Lynn Connor, COATS Staffing Software
Nobody wants to hear about Covid-19 anymore, it’s like a sequel to a movie no one wants to see. But, unfortunately, the Delta variant has emerged and recently Lambda, the latest variant, was designated a variant of concern in June. As additional variants emerge, everyone needs to decide how we are going to live with and through Covid.
Staffing agencies and travel advisors’ impact on their clients
I had this thought of the similarities between a staffing agency and a travel advisor. Both are indisputably beneficial to use, but even more so right now. Why? Because both can help you navigate all the aspects of hiring and traveling through a pandemic. Good agencies and advisors are experts in all aspects of employment and travel and are undoubtedly needed now more than ever.
The labor laws and practices to be aware of and educated on while hiring that surround Covid can feel insurmountable. Similarly, policies regarding vaccination and testing change daily and in each location for those who want to travel.
Staffing agencies and travel advisors absolutely must “be in the know” regarding Covid, each and every day for their clients.
Kate Moore with Melted & Moved Travel Design, shared about her most recent experience as a travel advisor over the past year “we live in a world that focuses on technology and while we certainly take advantage of the tools at our disposal, the collective knowledge we achieve through relationships is what makes us an invaluable asset. Our clients give us control of protecting not only their financial resources but their time, the most important commodity. We do not have a magic wand to predict the future, but we have the experience, resources, and personal desire to advocate for you. This is something the internet can never replace.”
Travel advisors are quite like staffing firms in this manner. The relationship staffing firms have with their clients and their employees make them an invaluable asset. After working in a staffing firm for years, we knew our clients inside and out. We understood what made a perfect candidate for them, we knew their company culture and work environment and therefore which of our employees would like the role at each firm and would be the best fit. This type of understanding doesn’t happen overnight and its value is completely understated. It’s critical to both the client and employee.
Travel advisors are meticulous in ensuring your time and money is scrupulously invested
Isn’t planning a vacation similar? It is such a large investment of your time and money. Vacations don’t come with do-overs. Travel advisors travel the world and if they have not personally vetted where they are sending you, their partner agency has. They also have access to innovative vacation packages and exclusive events that only they are privy to through their travel consortia members. Tours, excursions, and dining can all make or break your trip and would require so much more research on your part, without a travel advisor, who already knows the best operators and restaurants to recommend.
Additionally, and paramount right now, constant vigilance is needed in our ever-changing world. Even outside of Covid there are natural disasters, political upheaval, airline industry modifications and more to consider with each destination you wish to visit.
While searching for a job or hiring an employee or booking your own travel can both be navigated on your own, these are really big decisions with many moving parts. And they are decisions you make occasionally, maybe once or twice a year. Wouldn’t you rather rely on a firm who makes these decisions literally every hour of each day?
Staffing agency resources for Covid
The experience, resources and information at a staffing firm’s fingertips are invaluable if you are seeking a new role or new employee. Staffing Industry Analysts, for example, has a resource page for staffing agencies to access a “work from home” contract, they offer an employer’s guide to Covid-19, a reopening map and litigation tracker, hiring activity in the US, human resource coronavirus resources through SHRM, details on the CARES act, tax credit information if you keep workers on your payroll and essential protections during the pandemic.
These are just a few topics that staffing agencies have to deal with, keep informed about and have access to. This is quite beneficial if you are a business looking to employ workers and do not have time to review the latest Covid requirements to hire employees.
Employer Role: Covid-19
And, directly from the United States Department of Labor/OSHA, here are just some of the roles required of employers regarding Covid-19:
- In light of evidence related to the Delta variant, the CDC updated its guidance to recommend that even fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings with a substantial transmission, or if they had exposure to someone with Covid without a negative test
- Facilitate employees get vaccinated by granting time off to do so or recover from side effects
- Businesses with 500 or less employees may qualify for tax credits through the American Rescue Plan with paid time off through 9/30/21
- Employers should consider working with local public health authorities to provide vaccinations in the workplace
- OSHA suggests employers adopt policies that require vaccines or undergo regular Covid-19 testing, in addition to wearing masks and physical distancing if unvaccinated
- Instruct infected, unvaccinated employees who have had close contact with positive Covid person, and all workers with symptoms, to stay home from work
- Fully vaccinated and exposed to suspected or confirmed Covid cases should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, wear a mask indoors for 14 days or until they receive a negative result
- Not vaccinated should be tested immediately and if negative test again in 5-7 days after last exposure or immediately if symptom develop
- Ensure absence policies are non-punitive, eliminate/revise policies that encourage workers to come to work sick
- Implement physical distancing in all communal work areas for unvaccinated and at-risk
- Provide face coverings or surgical masks as appropriate
- Educate/train workers on Covid -19 policies and procedures with format and language they understand
- Suggest/require unvaccinated customers, visitors, guests wear face coverings in public-facing workplaces
- Maintain ventilation systems
- Routine cleaning and disinfections are required 24 hours after confirmed exposure
- Record/report Covid-19 infections and deaths on OSHA’s Form 300 log
This is a huge list to keep up with as an employer, is it not? How do you have time to run your business and perform all the hiring steps needed to advertise, recruit, interview, screen and onboard a new employee at the same time?
Not only can a staffing agency help with hiring, but they can also help you navigate Covid-19 employer requirements. Good staffing agencies keep up to date with all employer policies and mandates – federal and state. This is how a staffing agency can truly serve as your HR department, or an extension of your current one.
Key benefits of working with a staffing agency
Malone Staffing shares three key benefits of working with a staffing firm during Covid are flexibility, lower costs and hiring qualified employees. “Not only does your organization need flexibility in this time of economic insecurity but also when managing unexpected or temporary demands. A staffing partner can provide your organization with candidates for COVID-19 related projects, seasonal or peak workflow, or when you have vacancies and absences, such as vacations, disability leaves, or sudden departures.”
Your firm can be more flexible with current employees if you have enough staff members to get required work done. Temporary employees can help fill gaps if some permanent members are out sick, need time off, are working remotely, if your firm is in its busy season or if business has really picked up due to Covid-19.
Costs can be reduced in using a staffing agency in many ways. One would be to add temporary staff to reduce overtime. Another would be to use a staffing firm’s temp to hire option to screen candidates to ensure they are qualified by working on the job in your environment and company culture. Your temporary employee will be screening your firm, the role and co-workers at the same time saving you both a tremendous amount of time, effort and money.
Staffing Agencies and Travel Advisors provide tons of value, surround yourself with experts who know you
Again, it seems obvious to rely on resources that are heavily educated and researched, rather than on your own understanding. And, staffing firms and travel advisors are two great examples of firms providing a tremendous amount of value if you are looking to work, find employees or to travel right now. Once these services are utilized, these firms establish lifelong clients and referrals are their number one future customer source.
It’s critical to surround yourself with experts who know you, and your needs. These long-term relationships are designed to improve over time as we collaborate initially and gain your trust to offer valuable insights and suggestions for years to come. Protect your time, focus on your area of expertise, and outsource the rest. From vacations to new employees, it’s all in the details and process to achieve an incredible result.
Managing staffing agency data
Covid-19 adds another layer to the significant number of details and information a staffing agency already needs to record, search and store.
COATS Staffing Software can manage all of this data in one system. Front and back office operating software combined into one system.
From employees and client data through payroll, invoicing, and accounting, tracking, and scheduling, COATS can help you organize and simplify.
Schedule your demo today.