Contingent Workforce Management Solutions
Small to midsize companies with a large contingent workforce often compensate for the increased workload by hiring more internal staff, but is this the best option?
In Spokane, WA, BERG Companies manufactures a suite of camp related products and services out of their 100,000 square foot facility. At any given time, their 220+ staff members and 70+ temporary employees work with BERG’s shelters, tents, and water systems which are easily transportable, lightweight, energy efficient, and re-configurable. Heidi Madsen, BERG’s HR Director spoke about the struggles of working with large groups of temporary employees.
“Administratively speaking, when you get to a certain number of temp employees, it becomes a huge hassle –everything from managing employee issues, to paycheck discrepancies and timecard approvals. It was especially challenging because we have to keep a clear distinction between permanent and temporary employees. If you get more 30-40 temps it gets crazy, and you need someone to help manage it.”
Using temporary employees presents its own unique challenges, and most companies see an addition to the HR department as their only option. When BERG received large projects that lasted for an extended period of time, they needed to quickly ramp up their workforce. The speedy ramp ups were nothing new, but handling onboarding, training, and shift starts were becoming difficult over the phone.
BERG had a great working partnership with Atlas Staffing for many years, so together, Atlas Staffing and BERG leadership collaborated to develop a pilot for an on-premise program. Don Myers, CEO of BERG realized that this solution would provide better service for BERG’s growing needs and allow the company to hone in on what was important to them.
“I don’t think we looked at staffing as a problem before, it was just the pain of hiring people. We knew we needed a solution that could manage and maintain a certain percentage of temporary employees while also having the certainty that it would be done well. Once we had the on-premise program in place, we could take our focus off of that piece of the puzzle knowing that it would be done efficiently and effectively.”
Once Atlas and BERG decided to try out the on-premise program, they never looked back. Atlas was able to identify pain points in the hiring and on-boarding process, and the flexibility of having a dedicated on-premise representative made starting new temps seamless with the ongoing operations.
Atlas also took daily correspondence to the next level with detailed reports customized to the requirements of the human resources department and the BERG leadership team. This included up to date information on every new hire’s shift and department, as well as EEOC reporting. Beyond that, they helped develop a system to track turnover.
In order to make improvements and increase retention, every time someone has left or was let go, the reason for doing so would be recorded. Madsen expresses that, “Now that we have the on-premise program, we don’t replicate the problems as much. When the Rep from Atlas is on-site, they understand the problems and challenges and they are able to recruit better. Everything from relationships with the supervisors to understanding the culture of our company, it all makes a difference in the people that Atlas brings in.”
Joshua McKee, Atlas Staffing’s Founder and CEO, describes how being on-premise has enabled Atlas to fine-tune their hiring process for BERG. Beyond the tangibles, being on-premise allows Atlas Staffing’s Coordinator to build personal relationships with the supervisors who they’re staffing for.
“By being on-site, our On-Premise Recruiter is able to spend dedicated time every week with supervisors and managers. This allows us to easily find out how are our Staffing Associates are doing and check-in to make sure each individual is progressing according to expectations or if additional coaching is necessary. We find that being on-premise allows us to be more proactive, which has allowed us, in many cases, to stop attrition before it happens.”
But it’s not just the supervisors who are benefiting from on-site. The employees are thrilled that they are getting stable office hours and instant access to support for any issues that they have.
Atlas has also jumped in with both feet and has shown a unified front with BERG Leadership. Now all BERG employees, not just the temporary ones, know that they are in sync with the same goals in mind.
Myers states, “When Atlas is there attending weekly and quarterly meetings, joining us at baseball nights, or our Christmas party –when they are participating above and beyond – it shows that we are on the same page trying to get temps full-time jobs, that’s so important.”
Having an on-premise program has allowed BERG to keep their own human resources department small and eliminate the cost of increasing their own staff. Myers added, “Heidi has been able to handle a 1-woman show BECAUSE she has the support of Atlas, especially in an area that oscillates so much.”
Having a dedicated on-premise coordinator can help ease the administrative burden that comes with a large contingent workforce. In addition to reducing costly internal salaries, supervisors will have the assurance that they are getting the right people for their department, and the temporary staff will be more likely to stay onboard.