According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business output in the United States declined by a whopping $753 billion during the period between 2007 and 2009 known as the Great Recession, and our economy is still struggling to recover. While your company’s productivity can be influenced by outside factors, efficiency and high-quality output also depend heavily on the talent you have on your team.

Finding qualified candidates may be the most important thing you can do as a business owner. Here’s how top-notch employees can make a huge difference.

High Turnover Leads to Higher Costs

A study by the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) found that replacing a worker costs an average of $4,000. Other sources estimate the cost to be between six to nine months of the position’s salary. When you lose an employee, you’re faced with lower productivity, advertising expenses, redirection of the resources needed for interviewing and assessing job seekers, training costs, on-the-job errors made by new employees, and the overall impact on company culture. Minimize those costs by hiring quality, dedicated employees from the outset and working with a staffing company to fill any unexpected vacancies.

Morale is Important

Most people don’t want to be the hardest-working employee in the office. While a stellar work ethic is always something to be proud of, feeling like you’re pulling the weight of underperforming colleagues is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Rushing through the hiring process just to fill a seat may feel like the easiest decision at the time, but the consequences could be dire – and fixing the error may well be exponentially more expensive than it would’ve been to hire staffing assistance from the beginning. Hire right the first time and everyone on your team will reap the rewards.

Letting People Go is Awful

No decent boss enjoys firing an employee, but sometimes performance and attitude issues make it necessary to take action. Terminating someone’s employment feels even worse when you realize that they were never a good fit in the first place. There are lots of ways to define a qualified employee – knowledge, experience, ability to get along with others, willingness to take direction – and evaluating all of those characteristics thoroughly before offering a job seeker a place within your company can save everyone involved a lot of heartache.

To find qualified candidates to fill your job vacancies, contact our team at Barracuda Staffing today. Not only do we have the resources and talent pool to find excellent employees quickly, we also make it our mission to place applicants in situations in which they’re most likely to succeed. That’s the kind of win-win scenario everyone can get behind.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. companies hired more than 62.7 million people in 2016. That’s a lot of resources being poured into filling job vacancies, and the burden of constant interviewing and vetting applicants can take a toll. To get around the problem, many businesses turn to local staffing agencies. But, how do you know which team offers the right fit?

Here are some key elements and questions to consider asking when you embark on your search.

What Kind of Industries Does the Agency Service?

Many staffing agencies specialize in only a few related industries. While this may be ideal if your own hiring needs will be restricted to only a specific niche—such as clerical hiring or call center staffing— larger businesses with several departments may eventually require varied employee placement assistance.

What is Their Approach to Recruitment and Interviewing?

One of the reasons that the hiring process is so time-consuming is that employers are meticulous about scrutinizing the people they’re considering bringing on board. Contracting with a staffing agency should allow you to refocus your energy on other tasks, but only if you’re confident in the organization’s approach to their talent search.

It’s perfectly fine to ask your recruiters questions, such as:

  • What kind of testing do they ask applicants to complete?
  • Do they offer any skills training?
  • On average, how long do employees stay with the agency or stay on contract? (The answer to this question may be a tell-tale sign of the company’s relationship with their employees, as well as how effective they are at screening job seekers.)
  • How big is their talent pool?
  • How long is the typical turnaround between a staffing request and employee placement?

Can the Agency Accommodate Your Growing Company?

It can be tempting to partner with a small, locally focused agency, but that can cause problems as your business expands. As you add more projects and require more staffing assistance you’ll need to draw from a larger pool, and not all agencies will advance at the same rate that you do. Consider it a major plus if the agency you ultimately select is eager to help your business blossom, especially if they can help you with placements in other states when the time comes. (Hint: Our team at Barracuda Staffing can help you find talented applicants nationwide!)

What Do They Offer in Terms of Benefit Coverage and Payroll Oversight?

If your staffing agency covers things like workers’ compensation or health insurance and manages payroll concerns, you can end up saving a huge chunk of money. In December 2016, employers in the U.S. paid out an average of $11.03 per hour per employee in benefits. That can add up quickly and having an agency absorb those costs may increase your ROI exponentially.

Are you facing a staffing shortage or turning down big proposals because you simply don’t have the manpower? At Barracuda Staffing, we pride ourselves in helping our clients keep their businesses running smoothly by developing great employees and placing them in the perfect situation. To learn more about how Barracuda can solve your staffing needs, contact us today.

Between advertising, HR staff salaries, and related collateral, businesses spend an estimated $124 billion on talent acquisition every year, often with less than thrilling results. Here are 10 reasons why working with an Oklahoma staffing company is a much better play for both your business and your bottom line.

1. You’re Partnering with Experts

Even if your company has the budget to hire an in-house human resources manager, that’s just one tiny part of your workforce taking responsibility for the staffing of your growing empire. Staffing agencies only dealing with staffing – it’s what they do all day long, 52 weeks a year, and that familiarity makes a marked difference.

2. More Confidence in Your Staff

You can spend all day interviewing and still not feel strongly about your candidate’s overall abilities or you can let a top-tier staffing agency use their tried-and-true employee placement assessments to evaluate potential hires on a number of highly relevant criteria.

3. You Can Instantly Fill a Variety of Positions

Rather than slogging through applications for individual positions as openings crop up, you can go straight to your staffing agency’s pool of pre-vetted workers to fill anything from an entry-level clerical job to a highly skilled position in manufacturing.

4. The Busy Season is Now Stress Free

All most every industry has a busy season. Whereas previously you’d have to pay your existing staff an enormous amount of overtime while flirting with company-wide burnout, a staffing company can help you augment your numbers quickly so you can tackle short-term projects efficiently and effectively.

5. You Could Save on Employment-Related Costs

Hiring new employees is expensive. There’s the cost of the staff you use to interview and screen applicants and fees related to pre-employment testing, drug screening, and background checks, and that’s all before you actually offer anyone a job. Staffing agencies absorb those costs plus they’re often responsible for payroll and benefits, leading to savings the U.S. Department of Labor estimates at around 8.2%.

6. You Can Offer Your Current Employees More Flexibility

When a worker needs a vacation, requests maternity leave, or wants to spend spring break with their kids, knowing you can call on a staffing agency to help pick up the slack makes saying yes a whole lot easier.

7. You Can More Readily Take on Specialty Jobs

Almost every business owner has experienced the pain and frustration of turning down a client request due to a general lack of manpower or because they simply don’t have a certain specialist on staff. Partner with a staffing agency and you’ll have a team of specialists at the ready. Whatever your client needs, be it a dozen extra bodies or someone with extensive experience with a particular industry niche, you can source with the assistance of your team of staffing experts.

8. Retention Rates May Soar

Experts say that the cost of employee turnover is, on average, equal to about 20% of that position’s salary. Rather than hiring blind or based off a simple resume, staffing agencies specialize in assessing employee performance, work history, qualifications, and suitability. The result is faster training periods, longer-term contracts, happier employees, and fewer bumps in the road in terms of revenue and productivity.

9. Staffing Agencies Aren’t Just for Temporary Hires

Yes, staffing services do help companies find workers for short-term projects, but just as often those agencies are helping businesses find employees that will be with them for months if not years. Contract positions can be short or long, part-time or full-time, and entry level or supervisory in nature, and for companies with large, varied workforces, having access to diverse hires is both empowering and reassuring.

10. You Can Finally Focus on What You Do Best

Few people start a business in hopes that they’ll spend their days managing HR concerns and retraining waves of new employees. It’s exhausting, it’s disheartening, and spending all that time on staffing issues mean you’re diverting your energy from other areas of your business that require your attention. Hire a staffing company and let them do what they do best so you can start doing the same.

For help guiding your company through its next growth phase, partner with the premiere staffing agency in Tulsa. Barracuda Staffing takes sourcing new talent seriously, dedicating endless resources into cultivating excellent candidates for some of the most respected companies in Oklahoma. To see how Barracuda can help you, contact our office today.


Star Trek vs. Star Wars.

Some people like their science fiction filled with space monks with laser swords fighting the evils of Space Hitler in a mobile James Earl Jones machine.

Me? I like my science fiction based on realism, thank-you-very-much. And few science fiction shows ground themselves in plausible science quite like Star Trek. A great example is in the Star Trek Voyager episode “Threshold”. Lieutenant Tom Paris became the first person to break the Warp Ten barrier, and in doing so he evolved into a giant lizard that couldn’t tolerate water or oxygen and then he proceeded to kidnap Captain Janeway, transporting her to an alien planet, somehow turning her into an evolved lizard thing, and then proceeded to mate and have a bunch of lizard babies…


After Tom Paris breaks the Warp Ten barrier he begins evolving into a lizard thing that for some reason can't tolertate water or oxygen

Tom Paris with the worst case of psoriasis in the history of Starfleet

So yeah, I guess Star Trek is strange too. But all joking aside, I still love Star Trek and there are some legitimate lessons that can be learned and applied to our personal and work lives. Here are just 3 of the things Star Trek taught me about being successful:

1. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few – or the one

When the Enterprise was in danger of destruction, Spock entered the radioactive chamber, knowing full-well that he’d die doing so. He entered to fix the ship’s drive so the rest of the crew could escape. In his final breaths, Spock begins to collapse against the chamber wall when he says “Don’t grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh–” to which Kirk finishes the line, “–the needs of the few.”

Now, this might get a bit philosophical, so to help ease you all into it I will sprinkle in pictures of cats and dogs working to help keep your attention.

In social science, there was a study… I’ve already lost you, haven’t I? Look, as promised, here is a picture of a cat office. You’re welcome

Cats working in an office. It's adorable. That is objective fact. Trust me

Their data entry skills are absolutely purr-fect

Okay, seriously, there was a study done that utilized the Prisoner’s Dilemma in regards to whether or not human beings were naturally selfish or cooperative. In a nutshell, here is how the Prisoner’s Dilemma works:

Let’s say that you and a friend are suspected of committing a crime and are being interrogated in individual rooms. Regardless if you’re actually guilty or not, the goal is to do what you can to minimize your time in jail, or avoid it all together. you and your friend are given two options: plead guilty or not guilty. You plead guilty, you get a lesser sentence, but you’ve implicated  your friend in the crime and he’ll receive a much harsher sentence now. However, if you remain silent and your friend pleads guilty, then you’re getting the harsher sentence while your friend gets a lighter one. If you both confess, you just end up implicating each other and you both serve prison sentences.

The dilemma comes in that, had you both just remained silent and cooperated right from the start, you both would have been just fine and, most likely, gotten away with no one serving prison sentences.

Officer Bark-aby Bones watching over his prisoner

Prison is ruff. No bones about it.

Obviously, committing crimes is bad, but the study that put a modified form of the dilemma to work found that when people were willing to put aside their own interests to reach for a common, greater good, they benefited more in the long-term than those who didn’t cooperate. Whether or not we’re genetically or environmentally conditioned to be selfish is still up for debate, as another study showed that Americans are more selfish and self-interested than European countries, but that’s just because we’re awesome and what do they know?

Bringing this all back around, when you’re working for a company, whether you love it or hate it, you are part of a team. And while being a rebel is great, you have to remember that even the most rebellious leaders still had a team with a unified goal. If you’re on a team with no vision for the future,  you’re going to quickly become disinterested in the mission.

Dog with a book in a tie

You’re barking up the wrong tree if you think you’re getting a raise!

This is not an all-or-nothing philosophy. There is nothing wrong with selfishness in moderation. Even if you’re inclined to help others, how can you be of any use to them when you’re not taking care of yourself? At the other end of the spectrum, while independence is a sign of a great leader, the greatest do not (or should not) dominate their team with fear, but instead cultivate an environment which the sentiment is “We’re all in this together.”

When Captain Picard encountered the Borg for the first time (thanks to the near-omnipotent ‘Q’ hurling the Enterprise deep into the Delta Quadrant) Picard wasn’t afraid to admit that he needed Q’s help escaping. “You wanted to frighten us? We’re frightened. You wanted to show us we were inadequate? For the moment, I grant that. You wanted me to say ‘I need you’? I NEED you!”

2. For the crew of Star Trek, time is relative

You’re in a business meeting making the most elaborate paper airplane ever, not paying attention to the conversation when you suddenly hear the boss say your name. Uh oh! Apparently you’ve been given a new assignment and you need to give the boss a time table of when they can expect it completed. Fear not, for when this situation appears, let us all recall on what our good friend Lieutenant Montgomery “Scotty” Scott would do in this situation: overestimate the time it’d take!

Even if you’ve never watched Star Trek, you’ve probably heard people making quips in a faux Scottish accent about how they “Don’t got tha powa” or “There’s not enough time, Captain!”

Scotty doing what Scotty does best, hanging around drinkin' scotch

“You need the engines WHEN? A’ight, Captain, lemme finish this scotch and I’ll have them up and runnin’ in an hour or five.”

It seemed that any time Kirk asked Scotty for an estimate on when the warp engines or the shields would be back online, Scotty would tell Kirk there wasn’t enough time and then give a rough estimate of how long it’d feasibly take. Yet, in the end, Scotty always pulled through and would get what needed to be done just in time when Kirk needed it the most. Now, Star Trek has plot convenience to explain this, but there is still a life lesson to learn here: if you’re charged with setting up a completion date for an assignment, don’t be afraid to overestimate it.

The extra padding of time that overestimating gives you plenty of wiggle room for getting the task done and will make you look great when you come in ahead of schedule. If something comes up, again, you should have plenty of time to hammer out the kinks. If for whatever reason you’re going to overshoot your projected time table, then you have a reinforcement to explain that is why you require so much time to get the job done. Just don’t be greedy with the times you set. If you overestimate to extremes, your boss is going to start questioning your abilities. And, of course, if you keep overestimating and yet consistently miss your due dates, it might be time to freshen up that resume because you’re going to be beamed to the unemployment office.

3. Boldly go where no one has gone before.

Even if you don’t like science fiction, or for some insane reason you don’t like Star Trek, one of the reasons people watch television, movies, read books, or play games is because of the escapism it provides us. Some of us want to live in a fantasy world filled with magic and whimsy while people such as myself love the idea of setting sail into the endless sea of stars. Whatever themes or media you escape to, the point is you’re going to places you will never, or could never go to.

As I mentioned above, it’s okay to be a bit selfish and indulge, and one thing Star Trek taught me is that you can be part of a team and still have your own path in life and achieve your own dreams. Being part of a team doesn’t have to be a hive-mind like the Borg collective, but a journey which you voyage forth together to accomplish your goals, no matter how varied they may be.

Setting goals helps create adventure in your life by setting a metric which you can measure your abilities and performance without judgment. Top level athletes and successful entrepreneurs set long-term and short-term goals to help motivate them and stay focused on what they require to meet their measurement of success. It also helps organize their time and resources so they can get the most out of their time…and resources…

Your goals need to be realistic in order to work. They must also be achievable, yet challenging and supported with concrete objectives that you must accomplish in order to meet your goal. For example, if you’re setting up a goal for your personal life, you don’t want to say “I will keep the house clean every Saturday.” Instead, make it concrete by saying; “I will do the dishes, take out the trash, mop the kitchen floor, and vacuum every Saturday.” By making your objective concrete you can more easily identify what needs to be done to meet the goal.

Depending on the type of work you do,  your company may already have established goals set for you. if you’re doing assembly work, you probably have a number of units you need to complete within a day. If you’re starting out, they’re (hopefully) understanding that you won’t be at the same standard as the more experienced assembler. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for it though! Set your own personal goal and do as much as you can, establishing your base, and then work up from there. Keep increasing it each day or week and before you know it, you’re not only meeting the company’s expectations, but you’re going to start sailing past them.

These are the voyages…

Star Trek is a great show that has a great outlook on the future of humanity and has plenty of educational moments. Obviously, these are just a few small things I’ve taken from the show, but everyone’s experiences will be different. What are some life lessons you’ve learned from Star Trek or another show/movie/book/game that you enjoy? Whatever it is, leave a comment here or on our Facebook, and until the next blog, live long and prosper.

Trek yourself

Bonus Lesson – Wearing red makes you a target

If you’re aboard Kirk’s Enterprise wearing a red shirt, you’re pretty much dead. True fact: aliens hate red. However, thankfully, on Earth red is a great way to get noticed. The color on the lowest end of the color spectrum makes it the easiest to spot and just on an emotional level red is associated with assertiveness.

The Curse of the Red Shirt

The Curse of the Red Shirt

Putting together a resume can be difficult. Having to think of all those little details can get exhausting or, at the very least, tedious. A lot of people probably think they need to be Shakespeare to craft the perfect resume, but you don’t have to be a brilliant wordsmith to attract the eye of a recruiter. Sometimes, it’s not what you put on your resume at all, but what you keep off that is going to help your chances of landing that dream job.

1. Objectives aren’t necessary.

Objectives are typically found on a resume. This picture shows why that isn't necessary, they tend to just waste space and say the obvious.

“Objective: I want a job”

If you use Microsoft Word to create your resume, you’ve probably looked at the online templates to get an idea of where to start. As I write this, all the top templates have near the top some form of “Objectives”. This is a boring boiler plate that provides no information the hiring manager doesn’t already know, so why waste valuable space on your resume? Take out the objective entirely, and instead let your work history speak for you.

2. Irrelevant job experience.

“I worked as a giant talking rat for Charlie Cheese-E Pizza. I’m responding to your ad for the Legal Secretary position!”

Now, I’m not trying to say that you should feel ashamed you had to wear a giant mouse mascot costume for your local pizzeria. Hey! Work is work! But, unless you have virtually no or little job experience, it’s probably best to omit that one from your resume. Let me be clear that you are not and should never lie on your resume, however recruiters are only going to be interested in work that shows you have some form of relevant experience to the position you’re applying for.

If you haven’t had that many job opportunities and you have to include a job that doesn’t seem relevant, then you need to think about how that job would still apply to what  you’re applying for. If you’re applying for an office job, then you weren’t a giant mouse mascot giving hugs to families and serving pizza; you were a front-line customer service representative that ensured and adhered to the needs of clients in a family-friendly fast-paced environment.

3. Photos and other visual elements are going to take away, not add.

A picture of a bar graph with no legend with the caption "This graph shows just how awesome I am"

“This is a chart of just how awesome I am. You’ll see that I, in fact, top the charts!”

I do everything I can to avoid re-inventing the wheel. I use a lot of websites where I can license templates to get the job done. This is a common practice in IT and administration where every second counts. I mention this because there is a growing trend on professional template marketplaces where they mark off a little area in the resume for your portrait, and this trend absolutely baffles me.

Pictures and graphs detract from your resume and make it more difficult to find relevant information. How we come off to others in our first impressions is difficult to undo, which is why the first time your potential boss should see your face is when you’re sitting directly across from them in an interview. Don’t rely on a picture to sell you or fancy charts and graphs to show your potential. Instead, get face-to-face and give them the whole package all at once!

4. References? You don’t need no stinkin’ references…on your resume.

Recruiter: “I see you listed your mom and dad as references–”
Applicant: “They’ll tell you I have a great personality and wonderful work ethic!”
Recruiter: “Actually, after speaking with your father and the current state of your room, I’m afraid we’ll have to pass.”

You’re taking up valuable space by including this on your resume, which should be better served talking about your skills and accomplishments. References are only relevant once you’ve already been established with a recruiter and that’s after they’ve considered if you’re a good fit with them. Once they have, then they’ll let you know the when/how you should be providing, if any at all. Besides, many jobs will have very specific criteria for what kind of references they’ll accept, so just save yourself time and leave it off.

5. Your physical address

“Home? Home is wherever my cellphone is.”

This might seem like an odd one, but because of how interconnected we are these days  your physical address is not only irrelevant, it could actually hinder you a bit.

If you’re not local, chances are a hiring manager or recruiter is going to look at your address and not even go beyond that. If you are local, the hiring manager is going to be concerned about commute times and quietly be taking it into account in their decision. Again, you shouldn’t lie if they ask, but that’s best left as an interview question where you can explain why you’re applying when you’re not local or have a long commute. These days, just give them your name, cell phone number, and an email address.