Official Statement: COVID-19 and Your Workforce

WSI Staffing Blog - official statement covid19

As a valued client partner, we’d like to address the current COVID-19 epidemic. Below are facts about the virus, and general guidelines from the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans.
  • The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in China and some limited person-to-person transmission has been reported in countries outside China, including the United States. However, respiratory illnesses like seasonal influenza, are currently widespread in many US communities.
  • Emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees.
  • Encourage sick employees to stay home until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours.
  • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible, non-punitive, and consistent with public health guidance. Be aware that employees may need to stay home to care for sick family members, too.
  • Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work.
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning and provide disposable cleaning wipes for employees to wipe down shared surfaces before use (doorknobs, desks, counters, keyboards, etc.)

For more information on COVID-19 and creating an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan should the virus become widespread in our area, visit


Jeffrey C. O’Brien
President and CEO

7 Podcasts to Listen to on Your Commute

Commutes can be tough. Not only are you playing mental gymnastics as you think about your tasks for the day, but there’s also the pit of anxiety you feel in your stomach when you try to figure out why it feels like you forgot something. Oh, and the traffic. The traffic is bad, too. If you’re looking for a way to calm your nerves on your drive, look no further. Here are 7 podcasts for your commute that will have you wishing your ride to work was just a little bit longer.

Stuff You Should Know

Sleepwalking. Human cannonballs. Photographic memory. Hosts, Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant take us through weird topics and how they work. If you’re bad at small talk or just need some new conversation starters, this is your podcast.

Arm Chair Expert

Being human is messy. Actor and Host, Dax Shepard, is fascinated by this and makes it his mission to explore other people’s stories (some pretty famous people’s stories, we might add). Get ready to laugh as you learn more about your favorite celebs.

Up and Vanished

This podcast features an amateur investigator who selected a missing person case from his hometown in Georgia. What was supposed to be a 6 episode season turned in 24 as new evidence and leads began to appear.

RISE by Rachel Hollis

If you’re looking for tangible tools to improve your life, Rachel Hollis is your girl. Our very own WSI Staffing Coordinator, Samantha, listens to RISE every morning and says, “I love everyone she interviews. I end up following them all on social media and it continues to grow my pool of inspiring people to look up to.”

Slate’s Working

Ever wonder what other people’s jobs are like? Us too. In this podcast, host Jordan Weissman, interviews Americans about their jobs. You’ll learn about the ins and outs of everything from toy designers, physicians, and even knights (yes, you read that correctly, knights).

Note to Self

Note to Self dives into how technology is changing our day-to-day lives. Host Manoush Zomorodi explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of the digital age while giving us a lot to think about along the way.

Headspace Meditation

For some of us, our commute is the only time we have to unwind during our busy days. If that’s the case, use it to the best of your ability! Here’s one specifically made for your commute:

Looking for a shorter commute that might not event warrant a podcast to pass the time? Head to for a complete list of current openings. 

WSI Wins ClearlyRated’s 2020 Best of Staffing Client Diamond Award

WSI Staffing Blog - wsi wins clearlyrated 2020 best of staffing

Diamond Award winners have won the Best of Staffing Award for at least 5 years in a row, consistently earning industry-leading satisfaction scores from their clients.

KALAMAZOO, MI – February 18, 2020 Workforce Strategies, Inc. (WSI), a leading staffing agency in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, announced today that they have won Best of Staffing Client Diamond Award for providing superior service to their clients for at least five consecutive years.

In cooperation with presenting sponsor, CareerBuilder, and gold sponsors Indeed and Glassdoor, ClearlyRated’s ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing® Award winners have proven to be industry leaders in service quality based entirely on ratings provided by their clients. On average, clients of winning agencies are 3.3 times more likely to be completely satisfied with the services provided compared to those working with non-winning agencies. 

Winners who earned the Diamond Award distinction have won the Best of Staffing Award for at least five years in a row, consistently earning industry-leading satisfaction scores from their clients. WSI received satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 out of 10 from 90.2% of their clients, significantly higher than the industry’s average of 24%.

“Our teams work hard every day to make client satisfaction a priority and we are proud and honored to be recognized for our efforts in this way. Utilizing state-of-the-art marketing and branding initiatives along with an intense focus on measuring our impact on key performance indicators that benefit our clients is our differentiator” WSI President/CEO, Jeffrey O’Brien said.

“Now more than ever, it is important for staffing firms to deliver consistently remarkable experiences to the clients and talent they work with,” said ClearlyRated’s CEO Eric Gregg. “This year’s Best of Staffing winners have shown their commitment to exceptional service, committing to not only measuring satisfaction, but taking action on the feedback. I couldn’t be more proud to showcase these industry leaders alongside feedback from their actual clients and candidates on and applaud them for their commitment to making improvements at their respective firms!”

Here’s what clients are saying about WSI: 

Jennie Negri, AbsoluteAire: “We’ve absolutely loved working with WSI. The market is tough right now finding qualified candidates but you wouldn’t even know that working with WSI. So many fantastic candidates have been sent to us. Working with WSI’s staff has been amazing. “

Angie Lynch, KENCO Logistical Services: “Great communication and understanding…very in tune with my company’s needs.”  

Greg Kapus, Edwards Garment: “WSI has been a great business partner and brings people into our facility that fit our culture and consistently exceed in productivity. “

Steve Clement, Denso Air: “The local representatives have set themselves apart from other agencies by taking the time to bring people to the plant and have individuals view the specific areas they will be working in. There are few, if any, individuals who are surprised by any of the expectations. ” 

Alex Carter, Carter Associates: “I would recommend them to anyone with staffing needs.”

About WSI

You know how they say actions speak louder than words? WSI is an award-winning staffing and recruiting firm because we understand the power of a positive and fulfilling workplace. We live and breathe it every day, and love helping others experience it too. Headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, WSI also has offices in Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, and Sturgis, Michigan, northern Indiana, and central Ohio. Learn more about us at

About ClearlyRated

Rooted in satisfaction research for professional service firms, ClearlyRated utilizes a Net Promoter Score survey program to help professional service firms measure their service experience, build online reputation, and differentiate on service quality. Learn more at

About Best of Staffing

ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing® Award is the only award in the U.S. and Canada that recognizes staffing agencies that have proven superior service quality based entirely on ratings provided by their clients and job candidates. Award winners are showcased by city and area of expertise on – an online business directory that helps buyers of professional services find service leaders and vet prospective firms – based exclusively on validated client and talent ratings and testimonials.

How to Advance Your Career in Manufacturing

WSI Staffing Blogs - How to advance your career in manufacturing

With 2.7 million baby boomers expected to retire by 2025, this has created a surplus of openings within the manufacturing sector. This is the perfect opportunity for younger workers who have the drive to move up the ladder in this ever-evolving industry. 

Here are 3 tips for advancing your manufacturing career: 

Do the Work

It may sound obvious, but it’s key. Employees who put in the work and get results are the first to be promoted. The beautiful thing about manufacturing is that it’s sometimes easier to show your achievements since everything is tracked so closely. Whether it’s on-time shipping, customer returns, or product quality, show off your measurable accomplishments. 

Communicate Effectively 

Questions about your job, skills you’re interested in learning, ideas you have to streamline processes: these are all great opportunities to communicate with your supervisor. Disengagement in manufacturing employees is at an all-time high, and showing your supervisor that you’re engaged will do great things for your career. 

Help Others

Teamwork makes the dream work. One of the most admirable qualities of someone in any industry is the willingness to take on projects that go above and beyond your regular duties. It shows you’re committed to the job and company itself. Additionally, don’t sit around and wait for someone else to initiate a project. If you see something that needs to be done – jump in and offer to help. 

Manufacturing isn’t what it used to be. There are so many opportunities for growth, it’s mind-blowing. Whether you want to get into the tried-and-true areas of machining and assembling or want to branch out into engineering and testing, the first step is getting your foot in the door. 

Interested in our current openings? Click here. 

What to Expect When Getting a Job Through WSI


Applying and interviewing for jobs is enough to make anyone sweat. We understand the struggle and want to make our process as easy (and comfortable) as possible. Ready to be the most prepared person in the interview waiting room? Here’s exactly what to expect when applying for a job through WSI.  

Phone Screen

After you apply for a job, a phone screen is the first step. A WSI Staffing Coordinator will reach out to you for a quick chat about the job, shift, and pay rate you’re looking for. This lets us know exactly what you’re looking for so we can make sure we have openings that fit your needs. We don’t want to waste your time, so the initial phone screen reduces the risk of coming into the office only to find out we don’t have any job opportunities you’re looking for. 


Congrats! You’ve made it to the interview phase. (Don’t be nervous.) When you arrive in the office, you’ll be asked to fill out paperwork (a questionnaire and tax survey) and then it’s off to the races!  During your interview, our Staffing Coordinators will go more in-depth about the positions they think you’d be a good fit for. They’ll ask questions about your job history, your skills, and why you left your last position. Sometimes we may not have the perfect fit for you, but don’t worry – we’re always growing! We’ll keep your information on file and give you a call when we’ve found the perfect match.


You made it! Once you’re offered (and you hopefully accept) a position, you’ll be required to go through orientation. This involves a drug screen, background check, paperwork, an overview of your new position, and a start date. 

  1. Our conviction policies vary from client to client. It’s important to be honest with your Staffing Coordinator before we get to this step, so they can accurately assess where we can send you. 
  2. Just because marijuana is legal in Michigan, our clients still require that we test for THC.

Don’t worry – we’ve got you. Just think of us as your job search wingman (and wingwoman). If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to your local branch for any clarification.

Ready to get the ball rolling? Click here. 

7 Things to Look for in a Staffing Agency


Let’s face it – not all staffing firms are created equal. That’s why when it comes time to enlist the help of a temp agency  – you should pick one suited for your unique needs.

As a job seeker, check these seven things off your list when choosing a staffing agency to work with: 

They have openings in your field of interest

There are many staffing firms to choose from, so choose one with expertise in your field. If you’re in search of clerical work – choosing an agency like WSI that specializes in industrial positions probably won’t pay off for you in the long run. Double-check with your agency before coming in for an interview to make sure you’re both on the same page. 

They have an onsite representative

When navigating between your employer and agency, there can be some disconnect. It’s important to look for a staffing firm that has a representative onsite at your company (Hint: WSI does). These representatives coach, counsel, and assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. They also are a huge help when it comes to onboarding and orientation procedures. 

They don’t charge for their services

Never sign with a staffing firm that asks you to pay for job placement. Reputable staffing firms don’t charge job seekers for their services.

Fun Fact: Reliable agencies charge the employer for their services, not job seekers. Curious about other staffing agency myths? Head here. 

They offer the option to be hired-in

If you’re looking for long-term work, choose an agency with temp-to-hire opportunities. This means there’s a greater chance you can be hired in permanently with good work performance and attendance. 

Fun Fact: In addition to temp-to-hire, WSI also offers direct hire opportunities when available. 

They offer benefits

Weekly pay, Medical benefits, vacation days, etc. These are all benefits you should look for in your job search. 

Fun Fact: WSI offers all of these, plus incentive programs! Check out our latest Free Rent Referral Program

Applying is a cinch 

Besides the guidance, coaching, and connections working with an agency comes with, a streamlined process is one of their biggest advantages. Your agency should be doing everything in their power to make the process fast, easy, and relatively painless. Ask your Staffing Coordinator what the process will look like beforehand to ensure you’re prepared for the next steps. 

The reviews speak for themselves

The proof is in the pudding… or in this case, the Google Reviews. You can easily get a feel for other people’s experience with the staffing agency by looking at the reviews left on the company’s Google page. These reviews will give you perspective on the good, bad, and ugly from current and past associates. 

Extra points if the company responds to reviews! Like this one from WSI 😉

Choosing a staffing agency isn’t rocket science, but it’s a smart idea to give it some thought. 

Any questions about what WSI offers? Head here.

Turnover is a symptom, not a diagnosis

WSI Staffing Blog - Turnover is a symptom not a diagnosis

While turnover is an important metric, it often doesn’t paint the bigger picture when it comes to KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). High turnover is just one of the many symptoms of chronic disease. If we did a full scan, we’d likely find additional underlying symptoms that are beyond any staffing agency’s control. Things like low pay rates, companies not hiring people in, employees not getting a full week’s pay due to an equipment malfunction shutting a line down, and poor relationships with supervisors.

What we’ve found, however, is that we can control KPIs that drive toward reduced training and OT costs, like:

Manager Satisfaction

“People don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers.” People are more likely to leave a company if they feel things aren’t being handled fairly at work. Managers are the ones who can align people and create positive feelings within their team and company – so use that to your advantage. 

Quality of Candidates

Employees who are placed in jobs that are too difficult for them or whose skills are underutilized may become discouraged and quit. By carefully studying the requirements for the job and asking applicants the proper prerequisite qualifications, you can minimize the chances of this happening. 

Engagement between the Associate and their Supervisor

Employees need guidance and direction – especially new ones! The absence of proper training (and communication) from a supervisor may cause employees to fall behind in their performance and feel they lack the ability to do their job. 

Satisfaction – the associate actually likes being there!

The nature of the job itself contributes just as much as the manager towards an employee’s decision to leave. It’s important to note that although you may feel you can’t change the work itself – you can still give a sense of independence, more feedback, and a feeling of involvement in any role. 

Taking a look a the underlying symptoms and addressing them will ultimately lead to an increase in productivity.  So, what is your current productivity performance and how is it trending v. target? How are standards of performance measured for contingent staff within your organization?

The Importance of Filling out Tax Forms (Properly)

When you get a job through WSI, one of the pieces of paperwork you’ll fill out is IRS form W-4. The purpose of a W-4 is so that WSI can withhold the correct federal income tax from your pay. 

Why is the W-4 important?

It’s extremely important to fill out this form correctly because the IRS requires people to pay taxes on their income gradually throughout the year. If you don’t fill out the form properly, it could result in owing a surprisingly large amount in April. Additionally, you could also face penalties for underpaying your taxes during the year (and nobody wants that). 

On the contrary, if you withhold too much tax, your paychecks will be smaller than what you’re used to. 

When determining how much to withhold, the IRS Online Withholding Calculator can help provide an accurate depiction based on your current situation. 

When should I file a new form?

Starting a new job is one situation where you would need to fill out a new W-4. Other situations that might warrant a change to your W-4 include having a child or picking up a second job. It’s also important to note that you may change your form at any time, not only when you have a life-changing event. If you identify that you are having too little or too much in taxes withheld, it’s not the end of the world – you can still make a change!

The Bottom Line

It’s important to take the time to calculate your withholdings properly. By doing so, you’ll avoid having to pay penalties at tax time and will keep as much of your earnings as possible. 

At the end of the day, we don’t know your full tax situation. If you have questions about your withholdings please refer to the IRS Online Withholding Calculator. Happy calculating!

How to Have a Successful Performance Review

WSI Staffing Blog - How to have a successful performance review

It’s performance review season, and for many, this is a cause for panic.  Although they get a bad rap, annual performance reviews can provide valuable feedback and are a key driver for one’s professional growth. 

Here are several tips to help you prepare (and rock) your performance review: 


Preparation is the key to your success. Give yourself at least an hour to reflect as you fill out your form and take into account the accomplishments you’ve had throughout the year. Be ready to discuss new goals, areas for growth, and examples of the value you brought to the company. 

Address Your Shortcomings

Look, no one is perfect – even your boss. So if you had any failures, be prepared to talk about them and explain why you fell short. Then, make a plan on how to avoid those shortcomings next time (and don’t be afraid to ask your boss for advice)!

By addressing your faults, it signals that you’re taking your performance seriously, and gives you a chance to craft your message before discussing difficult topics. 

Prepare Questions in Advance

Take advantage of the conversation and ask for feedback. Questions like “What could I do to improve?” and “Am I on track relative to my peers?” are great ways to demonstrate your commitment to the role. 

Be on Offense (Not Defense) 

There’s a fine line between offering excuses and explaining yourself. If you go into the review on the defensive without providing evidence – this sounds like a game of he-said-she-said. Instead, gather evidence for the shortcomings you need to address and be open to suggestions. 


Keep in mind – the goal of the performance review isn’t to make you feel bad. Rather, it’s intended to bring out the best of your abilities. By actively listening to your manager, consider how you can apply what they’re saying to your responsibilities. 

That’s it! At the end of the day, these meetings are intended to be a conversation to help you improve. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to walk away from your review refreshed and ready to rock your role throughout the rest of the year. 

Alternatives to Saying, “That’s Not my Job”

WSI Staffing Blog - Alternatives to Saying thats not my job

“That’s not my job.” We’ve all heard this phrase in the workplace before – heck, we’ve maybe even said it a time or two. It’s become a common phrase, but that doesn’t mean it should be. Ever heard of “All other duties as assigned?” 

Let’s think about a scenario for a second:

Your co-worker comes to you, frantic, because she’s running behind and needs help cleaning at the end of the day. Is it your job to clean up at the end of her shift? Probably not. You have two options: Help her out, or mutter “That’s not my job.”

Obviously, it would be easy to avoid extra work at the risk of being labeled as someone who is lazy and unaccommodating.

But that doesn’t mean you should automatically pick up the slack for others, either. Consider other ways to say yes or no in a more productive way: 

If you do have time to help out: 

Instead of, “Yes, I’ll drop everything I’m doing right now.” 

Consider: “How can I help [within this time frame]?”

If you don’t have time to help out: 

Instead of “Cleaning the kitchen isn’t  my job.”

Consider: “I’d like to help you out, but I don’t have the capacity to right now.”

If you can, offer a compromise:

“I’m really pressed for time so I can’t help clean the whole kitchen, but I’d be happy to take the trash to the dumpster on my way out.”

At the end of the day, it’s ok to say no. But, next time a co-worker requests your assistance, think about whether or not you want “That’s not my job” to be your tagline.