We are in the process of creating our ‘Top Small Business Trends’ blog post for 2017, and we’ve begun by reviewing several small business trend posts from the past few months.

One of the ways we create our own post is to score what some of the experts are saying; but we add to that our own algorithm; together, it provides a good picture of the near future.

Already, three trends are emerging that we can share in this brief 2017 Small Business Trends snapshot: video, freelancing and app development.


Nearly all 2017 trend reports, like one from Inc. magazine, believe the growth of video is an essential component for small business success in 2017.  According to a recent Forbes study, video is becoming a critical source of information for executives:

• More than 80% said they are watching more online video today than they were a year ago.

• Three-quarters (75%) of executives surveyed said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly; more than half (52%) watch work-related videos on YouTube at least weekly.

• Overall, 65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video.

Hubspot’s Consumer Behavior Survey confirms this trend. Over half (55%) of users say they consume an entire video, compared to 29% for blogs and 33% for interactive articles. Concludes the report, “If you want your entire message to be consumed, video tends to be the preferred medium.”

Video isn’t just about creating ads for online viewing; it is more about providing content for potential clients making decisions; showing them the benefits and Unique Selling Proposition of small business products.  In 2017, small businesses will incorporate video into their marketing plan or slowly get left behind.


Freelance and Remote employment, too, are experiencing growth.  Freelance workers provide flexibility, and generally are highly cost-effective; they can provide a company high-level skills for the time needed without the need to provide benefits, or worry about compliance issues.

Small Business Labs listed the trend toward freelance employment at #5 on their list:

This year will see an inflection point in terms of major corporations embracing freelance talent. After studying and testing the use of freelancers (called “agile talent” and “contingent labor” by corporations) for several years, 2017 will see the corporate use of agile talent increase and become mainstream. This will, of course, increase the demand for independent workers.

Remote employment is growing steadily, too. According to Inc. magazine, in its 2017 Business Trends article:

10 years ago, you may have never even heard of a remote employee. Nowadays, tech companies and startups are doing most of their hires remotely. IBM led this trend and many other companies have followed suit. Since meetings can be done over Skype or other video conference platforms and customer service, social media and programming positions only require access to the computer and Internet, talented Millennials can be hired for positions no matter where they live.


Apps used to be only for the largest corporations, but that has changed with the rise of app development companies like Good Barber, MobiCart and BuildFire, along with a host of other companies.

Today, small businesses can create their own do-it-yourself app, or pay $3,500 – $10,000  to have someone create one for them.  The emergence of mobile has made apps an important small business tool.  A recent survey revealed that the majority of small businesses are building apps to increase sales (55 percent), improve customer experience (50 percent) and become competitive in a specific market (50 percent).

Below is a graphic from a recent Small Business Trends article, Nearly Half of All Small Businesses Will Have a Mobile App by 2017, showing the rapid growth.


“Three years ago, a small business might see 10 percent of its total traffic coming from mobile, but right now it’s closer to 70 percent. Within the next couple of years, a shift to a mobile app or a mobile-friendly site will become obvious,” says Viktor Marohnic, CEO of the app builder Shoutem.

So, there you have it, an early look at three of our Top 2017 Small Business Trends – video, remote employment, and app development.

Stay tuned for our complete post in January.

Week’s Best – End of FLSA OT Rule? | 8 Things Great Bosses Say | Rise of ADA Lawsuits


The holiday season is upon us; the biggest and brightest full moon for decades is now waning; and, President-Elect Trump continues to appoint cabinet members.  One of those appointments is Andrew Puzder, Trump’s nomination for Labor Secretary; insiders believe Puzder’s selection signals the end for the FLSA Overtime rule – that article in HR Morning.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer revealed earlier this week that more than 1 billion user accounts were hacked in 2013; a much larger hack than the highly publicized one that took place a few months ago where 500 million user accounts were stolen – so much for transparency and cyber protection.  In light of the revelations, Business Insider lists several steps you can take to help protect your company.  Cyber attacks are increasing for small business owners, too.  Fortunately, Business News Daily published 13 Cyber Solutions for Small Business.  We included this story last week, but in light of the Yahoo revelation, we’ve decided to include the post this week, too.

CBS’ 60 Minutes recently aired a special report on ‘Drive By ADA ‘Access’ Lawsuits.  Our post this week on Rising ADA Lawsuits includes links to the program, and to a brief interview with one of the law’s architects, as well as an article from Lexology about the expansion of these ADA lawsuits into new areas – like website access …

In HR, Inc’s 8 Things the Best Bosses Constantly Tell Employees contains helpful advice and tips that can improve your management success … and, a New Law Now Allows Small Businesses to Utilize HRAs (Health Reimbursement Accounts) for employee healthcare benefits – that story in SHRM … Why Your Company Needs a Drug Free Workplace provides 7 reasons, backed by statistics, that a drug free workplace program will improve your company’s profitability.  The good news is that STAFFLINK is now offering a program that is free to implement for non-DOT companies, and costs only $35 per test to administer.  Contact us at 1-877-899-LINK to learn more.

In Personal Productivity, Inc. posted an insightful video about Why Expanding Your Business Isn’t Always the Right Choice …  and Tim Ferriss’ brief video (1:40) Use This Lesson to Start 2017 with a Bang presents a significant performance secret that champions use to improve their training – worth a quick listen … CNBC’s tax tip post, Give Now and Push Income to 2017 provides practical advice that will save you money this month.

Finally, in Trends, they’re here!  Amazon Performed Its First Real Drone Delivery in the UK – just think this trend is going to create a visual pollution mess in the skies, and lead to legislation that will curb much of the practice (can you imagine a package falling on someone?) … soon, some creative entrepreneur will color drones red, shape them like sleighs, and stuff them with Santa and reindeer mannequins for holiday deliveries – mark my words, it’s coming.

Enjoy Your Weekend!

Why You Need a Drug Free Workplace Program


THE BENEFITS OF GOING DRUG FREE … If you are in business, it’s time you know the facts….

STAFFLINK has partnered with OM Management, a reputable Miami-based company that provides a legal Drug Free Workplace program, which is available for clients and employees in all states. StaffLink and OM Management will provide you with a “Drug Free” workplace policy that is free to implement for all non-DOT clients, and only $35 per test to administer.  This low-cost program can protect you and your employees, and help prevent future employment issues.

Here are 7 reasons your company benefits from implementing a Drug Free Workplace program.

Increased Productivity & Efficiency 

Employers realize higher productivity with fewer man/woman hours and less over time hours. The end result is increased profits.

Reduced Absenteeism

Drug using employees are 2.2 times more likely to request early dismissal or time off and 2.5 times more likely to be absent eight days or more a year.

Reduced Tardiness

Drug using employees are 3 times more likely to be late for work.

Reduced Employee Theft

Drug using employees are more likely to steal from the company. Drug usage erodes moral ethics. Users need to support their drug habit.

Reduce Employee Turnover

Employees under the influence of drugs are more likely to leave or abandon their jobs rather than employees who are not. With a drug free workplace, employers will save time and money on re-training for those positions.

Reduced Injuries

Drug using employees are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident and 5 times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim. A drug free workplace leads to a safer work environment, less time and money spent on lost time and medical issues.

  OSHA Compliant

On December 1st, 2016, OSHA put in place a new rule that disallows employers from requiring post-accident drug tests, UNLESS THE EMPLOYEE IS PART OF A LEGAL DRUG FREE WORKPLACE PROGRAM.


Also, for clients of StaffLink Outsourcing, OM Management has agreed to implement Random programs at NO CHARGE. Typically, the charge for a Random program is $200 for setup, and $100 annually.

For our non-DOT clients, the only charge will be the price of the drug test. Random programs are very helpful at keeping employees clean year-round, not just at the time of hire.

To learn more, contact Beverly Finkelstein at Beverly@STAFFLINK.net, or call 877-899-LINK to learn more.


Week’s Best -Trump’s Choice on OT Rule | Why Employees May Leave in 2017 | 13 Cyber Security Options


Well, the Christmas and Holiday Season in 2016 is in full swing: Michael Buble’s holiday album is generating massive hits on Pandora; neighbor’s homes are decorated with projection lights rotating stars, colored dots, and various shades of green and red; and, Black Friday and Cyber Monday reported sales of 3.4 billion and 4.5 billion dollars – both records.

President-Elect Trump is rounding out his cabinet.  Of special interest to small business owners is the appointment of World Wrestling Federation Chief, Linda McMahon, to head up the Small Business Administration. Some critics are ‘wrestling’ with the nomination of Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, to the Environmental Protection Agency, but not the SBA pick; Linda helped build the WWE from the ground up.  Regarding Pruitt, a friend of the oil and gas industry, and frequent EPA critic, his pick signals that President-Elect Trump is not embracing climate change at this point in his administration.

In HR, SHRM’s Trump Faces Choice on Overtime Appeal details the obstacles and schedule issues facing the Department of Labor; it is unlikely they will be able to receive a final determination before the inauguration; and, it is uncertain what Trump will decide about the rule once in office.  Stay tuned.

Amid uncertainty about Obamacare, many small businesses may be wondering what to do now.  Inc’s 4 Best Healthcare Options for Small Business provides a clear guide to your best options.

We reported last week that companies are altering their benefits packages to attract and retain top talent.  CIO’s 10 Companies with Benefits’ Packages You Won’t Believe provides you a look at just how serious some companies are about keeping and hiring top talent.  If you can’t alter your own benefits package significantly, at least you can take positive steps to enhance the employee experience: Inc’s 9 Reasons Your Best Staff May Leave in 2017 gives you a helpful list of things that consider.  And, SHRM’s Skill Shortages and Non-Competitive Pay Cause Recruiting Woes reveals why even in this tight job market, some jobs are still remaining unfilled.

In RiskBusiness News Daily’s 13 Cyber Security Solutions for Small Business presents you with software solutions that can help protect you from the rapidly growing number of cyber and ransomware attacks.

In Personal Productivity, Inc.’s Jessica Stillman posted Daily Creativity Keeps the Blues Away , which reveals research that shows those hobbies of yours have more value than simply relaxation … and Inc’s Damon Brown produced a brief video that shows you How to Make Time for Your Passion Projects … Quora’s 10 Simple Habits that Make You Instantly Likable presents a series of tips that can help you or your sales team professionally, and in personal relationships.

If you procrastinate, you now have real help.  Lifehacker reports that You Can Now Get One of the Best Short-Courses on Procrastination for FREE . Productivity trainer Kosio Angelov built a paid course at Udemy, and over a thousand people took it. He reveals the science behind procrastination, and offers simple tips to help you eliminate it; and, the course that used to be $47 is now FREE.

In Trends, do you know what RPA is?  It’s a new acronym for Robotic Process Automation.  McKinsey & Company produced an online post that explains it, and most importantly, how it may soon affect you – an interesting read … the new bluetooth is here, and it’s a lot more powerful than its predecessor …  and, do you remember the Jetsons?  Well, the time of the flying car may soon actually arrive; learn about it this week’s Tech Crunch article.

Enjoy Your Weekend.

Week’s Best – Trump Signals Healthcare Changes | 11 Salary Negotiation Mistakes | 15 Grammar Tips


Well, December is here … things have calmed down a little since the election, and pundits have begun predicting what this new Trump administration will do.  One early focus is on healthcare … SHRM’s article, which we’ve re-titled ‘Trump Signals Major Changes to U.S. Healthcare with HHS Pick,’ gives you an advance look at what to expect for Obamacare.  Trump selected Georgia Representative Tom Price, also a surgeon and strong Obamacare critic for the post … Inc. published the 4 Best Healthcare Options for Small Business Owners – an excellent primer in this changing environment.

Here in Florida, a legal challenge to new Florida Workers’ Compensation rate increases appeared to delay the December 1 start date; but the state of Florida won its appeal, and the new rates are in effect.  You can read all about the new rates and legal challenges on our Blog Post.  As it now stands, current STAFFLINK clients will not be affected by the changes until March 1, 2017.

Also from SHRM this week, the Department of Labor appealed the FLSA Overtime Rule stay, leaving us to wonder When to Expect the Final Overtime Rule Decision; read the article and you’ll find out the most likely time frame, and the variables that can affect the final date.

In HR, tips on job hunting and candidate interviewing were big this week … Business Insider posted an informative video entitled  The Perfect Resume – great content if you are re-tooling your own … and, if you should make it all the way to the final round of the interview process, you should review Inc.’s 11 Mistakes People Always Make When Negotiating Salary ; The article includes some clever tips from some of America’s most successful negotiators.

From the management side of things, TLNT’s Why We Ask These 5 Questions, and Why You Should, Too, and SHRM’s How Companies are Altering Benefits to Attract and Retain Talent provide tips to help you find, select, and keep the ‘right’ people.

Also in HR, the IRS Issued an Extension for Employers’ ACA Reporting to Individuals; the new March 1, 2017 date gives everyone an extra month to get things done.

In Productivity, 15 Grammar Tips to Make Yourself Smarter was a popular post; read it and improve your writing skills quickly …

As the holiday season approaches, we’ll leave you with one of the most popular television ads in the United Kingdom this season … seems Mrs. Claus does more than we all knew …

Cheerio !


A 14.5 percent increase to state workers’ compensation rates will take effect Dec. 1 after the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”) filed and won an appeal to a ruling that would have voided the rate hike.

What this means is that we now go back to implementing the approved Dec. 1 rates for both new and renewal business.

For existing policyholders, the new rates will take effect at the policyholder NCCI Anniversary Rating Date.  Current STAFFLINK clients will not be affected until March 1, 2017.

We will keep you updated on this issue, as there is always a chance for an appeal of the new ruling.



Florida Workers’ Compensation Rate Increase Blocked




UPDATED DECEMBER 1, 2016 (See Dec 1 Blog Post)

A Florida circuit judge has blocked a 14.5 percent workers’ compensation rate increase due to go into effect Dec. 1 after finding that the insurers’ rating organization and state officials did not comply with the state’s Sunshine Laws and open meeting requirements in setting the new rate.

Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled that the rate increase negotiated between the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), which represents insurers, and the state regulators within the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR), cannot go into effect and that NCCI must turn over documents requested by the plaintiff in the case.

NCCI claims it has complied with applicable open meeting and other Sunshine Laws on transparency and the state of Florida has appealed the ruling.

The rate increase was slated to become effective on Dec. 1 for new and renewal business, with no change in rates for current in-force policies.

We will keep you posted as we learn more about the proposed workers’ compensation rate increase.


1776 North Pine Island Road, Suite 108, Plantation, Florida 33322

Phone: (954) 423-8262 l Fax: (954) 423-8263 l Toll Free: (877) 899-LINK Email: info@stafflink.net

Power HR Recruitment with Mobile and Video


Successful Companies Power HR Recruitment with Mobile and Video Technology

Finding and hiring the ‘right’ employees is critical to the success of your company, and the competition for the best talent is more intense now than at any time in recent history.   Whether your company chooses to integrate mobile and video technology into its recruiting strategy will either gain it a competitive edge or disadvantage in the talent marketplace.     


If you haven’t adapted your recruiting process around mobile, you are already at a disadvantage.  More people now open emails on their mobile phones than on a desktop or laptop computer, especially millennials.  In 5 Ways to Use Tech to Drive Hiring, HR consultant Tony Dill explains why mobile adaptation is important:

Many HR departments have not even investigated whether their online job applications function on multiple platforms. An application that’s unusable on a phone or tablet gives off a poor impression, and is less likely to be completed. Conversely, a bright, clean interface that’s mobile-optimized is appealing to millennial talent, and begins building brand loyalty before applicants ever set foot in your offices.

Are your questionnaires brief, reflecting your company’s understanding that a large share of prospective employees will be responding on their smartphones?  If it’s too long, Dill says it will lose you candidates:

Applicants want to see an application that’s short and sweet. Ten questions or less, in fact … Filling out a long application on a mobile device is a hassle. Applicants know they’re going to provide you with a resume and cover letter. They know there will be an interview process. Redundancies feel like time-wasters. And job-seekers are applying for multiple open positions, so while a long application may not seem like a problem to you, and you may even view it as a useful tool to weed out less serious candidates, job seekers’ time is at a premium. 62% of them say your application should take no more than 20 minutes to complete. 60% say they won’t finish an application that’s too long.


Video, too, has emerged as an effective candidate engagement and recruitment tool.  SHRM’s Roy Maurer explains how Fidelity integrated a simple, low-cost video approach to its recruitment Ad strategy that doubled candidate engagement – a process any company can easily adopt.

Fidelity’s ads sometimes pair a video from the hiring manager with up to two additional clips introducing potential co-workers. The videos are about 30 seconds in length, and are shot on a smart phone or tablet by the hiring manager or recruiter. “If you want an almost guaranteed 90-percent click rate, the videos must fall between 20-30 seconds, and no longer,” Hanigan said. “You just want the video to pique interest. You want it to engage with the candidate, so they will click and consider applying for the job. You’re providing them with that spark to take the next action.”

At a time when the job market is especially tight and employee turnover is at its highest rate in modern history (average employment duration is now only 4.4 years), integrating current mobile and video technology into your recruiting process is smart, and necessary.


Nov 25 Week’s Best – Judge Halts FLSA OT Rule | 25 Things to Begin Now for 2017 | Power of Gratitude


Hope your Thanksgiving Day was filled with family, friends, and gratitude.  Our STAFFLINK Blog PostThe Power of Gratitude changes lives and businesses – in 26 ways, according to science.  You can review an infographic that presents all 26 by categoray in the post.

In HR, Also this week, a Texas Federal Judge Halted the FLSA Overtime Rule, at the very least delaying its December 1 start date … SHRM’s The FLSA Overtime Rule Has Been Blocked, Now What has the details, and what to expect.

Also in HR, TLNT posted  ‘7 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Best People, a quick read with sound ideas to help you retain your talent – an important goal in light of the tight job market … and, as the holiday season begins, Business Insider’s 5 Ways to Keep Your Employees Engaged During the Holidays offers a few helpful insights.

In Leadership/Management, Entrepreneur’s 25 Things to Begin Now to Make Your Company Thrive in 2017 is an excellent resource and review for small business owners who may want to get a good jump on the coming year.

And, in Tech, Business Insider posted 3 Must-Have Travel Accessories – a review about small, yet powerful electronics gadgets that make travel more entertaining and productive.

As we enter the holiday spirit, we thought you might enjoy the new, highly popular video ad from John Lewis.  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving – Key to a Happier, Healthier, More Productive Life and Business


Thanksgiving is a more important holiday than we generally understand.  Science has proven that developing a genuinely grateful attitude makes us happier, healthier, more productive, and improves our relationships.  Moreover, a sincerely grateful attitude also improves our business.

In The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About, the authors list five categories of our lives improved and enhanced by choosing to reflect on that for which we are grateful: health, emotion, social, personality, and career.  Below is an infograph that summarizes ‘how’ gratefulness improves each category, taken from their review of 26 studies.



Business, too, is improved by an environment of gratefulness.  The Gallup organization conducted a study of 10,000 organizations in their report The Power of Praise and Recognition.  Said Gallup:

Our latest analysis, which includes more than 10,000 business units and more than 30 industries, has found that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise:

  • increase their individual productivity
  • increase engagement among their colleagues
  • are more likely to stay with their organization
  • receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers
  • have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job . . .

So, on this Thanksgiving, we encourage you to take a moment to pause and reflect – to even consider a daily 5-minute practice of writing down those things for which you are grateful – it may be one of the greatest investments you ever make in your own life, and in your business.

Happy Thanksgiving!