Why a Contingent Workforce Helps Overcome the Blue-Collar Worker Shortage

There have been few successful solutions to the blue-collar worker shortage so far. Here’s why a contingent workforce may be the answer.

February 5, 2021

blue collar worker

The blue-collar worker shortage has long been a problem for the American economy. Despite the attention the issue has received, there have been few successful solutions. The move toward a more contingent workforce is happening now. This shift will lead to greater pressure on businesses to identify and hire contingent workers who can get the job done.

37% of blue-collar-heavy companies reported a measurable adverse impact of the worker shortage on the company’s profitability versus just 9% of white-collar-heavy companies.

—The Conference Board, 2020

The U.S. workforce shortage—especially for blue-collar workers—is expected to continue through at least 2030, according to a study by The Conference Board. Factors driving the blue-collar workforce shortage include:

  • The baby boomer exodus
  • Dismal growth in the working-age population
  • Disappointing recovery in overall labor force participation
  • Men without a college degree are less likely to work
  • Large increase in disability rates
  • More young adults are avoiding trades, pursuing college instead
  • Young adults are much less likely to be in the labor force

By being open to contingent workers, businesses tap into talent that they might not otherwise gain access to, especially those who may have specific knowledge and training that could be beneficial to their operations. Many businesses are realizing that the quickest and most efficient way to get specialized talent is to hire them as contingent workers. Depending on future needs, these workers can eventually be transitioned into full-time positions.

Offering Greater Flexibility

Flexible working arrangements can also be an asset for a new generation of workers. They may have been recently separated from full-time employment or are reconsidering their career options. People often work on a part-time or temporary basis so that they can pursue other interests or gain experience in their chosen career, with an eye on pursuing a full-time position. The primary reasons temporary workers choose to be temporary workers are:

  • As a method of finding a regular/permanent job or because I thought it might lead to a regular/permanent position, 49%
  • Supplemental income while looking for a regular/permanent position, 11%
  • Supplemental income while not looking for a regular/permanent position, 14%
  • Learning new skills/get work experience, 13%
  • Other, 13%

Source: Staffing Industry Analysts

Expanding Business Operations

The current environment has provided businesses of every size and sector ample opportunity to reconsider their roles in the continued economic recovery. Businesses will focus on diversifying in order to mitigate risk: Some of them may be eager to grow their project base; others may be looking into different markets.

If businesses are considering expanding their geographic footprint or service offerings, contingent workers may be a tremendous asset during this important transition. With contingent workers, businesses can find workers with the specialized skills that they need for a particular project, without having to make a long-term commitment. 

Staying Agile in Uncertain Times

Businesses are increasingly looking for flexibility and scalability to meet the demands of a rapidly changing economy and to take advantage of new opportunities. As the business landscape continues to change, the makeup of their workforce will need to adjust as well. A temporary workforce allows for flexibility to adjust as needed, accommodating changes in the industry and financial circumstances that businesses will face in the future.

While every business has its own unique needs based on industry, location and other factors, contingent workers can bridge an important gap as leaders map out their plan of action. As we see more people turn to contingent work as they adapt to the current economic climate, having the ability to find workers and in the future is imperative.  

In order to find the contingent workers you need, when you need them, a staffing agency can help enormously and keep things moving along smoothly. If you’re looking for a staffing partner to help you, contact PeopleReady today.

Infographic: 3 Tips to Rebound Your Workforce Post-COVID-19

We provide a few important tips to help your business navigate the world of work and come back stronger than before during the COVID-19 pandemic.

January 21, 2021

Every company, in some way, has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Now as businesses look to reopen their doors, it’s critical they take the steps outlined in this PeopleReady infographic into consideration. 

Tips for Tackling After-Hour Work with JobStack

You get an urgent call from a customer requesting more workers at the job site. See how PeopleReady can help support your staffing efforts quickly and easily.

January 17, 2021

It’s 6 p.m. and after closing up shop, you’re finally ready to head home for the day. Just as you’re about to walk out the door, you get an urgent call from a customer. They have an urgent need that affects your job site.

How often do you find yourself working after hours? Sometimes it’s inevitable. In fact, 85.8% of men and 66.5% of women in the United States are working overtime. If you’re in this majority, here are some tips for tackling after-hours work.

Create a Plan

Taking work home with you can mean stress and distractions. A plan will help you stay on task as opposed to juggling work and your personal life. Make sure your plan indicates where you’ll be working, and create a work space at home will help keep you in a work mindset. There are likely to be distractions, so make sure to work in breaks as well.

Tackle What You Can

Always start with the most urgent tasks. If you know you need to complete a task on the jobsite by 7 a.m., tackle that first. The later it gets in the evening, the more likely it is that the other people you rely on will be offline. Always set a non-negotiable time where you put away your work. This will help you prioritize what you can get done before bed.

Partner When Possible

Look for partners who offer around-the-clock help. PeopleReady offers staffing solutions 24/7. Remember, always start with the most urgent tasks. With PeopleReady and JobStack, you’re able to place staffing orders from anywhere, at any time. This helps you get the help you need quickly, giving you more time to focus on more complicated tasks.

5 Indicators That You Need Staffing Help

Ensuring you have the right talent to get the job done well is part of the foundation of success—but what if you feel like you’re struggling to find the workers you require? Get expert advice here.

January 16, 2021
Woman holding paper turning from a white baord

You’re running a business—and you want it to move as efficiently, effectively, and excellently as possible. To do this, you’re looking for the best ways to operate, at the lowest cost possible. Whether in advertising, production, or HR—figuring out what makes sense for your bottom line and the wellness of your operations is crucial…and your recruiting is no different. Ensuring you have the right talent to get the job done well is part of the foundation of success—but what if you feel like you’re struggling to find the workers you require?

If you notice any of the following, it might be time to see how a staffing company can support your needs.

You’re stretched too thin.

When you’re busy posting ads for jobs, following up with interviewees, calling references, and reviewing resumes—you find you have less time to do the things your business needs to succeed. If you’re unable to attend to the core responsibilities and functions of your role, you will see the numbers slide. As the owner or manager, it’s vital your attention be focused on the activities that keep revenue flowing instead of being sidelined by finding workers you need.

You have a limited hiring budget.

Some businesses might have resources for every department to have the expertise needed, but many don’t. One of those areas that may lack is recruiting, making it difficult to know the best ways to attract and retain quality workers—meaning the risk of losing money on a less-than-stellar employee is higher. Instead of hiring a permanent employee and managing the cost of onboarding and potentially off-boarding, consider working with a temporary worker who can help get the work you need to be done without taking on long-term hiring costs.

Your turnover rate is climbing.

High turnover leads to a slew of negatives including loss of time and money, disruption in your workflow, and poor morale among existing employees. If you’re noticing that turnover is higher than usual, or that you’re not able to keep employees very long, it’s likely you’re onboarding the wrong people for the job repeatedly. Working with a staffing partner can help alleviate the stress of hiring workers who don’t fit and know how to connect workers with your company who have staying power.

Your productivity is lacking.

Loss of productivity ultimately impacts your bottom line. If you’re noticing low productivity in your operations, you’re going to feel it in the numbers too. Quality workers can help get your output levels back to where they need be, but finding them can be difficult. A staffing partner can help supplement your workforce with workers who can get the job done the right way, when you need it done.

Your team needs more help.

Whether you’re constantly trying to fill empty positions or simply have too much work for your full-time employees to complete, a short-staffed company is going to feel the effects—and so will your customers. You might be dealing with the flu season or holidays or too many people out on vacation, but with access to a robust workforce through a staffing company, your business won’t feel the pinch of a skeleton crew. Not only will your employees be grateful for the extra hands on deck, but you’ll also be able to deliver on the goods and services you promise to your consumers.

If any of these scenarios feel familiar, it’s worth looking into staffing help. Rather than struggle finding the temporary labor you need, let experts like the ones at PeopleReady who understand the industry and the workers behind it help get your workforce running to its full potential.

Why Your Hospitality Business Needs a Staffing Partner

Why do restauranteurs, hoteliers and spa managers alike enlist the partnership of a staffing agency like PeopleReady? See how we support the hospitality industry.

January 11, 2021

hospitality staffing

You know your staff is the heart of your hospitality business. Without excellent service at the forefront and behind the scenes, your customers can’t have the positive experience they’re expecting. In an increasingly competitive environment for workers, you’re approaching upcoming events and peak seasons wondering where to find the hospitality team needed to deliver.

Enter staffing companies. Their rising popularity with hospitality-focused businesses is a strong indication that the blend of technology, professional recruiting, and industry expertise meet under the guidance of certain staffing leaders. Hospitality staffing in 2019 means pairing app-based mobile and online on-demand hiring with hundreds of branch locations and dozens of years of insight into temp and gig workers. At least if you choose the right partner.

But why do restauranteurs, hoteliers, and spa-managers alike enlist the partnership of a staffing agency like PeopleReady?

  • With over 600 branches and millions of hours worked, we understand the specifics required for each aspect of your business. Employees are not one-size-fits-all and your operations need particular skills and people for various positions.
  • Take some of the weight of recruiting off your HR department so they can focus on keeping your permanent team in line. We have professional recruiters with a finger on the pulse of employment trends, changing laws, and how to attract the best workers for your needs.
  • Instead of increasing your overhead with high onboarding and offboarding costs, get to see how well each associate does on the job in a temporary position before sinking costs and time into hiring permanently.
  • Rather than push your regular employees to the point of over-exhaustion or burn-out during your busiest times, bring on extra helping hands that will allow your permanent team to focus on what they do best and allow temporary workers to bolster everyone’s efforts.
  • Stay flexible with workers on-demand or by scheduling in advance. The ease of our app, JobStack, lets you find and place workers wherever you need to: on your cell phone, tablet or desktop, 24/7.

Over the past 30 years, PeopleReady has provided dedicated temporary workforce support in housekeeping, banquet service, events and venues, retail and more.

Staffing for Seasonal Trends in Retail

See some of the peak periods that retailers, manufacturers and distribution warehouses need to consider when creating a staffing strategy.

October 25, 2020

Staffing for Seasonal Trends in Retail

See some of the peak periods that retailers, manufacturers and distribution warehouses need to consider when creating a staffing strategy.

Staffing for Seasonal Trends in Retail

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Are You Ready for the Holiday Rush?

See how the best way to ensure success during the holiday season is partnering with a staffing company for your seasonal staffing needs.

September 18, 2020

retail 092118

Every year it seems time gets compressed. Summer is barely over and retail outlets are already pushing Halloween costumes and holiday decor. As premature as this may seem, you might also want to plan ahead if you have the responsibility for staffing your workplace during the holiday season. A little bit of foresight can help you avoid many headaches: unplanned calls-offs, leave without notice, office tensions when you have to decline time off requests…

How can I plan ahead?

Ask your staff to pencil in their vacations now so you can prepare. You can find ways to cover their workload while devising a schedule that ensures all permanent staff are supported. You want your team to have opportunities to use their hard-earned vacation, and you also want to safeguard that essential business support is available and your results won’t suffer.

The holidays are my busiest season!

When managing retail or a shipping and receiving operation, it may be unreasonable to grant ample time off during the holidays. This can be tricky as your existing staff wants to spend time with friends and family. In this case, communicate to the entire team clearly that working during the holidays is required. You can still make work a positive for your team by offering incentive such as higher pay for holiday work, time off by seniority, or implementing a lottery system and/or offering extended time off after the seasonal rush. Glassdoor offers more great suggestions to effectively manage employee time off so you can best position your business and your workforce for a successful season.

Consider a staffing partner.

Hiring temporary staff to provide coverage may be a great option for your company. If you’ve worked with temporary staff in the past who understand the fundamental job requirements for the staff they are covering for, invite them to come back and work with you! If you haven’t used temporary staff in the past, a strong way to ensure coverage is to work with a staffing partner who will take care of the recruiting and placement for you.

Find a staffing partner who will listen to your needs, has a background in recruiting for similar skill types, and offers a pool of trained candidates that can step in. They can ultimately provide relief for your permanent staff with as little disruption to your business as possible. Find out more about how a partner providing 24/7 support can work for you.

3 Reasons Why Manufacturers Should Use Contingent Workers

The entire economy has been affected by COVID-19. See how businesses in the manufacturing and logistics industry can recover and become stronger than ever.

September 2, 2020
manufacturing, contingent workers

Every sector of the U.S. economy needed to react to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the manufacturing and logistics industry is no exception.

Most businesses experience seasonal cycles throughout the year. They’re also generally accustomed to variability in consumer preferences and well equipped to handle changing economic conditions. But the state of today’s world is something that no one could have predicted or prepared for.

No matter their size or industry, manufacturing and logistics businesses will see a few notable trends that will shape the industry in the years ahead. Learn how a contingent workforce solves a variety of challenges and keep your business moving forward.

The Variability in Supply Chains

Because certain types of businesses closed temporarily, and others faced unprecedented demand for their goods, many suppliers were severely affected. Despite these uncertainties, manufacturers seemed optimistic about their staffing plans for the rest of 2020 even during the peak of the pandemic, according to a survey by Thomas Insights:

  • 56% did not experience and are not planning layoffs.
  • 30% say they are actively hiring.
  • 91% are confident that the industry will recover.

In the coming months, businesses will need to better accommodate workloads and understand when staffing levels may need to be adjusted, as well as identify any roles that need to be repositioned or restructured. They also have an excellent opportunity to determine when and where contingent staff are required.

After a crisis or recession, businesses are typically hesitant to hire permanent staff. Hiring temporary or temp-to-hire workers can be a suitable alternative when they’re unsure about their immediate future and wish to minimize risk.

The Effects of E-Commerce

Retailers have been developing new ways to meet changing consumer demand and calls for safer shopping alternatives, using delivery or pickup options and virtual appointments to ensure safety while still offering convenient access to their products and services. Consumers have turned to e-commerce to fulfill some of their needs throughout this time, allowing retailers to make sales even while brick-and-mortar stores were closed.

In the early stages of the pandemic, consumers turned to online channels to purchase essential items, home furnishings, gifts and more.

  • In 2019, shoppers spent over $600 billion online, up nearly 15 percent from the previous year.
  • E-commerce sales are still up 55 percent year over year for the first seven months of the year, resulting in $434.5 billion in online spending.

The transition to online shopping has increased the workload for the manufacturing and logistics industry, as warehouses and distribution centers are tasked with being more efficient with picking, packing, and sending items to the package carrier.

As online sales continue to grow with no signs of stopping, bringing on contingent or temp-to-hire workers who can work on a short-term basis is key to delivering these items on time. With this additional support, businesses in manufacturing and logistics can scale much more efficiently and be prepared for future growth in e-commerce.

The Shifting Workforce

As warehouses and distribution centers face an influx of demand, people are experiencing significant obstacles in finding or maintaining a job, including reduced access to transportation, lack of affordable childcare, and various other reasons that may require them to work on a part-time or temporary basis. With the new realities of schooling and working from home, flexible schedules will be a beneficial alternative for much of your workforce.

Businesses will balance these changes with their own constraints, whether it’s how many employees they can bring back while still observing social distancing rules, or how many employees they can afford after a lengthy shutdown, with the availability of potential staff. Having contingent or temp-to-hire staff is a great benefit whenever they need additional support due to scheduling changes and other disruptions.

Partner with PeopleReady

If you’re starting a new project with a strict deadline and a tight budget, getting easy access to workers who are ready to step in and who may have performed similar work in the past is an invaluable asset. Many businesses may not be in a position right now to hire long-term employees, and temporary staffing can provide flexibility while keeping operations running smoothly.

To find temporary or temp-to-hire staff for your manufacturing and logistics business, contact PeopleReady today.

Spectrum Solutions Gets Staffing Support from PeopleReady

Spectrum Solutions needed additional staffing to meet demand for COVID-19 test kits, so they turned to PeopleReady for their workforce needs.

July 15, 2020

Spectrum Solutions is a company known for producing the saliva-based DNA testing kits used by Ancestry.com to help people discover their lineage. And for the company based in Draper, Utah, business was thriving.

Then COVID-19 struck, and company leaders wondered what they could do to help keep people and communities safe.

Cities across the U.S. are struggling to access and administer COVID-19 test kits to help track and contain the virus. The typical test for COVID-19 involves a cotton swab to either the throat or nose, and, with cases of COVID-19 soaring, demand was far outstripping supply. In addition, this method of testing typically requires healthcare providers to discard gloves and masks after close contact with anyone who may have the virus—critical PPE equipment that is also in short supply.

So, without delay, Spectrum started to explore a saliva-based testing kit using the approach and the technology they already had in place, evolving it to help in one of the most important fights of our time.

24/7 staffing needs

The Spectrum team knew they’d have to turn on a dime. Working around the clock, they were able to quickly develop a test that met the same standards and delivered similar results to the swab-testing method. What’s more, under a medical provider’s supervision, the saliva collection could be self-administered, which removes the need for close contact with healthcare workers—protecting the patient and staff and preserving PPE.

“This pandemic impacts every segment of society and keeping people safe is about everyone pitching in to make a difference,” said Bill Phillips, Spectrum’s Chief Operating Officer. “We saw helping as our responsibility. That meant quickly pivoting and ramping up our operations during these unprecedented times.”

The FDA–EUA fast-tracked approval of the test kit, which was developed in tandem with Rutgers University and can produce results in 24 hours. With demand high, Phillips anticipated Spectrum would produce 1 million kits per month initially and eventually as high as 3 million a month. They needed more people to support production, so, the company reached out to PeopleReady, who is now serving as its exclusive staffing partner for temporary staffing support.

“Spectrum is helping to save lives. We knew they needed the best and we’d need to be able to provide them with a workforce virtually overnight,” said Stefan Hiesel, Market Manager for PeopleReady. “Working with Spectrum, we were able to meet their needs at two production facilities to support the important work they’re doing.”

PeopleReady associates are now a vital part of the Spectrum team, working in the “clean room” and serving as the last touch point for the kits before they are sent around the globe.

“Demands change and we need partners who can act quickly and deliver in an unpredictable environment. PeopleReady has provided us with the workforce flexibility we need at this critical time,” added Phillips.

PeopleReady’s JobStack app is helping the company to connect with workers as demand changes at a moment’s notice. Hiesel and his team work with Spectrum to ensure the right jobs are getting to the right people to move this COVID-19 safety effort forward in a timely manner.

“Our workers know they are a part of keeping the country and the world safe during this pandemic, and they take great pride in the work they do with Spectrum,” added Hiesel.  

PeopleReady Is Ready to Help During Natural Disasters

Natural disasters never leave as quickly as they arrive. After a hurricane, storm, fire or other disaster is over, the hard work begins: rebuilding a community and helping people return to their normal lives.

June 25, 2020
Workers walking a flotation device through a flooded street

Natural disasters never leave as quickly as they arrive. After a hurricane, storm, fire or other disaster is over, the hard work begins: rebuilding a community and helping people return to their normal lives.

When you’re dealing with people’s livelihoods, you’re dealing with more than just jobs; a responsibility that no one should take lightly. For 30 years PeopleReady has been proud to bring workers to disaster recovery sites as businesses help communities rebuild.

Organization under pressure

Last fall, when Hurricane Michael hit the Florida panhandle, a PeopleReady team arrived in Panama City to find a heavily damaged scene with downed power lines and debris throughout. Although without power, the local PeopleReady branch was still standing and the team managed to clean up the site, power up the generators, and open for business. Eager workers lined up at the location and the recruiting team onboarded more than 300 people on Saturday morning. By the next morning, the first associates were dispatched to work.

Working behind the scenes

The month prior, when Hurricane Florence struck Virginia and the Carolinas, PeopleReady was equally prepared to get people working and restoring the affected communities. Although important, our team also knew it wasn’t simply about having a functioning brick-and-mortar location. They needed to be prepared behind the scenes so finding and placing associates was seamless and effective.

In preparation for the storm’s arrival, the PeopleReady team worked around the clock to:

  • Ensure we had accurate contact information for all employees, associates, and customers in the potential impact zone.
  • Activate remote recruiting teams to assist with surge hiring to get associates on clean-up sites quickly.
  • Encourage customers to download and use JobStack so that they could still place orders and approve associate pay on their phone even if the power was down.
  • Arrange transportation to get associates into work sites following the storm.
  • Have enough personnel in place to handle administrative and support tasks from remote markets.
  • Ship scanners and pay cards in order to accelerate hiring and assist with problem-free associate pay.

Looking beyond the storm

Before the storms arrived, PeopleReady teams monitored the safety and well-being of their teammates and continued to do so after the storms passed. They stayed in constant communication to ensure everyone was safe and had the resources they needed. When you partner with PeopleReady, you’re partnering with a team that understands what it takes to recover and succeed after a natural disaster.

PeopleReady specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform and 600-plus branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, PeopleReady served approximately 98,000 businesses and put more than 490,000 people to work in 2020.