For many Americans, the average work week not only takes up 40+ hours of you time, but also the added time spent commuting to am from your workplace.

The average American’s commute to work is 25.5 minutes each way, according to a report in USA Today. That’s about 51 minutes a day getting to and from work, or about 204 hours a year spent commuting. (Feb 26, 2014)

With the traffic on 26 and 526 in the Charleston Tri-County area, that time can be doubled if not tripled on some days. Why not spend that time doing something useful? Take a look at a few tips from Alternative Staffing on how to make that time a little more enjoyable!
Flip the pages of a book, or listen to the good ole’ books on tape (AKA download it on your tablet or phone). Reading is a great way to pass time and can help make your commute more pleasant. For those who drive, you may want to consider an audio book or a podcast. Make this time to yourself fun and enjoyable with a good book you’ve been dying to read. Or use this time with an educational purpose. Is there something you have been wanting to learn? A new language perhaps, or maybe some career advancements you want to make. This can be a good time to utilize this time to take those extra steps and reach your goals.

Make your commute a “workout”. If you live closer to your office, consider using alternative modes of transportation. Can you bike to work? Is your workplace within walking distance? If not, can you drive and park and then walk the rest of the way? You can easily incorporate an exercise routine at the start and end of your work day. This not only gives you physical benefits, but is a good mental break for your to gear up for the day ahead and decompress before heading home.

Get a commuting buddy. Beat the traffic with fun conversation with a coworker and carpool. Not only that, you can cut your gas (and possibly parking) bill in half. Think of the thousands of dollars you could save, and all of the friends you could make!

Take our advice and make your commute matter! Follow us on Facebook at


The Staffing Stream recently published an article about the importance of retaining your hardworking employees; because after the New Year 21% of those employees could be gone.

good-work-280x300According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, approximately 1 in 5 US full-time workers plan to change their jobs after January 2014.

Why is this?

Employees could be overworked or underworked, dissatisfied in general, underpaid, see no growth opportunities, seeking better benefits, seeking a better work/life balance, seeking a better job location, and many more reasons.

Because the economy has seen some positive changes, the job market has gotten better for employees. More opportunities are available, therefore curiosity is high.

Let’s face it; employees are pursuing job opportunities to see if the grass is greener on the other side. Can you blame them?

What can you do?

No, you can’t blame them. But as an employer you can make some strategic steps to ensure you employees that your grass is the greenest.

Take advantage of the spirit of the Christmas season, and show your employees just how much you appreciate them.

Be thankful.

You can never tell your employees enough how much you appreciate their hard work. Publically or privately tell each employee how appreciated and valuable they are to your company before leaving for a holiday break. Be sure to mention how you respect the employee’s dedication, work ethic, and time – give specific examples. Send a personalized card to the home of each employee and their family/significant other with genuine wishes for a wonderful holiday.

Be fun.

Create a work environment full of special surprises that SHOW your employees just how much you appreciate them.

Bring in lunch for your employees a few times before the holidays or surprise them with a special holiday dinner. Take your employees out for fun activities that are available in your area. Or do something simpler and cost efficient and host a game day in the office with charades, bingo, and other interactive games.

If you have the capital, give each employee a Christmas bonus (and be sure to tell them why they deserve it). Go above and beyond and give employees gifts, host an office gift raffle, and bring in baked goods each day.

It’s the little things that count. Regardless of the amount of money you have, there is something you can do outside of the box to surprise your employees for the holidays.

A prosperous business is the result of good management and good employees. These tips are the icing on the cake to keep employees happy. But be sure to evaluate the core of your business and that each employee feels worthy, successful, and content in his/her role.

Once 2015 rolls around, you may have to say farewell to some valuable employees that you don’t want to see leave. But not to fester; give your local Charleston A-team a call and we will be happy to help find the perfect employees for your company. At Alternative Staffing, we love it when a plan comes together!


The holidays are a busy time for everyone in the business world. Whether your organization is a service, product, retail, or industry, the volume of work can be high during the holidays. To keep up with the business demand and alleviate some stress off of employees, temporary workers can be a successful fix.

To get your holiday staffing needs put into place with these key steps:

Take it back a year

To figure out your organization’s unique holiday staffing needs are, take a look at the previous year’s holiday figures. Examine your financial gains and losses, and where you need to put your focus this holiday season. Did you hire the right people for the right job? Did you place your temporary staffers in the right positions, or were there positions that needed more attentions? Is there anything different this year than the previous year that you will need to account for when hiring seasonal staff?

Make a plan

Once you know the lacking areas that can be improved, things that worked in the past, and new office endeavors that must be filled, it is time to put a plan into place. Now you can narrow down the ideal candidate skill sets and traits for your holiday temporary staff. It’s a myth that temporary workers are not as skilled as permanent employees. However, the most reliable and qualified temps will typically be recruited well before the holiday season is underway. So making a seasonal staffing plan as soon as possible will increase your likelihood of snagging the best temps for the job.

Bringing the temps on board

Make the transition as smooth as possible for holiday temps and for your permanent staff by creating a unique training process designed specifically for the seasonal staff. Decide exactly what the expected duties will be, rules and limitations, and who is responsible for temp worker productivity.

Prepare Current Staff

It is important to communicate with your current team, whether full time or part time, the temporary staffing plans for the holidays. Make sure that your employees know what to expect: (1) how many temps will be working seasonally, (2) how long they will be working, (3) what the temps responsibilities will be, (4) who the temps will report to, (5) and then finally address any potential concerns.

Some employees may feel threatened by temporary staffers. Just ensure them that having temp workers will not take away from permanent staffers jobs, but will help make everyone’s job easier, increase productivity, and keep the holiday spirit high!

The process of finding the right talent to fit your holiday staffing needs can be more efficient and effective with the partnership of a staffing firm, like Alternative Staffing. So call your local A-Team, because we love it when a plan comes together!


The staffing industry never rests, even during the holidays. So the A-team at Alternative Staffing understands the stresses of having employees work during the holidays. But how do you keep up company morale when employee have to work holiday shifts?

While smaller companies can’t afford to give hefty bonuses, there are other ways to treat those employees working overtime during the holidays.

  • Give employees a choice. Have employees request certain days during the holidays that they would rather work. Have employees list in order the holidays that they would like to have off. Then do your best to work around these requested holiday shifts. For example, someone may prefer to have Christmas Eve off while another employee doesn’t mind working Christmas Eve.
  • Give workers flexibility. Offer other days off after the holidays to counteract the holiday work.
  • Give back. Maybe you can’t afford a large Christmas bonus, but sometimes the little things go a long way. Treat your employees to coffee, lunch, holiday cookies and treats, or even a gift card to a different employee every day (Example: a daily holiday raffle).
  • Get festive. If your employees will be spending time at work during the holidays, make sure they aren’t missing out on holiday fun. Decorate the office, have a Christmas party, host a holiday spirit week, or have a special holiday activity each day.
  • Thank your employees. Personally thank each employee for their hard work. Give each employee a hand-written explaining your appreciation why they are so awesome!

If you have a small business, your staff is like a second family. So remember to treat them as such during the holidays.


The Staffing Stream published a recent article, “Avoiding Dependent Leadership” with tips on how do do just that.

Oftentimes leaders try to have their hands in every project, which spreads themselves too thin. We’ve all been there when we think to ourselves, wouldn’t it just be easier if I did this myself. Wrong. As a manager, you must learn to “let go” or certain responsibilities because you are stifling yourself, your staff, and inevitably your business.

In the article Scott Wintrip wrote, “Leadership Dependence, an all too common reality in companies, has caused leaders to be even more overwhelmed than ever and employees to be less self-sufficient. The alternative, Corporate Interdependence, promotes personal responsibility for doing the next right thing and engaging in collaboration where it’s actually needed.”

The issue is that leaders enjoy taking on everything. But all that does is overload the leader, and sets the wrong example for the staff. Without the appropriate experience, a staff can never be innovative and powerful if they aren’t confident in their decisions. Which means, more work for the manager. That confidence can only be instilled by the manager.

A leader is a teacher. A leader should teach their employees, empower employees to make the right decisions and actions, and hold them accountable for decisions. Trust and accountability among managers and employees are key in a successful workplace.


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!


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.


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


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.”


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,, 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!