DePaul Industries Blog

Utilizing Temporary Staffing This Summer? Read Our Tips

July 20, 2015

A female construction worker holding a stop sign.Summer is by the far the busiest season for temporary staffing companies. Many staffing customers, in industries like agriculture, manufacturing and transportation, are in peak season and must bring on temporary staff to help manage considerable upticks in business.

Read on for tips to help you maximize your investment in temporary staffing this summer.

1. Over-communicate with your staffing agency.
Do you have an in-demand skilled position, such as a CDL driver or welder, coming open in the near future? Are temporary employees exceeding your expectations? Have a huge order on tap next month that will require many additional employees? All of these scenarios (and many more) are key times to be in contact with your staffing agency. Designating a point person responsible for the majority of communications with the staffing firm can cut down on miscommunications and save time.

2. Provide detailed job descriptions.
Jobs vary widely by employers—production workers in one warehouse, for instance, might need to be able to lift 50 pounds and drive a forklift, while in another they may be required to lift light items repeatedly. By providing your staffing agency with a detailed description (called a job order by the staffing agency), they’ll be much more likely to find a great candidate.

3. Don’t forget about onboarding.
With the rush of the busy season, you may be tempted to get employees right to work with little preparation. But providing them with comprehensive training and familiarizing them with your workplace is key to their productivity and your business running smoothly.

4. Make safety a priority.
With so many new employees working during the summer, safety is a major concern. Safety should be a partnership with your staffing company; the staffing firm should provide basic safety training (inquire as to whether they have a Safety Manager and can develop a customized safety training specifically for your company), while workplace-specific training should be included during onboarding at your workplace. Also focus on heat safety if employees will be working outside or in hot indoor environments.

Heat Safety at Work a Priority During West Coast Heat Wave

June 25, 2015

Workplace heat safetyCities around the west are bracing for a heat wave, with many expected to reach temperatures in the triple digits this weekend. Our locations in Portland, Salem, Eugene and Hermiston, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho, will likely see record highs just a few days after the first official day of summer.

Outside workers, and those working in hot indoor environments, are especially susceptible to heat illness, and heat safety should be top of mind for employers and employees while these high temperatures continue. OSHA highlights three key, easy-to-remember factors in preventing heat illness:

Staying hydrated is key to staying safe. Drinking lots of water (OSHA recommends every 15 minutes) helps the body replenish all of the fluids lost to sweat. Staying nourished with regular meals and snacks is also important, and those doing very hard labor may drink a sports drink in addition to water to replace fluids and electrolytes.

Taking breaks to sit down in the shade helps the body cool down. Consider changing your break policy, or instituting different work/rest schedules, during periods of extreme heat so employees have more frequent breaks, and/or of a longer duration.

Breaks and meals should be taken out of the sun whenever possible. An area that is covered, or preferably indoors with a fan or air conditioning, provides some much-needed reprieve and a chance for workers to cool down. Make sure to have water available in this area, as well.

Proper clothing and sun protection (such as hats and sunscreen) are also important factors. Employees and supervisors should be very familiar with the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, and know who to call in case of an emergency (some companies contract with AMR or another company for mobile health care services).

Making sure your employees are knowledgeable about heat safety is key to helping them stay safe through this heat wave and the rest of the summer. OSHA offers dozens of printable flyers, posters and other tools (many available in Spanish and other languages) to help educate employees about this vitally important topic, including:
Protecting Workers from Heat Illness Flyer
Worksite Training Poster
Using the Heat Index: A Guide for Employers

Have more tips for heat safety at work? Leave them in the comments below!


New Survey: Americans With Disabilities Striving to Work

June 16, 2015

KFSurvey15_BannerThe Kessler Foundation‘s recently-released 2015 National Employment & Disability Survey confirms that most people with disabilities want to work, and are overcoming barriers to succeed in the workplace.

The survey of more than 3,000 American adults with disabilities was conducted by the University of New Hampshire. For the purposes of this survey, disability was defined as experiencing a difficulty in one or more of the following areas: hearing; vision; upper limb movement and manipulation; lower limb mobility; and cognition. Nearly 65% of respondents reported multiple disabilities.

Some compelling highlights from the survey include:

Almost 70% of respondents were striving to work (working, actively preparing to work, pursuing training, getting help preparing a resume, etc.).
The most common workplace accommodation was a flexible schedule, such as flexible start and end times, working from home, and taking more breaks. Many employers today offer flexible working hours to all employees, regardless of whether they have a disability.
The greatest barrier to job searching was lack of education or training.

DePaul Industries has been employing people with disabilities since 1971, and every day we see the benefits of hiring employees with disabilities. DePaul Industries has adopted a broader definition of disability than the one in this study, to include any condition that has a negative impact on major life functions, negatively impacts the ability to be employed, and is permanent.

Employers should hire a person with disability for the same reason they’d hire any employee: because they’re the right fit for the job. People with disabilities also contribute to your workforce’s diversity, bringing adaptability, creativity and unique perspectives. And in today’s very competitive employment market, with baby boomers retiring and a talent shortage on the horizon, people with disabilities are candidates who are often overlooked, but can be a major asset to your team.


Employees at DePaul Industries’ Hayden Island packaging facility package hazelnuts in June 2014.

DePaul Packaging Wins New Exporter Award

May 22, 2015

DePaul Packaging New Exporter Award - 2015 Celebrate TradeWe are honored that DePaul Packaging was recognized for its international trade leadership with the New Exporter award, presented by the Oregon Consular Corps and others at the Celebrate Trade Gala in Portland May 18.

According to the Oregon Consular Corps:

The New Exporter award recognizes a Portland metropolitan area company that has been trading internationally for two years or less on May 1, 2015. Judges considered entrepreneurial aptitude, commercial acumen, vision, ambition, and drive to build a successful international enterprise. The successful nominee has been chosen for being able to find and develop new growth opportunities abroad that have resulted in increased sales, profit, market share, head count or geographical expansion.

By the end of our fiscal year (June 30, 2015), we expect DePaul Packaging’s nut and dried fruit exports to reach $3 million in revenue. Our owned brands, Lost Coast Snacks and Juniper Naturals, are gaining traction in China, and we are working to expand our product line to include infant formula and begin exporting to other countries. All of these export activities directly support our mission by providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

The annual gala, part of World Trade Week, recognized the significant contribution Oregon’s private sector companies and nonprofits make to the region’s economic vitality and quality of life. The evening included keynote speeches by Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. It also raised funds for the Oregon Consular Corps Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to students at Oregon universities for study abroad.

Hosts of the evening included
Business Oregon, the City of Portland, Greater Portland Inc., Oregon Department of Agriculture, Pacific Northwest International Trade Association, Portland Business Alliance, Portland Development Commission, the Port of Portland, Travel Oregon and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Gala, held at the Portland Art Museum, featured videos of each award winner. You can watch the DePaul Packaging video, featuring DePaul Industries President & CEO Travis Pearson and footage from our Hayden Island packaging facility, below.

Hiring this Spring? You’re Not Alone

April 15, 2015

SpringHiringTrendsThe overall outlook for the job market in the second quarter can be summed up in one word: hiring.

March’s employment report was a letdown, with just 126,000 jobs created, the weakest month for job creation in over a year. Economists were concerned about this setback after sustained growth in the job market since the end of the recession. But other indicators suggest that hiring will pick up this spring. Job openings rose 3.4 percent to 5.1 million in February, according to the Labor Department, and it’s a positive sign that businesses have open positions to fill. Layoffs have also decreased and fewer Americans are filing for unemployment.

CareerBuilder’s Q2 2015 U.S. Job Forecast surveyed 2,175 hiring managers and human resources professionals, who had big plans for hiring this spring. Highlights include:

32% of employers plan to add full-time, permanent employees.
37% plan to hire temporary or contract employees this quarter, up from 33% in 2014.
31% expect to transition some of their temporary or contract employees into permanent team members, also a marked improvement year-over-year.

With this uptick in hiring, employers will have considerable competition for qualified candidates, and positions remaining open for longer periods. Dice Hiring Indicators reported that the average time to fill a position was 26.8 working days in February, the highest level since they’ve tracked this figure. Having an open position for more than a calendar month means a considerable loss of productivity, and pressure on staff members to temporarily take on additional duties.

If you’re looking to hire, especially in industries that see seasonal upticks in spring or if you need a high volume of employees, you’ll want to start early and plan ahead. Enlisting the services of a staffing agency is a great option. Spring is typically very busy for temporary staffing, and in our headquarter city of Portland, Oregon, we’ve seen demand start to pick up even earlier than usual this year.

Are you ramping up hiring this spring? Leave a comment below!


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