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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.

  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:45 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Two River Benefits Consultants, LLC

    The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate (i.e., the requirement that most individuals obtain adequate health insurance or pay a penalty) is dead. A side effect of the ACA mandate’s demise is that states are beginning to step-in and pass their own versions of the individual mandate. Massachusetts, of course, has long had an individual mandate in place for its residents. Since the ACA mandate’s repeal, California, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont have passed individual mandates. Several other states are also considering enacting individual mandates. As these state laws become more prevalent, employers and plan sponsors need to consider whether these states have reporting requirements similar to the ACA’s requirements under Sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code.

    Similar to the repealed ACA individual mandate, New Jersey requires its residents to obtain minimum essential health coverage (subject to various exemptions) or pay a penalty. To assist the state in verifying enrollment information provided by taxpayers, employers and plan sponsors (whether or not domiciled in New Jersey) providing coverage to New Jersey residents will need to submit to the state the same forms required under Sections 6055 of 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code (i.e., Forms 1094/5-B and 1094/5-C). The forms must be submitted electronically through the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services’ MFT SecureTransport service, which is the same system for processing W-2 forms.

    Currently, the existing IRS Forms 1094/5-B and 1094/5-C contain the information New Jersey needs to verify enrollment, and therefore, New Jersey is willing to accept those forms

    Employers and plan sponsors providing coverage to New Jersey residents should consider contacting their reporting vendors to ensure that the vendors have the capability to submit forms to the state. Employers and plan sponsors that handle reporting on their own should start working now to make sure current file submission programming is compatible with New Jersey’s filing system. In a more perfect world, the IRS forms will continue to request enrollment information so that states with individual mandates can “piggy-back” on those forms. If that is not the case, the rising tide of state individual mandates could because an administrative headache for employers and plan sponsors.

    Updated Guidance for Health Coverage Filings

    (Posted NJ Website December 13, 2019)

    Starting with Tax Year 2019, the New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act (HIMPA) requires third-party reporting to verify health coverage information supplied by individual payers of New Jersey’s Income Tax.

    Under HIMPA, employers and all other providers of minimum essential coverage must file information with the Division of Taxation on or before March 31, 2020. The State has no plans to offer filing extensions.

    Employers must:

    Send the appropriate 1095 health coverage verification form to each primary enrollee (usually the employee or purchaser of the policy) to whom they provided minimum essential coverage in 2019. Deadline for sending to primary enrollees is March 2, 2020.

    • NOTE: This requirement is different from Federal practice as modified in December 2019. New Jersey’s Health Insurance Mandate requires 1095s be provided to primary enrollees.
    • This applies to both part-year and full-year New Jersey residents. For 1095 filing purposes, a part-year resident is a primary enrollee who lived in New Jersey for at least 15 days in any month.
    • By March 31, 2020, provide New Jersey with a 1095 health coverage form for each primary enrollee (usually the employee or purchaser of the policy) to whom the filer provided minimum essential coverage in 2019. This applies to both part-year and full-year New Jersey residents. For 1095 filing purposes, a part-year resident is a primary enrollee who lived in New Jersey for at least 15 days in any month.

    Meeting these requirements requires that filers or their representatives register and use MFT SecureTransport services – the same system that employers use to file W-2 payroll tax forms with the State. New Jersey will not accept mailed forms.

    Out-of-State Employers Who Employ New Jersey Residents Have the Same Filing Requirements as in-State Businesses.

    These requirements are not limited to businesses that withhold New Jersey payroll taxes. If you are an out-of-State employer, you must ensure that NJ receive any required 1095 document for each New Jersey resident you employ. Insurers, government agencies, exchanges, multiemployer plans, and all others responsible for reporting Minimum Essential Coverage on behalf of New Jersey residents also must file the required information with the State.

    Privacy concerns for non-New Jersey residents

    The allowance of filings that include non-New Jersey residents raises significant privacy and legal concerns for employers who employ across the country. The State of New Jersey’s website cautions, “Out-of-state filers who provide information on non-residents of New Jersey should consult privacy and other laws pertaining to residents of other States before sending any sensitive or personal data to New Jersey.”

    The 1095-C form includes the following protected information and HIPAA data:

    • Social Security number
    • Taxpayer name and dependent names
    • Date of birth
    • Health insurance enrollment dates

    Employers who use this short-cut option could face sharp scrutiny from employees who do not reside in New Jersey. There may also be privacy concerns if their HIPPA protected data is provided to New Jersey without their consent.

    Updated Guidance on What Forms Are Required From Whom

    New Jersey will not require 1094 forms for 2019, though it will accept them if a coverage provider sends them.

    The State expects to receive filings of Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. Filers of Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, should use that form for New Jersey filings.

    If the federal government discontinues, substantially alters, or makes unavailable Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C, New Jersey will deploy similar forms and require they be sent to the State and to New Jersey taxpayers.

    Forms for Insurance Bought on Healthcare.gov or Any Other Exchange

    Insurers who provide coverage through policies sold on the federal Healthcare.gov exchange or any other exchange must provide a 1095-B for any primary enrollee who purchases coverage. See below for more guidance on what form to use.

    Guidance on Forms Sent to New Jersey:

    Coverage providers can send 1095 files containing data pertaining only to part-year and full-year residents of New Jersey, or, for ease of filing, New Jersey will accept the exact same 1095 data files sent to the federal Internal Revenue Service, even if the files include data about individuals who are not residents of New Jersey. Filers who provide information on non-residents of New Jersey should consult privacy and other laws pertaining to residents of other States before sending any sensitive or personal data to New Jersey.

    Requirements for filings vary depending on whether an employer is fully insured, self-insured, or a participant in a multiemployer plan. The size of a company also affects reporting requirements, as detailed below:

    Fully Insured: filed by the insurer on behalf of the employer


    • Single-Company, Applicable Large Employers (ALEs). ALEs generally are companies that employed an average of at least 50 or more full-time equivalent employees on business days during the preceding calendar year: Employer files 1095-C or 1095-B for each person who was a full-time employee for at least one month of the calendar year and for any employee who was enrolled in the self-insured plan. New Jersey requires only Parts I and III of Form 1095-C be completed, but will accept fully completed forms as well. ALE members that offer employer-sponsored, self-insured health coverage to non-employees may use Form 1095-B for these non-employees, or ALEs may file a 1095-C using Code 1G in Part II, to report for non-employees. For this purpose, a non-employee includes a non-employee director, an individual who was a retired employee during the entire year, or a non-employee COBRA beneficiary. This also applies to a former employee who terminated employment during a previous year.
    • Single Company, Not an Applicable Large Employer (Non-ALE). Non-ALEs generally are companies that employed an average of fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees on business days during the preceding calendar year. Here, an employer files a 1095-B for each covered employee.
    • New Jersey requires only Parts I and III of Form 1095-C be completed, but will accept fully completed forms as well.

    Transmitting 1095 Returns

    Under New Jersey’s Health Insurance Market Preservation Act, insurers, employers, government agencies, multiemployer plans and other entities that provide health insurance must submit required information returns to New Jersey reporting on individuals’ health insurance coverage. There is no paper filing option available.

    Insurers or Employers are able to provide confidential or sensitive data to the State of New Jersey using the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services' (DORES) MFT SecureTransport service.

    Taxpayers who have MFT SecureTransport service user credentials can now use them to submit the required health insurance coverage returns. Test scenarios are available.

    New Jersey will accept returns submitted in bulk filing. A company responsible for submitting files for multiple companies can establish a single MFT SecureTransport Account and submit a single file containing the information for the various companies. NJ will not accept files in a zipped file format.

    You will receive a submission receipt upon successful transmission which will serve as the acknowledgement. This receipt will be sent to the email associated with the MFT SecureTransport Account.

    If you are required to submit a correction file to the IRS, New Jersey will also require you to submit the correction file.

  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:41 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Haley Marketing

    As technology improves and social media becomes even more integrated in our everyday lives, we must evolve with it and find new ways to target our audience. Organic reach is an essential component for success in using social media. Organic reach is simply the number of people your content reaches without paid distribution.

    So, how do you gain more organic reach for your social media posts? Here are a few ideas. 

    Think About Your End Goal

    You may roll your eyes because it seems we always start with this phrase, but it’s the most important. If you don’t know what you want out of a post, you can’t put the right strategies in place; and in the end, no matter how much organic reach you’re getting, if you’re not targeting a specific goal, your efforts may be for nothing.

    Do you need more applications, leads or followers?

    Gaining followers can be a slippery slope because you want more eyeballs on your posts, but you need to be strategic. A follow or like doesn’t convert for your business … at least not instantaneously. So, if you’re looking to gain followers, be practical. Just because someone likes your post doesn’t mean they want a job. Just as if you add an item to your cart, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to buy it.

    If you’re gaining followers to your pages, focus on the long-term impact of these followers. It’s as easy to unfollow as it is to follow someone, so you want to build a strategy to keep their attention long term.

    Utilize Engagement Currencies

    Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter – these platforms contain important algorithms when it comes to engagement. A simple like or comment can not only boost your post to the top of your audience’s news feeds, it can also spread your organic reach to audiences outside of your page likes.

    Are you capitalizing on this?

    Develop Persuasive Content

    As a society, we live life in the fast lane. Once we have an idea, we tend to want it created, developed, posted, and converted on as quickly as possible. And honestly, that’s OK – it’s human nature. But what I think is important here is to not take any short cuts.

    Instead of posting a caption as quickly as possible, take time to think about what you’re posting. Does the job have great benefits? TELL THEM. Does the job offer a bonus? TELL THEM. What hours are they working? TELL THEM.

    Don’t hide the juicy parts of the job in the job description. When posting to social media, make these points noticeable.

    Involve Your Community With Engaging CTAs

    As mentioned, likes, comments and shares are valuable internet currencies, so maximize opportunities for these to happen:

    Run a contest

    People love free stuff. Whether it’s a gift card or tickets to a sporting event, adding an incentive can help drive organic reach.

    But not too fast – think of your end goal. Specifically, contests are great for gaining long-term audiences because you can add fine print in order for someone to enter. In your copy, I’d encourage you to have people like the page and the post, and also comment and share it. All these things take maybe two minutes to do, but they offer real benefits for your firm:

    • Like the page – now, you are capturing their attention long term.
    • Like and comment on the post – using those valuable currencies to boost the post.
    • Share the post – through this, you’re getting your audience to help you do the work because now their audience has their eyes on your post.

    Of course, thinking about conversions, I recommend including a link back to your company website in the social media post. You can then go in and track how much organic traffic your website received and what they did.

    Encourage interaction

    Again, capitalize on the audience you already have. Through persuasive copy, encourage job seekers and employers to interact with your posts. For example, if you have a job posting on social media, ask your audience to tag or share the post with their friends. After all, even if your audience isn’t interested in the content at the time, that doesn’t mean they don’t know someone who would be interested.

    The night shift might not be for everyone, but Sally could have a friend who likes to be at home with her kids. If Sally sees your posts, maybe she’ll tag or share with her friend.

    In a world of sponsored posts, organic reach is not dead. For more information on improving your organic reach, check out this episode of InSights.

  • Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:38 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Assurance

    Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) covers a wide variety of employment Claims -related exposures from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and discrimination claims to sexual harassment and more. Below are a few key coverage components. Understanding these coverage offerings and knowing how it impacts your staffing company will help you and your insurance broker craft a custom-tailored policy.

    EPLI for Staffing Companies

    It’s essential to make sure the definition of “employee” extends to temporary/placed employees in your EPLI policy. The ability to extend coverage to your clients as co-defendants is important in the event a claim is made by a temporary employee for a wrongful act against the client/host employer. Where available, you should also request the policy be rated on billable hours, rather than head count, for the most competitive rate.

    Choice of Counsel

    Under a typical arrangement, the insurance carrier relies on a panel of qualified employment attorneys to provide defense in the event of a claim. Some carriers, however, will allow an insured to designate their own employment attorney, in lieu of the panel approach, which is a conversation you want to have with your broker prior to renewal. The carrier will require basic information such as the attorney’s name and hourly rates, and if approved, the carrier will endorse your policy which will allow you to use the pre-approved attorney of your choice.

    Wage & Hour

    Wage and Hour coverage is available; however, capacity is still limited and the coverage can be somewhat restrictive in scope. The sub-limits offered are generally for defense only and do not include indemnity, and limit are typically in the $50,000 - $500,000 range. Historically, carriers have only provided the coverage to in-house employees, although some carriers will now extend coverage to temporary and PEO employees.

    Third Party Coverage

    Some policies will allow you to extend harassment and discrimination coverage pertaining to claims made by third parties such as vendors, suppliers and so forth.

    Hammer Clause

    All EPLI policies contain a settlement provision commonly referred to as the “hammer clause.” In a typical policy, the insurance carrier needs your permission to settle a claim. This provision states that should your insurance company and the claimant both agree to settle the claim, but you don’t agree, the total claim payment (including defense) can be limited to a certain percentage of what the claim would’ve settled for, if you had agreed to it. 150% is a common sublimit.

    For additional information on employment-related claim trends and coverage, watch this quick video.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.

  • 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.

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