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January 31, 2012


Headline News
AMN Sells Home Health Care Business to BAYADA
Randstad: Linda Galipeau to Replace Gregory Netland as Board Member
Volt Information Sciences Provides Update on Fourth Quarter Business Performance
Compensation for Workers Increases a Bit
What IT Takes: Jobs in Information Technology

Legal Watch
NY State Department of Labor Grants Extension on Annual Notice Requirement to Staffing Industry
For Job-Seekers, a New Push to Keep Financial Skeletons Buried
Courage or Folly? Superior Court Awards Significant Attorney’s Fees Against a Defeated Trade Secret Plaintiff

Trends and Research
Hospital Hiring of Physicians Picks Up Steam
Accountemps Survey: Executives Say Humor Is Key Part of Cultural Fit
Technisource Survey: IT Worker Confidence Returns, Suggests Renewed Optimism Heading Into 2012

ASA for You
Two Free ASAPro Webinars This Week
Get Tips on Earning Government Contracts

Headline News


AMN Sells Home Health Care Business to BAYADA
News-Medical (01/31/12)

AMN Healthcare Services Inc. has completed the sale of its home health care business to BAYADA Home Health Care Inc. As a result of the sale, AMN will receive cash proceeds of $9.65 million and retain working capital of approximately $4 million. “Given significant reimbursement changes and the current uncertainty in the regulatory environment, we determined a divestiture of home health care would allow an even sharper focus on our market-leading health care work force solutions offerings,” says Susan Salka, AMN’s chief executive officer.

“Our primary strategy of evolving our innovative health care work force solutions offerings and improving profitability through growth and leverage of our leadership position in managed services programs continues to be on track,” Salka notes. “We have our sights set on another year of industry leading revenue and profitability growth and continuing to build our market share in 2012.” AMN’s 19 franchisee-owned Nursefinders offices were not included in the transaction.

Randstad: Linda Galipeau to Replace Gregory Netland as Board Member
Dow Jones Newswires (01/31/12)

Staffing company Randstad Holding NV reports that Gregory Netland has decided not to serve a second term as a member of the executive board, adding it will propose to appoint Linda Galipeau to the board for an initial four-year term. The appointment of Galipeau is subject to approval by shareholders at the upcoming annual meeting of shareholders in March. Galipeau joined Randstad U.S. in 1995 as a district manager, and is currently president of Randstad Staffing in the U.S., a position she has held since 2008.

Volt Information Sciences Provides Update on Fourth Quarter Business Performance
Volt Information Sciences News Release (01/27/12)

Volt Information Sciences Inc. has provided a business update and reported selected unaudited financial information for its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter ended Oct. 30, 2011. The company notes that, due to a previously announced accounting review, all numbers presented in this release are estimates.

Steven Shaw, Volt’s president and chief executive officer, states, “The staffing services segment, which accounts for a majority of the company’s total revenue, had approximately $473 million of revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter 2011 compared to approximately $467 million for the same period in 2010. Staffing services revenue increased approximately 1% for the quarter, and approximately 11% year-to-date, compared to the prior year. On average, approximately 31,900 U.S. staffing employees were on assignment in the quarter, compared to approximately 31,800 in the fourth quarter of 2010.”

Compensation for Workers Increases a Bit
Wall Street Journal Online (01/31/12) Eric Morath

Compensation for U.S. workers increased modestly in the final three months of 2011, an indication that a slowly improving labor market has not yet put pressure on wages. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the employment cost index rose 0.4% in October through December, up from a 0.3% advance during the third quarter. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected an increase of 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Wages and salaries grew 0.4%, compared with 0.3% in the prior period.

What IT Takes: Jobs in Information Technology
Chicago Tribune (01/30/12) Kristyn Schiavone

The number of computer science and engineering graduates has fallen from a high of 24,000 in 2001 to about 15,000 this year. Michael Dsupin, chief executive of the information technology staffing firm Talener, says there is a shortage of skilled IT professionals, particularly for the Web and mobile development. Dsupin says candidates should be passionate about technology, and given that hands-on experience is important for moving up the ranks, even those without degrees can enter the field at an intern or administrative level.

Continuing education also is important, but rapid changes mean team members can be more helpful than formal education programs in learning new programs. Recruiters say communication ability is a crucial quality for candidates to possess, as IT jobs require frequent client interaction.


Legal Watch


NY State Department of Labor Grants Extension on Annual Notice Requirement to Staffing Industry
American Staffing Association (01/31/12) Toby Malara

Members of the New York Staffing Association—an ASA-affiliated chapter—and NYSA’s lobbyist Peter Crouse recently met with officials from the New York State Department of Labor to discuss the request that the staffing industry be exempted from the Wage Theft Prevention Act’s annual notice requirement.

Crouse has since received a letter from Carmine Ruberto, director of the division of labor standards for the state DOL, indicating that “the department will waive until March 1, 2012, the requirement for temporary help firms to give their employees the required annual notice.” Staffing industry representatives hope that state labor commissioner Colleen Gardner will make a final determination by that date on the industry’s request to exempt staffing firms from the annual notification requirement. ASA will continue to keep its members updated as events unfold.

For Job-Seekers, a New Push to Keep Financial Skeletons Buried
Wall Street Journal (01/31/12) Annamaria Andriotis

California has become the seventh state to prohibit companies from doing credit checks on many job applicants, and similar bills are pending in another 19 states. On the federal level, a House subcommittee will soon review a bill that calls for a similar ban. The moves could be “a game changer for people negatively affected by this economy,” says Persis Yu, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

Approximately 60% of companies report doing credit checks for some or all job candidates, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Consumer advocates note credit problems are more widespread now because of the struggling economy. Some argue that employers should hire based on skills and qualifications and not credit histories. Those in the job market “have plenty of obstacles right now and should not have…to try to defend the fact that they missed payments on bills,” says Diane Rosenbaum, an Oregon state senator whose bill banning certain credit checks became law in 2010.

Courage or Folly? Superior Court Awards Significant Attorney’s Fees Against a Defeated Trade Secret Plaintiff
Lexology (01/25/12) Charles Post

In Aerotek v. The Johnson Group Staffing Co., the Sacramento Superior Court awarded a successful defendant in a trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition case more than $730,000 in attorney’s fees. In doing so, the Court increased the fees incurred by the defendant by 33%. Michael Ponce was an employee at the Aerotek staffing firm who served as both a recruiter and a salesperson. Ponce signed a noncompete agreement where he agreed that he would not divulge Aerotek’s trade secrets which were defined to include Aerotek’s customer list, and would not solicit any of those customers following the termination of his employment at the company.

Ponce eventually went to work at the personnel recruiting and placement company The Johnson Group as a recruiter and salesperson charged with generating new employer accounts. Aerotek sued both Ponce and the Johnson Group, both times failing to recover any damages. The defendants moved the court award attorney’s fees under the California Uniform Trade Secret Act, and the court did so, citing Aerotek’s failure to seek injunctive relief at the outset of the litigation and the lack of customer loss.


Trends and Research


Hospital Hiring of Physicians Picks Up Steam
American Medical News (01/30/12) Victoria Stagg Elliot

Hospitals increased their physician hiring last year and show no signs of slowing down such hiring activity this year. “We have a work force shortage,” says Alan Kaplan, MD, vice president with Iowa Health System and president of Iowa Health Physicians and Clinics, based in Des Moines. “We would look at any physician seeking employment. I’m not saying we would want to employ all specialties, but we would look at them.”

Consulting firm Sullivan, Cotter & Associates reports that approximately 75% of health care organizations they polled increased physician staffing levels in 2011, adding an average of 12 specialists and nine primary care physicians. The same percentage said they plan to hire more physicians and midlevel practitioners in 2012. The New England Journal of Medicine reported in 2011 that more than half of practicing physicians were employed by hospitals or integrated delivery systems.

Accountemps Survey: Executives Say Humor Is Key Part of Cultural Fit
Yahoo! Finance (01/31/12)

A new survey from Accountemps, a division of Robert Half International, finds that 79% of chief financial officers interviewed said an employee’s sense of humor is important for fitting into the company’s corporate culture. CFOs were asked, “How important is an employee’s sense of humor in him or her fitting into your company’s corporate culture?” Answering “very important” were 22% of CFOs, while 57% said “somewhat important.”

“Sometimes, a little levity goes a long way toward building rapport among colleagues and diffusing workplace tension,” says Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. “Job candidates should let their personality shine when meeting prospective employers,” Messmer adds. “The interview is no place for a standup comedy routine, but it is the right time to show hiring managers you are approachable and will be easy to work with.”

Technisource Survey: IT Worker Confidence Returns, Suggests Renewed Optimism Heading Into 2012
MarketWatch (01/30/12)

The IT Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. technology workers conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Technisource, reports an increase in confidence from 47.3 to 52.0 in the fourth quarter of 2011, denoting the return of positive confidence levels (above 50) among information technology professionals. The increase in IT professionals’ confidence in the economy was largely led by a perception of more jobs being available and an increased ability to get those new jobs.


ASA for You


Two Free ASAPro Webinars This Week

Today from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients” and find out about staffing firms’ and clients’ legal obligations when it comes to investigating harassment claims. This Webinar is presented by Gerald L. Maatman Jr., Esq., a partner in the Chicago and New York offices of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. It’s free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers).

This Thursday, Feb. 2, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Recruit Career Activists—The Top Talent Hidden in Every Generation,” presented by human resource consultant Peter Weddle. Get a preview of his book The Career Activist Republic and learn how to identify top talent in all generations.

ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Register online at americanstaffing.net.
Get Tips on Earning Government Contracts

Selling to the federal government can provide significant revenues for your staffing firm—but the process can be a bit overwhelming. ASA offers free resources that can help you position your company for government contracting opportunities.

A series of Webinars available on ASAPro—the ASA online professional development center—teaches the basics of selling to the government, shows you how to get started, and explains how you can pursue opportunities. Participants can take an online quiz after each course and earn an electronic certification of completion to present when bidding for government contracts.

In addition, ASA members that have successfully sold to the federal government created reference tools to help their peers explore and consider doing business with the government. These resources, including information on federal procurement, federal acquisition regulation, market research, and more, are available at americanstaffing.net.