How to Find Temporary or Casual Staff for Your Travel Agency

Is your travel agency experiencing seasonal fluctuations? Hiring temporary or casual staff can help you get through busy periods and avoid paying extra wages during quiet time, but it can also be challenging to find the right person for your team. Because your new staff is not going to be with you permanently, you’d prefer not to go through a lengthy recruitment process and spend time on training, yet you want someone reliable who can do the work and get along with the rest of the team. Here are two ways you can make hiring someone on a temporary or casual basis as smooth and easy as possible.

Keep in touch with former employees

You’ve probably had good employees that have left your agency to study, raise children or start their own business. If you were pleased with their performance, don’t write them off as a possibility only because they’ve resigned; give them a call. While they may not be available full time, they could be happy to do some work during busy time if their schedules allow it. Keep records of good temp and casual staff you’ve worked with in the past, too. You will eliminate a lot of recruitment-related tasks if you hire someone that has already proven they can do the job.

Go through a recruitment agency

Do you feel reluctant to pay recruitment agency fees to hire temporary or casual staff? Take into consideration all the time you will spend marketing the position, reading resumes, screening, interviewing and checking references. In most cases, you will get a better return on your time working on your business.

Before approaching recruitment agencies, get clear on the skills the candidate needs to start working immediately or with minimal training. Ideally, you want a temp who is already experienced with Sabre, Galileo or any other global distribution system (GDS) you may be using and has good knowledge of your top selling travel destinations. The recruitment agency will screen the candidates for you and even test their knowledge. Then they’ll shortlist only the ones that are a good fit for your requirements.

If the staff member is hired as a temp, the agency will also eliminate payroll tasks on your end because the temp is usually employed by the agency. Once the assignment is over, or at agreed intervals, the agency will send you an invoice. You don’t need to worry about taxes or super for temp staff; all this will be done by the agency. 

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Five Tips to Keep in Mind If Designing a Tiny House for a Pontoon

The tiny house movement is storming the world, and your tiny house doesn’t necessarily have to move over land. Rather, it can float on the waves as well. Wondering what you should consider if you are building a tiny house on a pontoon boat? Here are some tips and ideas to keep in mind as you put together your design:

1. Integrate a deck.

As you are floating on the water, you want to be able to look out over the waves, and so that you don’t have to rely exclusively on the windows in your tiny house, consider designating some of the area on your pontoon boat as a lookout deck. From your deck, you can fish, cookout on the grill or just enjoy the view whilst relaxing.

2. Use corrugated steel roofing.

Even if you plan to leave your little house on a pontoon moored, it’s still likely to be hit by salty water and waves. To deal with that threat, use materials that are resistant to water and salt. For your tiny house’s roof, in particular, use corrugated steel with a galvanised coating. That material can also be integrated into other aspects of your home such as the walls as well.

3. Integrate maritime paint.

To protect wood elements, use maritime paint or stains made for use on boats. This helps to protect your wood from salt corrosion and ensures your tiny home will last longer. You may want to paint the wall and window frames of your tiny home as well as the floor of the pontoon.

4. Explore alternatives such as shipping containers.

Rather than building a tiny home from scratch to put on a pontoon, look into alternative building ideas such as using a shipping container. These containers are designed to be durable in a maritime environment, and as a result, their shells are especially resistant to saltwater and corrosion.

5. Test out a few pontoons to see what works.

Before committing to a pontoon to use as the base of your tiny home, consider looking at several pontoons for sale. Take into account the weight bearing capacity of each pontoon to determine whether or not it is sturdy enough to hold a tiny house. Also, if you are looking at used pontoons for sale, gague how many years they have left in their lifespans so that you don’t buy a pontoon that is going to wear out too soon. Finally, consider the amount of deck space available, and speak with a pontoon salesperson, like one from White Water Marine, about your plans for the pontoon so he or she can send you in the right direction.


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Here’s What You Need for an Insight on Combined and Separate Statutory Valuations

Property valuation is an important aspect of the real estate industry. If you are a landowner in a rural or urban setting, you should be aware of the intrinsic or market value of your property for purposes such as paying tax, selling the land or leasing to tenants. To add on that, you will also need the land’s value when using it for purposes such as collateral for a loan granted to you by a bank or other financial institution. Land can be valued under combined valuation or separate valuation. The following is a discussion of both forms of valuation to help you understand the considerations made and their implications:

Combined Valuation 

For you to use combined valuation on your land, the pieces of land should be adjacent to each other and under the ownership of the same proprietor. If there are buildings and structures on that land belonging to other people, then their value will not be combined with that of the land. This often happens in a case where the structures were developed under a leasehold agreement. Here, your tenants have the right to use the land as they deem fit even though it does not belong to them exclusively.  On the other hand, if the buildings and structures belong to you, then they will be incorporated into the value of the land.

Separate Valuation

If you have a piece of land, then separate valuation can be done despite the fact that the land belongs exclusively to you. There are several reasons for this. First, separate valuation applies if you have leased a section of the land to another person. The section let out to another person is valued differently from the rest of the land. Secondly, natural and man-made boundaries creating demarcations can also affect the valuation of a certain section of the land. For instance, if a road crosses your land, then the sections divided by the road may be valued separately. This is because such boundaries can hinder or promote the various uses and developments that an owner would like to put on the land.

Lastly, if you have land that is located partly in an area and partly in another area, then they will be valued separately. For instance, if you have land classified wholly as irrigation schemes in separate locations, then they will be valued separately. This is because of the inconsistencies in local authority stipulations that could affect the methodology employed to value the land. For more information, contact companies like Ferrier Hodgson. 

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The Benefits of Using an Australian Migration Agent

When you are applying for an Australian visa, the process can seem daunting. There are several types of visas, pages of documents and applications to be filled out and filed, as well as legal nuances that are difficult to interpret. The good news? A migration agent can assist with the entire process. The benefits of hiring a migration agent certainly outweigh the cost of hiring one.

They Are a Wealth of Information

In Australia, migration agents must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). This ensures that they are up to date with current laws, aware of proper procedures, and capable of giving appropriate advice. Though migration agents cannot make visa decisions or influence the outcome of your visa, they are extremely knowledgeable and experienced. A migration agent can advise you upfront on whether or not your application is likely to succeed, which can save you time, money and the hassle of going through the process.  

They Assist in Choosing a Visa Type

When seeking an Australian visa, there are over 140 different types. There are ETA Tourist Visas, Skilled Worker Visas, Family Visas, Temporary Residence visas, Student visas, and countless more. A migration agent can help determine which visa, if any, will best suit you. Applying for the proper visa will increase the chances of having it accepted.

They Help with Applications and Documents

Though you are responsible for supplying the proper supporting documentation, a migration agent will ensure that the documents you are submitting are acceptable under the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s standards. The agent will also take the accurate information you provide and make sure that your application is filled out correctly, including the appropriate fee. Failing to submit the correct fee or incorrectly filling out an application will cause the Australian DIBP to deem it invalid and they are unable to consider an invalid application for approval. Thankfully, a migration agent can ensure that your documentation and application are up to standard.

They Streamline the Process

A migration agent is able to lodge your application as well as monitor the progress of it. Once you have submitted the appropriate forms notifying the DIBP of your intention to use a registered migration agent, the agent is legally able to act on your behalf. Migration agents can deal directly with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to track the progress of your application, seek detailed information on its status, and also respond to requests or other written communications.

They Can Offer Legal Assistance

Many migration agents are also legal practitioners. If your application is denied for some reason, your migration agent can apply for an intervention, submit an appeal and even represent you at the required tribunal hearing. Having a lawyer on your side that has been with you through the entire process can certainly make an appeal go much smoother.

While the cost of hiring a migration agent varies on their experience, expertise and location, the benefits of obtaining the services of one are well documented. For more information, contact a company like Fisa Pty Ltd.

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Factors to Consider when Selecting a Rental Generator

How much power you need heavily depends on a number of factors, which will eventually dictate the kind and size of generator that you’ll need to make your trip successful. The following are some of the most important considerations to make when calculating your power needs and finally selecting the generator.

Small portable vs. big towable

If you simply need a generator for lighting at night, a portable generator is a good option. Consider getting portable generators with inverters, which provide cleaner and more stable power (though the cost is higher) which is better for your lighting and any appliances you may need to power. They are also ideal for small camping trips e.g. a small family or group of friends for two or three nights.

If you’re taking a larger group, you will need a much larger towable trailer generator which can supply at least 20kW of power (for comparison, typical portable generators supply 1000-6500 watts). Consider going to a full-fledged campsite which has the wiring for a power grid to which your generator can be connected. Remember that bigger generators only make economic sense if you have a decent round-the-clock power load, otherwise you’ll be wasting fuel.

Rental terms

Generator companies rent their generators on different terms. Most often, rental timelines is counted in weeks, which add up to 40 hours (8 hours for 5 days). If you need to use the generator round-the-clock, you can discuss with the vendors, who may add 50-100 percent of the per-week cost.

Before going on your trip, work out how many hours you’ll need electricity per day, so that you can pick the right size of generator. Remember that not all generators are safe to run round-the-clock for multiple days at a time. You can ask professionals from the company to help, once you know exactly what you’ll need power for while away.

Single phase vs. 3-phase

Larger generators have two power modes: single phase (what is used for household needs) or 3-phase (typically used for high-consumption power appliances e.g. in industries). Single-phase generators only deliver two thirds of the maximum electricity load, and so if you’ll need to use the generator’s maximum load at any point, three-phase is the better option. It may for instance be ideal if your camping trip includes multiple recreational vehicles with high-consumption appliances such as air conditioners, power tools and refrigerators.

Noise levels

Portable generators are by far the noisiest in the bunch, though ones with inverters are much quieter. Ideally, you need to keep your wires short to avoid voltage drops, so don’t simply choose a noisy generator thinking you will install it far from where you are. Larger generators are quieter, but if you need almost-complete silence you can ask for the movie-quiet variety (costlier). Plan the space you need so that the generator isn’t closest to where people will be chilling, sleeping, or working.

For more information, talk to a professional like Total Generators.

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Causes and Treatment of Concrete Cancer

Concrete cancer, commonly referred to as spalling, is a problem that stems from the corrosion of the steel reinforcement that is incorporated into the concrete. This rusting of the steel reinforcements will begin if cracks in the concrete go unattended, hence allowing moisture to make its way to the steel. Over time, the increasing corrosion of the steel causes this metal to begin expanding. This in turn makes the concrete adjacent to the steel become displaced, causing more cracks. This vicious cycle leads to the delamination of your concrete, and the cracking eventually leads to crumbling of the concrete. Spalled concrete is not simply an eye sore, it is also a serious hazard, as the crumbling pieces significantly compromise the integrity of the concrete structure. Additionally, the crumbling pieces of the concrete could also cause injury if they are falling from great heights. This is why it’s important to know the causes of concrete cancer and how to avoid or treat it. 

What are the causes of concrete cancer?

There are a couple of ways that your structure can develop concrete cancer. One of the most common causes is the use of reinforced steel that has not been sufficiently treated, thus making it more prone to corrosion. Another way your structure can develop concrete cancer is if the ends of the reinforced steel are located too close to the surface of the concrete, making it easier for water to make its way to the steel even when the cracks on the concrete are minimal. Lastly, concrete cancer can also develop is the construction contractors made used of incompatible metal to reinforce the concrete. When these incompatible metals come into contact, the react, hence causing fractures to appear in the concrete.

How can concrete cancer be treated?

When it comes to concrete cancer, the faster that you address the problem, the higher the chances that your concrete will be salvageable. As such, it is prudent to have any cracks forming on the concrete sealed before they get a chance to expand and allow moisture to penetrate to the steel reinforcements. However, if the concrete cancer has already began developing, then simply opting for render to coat the concrete will not suffice, as the steel will already be corroding.

If the concrete cancer is extensive, then it is essential to enlist the services of qualified concrete contractors. They will be experienced at determining the cause of the concrete cancer. Once the cause has been identified, one of the more common treatment methods is removing all the affected concrete. The contractors will then proceed to eliminate all the rust from the steel, followed by the application of anti-corrosives to prevent the reinforcement from acquiring rust again. Once the steel has been restored, the contractors will give the concrete a fresh coat of render to restore its original appearance. The treatment process is concluded by waterproofing the concrete to prevent the risk of reoccurrence of concrete cancer. 

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What You Need to Know to Get Started With Hydroponics

Hydroponics refers to the growing of plants and vegetation in a water-based solution rather than in the soil; hence the prefix “hydro,” meaning water. Hydroponics can be used by just about anyone in any area, as you can create a system that’s very simple and very small. You can also grow an entire garden with a hydroponics setup. Note a few things you may need to know to get started with hydroponics at home.

1. Nutrient mixtures

Plants don’t grow just in water alone, but hydroponics means a nutrient mixture that you feed your plants regularly. As plants grow, they absorb the nutrients in the mixture so that it needs to be replaced, usually every 5 to 7 days. To do this, you can drain the reservoir or pipe system you’re using for your hydroponics and then fill it with fresh nutrient mixtures. This draining can also allow plant roots to get needed oxygen rather than simply soaking in water all the time.

2. Creating a hydroponics system

You can create a hydroponics system from PVC pipe or just about any type of material that will hold water and also the plant seedlings in place as they grow, but remember that you do need to drain the tank or reservoir regularly. Trying to grow plants in an aquarium without a drain system can be cumbersome and downright impossible. Remember that a hydroponics system might need to resemble a trench than an actual tank, if you’re building your own system.

3. Grow lights

Plants need light as well as nutrients, so if you’re putting your hydroponics system indoors, you’ll need strong lights. Grow lights are good for plants as they provide the light needed without excess heat that is often created by standard light bulbs. Remember to note how many hours of light your plants will need, depending on their stage of growth and the type of plant they are, and turn off the grow lights as needed rather than assuming you should keep them on your plants all day.

4. Temperature

Different plants have different temperature needs; some plants do well in cooler climates and these might include varieties of lettuce or other leafy greens. When growing these, keep the temperature of the grow area around 18 degrees Celsius. Tropical plants like orchids and other such flowers need a temperature that resembles the tropics, so they do well when the temperature is around 27 degrees Celsius. Note the needed temperature for your particular plants and ensure you keep them as warm or as cool as needed for them to thrive in their hydroponics system.

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