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Entries in Trends (3)


CareerBuilder: “One in Five Companies Have Replaced Workers with Technology”

According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), 21% of companies say they have replaced employees with automation. The survey also points out that while an increased emphasis on technology has eliminated some jobs, in many instances, more higher-skilled jobs were created as a result.

Check out the full report.

Has your company “automated” its workforce? If so, what was the effect on hiring? Let us know in the comments section below.


Near Record Number of People Quit Looking for Work in 2013

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics most recent report, the percentage of people looking for work in 2013 declined at a rate not seen since 1961, with the exception of the decline that took place in 2009 as a result of the Great Recession.

The labor force participation rate declined from 63.6 in January 2013 to 62.8 percent last month. The 0.8 percent annual drop was surpassed only by a 1.2 percent drop in 2009 and a drop of 0.9 percent in 1961. The report shows the number of people who quit looking for work has dropped at its sharpest rate in 52 years, with the exception of the drop that took place in 2009.

“The sad, tragic and almost untold story of employment is how many people have quit looking for work,” said Bob Funk, the CEO of Express Employment Professionals and a former Chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve. “It’s misleading to call the economy healthy when so many Americans have given up hope and stopped looking for a job.

“Equally troubling, at a time when the economy is thought to be recovering, the rate of decline is accelerating.”

In 2010, the rate declined by 0.3 percent; in 2011 by 0.3 percent; in 2012 by 0.4 percent and in 2013 by 0.8 percent.

“The number of people who have given up on looking for work is growing – just the opposite of what you want to see,” Funk said. “This issue deserves a lot more attention than it is receiving.”

The Department of Labor announced that the unemployment rate dropped from 7.0 percent in November 2013 to 6.7 percent last month, while the labor force participation rate declined from 63.0 percent to 62.8 percent for the month.



About Robert A. “Bob” Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman, chief executive officer and president of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has 675 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than five million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated more than $2.5 billion in temporary sales in 2013 and ranks as the largest privately held staffing agency in the United States. Its goal is to put a million people to work.


The Results Are In: How Do You Handle the Extra Workload During the Holiday Season?

In October, we asked how you plan to handle the extra workload many businesses experience during the busy holiday season. From increased business volume to employees taking time off to be with family and friends, the fourth quarter often brings about a variety of productivity challenges.

Surprisingly, a majority of respondents either “don’t make any adjustments to their workforce” (35%) or “offer overtime and incentives to their current staff” (34%). “Hiring seasonal/temporary workers through a staffing firm” came in third with 21% of the votes, followed by “hiring full-time employees” and “outsourcing projects” at 4% and 2%, respectively.

Some respondents chose the “other” option and gave a variety of suggestions, including:

  • Prohibiting vacations in the month of December
  • Creating a system for allotting time off
  • Hiring summer students back
  • Working overtime without increase in pay/incentive

One industry that is often most affected by increased business volume during the holiday season is retail.

Holiday shopping projections look positive.
Professional services giant, Deloitte, recently released the results of its annual holiday survey. According to the survey, total holiday spending is expected to increase 12% over 2012 due in large part to an increase in consumer confidence and a more positive outlook on household finances and job security.

Online shopping continues to boom.
The Deloitte survey also found that for the first time, the “Internet” was cited as the top venue for shopping this holiday season, followed by “discount/value department stores” at 44% and “traditional department stores at 28%.

Social media will have an impact.
Nearly half (45%) of the respondents to the Deloitte survey say social media will play a role in their holiday shopping in a variety of ways:

  • Research gift ideas – 48%
  • To find discounts – 44%
  • Read reviews, “likes,” or recommendations – 40%
  • Browse products – 37%
  • Check what gifts family/friends want – 35%
  • Post comments/share links – 25%
  • Go to retailer’s fan page – 21%

In fact, consumers now feel they are more knowledgeable than ever about their choices. Nearly 60% of respondents said they feel they are better connected to consumer information – like coupons, pricing, and product availability – than in-store sales associates.

Despite increases in e-commerce, retailers still expected to hire.
While there’s little doubt about the significant impact of online shopping, retailers are still expected to hire as many as 780,000 seasonal workers for the 2013 holiday shopping season, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Are the holidays a busy time for your company?
The NRF estimates that for many businesses, November and December sales can represent between 20-40% of a business’ annual sales. Are the holidays a busy time for your company? If so, how do you plan to address the increased business volume? Let us know in the comments section below.