Temp- tation      
                                                         September  2019 
In this issue
Client Web Portal
As a Flex-Staff client, you have a great resource available to you in the form of Flex-Staff's "Web Portal." Through the Web Portal, you can easily view and print invoices, run usage reports, and even approve employee time sheets.
To learn more about the Web Portal, or to get set up to use this feature, call your local Flex-Staff office.  
Wisconsin Unemployment Rate Ticks Up
Wisconsin's unemployment rate increased to 3.0% in July, up from 2.9% in June. While still historically low, this is the first time that Wisconsin's unemployment rate had been at this level since February. It still remains below than the national unemployment rate of 3.7%.
Union Membership Steadily Declines 
The "State of Working Wisconsin" report published recently by UW Madison's Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) showed that since 2011 union membership in the state has declined by 53.9%. This is compared to a decrease of 14.9% in neighboring Minnesota, and a decrease of 21.2% nationally.  
Last year's report (which is more thorough on even-numbered years) detailed public-sector union membership rates, which fell from more than 60% since 2010.

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Fun Facts  
Earlier this year Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin took fine arts for a dip in the pool with their performance of "Breathe: a multi-disciplinary water opera." (That's right... A water opera.)   
The performance included a cast of more than 20 performers, and included dancers, singers, musicians, and even a diver.
Composer and Musical Director Loren Dempster actually played his cello underwater while sitting in the shallow end of the pool. Approached with the water opera idea by Gabriel Forestieri, the creator and choreographer of the performance, Dempster says even he was a skeptic. "He just asked me if I could play music underwater and I said, 'I don't think so, but I'll look into it,' and did some research and found out that there are actually hydrophones and, you know, tried some things in my bathtub," Dempster recounted. "Eventually I just tried dunking a very, very cheap cello, and it actually worked. It's been kind of one of the great surprises of my life that you could play cello underwater."
The water opera sold out both of their performances.


Celebrating Over 45 Years of Staffing Excellence!

Background Check Basics
Any background or credit check that is performed by a third party Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) must be conducted in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Before conducting a criminal background check through a CRA, an employer is legally required to first disclose to the applicant or employee that they will be conducting a background check on 
them, and also get the applicant or employee's authorization to perform the check. 
If the decision is made to not hire the applicant, or to not consider the employee for promotion or continued employment, based on the background information, this would be considered an "adverse employment action."   It is considered illegal discrimination to take an adverse employment action based on an arrest or conviction record unless it is substantially related to the position the applicant or employee is being considered for. 
Before taking any adverse employment action it is necessary to provide the applicant or employee with a "Pre Adverse Action" notice consisting of a copy of the background check report, as well as a copy of the "A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act" notice.  While not explicitly prescribed by the FCRA, court and Federal Trade Commission (FT C) guidance suggests five days is a reasonable period to wait after sending the pre-adverse action notice before taking the adverse action.     

After an employer has taken the adverse action, the applicant or employee must be provided with an "Adverse Action" notice telling them about their rights to see the information being reported about them, and to correct any inaccurate information. 
Click here for a link to the EEOC's website for additional information on background checks.
Disclaimer: The above is a basic overview of background checking procedures, and is not intended as legal advice. For more specific, detailed information, consult your legal counsel.
One Minute Ideas
Here are 10 quick and easy business tips to gain a competitive advantage over your rivals and insulate yourself from the threat of new entrants in the market.
1. Don't sell products, provide solutions Explain to the customer in simple, straightforward terms how or why your product can help them or assist in the attainment of their goals.
2. Optimize your pricing If you are a premium brand, offer the quality-conscious customer an 'exclusive' benefit that your rivals do not or cannot provide. If you are at the value-driven end of the market, low pricing can help you rapidly onboard a heap of new customers who may also buy other items in your shop and return again.
3. Hire friendly customer-facing staff Whether consciously or not, people are more likely to buy a product if they like the sales assistant who's attending to them.
4. Stay open even longer Say you're a bricks-and-mortar store and you're getting a rush of customers as closing time approaches... why not close up an hour later?   You can also reduce headcount during quieter periods to offset the higher costs and longer working hours created by your extended opening hours.
5. Don't make customers dig deep for a phone number -
Even in the digital age, some customers will always prefer to contact you by phone rather than email or Facebook. Put your phone number front and center on your web page, particularly if you're a retail offering.
6. Give something for nothing (or very little) Give your customers a voucher with their purchase to redeem on a future visit. It practically guarantees they will return to your store again. People hate to waste freebies!
7. Support your local community Local businesses can connect with their communities better than global chains. Whatever you choose to do to support your community, make sure it authentically fits with your brand offering.
8. Use social media smartly Social media is a great medium through which to build a solid relationship with customers - just try to give your brand some "personality" when you write updates or posts.
9. Own your niche Admittedly, multiple revenue streams do spread your risk: if one falters, others can take up the slack. Nevertheless, consumers often associate 'specialists' with higher quality products or services than generalists.
10. Be humble Don't ever get  too  satisfied with your business. You can always improve - and improve you must! The moment you think 'mission accomplished' is the same moment you become vulnerable to being usurped.
Faye Ferris - jeffbullas.com
Apple Crisp Coffee Cake
Cake Batter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider
2 tablespoons butter
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle apples on top of batter. In a medium bowl, stir together all topping ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Sprinkle on top of apples. Place pan in oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Make glaze. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium heat until sugar and butter are melted. Drizzle over coffee cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Inspirational Quote
Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf is a flower. - Albert Camus