Staffing Trends for 2012

Staffing Industry Trends for 2012

The demand for temporary workers remains strong even though unemployment, while trending downward, remains high at 8.5%. More and more, employers are taking on temporary workers as an alternative to permanent hiring. CareerBuilder recently released a Harris Interactive study that showed more than a third of American companies are operating with smaller staffs than before the recession, and 36% will hire contract or temporary workers in 2012 to keep business moving forward.

A Comeback In Manufacturing
Manufacturing is one industry in particular that is showing signs of growth. Transportation and warehouse industries rose sharply in December 2011, and seasonal hiring was strong. According to a survey conducted by Cook Associates Executive Search, 85% of manufacturing executives believe certain manufacturing operations could return to the U.S. 37% cited overseas costs as the biggest factor in this shift, while 19% claimed logistics was the top reason.
Also, the nation’s factories have added 334,000 jobs since December 2009 – about 13% of what was lost during the recession – marking the first sustained increase in manufacturing employment since 1997, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Knowledge Is Power
Physical labor continues to be replaced by machines, but the manufacturing sector needs people who understand the technology behind this equipment. More than just separate groups of thinkers and manual laborers, manufacturers need people somewhere in the middle who bring a certain level of knowledge to the table, along with collaborative, interpersonal and creative abilities.
This trend will continue to grow for the foreseeable future and brings major implications. Filling certain types of positions can be difficult for employers, and the public education system will be playing catch-up to better prepare young people with more well-rounded skillsets to compete in an ever-evolving marketplace.
Companies are turning to staffing firms to provide skilled and semi-skilled workers as long-term temp or “casual” workforces become increasingly popular for manufacturers. Positions like skilled welders, machine operators, CNC machinists and robotics technicians will likely increase in demand. At Bear, our comprehensive temporary benefits package and expertise in temp-to-hire placement make us an ideal partner to fulfill these needs.

Generational Mix
Retiring early is no longer an option for a large segment of the workforce, as many people are working longer to make ends meet and prepare for retirement. Today’s workplace is actually made up of members from four generations, making an already diverse workforce even more diverse. Not only do these vastly different generations have to co-exist to maintain high levels of productivity, but managers need to sharpen their communication skills and adjust their management styles to effectively oversee such a complex workforce.

Contact us to learn how BarryStaff can help your business move forward in 2012 and beyond.

My German Shepherd, Memphis, and Sustaining What We Learn

As I write this blog, it occurs to me that everything I need to know about creating sustained learning I can learn from Memphis, my 5-year-old German shepherd, who is resting by my chair as she does every morning.

Our morning routine is well-established now. Every morning I get up early, make coffee and go upstairs to catch up on the news and email.

Memphis gets up, too, and either follows or leads me to the kitchen. She lies down, waiting until my coffee is ready. When I pick up the mug, she rises and goes with me.

On mornings when I work out, she heads for the elliptical machine, waiting patiently until I’m finished. Then she gets her ring toy. I toss it; she brings it back. We’ve both learned and share our drills; they’re consistent and routine—our habits.

Our mornings didn’t always work this smoothly. When Memphis was a puppy, they were much more chaotic. I needed to read books and go to classes so I knew how to teach her some basics—how to follow me when I get up, sit calmly when I work and fetch what I throw her toy (which has become a favorite activity between us).

The classes and reading were critical, but just the first step. What’s really mattered in the long term is that I consistently applied the few standards I learned so they became familiar to her and habitual for me.

As an example, when I want Memphis to come with me, I’ve learned to use a particular tone of voice and a few guttural clicks. It’s an auditory pattern that only means one thing and Memphis now knows what I expect when she hears it.

When we first started, I had to offer a lot of encouragement, stopping frequently to pet her when she followed me. Sometimes I gave her a treat. But those rewards aren’t needed anymore because Memphis has learned the expected behavior.

Memphis now has expectations as to when I’ll get up and what I’ll do. And her participation in our habits has helped make me more effective in the mornings and increase my workouts.

Of course, teaching humans isn’t usually as straightforward as teaching dogs. But the goals are the same. As I recently wrote, we’ve got to remember and apply what we’re taught; otherwise the learning is temporary and ultimately pointless.

Workplace behaviors dealing with inclusion, civility and compliance need to be built the same way as any other traditions or rituals that govern our daily personal lives with one another or our pets.

The process starts with identifying a few clear behaviors that you want to become routine ways of “doing business.” To turn the desired behavior into a habit, leaders at all levels must communicate specific standards in a consistent way and hold themselves and their team members responsible for meeting them.

It’s a low-tech solution and harder than it sounds. But it works.

In the great workplaces where I have been, I’ve seen powerful rituals sustained over decades. In one great organization known around the globe, it’s understood you don’t bring in the competitor’s products.

In another, you start every meeting with a safety talk. In another, you don’t tell or circulate racial, sexual or similar jokes [that’s my own workplace, I’m proud to say].

In each of these workplaces, leaders have set out the rules, kept repeating them and, when needed, enforced them.

The behaviors that are now a ritual began with leaders who set the standards. Others followed and repeated them and made them their own. Over time, the standards became customs, the way things are done.

As for Memphis and me, we both are in charge of our rituals. That’s why they stick.

Five Things That Drive Bosses Crazy

BarryStaff can help match up the best employees with quality employers but keeping that job and having it be a successful placement is up to the folks on the job. Along that line, take a look at the following article found on CareerBuilder.

Don’t Drive Your Boss Crazy

Certain things you do endear you to your boss. And then there are those that frustrate your supervisor and may even jeopardize your future.

Unfortunately, your manager may not always tell you that your behavior is driving him up the wall. Here are some of the top offenses that could land you in the corporate hall of shame:

1. Impersonating an ostrich. You may know problems are cropping up — a client is becoming increasingly irate, a project has gone awry or there are systemic issues that need everyone’s attention.

Don’t keep your manager in the dark. Bosses don’t like to have to confront problems either, but they also don’t want them to be neglected until it’s too late.

Speak up when there’s a problem that’s too big to ignore. You may not relish the role of messenger, but your manager will appreciate that you had the guts to raise a flag, rather than stick your head in the sand while there was still time to rectify the situation.

2. Being high maintenance. This quality may seem like a requirement in the celebrity world, but it’s rarely on any other manager’s list of desirable qualities in an employee. Bosses appreciate professionals who take ownership of their tasks and can work without constantly needing guidance or positive reinforcement.

Though you should ask for help when you’re truly unsure about how to proceed with a project, be careful not to monopolize your manager’s time and attention. Focus instead on improving your listening skills and acting on the feedback you receive so you can learn to work more independently.

3. Thinking the office is your stage. Some people think the office is their outlet for drama. Managers don’t agree. Few things become more tiresome to bosses and colleagues than working alongside people who make mountains out of molehills and manufacture conflict.

Leave the drama to your community-theater pursuits. Your manager will appreciate you much more if you simply carry out your projects in an unfailingly professional way, rather than complaining at every twist and turn.

4. Talking a good game. A good way to exasperate your manager is to continually promise big things — “Sure, I’ll have that project completed by Friday,” — and fail to deliver. This behavior can become such a pattern that bosses end up feeling uneasy counting on an employee to do what is promised and disappointed in themselves for allowing the predictable cycle to repeat itself.

If you suspect you’re guilty of chronically overpromising and underdelivering, have an honest discussion with your manager about the problem. Maybe one or both of you can shed some light on why it keeps happening. Try to work together to figure out how to escape the pattern. For instance, setting incremental goals may help you rein in the tendency to make grand, but unrealistic, promises.

5. Deflecting criticism. Almost everyone drops the ball at one point or another. But rather than making excuses or being overly sensitive to constructive criticism, own up to mistakes and let your manager know how you plan to avoid similar problems in the future. Your boss will appreciate your willingness to confront less-than-ideal outcomes and will come to see you as someone who can be trusted to respond appropriately, no matter what the situation.

Even the most accomplished professionals occasionally engage in behaviors that are annoying to the boss. Take a look inside to see if you’re guilty of any of these offenses. After all, someone who gets the job done is always valued, but someone who gets it done without causing the boss any concern, stress or frustration is the ultimate team player.

Partnership with ASPM

BARRYSTAFF is partnering with ASPM to hire 30 production workers for all shifts at their new facility. Apply at 900 Falls Creek Drive, Vandalia on Aug. 7th from 10am to 2pm. Candidates must have their own transportation, no felonies and pass a drug test. Starting wage is $8.75 to $9.10/hr. For more information call 461-9732. EOE.