Structure: The Key to Business Growth

How a Little Structure Helped our Small Business BOOM!

Owning a small business is sometimes described as ‘The American Dream.’ But what people often times overlook is that along with the dream comes a fair share of nightmares!

The Beginning – Chaos

multitask in businessIn the beginning stages of our business, like any startup, we lacked structure but were fortunate to have owners possessing key traits like: passion, energy and a very strong drive to succeed. Each owner wore multiple hats, interchangeably. One moment you’re trying to land your first client and the next you’re changing light bulbs while the other owner is going from designing a new logo to figuring out how to satisfy the needs of your first client. Owners had to juggle everything, all day, every day and often times all night.

The Employees ≠ Less Chaos

Once we finally brought in some business, the ‘quick fix’ to the chaos was believed to be simple: hire employees! This proved to be easier said than done… Taking your hard-earned money, that cost you blood, sweat, tears and sleepless nights to generate, then hesitantly give a portion of it to someone else in hopes they can ease your burden.

What is sometimes overlooked is; people bring a whole new set of baggage to your party! Yes, it’s nice to have someone help you with the phone calls, the e-mails, the customer service, the sales, etc., but they also come with the challenges of; wages, taxes, benefits, different work ethic, different personalities, etc. So, hiring new employees did allow us to shift some responsibility but in the same breath added more, different, responsibilities to our plate.

Mini-Me’s = More Chaos

staffing minionWhen you run a business for several years and you experience the pains of a start-up, then the growing pains of becoming a legitimate business, you finally realize: we’ve created mini-me’s who, like the owners in the beginning, wear multiple hats and interchange them throughout the day.

The new employees were trained to do nearly everything the owners were doing (because that’s the way the owners did it and that’s how they wanted it to be done). New employees we taught a piece of marketing, were encouraged to help sell, were taught customer service and expected to satisfy all the client’s needs, while also helping in some of the HR and finance roles, because again, that was once the owners job which was partially passed down to the new employees.

The Consultants = Structure

Finally, after experiencing so many growing pains, a lightbulb went on when we were introduced to the concept of business consultants. We began meeting and interviewing expert consultants from different firms looking for The One who would help us find a better structure in order for us to establish a foundation for future growth. Growth had come over the years but it came with many growing pains. We believed our new strategy for a better business structure would be the key to quicker, more substantial, growth.

And, as it turns out, we were right!

Structure = Greater Success

staffing structureIn 2012, nearly 17 years since our business began, we partnered with the consulting firm, Petrous Leadership. The result, in a nut-shell: we doubled in size! Through many months of coaching, brainstorming, consulting and white-boarding, we found a structure that was custom-designed for our unique business.

With solid structure finally in our company tree came structure within each of our processes. We designed custom processes to streamline job duties, improved processes and operations, built new interview and screening techniques, all of which helped us find, hire, train and retain top talent who all fit into their structured roles within our newly structured organization.

Having the ‘right people’ in the ‘right roles’ is what it finally took for YES to experience growth on a greater scale, even after many years of business behind us.

perfect staffing processEnd Result = Staffing Perfected

Staffing Perfected is our goal, it’s also our end-result when our structure fires on all cylinders and our team is ‘on fire.’ We’ve reached the goal of becoming more structured and having a clear plan in place for all our staff members and a road map for future growth. What the future hold is still yet to be seen, but come what may, we are ready and structured for success.

Jarum Stone
Operations & Safety Manager
Your Employment Solutions
yes safety

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Proud to Work in America

Why I’m Proud to Work in the USA!

proud to work in americaThe land of the free, and home of the brave. We live in an amazing country. Yes, we have our issues, struggles, controversies, and scandals, but America is still great! Think of some of the events that are taught in American history classes all over the United States. The brave people that created this country make it great. Think of all the wars and conflicts this country has faced over the years. Our soldiers have made our country great. Think of all the influential and inspirational figures in our history. Those people have made America great.

What Makes America Great?

There is a group of people in this country that contribute to Its greatness every day. There are literally millions of them. Most of them spend 40 hours a week working towards the goal. Others contribute much more of their day and often times will work a whole day through.

Who is this group of people you might ask?

It’s the American workforce.

America is the largest economic force in the world because of working people like us. Everyone who works day-in and day-out has made America what is it today and will ensure we have an amazing country for the future generations to enjoy! America is the greatest country in the world. Americans have been saying that for hundreds of years. It’s because Americans have made it true for hundreds of years.

proud to work in the usaIn my opinion, the workforce of America doesn’t realize the responsibility that they have. Their efforts in their jobs are contributing to the further growth of this country. Some value their opportunity to work and some take it for granted. Wherever you fall, you should be proud. It doesn’t matter if you are assembling sprinklers or brokering a merger between two of the biggest corporations in America, you should still be proud. No matter how small or insignificant your job may seem, you are still working for the greater good. You are still contributing to the economic wellbeing of America.

Work Proud!

Take pride in your work, take pride in your job. Yes, we may be behind other countries when it comes to benefits like parental leave, health care, and personal time off, but those countries aren’t America. America is what It is today for a reason. Our Country is full of the hardest working people on the plant. We know what it takes to get ahead and stay ahead.

Take time today, July 4th, to think about all the people who have given their lives for This Country. Think about all the sacrifices and hard work. Then think about how we can continue that legacy. How can we continue to make this Country the best in the world? Be proud of America and be proud to work in America.

Happy Independence Day!

Trevor Hansen
Finance Manager
Your Employment Solutions

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YES Awarded by Chevron for Safety

Workplace Safety is No Accident

At Your Employment Solutions, we believe in promoting a safe workplace. We employ a lot of good people with a lot of great Utah employers, and we believe their safety is paramount.

Chevron, one of the great companies Your Employment Solutions does business with, recently awarded YES for its safety efforts. YES employees had zero work accidents with Chevron in 2016, the fourth year in a row.

workplace safety award

“It’s rewarding to work with an organization who values safety just as much as we do,” says Jarum Stone, safety and operation manager at YES. “To earn this award 4-years running is an amazing accomplishment. It not only reflects the organization’s emphasis on safety but ultimately it reflects on the hundreds of lives that have NOT been injured at work, and that’s priceless.”

Congratulations to all involved in this extraordinary accomplishment — and especially to the YES staffing employees who made for a safe workplace!

Say YES to Workplace Safety!
Eric Nelson
Marketing Manager
Your Employment Solutions

“I help connect Utah jobseekers to Utah jobs.”

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P.S. Be sure to visit our Utah job board!

Challenges in Staffing

Understanding the Changing Landscape of the Staffing Industry is Critical to Continued Growth

challenges in staffingThe staffing industry today works in a very dynamic business environment, perhaps the most dynamic the industry has seen since its evolution. It no longer only plays the role of simply replacing absentee employees with temporary ones, but has now taken a more strategic role in providing their clients with a variety of employment solutions and services.

These recent indicators provide incredible optimism and excitement for the industry:

  • Education is projected to grow by 15% plus percentage for individuals
  • Industry projections say growth of in the staffing industry will end the year between 5-12% with record revenues in excess of $123 billion dollars
  • 36% of employers will add full time head count with less than 10% saying the will decrease
  • 83% of employers state they will increase compensation and starting wages

While it appears to be wind at our back, sails at full mast, full steam ahead for the industry. The desired horizon is becoming difficult to obtain. Challenges and opportunities plague this dynamic market. Call them growing pains, the function of a growing segment, however you term they are real barriers to the moment of continued growth that the staffing industry desires.

When discussing challenges in the staffing industry there are 3 areas that continually rise to the top of any discussion:

The Decreasing Talent Pool

With record low unemployment numbers, it is becoming more and more difficult to find qualified talent to meet the needs of clients. “Full employment” type conditions have forced a shift in the market from employer’s controlling the balance of work to the employees. Further complicating this balance is the decrease in skilled employees to match the requests of employers. Finding new ways to effectively and efficiently recruit and retain employees has provided difficult and often time very expensive technological challenges.

In order to be successful in this new market staffing agencies are being forced to find ways to separate themselves from their competition in the battle for employee retention. Engagement within the contingent workforce is critical today. Work opportunities abound so wage offerings, diversification of potential assignments along with communication with employees are creating separation within staffing companies. Finding new and creative way to measure retention and promoter scores is a necessity. Utilizing technology to allow applicants to apply, accept and report for jobs is an expectation in the new market place

Understanding and Addressing Millennials in the Workforce.

There is a shift occurring in the potential workforce. In the next 5 years over 50% of potential candidates with be considered millennials. Millennials have a very different view of the world. There are a generation who were wired at birth. They function on instant access to information and gratification. They cut their teeth on I-everything. Their desired states of compensation are driven by time off, social conscious, and the ability to make a difference. Often categorized as lazy or detached, they prefer to solve problems their way, they love to challenge the status quo – often times finding better and more efficient ways to solve problems. If they connect with the mission of a company will become some the most loyal and engaged employees in the organization.

Whatever thought, time, or effort you put into understanding the millennial generation will be worth it. The better an organization is at “getting” them, the more valuable their unique combination of skills, quirks, goals and thought processes will be. Attracting and retaining this up and coming workforce will provide a unique advantage for the firms who embrace their unique sill sets.

Set Expectations and Become Indispensable to Clients

One of the biggest challenges in the industry is managing the skill sets that clients are looking for. Clients are not always aware however of the talent shortage. Armed with industry knowledge and insight, staffing firms can become consultants for their clients. Using supply and demand data helps set realistic expectations for clients. Data will allow you to empower clients and help establish your firm as a valuable and informed resource.

utah staffing industryIntegrating yourself as an extension of you clients recruiting plan allows you to become an indispensable part of your client’s strategic plan. As a staffing firm, if you are not paying attention to how your clients are using technology to communicate and gather information on their hiring end, you are going to miss out on opportunities. Deliver tangible ROI in key performance segments allows you as an agency to move from a transactional need, to an indispensable partner.

Not one of us can change the direction of the wind, but we can always adjust our sails to reach our destination. Barriers, challenges or opportunities which ever your perspective is, understanding the changing landscaping of the staffing industry is critical to continued growth. Differentiating how you will use data, leverage technology to recruit and communicate, while maximizing emergence into a new and diverse workforce will position your organization for success well into the future.

Jeff Arnold
Vice President of Business Development
Your Employment Solutions

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How To Keep a Staffing Company in Check

How You Keep a Staffing Company in Check, Controlling Budgets in an Ever-Changing Staffing Workplace

utah employmentThe staffing industry is unique in many ways. Not a lot of companies have thousands of temporary employees. Typically if a business has thousands of employees then that business is most likely on the S&P 500 and it is most certainly not considered a small business. Your Employment Solutions on the other hand has thousands of employees, is considered a small business, and is most defiantly not on the S&P 500, yet (you never know).

Growing up my father worked in construction, I worked for my dad from about 9 years old up until my mid twenties. I had a number of other jobs when I was going to college but in those years of working I never realized the costs associated with having employees. Employees can be very expensive, there are many more costs then just cutting a paycheck every week. Whatever employees pay in taxes on each paycheck the employer has to pay the same thing. On top of those taxes there are also federal unemployment taxes, state unemployment taxes, federal withholding taxes, state withholding taxes, to name a few. Not to mention the team of people it takes to pay all the employees and all the taxes.

But wait there’s more. To have thousands of employees for our clients we need buildings, electricity, Internet, computers, software, furniture, cars, cell phones, telephones, printers, fax machines, I think you get the idea.

The perfect reader would now be asking himself or herself, wait, with all these expenses…

How Can Your Employment Solutions Possibly Keep Its Doors Open?

Well, I’m glad you asked! The answer can be summed up in two words, lean and tight.

lean-businessLean Business

The definition of lean is, efficient and with no waste. This is the goal with any expense that can be controlled. Take Internet service for example. When I move somewhere new, one of the first things that I do is make sure I have the Internet set up the day I move in. Prior to doing this I shop around with two things in mind, cost and speed.

This is something that we have to consider at all times in our business, what do we NEED in order to conduct business and how much can we afford to spend. This same question is asked about every business expense. We revisit this question regularly to ensure that we are lean. If we are overpaying we are loosing money. If we are paying for something we don’t NEED or use, we are loosing money.

Tight Business

tight business philosphyBy tight I mean to maintain a close watch on who owes us money and when that money is due.

At YES the employees work, YES pays the employees, then the client pays YES. So, between YES paying the employees and when YES gets paid our money is on loan, interest free to our clients. The more employees we have the more money that we are “loaning” out. If we don’t keep a tight grasp on our money and we “loan” too much of it then we won’t have enough to pay our employees. It’s a nasty cycle that can get out of hand pretty fast if we don’t have a tight grasp on our money and a tight leash on our clients.

In staffing there are large portions of money that come and go everyday. To keep the business running lean and tight, one has to know where every penny is going and when every penny is coming.

Trevor Hansen
Finance Manager
Your Employment Solutions

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Competitive Ignorance

How I Lost Because of Competitive Ignorance

competitive ignorance I had prepared for weeks and the big day had arrived.

  • Market research… Check.
  • Competitive advantage… Check.
  • Financial analysis… Check.
  • Proven market-share… Check.

I was perfectly prepared, or so I thought.

Many years ago I was sitting in a conference room and anxiously anticipating the biggest sales pitch of my life. I knew my numbers would win the day. I educated myself of the struggles that my potential client was facing and had solutions prepared for them. I even stepped up a bit and dressed the part.

I stood as high level executives, dressed the way I was dressed, walked into the office. The standard introductions were made and we took our seats and engaged in a great discussion. For the next 90 minutes I answered questions about my staffing company’s history, locations, size, expertise, industries served, value, price, customer service, customization, marketing, asset availability and other important topics. I was on fire! I could see that they were thoroughly impressed with my preparation and even more impressed what we could offer. I was sure I had em!!

The 90 minutes flew by until that last comment fell from the senior most executive’s lips, “We are evaluating many companies to meet our needs and we will let you know within a few short days who we award the contract to.” Again, pleasantries were exchanged and I left the conference room with a smile on my face.

I still remember everything about that sales moment. The clutter on the desk, the slightly crooked pictures hanging on the wall, and the plastic aroma coming from the production area. I recall with clarity the exact pricing and I even recall how impressed the executives were knowing how closely our services aligned with their needs.

The Competition

Then, a short time later, from the other end of the phone line came these words, “Reed, you have a very impressive company and its was an honor getting to know you, however, we have decided to maintain our relationship with our current provider, we will reach out to you if anything changes.”

What just happened?!

competitve-ignoranceI was suffering from “Competitive Ignorance.” My market plan, price point and services were superior and I was ignorant enough to think that I would get the deal based on the fact that I was way better on paper. I was ignorant to think that my numbers would trump a long lasting relationship. The winner, that day had long lasting relationship that superseded every advantage I had. I spent all my time preparing for a financial discussion and proving our value and lost. Lost big!

Relationships are, in my experience the single most important ingredient for gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage. Branding, marketing strategies, price, adaptation, ingenuity, and service all play a supplemental role to relationships.

This experience quickly taught me that relationships build confidence, confidence builds trust and trust builds relationships. Strong relationships will tell you where your shortcomings are and give you time to fix them, and in most cases will even help you improve where you need it.

I will forever be grateful for that humbling experience. It echo’s in my business psyche almost daily, reminding me that my clients need more than fancy spreadsheets, balloons and confetti. They need relationships.

But the Story Doesn’t End There

Fast forward 8 years… I was experiencing “sales déjà vu” meeting with the same group in the same room answering the same questions… But this time, I had 7+ years of relationship building under my belt and this time I wasn’t ignorant to the importance of relationships. I was perfectly prepared and…. I WON!

Reed Laws
President
Your Employment Solutions

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Your Employment Solutions is Utah’s premier staffing agency!