A Focus on Training Reduces Turnover, Boosts Productivity

We train employees for Day One and beyond, so you don’t have to

Think about your focus for the next few months. It’s probably on maintaining production levels as you recover from COVID-related employee absences and maneuver (expected and unexpected) workload fluctuations. Whether you’re bringing on 15 employees or need just one to cover gaps and meet production goals, how are you making sure they’re right for the job and ready to get started Day 1?

Will you rely on your current team? How many people will it take? Can you take them away from their daily activities to do this?

There’s no need to shuffle your employees around to manage orientation and introductory training for new staff onboarding.  As AdvantaStaff employees, we’re responsible for preparing them for success in your environment. This preparation starts with our thorough interview process, where we assess hard and soft skills, understand strengths and learn about gaps. Our model includes orientation and training that goes beyond general warehouse, production and manufacturing safety protocols, eliminating skill gaps and getting employees to the level you need them.

First Day Training

Once placed on an assignment, our employees receive our unique First Day Training. This is one of the places we shine and where we structure training to help avoid as many surprises as possible (see our checklist below to learn some of what we cover), boost job commitment, decrease turnover, increase productivity and better control costs.

Specialized training

Depending on the role they’re moving into, a more general First Day Training may suffice, or your employees may need more involved training. Perhaps you have a manufacturing process or diversity training they need to complete before they can be on-site. Or maybe you’re bringing on employees whose first language isn’t English? We’ll work with you to learn exactly what they need to know and partner to develop the right training, which we’ll deliver.

Our trainers are experienced in warehouse, manufacturing and production environments. Their expertise goes far beyond what they’ve read, having gained some of their knowledge hands-on. Using a skilled-based assessment and our own industrial space to mimic the environment they’ll be working in, we can provide clients with highly qualified, well-trained forklift operators, material handlers, packers and production workers, as well as employees qualified for administrative staffing positions.

Need a larger scale training?

Size doesn’t really matter when it comes to training. We can ready as many people as you need, as quickly as you need them. Larger organizations often partner with us to train groups of employees. These sessions tend to be specialized and they often go beyond what’s normally delivered in First Day Training.

Our New Employee Orientation & Training Checklist

The AdvantaStaff orientation and training checklist puts “on paper” what these employees need before they start working. Just like our trainings, we customize the Checklist to include details relevant to a specific employer and position. Here are some of the items the employees going to your organization might find on your Checklist:

  • Introduction to AdvantaStaff
  • Presentation of AdvantaStaff benefits plan information, discussion and preliminary enrollment
  • General safety rules and regulations awareness
  • Covid-19 guidelines and procedures
  • Introduction to your company, including a review of common terminology, components and overall responsibilities
  • Discussion of your industry, culture, products, etc.
  • An understanding of your specific safety protocols which may differ by warehouse and/or production floor location
  • Review of job description, dress code, timekeeping, shifts and schedules, and security
  • Site/facility overview with added information as needed, like breakroom facilities
  • Your policies, including timekeeping procedures

Right now, we’re training a special group of individuals

By the way, we take those sorts of extra steps with all our employees, not just those changing careers. Sometimes that means getting them to, and through, your front door. This may include meeting them at your facility on their first morning, helping them through security and introducing them to their supervisor. Even during COVID, we’re continuing this handoff, just with the appropriate precautions, including masking and proper social distancing.

Contact us to decrease your current stress levels. We’ll help you get the staff to meet your needs and ensure that employees are ready to go when they walk onto your production floor.

Managing Staffing with Fluctuating Labor Needs

A staffing partnership that delivers consistency and cost controls.

Established in 1975, this central Virginia-based manufacturing company is a production resource providing packaging and ancillary services for emerging and established companies.

Central Virginia

“AdvantaStaff’s ability to bring on the right people when we need them, coupled with their understanding of how our business operates, greatly improves our production cycles and margins.” – Chief Operations Officer

The Challenge 

Like many in manufacturing, the company needs to respond effectively to changes in production volume as demand for services fluctuates significantly and is labor intensive. As a result, it is reluctant to expand its full-time workforce for times when not necessary, instead relying on temporary employees. Its original staffing resource was unable to consistently supply adequate manpower to meet critical need especially with unpredictability in the marketplace. Ultimately, headcount requirements were not being met even though its service provider was utilizing multiple back-up vendors and demanding a rate increase.

The Solution

Filling temporary positions is much more than placing a person on a production line. Staffing impacts multiple areas of a company, including:

  • Operations: delivering a quality product despite demand and marketplace fluctuations.
  • Human Resources: maintaining a trained, available workforce, with oversight that ensures appropriate skillsets, safety, and behavior.
  • Accounts Payable: budgeting appropriately for busy times as well as slow periods.

AdvantaStaff was brought in to support the highly cyclical, contingent labor needs of the client. As its sole staffing source, we manage all aspects of the company’s temporary workforce, meeting changing requirements while aligning costs. Our role leaves the client to do what they do best – run their business. We provide management and supervision and perform other indirect labor activities that support operations as production levels dictate and in accordance with compliance regulations.

To avoid potential co-employment issues, we remain responsible for the human resources needs of the staff we bring on. This includes:

  • recruiting and screening
  • training, coaching, counseling and terminating
  • labor assignment based on skills and performance
  • employee health and safety
  • recordkeeping, including time-tracking, invoicing, training records and daily job assignments

A training program and compensation structure was also developed to ensure that staffing needs are met with qualified employees while maintaining low bill rates in a tight labor market. This is especially beneficial as the complexity of work performed increases. All employees are evaluated in areas such as attendance, attitude, compliance to procedures, quality, and safety.  Those who perform to standards are given the opportunity to progress to positions involving increased responsibility, attention to detail, and complexity.  Each “Tier” within the scale allows the employee to earn an increase in pay, enabling qualified employees to be moved to different projects within the facility.

Costs associated with these extended on-site management services were included with our regular rates, enabling the client to better budget and plan for production. These consistent, competitive rates are due to many factors, from our knowledge of the skills needed for manufacturing and warehouse operations, to the relationships we have with individuals and organizations in the local community and the benefits we offer employees, even when they’re not on assignment.

Bottom-line Results

AdvantaStaff helps this company control costs and improve ROI while avoiding many of the inconsistencies associated with production hiring. Output has increased, peak cycles are fully staffed, and gaps in its regular workforce remain filled as we find the employees they need – faster and keep them available for the longer term.

How a partnership with AdvantaStaff benefits changing workforce demands:   

  • Flexibility to meet needs on-demand and align labor costs appropriately so there is no commitment to labor when it is not needed. 
  • Customer can focus on core business processes. 
  • HR needs are met including on-site management, recruiting and screening, coaching/counseling/terminating employees, labor assignment based on skills and performance, and HR compliance. 
  • Manufacturing operations complexities are clearly understood as is the importance of producing a quality product with employees who are trained and monitored in all aspects of safety.

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.