Fliers Away

Reach potential employees any way you can.
Magazine Contributor
4 min read

This story appears in the December 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine. Subscribe »

Don't know where to find employees these days? Do what restaurants and dry cleaners have been doing for years: Distribute fliers.

Bulk advertising is one of the latest techniques for finding workers. That's what UPS has been doing since January. The "brown giant" has distributed 292,000 fliers in the greater Chicago area in hopes of recruiting part-time workers. "We needed to look for an innovative way to reach passive job seekers," says UPS' Rob Klage. UPS looked at the ZIP codes of its current workers and distributed fliers to those areas. The results--100 interviews and 36 hires--were so encouraging, UPS plans to continue exploring this recruitment method.

And unlike many other recruitment methods employed by the big guys, distributing fliers is just as easy for small businesses. So what are you waiting for?

Ellen Paris is a Washington, DC, writer and former Forbes magazine staff writer.

Flunky Finance

Are your employees broke? In debt? Just trying to build their money smarts? You can help.

Personal finance is a big deal these days. Main Street America--your employees included-- is learning the basics of the stock market and the pros and cons of hundreds of financial products. Fortunately, there's a national campaign underway to help employers, especially entrepreneurs, raise their employees' financial IQs.

To do this, the Facts on Saving and Investing Campaign (members include the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the American Savings Education Council and the U.S. Treasury Department) offers employers free financial educational tools--even a free presentation tailored to your employees' financial needs.

"It's good for employees to get their finances in order," says Rita Zeidner, manager of government relations for the American Payroll Association and chairperson of the campaign's workplace education task force. "If an employee is having financial problems and spending time on the phone trying to straighten things out, that's time away from the work they're being paid to do."

Two For One

Can discrimination suits and disability pay go hand-in-hand?

To collect Social Security disability benefits, you have to be unable to work. For an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit, the test has been "I could do my job if my employer would make a special accommodation for me."

In the past, if someone took these seemingly contradictory positions, the ADA suit was thrown out. But the Supreme Court recently decided that Social Security law doesn't take into consideration the idea of reasonable accommodation.

And that's bad news for employers. "While the worker may lose, the employer still has to fight the lawsuit," says K. Tia Burke, an employment attorney at Philadelphia law firm Christie, Pabarue, Mortensen & Young. "Employers should look long and hard at accommodation. If they can work it out, it might be more cost-effective than a long ADA lawsuit."

Breaking Habits

SBA joins the fight against drug abuse in the workplace.

Substance abuse isn't only an issue for teens and young adults. It's also a problem in the adult work force. In response, the SBA has awarded 30 grants and contracts to intermediaries--such as drug-testing firms, employee-assistance pro-grams and Small Business Development Centers--to help small businesses establish drug-free workplace programs. The $4 million in grants, part of the SBA's Drug-Free Workplace Program, will help provide information and financial and technical assistance. A complete workplace program should consist of a written policy, abuse-prevention training, drug testing, employee assistance and continuing education.

For a complete listing of the recipients of the drug-free workplace grants, visit http://www.sba.gov/news/drugfree.

Next Step

The American Savings Education Council's "Ballpark Estimate" worksheet takes some of the guesswork out of retirement planning. The worksheet, which takes only moments to complete, shows how much a person should be saving to fund a comfortable retirement. For a free copy, visit http://www.asec.org or call the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at (800) 732-0330.

Contact Sources

American Payroll Association, (202) 682-4785

Christie, Pabarue, Mortensen & Young, (215) 587-1600, http://www.cpmy.com

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