A longtime client company was recently in touch about a new service that they needed which they hoped Abel Personnel could provide. Prior to that phone call, this 30-person company had relied on Abel to fill occasional new and replacement openings with direct hires, as well as to provide temporary workers to fill in for employees out on PTO or during crunch times when additional hands were sought. The new need?
“We have a staffing growth requirement that our HR and Accounting Departments do not have the capacity to handle.”
A few clarifying questions later, and the requirement was understood to be the fast expansion of their local 24/7 call center to now serve the Mid-Atlantic region. This would be staffed by about 100 people, to be brought on in classes of 10 each week over three months. Abel would provide 14 pre-qualified trainees each week, with the expectation that about 4 would drop out during that first week due to personal reasons. There would also likely be more turnover in this job category than the client had previously experienced. The client already knew that Abel would have no trouble scaling their services to this client, even in a tight labor market.
“What will be different,” the client went on to explain, “is that we would also like these employees to be working for you, including your company handling payroll, benefits tailored to this group, performance issues and reviews along with the hiring and firing.”
How It’s Done
This was not a new requirement for Abel, the client was first assured. Abel Personnel already successfully provides these solutions for many clients. Some of these arrangements were structured in order to meet RFP requirements to subcontract significant costs to a Women-Owned Business (WBE), a designation that Abel was awarded in 2013. For most of these situations, the process was very similar to a direct hire:
- These employees were hired through the same skills and qualification assessments, interview, and reference check process based on direction by the client company. However, they were Abel Personnel employees, and received their paychecks directly from Abel. Abel also complies with and handles the federal, state, worker’s compensation, and unemployment deductions.
- These employees can receive the benefits identified by the client company, including possibly PTO benefits, insurance benefits, 401K, reimbursements, etc.
- As Abel employees, any personnel action, such as a performance review and discipline, would is done through the Abel account manager and HR representative assigned to the client company.
- The client company can reclassify employees from Abel to become direct hires based on an agreement similar to temp-to-hire.
Starting out in this process, some current call center employees could be transferred to Abel Personnel. It was also the client’s option whether or not to let their staff know who were their direct hires and who were technically Abel employees.
Transitioning to Temp-to-Hire
The client was pleased with how simple and fluid this process was. This reaction created an opening to introduce another employment process some client companies were accessing as a contingency strategy: temp-to-hire. This approach has most new company employees start out as a temp working for Abel. This status continues for pre-determined number of hours, about the same period that some companies call the “training period.” Once those hours have been met, the company could have the employee become a direct hire or continue on as temp. They can also request Abel to excuse an employee at any time.
“This is especially smart when there are a relatively large number of workers being hired, allowing the client and the employee to determine culture and role compatibility through the initial period, such as new service ramp-up,” the client was advised. This is an opportunity to quickly secure new staff with Abel’s Recruiting team matching their skills and qualifications, and conducting the screenings and interviews. Having a new worker start as a temp and knowing there is an opportunity for direct hire gives both the company and worker a chance to better know each other before that transition is offered. This reduces bad hire risk, and immediately accesses Abel’s pipeline of prequalified candidates.
The client’s final concern was whether, given an option, a worker might choose a direct hire with one company rather than a temp-to-direct situation with another company.
“That’s always a risk, but less so with these rising generations and the employment market,” the client was counseled. “We often advise these applicants that for those first few months, they are ‘being reviewed’ no matter whether they are a direct hire or a temp through Abel. Most of these candidates are more focused on the opportunity to advance their career, learn new skills, gain experience and work in a company culture that is the right fit for them. They accept the temp-to-hire position believing they have the skills and work ethic to become direct employees fairly quickly.”
The conversation continued until the client felt comfortable with the options to present to senior management, along with a recommendation.