01 Jul We hire Teammates – not Temps
Our business has changed over the last few years, and the word “temp” is really not a fitting title for our contingent workforce anymore. With the pervasive use of lean, Just-in-Time business practices and the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, our flexible workforce has become a more permanent and integral part of our customer’s human resource strategy.
In February of this year, the US hit its lowest unemployment rate since May of 2008 – before the financial crisis. Based on the latest reports, the US is maintaining around a 5.5% unemployment rate, coming a long way since last May when it was 6.7%. While this positive economic news is tempered by the fact that wage growth is slow and many have dropped out of the search altogether, the fact is that it has become much more challenging to find qualified employees.
We have an obligation to meet the staffing needs of our clients and must determine a way to deliver regardless of the current unemployment rate. Most of the good people are working somewhere – we need to go get them. As the war for talent heats up, we must have great relationships with the best employees that the market has to offer at any given pay range. We offer a liberal vacation and holiday pay plan, robust healthcare benefits, bonus programs and even a scholarship for continuing education; but the real difference is how we view the workforce. Our contingent workers are not defined by the length of their assignment. Whether an employee works with us two days or two years, they are part of a team – they are Teammates.
Belief in the Cause
Words can be powerful, but they must be backed by substance or we look like hypocrites. Onin’s internal job satisfaction surveys reveal year after year that belief in the mission of our company is a strength for the Onin Group. As a whole, our internal employees, “Oninites,” understand the importance of what we do – they derive a sense of purpose and calling from putting the right people in the right job opportunities. Our business is people—it can be messy and unpredictable, but on the other hand, it is very fulfilling when we make a great match.
As of July 1st, “temp” is a black-listed word at Onin, unless of course one is referring to another staffing company’s workforce. For us, the word “Teammate” gives definition to how we already look at our workforce. It will also serve as a rallying point and a guiderail for our internal staff as we strive to do an even better job of serving the workforce.
Connecting with the Workforce
Renaming our Teammates is part of a broad strategy to make a deeper and wider connection with the workforce. Treating people well and approaching our business relationships with a heart of service is simply the right thing to do – so that is where we start. We had roughly 700,000 applicants walk into an Onin office last year; we are selective, so fewer than 8% of them went to work. Whether we put them to work or not, we want them to walk away from our offices with a good feeling about our company. We want a reputation in our communities that “Onin will treat you right.” It is our goal to be the first place people think of when they are looking for a job change. Word gets out naturally as we live our values, and we are accelerating this process through a comprehensive social media and video marketing campaign this summer.
What does this mean for our Customers?
Don’t think that with all this focus on our Teammates we are overlooking our customers. The goal is to achieve a win-win. The bottom line is that the more successful we are at engaging the workforce, the more successful we will be when our customers call us with a job order. We understand our clients have work that needs to be done, and in order for our Teammates to be on the Onin team, they need to meet or exceed expectations. The relationship with our Teammates is reciprocal, so as we continue to emerge as an employer of choice, we in turn can expect better performance from them—and that means a better return on staffing investment.