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A Publication of WTVP

Our industry is known for what we used to do-not for what we do now. For decades, we've been known as the industry that pays by the hour. If a company needed a receptionist for the week while the regular receptionist went on vacation, they'd call. If a machine tool shop needed a laborer to do a two-day project, they would call. They still will. That segment of staffing will always be a part of our world. But there's much, much more.

Companies continue to demand more from their staffing firms in ways that go beyond traditional temporary staffing. Each industry has specific needs that don't match up with cookie cutter solutions. For instance, one company may be looking to be billed in ways other than the standard hourly fee. A second may be looking for an agency that trains not only the agencies staff, but also the companies' staff in everything from OSHA law to C++ programming. A third may be looking to its staffing firm to improve retention and reduce turnover. Basically, our industry is now commonly faced with providing a spectrum of needs to our clients.

It's understandable. A good staffing firm has an in-depth understanding of all facets of human resources (HR). Businesses need a staffing provider that uses this HR knowledge and experience to design, implement, and operate hiring programs to exceed current internal service metrics. Some companies are even looking to outsource the entire recruitment process from candidate identification to program performance reporting. For the many organizations that don't have HR staff, a relationship with a staffing provider who understands the legal issues of HR is even more imperative.

It should be no surprise, then, that companies are looking for additional services from staffing firms that augment their internal programs. This goes beyond conventional online order management, direct time, direct payment, or the basic incentive program that ensures attendance. It could be the company wants a behavioral interviewing service to ensure a better fit between candidates and critical positions. Or they may want a vehicle where they can efficiently post job openings on multiple Web sites in a cost-effective manner. A business could want a Web prescreening service that produces a ranked list of candidates for a job posting that will result in hundreds of resumes.

Finally, staffing firms can provide assessment services that help a company with a hiring decision or help define the career paths and skills development for its permanent employees. A call center may want to use an assessment to determine skill levels of its help desk staff. A bank may want to understand the ability of candidates for its bank teller openings. A hospital or health care facility may need to assess the phlebotomy or epidemiology knowledge of a department. An information technology firm may want to use the cost effectiveness of a visual basic assessment prior to flying a candidate in for an interview.

The tools are there. If you have the need, ask. IBI

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