There are literally hundreds of reasons to build an intranet for your staffing firm.
I obviously can’t list all of them here, but I will share with you a few first-hand stories of how an intranet completely changed one staffing company for the better.
Let me rewind just a bit. You might still be asking, what the heck is an intranet?
Simply put: An intranet is a website or network that is FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY.
Yep, that’s about it. Beyond that — it is what you make it.
STOP USING THE OLD FORM!
Every staffing company has hundreds, sometimes thousands, of forms that get used on a semi-regular basis. How do you ensure the most up-to-date forms are used at all times?
From worker’s comp forms to applications to drug test sign-offs and literally everything in between, managing these forms is mind-boggling.
What happens when your HR manager makes a small change, for legal reasons, to the exit interview form? If you don’t have an intranet she probably emails the entire company telling everyone to “STOP USING THE OLD FORM.” She attaches the new form to her email, further clogging everyone’s inbox.
Most staffing specialists take notice and use the new form. However there is always one or two who “didn’t see” the e-mail — so they continue to use the old form that they saved on their desktop three months ago. This is bad.
Take this scenario and multiply it by one hundred. Or one thousand. You can see how it is impossible for your company to use forms consistently if you depend on this method of form distribution and management.
What can you do? Put all of your forms on the intranet.
When your HR manager tweaks a form she uploads the new version to the intranet and sends out an email (or some other form of internal communcation) to the company letting them know of the change.
All of your staff will then access the same form from the same place, guaranteeing you compliance and consistency. And your HR Manager isn’t clogging up everyone’s inbox with form updates.
You just have to make sure your employees only use the intranet for forms — AT ALL TIMES. This may seem difficult at first, but I’ve seen first-hand how quickly people will change the way they work when they realize the new way is much better and, more importantly (to them), easier.
That’s just one story, I’ve got dozens of them. How about another?
THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH A LITTLE COMPETITION
This intranet story is quite a bit different than the last one.
I’ve learned from experience that Staffing Specialists are very competitive by nature. They love to compare which office has the most billable hours, or which office billed the most fees.
But what about individual motivation? How do you reward one particularly special staffing specialist? How do you know WHO to reward?
Postive employee motivation and morale is absolutely critical. If your employees feel dejected and lack motivation you might as well hang it up.
How can an intranet help?
Create a page on the intranet that is completely devoted to employee and branch statistics.
One common way of determining a staffing specialist’s success is by how long their hires “stick” to the job. After all, it isn’t about how many people you place as much as how long they stay there. That’s where the real money is.
Create a chart that displays the Top 10 Staffing Specialists By Employee Longevity (for the month). You will be amazed at how quickly they start to focus on placing QUALITY candidates that will stick — as opposed to QUANTITY.
Of course you have to reward the recruiters who finish in the top 10. Give them an extra vacation day to spend with their families. Buy them lunch or give them a gift certificate to a nice restaurant.
The reward is an important motivator, but you will find that the most competitive people don’t do it for the reward. They do it because they love to win.
And those are the people you want on your team.
What are some other statistics you could publish? Choose stats that help improve the bottom line. Don’t pick a stat that doesn’t help you, like Top 10 Most Employees Placed. That would encourage junk hiring.
Pick something that helps the bottom line. If your additional fees are mostly profit, then you could do something like Top 10 Most Fees Billed by Office.
The intranet can also help with things like:
• Employees save time because they aren’t looking for “lost” forms
• Training materials can be made available to your employees 24/7
• News, announcements, birthdays and anniversaries can be updated throughout the day, increasing employee awareness
• With online request forms, employees aren’t wasting time requesting help incorrectly, which often results in numerous e-mail exchanges between multiple employees
• More administrative information available means less need for administrative employees. A well-designed intranet can eliminate approximately 30-40% of your administrative staff
I really could go on and on… and on. I personally watched a company struggle internally on several fronts only to have the intranet smooth most of it out — while saving money.
Check back next week for a discussion on the various systems you can use to build an intranet. Do you use an open source CMS like WordPress? Or do you go with Microsoft’s SharePoint? There are quite a few options.
We’ll discuss these and other technologies in a follow up article, Building An Intranet For Staffing: What Are My Options?