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Thinking of Hiring a Recent Graduate? Know the Pros and Cons

April 1st, 2014

It’s that time of year again. Throughout Central and Southern Pennsylvania, fresh-faced students will be moving the tassels on their mortar boards – and entering the job market.

The question is – should you hire them? Today, Berks & Beyond examines the pros and cons of hiring recent graduates, so you can make the best choice for your business:

On the Upside…

Unbridled enthusiasm (pardon the Seinfeld reference). Young employees have lots of energy to bring to their jobs. They’re eager to please and eager to learn. And with typically fewer outside commitments (such as a family to care for), these employees may have more time to devote to work responsibilities.

Fresh ideas, up-to-date job skills. Recent graduates won’t be constrained by the same ways of thinking that may limit your seasoned employees. They can bring novel approaches to the challenges your organization faces. Furthermore, having grown up with the internet, they’re fearless, tech-savvy and can easily adapt to the multitude of technological advancements that are impacting your business. They may even be able to step in and train your existing team!

Cost savings. From a dollars-and-cents perspective, you can expect to pay a fresh graduate 20% to 40% less than an experienced candidate. In addition, these candidates are less likely to ask for more money or leverage your offers against others – simply because they have less experience with negotiations.

Easier to train. Compared to a seasoned professional, a newbie is much easier to “mold.” In many areas they will be starting from scratch, so you won’t have to re-train them, replace previous knowledge, or break bad habits experienced employees bring with them.

Potential Concerns…

Lack of experience. Obviously, most recent graduates lack work experience. While many job skills can certainly be taught, sometimes there is no substitute for the perspective and expertise only years on the job can bring. In addition, it can be difficult to gauge how well a recent grad will handle the pressures of a real workplace without a “track record.” If you plan to hire them, build in additional time for training, supervision and acclimation to your culture – and prepare yourself for a few “rookie mistakes.”

Unrealistic expectations. You may find that younger workers have a certain sense of entitlement – expecting opportunities to be handed to them on a silver platter, so to speak. While this is certainly not true of every recent graduate, inexperienced job seekers may not understand the realities and difficulties of finding a good job. They may expect you to “sell” an opportunity to them or spoon-feed them the skills and training they need.

Lack of a clear career path. Even with four or more years of education, graduates have had little time out in the “real world” to explore their career options – and may not know yet what they truly want to do with their lives. So even if the opportunity, pay, benefits and culture you offer are stellar, a recent graduate may still leave you unexpectedly (after you’ve invested significantly in their training).  So when interviewing these candidates, make sure there’s a good fit between the career progression for the available job, and the candidate’s two-to-five-year career plan.

Hiring fresh graduates may or not be right for your organization. But no matter what type of talent you need – entry level through seasoned professional – Berks & Beyond can make hiring a top performer easier. Contact your Carlisle employment agency for more information.

Employment & Economic Snapshot for Harrisburg & Carlisle, PA: Latest BLS Indicators

February 7th, 2013

When we last looked at the Harrisburg economy six months ago, indicators were largely positive.  In terms of unemployment rates, the Harrisburg-Carlisle region was faring significantly better than the nation, at a rate 1.2 percent percent lower than the national average.

So how are things looking now?

Download the “Harrisburg-Carlisle.pdf” file on this Selected BLS Economic Indicators page to see how the Harrisburg-Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) stacks up against Pennsylvania and the nation.

The latest statistics show the Harrisburg-Carlisle MSA’s unemployment rate at 6.6% – once again, significantly lower than the national (7.4%) and state (7.3%) rates.  In addition, total nonfarm employment is also up 1% in the Harrisburg area from the same time last year.  Improvements in nonfarm employment locally are slightly higher than the state average (.8% increase), but lower than the improvement seen nationwide (U.S. nonfarm employment edged up 1.4%).

For comprehensive employment statistics, follow this link:

Bureau of Labor Statistics Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA: Nonfarm employment and labor force data

Or, visit the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC’s website to get a summary of the Harrisburg Regional 2013 Economic Forecast meeting held yesterday.  The meeting covered the status of the nation’s economic expansion, as well as external factors (such as the European sovereign debt crisis) that threaten our continued recovery.

Want to learn more?

Contact us and a Berks and Beyond staffing professional will show you how our services can help you make the most of our current economy.  Our staffing services for Central and Southern PA employers will keep your workforce flexible, while allowing you to capitalize on new business opportunities.

Employment and Economic Indicators for Harrisburg and Carlisle, PA

August 9th, 2012

When we last looked at the economy seven months ago, indicators were largely positive.  As a nation, nearly every industry added workers in January, with restaurants, health care, manufacturing, and professional and business services registering the biggest hiring gains.  In terms of unemployment rates, the Harrisburg-Carlisle region was faring significantly better than the nation, at over 2 percent lower than the national average.

So how are things looking now?

Download the “Harrisburg-Carlisle.pdf” file on this Selected BLS Economic Indicators page to see how the Harrisburg-Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) stacks up against Pennsylvania and the nation.

The latest statistics show the Harrisburg-Carlisle MSA’s unemployment rate at 6.7% – once again, significantly lower than the national (7.9%) and state (7.3%) rates.  However, total nonfarm employment is actually down .3% in the Harrisburg area from the same time last year, while the state’s employment increased .5%.  Essentially, little has changed in the last six months for both our local area and our nation.  Jobs are being added, but not at a fast enough pace to significantly improve our economy.

For comprehensive employment statistics, follow this link:

Bureau of Labor Statistics Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA: Nonfarm employment and labor force data

Want to learn more?

Contact us and a Berks and Beyond staffing professional will show you how our services can help you make the most of our current economy.  Our staffing services for Central and Southern PA employers will keep your workforce flexible, while allowing you to capitalize on new business opportunities.

BERKS & BEYOND NAMES NEW CARLISLE BRANCH MANAGER

June 23rd, 2011

Edwin Kauffman Promoted to Management Role in Expansion Location

Wyomissing, PA – Berks and Beyond Employment Services, Inc. is pleased to name Edwin Kauffman as Branch Manager of their Carlisle office.   In his new role, Kauffman will manage sales, customer service and day-to-day activities for the recently opened expansion branch.  Additionally, he will ensure that Berks and Beyond sends out only the highest quality employees with the experience, skills and work ethic to consistently exceed clients’ expectations.

“Ed has proven to be a great asset to our team, rising very quickly through the ranks at Berks and Beyond,” says Chris Garner, President of Berks and Beyond Employment Services, Inc.  “His passion for staffing and strong work ethic will help our newest branch grow to become the leading staffing service in our newest market.”

The Carlisle branch, which opened earlier this year, is the seventh location for the leading Central and Southern Pennsylvania staffing firm.  Located at 1 Alexandra Court, Carlisle, PA 17015, the branch is part of Berks and Beyond’s strategic plan to open offices where their clients are located – to recruit the best candidates locally and deliver superior customer service.

When interviewed, Kauffman humbly stated, “I’d like to thank Chris Garner and Berks and Beyond Inc. for giving me the opportunity to prove myself as an asset to a company that values and rewards hard work and dedication.”

Outside of the office, Kauffman plays bass guitar in a band, listens to music and enjoys going to see shows.  He spends most of his free time kayaking, camping, fishing, hunting and participating in other outdoor activities.

Temporary Assignment Limits and Concerns About Benefits Liability

February 15th, 2011

In the wake of historic employment litigation (e.g., Vizcaino v. Microsoft), some companies have adopted policies limiting assignment length for temporary and contract employees from staffing firms.  Why?  These employers view assignment limits as a way to protect themselves from the kind of “retro-benefits” claims Microsoft faced back in the 1990s.

Unfortunately, these assignment limit policies have downsides.  They can cause economic harm to on-time temporary or contract employees whose assignments are terminated prematurely, and they can disrupt your company’s business operations.  To better protect your organization, you should closely examine its staffing policies to ensure that such limits are truly necessary – and not based on misinformation.

If you have questions about co-employment law, as it relates to assignment limits and associated benefits, here is a great resource with the answers you need.  The American Staffing Association’s Staffing Smarts Intelligence Report:  Assignment Limits and Concerns About Benefits Liability, by Edward A. Lenz, Esq., General Counsel, reviews the basic principles of law that apply to employee benefits plans, and then describes steps employers can take to avoid retro-benefits exposure:

Create a plan that expressly excludes staffing firm employees. The report suggests template language (that your legal counsel should review)  you can use for the purpose of excluding staffing firm employees from participation in your Erisa plan.

Use employee waivers. In addition to amending benefits plans, you may be able to achieve additional protection through agreements in which the staffing firm’s employees expressly waive their right to the company’s benefits.

Allow the staffing firm to handle employment related functions for temporary and contract staff, such as:  recruiting, screening, determining wages, hiring, firing, assigning, resolving disputes, disciplining, etc.

Keep the lines between direct staff and contingent staff clear. The report includes several other steps (such as channeling social invitations through the staffing firm) you can take to avoid blurring the distinction between your core staff and temporary employees.

Make Co-Employment Work with Berks & Beyond. Read our tips for successful co-employment, or contact Berks & Beyond with your staffing questions.  We help Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania employers like you use staffing to achieve more.

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