Getting America Back to Work

A door with notes that read "Sorry we are closed. Covid-19."

“There are seldom, if ever, any hopeless situations, but there are many people who lose hope in the face of some situations.” – Zig Ziglar

We are certainly all experiencing Covid-19 fatigue by now, and the accompanying uncertainty of when we can all return to life as we once knew it is yet another quandary without a clear answer. If we adhere to the idea that the one single constant in life is change, then dealing with a new normal will be easier to accept. As Zig’s quote above reminds us, we are not in a hopeless situation, but the loss of hope is what can drag some people down.

If you’ve lost business, been laid off, or if your company has gone under completely, then it’s understandable that you’d be less than hopeful at this point. Couple that with the fact that shelter-in-place orders are being extended nationwide, and it gets all the more frustrating.

But, we all need to face the facts and deal with these realities in an effort to bounce back and overcome these challenges. If this includes a long look in the mirror and a frank gut check, so be it. No one said life would be fair, but a very wise person once said, “it’s not what happens to us, it’s how we deal with what happens to us that matters.” Not sure that person was Zig Ziglar, but it’s a phrase that bears strong consideration.

Here are some other things to consider, and plan for, as we all get to the task of getting America back to work.

The road less traveled by

If you’ve lost your job, now’s the time to do some soul searching and determine how you’re going to start working again. Your industry may now have an entirely different look and feel as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Are you prepared to make those adjustments? If you have successfully been able to work from home, is that something you may want to continue? Can business function effectively without face to face meetings and handshakes? Can we use Zoom or Microsoft Teams to conduct all of our meetings? Should you take this opportunity to get into an entirely new line of work? The point here is that we’ve all been pushed into a crossroad and need to choose a path or navigate the direction our particular industry or company will head in. This is a time for self-reflection in terms of leveraging your particular strengths in an effort to determine what your work life is going to look like as we all move forward.

Mask, check. Gloves, check. Hand sanitizer, check.

What will going out in public look like? Will you be required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at work? Have your temperature checked? We all need to be prepared for changes in this area, and we all need to be prepared for interacting with others who will rely upon their own individual choices concerning the use of some, all, or maybe no PPE, despite the advice of noted medical experts. Being prepared for this will be necessary, along with continued guidance on what’s recommended to protect yourself and others in the workplace, and in other public places.

May I have this dance?

People are social creatures. We generally enjoy and seek out the society of others, but what about jumping on a crowded elevator in an office building? Can you hold your breath all the way up to the 25th floor? How will you get to work or to meetings? Subway? Car? Bus? Airplane? Bike? Walk? Does your work require you to be in an office full time or even part time? And that’s to say nothing of someone serving food in a restaurant, bar, or a sporting venue. How, when, and where you work or interact with clients, customers, and associates may be just as important as what you choose to do for work. Consider the options and decide accordingly.

The cure may be killing us

We may not be able to solve the worlds’ problems in a short blog, but we do need to consider the costs of not returning to work in a timely manner. This is not to say we do so in a cavalier fashion, void of all precaution, but our overall economy sitting idle is not a good thing. We all need the challenge offered by meaningful work in order to be fulfilled in life and every day we don’t engage in that beneficial activity is another day lost. If you’ve been able to function and make your contributions from home, great, but a large majority of people earn their livelihood in a manufacturing plant, warehouse, restaurant, barbershop, etc. Each business that provides valued goods and services is essential and should be allowed to reopen. We don’t have time here to address the ramifications of shelter-in-place orders, in some cases leading to substance abuse, growing concerns about obesity, or domestic violence as a result of people being forced to stay at home rather than work, but these are serious issues added to the mix.

In summary, let’s not lose hope in our ability to meet challenges in challenging times. May our government bodies work in the best interest of the constituents they’re obligated to serve and form reasonable policies that respect our rights and safety, but allow the freedoms we enjoy as US Citizens, one of which is to be gainfully employed in our chosen field of endeavor.

All of us here at STS Staffing understand the need for getting America back to work, so please contact us if you’re looking for a job or if your company needs employees to help your organization prosper and grow as we emerge from this economic pause.

8 Obvious Reasons You Need A Contingent Workforce Strategy Right Now

Business owner in a mechanic shop standing behind a laptop
In the summer of 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nearly 16.5 million people in the United States held contingent jobs. High profile industries such as coal and steel employed a mere 230,000. The statistics show a dramatic shift towards US businesses hiring contingent workers and a massive growth in this country’s gig economy.

The contingent workforce trend is no surprise when you think of all the money businesses are saving on the front-end during the hiring process. But there are several other obvious factors as to why modern companies should consider multiple contingent workforce strategies.

1. Safety in an Unpredictable Market

It’s no secret the US job market is flourishing right now. Unemployment is as low as it’s been in decades, and everyone seems to be hiring. But how stable is it? Having contingent workers on your payroll gives you the flexibility to manage how big your workforce is in relation to how much business is flowing in.

2. You Pay for the Work They Do — Nothing More

In business, there is always a point in the year when production slows down. Nobody seems to be busy, and you’re paying your employees to simply be at work but not actually work. Having a contingent staff allows you to pay your employees based on the amount of work there is to do.

If a big project comes through the door, hiring contingent workers based on project size will give you the flexibility to pay them until the project is over, then you can cut ties with them once work slows down.

3. Buys You Time

Contingent workers can also be used as a stopgap during a transition. A specialist can come in and do the job of an employee who has left. They can work while you focus on finding a replacement who is more interested in staying at your company long term.

4. Hiring Contingent Workers Is a Low-Risk Game

What allows you to have contingent workers come and go from your business is that they’re not official employees, and they don’t have the same rights to a severance package if they are let go.

If you bring someone on for a special project and it isn’t working out, or your project has ended, you can easily cut ties without digging into your wallet.

5. Cost Effective Hires

You will find having the right contingent workforce strategy will also save you money throughout the hiring process. You won’t have to spend excessive money on recruiting and training a new employee. Instead, you’ll have a pool of contingent workers who are experts and ready to work.

You also don’t have to offer contingent workers the same benefits you do for full or part-time employees. Here is a list of areas where you will save money hiring contingent workers instead of full-time employees.

  • Health insurance
  • Paid sick/vacation days
  • 401k/Retirement plans
  • Administrative hours related to onboarding
  • Unemployment claims

6. They Are Specialized Hires

Some contingent workers are experts in a particular field or subject for specialized industries. They come to you with knowledge of the tasks they will be asked to perform. This helps you seamlessly integrate them into projects and saves your manager time because they won’t have to train them on specific skills and processes.

7. Gives Other Employees More Time to Do Their Jobs

If you and your team aren’t prepared to lose a member of the team, you can find yourself scrambling to stay ahead when you take someone’s 8 hours per day out of the equation. Members from other teams might be called over to help, in turn making them less productive on the tasks they were hired for.

Juggling too many tasks can have a negative effect on workers, so it’s best to plug the gap immediately. Contingent workers allow you to do just that and can prevent added stress on other team members.

8. They’re Mobile

Depending on the industry, some contingent workers can complete their tasks out of the office. This allows flexibility in several areas.

Logistical issues are taken out of the equation. You won’t have to worry about their parking situation or where they will sit in the office. They’ll have their own laptop and can work from virtually anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection.

Online project management tools allow businesses to stay connected without a word spoken face-to-face. Contingent workers are familiar with communicating and completing projects through online programs. They can also send you their billable hours and show you proof of what they worked on from miles away.

Formulate Your Contingent Workforce Strategy

Each business is different. A small mom and pop shop has different challenges than the 50-employee startup or the multimillion dollar corporation. Figuring out what’s best for your company is the trick.

Once your company decides to start hiring contingent workers, consider a staffing agency to help develop your strategy and fill your positions.

STS Staffing has the expertise you need to fill positions that require specific skills and knowledge. Our staffing services include a thorough vetting process for each candidate so you know your contingent hire will work perfectly within your strategy.

Learn more about our staffing services and how we can get your business up to speed with the contingent workforce trend.