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Hiring Employees- Direct or Through an Agency?

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.[read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”]

          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. 

               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

[/read]

Attendants- A Posting Option- Facebook

Attendants- A Posting Option- Facebook     

     I have a only a few Likes on my store Facebook pages but as I have found out I really don’t need thousands as it’s my customers and their friends that I am looking for.

Let’s take my current hiring plan.

  I have decided to use a Staffing Agency for a few reasons I’ll cover in another post. This post is about how to get more applicants.[read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”]

    Previously I just posted a sign on the store window and interviewed people based on the applications that were submitted. I have found over the past few years that this has found less and less applicants and a limited hiring pool.

     Today I put a post together on the store’s Facebook Page

         Here are all the details. Feel free to cut and paste for your own use.

Help Wanted Post- Washin Golden Springs

Washin Golden Springs is looking for the right people to join our staff.
Please read all the details below.

Position : Attendant / Cleaner (Part Time)
Store Shift Core Hours: 7:00 am to 12:30 pm
12:30pm to 6:00 pm

Shifts may vary. Store operates 7 days per week.
Requirements:
18+ Years Old
Valid Driver’s License
Valid Social Security Number
All Applicants are subject to background check and drug screen.

Job duties include, but not limited to:
Professional Washing / Drying / Folding and Packaging of Laundry and similar items.
Ironing
Customer Support
Handling cash, making change, tracking.
Store Cleaning
Inventory, stocking vending machines.
Store Cleaning at other Locations in Anniston and Oxford

Us:
Family- Friendly Laundromat
Known for great customer service and cleanliness
Wonderful working environment
Looking for Part-time attendants and back up attendants to cover vacations/ sick days.
Paid Training

You:
Hardworking
Responsible
Dependable
Flexible
Work Independently
Friendly, Professional & Courteous, great customer service skills
Speak and understand English, Bilingual a plus.

      If you read this far things are looking good. One last thing to clear up is that we are not looking for someone that “needs a job”, expects to spend time on their phone while at work or is just looking for a paycheck.
     Our customers expect quality and friendliness and trust us to launder their clothes professionally and on time, every time. Cleaning is ongoing throughout the day as our first customer and 20th customer deserve the same respect.

    If you feel you are ready for a position that you never expected would be so interesting ……

Contact Simmons Staffing for more information.
1516 Quintard Ave Suite B
Anniston, AL
256-770-7345

We have positions available right now for the right people.

  I have decided to take the step that I address the phone issue right from the very start. I understand the culture and use of Cell Phones but I leave mine out of the way when I work at the store and expect my employees to do the same. 

                 The picture I used was made in PowerPoint and saved as a .jpeg. The clothes pictures are from a Royalty-Free Picture Website. These pictures are offered for free download with unlimited use. You can make a donation to the photographer (which I almost always do- $5 or $10) and also see pictures they have available for sale. Other photos in the picture are from my store.

            TIP: Facebook only allows 20% text on boosted posts.

        Once posted it was Boosted for $10 over 7 days. The target audience was people that like my Page and Their friends within 15 miles of the store.

        It was also posted and Boosted on the Facebook pages of my two other stores. 

And as expected within a few minutes I had a message ” Do I apply online or at the store?”

       Our Store runs efficiently due to a set of Operation Standards that all employees are required to review and follow.  This very clearly explains, with words and pictures, step by step how to do each part of the job.

       Take a minute to scroll back up and review the Job Posting. Notice how it lists the requirements and how to apply.

      I’m expecting the ad itself may screen out some of the potential applicants.

Within an hour of the post there was a comment “I am interested”.  

We will see how many actually follow the directions and let’s hope the staffing company will be busy on Monday.

Ken Barrett at Eastman Worlds of Work 2017
Oxford AL [/read]

Episode 25 – Employees or Contractors

Employees or Contractors

   During the planning of your Laundromat some decisions need to be made about how the store will me run on a day to day basis. The focus of this discussion is about the people that will or will not be in there every day.

       One of the options is to have an Unattended Laundromat. This is just how it sounds. The customers go in, use the equipment and leave without any contact with someone representing the store. Cleaners are used at least once a day, and this could be in the middle of the night so the customers have no interaction with the personnel. Some customers will see you as you empty the coin boxes or fix some equipment but their main options are a phone and a concern box.
 

       The next two types are similar, Partially Attended or Fully Attended. Partially Attended stores usually have someone there every day of the week but usually only during the business day (7am to 6pm) the rest of the time the store is Unattended. The Laundromat may close at 10 or 11pm or be open 24 hours. Fully attended stores have someone there at all times the store is open for business. This does not mean that the store stays open until 11pm or is open 24 hours. One of the stores I bought was Fully Attended but only had hours of 7am to 7pm. Within 6 months I had finished the renovations that allowed me to change the hours to 6am to 10pm and be attended from 7am until 6pm. We have since become a Partially Attended, 24 hour store. 
 

       The responsibility in of an Attendant is primarily to attend to customers, help with explaining the operation of the equipment, and maintain the cleanliness of the store. By default they act as a form of security just by being there.
 

       Many stores develop a Drop Off / Fluff And Fold / Wash And Fold business to increase revenue and offset the cost of the attendants.
 

      The final part of this discussion is to use your own employees to run the Drop Off service or use a Contractor working inside your store. The Contractor would be running their own business and you would essentially become an “Unattended” Laundromat. The Contractor would clean the store in exchange for rent.
 

       There are opposing positions on the merits of each method and the costs and effort involved with each.
 

       If you are renovating or opening a new store you will want to look at each of the methods and determine which one is right for you, your business and your market place.

 

Ken

Small Business Employee Handbook

 

         Any business that plans to hire employees must have an Employee Handbook in place. For small businesses this is often overlooked. Business owners don’t realize the thought process of employees and assume that they will put as much effort into the business as the owner.

         Finding and hiring the right employee is a difficult task and requires a lot of your time that you don’t have, that’s why you are trying to hire someone so you can work ON your business not IN your business. The methods to find and hire employees will be covered at another time.

         An employee manual or handbook lists the rules that everybody will play by. Can you imagine playing football, driving a car or paying taxes without any rules in place? That’s what you would be doing if you hired an employee without the proper handbook.

>Purchase Employee Handbook< $70
 

             Let’s take an example of an employee you hired that was a few minutes late once or twice a month, maybe missed a shift or left early. If you determined that you could not continue to run your business with this uncertainty and constantly had to find another employee to cover or do it yourself, What would you do? Without a handbook that clearly states the attendance requirements there are no rules.

              If you let that employee go and receive a letter from the State (or an attorney) to provide the reason for termination, What would you do?

              A good Employee Handbook lists out all of the rules of employment. This would include attendance, use of company equipment, company Mission statement, customer expectations and other details that allows you and all of your employees to know what is expected from each other.
 

          Below you will find a link to purchase a copy of the Employee Handbook that I use at my laundry, Washin Golden Springs Coin Laundry.

>Purchase Employee Handbook< $70
 

            The file is written in Word and explains how to easily insert your company’s name into the document. You will need to confirm that it meets the requirements of your City, County and State.

              This Handbook also covers items that, although not required by law in a Handbook, clearly set out the expectations of the employees wile at work.

Congratulations on taking the right steps and we would like to wish you Good Luck in building your business.

 

If you have any comments please post them below.

 

Ken Barrett

800-792-1941 ext 2
P.S You can find this and my other comments at KenBarrett.us

P.P.S Looking for additional Revenue Streams? Check it out Here