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Don't Let Uncertain Economic News Stymie Your Business

Refer to your news source of choice and you are bound to hear about employer reluctance to hire because of uncertainties regarding taxation, health care, the condition of the US economy, the European debt crisis and the associated long-term costs of hiring.  Despite these challenges, businesses still have needs for skilled human resources, whether to replace departing employees or to buck the trend and drive growth in an era of economic doubt.  How then can business leaders balance their need for quality employees with the concerns that are plaguing most businesses?  
The answer to this question was provided by a number of the recent jobs reports - bring human capital into your organization through a staffing firm.  In recent job reports, over 31% of the new jobs added were through staffing firms.  Given that individuals employed through staffing firms typically represent just 2% of the working population of the United States, this is an enlightening figure.  Positions with staffing firms can range from short-term temporary assignments to longer term contract roles and even roles that may become permanent within the next year.  As such, they are not simply “temp” jobs that are often referred to in a derogatory manner.  In a USA Today article posted to their website on July 6, 2012 (http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-07-07/temporary-hiring/56071760/1), the story is told of a health care company using staffing firms to help them fill administrative roles because of uncertainties about health insurance costs.  Another story is told of technology firm using staffing companies to help them identify experts in a specific skill set needed for their business.  Both illustrate the value of a partnership with a staffing firm.
As you plan how to either maintain or grow your business, the lessons learned from recent jobs reports are something you too can follow.  Using staffing firms, like MiSource, Inc. (www.misource.com), will help your business in the following ways:
  • Flexibility.  The unstated reason that the companies cited in the USA Today article are using staffing firms is the flexibility afforded to them, which helps to balance out some of the uncertainties.  Not sure you need a skilled employee for 5 years, but know you have a critical project that could take a year?  A staffing firm can find you that resource without the long term commitment.  Worried about the costs (insurance, taxes, health benefits, etc.) of adding permanent staff, without really knowing their true abilities or work ethic?  Temp to perm arrangements from staffing firms relieve these concerns.  Are the economic conditions in your business sector so uncertain that you fear hiring, maybe because you have revenue streams tied to government contracts that could become victims of the budget ax?  Again, staffing firms can provide that flexible contract labor for as short or as long as you might need that skilled employee.
  • Limit your need to hire or expand the number of internal recruiters.  Business leaders understand the risks of adding overhead, especially in times of uncertainty.  If you are looking for IT professionals, for example, MiSource, a specialized IT staffing firm, is talking to hundreds, if not thousands of these professionals each day.  Their ability to find quality employees often exceeds the capacity of an internal recruiting function.
  • With unemployment in the IT sector under 5%, staffing firms can be a tactical partner in helping to identify and recruit the 95% of professionals who already have a job.  This is especially valuable if you would like to hire top talent away from a competitor or an industry leader. 
  • Morale.  Some companies are finding themselves in a very difficult position when it comes to the morale of their employees.  Caution in hiring new employees may result in increased work loads for your existing employees.  On the other hand, expanding your employee count, only to lay them off weeks or months down the line could be an even worse blow to employee morale.  Bringing in additional resources through a staffing firm allows you to relieve the additional work burden on your employees, without the level of commitment that would present itself as a layoff, should the economic tides turn against your company.
A growing number of business leaders understand the value of partnering with a staffing firm, especially during these rocky economic times.  Business owners, executives, directors and managers recognize that it is their responsibility to guide the business through the “rough spots” and to seek solutions that either help them maintain their market share or even grow, while others fail.  Businesses are estimated to spend between 40% and 80% of their revenue on labor costs.  With such a significant investment, your approach to your human assets cannot be understated.  Businesses across the country are partnering with MISource  to balance the needs of the business against the economic headwinds and uncertainties facing us each day.  Until business leaders become more confident in expanding their payrolls, look for staffing firms to play a critical role in supporting the ongoing human capital needs of business.

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