How Can You Attract & Engage Contingent Workers?

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In a previous blog, we discussed the war on talent and how it affects both employers and employees. With contingent work on the rise, how can employers attract and engage temps to ensure the best experience possible on both sides?

With more open jobs than there are workers, it’s important to market your company and it’s culture to attract the crème de la crème. Some of the ways you can attract the contingent workforce are:

Build Your Culture. Your culture is the brand of your company and it is ultimately the most apparent aspect about your business potential employees notice. The way your company runs, from how you hire and maintain talent, to how you operate on a day-to-day basis, can either make or break a candidate’s decision to join your team.

Engage With a Great Approach. Your job posting is the first point-of-contact you have with candidates—better make it a good one! Think about the kind of talent you want working for the assignment you are posting. Ensure that the listing accurately represents your culture, your organization, and your brand. Market the position in a way so that the most qualified and skilled workers engage and seek further information.

Don’t Forget About Passive Talent. Contingent workers are incredibly busy. Many have assignments lined up well in advance so it’s important to remember to look for passive talent. If you find an all-star candidate that’s already on assignment, don’t hesitate! Who wouldn’t jump at the right opportunity if it showed up at their front door?

Once you’ve attracted contingent workers to your company, one significant way to keep them engaged is through incentive programs. Here are a few programs to get you started on keeping your temps engaged and active in the business:

Recognize & Acknowledge. Humans are social creatures, and as such, long to be accepted and validated. One way to inspire employees is to recognize and acknowledge their good work. A little public praise goes a long way when it comes to showcasing your temps and treating them the same way you would your full-time employees.

Paid Time Off. One of the most rewarding benefits you can provide your temps is a way to accrue paid time off. Talk to your staffing company about the different time off programs you can provide for your long-term temps who have earned the right. One personal day every once in a while does wonders for morale and incentive.

Full-time Employment Opportunities. Another significant incentive for contingent workers is the possibility of full-time employment once the temporary assignment is completed. Many are motivated to excel at the project if there is an opportunity to join the team full-time down the line. This can also highlight those who are cultural fits and those who really want to be a part of your company.

Have any questions about implementing a contingent workforce program in your organization? We can help you. Email us at

Knocking Out Breast Cancer

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In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, The Outside-In® Companies have been spreading awareness and raising funds for The Breast Cancer Charities of America as part of our Charity of The Month Program.

Breast_Cancer_Ribbon_Pink_MIThe Breast Cancer Charities of America exists to eliminate breast cancer as a life-threatening illness. They bring together organizations representing all health and social service disciplines in the commitment to establish new and unprecedented levels of effectiveness in research, education, advocacy and support. BCCA is the only non-profit bringing the ‘integrated cancer care’ message to women of America. Their focus on Prevention, Research, Education, Survival, and Support works to empower and educate woman across the country.

The Outside-In® Team banded together to engage in some friendly competition in a knockout pool for the football season. So far we have had 21 participants enter the pool with the goal of fundraising and donating half of the monies raised to the charity. One of our Staffing Support Specialists, William Poore, just won the “second-chance” pool, and we have two employees left in the main round. “The football pool has been a fun way to interact with coworkers and build relationships all while supporting a good cause and spreading breast cancer awareness,” said William. “I’m looking forward to being a part of new fun and innovative way to contribute to charity in the future.”

If you’d like to join us in the fight against breast cancer, please donate via our YouCaring page here.

What I Do, Why I Do It, and How I Do It

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The Outside-In® Companies exist to optimize customer talent challenges. I believe this is best accomplished by making sure our culture acts as our internal compass. Everyone is in charge of their own career and our values exist to enable employees to maximize their performance in their work. This natural culture promotes quality customer work in the purest sense—if you’re empowered, have challenging work, good training, and a servant leader mentality, you will create a special work environment.

ID-100278237I listen. I listen to customers, prospects, employees, and applicants. Even partners and suppliers. Then I aggregate information to see patterns and trends. This is our R&D. This is how we will build new service lines and brands for the Outside-In® Companies. We all want to survey customers and have focus groups. Formality in market testing ideas is fine, but knowing what your market place needs is a risk I see us continuing to take.

We will continue to listen. We must continue to be workforce and workplace experts. Our customers need the consultation as being in business and its many changes really impact how work gets done today. The workforce knows it needs different skills and assistance today—we must be its agent to help navigate.

The economy seems to be in constant change and flux and we are in industry that celebrates and suffers along with it. We need to continue to look to reduce that volatilty with our plans. I imagine this will take on a combination of geographic expansions, customer penetration across our brands, and the inevitable expansion into new and different service lines.

I create the routine. My job is to create the pulse for the business and to drive its rhythm. How do we communicate to whom? How do we plan and share information? I keep this pulsing like clockwork.

I encourage the heart. We want to create an environment where hard work and living our values creates extrinsic/intrinsic rewards for employees. Anyone can solve a problem, tackle a project of their choosing, or speak to whomever they want in the business. The why may not be obvious here. Innovation, confidence, proactivity, and engagement all come from within when the right environment is nurtured.

I am a teacher and a coach first. I love to help others know more and believe that knowledge should not be used as a bargaining chip in business. The more my team knows, the more confidence and self esteem they have and I trust the correlation between the two. We must be a market leader with training—there is only a cost when you don’t train.

I help my team interact with prospects and customers differently. We are consultative in a world where this is typlically just considered words that mean nothing. I continue to show that when you’re able to translate your expertise to your customers’ challenges and opportunities, the rest comes easily. The very act of learning their business builds lasting relationships and a trust that fully takes you from being in sales to a trusted partner.

The Working Dead: Interview Horror Stories

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It’s no tall tale that interviews are undoubtedly nerve-racking. Every recruiter has stories of common mistakes such as candidates forgetting resumes or not dressing properly, however; few and far between are bizarre, hilarious, and even scary interview situations. Sweaty palms and awkward handshakes are the least of these recruiters worries when a subpar interview becomes downright terrifying.

In honor of the spooky season, our team created this collection of short stories of their worst interview experiences:

“Once a guy put a gun on the table as the interview began.

“One time I scheduled a phone interview and when I called the woman had forgotten. Her toddler answered the phone and gave it to her—while she was in the shower!

“A candidate showed up for an interview sporting a white tank top, ripped jeans, and sneakers. I knew he was wearing sneakers because he put his feet up on the conference room table as he told me he wanted a job with the ‘most amount of pay for the least amount of effort.’” Sometimes honesty isn’t always the best policy.

“I recently conducted an interview prep with a candidate and counseled this person how to deal with any nervousness she may feel at the onset of her interview. Instead of saying what I suggested (that her nervousness was due to the excitement about the opportunity), she actually told the panel of people interviewing her that she ‘just doesn’t do well on panel interviews.’ Needless to say, she wasn’t invited back!”

I once had a candidate who offered all of the interviewers a beer. These were early morning interviews. And he would drink one during the interview.”

“When I asked a candidate why she wanted the job, she laughed and said, ‘My parents really want me to get off of my _ _ _.’ The interview ended shortly after that.”

“Once a candidate flushed the toilet during a phone interview.

Have a horrible interview story worth sharing? Tell us in the comments!

Lifetime Employment: Imagine a World Without Outplacement

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by Outside-In® Team Member, Kelly Hocutt

Earlier this year, a colleague and I went to see Simon Sinek speak in Philadelphia. He is the author of Start with Why & Leaders Eat Last and his first TEDx Talk on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” is the 3rd most viewed video on

blogI had the chance to meet Simon after his talk and he signed my copy of the Leaders Eat Last book, “Inspire someone every single day!” As he was signing, I asked him what his favorite word is and he said “Inspire.” So today, I’d like to inspire you with some thoughts on outplacement, based on a story in Leaders Eat Last called “Fire Your Children” (Chapter 7, page 58). [Simon & I will both meet our quota today!]

Let me summarize the story: The founder of a company called Next Jump, Charlie Kim, made a dramatic change after noticing the annual rising tension as the end of the fiscal year approached. Each year, employees became tense and would fear being let go if the numbers weren’t strong. Inspired by the concept of family and how you can’t exactly fire your children, Mr. Kim made a bold move and implemented a policy of Lifetime Employment. “No one will get fired to balance the books,” Simon informs, “about the only situation in which an employee would be asked to leave is if someone worked outside the company’s high moral values or if someone actively worked to undermine their colleagues.”

Allow the concept of Lifetime Employment to sink in for a few seconds.

What comes to mind first for you? Are you thinking that Charlie is crazy? Did you imagine yourself having an easy, cushy job that is guaranteed for life? Are you wondering what you would do as a manager when you have poor performers or negative personalities on your team? These are some natural first thoughts when pondering this audacious concept.

Mr. Kim explained the positive impacts of this policy, “If a leader was told from here on you cannot fire anyone, but you must still meet consistent growth in revenue and profits, despite market conditions, they would have no choice but to turn to other variables within their control like hiring, training, and development.” People may have doubted or criticized Charlie Kim, but Next Jump saw their average revenue growth jump from 25% per year to 60% after the Lifetime Employment policy was introduced and turnover reduce from 40% down to 1%! Wow.

This story had a profound impact on my mindset about employment. I was laid off from my first job in the recession of 2008. I am also an employee of a company that offers outplacement services. Why would I highlight and encourage a company policy that would essentially put my company out of business?

But just like the people who doubted Mr. Kim, I think you have it all wrong. Barton Career Advisors was founded on the principle of changing everything about the outplacement industry. What we do is coach people through their career decisions. Career decisions don’t HAVE to occur during a career transition. People grow in many ways throughout their career and need coaching to better understand themselves, what they like doing, and how to continue to improve and grow and keep doing things that are of interest to them – even while they are employed. I have to keep a pulse on myself and have made many career decisions during my 4 year tenure at the Outside-In® Companies.

Our Outside-In® President published a blog about the changing workforce and how lifetime employment has died. The business world has become all too comfortable with the safety net of mass layoffs and people are jumping jobs often to protect themselves and their career. Is this a good thing? I love the idea of all of our corporate customers embracing the policy of lifetime employment because that means that they are investing in their people and each individual’s growth. Career coaching is a service that employers can offer from onboarding to exit – it doesn’t have to be through a severance package.

As an Outside-In® Company we strive to change perceptions, educate, and focus on the true needs of our customers. Doesn’t 60% annual growth and 1% turnover sound pretty appealing? It does to me. I hope sharing my thoughts has inspired you to think differently about outplacement and career coaching. Now pass it on like the #icebucketchallenge, who are you going to inspire today?

Salespeople: Be Yourself and Keep Your Commitments

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ID-100256646Sales is so full of stereotypes that it’s not even fun to use them anymore. I have found that failures in sales happen because there is a general lack of understanding that onboarding a new customer is a process just like ordering office supplies or sending out an invoice. Somehow those processes seem more tangible and visible to the world. Sales is a diva business. Sales is magic. Sales is that thing that no one can understand. A handful can do it, and even fewer want any part of it. Sales is about knowing what you’re doing, following a good process, always doing what you say, and being your authentic self along the way. Be fake? Try to be something you’re not? Well, prospects buy from people they like and if you would be yourself they probably would.  Be what you are—not what you think a salesperson is supposed to be!

A sales process is nothing more than a series of steps to be completed with your prospect. The big challenge is that your prospect does not have that matrix or checklist and is probably unaware of where you are and what you need to complete the sale. That is where you come in.

You could hand the customer the steps to be completed and let them participate. Or at the very least tell them what to expect next. However, this is most likely not your customers job. I bet it is not your only job either. You have other parts to your role like being a part of your team, or delivery, or internal projects, maybe even other prospects.

This is where it gets tricky. Sales people are human. We are flawed—busy, lazy, new, overly confident, on plan, off plan. We are all this and much more. These flaws show up in how we do our business and whether or not we follow our process. It is our commitment to the next step and our ability to deliver that makes all the difference.

This is at the subconscious level mind you with your prospect. They probably don’t say anything if you call later than expected or miss a deadline. They definitely don’t say anything out loud if you’re trying to be something you’re not. They simply don’t buy.