Emsi Case Study (See Full Archive)
Summary: When a hospital or group of hospitals needs security personnel, HSS Inc., one of America’s leading outsourcing companies, bids on the contract. If it wins the contract, it then fills the positions with its own employees and trains them as well. But the profit margins in this business can be slim. Especially for large contracts, HSS Inc. relies on Emsi data and other sources to be able to accurately predict wages, keeping bids competitive but within budget.
- HSS needs to maintain a balance between a low enough bid to win the contract, the need to pay a competitive wage that allows them to attract and hire top talent, and the ability to maintain its profit margin. Emsi data, which allows HSS to accurately estimate wages, is key to this balance.
- Emsi data played a role in a recent multi-site, multi-state win for HSS. This contract will increase HSS’s physical security business up to 50% and establish an initial presence in several states.
- Because HSS has Emsi data, it is more confident in its earnings predictions, which will allow it to push its efforts towards winning larger, multi-site contracts.
Founded in 1967, HSS Inc. is one of America’s leading outsourcing companies—placing security officers, supervisors, and other personnel in hospitals, airports, and government services buildings.
Through offering smarter solutions, becoming integral members of their clients’ team, and devoting themselves to creating great customer experiences, HSS has earned one of the highest customer retention rates in the industry. Similarly, the company’s commitment to good employee communication, fair wages and benefits, and career advancement opportunities through education and training, gives it one of the highest employee retention rates in the industry.
In order to be successful with this model, HSS maintains a balance between a cost-effective bid to win the contract, a competitive wage that allows them to attract and hire top talent, and the ability to maintain its profit margin. This means HSS can’t go over budget.
The ability to accurately estimate wages is key to this balance—a process that Emsi data has made much easier, said HSS Certified Personnel Consultant Sherrie Buxbaum.
“Emsi data helps us know what our employment costs are going to be,” she said. “That way, when we bid on a contract, we feel good about being able to maintain our profit line—rather than forfeiting that profit line once we get the contract because it turns out we didn’t know how challenging it would be to sell the position or how easy it would be to sell the position,” she said.
Multi-Site Contracts: Where a Few Cents Makes a Difference
Buxbaum recently completed a multi-state research project that combined data from several sources, including Emsi, and resulted in a successful bid. Once implemented, the contract will substantially increase HSS’s physical security business and establish an initial presence in several states, such as Nevada, Utah, Alaska, and Idaho.
“There have been a number of times that—because of what Emsi was indicating was the hourly rate, and what the cost of living was (whether it was average, low, or high) as well as the unemployment rate—I would look at those three components and say, ‘We probably don’t need to go $12 an hour, we could probably go with $11.50.’”—Sherrie Buxbaum, HSS
Because this bid was so successful, HSS may shift its business strategy, Buxbaum said. “We’re probably not going to go after that many onesie, twosie locations anymore. We’re going to go for multiples. And part of the reason, which circles all the way back to where the Emsi information has made a difference, is because we can go after larger contracts with multiple sites because we have the data to make those bids successful.”
Accurate earnings information is an extremely important part of HSS’s bids, especially for large contracts where just a few cents can make a huge difference.
“If you just look at 10 cents an hour, that makes an impact when you’re hiring anywhere from 30 to 150 people for a site,” Buxbaum said. “There have been a number of times that—because of what Emsi was indicating was the hourly rate, and what the cost of living was (whether it was average, low, or high) as well as the unemployment rate—I would look at those three components and say, ‘We probably don’t need to go $12 an hour, we could probably go with $11.50.’”
Prior to its partnership with Emsi, HSS used websites such as Craigslist and Salary.com for earnings information. But those websites use self-reported earnings, and since Emsi data comes from government sources, it is more reliable, noted Buxbaum. Emsi data also has the capability to zero in on a single ZIP code, which offers a deep level of local data.
Founded in Denver in 1967, HSS has grown to become Americas leading sourcing company, providing technical and professional service programs to customers nationwide. We customize our service programs to each customer’s needs, culture, and desired outcomes.
HSS works closely with customers to enhance the value of their business. We offer smarter solutions, become integral members of their team, and devote ourselves to creating great customer experiences. This business approach has earned HSS one of the highest customer retention rates in the industry. Our commitment to good employee communication, fair wages and benefits, and career advancement opportunity through education and training, also gives us one of the highest employee retention rates in the industry.
We offer specialized expertise to customers in select markets. HSS services include healthcare/hospital security, aviation/airport security, government security, biomedical equipment management, security systems integration, and temporary healthcare staffing.
Emsi turns labor market data into useful information that organizations understand the connection between economies, people, and work. Using sound economic principles and good data, we build user-friendly services that help educational institutions and associations, among other clients, build a better workforce and improve the economic conditions in their regions.