Trends That Matter

We include developments from the Staffing Industry Daily News and The Staffing Stream to help you focus on emerging movements that could shape your business for the better.

A New H1-B Battle

Senator proposes denying H1-B visas to staffing firms.

New legislation put forth by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, could prohibit staffing firms from bringing in H-1B visa holders; an effort he says is to prevent fraud and abuse of the program.

The TechServe Alliance is already tackling the issue, according to CEO Mark Roberts. The proposal is similar to previous bills introduced by the senator. “There is language there that is very troubling to the staffing industry,” Roberts says. “If it passes as is that would mean no staffing firm could use H-1Bs. That would be a devastating result particularly in the IT and engineering sectors.”

Shortage to Stay

In hot demand, IT professionals expect more than good pay.

Information technology professionals expect demand always to outpace supply according to a survey by TEKsystems, an IT services provider. While good pay was ranked the best thing about their field, respondents also valued exciting, cutting-edge work and sustainability of the field. Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM and The Walt Disney Co. are the top companies for which they would like to work, mainly because of cutting-edge technology and corporate culture/values.

Staying Healthy

Companies can see big returns on employee wellness programs.

In 2013, Great Place to Work saw a surprising 55 of the 100 Best Companies to Work For offer rewards and incentives, from reductions in healthcare premiums, cash bonuses, and gifts and other prizes, to employees who participate in wellness programs, including health screenings, weight loss or smoking cessation programs, or maintaining certain biometric standards.

Staffing firms, which next year must provide healthcare coverage to their contingents or pay a penalty, could offset some of those costs by offering such wellness programs to those workers.

A study published in the December 2010 Harvard Business Review analyzed wellness programs at several large U.S. organizations, and reported impressive findings — a $2.71 return on every dollar spent on wellness at one organization, a reduction of $1,421 in medical claim costs for wellness participants at another, and an 80 percent decline in lost work days at yet another.

— Source: “Return on Wellness: Counting a Strong Workplace Culture Among the Benefits,” The Staffing Stream, by Leslie Caccamese, senior strategic marketing manager, Great Place to Work

Think positive

 A good attitude can make up for lesser qualifications.

Nearly 88 percent of 3,785 senior-level executives surveyed by ExecuNet said they would rather enhance their team with an individual who possesses a good attitude, even if the candidate does not perform to the highest level or have top qualifications. “Negativity can quickly become contagious in an organization and drag down performance. B-players with great attitudes can likely become A-players in the right environment,” says Robyn Greenspan, ExecuNet’s chief content officer.

You’re Fired!

Sometimes, letting an employee go is in their best interest.

Employees hate being fired, and most managers despise being on the delivering end of this news. However, letting someone go is often an act of compassion.

If someone is not meeting expectations, and the interventions you’ve employed are not changing that, then it’s time to let go. By firing that individual, using the most compassionate communication methods you can, you actually engage an even more powerful “F” word, “facilitation.” When it no longer makes sense to continue someone’s employment, this facilitates their moving on and yours as well. Many successful people have been canned earlier in their careers, such as actor Jerry Seinfeld, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick. Yet, these firings became the impetus that enabled them to reach greater successes.

— Source: “Fear of the “F” Word,” The Staffing Stream, by Scott Wintrip, president of the Wintrip Consulting Group and StaffingU