There are many factors to consider when selecting a firm that will be used to help provide supplemental technical staffing to your organization. We have compiled some of the most critical issues and common questions to help guide you in the process.

1. How well is the agency connected to the technical community?

An extensive network, credentials, and actual working experience in the technical and creative communities strengthen the agency's ability to provide superior technical and creative staffing. The more connected the agency is to specialized organizations, societies and leadership positions within the technical and creative fields, the better suited they are to access talent to meet your staffing needs.

PTS is a proud member of multiple industry associations and has strong ties within the technical and engineering communities. Acknowledgements by INC 500 as one of the fastest growing independent companies in the United States, and Ernst & Young, who honored PTS with "Entrepreneur of the Year" further strengthen PTS's credibility.

2. Specialized contingent staffers expect comparable benefits to that of regular employees.

Highly qualified supplemental employees seek a strong benefits package comparable to one that core staff members of your company might receive. PTS attracts and retains the highest caliber talent by providing them with a comprehensive employee benefits package including health and dental insurance, 401k investment program, direct deposit, and an option to accrue paid time off (PTO) for vacations and holidays.

3. Make sure your contingent staffers are getting paid fair market value.

You should know the wage rate paid to employees to insure the supplemental worker is not overpaid or underpaid compared to regular full-time staff. The worker's skill sets and experiences will be comparable to those of your in-house staff only if the worker receives a comparable wage rate. With PTS, wage rates are always discussed prior to a placement being made.

4. Question: Is it important that the contingent staff have instant eligibility to the agency benefits?

Answer: Yes.

PTS provides immediate eligibility for employment benefits. Employee benefits are a simple yet important way to attract and retain excellent talent and assure that contingent staffers are "happy campers."

5. Get familiar with the "multiplier" (the wage rate and your agency's markup percentage)

The relationship between the wage rate paid to the supplemental staff person and the billing rate charged to a company is referred to as the multiplier. The multiplier is affected by the wage rate, employer tax requirements, costs of employee benefits, and markup for the supplemental staffing firm. The lower the multiplier, the greater percentage of your cost goes directly to the employee of the supplemental staffing firm. With PTS, you always know the percentage markup applied to the wage rate, resulting in the most cost-effective scenario for you, the client.

6. Develop a strategic alliance in your supplemental staffing agency.

Staffing and outsourcing have become indispensable strategic tools for both Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies alike in managing an increasingly diverse workforce. Companies retain staffing firms such as PTS to provide a wide range of human resource services such as payroll and benefits administration, recruiting, skills assessment, and risk management, which streamlines and eliminates non-revenue generating activity. In essence, PTS has become partners with American businesses by enabling them to concentrate on core business endeavors.

7A. Is your company being bogged down with administrative, HR or Payroll functions?

Principal Technical Services can cost-effectively processes payroll, handle all taxes, insurance and benefits administration for any or all employees at a customer location. Eligibility for all PTS Employee Benefits is instantaneous. In addition, Principal Technical Services can provide complete in-house contract personnel administrative services, working alongside the client's management team.

7B. Consider outsourcing benefits and payroll management for staffing short-term projects.

Utilizing a third party payroll service for professional level workers can be an integral part of an effective contingent workforce strategy. If you're dealing with former 1099 independent contractors, returning retirees, temporary staffers or any other mission-critical professional-level worker sourced by your company, third party administrators can significantly improve overall productivity and efficiency.

8. Build trust and efficiency through a long-term relationship with your agency.

Companies regard PTS as a long-term business partner and recognize our strong management team, commitment to value-added customer service, and our extensive personnel resources. We attribute these successful partnerships to the expertise and efforts of our professionals whom we continually support and challenge.

9. Does your company have adequate insurance coverage for supplemental personnel working at your facility?

To insure that your company and the assigned workers are adequately protected from liability exposures, make sure the staffing firm issues you a "Certificate of Insurance." This certificate should show coverage's in excess of $1 million in the following areas: general liability, workers compensation, and employment practices. PTS will supply Certificates of Insurance upon request.

10. Independent Contractor or Employee? Know the difference?

In the event your company uses Independent Contractors that work full time at your facility, you may have an interest in the 20 Questions the IRS and EDD use to help determine if a worker is an Independent Contractor or an employee. When PTS is the official employer of record, the client has the proper insurance protection from a PTS supplied Certificate of Insurance, and PTS withholds the State and Federal mandated withholdings.

For more information on PTS and other critical staffing issues affecting your business, e-mail:

Copyright © 2003 Principal Technical Services, Inc.


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