Business & Economy
INQUIREHIRE ACHIEVES BACKGROUND SCREENING CREDENTIALING COUNCIL ACCREDITATION PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Alan Kinsey   
Saturday, 26 January 2013 10:16

Davenport, IA, January 25, 2013 – The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) BackgroundScreening Credentialing Council (BSCC) announced today that Inquirehire has successfully proved compliance with theBackground Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) and will now be formally recognized as BSCC Accredited.

Each year, U.S. employers, organizations and governmental agencies request millions of consumer reports to assistwith critical business decisions involving background screening. Background screening reports, which are categorizedas consumer reports are currently regulated at both the federal and state level. Since its inception, NAPBS has believedthat there is a strong need for a singular cohesive industry standard and therefore created the BSAAP. Governed by astrict professional standard composed of requirements and measurements, the BSAAP is positioned to become a widelyrecognized seal of approval that brings national recognition to background screening organizations (also referred to asConsumer Reporting Agencies). This recognition will stand as the industry “seal” representing a background screeningorganization’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutionalimprovement.

The NAPBS Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) oversees the application process and is the governingaccreditation body that will ensure the background screening organizations seeking accreditation meet or exceed ameasurable standard of competence. To become accredited, consumer reporting agencies must pass a rigorous onsiteaudit, conducted by an independent auditing firm, of its policies and procedures as they relate to six critical areas:consumer protection, legal compliance, client education, product standards, service standards, and general businesspractices.

Any U.S.-based employment screening organization is eligible to apply for accreditation. A copy of the standard, the policiesand procedures, and measurements is available at www.napbs.com.

About Inquirehire:  Inquirehire is a leading national provider of human resources solutions that include background screening, drug testing,assessment testing, and human resources management systems. Inquirehire solutions are fully integrated and web-basedto help employers manage risk more effectively while reducing cost, saving time, and improving quality throughout theirhiring and overall human resources operations. Inquirehire is a founding member of NAPBS® and Concerned CRAs. Formore information about Inquirehire, visit www.inquirehire.com.

About NAPBS®:  Founded in 2003 as a non-profit trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS)represents the interests of more than 700 member companies around the world that offer tenant, employment andbackground screening. NAPBS provides relevant programs and training aimed at empowering members to better serveclients and maintain standards of excellence in the background screening industry, and presents a unified voice in thedevelopment of national, state and local regulations. For more information, visit www.napbs.com.

 
Are You a Woman Launching a Business or Book? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 25 January 2013 15:28
Your Competitive Advantage May Surprise You!
By: Marsha Friedman

What’s your best advice for women in business?

It’s a question I hear frequently as more and more women strike out on their own, whether it’s to start their own company, write a book, turn their great idea into a product, or otherwise monetize their talents. The number of women-owned businesses in this country is growing 1.5 times faster than the national average. From 1997 to 2011, they increased by 50 percent.

I love seeing this surge of confidence! Putting yourself out there is risky, but it’s better to try and fail then to spend a lifetime wondering, “What if?”

Yes, I do have a favorite piece of advice for women in business but first, a word about self-employed women.

Did you know that our businesses added 500,000 jobs over 10 years while other privately held firms lost jobs?

That in 2007, we accounted for $1.2 trillion in sales receipts?

Unfortunately, we’re also less likely than men to borrow money to expand, so our businesses are smaller. They’re also more likely to fail and, despite that huge number of sales receipts, we ring up disproportionately less than our male counterparts.

That information, by the way, comes from an interesting report produced by the U.S. Department of Commerce -- “Women-Owned Businesses in the 21st Century.”

It details the progress we’ve made and some of the hurdles we still must overcome. The latter include the legacy of a long history of discrimination; our tendency to be risk-adverse; and even some of the ventures that we choose. The report says we can help ourselves by creating more supportive networks, having access to more information, and finding mentors.

That last point gave me pause. When I launched my first business, there were comparatively few female CEOs, and certainly no internet to foster communication among them. I learned how to run a business mostly through good old trial and error. That’s also how I figured out how to balance that work with my roles as mother, wife and daughter, and how to fit in time volunteering for the community organizations I valued.

But women don’t have to go it alone anymore, and nor should we. Which is why I welcome questions like, “What’s your best advice for women in business?” I’d like to see the new generations of self-employed females blow through the hurdles that still remain before us and create even more opportunities for the generations to come.

So what’s my best advice? That’s impossible to say, but here’s one for starters.

Know your audience.

And guess what? It’s you!

Women account for 73 percent to 85 percent of all consumer decisions (according to Boston Consulting Group, Competitive Edge Magazine, and TrendSight Group founder Marti Barletta),. From the grocery store to the automobile dealership to the tech industry, women drive purchasing.

You need to communicate with that audience in mind. No, you don’t want to exclude men, but you also need to be sure your message appeals to women.

When I’m writing anything, whether it’s an email or a media pitch, I make a point to read over what I’ve written from the perspective of my audience. If I’m writing for industry peers, technical language is probably fine. If my audience is the media, concise and direct is best. If it’s clients, I want to be sure whatever I write also reflects my appreciation of them.

And then there’s the feminine factor.

As a woman, I’m a sucker for honesty and sincerity. I’m turned off by condescension. Unless the writer is somebody I already know and respect, I have little tolerance for preaching, judgment, or demands.

Any message that takes those things into account will work for men, too.

Whether you’re writing marketing copy, posting on social media, or working on an article or newsletter, if your goal is to turn your readers into buyers, you need to write with your audience in mind.

That’s not so hard – if you’re a woman.

About Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a 22-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com), a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional firms. Marsha is the author of Celebritize Yourself: The 3-Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business and she can also be heard weekly on her Blog Talk Radio Show, EMSI’s PR Insider every Thursday at 3:00 PM EST.

 
To Get Ahead at Work, Ditch the Flip-Flops PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 08:45
Businesses are Again Moving Toward More Polished Attire

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg aside, for many men, the days of wearing hoodies and flip-flops to work are over.

After a decade of increasingly casual office dress requirements (inspired by Zuckerberg’s 1990s Silicon Valley predecessors), CEOs began demanding a more polished look beginning with the 2001 recession. By 2002, more formal dress codes had been reinstated by 19 percent of companies with more than $500 million in revenues, according to a Men’s Apparel Alliance survey.

“The 2001 recession gave Americans a taste of the tougher job market,” says Darnell Jones, a  business professional and creator of TUKZ Undergarments for men, (www.TUKZ.com), which have clasps that ensure shirts stay tucked.

“Then along came the Great Recession in December 2007 and, with it, the layoffs and high unemployment we’re still experiencing. Today, if you want to get hired and if you want to get promoted, you’ve got to look like you mean business.”

Jones notes that it’s not just corporate leaders who want a more professional-looking workforce. In a 2012 survey by Salary.com, nearly 25 percent of respondents said their workplace’s dress code is too lenient. Less than 10 percent said theirs was too strict.

“Right or wrong, how much care you take – or don’t take – with your appearance communicates a lot about you,” Jones says. “If you take pride in how you look, you probably take pride in the work you do. If your outfits are thrown-together or dated, you may be reckless with details and not up on the latest in your profession.”

If you’re ready to give up your office hoodie, but aren’t sure what to replace it with, Jones offers these tips:

• Get a navy blue or gray blazer or suit coat: Solid colors are best, although pinstripes are fine, too. Get the best material you can afford. If wearing a jacket all day doesn’t fit with your workplace vibe, keep one in your office or cubicle to have handy just in case. Whether it’s a surprise visit from a client or an unexpected meeting with the CEO, slipping on a jacket is an easy way to make a good impression.

• Watch your feet: Invest in a good pair of lace-up shoes -- brown, black or, better yet, both. (The color should complement your trousers and match your belt.) Avoid square-toed shoes -- they’re dated. Be sure your shoes are polished, and replace the heels when they get run down, particularly if you’re going on a job interview or attending an important meeting. Of course, you’ll need socks, too. They should coordinate with the color of your trousers – and with each other!

• Avoid the peacock effect: Your shirt should be a solid color – no patterns and no hot pinks. Be sure it’s pressed. An undershirt is a must; it helps prevent unsightly perspiration stains and unwanted views of underlying body parts. If you’re not wearing a tie and leaving the top button or two undone, make sure the T-shirt collar is not visible at your throat. If you’re wearing a coat, about a half-inch of shirt cuff should be visible at your wrist.

• Flatter your face with a V-neck: A good-quality gray, V-neck pullover sweater worn over a blue dress shirt is a great look for business casual. The bottom of the sweater should stop at your belt line.

“You’ll be amazed at how much more seriously people take you when you look the part,” Jones says.

“The best thing is, dressing well makes you stand taller and feel more confident. That’s really a winning look.”

About Darnell Jones

Darnell Jones is the founder and president of TUKZ Undergarments, LLC, specializing in a unique functionality that prevents shirts from becoming un-tucked. He earned his bachelor’s in health with an emphasis in management at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo. Jones’ vision is for TUKZ Underwear to reside in every household to improve appearance and build confidence in men and women of all ages. He currently serves as an investor and a Region Manager for Olive Medical Corp.

 
Loebsack Statement on the Debt Ceiling Vote PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 14:08

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the House voted to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling. The bill also sets in motion legislation that would withhold the pay of Members of Congress if they do not pass a budget.  Loebsack was the second cosponsor of the No Budget, No Pay Act in 2011 and is an original cosponsor of similar legislation this Congress.

“While today’s vote temporarily moves us away from the threat of defaulting on the debt our nation has already incurred, it does nothing to address our most pressing problem – growing the economy and setting our country on a sustainable path.  Today’s vote is just another example of Congress kicking the can down the road without actually dealing with the issue at hand.  Even though I believe we should provide more long-term certainty for our economy and job creators, I cannot allow the ineptitude of Congress to affect adversely small business owners and the pocketbooks of Iowans.  Defaulting on our loans would simply be kicking the economy when it is already down.

“Further, it is unacceptable that Members of Congress continue to be paid without carrying out one of their main duties – passing a budget each year.  It is time for Members to do their part, and that is why I strongly support the No Budget, No Pay Act to hold Members accountable for getting their job done.”

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Vista Career Fair Offers Global Opportunities for QC Job-Hunters PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Mark McLaughlin   
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:37

IA/IL QUAD-CITIES – Looking to leverage your experience and skills with competitive benefits and excellent salary potential? Most people might need to hire an employment agency to find such an extraordinary position, or spent months or even years sending out countless resumes. But according to Teresa Johnston, Communications Director at Vista International Operations, many qualified Quad-City residents will discover exceptional positions at an upcoming Vista Career Fair.
“Vista has many positions which may need to be filled very quickly,” Johnston said. “We are gearing up to begin work on multiple potential contracts, and may have to fill hundreds of jobs, locally and abroad. It’s a very exciting time for both Vista and the Quad-Cities. For many individuals who are unemployed or dissatisfied with their current positions, the Career Fair will provide outstanding opportunities.”
The Vista Career Fair will be held 1 to 7 p.m., Thursday, January 31, 2013, at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, Riverfront 103-104, 3300 River Drive, Moline, IL. Employment opportunity presentations will be held at 2, 4, and 6 p.m. Vista International Operations is a global provider of enterprise-level information technology (IT) services, logistics management, and engineering support services to government and private industry. Vista is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC), which was formed in 1972 as part of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
According to Johnston, available positions with Vista include Call Center Associate, Computer System Support Specialist, Database Administrator, LAN Administrator, System Administrator, Web Developer, Email Administrator, and Application Programmer. The Career Fair will also include positions with Vista Technical Services, another BBNC subsidiary.
High-Paying Positions Here and Abroad.
“Many of the positions will be based locally, while others are overseas positions,” Johnston said. “Vista is a global company, with 348 employees worldwide. The average salary is about $64,000.” She added that in the last three years, Vista has paid more than $16 million in payroll to Quad-Cities employees.
In addition to Vista’s work in the United States, the corporation also performs information technology and logistics on behalf of the U.S. Government overseas. Locations include Kuwait and Afghanistan and have salaries ranging from $100,000 to $190,000, depending on the position. For stateside opportunities, salaries will range from $45,000 to $95,000, depending on the position and location. Benefits offered by Vista include:

  • Medical, dental and vision insurance for employee and dependents
  • Cafeteria plan for dependent care/flex accounts/HSA accounts
  • Short-/long-term disability, company paid
  • 10 paid holidays per year
  • Annual leave: Two weeks first year, increases after five years
  • Sick leave: One week first year, increases after five years
  • $5k spouse, $2k child life insurance, company paid
  • Life/accidental death insurance, company paid
  • Emergency leave
  • Civic leave: Jury duty/voting
  • Educational assistance
  • 401(k) company match
  • Additional profit-sharing plan, contribution to 401K
“At the Career Fair, people will get to meet and talk with the actual hiring Project Managers,” said Johnston, “so each attendee will have the chance to meet their potential boss, face to face. We encourage career-minded individuals to come to the event, get to know Vista, and check out the opportunities we have available.”
For more information on Vista International Operations and the Career Fair, call Teresa Johnston, Communications Director, at 563-823-6657, or visit www.viops.com.

 
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