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  • Fri, November 18, 2016 7:18 AM | FSA (Administrator)

    Law360, Dallas (November 16, 2016, 7:18 PM EST) -- A Texas federal judge said he’ll decide by Nov. 22 whether to stop the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rules from taking effect as scheduled on Dec. 1, as 21 states and dozens of business groups push for an end to what they say is an unlawful change.

    At a hearing in the Eastern District of Texas on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant said he understood the pressure of the Dec. 1 deadline, and told the parties he may take judicial notice of a Monday report from the Congressional Budget Office projecting if the overtime expansion rule were halted, employers could save $1 billion in revenue. But he said it’s not the role of the court to get involved in policy decisions and that he’s not making a decision in the case based on whether he thinks it’s good or bad that the overtime exemption salary threshold has been raised.

    The DOL this year revised the Fair Labor Standard Act’s so-called "white collar" exemption by raising the salary threshold to $47,476, allowing employees who make less than that to be covered by the law’s minimum wage and overtime requirements. An estimated 4.2 million workers who are currently classified as exempt under the white collar rule make less than the threshold salary.

    Arguing for business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and the National Retail Federation, Maurice Baskin of Littler Mendelson told the court the DOL's new salary threshold is a “fundamental, radical social policy change” and said the agency should use the same salary test it has been using for 75 years.

    “You would have to be a rubber stamp to let this go by,” Baskin said.

    He also urged the court to issue an injunction in part so the rule could be reviewed by President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, which legal experts have speculated would likely reverse the overtime changes.

    Judge Mazzant said in his view what the next administration may do with the rule is not relevant, but is instead “pure speculation.” And a new president would have to go through a rulemaking process to change the DOL rule, which would take time, he said.

    “It’s not like a new president could just wipe this away,” Judge Mazzant said.

    Arguing on behalf of 21 states that in September sued to block the rule, Lawrence VanDyke of the Nevada Attorney General’s office said the DOL can’t have a salary test that categorically excludes a substantial number of workers previously treated as exempt executive, administrative and professional employees. Congress delegated to the DOL the definitions of those terms, but the agency has now overstepped its discretion by trying to raise worker salaries.

    During the DOL’s argument, Judge Mazzant repeatedly questioned the justification for how 4.2 million workers that today are classified as exempt would be reclassified as non-exempt despite having the exact same job duties. He questioned whether the rule change equated to a de facto salary-only test and said Congress hasn’t authorized the DOL to classify white collar workers based on salary alone.

    He also returned several times to the idea that for 75 years, the salary levels weighed as part of the DOL’s overtime exemption guidance acted as a floor. He said the new rule’s salary jump “seems like a much more drastic change” and that the substantial increase in the salary threshold could lead to the inequitable treatment of workers who each fulfill the duties of executive, administrative and professional employees but may be paid differently. A convenience store manager that clearly acts as an executive but makes only $47,000 a year would be treated differently than a manager who earns $47,500 a year, he said.

    DOL attorney Julie Saltman of the U.S. Department of Justice told Judge Mazzant the salary factor works in tandem with a look at a worker’s duties to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of whether they actually work in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity. Saltman said the salary level set in 2004 is below the poverty level for a family of four, which she said is “not appropriate for white collar workers.”

    The department had made a course correction, fixing the misstep that set the 2004 salary limit at $23,660, which was not a drastic change, she said. Saltman further argued that even if the bump to $47,476 was a drastic change, it was one within the DOL’s authority to do so because the agency’s path to that decision is reasonable and so is entitled to deference from the courts. The agency’s rule doesn’t have to be the best rule possible; it just has to be reasonable, she said.

    If the preliminary injunction motion is denied, a hearing will be held Nov. 28, on a pending summary judgment motion, Judge Mazzant said from the bench.

    Source: https://www.law360.com/articles/863492 

  • Tue, September 20, 2016 9:45 AM | FSA (Administrator)

    The 2015 state fact sheets are now available: 

    2015 Florida Staffing Statistics

    The staffing industry statistics outlined in the fact sheet for each state include:

    • Average number of temporary workers each week
    • Annual staffing employment
    • Age and gender statistics by state
    • Estimated number of firms
    • Average annual earnings per job
    • Average tenure


  • Mon, July 11, 2016 11:04 AM | FSA (Administrator)

    BREAKING NEWS

    IRS Says Late ACA Employer Information Returns Will Still Be Accepted

    American Staffing Association (07/05/16)

    Acknowledging that some employers may have had problems filing their 2015 employer information returns under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service announced June 30 that electronic returns due by that date will be accepted after that date, and that paper returns that were due May 31 also will continue to be accepted after that date. According to the notice, late filers generally will not be penalized if they can show they made legitimate efforts to file, continue to make such efforts, and complete the process “as soon as possible.” In addition, late filers that are assessed penalties may apply for waivers based on “reasonable cause.”  


  • Mon, April 11, 2016 8:56 PM | FSA (Administrator)

    Many websites provide so-called “online instant background checks.” For some employers, this seems like a good proposition.

    After all, critical positions need to be filled fast, and if applicants perform extremely well in interviews, a recruiter will want to make a decision promptly. In such scenarios, conducting online instant background checks seems the best idea.

    However, their perceived advantages notwithstanding, online instant background checks are a bad idea. In fact, they are basically a ticking legal time-bomb. They can easily backfire, and leave an organization in a multitude of legal problems. Here is a summary of the main reasons why the online “instant” background checks are not a great idea.

    • Adverse records are not vetted for accuracy
    • They use limited sources of information
    • They may return incomplete records
    • They often return erroneous background information
    • They lead to hasty hiring decisions
    • They can open up an organization to lawsuits

    Let’s take a deeper look at each of the following pitfalls of online “Instant” searches:

    1. Adverse Records are not Vetted for Accuracy

    Crimcheck offers a National Criminal Database search, however it is not “instant” because of the fact that every adverse record that is returned in the search is verified with the original source of the record.  In other words, if a National Criminal Database (NCD) search provides a criminal record result, before returning that record to our client, Crimcheck verifies the record with the court. Online instant background checks will return all information that is found to the requester, leaving the employer to wonder if the record is accurate or not.  An NCD search is a good add-on service to add to your basic county search because it can cast a wider search net for criminal records, however the results have to be verified for accuracy.

    2. Limited Sources of Information

    The major weakness of instant checks is that they can only access limited sources of public records. The only sources of information which they can access are the ones contained in digitized databases. Not all jurisdictions in all states have digitized records. Many courts do not sell their public record information or make it available in an “instant search” form.

    There are a few databases which can actually be accessed almost instantly. Examples include the National Sex Offender Registry and Departments of Motor Vehicles in most states. Also, a Social Security Number Trace and Validation can be conducted within one business day.

    However, there are certain critical sources of information which cannot be accessed on an instant basis. Examples include courts where an in-person search of the public access terminal is required in order to obtain criminal records. This requires boots on the ground and many courts still have this requirement.

    Similarly, when conducting an education or employment verification, there is no guarantee that inquires will be returned instantly. In most cases, such inquiries require at least 2 to 3 business days.

    Additionally, most instant records databases contain criminal conviction data which may be stale, not updated, or not suitable for pre-employment purposes, such as arrests, expunged records, and criminal or civil records that exceed some state standards of a seven year search scope.

    3. Incomplete Records

    Instant searches almost always return incomplete information that requires further research. If an instant search returns a criminal record, how can we know that the record is accurate and up to date?  Most have not been updated by the database provider since the time the record was initially purchased. Many instant databases only update their records from the courts on a monthly, or bi-annual basis.

    4. Erroneous Background Information

    Instant checks can also return erroneous background information, because they do not provide enough matching identifiers. For instance, they can return criminal convictions for people with similar names. This is actually a common occurrence – and a common source of background check lawsuits.

    Most lawsuits actually begin when adverse action is taken on the basis of erroneous criminal records. A case in point is the Delhaize America class action which the company ended up paying $3 million to settle. The lawsuit began with a background check on an applicant which returned a false felony conviction.

    Now, returning erroneous information isn’t limited to instant checks. Any background check or court record can return false records. Just like toddlers sometimes end up on the No Fly List for having names similar to that of a terrorist, people with names similar to convicted felons sometimes have criminal records returned on their background checks. This is the reason that the FCRA requires adverse action notices – to give the applicant time to dispute inaccurate information.

    The problem with instant checks is that there is no time for verification. Most employment screening companies vet their information by verifying criminal information via the courts. With instant database checks, the time for such vetting isn’t there.

    This increases the likelihood of organizations getting background check reports with erroneous information. The only problem is that the reports don’t come with a caveat stating that the information wasn’t vetted, and could therefore be erroneous. When decisions are made on the basis of such erroneous information, lawsuits inevitably follow.

    In A Nutshell…

    Online instant background checks may seem advantageous because of a quick turnaround time (and also because they tend to be relatively cheap). However, these seeming advantages are offset by the likelihood of the results being incomplete or inaccurate. When making critical employment decisions, using incomplete or inaccurate information can be catastrophic.

    If someone with a criminal record is hired because the online instant check did not reveal the record, an organization can end up with the bad scenario where the person hurts a client, fellow employee or manager.

    Alternately, if a potential hire is denied employment or an employee fired because the online instant check returned a false criminal record, the organization can miss out on a great employee. In case the aggrieved individual seeks legal advice, the organization can end up paying millions of dollars in settlements.

    The bottom line is that online instant background checks carry too many risks. As such, any organization which desires to make decisions on the basis of accurate information should steer clear of them. Otherwise, by attempting to save hiring time through instant checks, an organization can create a scenario which can ultimately lead to wrong HR decisions, a lawsuit and million dollar settlements.

    https://crimcheck.net/



  • Tue, April 05, 2016 8:53 PM | FSA (Administrator)

    Say Hello to our new Vice President: Kelly Merbler! It’s with great pleasure that we bring her into this role. She is very innovative and has great ideas to catapult Florida Staffing Association forward. Congrats Kelly!

    Kelly Merbler is the Regional Manager of South Florida for AppleOne. Staffing is in her DNA! For almost 20 years Kelly has been building and leading sales and recruiting teams to find the best talent in the marketplace. Kelly has been a key role in building some of AppleOne's top performing teams in the country year over year and knows that hiring good talent that can come together for a common goal is the key to success. "A team is not built by one, but the sum of all it's parts and we must take the time as leaders to develop the next level of leadership in order to grow" Kelly also is the Vice President of the Networked Recruiter events in Boca to help and serve others looking for their next career through networking and building relationships.

    Kelly lives by the quote "Everything Rises and Falls on Leadership" and that knowing your purpose in life is when your life begins.

    She is a certified speaker and coach on the John Maxwell Team and has had the privilege of being mentored by Dr. John C Maxwell.


  • Fri, December 04, 2015 12:46 PM | FSA (Administrator)

    Tis the season for eating, drinking, being merry…and strategic planning (ugh!).  While the budgeting piece of the process can be painful (you submit your number, the boss says “nope, I need something better,” you submit your revision, the boss says “we’re not there yet,” you submit what you hope is the final revision…and the boss finally says “okay”).  Whew, glad that’s over!

    But right after you breathe a sigh of relief, you start feeling sick.  How in the world are you going to make that number next year??

    What you don’t want to do is what we’re often tempted to do as sales leaders:  rely on the additional sales or recruiter headcount you’re budgeted to add to hit your numbers.  In today’s hyper-competitive staffing environment, it takes 4-6 months to ramp a new producer.  That means by the time you hire, onboard, train, and ramp, it’s the middle of the year before you really start to see any traction from the additional headcount.  And that doesn’t take in to consideration what could happen with your existing headcount…turnover, promotions, etc.  The one constant is change, and in my estimation, managing change in the producer ranks are what owners and executives spend 75% of their time on.   Net net, you can’t rely solely on adding seats to make your numbers.  You have to have a growth strategy and even more important, a solid execution plan (who will do what by when to make the strategy a reality?).

    Beyond the org chart, here are the three most critical drivers of growth to consider as you develop your 2016 growth plan:

    1.  Sales Strategy
    2. New markets
    3.  New industries
    4. New verticals
    5. Marketing Strategy
    6. Grass-roots/local referrals 
    7. Social networking
    8. Advertising 
    9. Recruiting Strategy
    10.  Creative sourcing
    11. Improve fill rates
    12. Increase contractor retention

    Your plan doesn’t have to be a 25-page document – but it does have to be written down and revisited regularly to make sure key initiatives are implemented.  So make those key decisions, get your plan on paper, and assign resources to bring it to life.  You’ll make that number next year (and the year after, and the year after that…!).

    By Amy Bingham, manager partner, Bingham Consulting Professionals

  • Tue, November 17, 2015 8:22 AM | FSA (Administrator)

    High Intensity Interval Training – or HIIT, is now a familiar term in the world of sport. 

    Touted as the ideal solution for wanna-be gym rats who just can’t stick with a fitness program because the way they’ve been approaching it hasn’t produced the desired results, taking the HIIT approach to a workout has many benefits.  It eliminates the boredom of tedious marathon-length cardio sessions, revs your metabolism so your body burns fat at a faster rate, and helps you get stronger faster.  The punchline:  you achieve your desired results in a shorter amount of time. 

    The staffing industry is nothing if not repetitive.  It’s easy to work long and hard without seeing the right results.  And restlessness and boredom are a lethal combination that can derail our performance if we let it. 

    Time to shake things up!  What would happen if we apply the HIIT principles to our roles in the staffing industry?  What if we approach every day, not as a marathoner, but as a sprinter (figuratively), running hard on a high-payoff task for a period of time followed by a brief period of downtime before the next race? 

    If you’re a recruiter or sales rep, try this experiment:   bang out 15-20 calls in an hour, then get up and taking a walk down the hall for a break.  Repeat the cycle throughout the day.  Do this for a week, then measure your results.  If the concept applies to work as it does to sport, you’ll be more productive (defined as submitting more candidates & improving your fill rates if you’re a recruiter, and setting more meetings and bringing in more job orders if you’re a sales rep).  

    If you’ve tried the HIIT approach to your work, what were your results?

    By Amy Bingham, Managing Partner, Bingham Consulting Professionals

  • Mon, October 19, 2015 11:49 AM | FSA (Administrator)

    Sales Soundbite:  Follow the Money

    Over the weekend I reviewed Staffing Industry Analysts’ list of 2015 Fastest-Growing Staffing Firms.  According to SIA, this year was the largest, with 102 firms making the list at a self-reported compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 24.2% from 2010-2014.  The top 10 firms interviewed credited their internal team, metrics management, and customer focus as the reasons for their growth. 

    While these are critical success factors for any high-performance staffing firm, there is another dynamic at play that’s likely the #1 driver of their growth:  demand in the skill segment they’re in.  36% of the top 102 are IT firms, 32% serve the industrial sector, and 22% are in the healthcare space.  Light industrial business is the first to rebound from a recession (and the first to decline when one hits); most notably, the rebound in manufacturing has fueled demand that - if you’re in this sector – should make it hard to fail when it comes to top line growth.  IT, driven by skill shortages and the lightning speed at which technology is moving, means the wind has been and will continue to be at the backs of these firms.  And like IT, we can’t find enough healthcare talent in the U.S. to meet the needs of an aging population which will only get worse as 78 million baby boomers get older and older.

    So it may seem obvious, but with strategic planning season upon us now, the easiest path to above-market growth is the path of high demand.  Yes, you have to spend time and money to hire, train, coach, and work exhaustively to retain your internal talent.  Yes, you have to manage by metrics.  And yes, you should be obsessed with acquiring and retaining customers.  But first and foremost, you want to create a growth strategy based on three things:  1) opportunity in the skill segment now (if you’re in one that’s flat or projected to grow only in the low single digits, can you be as successful as you want to be?) 2) projected demand in that segment over the next 10 years (high demand = job orders easier to get = more placements and more revenue), and 3) opportunity in that segment in the market(s) you’re in now and seek to enter (look at segment size and high-growth industries).  Then create your strategy, execute well, and you’ll make the next list!

    By Amy Bingham, manager partner, Bingham Consulting Professionals

  • Thu, October 15, 2015 1:48 PM | FSA (Administrator)
    Perhaps nothing creates more angst for staffing and recruiting professionals than a price negotiation.  Here’s how I coach my clients to reduce any anxiety.
    1. Remember that negotiation is an ongoing process, not an event. Typically the outcome is determined way before the close.  If you approach the sales process consultatively, price should be the last thing to come up - after the buyer has already decided he wants to work with you.
    2. Aim high.  You can always come down, but you can’t go back up.  Some staffing professionals roll over on price because they don't truly believe in the value they will create for the customer.    Check your body language, tone of voice and word choices when it’s time for a price quote, and confidently present a rate at the top of your range.
    3. Your goal is a win-win.  A win-lose in a price negotiation usually spells failure in retaining a client over time.  If your buyer feels he lost (he walks away with a nagging feeling he’s paying too much), his expectations may exceed what you can deliver (not good).   If you lose (you give away the store and end up losing money), you’ll resent having to provide the same level of service to this client that you provide to another at higher margins (also not good).  One or both parties typically end up disillusioned and either your client fires you or you have to have the uncomfortable conversation about raising your rate or firing your client.
    4. Remember that in a price negotiation, he who speaks first generally loses.  State your rate and allow silence.  It’s possible the prospect is just processing how your price quote fits his budget, not formulating an objection about your rate.  If you come back too quickly with “…but for you, we can charge X (a lower rate)” you have just relinquished all the power to the buyer, who is now thinking “what else can I get?” 
    5. Always expect reciprocity.  You give, you get.  When you’re forced to lower your price, ask the buyer what services he can live without.  If you don’t, you're training him to continue to want more while reducing the value of what you're conceding.  Keep the negotiation balanced and you’ll command the respect you deserve.

    Commit these strategies to memory, employ them regularly, and you’ll see more success.

    By Amy Bingham
  • Wed, August 26, 2015 9:04 AM | FSA (Administrator)

    The Florida Staffing Association Board of Directors proudly welcome Sean Campbell as chair of the Legislative Committee.

    Campbell is the owner of Southeast Staffing located in Melbourne, FL. His firm's focus is on temp to perm positions in the electronic assembly, production, and light industrial fields.

    A former state lobbyist (2004-2008), Campbell also ran for State Representative in 2008. From 2010-2012, Campbell worked in the Brevard County Clerk of the Court office as Deputy Chief in charge of records and personnel.

    If you are interested in joining the Legislative Committee, please contact FSA at admin@floridastaffing.org for more information.

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