Remote work drawbacks

Considering the drawbacks of remote work

Is remote work good for my career?

I’ve worked remotely before so I get it: rolling out of bed right before work, looking out your kitchen window at the sunrise while you check email and sip coffee, taking a neighborhood walk to break up the work day—it’s pretty nice. For many other people, such as those with kids or those with certain disabilities, this can be a godsend allowing them to have a schedule that actually works for them or a work environment where they’re comfortable and productive.

For these reasons, I think that remote work will always have a place, as it should. But I think it’s still relatively new and it’s important to point out some of the drawbacks. Also, if you’re considering remote work for the first time, be sure to check out our article here.

Remote work downsides:

1) The jobs are highly competitive to attain.

According to Google, there are twice as many people looking for “remote jobs” as there are people looking for “jobs.” This is pretty consistent with the job seekers I meet. They often ask about remote work and then only reluctantly agree to consider on-site jobs or hybrid roles. Also, its estimated by Zippia that only 15% of jobs are work from home. So, if you are only considering remote jobs, realize that you will be competing against WAY more people for way fewer jobs.

2) Remote workers may be more likely to get laid off.

In a survey of 3000 managers by beautiful.ai, 60% agree that remote workers are more likely to be laid off first (only 20% said this is unlikely). Laying off people is hard—but perhaps these conversations are made a little easier when the person is not sitting across the table from you? Perhaps its made a little easier when you don’t have lunch with them in the break room every day? 

3) You may be less likely to get promoted.

Face time matters for your work life: a lot of interpersonal relationships develop in the workplace and its easier for your manager to see the great work that you do when they can see it in person. That’s not to say you can’t get promoted but that it might be harder to develop rapport with your bosses and colleagues. Also, you might have to be more deliberate about demonstrating your hard work. This trend has been called by Fast Company the “Zoom ceiling” after their study found remote workers less likely to get promoted.

4) Your boss probably likes the office.

Odd are, your boss probably enjoys working on-site and got to where they are from going into the office. For many people, their work life dominates their social life. You may be able to tout evidence of remote worker productivity, of which there’s plenty of recent discussion, but that alone won’t overcome their natural preference. After all, when you work remotely, they now have to spend a large portion of their week talking you on on video chat.

5) It can be lonely.

I can personally say that I prefer working remotely on days where I need to deeply focus on a project. However, I nearly always find myself working through lunch, rarely take that afternoon walk, and at the end of the day I’m longing to talk to someone in person, to collaborate, and I find myself eager for validation on my work product. Some of my remote coworkers describe how they’ll go out to eat dinner at a restaurant, even alone, just to be around other people. 

Disclaimers

We’re all going to have different experiences working remotely. My boss and many of my colleagues work remotely. Many of them HAVE been successfully promoted. I’ve worked remotely as well as in a hybrid environment. There can be some incredible advantages to remote work, but it’s also important to evaluate some of these drawbacks too.

All about staffing agencies

Staffing agency business overview

What is a staffing agency?

A staffing agency is a business that searches for workers on behalf of other organizations. They help these clients with temporary and/or permanent roles. (And they help job seekers find jobs.) Personally, I find this definition from Law Insider to be the most helpful:

“Staffing agency means any person who undertakes, with or without compensation, to recruit, refer or place individuals for employment, or to procure opportunities for work, or to with an employer.” – Staffing agency definition from Law Insider.

For temporary jobs, the staffing agency acts as the “employer of record” or legal employer and provides workers wages and benefits. For permanent jobs, the staffing agency operates as an extension of the HR team by helping them recruit, screen, and interview talent for permanent jobs within the company. This model, often called “direct hire,” is different in that the recruited person is never an employee of the staffing agency.

Staffing agencies tend to specialize in a particular kind of service or talent. For our part, we mostly focus on office and professional roles.

What else do you call staffing agencies?

Staffing companies are called many different things, some of which include:

  • Employment agencies
  • Recruitment companies
  • Consulting companies
  • Staffing firm

All of these terms are interchangeable and it’s mostly a matter of preference which label a staffing company prefers using.

Additionally, the service performed, staffing, is itself sometimes called different things, such as:

  • Staff augmentation (often associated with information technology staffing projects)
  • Consulting services (often associated with IT when the workers are 1099 contractors, not employees)
  • Temp service (usually associated with short term, less experienced positions)
  • Contingent labor (often associated with project-based staffing)
  • Employee leasing (this is a somewhat outdated term referring specifically to temporary employment)

These terms are also all interchangeable.

How much do staffing agencies cost?

Staffing agencies make money through temporary staffing, temp-to-permanent staffing, or direct hire staffing. Each of these models generate revenue for the agency a little differently.

  • Temporary staffing: the client is charged an hourly “bill rate” that accounts for costs associated with the employed individual. These include: wages, benefits, insurance, risk, operating costs, and profit. Costs might also be expressed as a “markup rate” or “markup percent.” For example, an employee makes $50 / hour and the markup rate charged by the agency is 50%. The bill rate is therefore $75 / hour ($50 + $50*.5).
  • Temp-to-permanent staffing: the client is charged an hourly “bill rate” as they are in normal temporary staffing. However, the client can hire the person on directly if they’re a good fit for the organization. If this happens, the client is charged a placement fee that decreases over time the longer the employee works temporarily.
  • Direct hire staffing: the client is charged a percent of the first year’s annual salary for the selected candidate. This is sometimes called a “placement fee” For example, if a person makes $100,000 / year and the placement fee is 25%, the amount charged is $25,000. Sometimes, a client asks for “executive search services.” This model is virtually identical except is usually a harder and more involved search reserved for leadership roles. It also typically costs more.

Actual out-the-door costs for staffing vary within the industry and is subject to negotiation based on a range of factors. The good news is that it usually doesn’t cost anything to have a staffing agency look for talent. It only costs if you decide to bring someone on board.

For our part, you can schedule a time to go over pricing with one of our business development team.

Is temporary or direct hire better for me as a client?

Different organizations will prefer various staff augmentation models. Generally, there are several key questions to ask yourself:

  • Is this project-based or short term? If so, I recommend temporary staffing.
  • Do I want to try the worker out? If so, I recommend temporary-to-permanent staffing.
  • Do I want help recruiting for internal roles? If so, I recommend direct hire.
  • Do I want to pay up front or spread out the cost? If up front, I recommend direct hire as a straight forward, one time fee. If spread out, I recommend temporary-to-permanent.

Who uses staffing agencies?

Many organizations use staffing agencies. Government, companies, nonprofits–most organizations use or have used staffing agencies to solve business needs such as finding talent quickly or completing projects.

Why hire a staffing agency?

This is the question I get asked the most: “Why would I hire a staffing agency when I could just recruit myself?

 

Some of the top reasons organizations hire staffing companies include:

  • Try before you buy: if you want to try out someone on a temporary basis before committing to hiring them, this can be a great reason to utilize temporary or temp-to-permanent models.
  • Unable or too busy to find talent yourself: sometimes you need help finding someone. Whether you need a whole bunch of people for a time sensitive project or are struggling to find a hard-to-find candidate, staffing agencies act as an extension of your HR to find and send you talent.
  • Cost effectiveness: it can actually be cheaper to bring on temporary personnel instead of paying staff by the time you account for wages, benefits, cost to train, and other hidden employment costs. This is especially the case if the work is not constant and you’d be struggling to find things for another extra employee to do. Similarly, it can be cost effective to utilize direct hire if not having someone in role is costing you money. In both cases, utilizing these services can also cut down on costs related to advertising jobs and employing recruiters.
  • Reduced organizational risk: whenever you employ someone, you’re taking on risk. A staffing agency absorbs the cost of workers compensation and health insurance. They’re also liable for unemployment claims. Finally, should any labor disputes arise, it is usually the staffing agency that is held accountable.
  • Access to their talent pool and expertise: staffing agencies spend all day, every day recruiting. Your HR team, by contrast, may only do it once in a while. When you sign up with a staffing agency, they often have recruited for similar previous roles before and perhaps have some candidates already ready to go. They can often find talent faster than you can and access talent that was not visible to you.

Need staffing help?

Our recruiters are ready to assist. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation. You can also check out our guide to picking the right staffing agency for you.

Getting over your interview fears

Job interviewing fears

Interview fears and how to get over them

Interviewing can be scary. You’re meeting strangers, your self worth is in question, and your future income hangs in the balance of this one conversation. So let’s talk through some of the top interview fears and what you can do to combat them.

Common job interview fears

“What will I get asked?”

Most interview questions are NOT unique. There’s “where do you see yourself in 5 years” “tell me about a time…” “what makes you want to work for us” and maybe even “describe your greatest weakness.” It’s all pretty copy/paste until they ask you specific questions about your experience. This fear of ambiguity can best be combatted by practice: look up a list of common interview questions and practice how you’ll answer them. Then have a friend or family member practice interviewing you. Here’s a good list of common interview questions.

“What if they’re judging me?”

In short: yes they are—that’s their job. The best thing you can do is take practice interviews with friends and family members and then ask for honest feedback. How do I seem? Did I say the right thing? Would you hire me? Taking this feedback itself can take some practice: but in general:

  1. Ask open ended questions intended to simulate conversation and reflection
  2. Listen to what they say without defending yourself or seeking to provide additional justification
  3. Move past the cheerleading “you did a great job” and onto the critical feedback

“What if they don’t like me?”

If you make it to the interview, most likely the recruiters/hiring managers have assessed that you’re basically able to do the job. Often they’re seeking to confirm these opinions and then screen you for “culture fit,” which is basically how much they like you or think their team will like you. In general my advice is: smile, make good eye contact if you’re able, and seek to find personal commonalities.

“What if I get nervous?”

Most people will get nervous in the interview. I’ve seen people break down in tears or use the bathroom to vomit. However, realize that the interviewers are probably empathetic people. Politely explain that you’re feeling nervous, do the best you can, and your interviewers will try to give you the benefit of the doubt.

“What if I’m late?”

Preparation is key. Don’t be too late, or too early—I recommend being about 5 minutes early. If you get there before that, go for a quick walk around the block. Look up the route on Google Maps, plan for traffic, and have a backup plan in case the worst happens. 

“What if I say the wrong thing?”

It’s important to realize that in this instance, saying the wrong thing is better than saying nothing. If you never apply or ghost on your interview, you are effectively saying nothing. If you say the wrong thing, you might still get hired. If you say nothing, you definitely won’t get hired.

Final Word: Just Show Up

Showing up and doing the interview, no matter how badly it goes, still gives you a shot at getting the job. You might be nervous or uncomfortable, but showing up is half of the battle. The worst thing you can do is GHOST them. 

And if you’re looking for a job, we try to not have scary interviews! Submit your resume or browse our many jobs!

Changing your resume

Advice for how and when to change your resume

Your resume is not a tattoo. Be ready to change it.

A lot of job seekers I work with have played the job search before. This is not their first job…it might even be their tenth. And while this experience can be valuable, sometimes we need to recognize that what worked for us before might not work again. You will need to change your resume

Resumes are marketing pieces that will change based on the current needs.

Tips for changing your resume

Exercise creative writing.

Many of us will be pulled into tasks and projects that go beyond our job description. After a couple years, you have your core job as well as many other miscellaneous experiences. Pay attention to these experiences and be prepared to present them on your resume in order to “check all the boxes” on this new job you’re applying for.

Job titles are more flexible than you realize.

With many organizations, you’ll be issued a cool sounding title, such as “Customer Success Manager.” Or, you might be given a generic title that doesn’t tell an outsider anything about what you do, such as “Program Specialist.” Be prepared to change your job title after the fact to better market yourself. If you want to be completely transparent about it, you can put your functional job title in parentheses.

Curate your content.

A lot of us could write a short book about our work experiences. The problem is employers want to skim your resume, not read it. While reading, our goal is to do a quick evaluation, see if you are in the right ball park of what we’re looking for, and then get you to an interview. This means you will need to leave a good deal of your experience that’s not directly relevant to this job on the sidelines.

Take notes after an interview.

Each time you interview with a recruiter, take a note of 1) what they ask you and 2) why they were interested in interviewing you. If they’re asking you for clarification, it might be worth clarifying something on your resume, and if they are really interested in you because of a certain skill/experience, highlight this in future versions of your resume so that other employers will notice it.

Change your resume regularly.

As you take interviews and apply for jobs and have others give you feedback on your resume, it will change. In order to be as agile as possible, make a habit of changing your resume regularly. So make it routine in order to keep yourself agile. Just remember to save all those earlier versions too!

You should have multiple versions of your resume.

My own position is a mixture of community relations, marketing, business development, and recruiting. If I were to look for a new job, I would create four different resumes focused around each of these core duties. Be prepared to have multiple resumes in order to give yourself flexibility in what jobs you can apply for.

Want more resume tips?

Check out our Youtube Channel!

Also make sure to apply for one of our open jobs!

Disability Inclusion Starts With You

You Must be Part of the Change

Making Meaningful Change to Disability Inclusion and Hiring

After explaining Peak Performers Staffing Agency mission of hiring people with disabilities to a new person, I experience a range of emotional reactions ranging from enthusiasm to curiosity to indifference.

But my least favorite reaction is…

“Well, good for you. I’m glad someone is helping those people.”

While this seems like a benign statement, what is often implied here is “someone else is helping people with disabilities so I don’t have to.” Furthermore, the speaker usually makes it pretty clear in the statement that they are not part of this “other” group of people.

Not my Problem?

It’s estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that disability affects 26% of the population. This is not a mysterious group of “other” people. These are your friends and family, your bosses and coworkers, maybe even you.

Furthermore, the longer that you live, the more likely it is that you will acquire a disability through accident or aging. Looking out for disability inclusion is not only looking out for other’s well-being but also your own future well-being.

Access to accommodations, embracing an inclusive environment, and hiring diverse people with disabilities directly makes your workplace better and helps ensure you will have a future there.

We’re All in this Together

Disability inclusion is a direction, not a destination. This direction is the result of effective leadership, policy changes, and hiring goals. But meaningful change really happens through one hiring decision at a time, one job accommodation at a time, one work conversation at a time. Change happens through small incremental steps you have the power to impact.

Maybe you have the power to hire someone with a disability. Maybe you have the power to grant an accommodation. Or maybe you have the power to disclose your own disability and empower others to speak out about theirs.

You have the power to join us in changing the world, one job at a time.

 

2022 Peak Performers Employee of the Year

Employee of the Year

Peak Performers is proud to announce our employee of the year award. This year we’re recognizing Vincent H.

Vincent has been a dedicated Peak Performers associate for three years. He has been recognized by multiple clients for his personal initiative and can-do attitude.

Feedback from the clients:

“Vincent is an exemplary associate…a top performer doing great!”

We’d like to say a very special thanks to Vincent and recognize the hard work he does every day.

Did you know:

Peak Performers has an employee of the month program as well? We are looking forward to re-starting this program to recognize the hard work all our associates do each day.

Best Staffing Agency Pflugerville

Finding the Best Staffing Agency Pflugerville

Picking a top rated staffing agency in Pflugerville is important  for both job seekers and employers. Staffing agencies are important partners to finding talented personnel. Here are some of our tips for picking a top rated staffing agency in Pflugerville, Texas.

Staffing Agencies: What to Consider

Specialization of Staffing Agency

Industry specialization is important for picking the best staffing agency. Many staffing firms will specialize in particular kinds of recruitment. Staffing firms often have experience recruiting for that industry and many connections in the industry. Furthermore, the search process for an administrative assistant or enterprise architect may look very different than recruiting for a groundskeeper–the staffing firm will need to look different places to find those workers.

And if you’re looking for work, seeking out a staffing firm that specializes in your area of expertise means you’re more likely to find a job faster.

You may also want to pick a company that has the kinds of recruitment service offerings you’re seeking. Peak Performers, for example, offers temporary, temp-to-perm, and direct hire opportunities in Pflugerville.

Key Metrics: Retention and Re-deployment

Some staffing firms, even top-rated ones, have a “revolving door” reputation.

As a job seeker, you don’t want a company that doesn’t value your hard work and company loyalty. And as a business, having employees constantly turning over costs you time and money.

Ask the staffing agency about their retention and re-deployment rates. Both are key to Peak Performers success and our nonprofit mission. We have a turnover rate that is half that of the industry average!

What Benefits are Offered?

Benefits keep employees happy, retained, and happy. Many staffing agencies have little-to-no benefits that they offer, or their benefits are poor. Obviously, their employees will keep looking for other work and ultimately the staffing agency will struggle to hold onto talet.

We offer health, dental, and vision insurance after 60 days. We have an Employee Assistance Program. Finally, we recently rolled out a 403(b) retirement program to help employees save for retirement. This helps keep our workforce engaged and committed to their current assignment.

Ratings and Reviews of Staffing Agency

Every staffing business in Pflugerville is rated online (you can find our Google ratings and reviews here). If you are looking for work, this is important so you can hear honest feedback and gain insights into the company. It’s equally important for businesses to use in evaluating potential staffing agencies. Staffing agencies are acting as an extension of your brand and representing your open jobs–so their reputation rubs off on you.

It also might help to ask for referrals from your network.

Costs for Staffing Agency in Pflugerville

If you’re looking for work, a staffing agency should never, ever charge you to consider you for employment. This is probably a scam.

If you are an employer, consider staffing agency cost through multiple lenses: hourly bill rate, conversion cost, direct hire fees, and other add-on fees. Also ask about their “placement guarantee,” which is basically insurance on your direct hire employees. Keep in mind that you may not want to pick out the “cheapest” staffing agency–sometimes you get what you pay for if you pick out a cheap staffing provider!

 

Are you a job seeker? If so, browse our jobs or join our talent pool. We’re happy to consider you for one of our many open jobs.

Are you looking to hire a top rated staffing agency in Pflugerville? Peak Performers has temp, temp-to-hire, and direct hire staffing solutions. We service both government customers and private companies.

Best Employment Agencies in Austin

Picking the Best Employment Agency in Austin

If you’re looking to work with an employment agency in Austin, you have many to choose from. ResumeSpice lists at least 100 of them!

So if you’re looking to compare agencies, here’s our tips for doing so:

Tips for Comparing Employment Agencies

Look at their jobs

An employment agency isn’t going to do you much good if they don’t have a job that aligns with your skills and career goals. Also, many employment agencies will specialize. For example, we don’t often staff for warehouse or janitorial roles and many of our positions are office and professional jobs.

However, as opposed to taking one look at the company’s job board and moving on, it’s important to get an assessment of the kinds of jobs they have and check back in periodically if it looks like they may have jobs in the future.

Look at reviews online

Fortunately, many people are eager to tell you about their experience with an employment agency. Less fortunately, you have to take this feedback with a grain of salt–people will be inclined to leave bad reviews for many different reasons, especially with something as important as employment. Read the five-star reviews as well as the one-star reviews.

That said, these reviews can give you a good benchmark. I recommend looking on multiple platforms such as Google, Glassdoor, and even Facebook to assess how positive people are about working for an employment agency.

Look at the culture

Employment and staffing agencies can get a bad reputation. Sometimes, they fail in taking an interest in looking out for their employees’ well being and growth and are more interested in just making a profit from their human capital. You can often get a sense for the ethos and culture of a company by its mission statement and social media.

As a nonprofit employment agency, we help professionals with disabilities find careers. We encourage a transparent and agile culture and a commitment to treating all clients, employees, and future employees with respect. We encourage employees to keep in contact with our staff and also issue an employee of the year awards. Furthermore, we have a redeployment rate of about half of our personnel, about 5X the national average for employment agencies.

Look at their clients

While you are an employee of the employment agency, often it will feel more like you are an employee of the client. Therefore, it’s important to partner with an employment agency who has refutable clients for whom you would be happy to work.

This may not always be obvious since many job descriptions leave it off. But you can often get a general idea from reading the job description and reading online reviews.

For our part, most of our clients are government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations who are committed to disability hiring as part of their DE&I efforts.

Look at their benefits

Benefits are expensive. Sometimes, evaluating an employment agency is a simple as asking them to “put their money where their mouth is.” Some employment agencies skimp, offering little or no benefits. (Especially avoid companies where you are “independent contractors” and not actual employees.)

Peak Performers offers health, dental, and vision insurance covered at 80% by the employer. We also have an Employee Assistance program and just launched a 403(b) retirement program.

Are you looking for the best employment agency in Austin? We would be honored if you considered Peak Performers employment agency! You can find our open jobs here.

Top Rated Staffing Agencies in Austin

Picking the Best Staffing Agency

Whether you’re a job seeker or an employer, picking a top rated staffing agency in Austin is key to your success. Staffing agencies are key partners. Here are some considerations to keep in mind to help you pick the top rated staffing agency.

Staffing Agency Considerations

Staffing Specialization

When considering the best staffing agency, consider first your industry specialization. Many staffing firms will specialize in particular kinds of staffing. The leaders of these staffing firms often have experience recruiting for that industry and plenty of connections. Furthermore, the search process for an accountant or information technology professional may look very different than recruiting for a warehouse worker–the staffing firm might have to go to different places to find those workers.

And if you’re a job seeker, seeking out a staffing firm that specializes in your field means you’re more likely to find a job faster.

Finally, you may want to pick a company that has the kinds of service offerings you’re looking for. Peak Performers, for example, offers temporary, temp-to-perm, and direct hire opportunities.

Retention and Re-deployment

Unfortunately, some staffing firms, even top-rated ones, have a “revolving door” reputation.

As a job seeker, you don’t want a company that doesn’t value your loyalty. And as a business, having employees constantly coming and going costs you time and money.

Ask about the company’s retention and re-deployment focus. For our part, both are key to our success and our nonprofit mission and we have a turnover rate that is half that of the industry average.

Benefits Offered

Key to keeping employees happy is offering them benefits. Many staffing agencies have little-to-no benefits that they offer, or their benefits are substandard. It’s no wonder then that their employees keep looking for other work and they struggle with retention.

For our part, we offer health, dental, and vision insurance after 60 days. Also, we have an Employee Assistance Program. Finally, we recently rolled out a 403(b) retirement program to help employees save. This helps keep our workforce engaged and committed to their current job.

Ratings and Referrals of Staffing Agency

These days, every staffing business in Austin is rated online (you can find our Google ratings and reviews here). As a job seeker, this is important so you can hear honest feedback and insights into the company. But it’s also equally important for businesses to use this evaluate staffing agencies. After all, staffing agencies are acting as an extension of your brand and representing your jobs.

What’s also valuable is asking for referrals from your network.

Recruitment Costs

If you’re a job seeker, a staffing agency should never charge you to consider you for employment. This is most likely a scam.

If you are a client, consider staffing agency cost from multiple perspectives: hourly bill rate, conversion cost, direct hire fees, and other add-on fees. Also ask about their “placement guarantee,” which is like insurance on your direct hire. Also, keep in mind that you may not want to pick out the “cheapest” staffing agency. (Sometimes, you get what you pay for.)

 

Are you looking for work? If so, browse our jobs or join our talent pool. We’re happy to consider you for employment.

Are you looking to hire a top rated staffing agency in Austin? Peak Performers has solutions temp, temp-to-hire, and direct hire staffing needs. Also, we service both government customers and private companies.