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Staffing News Online

NJSA's Staffing News Online is a monthly e-newsletter that is available to the staffing industry.  The content for Staffing News Online comes directly from our industry partners.  If you are an NJSA industry partner and would like to submit content for Staffing News Online, please email office@njsa.com with your article.

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  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019 9:25 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Urbach & Avraham, CPAs

    The background: In 2012, a nonprofit hired an accountant from a temporary staffing agency. Diane (not her real name) did so well that the nonprofit took her on permanently even after learning that the staffing firm did not perform any background checks. They later discovered she stole tens of thousands of dollars from them.

    The inside scoop: Diane managed the nonprofit’s payroll and credit cards, and reconciled journal entries. She also signed off on her own statements, with no one reviewing her work. This lack of internal controls let her charge personal expenses to the nonprofit’s credit cards — including a snowblower, payroll for her own company, and family vacations — without being detected.

    She hid about $45,000 in credit card charges by debiting the credit card clearing account and crediting cash. Credit card charges were supposed to be entered into the nonprofit’s accounting program — so manual checks could be cut to pay for them — but Diane bypassed this by allocating them to different accounts within the system. She also entered the receipts under the wrong vendor name, so anyone trying to trace them would get lost in a maze of dead ends. Finally, she neglected to file payroll taxes for three years, putting the nonprofit about $20,000 in arrears for the tax liability alone.

    How She Got Away With It: Besides giving one person control over the credit cards and the reconciliation, the nonprofit’s auditors didn’t review the credit card statements at year end. And they never tried to match the charges to the actual receipts.

    How She Got Nabbed: The scheme unraveled when Diane went out on medical leave and others took over her job functions. They saw what was going on; Diane was soon fired, law enforcement was called in, and charges were filed against her.

    What Can My Company Do? The biggest mistake was a lack of internal controls. The person responsible for receipts or disbursements shouldn’t be the one reconciling the accounts. Also, internal and external auditors should closely examine significant transactions and random test for others. Staffing firms should be running background checks on all potential candidates. Finally, every employee should be required to take time off so someone else can review his work. Your accounting advisor can suggest specific ways to tighten controls and avoid these pitfalls.

    BY: Pamela Avraham, CPA, Partner, Urbach & Avraham, CPAs which provides accounting and tax services to staffing agencies. Firm may be reached at 732-777-1158 or pma@ua-cpas.com. Firm website is www.ua-cpas.com

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.

  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019 9:21 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Peapack-Gladstone Bank

    The Peapack-Gladstone Bank is pleased to present its 3Q19 quarterly human capital solutions industry update from our Senior Advisor, Jim Janesky, who oversees client coverage and leads the vertical.

    Through this industry update, we will share with you our impressions on the market, track the leading macroeconomic indicators, report relevant transactions, public market valuations and highlight current trends. We also encourage you to set up a meet and greet with Jim Janesky and obtain a complimentary evaluation of your business.

    Click here to access the update.


  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019 9:17 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted Haley Marketing

    When I first started working at Haley Marketing Group, I mentioned I had been placed by a staffing agency one summer. Of course, the next question was, “Who was the staffing agency?” To my dismay, I couldn’t remember the agency name, only the company I had been placed at for the summer.

    This, unfortunately, is not an uncommon occurrence.

    But why is this? I have broken it down to one key idea: Engagement.

    Staffing agencies need to keep their candidates engaged before, during and after the hiring process. It is shown people need an average of five to seven impressions of a brand before they can remember it.

    So, you called once to get your candidate set up, and then you called a second time to check in. Now what?  Here are four ways to keep your candidates engaged with your staffing agency:

    Direct Marketing – Email, Mail or Telephone

    This is the most common way staffing companies keep in contact. You can email a helpful blog about “Tips to Keep Your Desk Organized” or call to see how they like their new job and if it is the right ft for them. Near the end of their contract, touch base to see if they are ready for a follow-up job. Lots of opportunity here to reach out!

    Advertising – Traditional and Modern

    Radio is a cost-effective method of advertising; your staffing firm can purchase short ad spots to be broadcast by local radio station. Many companies, however, have now switched to the more modern format of podcasting. This can be an effective way to show you are an expert in your industry. Around 22% of people listen to podcasts while driving. Imagine all the potential or current candidates out there that could be tuning into your podcast on their morning commute.

    Digital Marketing – Social Media

    If your staffing agency has started its social media journey, congrats – you are one step ahead of the game. The world of social media can seem like an intimidating step to take. The best approach here is to start small, then add on. Start with Facebook and, if things are going well, create a LinkedIn account!

    Keep in mind that social media shouldn’t be used solely for selling; you must offer your followers industry-related content and a glimpse into your company culture as well!

    Public Relations – Word-of-Mouth or Personal Selling

    Building long-lasting relationships is important to your business’s success. Make sure your candidates feel like they received five-star service by making personal connections with them. Beyond your personal connections, your candidates will have their own connections and can become a great source of referrals!

    It’s important to have multiple touch points with your audience if you want to keep them engaged. If you need advice or aren’t sure where to start your marketing journey, don’t hesitate to contact us.


  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019 9:12 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Assurance

    Peter Schutz was the CEO of Porsche from 1981-1986. During his tenure at Porsche, he expanded the company (much of it in the U.S.), improved quality issues in their various models and encouraged the company to work together more cohesively as a team.

    Peter had different management tactics and techniques he used to turn around team morale, but there was one that struck me as both incredibly profound and so basic at the same time. To improve engagement of Porsche’s employees and increase their productivity, Peter asked his leaders to make sure all employees could quickly and distinctively answer five questions.

    The questions include:

    1. Why are we here?
    2. What’s expected of me?
    3. What’s in it for me?
    4. How am I doing?
    5. Where do I go for help?

    When Peter did his initial assessment of Porsche, he found most employees couldn’t answer these questions. This is where he placed a lot of his focus. I love these questions because it still resonates 35 years later. The questions are simple yet speak volumes when it comes to corporate communication and employee development.

    As 2020 planning continues, there’s a great opportunity for staffing executives to incorporate a similar tactic to ensure the organization’s ‘vision’ is understood and employees feel engaged and empowered in their work. If you don’t believe each of your employees can answer these questions, you’ve probably found an area that needs improvement.

    Peter is also the author of the leadership book, The Driving Force: Getting Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People – a good read if you have the time. In the meantime, watch this video on Attracting and Retaining Staffing Talent for additional tips on keeping employees happy and engaged.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.

  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019 9:08 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by People 2.0

    This week, Staffing Industry Analysts’ word of the week is employer of record, or EOR for short. What is an employer of record? What role does it play in the broader enterprise workforce management strategy and is it something your organization needs to consider?

    Let’s explore what an EOR is, what it does, and how it can be leveraged to maximum effect as part of an enterprise workforce management operation.

    The Staffing Industry Analyst lexicon defines an EOR like this:

    “An employer of record serves as an employer for tax purposes while an employee performs work for the client, such as a staffing firm or other business. An employer of record handles all personnel functions, including payroll processing and funding; tax deposits and filing; and employment contracts and paperwork. Maintaining a Certificate of Insurance, I-9, and E-Verify forms; unemployment insurance; and workers’ compensation are done. An employer of record also performs background checks and drug screenings; administers benefits; terminates employees; and may handle worker issues.”

    Simply explained, an EOR effectively assumes the mantle of “employer” to your contingent employees (with all the legal commitments that entails) and “leases” them back to you to work on your behalf so that you can retain control over the workers’ activity. You may ask, “Why not just hire contingent resources on your own without the assistance of an EOR?”

    There is an expanding array of worker types/classifications and increasing complexity when it comes to managing both a full-time and contingent workforce, each with its own often disparate management challenges. An EOR provides a safe and compliant means for an organization to access and leverage contingent talent of all types. More than ever, enterprise organizations are turning to teams of project workers, SOW arrangements and independent contractors to perform critical but non-core functions. Keeping abreast of the regulatory constraints and tax implications that apply to each of these different contingent worker classes is far more complicated than it is with a regular W-2 wage-earning workforce. To keep HR departments from becoming swamped, many companies rely on an EOR partner.

    The EOR’s entire model is predicated on their ability to stay abreast of the nuances and rapidly evolving laws/regulations governing all types of contingent worker classification. They’re experts in ensuring proper payroll, tax, benefits and other administrative processes are observed and enforced. Since the EOR shoulders the bulk of the legal burden in this regard, as the “employer” of the resources ultimately serving the business needs of the hiring organization, they significantly reduce the risks of leveraging an array of contingent worker types. This enables a large enterprise to more easily, safely harness the awesome competitive and productivity-boosting power of a contingent workforce.

    For enterprise organizations seeking to expand into new localities across the globe, engaging a local EOR is especially useful because they typically have in-country legal presence and the wherewithal to source and manage local talent while remaining compliant with local regulations/laws. They can even help with visa and/or sponsorship applications This provides quick and lower risk access to new markets for companies seeking to set up operations there.

    For more on the benefits of engaging an EOR for your enterprise needs, contact the experts at People 2.0 at contact us today!

    Click here to view the article on People 2.0's website.

  • Friday, November 08, 2019 11:52 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    New Jersey Staffing Alliance received two achievement awards from the American Staffing Association: a Certificate of Chapter Achievement for successfully upholding the requirements for ASA affiliation and a Certificate of Legislative Achievement for outstanding advocacy at the state or federal level on behalf of the staffing and recruiting industry in 2019. The awards were presented at a special ceremony in October during Staffing World® 2019, the annual ASA convention and expo, in Las Vegas, NV.

    For these annual merit programs, ASA-affiliated chapters were evaluated on their support of the staffing industry at either the state or national level through chapter meetings, special events, educational seminars, government relations activities, and community outreach efforts.

    For more information about NJSA, visit njsa.com.

    For more information about ASA, visit americanstaffing.net.


  • Thursday, October 31, 2019 2:03 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Haley Marketing

    "I don't think he really understood my problem."

    "I didn't feel like I had her full attention."

    "That recruiter just didn't 'get' me."

    We're all busy. Distracted. Still buying into the "multitasking myth."

    And you know what? Customers notice!

    When you don't give an employer or job seeker your full attention, you're sending the wrong message. Instead of a customer feeling like you're truly listening, empathizing and interested in helping, they may feel marginalized. Frustrated. And like you don't really give a hoot.

    As I mentioned in this earlier post on service mistakes that drive staffing customers away, two-thirds of lost business is due to "supplier indifference": your customers' perception that you just don't care about them. Not surprisingly, one of the biggest service blunders that contributes to this perception is poor listening.

    The takeaway from today's post?

    Make sure your customers feel heard!

    When interacting with clients or candidates, here's how to put 100% of your attention where it belongs – and ensure your customers feel understood and appreciated:

    Never phub

    "Phone snubbing," also known as "phubbing," is the act of ignoring someone by busying yourself with your phone. Whether it's intentional or inadvertent, it instantly turns customers off. When you're visiting a client or interviewing an applicant, put your phone away and give the person in front of you your undivided attention.

    Explore ways to minimize background noise

    While you can't eliminate office conversation, keyboard clicking and other types of operational noise while you're listening to a customer on the phone, look for ways to reduce noise pollution. The quieter your call space is, the easier it is to focus – and the more personalized your attention will seem to customers.

    Go off script

    While call scripts are helpful for training, and processes are essential to running your agency, use scripts as guides – not replacements for real conversations. Customers can tell when you're reciting canned information, and they'll immediately question whether you're really paying attention to their unique needs. Train everyone on your team in the finer points of active listening, which I outline in this earlier post.

    Take it to the next level

    Ensuring your customers feel heard is about much more than receiving information. It's about being present in the moment. Paying attention to their nonverbal cues. Checking understanding. And giving them adequate time to explain themselves. Yes, it takes work, but the payoffs are huge! By taking your listening processes and skills to the next level, you'll create happier, more loyal users of your staffing and recruiting services – and put yourself head and shoulders above two-thirds of your competitors.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.


  • Thursday, October 31, 2019 2:00 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Urbach & Avraham, CPAs

    First-ever Stop-Work Order Deconstructs Operations: Citing wage violations, the NJ Department of Labor shut down a construction site managed by a building restoration and rehabilitation company. The action was the first-ever taken by the department under its recently expanded authority, according to an NJDOL announcement.

    Digging Deeper: Three Sons Restoration LLC was cited for allegedly failing to pay the prevailing wage, for unpaid and late wages, and for failure to keep accurate, certified payrolls. The company has appealed, and the matter has been referred to the Office of Administrative Law for a formal hearing

    Here’s What Happened: On August 22, in a coordinated sweep that involved local law enforcement, NJDOL investigators issued notices at Maurice Hawk Elementary School in West Windsor, Bayonne Fire House at Engine 6 in Bayonne, and at the company’s Union headquarters.

    At a September 4 hearing, a determination was made to lift the Stop Work Order at the Bayonne location; but the order at Maurice Hawk Elementary School was affirmed and remained in effect pending the formal hearing.

    The state DOL is stepping up its wage-violation efforts, according to Division of Wage and Hour Compliance Assistant Commissioner Joseph Petrecca. “With these new authorities given to us by Governor Murphy and the Legislature, this administration will continue to fight for our workers using all means necessary, especially when it comes to making sure our workers are being paid properly, and the playing field is level for our employers,” he said. Under a new law, a company may be assessed civil penalties of $5,000 per day for each day it conducts business in violation of a Stop Work Order.

    Don’t get steamrolled by the state: Prevailing-wage, recordkeeping and other issues can be complex. Consult with your legal and accounting advisor to stay on the tight side of the fence. A good advisor will understand your company’s unique circumstances and will be aware of the latest developments in state and federal wage-and-hour regulations.

    BY: Pamela Avraham, CPA, Partner, Urbach & Avraham, CPAs which provides accounting and tax services to staffing agencies. Firm may be reached at 732-777-1158 or pma@ua-cpas.com. Firm website is www.ua-cpas.com

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.


  • Monday, September 30, 2019 12:33 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Assurance

    The staffing industry is battling a widespread challenge when it comes to employee recruiting and retention. As unemployment rates decrease (nearing record lows) and job seekers have multiple options for employment, the competition for top talent is higher than ever. In today’s scarce labor market, staffing companies are trying to attract talent away from competitors while also retaining the best and brightest.

    There’s the obvious method of offering higher pay, but outside of that, what else can your staffing company do to gain an edge over the competition? Sometimes, it’s how you package and promote your benefits plan. A Glassdoor Confidence Survey found 80% of candidates choose having additional benefits over a pay raise.

    How to Put Money in Your Employees’ Pockets

    Creating a benefits package that allows for customization is essential. Seasoned, full-time professionals are likely going to have different needs than part-time or temporary employees. Identifying what employees and job candidates want in terms of benefits can be accomplished by using credible industry data and simply listening and communicating. From there, provide employees with several different voluntary benefit options.

    Voluntary benefit offerings like accident insurance, hospital indemnity, legal services, short-term disability and other individual coverages can put money in your employees’ pockets when the unexpected occurs. That money can be used towards the deductible or as cash to cover other related expenses, so your employees can focus on recovery instead of their finances and get back to work sooner.

    Best of all, voluntary benefits are often little to no cost to the employer. With a few options that employees can personalize, your plan looks richer and can be better positioned during the recruitment process to internal and temporary employees alike.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.


  • Monday, September 30, 2019 12:28 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Peckar & Abramson, P.C.

    Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements – which fall under the umbrella category of “restrictive covenants” – seem to be constantly under fire, with certain jurisdictions even taking the drastic measure of an outright ban. By contrast, New Jersey case law has developed over decades to strike a balance between protecting the needs of employers to safeguard their legitimate corporate interests and the crippling effects on fair competition caused by overbroad and unduly-burdensome restrictions. In light of a recent New Jersey Appellate Division decision, employers should revisit their restrictive covenants to make sure that the scope is reasonable and not more restrictive than necessary to achieve their legitimate purpose.

    New Jersey is one of many states that allow its courts to “blue pencil” restrictive covenants. “Blue penciling” refers to a procedure by which a court can delete, amend or supplement offensive provisions, allowing for enforcement of the revised restrictions while avoiding the harsh penalty of striking them down entirely.

    Last Friday, the New Jersey Appellate Division took liberty to utilize its blue pencil powers in scaling back the scope of a potentially-offensive restriction. The Appellate Division’s decision offers much-needed guidance on whether an employer can prohibit a departing employee from soliciting “all clients” (without regard to whether the employee had contact with the client) or “prospective clients” of a business. The decision stems from a series of cases brought by powerhouse ADP against former salesmen who left ADP to work for competitors. This opinion comes only months after a decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals which largely validated ADP’s non-compete and non-solicitation restrictions. However, in these cases, although the Appellate Division ruled that ADP has demonstrated a “legitimate business interest” in seeking to enforce its restrictive covenant agreements with six high-performing, former sales employees, it also found that certain provisions had to be narrowed to avoid being overly broad and unduly burdensome to the employees.

    The published decision (link in footnote, above) brings needed clarity to the issue of whether an employer is permitted to restrain a departing employee from soliciting each and every client of the employer, or, as many employees often argue, only those customers with whom the employee had contact with prior to leaving. It also shed light on whether courts will accept restrictions as to potential clients of a business.

    The Court ruled that the provisions of ADP’s agreements which barred the employees from soliciting all actual or prospective ADP clients for a year after leaving the company were too broad and had to be “blue-penciled,” referring to the “court’s modification or tailoring of a restrictive covenant.” The panel ruled that ADP may only prohibit its former employees from soliciting actual ADP clients for which they “had substantial dealings with while at ADP or […] knowledge of during their prior employment.” Regarding ADP’s potential clients, the court limited the restriction to only those that “a former employee gained knowledge of during his employment at ADP.”

    The Court observed that it was “satisfied [that] these blue-pencil modifications result in ‘narrowly tailored’ provisions that ‘ensure the covenant is no broader than necessary’ with respect to its duration, area and scope of prohibited activities in order to ‘protect the employer’s interests.’” The appellate panel found that the prohibition against soliciting “all of ADP’s 620,000 existing clients” was unreasonable: “That restrictive language is untenable as an ADP employee could not possibly know all of ADP’s actual clients.”

    Likewise, the panel struck down the provision barring the former employees from soliciting prospective clients that “ADP ‘reasonably expects’ to provide business to within the two-year period following the employee’s departure.” The panel concluded that, “[d]ue to the breadth of ADP’s worldwide reach, any company defendants approach might be a potential ‘prospective’ ADP client” and that the panel “cannot envision any practical manner in which defendants could conduct business without offending this provision.”

    In light of this decision, employers should review their restrictive covenants to determine whether they are reasonable and not overly restrictive. If there is reason to question enforceability, competent New Jersey employment counsel can help tailor the restrictions to avoid judicial scrutiny in the future.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.

    *Kevin J. O'Connor, Esq. is a shareholder with Peckar & Abramson, PC, a national law firm, and focuses his practice on construction and commercial litigation, EPL, D&O and class action defense. He is resident at its River Edge, NJ office. The views expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of P&A.


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