News

Successfully Integrating International Nurses into Your Staff

Diversity in staffing is known to produce higher quality work and increase productivity, overall. More important, diversity makes your recruitment and retention efforts easier, according to a Glassdoor study. Two-thirds of the respondents in the study said that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. Glassdoor also found that 57% of people surveyed think their company should be doing more to increase diversity in its workforce.

For healthcare, diversity is highly desired as it has a direct impact on care delivery. International healthcare professionals are more equipped to care for minority patients as they understand diverse backgrounds and can better communicate bedside shift reports to them, according to an American Nurses Association study.

Recently, eight nurse leaders from across the country gathered to participate in the Avant Healthcare Professionals CNO Roundtable to share their thoughts on the challenges, solutions and opportunities that they face. While there, we asked them how to successfully integrate international RNs into their staff. Below are the suggestions.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Alternative payment models in healthcare

Address Staff and Peers. It’s essential to inform your staff that an international nurse will be joining the team. Take the chance to educate your staff on the nurse’s culture and background prearrival of the new nurse.

Some countries’ medical terms do not translate accurately in English. Procedures may also vary depending on the country, so educating your staff on the clinical differences is a must. Your staff will be understanding and more willing to help when they are aware of these differences.

Assigning an ethnically diverse preceptor for the new nurse is also very helpful in the onboarding process. If this is the first international nurse on your staff, designate nurse leader support for the international nurse so that they have a “go to person” to depend on when needed.

“We have had a lot of success with international nurses as part of our staffing solution. Understanding what environment these nurses come from and then acclimating them to our environment has been key for our retention program. Our other international nurses also help with that transition in prefacing them.” – Caroline Stewart, CNO, Citrus Memorial Hospital

Address Patients. The patient experience is the most important aspect of care. Hospital leadership should encourage unit managers and charge nurses to educate patients and the patients’ families on their international nurse’s education, preparation and experience. Therefore, it’s crucial that the patient understands that they are receiving the best care they can get no matter who their nurse is.

Eliminating nurse-change requests from patients will reinforce that the international nurse is a part of the team and will make the patient feel more comfortable about their care.

Address the Community. Whether you live in a diverse community or not, discussing the need for international nurses is important. Reach out to key influencers in the community such as the mayor, the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, local reporters, etc. Inform them of the nursing shortage and explain how international nurses bring value to the community. The goal is to have political backing for a care environment that welcomes diversity.

One of our partners at Great Plains Regional Medical Center met with the mayor and the school board to introduce diversity education to the North Platte, NE community. These meetings serve as a catalyst to successfully integrate internationals into the hospital as well as the community.

Most important, the school board should be aware of international families in the community and be prepared on how to integrate these students prearrival. Bullying can be an issue in grade schools which is why the school board should be involved in these meetings.

Overall Goal. Involving your staff, patients and the community in diversity education serves to create a welcoming home for international nurses and internationals, in general. These nurses are looking to be a part of the community as permanent residents. The overall goal is to improve patient care with a staff that better represents the population.  Diversifying your community can start with the health care system. Considering international nurses at your hospital is a great start.

MORE:  How VMS/MSP affects healthcare staffing

 

Before You Dismiss That ‘Job Hopping’ Résumé

Today’s résumés are characterized by less time at organizations, and as a direct consequence, more employers. It’s a function borne both of technology and a workforce that is driven by higher expectations.

So, I’m always mystified at the outright rejection of candidates whose résumés are punctuated by such “employment hopping” under the assumption that the candidate is lacking in some way. I believe the inverse can be true: Candidates whose résumés are punctuated by more frequent stops are the very candidates that should be more seriously considered.

Why?

In the past, employers held all the cards. They defined the rules of the game. Employers hired a person who typically had the right educational lineage and held on to that individual for 20 to 30 years. This was a measure of success for the employer as well as the employee during a time wherein change was relatively nonexistent.

Today, that proposition is largely invalid. No longer do employers hire for this prospect; in fact, they find that it’s a flaw; people who stay in one position for that length of time have brought nothing new to the table, and in fact, have simply adapted to a position over time, while enduring the changes that technology and innovation have brought about. This is hardly a roadmap for success in technologically advanced environments.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Talent Acquisition Technology Ecosystem

Today’s new employee is driven by challenges; what can this organization do to enable my personal and professional growth? If it doesn’t stack up, the employee moves on. Isn’t this a trait that you, as a hiring manager, would want to see in a potential hire? Candidates with multiple employers on their résumé are likely looking for an employer who can provide this challenge. So, instead of impugning the employee for this, celebrate it. Look at the employers for whom the employee worked. Are they in the same space? If so, look instead at the length of time worked in that space as one employer. From this vantage point, it looks much more favorable.

What the new employee sees as opportunity is the new driving force of employment; a power shift has taken place. Employees now ask “what can the employer do for me?” before ever sitting across a desk from a hiring manager. Of course, you’ll look for competency, but if you, as a hiring manager, are looking for the guy that worked 20 years in one capacity at a single employer, you’ll probably end up with a person who has demonstrated no initiative to challenge either the employer, or him/herself. Is that the character trait you’re after? Can you live with some job-hopping on the one hand, in exchange for the knowledge that the person is perhaps reacting to uninspired employers, on the other?

Maybe the question should be, “Can your organization live with hiring an employee who will simply do what’s told, and be obedient for the next 10 years?” Because, that’s exactly what you’ll be getting when hiring somebody whose roadmap reflects this.

Careful vetting, of course, is required. Much can be determined from a face-to-face interview during which probing questions can unearth the reality of the résumé history. If you’re outright dismissing candidates with a higher than average number of employers, look instead at the opportunity that this presents, and explore the territory as an advantage, instead of dismissing what may be a highly qualified candidate for reasons that have disappeared long ago.

Dismiss the candidate whose transitory nature of employment cannot be legitimized via the interview process, but don’t dismiss outright the candidate whose frequent job changes marks a desire to find the right employer that will provide a challenging work environment. There are plenty of flawed employers out there for whom the latter is a justifiable reason for departure. Don’t be one of them on the merits of the former.

MORE: Hiring in a jobseekers’ market

 

Is it Time to Update Your SEO Strategy? Part 1

Looking to drive more visibility for your staffing or recruiting firm? Want to be seen as a leader in your industry or local market? Would you love more qualified inbound leads who are looking for the exact services you offer?

The good news: An effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can help you achieve all of these.

The bad news: There isn’t an “SEO Switch” you can turn on and immediately own search engine results!

What exactly is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of getting website traffic from the organic (free) listings on search engines like Google and Bing. By adjusting both on page SEO elements (content, site architecture, code, etc.) along with off-page SEO elements (trust/authority, inbound links, location, social, etc.), the goal of SEO is to build a stronger overall organic search presence that leads more people to your website.

How do you determine if your SEO strategy is effective?

Now that we have defined what SEO is, let’s look at several factors you should look at to determine if you’re existing strategy is good, or if it needs to be updated:

1. Keyword rankings. Unfortunately, we’ve all been trained to focus on keyword rankings. “Am I number one in Google results for [insert random search term]? Many SEO companies and business leaders will look at keyword ranking as their sole SEO success metric. The problem with that is it’s not a smart metric and distracts you from the main goal of SEO. Remember, SEO is the process of getting more high-quality traffic to your site from search engines. Ranking number one doesn’t mean traffic is coming to your site. You could rank high for a term that NO ONE searches for. Also, ranking high doesn’t mean that anyone is clicking on your listing. If keyword ranking is your main tracking metric – you may want to update your SEO strategy and realign your goals.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Talent Acquisition Technology Ecoystem

2. Website traffic. Instead of using keyword ranking as your metric, look at the true metric: organic search engine website traffic. Use Google Analytics or another web visitor tracking software to identify how much traffic your site receives from organic search engine results. Look at historical data and compare traffic from search engines month over month and year over year. Look for growth trends to determine whether your SEO strategy is driving increased results or not. By comparing year-over-year traffic you’ll be able to remove the seasonal fluctuations in traffic and get a true indication of your website’s SEO performance. If you find that search traffic is flat or declining, it’s time to reevaluate your SEO strategy.

3. Search engine visitor behavior. We track over 500 staffing and recruiting websites and often find traffic from search engines is very high quality—meaning they stay on the site longer and are more likely to convert than other traffic sources. When looking at your traffic from search engines like Google and Bing, pay attention to key metrics:

Bounce Rate – A bounce is someone that visits your website and leaves after visiting only one page. If you find your traffic from search engines has a much higher bounce rate than the rest of your site that means the traffic isn’t high quality. Look closely at the search queries that drove that traffic and make sure they align with your business offerings. If your site content is optimized for terms that are outside of your offerings, there may not be any business value in that traffic.

Time on Site – Our goal with SEO is attracting high-quality traffic from people looking for your exact services. Look to see if visitors from search are spending more time on your site than the average visitor. If you find a low time on site, it’s time to review your strategy.

Pages per Visit – Similar to time on site, we want to see people from search engines visiting multiple pages on your site. If they aren’t, you are either attracting the wrong people, or your website isn’t leading them down the right path or funnel.

 

 

 

 

4 Drivers for Employee Engagement

It may seem obvious that the lack of true employee engagement directly affects an employer’s ability to retain its workforce. However, people tend to confuse employee engagement with employee satisfaction. Employee engagement means that employees feel emotionally committed to their organizations and have the drive to always put forth more discretionary effort as a result of their commitment.

A Deloitte study found something that’s not surprising – engaged employees are more likely to stay at their jobs, which leads to direct profitability for the company. So how do you ensure your employees stay engaged? Here are four key ways.

On-going, consistent communication. Real-time, immediate feedback is the most conducive for quick behavior change, and feedback should happen as quickly as possible. Conversations with employees who are not meeting expectations should never go unaddressed for long, though it might be tempting to push the conversation off. For an industry like the home health industry, where a large number of employees/caregivers are de-centralized because they are in the field seeing patients, regular feedback becomes even more paramount to mitigate miscommunication and maintain connections.

An organization can benefit from internal newsletters, informal huddles, monthly staff meetings and clearly defined social media strategies, which help to keep everyone informed without having to play the telephone game.

Communicating about the good is just as important. Employees that are high-performers deserve real-time recognition, too. Which ties in with the next driver.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Internal Staff Survey: Initial Findings

Consistently reward and recognize individuals. Managers need to reward and recognize employees in ways that are specific to the individual and consistent with their desired career path and journey. For example, when recognizing an employee, it’s helpful to keep in mind if they are an introvert or an extrovert – an introvert may find it mortifying to be recognized in a public manner. This type of introverted employee may appreciate a one-on-one interaction instead when being rewarded. You want recognition to have the desired effect, which is letting employees know how much they are appreciated.

Have the confidence to have difficult conversations. It starts by being a situational leader and being able to adapt to your employees. Knowing what kind of leader you are – democratic, authoritative, or participative – will help you recognize how your style meshes with those you are managing and when and how you need to change your leadership style based on the situation. Set mutual goals and expectations together, and make sure objectives are measurable. Maintain confidentiality and trust with your employees. As a manager, give specific examples of what happened that didn’t meet expectations and the ensuing results. Ask employees what you can do better as a manager, as all relationships are a two-way street.

Make sure employees are not only in the right bus, but in the right seat. All employees need to understand where they fit into the bigger picture of an organization to feel more invested. No matter the size of the organization, playing to employees’ strengths and making sure they’re in the right roles will lead to greater overall success. In addition, managers should understand employees’ career path goals, mentorship needs, and skill gaps. It’s important to remember that employees don’t leave organizations, employees leave managers.

I truly believe an organization’s employees are its greatest assets. The bottom line? Your people always come first. In order for any company to retain its workforce and thrive, a culture where employee engagement is paramount must be deployed and cultivated.

MORE: How important is work-life balance to candidates?

Hiring in a Jobseekers’ Market

With the unemployment rate dropping over the past few years, candidates have taken back control of the job market. Employers must deal with applicants looking at all their other options and no longer settling for just any position. So what does it take to make successful hires? This blog will provide three areas to focus on when you’re looking to acquire top talent in today’s competitive landscape.

Hiring Process. In a time when candidates are considering multiple job offers, the worst thing you can do is make them jump through hoops during a long and outdated hiring process. In order to keep applicants engaged, outline the steps in the process and maintain constant communication. The candidate experience is more important than ever. By taking a streamlined approach, candidates will get a good impression that this organizational efficiency goes beyond the initial hiring.

Company Brand. One of the best ways to attract applicants is to make sure your company has a positive appearance. It is important to brand your company through both online and offline media. You should be encouraging everyone who interacts positively with your company to share their experience, whether it be through social media or face-to-face conversations. However, this isn’t going to happen overnight since developing a strong brand and culture takes time. By implementing internal policies based on your company message and mission, you will grow a cultural base that will differentiate your company.

PREMIUM CONTENT: How to get on the provider list

Salary and Benefits. To have top candidates consider your position, you’ll have to offer a solid salary with benefits. There are some companies that can lean on their great work environment or unique culture but those examples are few and far between.In most cases, you get what you pay for. By offering a higher wage than your local competitors, you’ll fill the position faster and receive more high-quality candidates.

Overall, if you want to succeed in today’s job market, you’ll have to act quickly, showcase your culture and pay well so job seekers can see that you’re the best choice.

MORE:  Why companies should seek neurodiversity talent

How Often Should You Redesign Your Staffing Website?

Twenty-five years ago, websites weren’t even on the radar for most businesses. And for those companies that did have one, it essentially an online brochure, static in nature with little interaction and a lot of text. It wasn’t super necessary for the typical staffing firm. If you did have one, it probably didn’t change much for several years.

Today, if you don’t have a website, you might as well not exist. Furthermore, if your website is outdated, you’re immediately tarnishing your online reputation. Did you know that, according to Orbit Media, the average lifespan for a website is only 2.5 years?

Two-and-a-half years. That is the blink of an eye when you’re managing day-to-day responsibilities. But it’s more than enough time for your website to edge its way toward becoming obsolete. That said, what factors should you consider when deciding if it’s time to redesign your staffing website?

Design Trends

Okay, so you’re not Apple or Google or Amazon. Thus, you don’t need to stay on top of the most cutting-edge trends in web design (or trailblaze any new ones). But you do need to keep up with some of the most wide-spread trends if you want to stay ahead of the game. Here are a few design factors to keep in mind today.

  • Imagery is a big deal. Today’s best websites use full-page, high-resolution images that subtly and authentically support their brand and messaging. Gone are the days of overused stock photos and clipart-inspired graphics littered throughout a site with no strategy.
  • Less is more. The early days of the Internet were splashed with countless menus to navigate, buttons to click, and text to read. Those elements are still important, but minimalism has taken over. White space is essential, as well as clear and concise navigation. If you still don’t know what a hamburger menu is, Google it now.
  • Scrolling design in key. Driven by mobile-friendly web design, the trend toward a scrolling design has become highly popular. The goal is to make less work (i.e. fewer clicks) for your web visitors. You don’t need to fit every piece of information “above the fold.” Determine the most important messages for your audience and arrange them strategically as you scroll down the page.
  • Video and interactive design. Today’s web visitors have limited attention spans. Catching their attention with video and interactive design is a growing trend, but you have to be careful. These design elements need to be built to appeal to your specific audience rather than simply distract them from your main message.

PREMIUM CONTENT: VMS/MSP — How staffing suppliers can get on the list

Mobile Responsiveness. Seventy-eight percent of Millennials, 73% of Gen Xers, and 57% of Baby Boomers are using their smartphones to search for jobs. While these numbers vary across industries, if your staffing website isn’t mobile responsive, you’re likely losing out on a large portion of your candidate audience. The same goes for prospective clients. Many of them are checking their business email on their phone, and when your message goes through, complete with links to your site, you can guarantee the responsiveness of your site will impact their impression of you as a potential staffing partner.

But what if your website redesign five years ago already addressed the issue of mobile responsiveness? Don’t be too confident that it’s just as user-friendly today. We all know that technology evolves at lightning speed, which means the mobile interface has changed considerably over the last several years. Is your site still compatible with the latest mobile technologies? If not, it’s time for a redesign.

Strategic Messaging. Written content is a huge part of your website. It’s also one of the hardest parts to get right. Even if you have the slickest design, the words you use will make or break the user experience. Today’s web users are sick of “marketing speak” and want to know what differentiates your staffing firm from the crowded marketplace. This requires a lot of background work regarding your brand purpose and promise, your buyer personas, your brand voice and tone, and more.

Updating your strategic messaging may not necessitate an entire website redesign, but it’s important to be aware of how design and content interact. The amount of space and layout of the existing design may or may not impact how well your website is able to leverage the content, whether it’s in your banners, sidebars, call-out boxes, page body or elsewhere. It’s a delicate balance, and if design and content don’t seem to be compatible, it’s definitely time for a redesign.

Marketing Initiatives (e.g., content marketing). How have your marketing efforts evolved over the last several years? If you’re all about content marketing, publishing high-quality blogs and articles on a consistent basis, we applaud you. It’s a great way to deliver value to your audience, not to mention the opportunities for lead generation you’re creating if you’re also pushing out eBooks and whitepapers. But does your staffing website design leverage that content or hide it?

Your content – if well-optimized – should be gaining you significant web traffic. Check out your Google Analytics for help deciphering how well your content is performing. Performance will be affected by how easy it is to navigate to your content and how well it’s formatted on your site. If it’s suffering because of either of these factors, consider how a redesign might help.

Web Traffic and SEO Trends. Google Analytics and Webmaster can also help you see how your website activity has evolved over the years. If your web traffic or rankings have declined significantly over time, it may be a direct reflection of an outdated web design. Load times, ease of use, relevant content and other factors are often at the mercy of how a website is designed and are simultaneously the exact reasons why a site might be attracting fewer visitors. Take a look at the data to help you decide when it’s time to redesign your staffing website.

Competitive Analysis. Finally, what are your competitors doing? When is the last time you ran a competitive analysis, studying the design, messaging, SEO, and web traffic of the companies you run into most in the marketplace? We get it: chances are, you have other priorities in your business that take precedence over completing this exercise. But even a quick glance at your competitors should give you a hint about where you stand with your own website. Are you ahead of the curve?

So, is it time to redesign your website?

In today’s marketplace, your digital presence is essential to maximizing the success of your sales and recruiting efforts. Today’s consumer – whether they are looking for a B2B service, such as staffing, or they are looking for a new job – will almost always take the opportunity to check out a company’s website before they fully commit to working with them.

What does your current staffing website say about you? If you’re not sure how often you need to do a redesign, take the time to do some research to find out how well your current site is performing.

MORE: Staffing Industry Review — Marketing by Design

Key Ways to Increase Your Profitability

According to a report by Bullhorn, 56% of staffing agencies ranked increasing profitability as their biggest challenge for the years to come, closely followed by finding the right ambitious profiles. But, how do you increase your profitability? Intuo has been working closely with staffing agencies and were able to gather some insight. We’ve listed our top findings below.  

There are a few things you can do to increase your profitability margins. Generally, four elements determine a staffing company’s margin: the fee you charge your customers, the wage of your staff people, the ratio of overhead versus staffed people and the chargeability rate. These are all obvious variables but there are a few other important things you can actively do to increase your profitability. How do you keep your people engaged, how do you gain their trust and retain them? This might be less focused on the financial aspect but will have a considerable impact on your bottom line.

Transparency pays. A label insight study of SmartLabel transparency technology showed that 40% of surveyed consumers would switch brands if the brand would be more transparent, while 73% is even willing to pay more.

While this study was conducted in the food industry, the takeaways are universal: people pay more for knowing what is going on. Staffing firms can embed transparency easily in the candidate selection process. For example, you can inform your client how you go about finding the perfect candidate for their project, keep them up to date about whom you are interviewing and why, and inform them why you have decided to select this particular candidate or not. The result: the perceived value of your service has increased, you can now add a few percentages to your bill.

However, intuitively, there is quite a threshold to transparency. Committing to transparency also opens your organization for questioning and criticism. Not only will the things you do right be shown, but also the things you do wrong. And how do you react to that?

While you will encounter these times where you wish you had concealed certain information, transparency pays off in the end, because it is the critical step toward trust. A trustworthy relationship is a long relationship.

This is one of the most important characteristics to keep in mind. A third of staffing firms do not measure their employee satisfaction, according to Bullhorn. If you are more focused on satisfying your end-customer and pay little attention to your employee, the latter will feel neglected and you risk them walking away in the middle of a project. A report by EBN states that replacing an employee in candidate-led markets can cost you up to 33% of its salary. It would be financially disadvantageous to lose a driven consultant and having to look for and train a new one. Moreover, this will do your agency’s image a lot of damage towards your end-customer.

Listening and closely paying attention to your employees’ needs and happiness is thus crucial for your profitability.

Make people stay longer. It’s not enough to offer your consultants a competitive salary and interesting projects. That won’t make them stay faithful to your agency. Coaching, feedback and constant learning are key to keeping them happy and fulfilled.

A 2011 Staffing Industry report has showed that that treating employees well, pays off. Even more so, firms indicating that developing their talent and building a great culture to engage and retain people were actually more profitable than their competitors who focussed on growing revenue, improving margins and acquiring other firms.

Therefore, in the competitive and fast-paced staffing industry, defining a clear career path for your consultants to keep their personal and professional growth as the main focus is crucial. Together, you have to define the best way for them to attain their objectives.

Investing time and effort in all these elements combined with clear recurring feedback will make sure you detect, prevent and solve issues more rapidly. Today, technological advancements make it possible to do this at scale. Intuitive platforms such as Intuo help you clearly define individual growth paths, track evolution and form a solid relationship based on trust and transparency between you and your consultants. Planet Talent, a consultancy firm that employs 91 consultants, was able to cut employee churn from 18% to 7% by focussing on coaching and personal development.

Move away from the commodity space. Early 2000, the German car manufacturer Volkswagen found itself in a ‘red ocean’. too many manufacturers were competing for the mid-market. Cars had become a commodity, where price was the only differentiator. Volkswagen Chairman Piëch then set a move that would proof to be essential in moving away from the commoditized market: the launch of the VW Phaeton, a luxury sedan meant to compete with high-end manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The sales were awful, but it remained in production for 14 years. Why? Because offering a luxury car to the market, elevated the perceived brand image and justified a higher price for their other models.

The same tactic can be applied in the staffing industry, where a lot of agencies are competing for the same market space. Showcasing high-end consultancy projects enables these organizations to leave the competition behind and justifies charging higher fees for any other project.

There are several good ways to showcase your ‘Phaeton’ projects in bulk: leaflets, white papers, case studies, you name it. One way to do this in a more personal way is organizing workshops where you share key insights of successful projects. Webinars are another proven way to generate engagement with potential customers. While you’re at it, these kind of interactions are perfect to scan your target audience and for your people to discover new opportunities.

Among the many ways to showcase, there is only one best showcaser: your people. In the end, they are the ones who end up at the negotiating table. Allowing them to focus on educating your target audience puts them in the market as thought leaders, eventually elevating the organization’s brand image.

Software startups are known to be very agile. Generally, they first consist of small teams who take the time to listen to their customers. This is crucial since they need to be able to find the right solution for their potential customers. They build new features based on those talks and look at the data to see whether or not it’s actually valuable for their customers. While we know startups are not the same as staffing agencies, their approach can teach us a valuable lesson.

Staffing companies can, together with their consultants, think about what they can learn from their existing customers. Think about their bottlenecks, what are their most common problems? How can you solve them while reinforcing their trust in you? These are all questions you should ask yourself both from a sales and marketing perspective.

Answering these questions will not only increase profitability because of renewal and upsell but you will also be able to use this information to win new customers by listening and learning from your current customer base.

If you do this right, your consultants will also be extra motivated, feel involved and invest more time and effort in their assigned company.

Make everyone a salesperson. Traditionally, sales experts are the ones that have a direct impact on your company’s revenue. They are the ones that find and close deals. But, your company’s sales does not only depend on matching the right candidate with the right client anymore. It also depends on defining opportunities with existing clients. When you succeed in implementing the advice mentioned in this article, consultants will start identifying certain opportunities in their assigned companies. They will offer their help or the help from other consultants from your agency. (The result: you don’t have to employ salespeople anymore, because everyone is one. Easy incentivize.) This will generate incentive programs for consultants without having to actively look for new businesses.

In essence, your profitability greatly depends on the involvement of the people you staff. They are your single greatest asset. Your task as a staffing agency is to coach them, make them feel valued and offer them the best personal development. Invest in these characteristics and you will see a clear increase in profitability.

Is Your Website Your Best — or Worst — Sales Rep?

How many sales leads did your website generate last week? Last month? Last year?

How many placements did you close because of your website? 

Is your site attracting candidates? Is it getting them to apply?

Your website can — and should — be your most productive employee.

Staffing websites have gone through an amazing evolution over the past 20 years. In the dot-com days of the late 90s, few staffing firms had a website. In the early 2000s, staffing companies created “brochure sites” that did little to facilitate the sales process.

Over the last five to seven years, staffing websites have greatly evolved to become 24/7 sales and recruiting engines. Today, a well-designed staffing website will:

  • Attract employers and job seekers via search engine optimization.
  • Convey a firm’s positioning with case studies, testimonials and online reviews.
  • Demonstrate thought-leadership through blogs, video, and other educational content.
  • Drive inbound traffic by integrating website content with email marketing and social media.
  • Generate sales leads with landing pages and strong calls to action.
  • Facilitate the service process with online ordering, job applications, and employer and employee service portals.

Is your website doing all these things?

If you answered “no” or “I don’t know,” then it’s time to take a hard look at your website. Dig into Google Analytics to see how much traffic your site is getting, and specifically how much traffic is coming from search and social media. Look at your top entry pages, exit pages, and most viewed content. And most importantly, look at your conversion pages – pages where people can take an action – to determine if people are getting to those pages and then taking the actions you want.

In analyzing the data, you’re trying to learn a few things:

  • Are we getting a lot of people to our site?
  • Are people staying on the site and visiting multiple pages?
  • Are we getting them to those pages where they can take action?
  • What conversion rate — the percent of people who reach an action page and then take an action — is the site generating?

PREMIUM CONTENT: Temporary Worker Survey: Initial Findings

Boosting Sales from Your Website

While your website is never going to replace the consulting talents of your sales team or eliminate the need for recruiters, there are lots of things you can do to make your website more productive.

Here are 14 ideas to get more sales from your staffing website:

  • Shorten copy so your pages are easier to read.
  • Add strong calls to action throughout every page.
  • Use buttons, graphics and color to draw attention to your calls to action.
  • Give people a fast way to take action near the top of every web page.
  • Get every job on your website and make sure each job is optimized for SEO.
  • Incorporate a ChatBot to automatically engage visitors to your website.
  • Add a separate page for each skill niche you serve with content optimized for search engines.
  • Add a separate page for each local office with content targeting that geographic market.
  • Write blog posts about the kinds of questions your clients and candidates are asking.
  • Write blog posts about job fairs, trade shows, and other events in your community.
  • Shorten web forms – the fewer questions you ask the more response you will get.
  • Allow people to respond to web forms via voice, chat, and SMS.
  • Share your blog content on Facebook and LinkedIn as often as you can.
  • Get everyone on your team involved in sharing content from your site on social media.

Most employees work 9 to 5. Your website works 24/7/365. But if your website is little more than a brochure, it adds no more value than a sales rep who never picks up the phone.

However, when designed to tell your story, optimized for SEO and mobile, integrated with social media, and built to drive response, your website can outperform almost any individual contributor.

For more ideas for your staffing website, try our FREE Staffing Website Features Checklist or Download our Staffing Website eBook.

MORE: Build a successful email marketing campaign

Why Companies Should Seek Neurodiverse Talent

Businesses are always looking for ways to strengthen and diversify their workforce. When people think about diversity, their minds often jump to gender and race as key diversity factors, but recent trends show businesses are beginning to embrace people with disabilities as a group to consider as a competitive advantage.

Within the talent pool of people with disabilities is a pool of individuals who are considered “neurodiverse.”  Neurodiverse employees can include those labeled with Dyspraxia, Dyselxia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum and Tourette Syndrome — disabilities that are usually considered “hidden disabilities,” which comprise 80% of disabilities.

Tangram Business Resourcing (TBR) is dedicated to disability inclusion and has highlighted several key reasons why companies should be actively recruiting neurodiverse talent on staff:

1. Access the largest (and highly qualified) minority group in the US. People with disabilities represent the largest minority in the US, with one of every five people in the country living with a disability, according to the US Department of Labor. The incidence of autism in the US is now 1 in 42 among boys and 1 in 189 among girls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, people with disabilities have a higher unemployment rate compared with people without disabilities. In fact, in November 2017, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was 8.5% and the rate for people without disabilities was 3.7%. A report by Drexel University found that 58% of adults in their early 20s with autism are unemployed and 85% of college graduates with autism are unemployed.

PREMIUM CONTENT: A reskilling revolution?

Educational achievement between the two groups is much closer than one would think given the previously presented data. People with disabilities are often extremely qualified for the job, as shown in the information below from the United States Department of Labor.

Individuals with disabilities:

  • Nearly 80% had graduated from high school.
  • 5% had a college or associate’s degree.
  • 4% had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Individuals without disabilities:

  • 90% had graduated from high school.
  • 8% had a college or associate’s degree.
  • 6% had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

2. Add desirable skills sets to your team. People who are neurodiverse can also bring unique opportunities to employers through each person’s specific set of skills and different perspectives. For example, people with autism are very detail-oriented, with high levels of concentration, reliability and technical ability, according to a Forbes article. Those with dyslexia are often strong in spatial intelligence, and many are 3-D, holistic thinkers with an aptitude for mechanical problem-solving. People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are hyper-focused, creative, inventive, spontaneous and energetic. These qualities might be of great value to an organization.

3. Improve your bottom line. Businesses who hire people with disabilities experience many bottom-line benefits, including decreased turnover and absenteeism and improved productivity, safety, overall morale and corporate culture. A study conducted by DePaul University found that people with disabilities stayed on the job longer than people without disabilities, and that the performance between the two groups was nearly identical: evaluations showed that people with and without disabilities both fall between “Meets Expectations” and “Exceeds Expectations.” Furthermore, businesses may qualify to receive tax credits or other financial incentives when they hire individuals with disabilities, not to mention that federal contractors can fulfill their hiring goals by actively recruiting from this talent pool.

4. Make a commitment to greater corporate social responsibility and access new markets. A number of businesses show their support for social causes through volunteerism, grant funding or advocacy, but why not take that responsibility to the next level? Achieve social responsibility in every aspect of the business, including internal operations. Hiring people with disabilities shows a company’s commitment to inclusion and having a workforce that reflects the diversity of real-life consumers. Individuals with disabilities and their families represent a $200+ billion market opportunity. Showing a commitment to inclusion can translate to a new customer base and increased brand loyalty for your business. So, corporate social responsibility isn’t just the right thing to do, it is also good for business!

Making people with disabilities a part of your working team will not only achieve better bottom-line benefits for your business, but it will also improve overall company culture and lead to positive PR outcomes for your company. Recruiting a diverse workforce will ultimately improve your workplace and expand your staff in a way that benefits your business as a whole.

 

How to Approach a Client About a Pay Rate That Is Too Low

Does talking to clients about low pay rates make your account managers uncomfortable?

It’s perfectly understandable. Money is a sensitive subject! But with minimum wage on the rise, and qualified candidates in short supply, it’s vital for your sales team to broach the topic with clients that don’t offer competitive compensation.

In addition to giving our industry a bad reputation, pay rates that are too low make your account managers’ and recruiters’ jobs extremely difficult. Instead of having the freedom and resources to deliver great people and smart staffing solutions, your team is tasked with the impossible: providing Nordstrom-quality talent at bargain-bin pay rates.

It’s time for some straight talk with your clients.

Conversations about money may be tough, but they’re discussions your account managers need to have. Train your team to be consultants – not just order-takers – using honesty, effective information-gathering, patient education, and practical guidance to convince clients to pay up. Here are a few suggestions for approaching employers about pay rates that are too low:

Provide some perspective.

While most employers know that unemployment is low, they may not understand all the factors contributing to our nation’s current talent crisis:

It’s a job-seekers’ market. With more jobs available, and fewer qualified workers to fill them, employers must pay higher wages to attract and keep great people. Period. Train account managers to use this information appropriately when broaching the subject of pay rates with clients.

Is your client up against a tight deadline? Remind clients of the business problem driving their order — and how offering a competitive pay rate will help solve it. A competitive pay rate will attract more viable candidates, faster. Is saving money a chief concern? Workers who are fairly compensated are more productive, efficient, engaged, and reliable. While a higher pay rate will raise the client’s bill rate or placement fee slightly, the increased productivity and reduced turnover will generate even greater cost-savings.

Spend time exploring your clients’ underlying business needs so you can make a targeted case for why they need to pay up for talent. Getting clients to “step up to the plate” will make your recruiting job easier, while delivering the best results for your customers.

PREMIUM CONTENT: A reskilling revolution?

Back up scenarios with data. A client will respond much more favorably to hard evidence than opinions or hunches. So, arm your sales team with numbers. When discussing pay rates, ask reps to share relevant data (i.e., employment data, salary surveys, industry projections) from reliable sources to properly frame the client’s recruiting situation. Then, train your team to provide recommendations for reasonable pay rates.

At PrideStaff, we take things one step further by offering employers free, customized salary reports. Combining proprietary and third-party information that represents 90% of the labor market, we can generate real-time data and insights that:

  • compare a client’s compensation ranges to competitors’;
  • drill-down by industry, position, and geography;
  • help employers hire in-demand candidates by offering the right pay rates.

Bring the conversation full circle. Make sure your reps explain the positive “domino effect” that higher pay rates have on candidate quality, offer acceptance rates, recruiting speed, job performance, retention, safety, and even the client’s employer brand. When employers understand the interrelatedness of these factors, it’s easier for them to justify paying more.

And if they still won’t budge? It may be best to walk away from the order. Wasting time on bad orders your team can’t successfully fill prevents them from focusing on the good ones. Over the long-term, it’s smarter and more sustainable to build a reputation as a staffing firm offering solutions that benefit all parties involved in the employment equation.

Get out of the commodity game, and into the business of building long-term, high-value, mutually successful relationships.