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Darren Hicks, a writer at the Staffing Stream, wrote a recent article about how hiring veterans are a hot topic. Of course, the person being hired shouldn’t be hired simply based on whether they are a veteran or not. But if the job fits, and that person is a veteran, there is a great chance that the investment in this employee will go a long way.

Military veterans offer a lot of advantages in the workplace. Take a look at how Mr. Hicks broke this down:

  • They show up. Let’s face it, there’s a reason people say “showing up is half-the battle.” After proudly and voluntarily serving their nation, military veterans have demonstrated they are dependable and can be trusted to show up and be present.

  • Trainable. Training, ramp-up time and information retention represent a huge cost for most businesses. Without question, veterans are highly trainable, not likely to quit, and are unequivocally committed to success.

  • Disciplined. Businesses need staff to be disciplined and stay focused on the task or objective at hand. Veterans have learned to achieve a high degree of discipline, resulting in increased self-control, character and efficiency.

  • Team players. Especially when it comes to solving complex or multi-tiered problems, a team approach offers a variety of perspectives and expertise beneficial for identifying and delivering a workable solution.  Military veterans are very accustomed to working together as a cohesive unit in order to accomplish objectives.

  • Committed. High turnover can be very costly to a business and can be multiplied given the expense involved to get new staff up-to-speed. An honorable discharge in the military is similar to a four-year degree and demonstrates the ability to stay true and accomplish a long-term goal.

 

So on this Veterans Day, think about giving back to our military veterans by implementing a veteran hiring program. Not only will you help veterans get jobs, but it will be a great strategic business decision.

In fact, Alternative Staffing is proud to have a military veteran as a staff member; Senior Recruiter, Sarah Myers, has been an invaluable employee to our team for many, many years. Her commitment to the job and Alternative Staffing team is incredible never goes unrecognized.

Happy Veterans Day!

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First impressions mean everything. Your website is the first impression of your business, so why not make it great? Having a credible website is a must and will help instill trust in those who visit it. Because, let’s face it, people don’t trust a poorly built website.

A website is one of the most important, strategic investments you can make for your business. If a customer or client doesn’t know your business before visiting the website, they won’t be able to make the distinction of a good company with a bad website.

If you have a poor website representing your businesses, a lot of other poor decisions may follow. New customers and clients might think your site is spam; potential employees will not find your site credible and possibly a scam; bad search engine optimization; and simply put, if its ugly no one will want to look at it!

So what makes a website…bad?

  • Inappropriate or confusing name for the website
  • Poor search capabilities
  • Boring design or corporate feel
  • Too much text or text is too small
  • Complex, busy layout with lack of navigation

There are countless reasons of why having a professional website is crucial for your business.

  • Your website is a direct reflection of you and your business
  • A good website means better search engine optimization
  • Your website can generate media interest
  • This is your number one branding opportunity
  • A good website will one up your competition

Billions of people are online every second. For those that do not know your business, a good website will be the hidden gem that they stumble upon online. For those that do know your business, a good website should just reiterate the stellar experience you want to provide them.

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Alternative Staffing is pleased to be the Game Day sponsor of the 22nd North Charleston Rotary Roundball Classic. As the premier Boys Basketball Tournament in the Lowcountry, the Roundball Classic will bring together 16 local and nationally recognized teams to compete. This event not only boasts some of the best high school talent in the nation, but it raises money for the Rotary Club of North Charleston, which benefits countless charities in the Lowcountry.

The games will be played Saturday December 27, Monday December 29, and Tuesday December 30, 2014 at North Charleston High School located at 1087 East Montague Ave. Tickets are available for purchase at the games and are $8 per game or $20 for the tournament (all 4 games).

In addition to providing a fun basketball competition for young adults, the Roundball Classic raises money to benefit the Rotary Club of North Charleston Scholarship Fund and other selected charities.

Alternative Staffing owner, Jan Cappellini proudly serves as a member of the Rotary Club of North Charleston and Alternative Staffing has been a Game Day Sponsor of the Roundball Classic for several years. As a North Charleston business, we are happy to support this charitable event and give back to the community that we serve. We encourage other businesses to get involved as a sponsor or advertise in the program. To learn more about this event, please visit http://roundballclassic.com.

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One of the best things to have in your professional career is a mentor (or a few). Sure, you have a few people that you admire and aspire to be like, but you would never reach out to them. Think again.

It is important to put yourself out there and network. Sitting on the couch and willing for a connection to be made will not work. So put yourself on a limb and invite someone out for the casual coffee meeting.

Follow these few steps and a successful coffee meeting time after time:

  1. Craft the perfect email. It all starts with inviting someone for coffee. Keep your email short. Remember, most people read their emails on their phones. What seems like a concise email on your desktop will read like a novel on your phone. Chances are you are reaching out to a person who has no idea who you are or what you want to meet about. So don’t Stick to these key points in your email: (1) Introduce yourself (2) explain the reason that you would like to meet (3) explain the reason of why he/she will also get out of this meeting (4) name a place to meet (5) give a few times and dates for him/her to choose from. Be sure to follow up on this initial email with an email 2-3 days later and phone call to keep this potential coffee meeting at the top of his/her list.
  2. Arrive 5 minutes early. Once you have a date on the calendar and it finally approaches, don’t take it lightly. Arrive 5-10 minutes early so you are there to greet who you are meeting with when they come through the door.
  3. Do your research. Don’t go into a coffee meeting completely blind. Google the person to find out about their work, follow them on Linked-In, find them on Twitter. You need some sort of common ground to talk about in casual conversation like “I loved that event that your client was a part of.” Research is always impressive.
  4. Have coffee for a reason. Make sure networking doesn’t turn into not working. Chances are the person you want to meet with you doesn’t want to talk about the weather over a cup of joe. Set up a meeting plan to highlight points, projects and reasons for the meeting. Remember, there are two sides to networking: what you get out of it and what the other person gets out of it.
  5. Make later plans. Close out the meeting with a few actionable steps like “I will introduce you to so-and-so” or “Please forward me that invite to the next meeting” and so on. While you both are together, go ahead and grab your calendars to make later plans for your next coffee date a month from now. It’s easier to get in their books as soon as possible than battle

Ever wonder why a coffee date is the norm of all meetings? Jerry Seinfeld says it’s because coffee “obviously gets people talking,” Seinfeld says, “You have coffee and for some reason it makes you talk a lot.” It gives you something to do with your hands, gives you something else to focus on to ease nerves, and is your saving grace if you had a late night. Seinfeld adds, “Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.”

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CNN money published a recent article about how some companies offer unlimited vacation time for their employees. YES, you heard that right, unlimited vacation time. When we read that, we had the same reaction that you did just now!

This sparked CNN’s interest when this past Wednesday, Virgin Group billionaire business mogul, Richard Branson, announced that his employees can take as much vacation time as they need. Other companies that offer unlimited vacation time are Netflix, Zynga, Groupon, Glassdoor, Evernote, VMware, Hubspot, Ask.com, Motley Fool, Eventbrite, ZocDoc, and SurveyMonkey.

CNN Money reports:

But according to a June survey from the Society of Human Resource Management, less than 1% of employers offer unlimited paid vacation time. The group surveyed 500 human resources representatives from employers of all sizes across the country.

 

While the statistics might be disheartening, American workers are notoriously bad about taking their vacation days. A recent report from the U.S. Travel Association showed 40% of American workers will allow some of their paid vacation days to go unused.

But why is that? Did you know that the “United States is the only developed country in the world without a single legally required paid vacation day or holiday. By law, every country in the European Union has at least four work weeks of paid vacation,” according to USA Today. Americans get half of that time, and in most cases less.

Who knows, maybe this 1% will set a standard and we will see a lot more vacation time flexibility in years to come.

So what makes us work so hard, and so often? When you can solve this mystery, give us a call!

 

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With nearly 300 photos submitted to the Alternative Staffing Dog Days of Summer Contest, we are happy to announce that Ashley McDonald’s picture of her dog, Willard was the grand prize winner and took home a $150.00 gift basket from Dolittles.

Ashley McDonald and her dog Willard stopped by the AS office to pick up their prize!

We received so many photos, that we couldn’t just choose 1 to be our favorite. So we selected our top ten favorite photos and asked our Facebook followers to vote on their favorite photo by “liking” it over the course of 5 days. Ashley McDonald’s photo received 172 likes!

Before that voting process, throughout the month of August and the beginning of September, people submitted photos of their dogs to Alternative Staffing via Facebook, Twitter and email for a chance to win a gift basket from Dolittles (complete with food, treats, toys, shampoo and a collar and leash, valued at $150.00). Alternative Staffing vowed to donate $1 to the Charleston Animal Society for every photo submitted. With 252 photos submitted, Alternative Staffing will make a donation of $252.00 in honor of everyone who participated in the contest.Dog Days of Summer Photo Contest Winner

Alternative Staffing owner, Jan Cappellini said, “I looked forward to seeing the pictures of dogs that people were submitting every day! It really warmed my heart to see the amount of photos of dogs that were actually Charleston Animal Society rescues. We hope that this contest helped raise awareness for the organization and encouraged pet adoptions and donations.”

Thank you for EVERYONE who participated. Be sure to follow us, because you never know when another contest will pop up!

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Recently the American Staffing Association unveiled the results of the 2014 ASA Staffing Employee Survey, which revealed that 99% of temporary and contract employees who want permanent positions achieve this career objective. Virtually all survey respondents indicated that securing a permanent job was important to them, and half (49%) stated that finding permanent employment was the primary reason for choosing to work in the staffing industry.

The top reasons individuals choose temporary or contract work are related to future employment ambitions, according to the 2014 ASA Staffing Employee Survey results. In addition to being a means to permanent employment, respondents specified three other prime factors in seeking work in the staffing industry: the inability to find a permanent job via other sources (40%), the ability to obtain work experience (28%), and the improvement of professional skills (24%).

The vast majority of staffing employees rate their employment experiences positively. Nine out of 10 temporary and contract workers (92%) are satisfied with their staffing companies; 74% are very or extremely satisfied, the survey found.

“The results of the landmark 2014 ASA Staffing Employee Survey verify that temporary and contract work is an effective bridge to permanent employment,” says Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “ASA member companies are proud to make a real difference in the lives of so many individuals in the U.S. workforce. The results of the staffing employee survey affirm the great value that staffing employees receive from their assignments.”

Other key findings of the 2014 ASA Staffing Employee Survey:

  • Nearly 90% of staffing employees say that temporary or contract work makes them more employable.
  • Work schedule flexibility is also important to staffing employees, with one in five respondents (22%) stating this as a reason for choosing temporary or contract employment.
  • Temporary and contract employees are about as likely to work full time as all adults in the U.S. labor force (76% versus 82%, respectively)—and among those staffing employees who bridged to permanent jobs, 94% work full time.

At Alternative Staffing we strive to provide our employees with the best jobs that will elevate their experience, enhance their resume, and eventually place them in a career. We believe that you can achieve anything you set your mind to!

“It always seems impossible, until it is done.” – Nelson Mandela

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Happy Friday from the Alternative Staffing team! If you are like our office, we like to keep our attire more casual on Fridays. But Forbes recently reported that workers shouldn’t take casual Friday too casual.

While Casual Friday can mean different things to different companies, you don’t want to show up to work in your gym clothes, cut off shorts, or swim suits! You need to wear the appropriate clothing for your workplace and industry.

For example, a lot of Alternative Staffing employees work in warehouses, and there is typically always a dress code for the safety of the employee. But if the workplace embraces Casual Friday, you need to stay within the parameters of what is appropriate and what is not. Do you need to wear closed toe shoes, pants, or long sleeve shirts?

Casual Friday is a time for you to showcase more of who you are…but remember to be professional.

Take a look at Forbes’ 4 tips on how to set the standard for Casual Friday attire in the office:

Tip #1: Define a policy.

HR or management should define and communicate the appropriate/inappropriate attire for casual Fridays (and the summer months) and the consequences for not following the policy.

Tip #2: Meet with employees.

Managers should discuss the policy with employees, answer their questions, provide examples of what is considered acceptable work clothing, and ensure everyone understands what will happen if they don’t comply (such as being sent home to change their clothes).

Tip #3: Be a role model.

If you’re in a management position, dress a step above the casual Friday policy, even during summer months. If jeans are acceptable on Fridays, choose dark colored jeans that are styled to look like trousers. Women can pair these with a colorful blouse and standout necklace with heels, while men can wear a button-down shirt or even a company logo golf shirt with their jeans or khakis. The idea is to look casual, yet polished.

Tip #4: Stand out from the crowd.

It’s time to step up casual Fridays, especially if you want to climb the career ladder and advance into higher-level jobs. Even when you’re given the option to dress casually for work, take it up a notch from your weekend wear. In this tight job market, everything you can do to make yourself stand out will help.

 

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Thanks to the Holy City Sinner for featuring Alternative Staffing and our “Dog Days of Summer” contest.

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We are halfway through the month of August, and we have a half of a month to go! We have received an overwhelming amount of support from our friends and followers. Check out our Facebook album to see the hundreds of dog photos that have been submitted so far. Submit your photo for your chance to win a gift basket from Dolittles. And remember, for every photo we receive, we will donate $1 to the Charleston Animal Society, so spread the news! Submit photos on our Facebook page, send to alternativestaffing@outlook.com or on Twitter using the hashtag #CharlestonDogDays.

Read the Holy City Sinner article HERE.

One Dog Days of Summer contest submission, Dexter!

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The Charleston Regional Business Journal featured the Alternative Staffing “Dog Days of Summer” photo contest in the paper’s “Helping Out” section on August 6, 2014.

We are thrilled to host this contest to raise awareness for the Charleston Animal Society and encourage pet adoptions in our community. Submit a photo of your dog for your chance to win a $150 gift basket from Dolittles. For every photo we receive, Alternative Staffing will donate $1 to the Charleston Animal Society. So send us your photos at alternativestaffing@outlook.com, post to our Facebook page, or tweet using hashtag #charlestondogdays.

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crbj helping out

 

 

 

CRBJ Aug. 2014 AS