“Unemployment Do’s and Don’ts for Staffing Companies”

These days staffing needs are so prominent that there’s an entire industry built around it. As a professional in the staffing industry, it is your job to assist in placing qualified and skilled candidates into positions that benefit both the company and the employee.

The candidates you find are ready to work and willing to accept jobs offered to them, but recruiters must also realize that there are some that are collecting unemployment benefits that are not following Unemployment Insurance (UI) requirements. Not being aware of this can hurt your staffing agency’s bottom line, so it’s important to understand the do’s and don’ts for your staffing company regarding unemployment. These staffing company tips for unemployment can help you reduce your costs and possibly lead to increased revenues for everyone.

DON’T: Forget to ask the right questions on your application and in interviews. Placing the wrong candidate in a position can lead to increased turnover and unemployment costs, so you want to be sure you hire the best person for the job to save yourself the time, stress, and having to pay out unemployment costs at a later date.

DO: Ask the right questions upfront. Even though you’re the interviewer, you should be just as prepared as the candidate in what you ask and think about the ideal answers you want to hear. Provide yourself with ammunition to fight unemployment claims if they arise down the road by asking questions and discussing things like travel distance to and from work, weather/working conditions the candidate can expect, wages, shift preference and availability, etc. The candidates answers, along with what you know about the position you’re hiring for, should give you an idea of whether they’re the right candidate for the job.

DON’T: Forget to check the unemployment laws in your state. Certain state laws are in place to protect the employer/staffing agency so that the claimant cannot duck out of your job offer. You should be able to find your state’s regulations regarding the candidate’s work search, updated contact information, the labor department’s right to contact you after an employment term ends, and continuing contact if you are being charged on their unemployment claim.

DO: Keep up-to-date and accurate records of all contact you make with a candidate/unemployment claimant and your job offer to them. On a simple spreadsheet, track your contact method, phone number/email, date and time of attempt, and whether you reached them or left a message. If you are a staffing agency that deals with hundreds or thousands of claims per year, an UI cost-management software database system is probably more efficient.

DON’T: Forget to educate potential employees on any quirks of the job. Each client may have a unique work culture or special terms of the assignment. Remember that a solid understanding of the role can ensure the success and longevity of the company and the employee; don’t set anyone up to fail and contribute to unemployment costs!

DO: Provide a very clear assignment sheet that outlines what an employee should expect in the job. Thorough communication about the position’s tasks (in writing that the candidate can sign off on when they accept the assignment) will greatly help out if the former employee ever files a claim.

DON’T: Fight every unemployment claim that comes in. Constantly making frivolous protests can give you a bad reputation with the state UI agency and hearings officers. Plus, it’s a waste of your time to fight unwinnable claims when you could be concentrating on hiring a better replacement!

DO: Keep track of all of your claims. Regularly run reports on them and consider sorting out employees that may be the most liable to the least and use this as a hotlist for when you’re ready to put temporary or seasonal employees back to work. This solution works on two levels- it helps fill your openings and eliminate potential unemployment costs.

DON’T: Try to manage this all on your own. There are resources such as UI Steward or Unemployment Tracker that can help you be more effective at managing this crucial cost!

Unemployment Insurance may seem like a burden, but it is the cost of doing business. Luckily, limiting high employee turnover and costly UI claims in the staffing industry are factors that can be controlled.

These unemployment tips for your staffing company (and there are many more) should help reduce the costs of UI, ultimately giving you an advantage over your competition, and making you more profitable. Visit us on the web at www.unemploymenttracker.com for more information or to schedule a demo of our Unemployment Cost Management software.