manager working in warehouse

Safely hiring temporary staff during COVID

“During one of the worst crises ever to face our country, staffing agencies are playing a vital role in helping to ensure the flow of essential goods and services the American people need to weather the storm.”

Richard Wahlquist, president and CEO of the American Staffing Association (ASA), of which we are a member, made this comment at the end of March. Heading toward Winter 2020, the pandemic shows no signs of decreasing. Since September, indicators tracking COVID virus circulation and associated illnesses have been increasing nationally.

As the number of people developing COVID increases so does the number of positions organizations need to fill. They’re facing greater demand for their products and services, while seeing a rise in employees who:

  • have contracted COVID;
  • are caring for someone with it; or
  • are quarantining because they may have been exposed to it.

Hiring appropriately now means you need to be comfortable that those you hire are COVID negative and act properly to stay that way and the staffing company you work with has structures in place to help ensure that happens. With more than 15 years’ experience placing temporary employees in short- and long-term distribution, manufacturing and light industrial positions throughout central Virginia, we’re able to meet these more complex staffing needs. And we do it while helping slow the spread of COVID-19, by combining our highly effective talent screening and follow up with COVID best practices and protocols.

Our COVID-19 practices

As a member of ASA, we have access to best practices related to hiring and managing employees safely during COVID. We regularly review their resources and have incorporated many of their recommendations into the AdvantaStaff COVID19 Response Plan, as guidelines for our office and for assigning employees to customers. (Some are shared below.)

Changes we’ve made include moving to a predominantly online, remote, and contactless screening and hiring process with online applications, orientations via Zoom and limited physical contact. Employees who come to our office for drug tests, signing paperwork, etc., complete their tasks within 15 minutes. While there, they remain separated from our employees by protective barriers.

What we ask of our employees

Our current screening process includes asking COVID-related questions such as:

  • Has the candidate traveled to any high-risk areas?
  • Has the candidate had a fever recently and/or other COVID-related symptoms?
  • Has the candidate tested positive for the virus?
  • Does the candidate live with, or have they recently been in contact with anyone testing positive or who is presently quarantined?

Once hired, we provide our employees with guidelines that follow those of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including:

  • Staying home when sick
  • Following CDC recommendations for face masks and social distancing
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces they touch frequently
  • Washing their hands often

What we ask of our clients

Our COVID customer checklist helps ensure companies have implemented protocols in accordance with regulatory guidance and best practices. It also allows us to verify there is a COVID policy or program in place for all personnel, including staffing employees.

The checklist covers areas, like:

  • Facemasks: do they require or permit? Furnish to temporary personnel? Address proper use, cleaning and replacement?
  • Sanitation and Hygiene: do they address coughing/sneezing etiquette? Handwashing? Use of hand sanitizers? Deep cleaning procedures?
  • Engineering & Administrative Controls: have they modified or installed physical barriers such as sneeze guards for customer- and/or customer-facing positions? Reduced or modified shifts to limit number of people together at one time?

We built the overall AdvantaStaff hiring model around on-boarding employees safely and quickly. And, as we staff in this unique environment, we continue doing what we do best while staying true to our values: supporting communities and providing needed resources to lessen the impact of COVID 19 on business, adjusting as we learn more.

Contact us to learn more about the AdvantaStaff COVID 19 Response Plan, including our safe hiring practices, and connect with us to bring on the temporary staff you need, right now.