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Operations Timing vs. On-Boarding Requirements

Staffing Lead Time Don’t forget to plan time for “On-Boarding Requirements” when you place a job order that is driving the timing of your operation. The staffing firm’s hiring processes and the client’s unique on-boarding requirements should be taken into consideration.

How long does it take to fill a job order? The short answer: “It depends!

Notwithstanding the pressure that low unemployment puts on the available talent in any given area, there are four important areas where on-boarding requirements have made this answer complex. Let’s look at each one and consider how each challenge can be met:

  1. Regulations require more rigor to comply with basic HR laws.
  2. Pooling applicants is not as easy as it once was.
  3. On-boarding requirements of the staffing firm, and the client’s company.
  4. Background Checks are more the norm and depend on government processes.

HR Laws Apply

HR Directors at new clients are often unaware that employment laws affecting them equally affect staffing companies. From E-Verify to workers compensation and from unemployment to health care – the same rules apply. Staffing company employees are real employees and staffing companies are real employers in the eyes of the law.

And, even more carefully, staffing companies work diligently to leverage these laws to eliminate any issues or confusion by the IRS, DOL or ICS around co-employment as it pertains to the staffing company’s employees.

Pooling Is Harder

It’s becoming impossible to pool applicants. Why? No applicant is going to wait for a job that starts in 2 weeks, when they can go to work now on another assignment or for another staffing company. Second, there’s a cost to margins if an employee is employed, but not working (producing revenue). Exceptional staffing companies can minimize this, but this factor has reduced operational utility, unfortunately.

On Boarding Takes Time

30 years ago people lined up to work, they were dispatched, and returned for their day’s pay at the end of the day. Now, every employee must go through a rigorous on-boarding process. It takes time. Add to that a client’s special on-boarding requirements such as skills tests, lifting tests, and more paperwork.

Background Checks Take Longer

This one factor has rapidly become almost universally required by many clients. it makes sense to reduce risk in this way. But it takes time. The time required can increase depending on whether it is a local, state or national check. Many municipalities have their records digitized and available and searchable electronically. Unfortunately not all do, and many that don’t are the larger and least staffed to handle the demand.

Side Note: One such background check is Cook County – all records are searched manually by real humans making it take more time. Often it is the larger cities that are the furthest behind.


There are no shortcuts. Be weary of staffing companies that say “people can be placed immediately.”Occasionally and opportunistically, depending on the job requirements, an employee with the right skills becomes available precisely at the moment you place an order. Capitalize on those situations. But for new opportunities with your unique job skill requirements, the general norm is to find specific new talent to fit critical requirements and job expectations at your facility. This just takes time.

Work Together

You can, and we can, beat these challenges. Make this more efficient and effective for both the staffing agency and the Client? A few suggestions:

  1. Collaboratively develop long-term labor plans with your staffing firm – if yours can’t call Barton Staffing.
  2. Leverage your staffing firm’s business and human resources competency – if yours can’t, call Barton Staffing.
  3. Plan for staffing needs earlier, make a plan – if yours can’t, call Barton Staffing.
  4. Put workers to work as soon as on-boarded, don’t wait for Monday.
  5. Consider allowing assignment starts pending completion of a background check.

We’re pretty creative here at Barton Staffing Solutions. Want to discuss the business climate driving these factors? Call us today to learn more.