John Zappe

John Zappe is the editor of The Fordyce Letter. He was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. Never a recruiter, he instead built online employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Besides writing for, John consults with digital content operations, focusing on the advertising side. Contact him at

Articles by John Zappe

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

CareerBuilder’s 2014 Hiring Forecast: Expecting More Headcount – Maybe


Influenced by the budget uncertainty in Washington, HR professionals and hiring managers in CareerBuilder’s Annual Job Forecast said they expected to increase headcount in 2014, but the numbers and the rate of hire would depend on Congressional action about the debt ceiling.

The budget bill President Obama signed in late December resolved only part of the national fiscal uncertainty. The debt ceiling, which is due to come in February, is a different matter. Both parties have so far signaled their intention not to compromise on raising the federal borrowing limit. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

Manufacturers Say They Will be Hiring in 2014 — If They Can Find Workers

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Already enjoying a strong year of sales and increased attention from the investment community, manufacturers are predicting they’ll add staff next year at a rate faster the service sector.

Instead of cutting production workers and outsourcing overseas, manufacturers are bringing more work back onshore, necessitating the hiring of workers. The Institute for Supply Management survey of its manufacturing members found they expect to increase staffing by an average of 2.4 percent next year. Revenues are projected to rise by an average of 4.6 percent.

The survey found 44 percent of manufacturing ISM members see better conditions ahead. The Federal Reserve’s most recent Beige Book report echoes that finding. “Manufacturers in many Districts expressed optimism about near-term growth prospects,” the Fed says in the report on current economic conditions. Read more…

Classic TLNT

The Ultimate Holiday Temp Job? It Must Be Santa

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Editor’s Note: The holiday season is here, and TLNT is celebrating with classic holiday posts from the past. Look for them through Christmas Eve.

What may very well be the ultimate temp job on the planet is pretty much for men only. (Oh look, see the HR compliance managers keeling over.)

Sure, there are a few Mrs. Clauses out there, but every kid knows Santa is a chubby guy with a white beard, ruddy cheeks, and a deep Ho, Ho, Ho.

What the kids don’t know — and not a lot of the rest of us either — is that the kindly shopping mall Santa can pull in $8-$12k for the six- or seven-week Christmas holiday season. Read more…

HR News & Trends

Bill Would Eliminate State Tax Filing For Under 30 Day Workers

Getting ready to work on my taxes again

With no less than 41 different state income tax reporting requirements, employer groups and trade associations have been giving their support to two bills in Congress that would simplify tax rules nationwide.

Instead of requiring state withholding and tax filings by both employer and employee after only a day of working in a state, the simplified rules would require non-resident workers to comply with local tax rules only after having worked in the state for 30 days.

Among the industries especially impacted by multi-state tax situations are staffing firms that place workers in short-term on-site positions, as well as employers with multiple offices across the country.

Depending on where an assignment is located, an employer may have to pay state taxes and workers have to multiple income tax forms to file, just to get a modest refund of their withholdings. Read more…

HR News & Trends

Strong November Job Numbers Push Unemployment to 5-Year Low

Hiring jobs

Unemployment fell to the lowest level in five years in November as employers added 203,000 jobs, demonstrating an economic strength that surprised economists who had been expecting lower numbers.

The U.S. Department of Labor report said the unemployment rate declined to 7.0 percent from October’s 7.3 percent, even as more workers joined the labor force and the total employed population rose, in part reflecting the return to work of furloughed federal employees.

“This is just a clean sweep,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial Services Group. “It’s a very good report. It’s across the board.”

Economists polled by Reuters had been expecting a much more modest improvement in the numbers to 7.2 percent unemployment and the addition of about 180,000 new jobs. Dow Jones Newswires found economists anticipating similar results. Read more…

HR News & Trends

Study: Candidate Profiling on Social Media Can Lead to Discrimination

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Employers who background their job applicants on social media are more likely to discriminate against Muslims, an effect that is even more pronounced in conservative states and localities.

The study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers involved thousands of fictitious resumes and dummied-up Facebook profiles to portray candidates as either Muslim or Christian. A second part of the experiment involved candidates whose profiles indicated they were either straight or gay.

Muslim candidates, the researchers found, received far fewer interview invitations in states and locales considered conservative than did their otherwise identical Christian counterparts. No similar effect was noted in the comparison of gay and straight candidates. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

Want to Honor America’s Veterans? Start by Recruiting and Hiring One

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Today, as we honor America’s military veterans with parades and speeches and community luncheons, there is one form of recognition veterans value above most others.

A job.

Young veterans, those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan — what the government classifies as Gulf War-era II — are struggling the most. For them, finding a job is harder than for other, older veterans.

Their 10 percent unemployment rate, 37 percent higher than the population as a whole, tells only part of the story. It only suggests the dimension of a problem that leaves young veterans wondering what happened to the promises their country made to help them reenter civilian life. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

October Surprise: Job Growth Better Than Expected Despite Shutdown


Late-night comedians will have a field day with the October jobs report released in the U.S. today — shut down the government and job creation increases.

Although the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.3 percent, the 204,000 jobs reportedly created last month exceeded what economists were expecting, leading some to suspect the numbers.

“I find this bizarre,” Mark Zandi told CNBC. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets revised to some degree … down.” He is chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, which partners with ADP in producing the HR services firm’s National Employment Report. That report, out last week, said 130,000 private sector jobs were added to the economy in October. Read more…

HR News & Trends

October Private Sector Job Growth at Lowest Level Since April


Slowdown or shutdown? Whatever’s behind it, October’s private sector job growth was the smallest since April.

ADP and its partner Moody Analytics say only 130,000 jobs were created during the month. They also revised the initiate estimate of September’s new jobs to 145,000, a drop of 21,000.

Although the numbers are rarely in sync, today’s report doesn’t bode well for the official report from the U.S. Department of Labor. Delayed until Nov. 8 because of the government shutdown, that report is closely watched by economists and  the Federal Reserve, which is using it as as indicator of the overall health of the U.S. economy. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

Blunt Analyst Report Says That Marketing on Facebook Doesn’t Work


Described as “damning,” “scathing,” and “brutal,” a Forrester report says Facebook is all but useless as a marketing tool, bluntly declaring “Facebook is failing marketers.”

“Don’t dedicate a paid ad budget for Facebook,” advises Forrester. “Marketers tell us Facebook ads generate less business value than display ads on other sites. It’s time to make decisions based on facts, not on faith or fascination. You’re just buying display ads!”

In a blog post addressed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the author of the report says,”While lots of marketers spend lots of money on Facebook today, relatively few find success… Facebook ads were less valuable than any other marketing tactic (marketers)  could use on your site.” Read more…