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Express recently released the results of a survey conducted in both the U.S. and Canada that indicated “education” was the least important factor when evaluating job candidates. Instead, “work ethic/integrity” and “attitude” were shown to be the key characteristics that affected the hiring decision.

For our August question of the month, we want to know how your education has affected your career path. Let us know by voting in our poll.

Attitude and Integrity Are Still Most Important in Hiring

Recently, Express Employment Professionals, North America’s largest franchised staffing firm, released findings that reveal which traits are most important when hiring a candidate for a job.

The findings come from the 2014 edition of the “America Employed/Canada Employed” survey of 137 Express franchises. Respondents were asked to rate various traits on a scale of one to five based on how important they are when evaluating applicants.

“Attitude” and “work ethic/integrity” topped the lists in both the U.S. and Canada, followed closely by other traits, including “credible work history, “culture fit,” “job experience,” and “references.”     “Education” received the lowest average rating in both countries. Read More→

The ability to give a great presentation is worth more than gold to business leaders or anyone who wants to progress in their career. In the Inc. article “7 Traits of Highly Effective Leaders,” three of the traits were closely linked with being a good speaker – communication, confidence, and the ability to inspire. Those same three traits were also listed in Forbes “Top 10 Qualities of a Great Leader.”

Whether you’re presenting to employees, colleagues, clients, or the general public, you want to be seen as a competent, successful professional. And, giving a presentation that fully communicates what you’re trying to get across, shows your confidence, and inspires others, is indicative of a quality speaker and effective leader. So here are four ways to hone your presentation skills so you’re ready for your next speaking opportunity. Read More→

With July in full swing, we are officially halfway through 2014, and with it comes the realization that you only have six months to decide where you want to be when the crystal ball drops on New Year’s Eve. At the start of each year, millions of people create resolutions to become better versions of themselves, and companies are no different. More than likely, you and your team developed goals for 2014 that would take your business to the next level. Whether it’s hitting a sales target, developing a new product, or transitioning into small-business ownership, most of you have set certain goals you want to achieve this year. Regardless of where you are in your pursuit, it’s vital for your team’s success to evaluate where you are at the halfway point of the year.

Take a Halftime

Have you ever watched a football game where one of the teams was trailing by a touchdown or two going into halftime? And just when all hope seemed to be lost, the losing team came out of the locker room and utterly stunned the other team, winning the game. The win can be attributed to the adjustments the coaches and players made at halftime. Read More→

How to Impress in Meetings

Regardless of your title or tenure, it’s important to maintain a high level of professionalism in business meetings. However, standing out among a large group of people can be easier said than done. Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire points out that there is a simple mind trick to help give you a competitive advantage in group gatherings. Check out the video below to learn how you can impress in meetings!

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When was the last time you exhorted your staff to “go take some risks today?” How would you react if you heard a supervisor chiding an employee for “playing it too safe?” The truth is that risk-taking has become a bit of a hypocritical subject.

Taking calculated risks is part of business and part of leadership, yet most employers have indoctrinated their employees with the idea that all risk should be avoided at all costs. As an article from Forbes explains, when interviewed, the strongest and most consistent message from individuals in the business world was that people, at all levels, were “risk-averse” and “felt it more prudent to continue doing what they had always done.” Unfortunately, this is sending mixed messages to employees who are also being asked to do more with less and to step up as leaders in a constantly-changing business world, which is ultimately confusing workers and hurting employers. Read More→

For our June question of the month, we asked readers if they’ve ever considered starting their own business, and with 52% of the votes, “I’d like to start my own business, but I don’t know where to start” was the most popular answer, followed by “I’m already a business owner” with 20%. “I’m in the process of starting my own business” and “No, it’s not financially feasible for me” came in next at 10% each. And 9% of people who took part in the poll said “No, business ownership does not appeal to me.”

Small businesses are the backbone of a healthy economy, so it’s a good sign that such a large majority of respondents are interested in starting their own business. However, deciding you want to be a business owner is only the first in a long line of decisions you’ll have to make starting out. And for many people, it can be overwhelming. Read More→

Crowded rooms, stuffy job fairs, shallow encounters, forced relationships – these are just a few of the thoughts that may come to mind when you think of business networking. With every day deadlines and commitments, how do you have the time and energy to invest in networking? Though you may believe it is vital to the growth of your business or future career success, it’s easier to get lost in your personal office bubble and neglect your professional network. According to CareerBuilder, 75% of job seekers are still using traditional networking. And, Bureau of Labor Statistics solidifies that 70% of all jobs are found through networking. However, building stronger networks isn’t necessarily just about finding or filling jobs. Networking can help you and your company be more visible to clients and customers, stay current on trends in your industry, and become a source of knowledge to others about your industry. So regardless of what your networking skills are, here are five tips for building stronger networks. Read More→

I believe that knowledge represents the most powerful and constructive force on the planet; therefore, you might assume that ignorance would be weak, counterproductive, and dangerous. While ignorance may not get you far in this world, there is something far worse than lacking knowledge.

People who are aware that they don’t know much or anything about a certain topic will rarely venture into that topic. They can avoid hurting themselves or others by simply not engaging or participating in certain areas; however, people who don’t know what they don’t know can be destructive or even deadly to themselves and others around them.

Ironically, the body of knowledge continues to grow and expand.  Someone who was a world authority on a topic 20 years ago may be a dinosaur today. Unfortunately, this dinosaur can continue to bask in the glow of his reputation even though he is ignorant regarding the current state-of-the-art. Read More→

With July upon us, 2014 is officially halfway over. Between company outings and summer cookouts, here are five things to do this month!

Canada Day/Independence Day – July 1, 4

Two hundred eight years ago, a group of individuals finalized the Declaration of Independence, securing future freedom against old world economies and governments and birthed the United States of America. Ninety-one years later, three British colonies united under the Constitution Act, creating the nation of Canada. Today, during the first week of July, millions across North America celebrate these two events and honor the men and women who made their freedom possible. Take this week to celebrate what it means to your team members through a company picnic or simple ice-cream social at the office. A little break goes a long way in rejuvenating an organization.


With the first six months of the year in the bag, what better time than now to take a look at what your organization has accomplished so far! At the beginning of the year, you and your team likely made SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals for 2014. With every project or task, take the time to ask your team what went right, what went wrong, and what to do differently in the future. Being honest about progress is the first step to remaining innovative. And don’t forget, this is also a time to celebrate what your team has accomplished so far! Be sure to show your employees your appreciation for their hard work through the first half of the year. Read More→