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Working with temporary-staffing agencies: new technology


Look for Partners Who Embrace Technology
By Elaine Daly

Temporary-staffing companies have moved into the technological age and are using state-of-the-art software and systems to support practically every area of their businesses.

The use of this technology commonly translates to better customer service to companies that use temporary-staffing services, improved screening and training of workers, streamlined reporting, invoicing and control systems and improved accuracy in record keeping and database management. When purchasing temporary help services, companies should look for staffing partners that value and embrace new technology. Some of the technology that’s currently being used to support contingent staffing practices include:

Automated Testing
Many staffing services can provide skills testing anywhere, anytime, as long as there’s Internet access. Results are instantaneous and services should be willing to share results with you.

* Skills testing for some of today’s most popular software.
* Basic business skills, such as grammar, spelling and math.
* IT testing for programmers, database administrators and network engineers.
* Personality tests for employees who must interact with customers on a daily basis.
* Call-center testing to determine how quickly and accurately a candidate can capture vital data.

Automated Training
Staffing services are currently using a variety of automated training systems. Some include computer-based CD training, but many have moved to Web-based training that provides instruction on everything from spreadsheet training to communication-skill enhancement and more.

Enterprise Workforce Planning
New technology is being introduced almost weekly that allows services to fill jobs faster by tracking available skills and open positions and making that information available over a network. These systems can track employees’ skills and training, as well as hourly billing information and employment history. Some of these systems can be located onsite at the client company, and can be used to allocate people to temporary jobs or projects based on their skills and availability, improving both the client’s and the temporary services’ ability to manage the contingent workforce.

Online Recruiting
As the Internet continues to emerge as a major recruiting tool, staffing companies are beginning to develop online career centers, and in some cases, are aligning with other Internet recruiting services to improve recruiting results. Online job fairs are also being used and are re-emerging as one of the most popular resources for recruiting in this tight market.

Time and Attendance
New software is increasingly being used to electronically capture time and attendance information, calculate employee hours, handle inquiries, generate customized labor reports, track employee attendance exceptions and provide data that can be exported into payroll, HR and other business applications. The staffing industry is making a significant mark on business. Through technology, it's able to meet your organization's demands without missing a beat.

from Workforce, November 1999, Vol. 78, No. 11, pp. 65-66.


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