Staffing firm to break ground on new headquarters.

Downtown staffing firm BarryStaff Inc. has finished demolishing the blighted building on the east side of downtown where it is building a new headquarters.

Click here for full article-> BarryStaff Inc.


The Real Harm in Multitasking

You’ve likely heard that multitasking is problematic, but new studies show that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain. Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.

A Special Skill?

But what if some people have a special gift for multitasking? The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps their performance. They found that heavy multitaskers—those who multitask a lot and feel that it boosts their performance—were actually worse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another. Ouch.

Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

Multitasking Lowers IQ

Research also shows that, in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ. A study at the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they’d expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.

So the next time you’re writing your boss an email during a meeting, remember that your cognitive capacity is being diminished to the point that you might as well let an 8-year-old write it for you.

Brain Damage From Multitasking

It was long believed that cognitive impairment from multitasking was temporary, but new research suggests otherwise. Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK compared the amount of time people spend on multiple devices (such as texting while watching TV) to MRI scans of their brains. They found that high multitaskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region responsible for empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control.

While more research is needed to determine if multitasking is physically damaging the brain (versus existing brain damage that predisposes people to multitask), it’s clear that multitasking has negative effects. Neuroscientist Kep Kee Loh, the study’s lead author, explained the implications: “I feel that it is important to create an awareness that the way we are interacting with the devices might be changing the way we think and these changes might be occurring at the level of brain structure.”

Learning From Multitasking

If you’re prone to multitasking, this is not a habit you’ll want to indulge—it clearly slows you down and decreases the quality of your work. Even if it doesn’t cause brain damage, allowing yourself to multitask will fuel any existing difficulties you have with concentration, organization, and attention to detail.

Multitasking in meetings and other social settings indicates low Self- and Social Awareness, two emotional intelligence (EQ) skills that are critical to success at work. TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that 90% of top performers have high EQs. If multitasking does indeed damage the anterior cingulate cortex (a key brain region for EQ) as current research suggests, it will lower your EQ in the process.

So every time you multitask you aren’t just harming your performance in the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that’s critical to your future success at work.


The Top Paying Jobs For High School Graduates

Instead of volunteering in Africa or studying art history in Italy to build a résumé in the hope of nabbing a spot at an elite university, some high school graduates are taking full-time jobs. That way they can get real-world work experience and learn how they might contribute in a meaningful way to society.

That was one of the suggestions The New Republic made last month in an article about how college-obsessed kids may be making big mistakes by packing their résumés to the hilt with life experiences that have been funded and orchestrated by rich parents.
“Colleges should put an end to résumé-stuffing by imposing a limit on the number of extracurriculars that kids can list on their applications,” the article said. “They [the colleges] ought to place more value on the kind of service jobs that lower-income students often take in high school and that high achievers almost never do.”

Maybe that’s not a bad idea.   But if you think your children or grandchildren should take a job for a year or two before applying for college – then they might as well aim for the best paying jobs out there.  To help find the right fit, CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International have found the best paying jobs for workers with high school diplomas, released in a new study.

As of this year, there are 115 occupations that require a high school diploma and pay $20 per hour or more on average, CareerBuilder noted. Of those, 30 percent typically require either short-term training or no on-the-job training.

Here are the 10 highest-paying jobs for high school graduates requiring short-term or no training:
• Transportation, storage and distribution manager
• First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
• Gaming managers
• Real estate brokers
• First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
• First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers
• Legal support workers (not including paralegals, court reporters, title examiners or legal assistants)
• Postal service mail carriers
• Transit and railroad police
• Property, real estate and community association managers

The median hourly earnings for these 10 jobs range from $26 to $39.27, which is far better than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. None of these 10 jobs requires training, except for legal support workers, postal service mail carriers and transit and railroad police.

These jobs may not be career destinations, but they’re certainly a decent starting place.


The Top Paying Jobs of 2014

Advanced degrees = Advanced salaries
It’s hardly a surprise.  The highest paying jobs seem to go to those who paid high tuitions.
According to CareerCast’s 10 Best-Paying Jobs of 2014, seven out of 10 of the highest paid professions are in medical professions.  (We’re looking at real jobs and careers here and not movie stars or professional athletes.)

Most of these jobs are found in the health care industry and require advanced degrees. This means that a six-figure salary can often come at the expense of six-figure debt. For instance, general practice physicians make an average of $187,200 a year, but according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the medical school class of 2013 graduated with a median debt of $175,000, and 86% of all graduates left with some debt.

The highest paid salary on the list went to surgeons, who make an average of $233,150 a year; general practice physicians came in second. In ninth and tenth place were podiatrists at $116,440, and attorneys, at $113,530, who also face a lot of education before they can practice.

There were only two high paying jobs on the list that don’t require graduate degrees: petroleum engineers and air traffic controllers, who on average make $130,280 and $122,530 respectively. The report cautioned, though, that “for those who choose a different path [than graduate education] to attain one of the best-paying jobs, be prepared to exchange paychecks for a high level of stress.” It described air traffic controllers as dealing with “some of the most stressful working conditions.”

Despite stressful working conditions, jobs as air traffic controllers are hardly up for grabs. The industry predicts only a 1% growth outlook by 2022.  Petroleum engineers, however, can look forward to a 26% growth outlook in the same period.  All of the health care professions on the list anticipate growth of 14% or higher. “As baby-boomer doctors … reach retirement, there often aren’t enough new doctors,” explained CareerCast publisher Tony Lee.


Don’t Worry. Your Career Will Get Better

By Vanessa Wong – BloombergBusinessweek

Ever worry that the peak of your career is already behind you? Don’t fret: You’ll keep having happy experiences in your professional life—moments you’ll appreciate a few years after they’ve passed.

In a survey of 1,070 men and women by Citigroup and LinkedIn, about two-thirds of the respondents, including those 55 and older, felt they had just recently experienced their happiest years at work.

“It’d be depressing to me if all age groups reported being happiest in their late 20s,” says Bryan Dik, a vocational psychologist and co-founder of the career-matching startup “What it tells me is that either things get better as they go along or people are only able to remember recent events well when they make this appraisal.”

2014 Today’s Professional Woman Report Question: Look back at your career—at what age were you happiest?

The results of this Today’s Professional Woman Report are not unlike those in Gallup’s “State of the American Workforce” report last year, which show the levels of worker engagement increasing with age.  Millennials were the least engaged with their work.

Expect growing pains, though. ”Developmentally, middle-career often seems to be a challenge,” says Dik. Midcareer professionals, usually in their early-to-mid 40s, “are typically taking stock and realizing they may not have achieved everything they aspired to. At the same time, they are looking ahead and wondering what they should focus on for the remainder of their career, and what kind of legacy they ultimately hope to leave.”

Flush with fond memories of recent successes, the professionals in the Citi-LinkedIn survey are persistently optimistic. Most (roughly 60 percent) believe their careers will get even better still.  The average point at which workers ages 55 and older feel they will reach their peak is 62.  And while even seasoned workers are sunny about their futures, that survey suggests that the best years for ambitious millennial workers are likely decades away.


BarryStaff Inc. Selected as Google’s Featured Business

Featured Business

Dayton, Ohio
“Our Internet presence was absolutely crucial for us, coming out of the recession”

Doug Barry, Owner
25% annual growth since 2009

Founded as a family-owned staffing franchise in 1980, BARRYSTAFF became an independent company with a new name in 2000. Today they specialize in industrial, clerical and permanent placements. “Most of the staffing we do is in manufacturing,” says Doug Barry, owner of the Dayton-based company founded by his parents. As one of the few local staffing companies left in the area following the recent recession, “we picked up a lot of the work from our competitors who went out of business,” he notes. Doug credits their current growth in large part to the Internet and digital tools from Google.

Doug rebranded BARRYSTAFF in 2010. “We have had to change our total strategy on how we go out and sell, based on social media and the Internet—which has been good,” he explains. Google is part of that strategy. The company uses Google Maps for “getting people from point A to point B, not only to our office but also from their house to the job site.” Employees use Gmail and Google Calendar to keep up-to-date, and Google Search to stay current with both clients and prospects. The staff is also mobile, equipped with smartphones and tablets for complete access to all of their digital tools from anywhere. The company plans to create training videos on YouTube, and to use social media to attract new workers as well as new clients.

Manufacturing is on the rebound in Ohio, Doug says. With fewer local staffing resources available, “companies were looking around for someone who could pick up the slack. We had an Internet presence, and that is where a lot of them found us. It was absolutely crucial for us coming out of the recession, and it has helped us with our growth going forward.” BARRYSTAFF now has four locations—another good economic sign for the Buckeye State.

Check out the story on Google


What Baby Boomers’ Retirement Means For The U.S. Economy

By Ben Cass of FiveThirtyEight Economics

For decades, the retirement of the baby boom generation has been a looming economic threat. Now, it’s no longer looming — it’s here. Every month, more than a quarter-million Americans turn 65. That’s a trend with profound economic consequences. Simply put, retirees don’t contribute as much to the economy as workers do. They don’t produce anything, at least directly. They don’t spend as much on average. And they’re much more likely to depend on others — the government or their own children, most often — than to support themselves.

The recession may have delayed the inevitable for a time. The financial crisis wiped away billions in retirement savings, forcing many Americans to work longer than planned. But the stock market has since rebounded, and there are signs that more Americans are at last feeling confident enough to leave the workforce. The labor force participation rate for older Americans — the share of those 55 and older who are working or actively looking for work — has fallen over the past year after rising through the recession and early years of the recovery. Roughly 17 percent of baby boomers now report that they are retired, up from 10 percent in 2010.

Now that the wave has begun, nothing is likely to stop it. The Census Bureau on Tuesday released a pair of reports that show just how dramatic an impact the graying of the population will have in coming decades.

Nearly a quarter of Americans were born between 1946 and 1964, the typical definition of the baby boom generation. That’s more than 75 million people. In their heyday, the boomers were an unprecedented economic force, pushing up rates of homeownership, consumer spending and, most important of all, employment. It’s no coincidence that the U.S. labor force participation rate — the share of the adult population that has a job or is trying to find one — hit a record high in the late 1990s, when the boomers were at the peak of their working lives.

It’s been downhill ever since. The participation rate hit a 36-year low last month, and while there are multiple reasons for the decline, the aging of the baby boom generation is a dominant factor. In 2003, 82 percent of boomers were part of the labor force; a decade later, that number has declined to 66 percent, and it will only continue to fall.

All else equal, fewer workers means less economic growth. One way to measure this is a figure known as the “dependency ratio,” or the number of people outside of working age (under 18 or over 64) per 100 adults between age 18 and 64. The higher the ratio, the worse the news: If more of the population is young or old that leaves fewer working-age people to support them and contribute to the economy.
The U.S. dependency ratio has been improving in recent decades, falling from 65 in 1980 to 61 in 2000 to 59 in 2010. But now the trend is set to reverse. By 2020, the Census Bureau estimates, the U.S. dependency ratio will be back to 65; in 2030, it will be 75, the worst since the 1960s and 1970s, when the baby boomers were children.

The dependency ratio is a blunt instrument. Not everyone retires the day they turn 65; indeed, as lifespans lengthen (and pensions decline), more people are working later in life. But only up to a point: Plenty of people work past 65; few work past 85.3 It will be a while yet before baby boomers start turning 85, but more of them will get there than any previous generation. By 2050, more than 4 percent of the population will be at least 85 years old, more than double today’s figure.

As bad as the U.S. demographics look, things are worse in much of the world. The U.S. has fewer residents over 65, as a share of its population, than most developed countries, and the disparity will only grow in coming decades. In 2050, about 21 percent of the U.S. population will be 65 or older compared to more than 30 percent in much of Western Europe and an incredible 40 percent in Japan. China, as a result of its “one child” policy, faces its own, somewhat different, demographic crisis.

One reason the U.S. is in better shape is its comparatively high rate of immigration. Since people tend to migrate when they are younger, immigrants tend to bring down the age of the population as a whole. Moreover, at least in the U.S., immigrants tend to have a higher birth rate than the native-born population, although the gap has narrowed somewhat in recent years. The future direction of immigration, therefore, makes a big difference to the age breakdown of the U.S. population. The Census Bureau’s demographic estimates are based on a middle-of-the-road projection of future immigration, but the bureau also publishes alternative scenarios. In the “high immigration” scenario, the U.S. has nearly 22 million more working-age residents in 2050 than in the “low immigration” case.

The U.S. also has another trend working in its favor: Baby boomers are retiring just as their children — sometimes known as the “echo boomers” — are entering their prime working years. Boomers are no longer even the largest age cohort; more of today’s Americans were born in the 1980s and 1990s than in the postwar years. As today’s teens and 20-somethings enter the workforce, they will partly offset their parents’ exit. Indeed, for many young people, mom and dad can’t retire soon enough; some experts argue that boomers, by staying in the workforce longer than past generations, are essentially clogging the usual professional pathways, leaving few opportunities for people beginning their careers.

Thanks in part to the echo boomers, the dependency ratio will flatten out by about 2030. Not that long thereafter, the oldest of the echo boomers will begin entering their own retirement years, and the cycle will begin anew.


America’s Employees Don’t Trust Their Employers

Trust plays an important role in the workplace and affects employees’ well-being and job performance. At least that’s what organizational experts say. And the American Psychological Association’s 2014 Work and Well-Being Survey released this week says employee distrust is pervasive in the U.S. Workforce today, despite an improving job market.

One in four workers say they don’t trust their employer and only about half believe their employers are open and upfront with them.

This lack of trust should serve as a wake-up call for employers,” says David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, head of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence. “The layoffs, benefit cuts and job insecurity that accompanied the recession put a strain on the employee-employer relationship and people aren’t quick to forget.”

One in four workers say they don’t trust their employer and only about half believe their employers are open and upfront with them.

Workers reported having more trust in their company when the organization recognizes employees for their contributions, provides opportunities for advancement and involvement and communicates to the workers effectively.

Although a majority of workers report being satisfied with their job overall, less than half said that they are satisfied with the growth and development opportunities (49%) and employee recognition practices (47%) where they work.

More than a quarter (27%) of U.S. workers said they intend to seek new employment this year.

The survey also found that workers who feel valued by their employer are more likely to be engaged in their work. Employees who feel valued were significantly more likely to report having high levels of energy, being strongly involved in their work and feeling happily engrossed in what they do.

Additionally, those who felt valued by their employer were more likely to report being satisfied with their job (92% of those who felt valued vs. 29% of those who do not) and to say they are motivated to do their best (91% vs. 37%) and to recommend their employer to others (85% vs. 15%).

Employees who felt valued were also less likely to say they feel stressed out during the work day (25% vs. 56% of those who do not feel valued) and more likely to report being in good psychological health (89% vs. 69% of those who do not feel valued).

While more than six in 10 employed adults say they can effectively manage the work stress they experience, almost one-third report typically feeling tense or stressed out during the workday.

The most commonly cited sources of work stress:
• Low salaries
• Lack of opportunity for growth and advancement
• Unclear job expectations
• Job insecurity
• Long hours

“The emphasis in recent years on employee wellness is a step in the right direction, but the psychological factors are often overlooked,” says Ballard. “It’s clear that an organizational culture that promotes and supports openness, honesty, transparency and trust is key to a healthy, high-performing workplace.”

“It’s clear that an organizational culture that promotes and supports openness, honesty, transparency and trust is key to a healthy, high-performing workplace.”

An acquaintance of mine works as a mid-level manager at a vendor whose largest customer is currently experiencing significant pressure on their business. After seeing headcount in his office get reduced by half during the past 12 months, he went in to see the general manager, and found out…nothing. Here is what he said about the meeting.
“While I don’t believe that senior managers at most organizations intend necessarily to be ‘secretive’ or ‘sneaky,’ it’s all about perception. So when my boss is not able to look me in the eye and give me a straight answer to an important – and direct – question, the perception is that there are secrets within the organization and the result is going to be a lack of trust. I know company leaders can’t tell you everything, but I do believe that all employees have a right to know certain basic things, like whether your job is in immediate jeopardy.”

A lack of trust in the workplace is bad for business, and can impact the bottom line. The APA says when a sense of trust is missing, workers may put in less effort or otherwise subvert their employers’ goals.

“Employees want to know that there are fair processes in place and a sense of equity” in the exchange between their efforts and the compensation (monetary and otherwise) they receive in return, said Ballard.



The job interview is no ordinary conversation for either party. For the candidate, many major decisions and life changes hinge on the outcome. For the interviewer, there’s also a great deal at stake.  Hiring the wrong person can have significant and prolonged repercussions, from interpersonal conflict between the new hire and staff members to poor performance, lost productivity and increased time required to correct the new arrival’s mistakes.

Your mission is to determine whether the individual sitting across from you is the best person for the job. Using the information on the applicant’s résumé and her answers to your questions, you must come to a decision.

Sometimes it’s an open-and-shut case. Every now and then, a candidate comes along who overshadows all other contenders and absolutely wows you. The opposite can also occur. If during the interview it becomes clear to you that the applicant lacks a key qualification for the position, you can remove him from the running without extensive deliberation.

But the reality is that most candidates will fall somewhere in between these two extremes. And it will take nuanced, sophisticated interviewing techniques and acumen on your part to identify the most appropriate person for the job.

It’s helpful to think of the job interview as an exercise in asking the right question. When preparing to interview candidates, try to move beyond the stock questions that will yield only formulaic, standard answers. Here are some suggestions for designing the kinds of questions that will prompt candid answers.

Do your research. Just as candidates prepare for job interviews by researching the company, you also need to do your homework prior to meeting with applicants. Review each candidate’s background and experience with an eye for red flags such as gaps in work history, odd job titles or achievements that sound too good to be true. These are the areas of concern you’ll want to explore in the interview.

Don’t be ruled by the list. Of course it’s important to prepare a list of questions to ensure that you cover the same topics with all candidates. But don’t become so chained to the list that you never go off script.

At times, you will need to respond to a candidate’s answers with a follow-up question that draws out more detail or fills in the blanks. For example, if a candidate states that she developed an algorithm that reduced the time it takes to produce a key report by three days, you’ll want to follow up by asking additional questions.

Ditch off-the-shelf questions. “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?” are predictable, shopworn questions that will elicit canned answers.

You often can get more useful information with an unconventional line of inquiry. For example, instead of asking the candidate outright about strengths and flaws, present a hypothetical situation that requires him to reason through a real-life problem. This will give you a chance to evaluate his resourcefulness and ability to think on his feet. If the individual struggles, seems tentative or offers an inadequate solution, you’ve likely uncovered a weakness the applicant might never have revealed if questioned directly.

Probe for specifics. In ordinary conversation, it’s generally considered impolite to push for details when someone is talking about a sensitive topic, such as problems at work. Etiquette dictates that you let the other person reveal as much or as little as she chooses.

But a different type of etiquette applies in the interview situation. While you don’t want to interrogate the candidate, you will need to explore uncomfortable subjects on her résumé, such as a layoff or an unexplained gap in employment.

It’s likely the candidate will give very short, general answers in such cases. It will be up to you to gently but firmly probe for more information; for example, “Tell me more about the events that led to your decision to leave that position,” or, “What did you do during those 10 months between jobs?”

Ask for examples. If the applicant makes a general statement (e.g., “I’m detail-oriented”), ask for concrete examples that back up his claim. You can also obtain the same type of information by asking him for examples of occasions when he was under a tight deadline, juggling an especially heavy workload, supervising a work team, dealing with upper management, interacting with clients or any other situations that are relevant to performance of the available position.

Push past resistance and double-talk. Occasionally, you’ll ask a question a candidate does not want to answer. She may give an evasive, vague or rambling response that isn’t quite forthcoming. Don’t settle for this; instead, say, “I’m not sure I understood what you meant, and I want to be sure I do. Could you explain a little more?” If the candidate still stonewalls, make note of it and move on. Later, you can try to get more information from her references.

When you’re preparing to interview job candidates, imagine you’re an investigative reporter and consider the facts you’ll need to uncover to draw accurate conclusions. This will help you turn a “routine” hiring procedure into a fruitful and informative one.