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Growing and managing a workforce is almost never easy. And when it comes to staffing up, business owners have to juggle issues such as tracking resumes, analyzing candidates and other human resources obligations. For smaller firms, the difficulties associated with managing these duties can often be amplified.

The good news is there are several useful toolsthat can help. Though they will not replace a physical HR manager, these three services should be able to help even the smallest company hire and manage employees more efficiently:

Small Business Job Growth Continues
image credit: Shutterstock

Small businesses continued to add jobs in October, but the question remains whether this will be a sustainable trend given growing uncertainty about the economy and looming fiscal issues.

Employment in private small business (companies with one to 49 employees) payrolls rose by 50,000 in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ADP Small Business Report released Thursday. This is the largest payroll increase since July and accounts for 32 percent of employment gains across all company size groups.

Within small businesses, 37 percent of the employment growth contribution was associated with companies having between one to 19 employees while 63 percent of October’s small business growth was driven by companies with 20 to 49 employees.
Many small businesses remain confident in the economy’s future growth despite and a recent study by Kauffman/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index suggested that the credit crunch for small businesses may be easing.

 

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entrepreneur.com | Editors’ Picks


How to Be an Entrepreneur at Your Day Job
by Cristi Young | image credit: ShutterstockHow to Be an Entrepreneur at Your Day Job

As an entrepreneur, two things are probably true at some point in your career trajectory.

First, thinking like an entrepreneur is nearly impossible to turn off. If you’re driven to be a self-starter and creator, odds are that you’re constantly thinking and planning. Secondly, there will come a time — barring any unforeseen angel investors or trust funds — that you’ll need to take a job before fully branching out on your own.

Although startup costs vary, launching your own vision does come as some price, which means many budding entrepreneurs find themselves working a day job — planning for their dreams while feeling chained to a desk.

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Stressed Out? Relax With These 5 Free Apps
by Cynthia Boris |image credit: Shutterstock

While technology is supposed to make our lives easier, it has also left many of us feeling more stressed. We have emails rolling in at all times, phone calls in the car and, thanks to Wi-Fi, we can conduct business almost anytime from anywhere. The workday never seems to end — and that’s not healthy.Stressed Out Relax With These 5 Free Apps

It may be impossible to unplug your life, so try these five, free apps for your iPhone, iPad or Android phone to help relieve stress:

1. Breathe2Relax: This simple app guides you through a series of deep, controlled breathing exercises that can relieve stress and leave you feeling more energized. Breathe2Relax uses a combination of visual and audio cues to slow your breathing rhythm while soft music plays in the background. The app allows you to adjust the inhale and exhale length, as well as the number of cycles.

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3 Ways Goofing Off at Work Can Make Your Company More Innovative


 

entrepreneur.com
3 Ways Goofing Off at Work Can Make Your Company More Innovative

image credit: Windows

If you still think the best way to move your business forward is to be chained to your desk or smartphone, it’s time to loosen up. Innovative companies like Google have proven that you can let yourself and your employees have a good time at work and still be productive.

Ryan Tate, author of The 20% Doctrine: How Tinkering, Goofing Off and Breaking the Rules at Work Drive Success in Business (Harper Collins, 2012) and Matt Weinstein, author of Managing to Have Fun: How Fun at Work Can Motivate Your Employees, Inspire Your Coworkers and Boost Your Bottom Line (Simon & Schuster, 1997) have found that injecting fun into your office can result in not only a more innovative environment, but a more productive one.

Related: How to Develop a Culture of Innovation

Here are their tips for how incorporate more play your workday:

 

Bing vs. Google: Which Search Engine is Best?


entrepreneur.comBing vs Google Which Search Engine is Best

image credit: Shutterstock

You might have seen the commercials online or on TV: Bing has been waging a marketing war onGoogle, claiming that blind users prefer Bing’s results over Google’s by a 2-to-1 margin.

But has Microsoft’s search engine really advanced enough to pose a credible threat to Google? While you can test the comparison on your own atBingitOn.com, I’ve identified strengths and weaknesses for both. Either engine may have an edge depending on your personal preferences.

From social integration to speed to quality, here’s a look at how they stack up:

Google advantage: Provides more relevant information.
While Bing’s recent changes make it a more viable search option, it’s still lacking in terms of result quality in response to informative queries.

In this case, I tested the phrase, “income tax rates.” While the Google search engine results page (SERP) displayed information on both 2012 and 2013 tax rates in the first five listings, the only dated information found in Bing’s results was a single listing mentioning 2011 tax rates.

Related: How a Facebook Search Engine Could Change the Way People Find Your Business

Bing advantage: Social integrations are stronger. Leer más “Bing vs. Google: Which Search Engine is Best?”

Why Next-Gen Displays Might Be Your Next Point-of-Sale Marketing Tool

Transparent Displays
Displays such as Samsung’s just-announced, 46-inch LCD translucent panel display can display text, images or other content on an otherwise transparent glass pane, giving it a more organic look. The price has not yet been announced.

These transparent displays can be used as part of a storefront window or retail product showcases. And they can be programmed to show just about anything: advertising, prices, menus, kiosk presentations, store announcements and more.


Samsung Transparent Window Display

Next-generation screen technologies such as transparent displays, or those that render 3-D images without glasses, are becoming practical tools for small businesses. While they haven’t caught on with consumers just yet, they can be used by businesses as interactive digital signage, an eye-catching presentation tool at a sales kiosk or simply as something compelling for your customers to watch while they’re waiting in line.

To be sure, cutting-edge displays tend to be pricey — as much as $10,000 or more for higher-end models. Sticker shock aside, considering that $400 can buy a high-quality traditional LCD TV, prices on these devices should drop quickly.

Here are three emerging display technologies to keep an eye on for your business:

Transparent Displays
Displays such as Samsung’s just-announced, 46-inch LCD translucent panel display can display text, images or other content on an otherwise transparent glass pane, giving it a more organic look. The price has not yet been announced.

These transparent displays can be used as part of a storefront window or retail product showcases. And they can be programmed to show just about anything: advertising, prices, menus, kiosk presentations, store announcements and more. Leer más “Why Next-Gen Displays Might Be Your Next Point-of-Sale Marketing Tool”