following Sunday I got a call from the new attendant asking if she could just work weekends, I said we could probably arrange that but she needed a bit more training and I needed to talk to the others. 

            And that was it. She never showed up or contacted me again. She was scheduled to do inventory from 7-10 on Monday morning and work the store at 12:30. On Tuesday I sent a termination letter and moved on.

               On the previous Thursday I interviewed and hired someone from a new Staffing Agency that had conditions in place for someone handling cash. After training for a coupe of days she was scheduled to work on the same Monday and Tuesday afternoon shifts.

                I was planning in my mind how I was going to train 2 people at the same time in the store but it turned out not to be an issue.

           Monday at 12:30 came and it was just me.

                 Tuesday I stopped by the Staffing Agency and asked where she was. They said they would find out what happened.

             At 10am I received a call that she was in their office and she thought she didn’t work until Tuesday. So I said OK, I’ll see her that afternoon.

            At 1:15 I received a call from the Staffing Agency about another potential attendant. I said to send her over and I would talk to her. They asked about the other one and I said she never showed up.

               I started to realize now that it’s really a numbers game. It’s a bit frustrating but it still saves me time and money over doing my own interview, drug tests and hiring.

             The last one that I interviewed graduated high school last year and so far is doing a great job. She seemed a little hesitant at first but is quickly getting settled in and handling things. We had some big orders come in this week so she will get about 30 hours.

                As I have not had any more candidates from the Staffing Agency I have contacted another one to see what they can offer. The nice part about this is that I’m not restricted to one. 

            There was an agreement I signed with Staffing Agency #2 that states I cannot hire one of their placements direct until after they have worked 500 hours. That may seem like a lot but it’s really only a few months but as I mentioned in the video if you want to reduce / eliminate your accounting and payroll headaches the ~40% the Staffing Agency charges is well worth it.

          Another thing to keep in mind, and confirm for your area, is that you don’t have to pay into Workers Compensation until you reach a certain number of employees, and that number includes you so hiring through a Staffing Agency can have prevent you from reaching that trigger point. I will say again, I’m not an accountant, lawyer , tax or payroll expert so please confirm about your own situation. 

            On another note I just renewed my Quickbooks Payroll Program at a little over $500 for the year.

           So how do you report their hours? There are a few methods. You can sign a time-sheet they drop  off at the agency, fax it your self or how I do it.
I have a time-clock that is connected to the Web. My attendants clock in and out at the store. My accountants’ staff log into the time-clock on Fridays to check the times. Occasionally someone forgets to clock in and it’s a lot easier to change inside the clock.
           For my direct hire employees, they download the clock data into Quickbooks and run the Payroll Program. All my employees are set up on Direct Deposit so once it’s done it’s submitted to Quickbooks, the money is taken from the business account on Monday and they are paid on Tuesday.
Notice that I’m not involved in any step of this. Outsourcing. Don’t do things you don’t like, are not good at, or shouldn’t do. More on that HERE (It opens in a new tab so click this and look at it in a minute).

      My accountants’ staff have direction on how to correct the time when someone forgets to clock in or out. They correct it to their regular times. (Some arrive 5 minutes early and other 15 minutes).
               If someone is late or leaves early they email me the times so I can give written warnings. I still  can access the time-clock anytime to check hours and clock times.

               For the Staffing Agency attendants, they are given a clock number and clock in and out as normal. My accountants staff check their times on the clock and then email the times to the Staffing Agency.

I receive and invoice monthly from the Staffing Agency.

            So overall I would say that although it’s a little frustrating spending a few days training someone that never comes back when I weigh it against the time to print and collect applications, review them, set up interviews (that about 1/2 just don’t show up to), pay for drug tests and offer them the job I’m spending less time and have less headaches by using a Staffing Agency. and if I decide I don’t want or need someone it’s just a phone call to complete the task. No “just cause” terminations or unemployment rate impacts.

         Now I realize why the big companies do this. It may not seem like the way our parents, or even us, found employment but that’s the system that we work in.

            As a side note I worked for a Temp Agency for a summer years ago. Some of my jobs were one day and some a couple of weeks. There were a few that they called at 7:30 am and asked how long it would take me to get to ______. I worked at what ever they sent me and I am better for the experience. So it’s not a new thing.

 

Ken

Ken Barrett at Eastman Worlds of Work 2017 Oxford AL

Ken Barrett at Eastman Worlds of Work 2017
Oxford AL

 

 

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