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The summer months are winding down, kids are back in school, and before we know it, the holiday season will be upon us. Luckily, there’s still plenty of time left in 2014 to position your business for a strong finish. Here are five things you can do in the month of September to get an early start.

Start Planning for Seasonal Staffing
The holiday season is just around the corner and for many businesses that means it’s time to prepare for the seasonal surge. Companies across all industries are likely impacted by the holidays in one way or another – retailers, in particular, typically see 20-40% of their annual sales during this time. So, it’s important to start planning now for how your company will respond to fluctuations in business volume during the coming months. Staffing companies, like Express Employment Professionals, are a great resource for the extra help you need to maintain productivity and respond to seasonal upswings. Read More→

While we’re not quite in the holiday season, it’s close enough that many businesses are already starting to hire seasonal help. The retail sector in particular will be ramping up to prepare for the holiday shopping rush that has historically accounted for 20-40% of annual sales. Most businesses will be affected by the holiday season in one way or another, so we want to know how your company handles the extra workload. Let us know by voting in our poll.

The number of temporary workers, independent contingent workers, and freelacers is increasing to record highs, defying previous economic trends. Looking for greater flexibility and new opportunities, Americans are turning away from the traditional employer-employee relationship and eight-to-five work day.

Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest franchised staffing firm, recently released a white paper, “America’s Changing Workforce and the Rise of the Contingent Employee” that explores the causes of this trend. Why are workers young and old turning to temporary and freelance work? Why are businesses relying on those workers? Read More→

Throughout the past four decades, few have embodied the blue-collar plight and the American dream as much as Bruce Springsteen. With his gritty voice and down-to-earth lyrics, Springsteen has sold more than 64 million records in the U.S. alone, making him the 15th highest selling artist of all time. But his expertise doesn’t stop at simply writing great music; Springsteen is a natural born leader. In fact, he got his moniker while playing small venues with the E-Street Band. “It was Bruce’s job to collect the money and pay the rest of the band,” says Andrew Delahunty, author of several books, including the Oxford Dictionary of Nicknames. “This led them to start calling him The Boss, a nickname which has stuck.” So let’s take a musical ride and see what kind of leadership lessons The Boss has for us!

“Glory days, well they’ll pass you by.”
The catchy chorus of “Glory Days” from Born in the U.S.A. is a truth that many of us struggle to deal with. So many times we get caught up remembering how things were instead of dreaming of how things can be. It’s easy to live in the past and rest on your laurels, but to move forward and continue to be innovative, it’s imperative to strive for bigger and better things. Your past success may have been impressive, but it’s just that, past success. Live with the idea that your organization’s best days are ahead of it. Glory days will pass you by. Read More→

Are you a little sluggish in the mornings? If so, you’re not alone. For many of us the strength to summon enough energy to take on another busy day can be a monumental task. Luckily, getting a better start to your day may be as easy as adding a few steps to your morning routine.

Avoid the snooze button
Hitting the snooze button to get just a few more precious minutes of quality time with your bed may only be making your eventual rise and shine harder on yourself. Because we sleep in cycles, when you wake up and hit the snooze button, your brain starts a new cycle when you go back to sleep. When the alarm goes off again 10-15 minutes later, you’re likely in an earlier, deeper stage of the sleep cycle, which only makes it even harder to fully wake and drag yourself out of bed. Read More→

Top talent is becoming harder to find. There’s an ever-widening skills gap in the workforce, so competition for the best and brightest workers is fierce. What would it mean for your business if you lost your rock star employees to a competitor? Check out this infographic from, an online training platform provider, for a few key indicators that an employee may be looking to jump ship. Read More→

In July, we asked our readers how their companies use their summer interns and according to the results, more than half say they fully integrate them into their team for real hands-on experience. Another 21% said they don’t have summer interns; 10% said their interns are relegated to tasks like filing and answering phones; and nearly 9% use their interns to pick up the slack from their busy teams. Interestingly, 3% of respondents said they don’t know what their interns do all day.

Some respondents to the poll selected “other” and chose to enter their own thoughts on the question. A few common responses include: handling special projects, serving as backup to full-time staff, and rotating them throughout the company to gain more well-rounded experience.

Summer internships are a valuable opportunity for students, recent grads, and young professionals and should be thought of as a partnership. Interns are looking for tangible experience that will help them transition into a career, while businesses not only get some extra help, they also get the inside scoop on up and coming talent. Read More→

Hiring new employees isn’t cheap. In fact, a widely-held belief is that it costs six-to-nine months’ worth of salary every time an employer replaces an employee. If you multiply that cost by each time your business has experienced turnover, you could be in for a surprise at how much money your company actually spends to fill positions.

With the high cost of turnover, it’s especially important that you utilize the hiring and interview process to the fullest. Interviews, in particular, can help you make the right hiring decision, but you have to ask the right questions. It’s natural to question someone about what they’ve listed on their resume or what they think they’ll do in the future, but you need to go deeper than that. To hedge your bets on making the right hire, and keeping turnover costs minimal, it’s important to uncover a person’s character, work ethic, skill level, and personality. And, the easiest way to do that is to ask behavioral questions. Read More→

Always Move Forward

If you remember anything from your geometry class in school, it’s probably the fact that the shortest distance between any two points is a straight line. Moving forward along that straight line always represents the most efficient, productive, and profitable course of action, assuming that you have picked your destination point wisely.

Recently, I heard about the artwork in the design on an Australian coat-of-arms. There are two animals indigenous to Australia that appear on that coat-of-arms. They are the kangaroo and the emu. These two animals aren’t too much alike, but they do share one unique characteristic. Because of the length of their tails, kangaroos cannot back up. If they want to reverse course, they have to move forward and execute a U-turn.  Because of the configuration and shape of their feet, emus cannot back up and must always move ahead. The wise person who designed this particular Australian coat-of-arms understood that we can learn a lot from emus and kangaroos. Read More→

According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), 21% of companies say they have replaced employees with automation. The survey also points out that while an increased emphasis on technology has eliminated some jobs, in many instances, more higher-skilled jobs were created as a result.

Check out the full report.

Has your company “automated” its workforce? If so, what was the effect on hiring? Let us know in the comments section below. Read More→