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Hurricanes are strong storms that can be life-threatening as well as cause serious property-threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds and tornadoes. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane. Know the difference between the threat levels and plan accordingly. Know the difference between watches & warnings. Hurricane Watch is issued when hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed. Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities. Follow these tips to make sure you and your family are prepared to stay safe during and after a hurricane.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A HURRICANE
During hurricane preparedness week, and together with safety awareness month, Flexicrew wanted to stress the importance of knowing when NOT to drive in standing water.
Most flood-related deaths and injuries could be avoided if people who come upon areas covered with water followed this simple advice: TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN.
The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water.
If you come to an area that is covered with water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. This is especially true at night, when your vision is more limited.
Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded road, TURN AROUND DON’T DROWN.
Follow these safety rules:
When approaching water on a roadway, always remember Turn Around Don’t Drown.
It was only a matter of time, in a tough job market, that Twitter would be flooded with both job seekers and job offerers. The way they find each other is through certain key hashtags, the best of which we have laid out for you to help you in your quest for employment. Some of these will give you broad search results and take a while to sift through, but a job is waiting for you on the other end.
It’s also a good idea to search for specific jobs like #welder #receptionist #oilfield and combine that with one of the above. We’ll be posting, so keep an eye out!
June is National Safety Month and we want to see our employees working safely on the jobsite and of course show it off on our Facebook page. As our recruiters conduct random site audits and jobsite visits, we’re going to be snapping a quick picture of one employee or a small groups who are working safely.
Photos will be judged by a committee. Contest will last from June 1- June 30 and winners will be announced July 7th.
1st PLACE:$25 Gift Card-Contract Employee(s) in Photo
2nd PLACE: $20 Gift Card-Contract Employee(s) in Photo
3rd PLACE: $10 Gift Card-Contract Employee(s) in Photo
We’re excited to announce that we’re rolling out a brand new Employee Referral Program.
Refer a friend to Flexicrew and make sure they tell us who sent them. After they work for 90 days, just give us a call and you’re qualified to receive a $25 gift card. It’s that easy.
So start referring today!
What is an “On-site” and how can your business benefit?
The On-site management program looks different for every company. It might consist of simply checking in employees and getting them assigned to lines at the start of each shift. It could be as extensive as a full time on-site representative, handling all staffing, timekeeping and disciplinary actions. The extent of the program is determined by your company’s individual situation.
Do you need a more thorough, comprehensive hiring program than you are willing and/or able manage?
The Flexicrew on-site program begins with a 3 part investigation in order to understand your company’s needs. With information from your key internal staff members, Flexicrew designs a hiring program that fits with your requirements and workplace culture. Understanding your issues and how your company operates and then building a solid partnership is key.
Following are some benefits clients with on site programs have experienced:
”Working with Flexicrew has been great. The service department is like none other than we have worked with. Response time and customer support are outstanding. These guys will keep you up and running.”
What exactly is an on-site management program?
It is a program that helps you manage your supplemental staffing needs or assists you with overwhelming hiring needs. The program can simply assist you in coordinating supplemental staff at the start of a shift or can be as extensive as a full time coordinator(s) handling an entire hiring program.
Do we have to provide the office space and equipment?
In some cases the client company does need to provide a work space, but for less extensive programs it might only require Flexicrew to manage the staff in the lunch room or by the timeclocks. If the program requires a full time on site representative, Flexicrew will provide computers and other office supplies, but will work with you on the best way to set up the partnership.
Why use an on-site management program rather than just hiring employees myself?
• More time for your supervisors to concentrate on their core business activities
• Reduced turnover due to our screening process
• Increase in production rates
• Flexibility, as we can ramp up or down very quickly
• Save money by not having to keep staff on in downtimes
Do we pay for the on-site recruiter?
You are billed for the employees we place, either at an hourly rate or a direct hire fee depending on our agreement. The onsite recruiter/coordinator is part of the program and as a standard is not directly charged to your company.
When it comes to protective footwear on the job, no single work boot meets the needs of all employees. Every jobsite or work environment is different, and different occupations require distinct, purpose-built features. Whether you purchase PPE directly for employees, offer them vouchers or facilitate on-site mobile truck visits, it is imperative that you coach your workers on the proper foot protection for their specific working conditions.
To help guide you and your team to the right footwear, here are 14 common occupations and some key features to look for in work boots for each:
Bricklayers/Masons. Look for 6-to-8-inch lace-up boots for ankle protection and support and cushioned outsoles/footbeds for comfort on concrete. Select boots with oil-tanned leathers for resistance to lime and calcium.
Carpenters. For these workers, seek boots featuring a welt outsole with shank and defined heel for climbing ladders. Choose boots with waterproof leather for outdoor work.
Plaster/Drywall Contractors. These specialists often wear boots with wedge outsoles for traction. You may extend the life of these boots with toe armor or boot bumpers. Choose oil-tanned leathers for resistance to lime and calcium.
Construction Workers. These craftsmen need tight-grain, oil-tanned leather for resistance to hydraulic fluid and wet/dry cycles outdoors. Select harder soles for rough duty, with proper tread for uneven terrain.
HVAC Professionals. Like construction workers, HVAC technicians perform at multiple sites and in varying conditions throughout the day. Look for boots that are waterproof for outdoor conditions with cushioned outsoles/footbeds for comfort on concrete. Also, choose boots with flat outsoles that don’t track dirt when going into and out of homes.
Farmers/Ranchers. These individuals should seek pull-on or lace-up boots for ankle protection and support. Look for oil-tanned, waterproof leathers for exposure to wetness and fertilizers. Farmers and ranchers working in rough and tumble environments should select boots with a more aggressive tread for traction.
Truck Drivers. Choose boots with lighter weight leather for flexibility and comfort while driving, and harder soles that wear better on metal steps and asphalt. Cushioned outsoles/footbeds reduce shock absorption.
Electricians. Electrical hazard protection is, of course, a must. Beyond that, electricians should look for boots with a welt sole and shank, and a defined heel for climbing ladders. Cushioned outsoles/footbeds add comfort on concrete.
Landscapers. Oil-tanned, waterproof leathers stand up to exposure to fertilizers. Landscapers should choose boots with strong heel counters to reduce walkover in wet, uneven terrain. Look for flat tread, wedge outsoles that won’t tear up new installations.
Mechanics and Machinists. Select boots or shoes with oil/slip-resistant urethane outsoles for traction, and direct-attach or sealed-welt construction for resistance to petroleum products.
Well Drillers. Consider logger-style lace-up boots with strong waterproof leather for wet conditions. Hard outsoles with deep cleats are ideal for grip in loose soil.
Plumbers. These specialists should seek boots with waterproof leathers, supporting shank and defined heels for climbing ladders. Flat soles pick up less dirt and are ideal for going into and out of homes.
Safety precautions for cold weather work: More than just clothes
“There is no such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing.” ~Norwegian Proverb
While wearing proper (clean, dry and insulated) clothing is crucial for working outdoors in cold weather, it’s not the only precaution you need to take. There are many less obvious preventative measures you should take to ensure a safe work site in cold weather.
Bulky clothing tends to limit one’s mobility, causing falls and other accidents. Be aware of your surroundings and adjust your work style according to your extra clothing.
Dehydration is often overlooked; the importance of wearing protective clothing is always encouraged, but many forget the importance of drinking water. Wearing multiple layers of clothing causes workers to sweat, even in the cold temperatures. Pumping extra fluids is necessary, but also make sure they’re the right ones. Coffee may look like the best option – warm with a boost – but caffeine is a diuretic. Drink water, and lots of it.
Speaking of caffeine – other beverages, such as soda and energy drinks, shouldn’t be consumed in excess while working in cold weather. While tired employees run a greater risk of getting injured on the job site, these drinks make you jittery and cause you to crash once the caffeine wears off.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers advice to employers and employees on taking necessary precautions to prevent and treat cold-related health problems:
Once upon a time, the idea of social media recruitment was revolutionary. Now, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn are now some of the most prevalent job searching tools currently available.
According to Staffing Industry Analysts, as many as 94 percent of employers and recruiters in the United States have said they plan to use social media in their efforts to find new employees.
Two ways that Flexicrew uses social media tools are:
When hiring for Flexicrew, we use Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote new openings. We also used these social channels to give candidates a view into the company culture. As staffing professionals, it’s a great idea to use social media to promote your client’s company culture and unique selling points, making their jobs more attractive to the best candidates.
Everyone hates spam emails. They pollute your inbox, they could have viruses, and they take our precious time to delete. I’m struggling with this very issue right now and I just came across something that I found very useful. I didn’t know about this previously, so maybe some of you didn’t either!
How to Report spam. Before you delete your spam, forward your spam to: firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the Spam box for FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Mail sent to this box is investigated. If it is indeed spam, the original sender can be charged $500 per email. The more mail they get from different users but same spammer, the more it’s likely to be investigated.
You can also report spam to anti-spam organizations such as SpamCop and KnujOn, who will report spammers to ISPs and government agencies.
i. “Could you tell me about yourself?” In just one minute, you need to make clear why you’d be a great person for the job.
ii. “What’s your greatest weakness”? Some employers are now using a variation of that: “What do you suck most at?” The informality makes you more likely to respond honestly.
iii. “Could you tell me about a problem you solved?” You need a one-minute story that showcases how your skills, ability or drive would be valuable in your target job.
iv. The question you fear most. Of course, it’s different for each applicant. Examples: “Why did you leave your previous employer?” “Why have you been unemployed so long?” Or it may be a technical question that would reveal that your skills for the job are marginal.
Practice these. Know what you’re going to say beforehand and you’ll be better prepared at some of these interview than your competition!
We are elated to announce, and it’s been independently shown, that Flexicrew is a five-star staffing firm. Flexicrew has once again earned the Best in Staffing Award. For 2 years running, Flexicrew has been in the top 2% of all U.S. staffing firms in customer satisfaction based on an independent survey and reviews from actual customers. Here are a few of the good things our clients are saying:
“I’ve been very impressed with the service provided from Flexicrew. I’ve been in operations for the past 20 years and have dealt with many temp agencies. Flexicrew has by far exceeded my expectations with great service and attention to detail. It’s nice to have a partner that you can depend on.”
“Outstanding service and support.”
“I’ve used Flexicrew on several occasions, even on short notice, on weekends, etc, and always had my needs met.”
“I have worked with the Flexicrew staff for years and they are one of my most trusted vendors.”
“Flexicrew has provided us with great service! They are always available and visit our facility at least once a week to check on our employees. The screening that is done provides us with a higher quality of employees.”
“My personal and company experience with Flexicrew in Mobile, AL and Baton Rouge, LA has been excellent. We have hired quite a few folks through Flexicrew with overall good success. I am very satisfied with the value and services I receive from Flexicrew.”
“Flexicrew is always prompt in addressing our staffing needs, including after hours, weekends and emergency call outs. They recruit hard for us and are unfailing in their attention to detail.”
“Flexicrew takes the time to screen every candidate to ensure that those offered for interviews have skills/traits applicable to the work they will be performing.”
Since 2008, Flexicrew has been providing recruiting and staffing services to the Southeast US and further afield. Beginning as a small family-owned and run organization, Flexicrew is now proud to be known as one of the fasted growing staffing companies in the region.
Flexicrew specializes in light/heavy industrial, marine and port related staffing, construction, manufacturing and distribution/warehousing, and any skilled trades and general labor type positions.
Flexicrew has branch locations in Mobile, AL; Pascagoula, MS; New Orleans, LA; Lafayette, LA; Baton Rouge, LA; Lake Charles, LA; Gainesville, GA; Birmingham, AL; Jacksonville, FL; Savannah, GA; Tulsa, OK; Houston, TX.
Gravity never forgets. As soon as you set foot on the ladder’s first rung and pull your body off the ground, gravity works to bring you back to earth. Therefore, it’s no surprise that ladder safety begins from the ground up.
Start with a good foundation
Proper ladder setup will help prevent slips and falls. Place the base on a firm, solid surface. Avoid slippery, wet or soft surfaces. If you must put the ladder on a soft surface, place a board under the ladder’s feet to provide firm footing. Make sure the top of the ladder has firm support as well.
Never lean a ladder against a window pane or other unstable surface. If you’re using a straight or extension ladder, the angle of the ladder is the next critical safety factor. A straight or extension ladder should be placed 1 foot away from the surface it rests against for every 4 feet of ladder height. For example, if the ladder is 4 feet high, the bottom of the ladder should be 1 foot away from the support surface.
If you use a ladder to access a roof or platform, make sure the ladder extends at least 3 feet over the roof or platform edge. Be sure to securely fasten straight and extension ladders to the upper support. If you have angled the ladder properly and still have doubts about its stability, have someone hold the ladder before climbing up.
If you’re using a step ladder, be sure to open it completely before you climb. If you have to use a step ladder near a doorway, lock or barricade the door and post signs so no one will open it and knock you off the ladder.
Climb with care
Never climb with equipment in your hands. Use your pockets, equipment belt, or a tool pouch and raise heavy objects with a hand line. If you forget something, always climb down the ladder to retrieve it yourself; don’t have someone toss it up to you. And never ask someone to climb up your ladder to give you supplies. It is dangerous to exceed the weight limits that a specific ladder can handle.
When you descend a ladder, practice the same safety rules. Face the ladder, keep your body square and hold on to the rungs. Lastly, step off at the bottom rung of the ladder. Never jump off of a ladder.
Think before you carry
Before you start to haul a ladder around, evaluate the area where you’ll be working. Ladders can be heavy and unwieldy. You can strike another person or object, or hit electrical power lines. Make the ladder as compact as possible before transporting it. Carry it horizontally while tilting it higher in front and lower in back. If the ladder is particularly long and heavy, get a coworker to help you carry it.
Follow the rules
Experts also warn about ladder use in bad weather. Descend immediately if high winds, rain or other inclement weather begins. Wind force can blow you off the ladder. Rain can make the rungs and the ground slippery. Bitter cold can make metal ladders more brittle and can cause other structural damage. If you encounter bad weather while on a ladder, do not speed up to finish the job and risk injury. Wait to finish the job until conditions are once again safe.
Remember, don’t let gravity get you down. Practice ladder safety rules every time you climb to make your work easier, faster and safer.
What is “payrolling?” and how can it help my business?
Flexicrew works with many businesses who have chosen not to bring on an employee as a company hire, rather they “payroll” the employee through us. That means that Flexicrew is the employer of record and manages all payroll expenses such as taxes, unemployment, and worker’s compensation.
Payrolling works well when there are large projects with a specified time frame. You know the employees that you like and trust and you want them on that project because you can trust that they will do the job right. But bringing them on permanent to your payroll isn’t an option. Flexicrew will hire these employees and send them to work for you in a seamless transaction. This situation usually costs a fraction of what a normal recruited staffing arrangement would cost.
Payrolling also allows your company to bring back the skills of experienced former employees or retirees and utilize the services of consultants, interns or specialized independent staff without legal worries.
Flexicrew’s payroll solutions can be your perfect alternative to downsizing. You can continue to utilize the valuable skills of your employees while they remain on our payroll. We will provide your company’s payroll, record keeping, filing of insurance claims and government reporting- for one or one hundred employees for days, weeks, months or longer.
Find out more? Call Flexicrew 866.720.FLEX (3539)
Safe Teen Driving
Learning to drive is often considered a rite of passage for teenagers. But with the reward of being a new driver comes real risk. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, taking the lives of eight teens a day. CDC’s Injury Center is committed to preventing teen crashes and related deaths and injuries.
According to a CDC study, the annual number of 16- and 17-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes decreased by 36% from 2004 to 2008. The study states that graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws, or teen driving laws, that exist in 49 states can be credited at least in part for the reduction in death rates. These laws limit driving under high risk conditions for newly-licensed drivers, such as driving at night and transporting other teen passengers.
However, since one out of every three teen deaths is the result of a motor vehicle crash, further reductions in teen crashes and related injuries are essential. CDC’s new “Parents Are the Key” campaign and “Policy Impact: Teen Driver Safety” issue brief can help parents, policymakers, and others take steps to save young lives.
“Parents Are the Key” Campaign Launched Nationally
CDC developed the “Parents Are the Key” campaign to help inform parents across the nation about the key role they can—and should—play in protecting their teen drivers. Individuals and groups can use the “Parents Are the Key” campaign materials to help parents learn about the most dangerous driving situations for their young driver and how to avoid them. All of the campaign materials—including a parent-teen safe driving agreement, posters, fact sheets, video, social media tools, implementation guide, and more—are available free of charge at www.cdc.gov/parentsarethekey
On July 2, 2013, the Treasury Department announced that it is delaying the employer and insurer reporting obligations under the ACA until 2015. This reporting delay effectively shields employers from the risk of any mandate-related penalties, at least for 2014. All over the country, businesses have breathed a sigh of relief and put their ACA compliance initiatives on the back burner.
But do you really know what changed on July 2?
What you do not know could hurt you.
As an employer, you want to make financially sound decisions that provide for your core employees while implementing new policies and procedures that ensure compliance with all the ACA’s mandates – not just the act’s reporting obligations. With knowledgeable guidance, you can protect your firm.
Where do you start?
Procedures still must be implemented, and Flexicrew can help you implement these procedures in a cost-effective manner. We know that every business is unique; simply providing an out-of-the-box solution will not work, especially when dealing with complicated legislation.
Following, you will find information on the Affordable Care Act, providing you with both the answers to your questions as well as options for the road ahead. If you are concerned about the impact that the Affordable Care Act will have on your business, we are here to help.
Give Flexicrew a call today at 866.720.3539 We understand the ACA, and our flexible workforce model can help you reduce compliance costs while reaping the benefits of a flexible workforce strategy. We can help you keep focused on growing your business – not on the compliance mandates of the ACA.
What You Do Not Know About the Health Care Reform Postponement Could Hurt You.
Very little of the ACA has actually changed, and time is still running out. Employers:
As January 1, 2014 approaches, the questions wrapped about ACA compliance become more confusing and urgent. Employees will be eligible for health insurance exchange coverage, and the government will accept their own representations about their income status and the availability of affordable and comprehensive coverage.
This can expose you to governmental audits and other forms of scrutiny. In order to fully protect yourself, you still need to determine
Very little has changed.
“Large employers” must comply with the ACA’s employer mandate. That has not changed with the postponement. You still have to decide to either offer coverage to your full-time employees or pay penalties. If you choose to:
The decision to simply “pay” the penalty is tempting, but extremely costly. In most cases, there are other consequences to this decision, including:
If you are considered a “large” employer (or are on the cusp of being a “large” employer), there are steps you can take to reduce costs and headcount. You can:
Hiring more part-time and variable-hour employees and then limiting the number of hours they work may seem like a perfect option. However, if done:
Leveraging freelancers and independent contractors may also seem like the perfect solution; however:
January 1, 2014 is just around the corner; you can’t wait another minute. The recent postponement in employer mandate reporting and penalties will have no effect on other ACA provisions or their effective dates.
In order to fully protect yourself, you still need to track your full-time, part-time and variable-hour employees. This continuous monitoring takes understanding and it takes time – time you do not have. Flexicrew has the solution. Leveraging our temporary workforce solutions is the best way to reduce both expense and risk of ACA.
We are already subject to ACA’s requirements – having previously determined our “large employer” status. Having a large number of variable-hour employees, we have cost-effectively set up the processes for the continuous tracking and documentation that is required for full compliance.
If you currently manage a population of part-time and variable-hour workers, tracking, documenting and reporting their hours will be daunting. This responsibility can be alleviated by simply leveraging the efficiencies built into Flexicrew’s temporary workforce solutions.
In addition, you can be assured we will offer the temporary employees who are servicing your business comprehensive and affordable health care coverage – made possible by the increased bargaining power that comes with our large workforce.
Don’t waste more time, contact Flexicrew today.
Anyone involved in the construction industry would know that construction safety accidents are part and parcel of the industry. However, this only means that you should be doing all you can to make sure that they don’t occur.
The next best thing to completely eliminating accidents is reducing them, or at least reducing the risk of them occurring.
If you want to achieve this goal, you have to first understand what the main causes of accidents and deaths are on US construction sites. Providing a solution to a problem is not impossible without first knowing the causes of a problem.
You can divide all construction safety accidents into 4 main categories, listed below:
Electricity is such an essential part of our daily lives that we sometimes tend to take it for granted. More importantly, we take for granted how dangerous a safety hazard such as electricity can really be. The OSHA or otherwise known as the Occupational Safety & Health Administration says that workers should not work near an electrical power circuit unless they are wearing adequate protection. Below are a number of hazards that electricity can pose:
– Contact with power lines
– Equipment not used properly
– Extension cords not used properly
Construction always involves people climbing great heights. In the American construction industry, the leading cause of deaths is falls, and as a result, it must be treated seriously and appropriately. All construction safety plans must contain provisions in order to protect workers from falling from dangerous heights. Here are a couple of hazards to manage:
– Unprotected sides
– Bad scaffold construction
– Portable ladders not used properly
This category refers to dangerous contact between humans and heavy equipment. In the great majority of cases, cranes and trucks are the main cause of accidents and deaths. Apart from heavy vehicles, you must also watch out for falling objects and unstable walls.
Contrary to popular belief, cave-ins are not the leading cause of accidents and fatalities when it comes to trenching. Here are a couple of other hazards to watch out for:
– Not having enough oxygen in a closed space (which leads to asphyxiation)
– Toxic fumes
– Unexpected contact with underground pipes and lines
Now that you know the leading causes of Construction Safety Accidents, it’s time to make sure that you are aware of your surroundings and to report any issues to your supervisor or to Flexicrew.
Get the inside scoop on new openings: Flexicrew works with a variety of companies. Many businesses turn to us to fill certain positions and never advertise the opening themselves.
Save time: Flexicrew specializes in position types, industries, and even companies. Thus, we know the job market and know the cultures of the companies for which we are recruiting.
Put flexibility and work in the same sentence: If you are looking for time to live life while still making ends meet, working with a staffing company could be the best career move you ever make. Staffing companies place you in part-time or contract work that fits your life. Maybe you want to take a month vacation or maybe you need the summers off to watch your kids while school’s out. Either way, Flexicrew can help you find a project or company that is right for you.
Work part time and get benefits: When you go on temporary contract assignments for Flexicrew, you are employed by us and could be eligible for vacation, holidays, health insurance, and more.
Go from contract to permanent: According to the American Staffing Association, about 75 percent of temporary and contract employees move on to permanent jobs. Thus, a temp job can be a great way to try out a company’s culture.
How Flexicrew can help your business stay legal
With all the pitfalls awaiting business people just in the payroll function, why don’t more companies use staffing agencies?
“I walked out much more conscious of details than when I walked in,” she said. “I was relieved because we already complied with everything they talked about that applied to us. But I was more concerned as a result of knowing about the small things that can cost big bucks.”
How much can mistakes cost you? Read more…
Seemingly trivial paperwork errors on an I-9 can cost a company $250 per violation. Even something as simple as the employee signing the wrong place on the form can cost $50! Did you know that the IRS does not allow any of the fields in a W-4 to be crossed out if there is an error on the form? Although the list of snares is much longer, little mistakes like this can cause big grief for a company.
It’s one thing if you have the resources to support an accounting department to stay on top of the latest in rulings and laws. But if you’re stretched thin, you might want to think about letting us take on that burden for you!
Of course Flexicrew can supply you with employees; we can also put people you hire on our payroll. We call that a “payroll service,” but, unlike ADP, we offer much more. Although the employee works for you, they are carried on our books as an employee and we will take care of the payroll law and other employment related compliance matters for you!
Is the cost of a misplaced signature really worth $50? Call Flexicrew today to learn how we can save you time and money.
Your company has to approach hiring for any new project after careful analysis of existing resources. There are two main considerations— choosing the best third party staffing agencies and ensuring only quality staff are selected. The first may not be an issue if you have ongoing positive relationships with outside agencies. Lacking such relationships and experiences will only add to the challenge with your project. The critical components with any project are the people tasked with project ownership, execution, and management. There are other variables to know, so let’s discuss three suggestions to make your next project a success.
It is likely you have experienced people who did not mesh well with the culture in your business. This situation is subjective, but most people have a good idea about it. The reasons are not important. What matters is the ideal fit is not there and it causes problems. So naturally you want every candidate for your project to blend-in and work well with your culture. This presumes that you or others have a good grasp on the defining characteristics of your organization’s culture.
All workplaces have their personalities and this is part of culture. The ability for project members to succeed with minimal friction is even more important. Consider that any project forces team members to work closely with each other. Your team is new, they do not know each other, and they have to hit the ground running.
While you may consider this obvious, think about your internal customers and the project. A new project may involve entirely new areas in which your company has little to no experience. If that is the case, then you must bring on staff that has the right experience. Then you must ensure your staffing agency will find qualified candidates. Extending the interview process to include screening performed in-house can prevent hiring mistakes.
Have an open mind about qualifications and experience levels. One of the classic mistakes with hiring staff is looking for too wide a range of skill sets. This approach prolongs the search and may result in ineffective candidates. The key is identifying the most critical knowledge and skills. Ultimately, it may be optimal to hire extra staff if it results in the expert knowledge you need.
Leadership and Project Management
Two critical components fall in the category of leadership. First, any large project should have an outsourced project manager. Second, you need a primary stakeholder from your company to provide oversight and management. Industry experience has shown that a project manager can make or break the outcome. These two team members will work closely together with the project manager reporting directly to the primary management oversight.
Successful projects require careful planning based on the best situation analysis. Plan well in advance of your ideal start date and allow time for finding the most qualified team members. An emphasis on constant communication will give your project the oil it needs to run smoothly.
The American workplace is about to get grayer.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans between the ages of 45 and 60 say they plan to delay retirement, according to a report to be released Friday by the Conference Board. That was a steep jump from just two years earlier, when the group found that 42% of respondents expected to put off retirement.
The increase was driven by the financial losses, layoffs and income stagnation sustained during the last few years of recession and recovery, said Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at the organization and a co-author of the report, which is based on a 2012 survey of 15,000 individuals.
Matt Stern, 51 years old, a former analyst at a Manhattan hedge fund, met with a financial planner in December, days before he was laid off and the fund announced its imminent liquidation. At the meeting, the planner projected that Mr. Stern could retire at age 62. But now, with his assets down 10% to 20% from their 2008 peak, he is looking for a job and retooling his expectations for retirement.
“I might have to prioritize income over whatever calls to me on other levels,” such as travel or being involved in nonprofit organizations, Mr. Stern said.
The labor force has been getting older for decades for reasons that range from longer life spans and better health to companies’ replacement of defined-benefit pensions with higher-risk 401(k) plans.
But the stark increase in workers expecting to stay on the job—now 62%—was a surprise, Mr. Levanon said. After all, the stock market has largely earned back its losses, home prices are rising, and the unemployment rate is creeping down, all of which suggests workers should be feeling more secure.
Many middle-aged Americans, though, drew down their savings during those lean years and now find that leaving the work force on their original timeline is no longer viable, he said.
They are also facing low interest rates, an uncertain future for Social Security, and a lower likelihood of receiving employer health insurance after retirement.
The uptick may be good news for some industries—notably utilities and power companies—that face disruptive skills shortages when older workers retire.
However, senior employees can be expensive for companies, both in salary and health-care costs.
In addition, amid anemic economic growth, these workers may block the pipeline for younger employees trying to advance their careers.
In the long run, that concern is misplaced, said Kevin Cahill, an economist at the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College.
“Keeping older Americans in the work force is a good thing,” he said. “Those workers have more financial security, employers have a larger labor pool to draw from, and we have more people to produce goods and services. There may be bumps like the recent contraction in the labor market, but we need to look beyond the short term.”
Ultimately, many workers will still retire on schedule, Mr. Levanon added. Research shows that intentions don’t necessarily align with reality, and people often end up retiring as they had expected because of health reasons, job losses or simply a miscalculation of their own desires.