Todd Palmer
President - Diversified Industrial Staffing and Diversified PEOple, LLC

Todd Palmer is founder and president of Troy-based Diversified Industrial Staffing and Diversified PEOple, LLC. Since 1997, Palmer's companies have helped over 4,300 people secure employment — improving their lives and the lives of their families. In turn, his companies have collectively billed more than $50 million in revenue.

From 2007-2013, INC Magazine named Diversified Industrial Staffing to its INC 5,000 list of the fastest growing companies in America. In 2011, Diversified Industrial Staffing was named a Michigan 50 Company to Watch. In 2009, Palmer published his first book, The Job Search Process, which helps people get new jobs in as little as seven days.

His company has been featured in INC Magazine, The Detroit News, DBusiness Magazine, Crain's Detroit Business, and MetroMode. Palmer has been on the radio with the Business Reality Network and the Dan Mulhern Show, and was featured on Entreprenuer Television in a 30-minute sit-down interview.

Palmer is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in Organizational Communication and minor in Marketing.

The Downsides of Increasing Minimum Wage

There has been a lot of noise lately in Washington, D.C. about the potential raise to the national minimum wage from its current rate of $7.25 per hour to either $9 or $10.10 per hour. There is a mindset among some Americans that the minimum wage, or entry-level wages, should be substantial enough for an adult head of a household to be able to support a family. That is completely unrealistic.

It seems that some Americans have lost the perspective of who is the target for minimum wage jobs, which are not meant to be career jobs. The people earning the wage are typically entry-level workers — namely, younger individuals with little education and or minimal skill sets.


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Keeping an Eye on the Labor Participation Rate

Every month, the federal government releases the nation’s unemployment numbers. The jobless numbers dropped nearly every month last year, which some in the media proclaimed a good thing.

For instance, in December, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent, the lowest rate since October 2008. However, the amount didn’t necessarily drop because the economy is stronger. It declined because more than half a million people left the labor force. The unemployment rate’s dramatic decline for 2013 is due primarily to people no longer being counted.

Rather than looking at the unemployment rate, we should be watching the labor participation rate. As of December, 62.8 percent of Americans had a job or were ...

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How Employers Can Avoid a Bad Hire

There are two forces on the jobs horizon that are about to collide. Today and for the next seven years, there are plenty of job openings and according to a recently released poll, many people currently employed will be exploring those job openings. In many cases, this will create both a happy new employer and a happy new employee. However, some companies will hire the wrong employee and create an unforeseen ripple effect that can damage an organization while the employee is working there and beyond. The cost of a bad hire has both measurable and hidden costs.

How can employers recognize a potential bad hire? It’s simple really. That employee is currently working for your competitor and is looking to move on. A vast majority ...

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Every Business Leader Should Do a Triathlon — At Least Once

Business leaders. Our employees look to us to lead them throughout the course of their careers with deft skill and aplomb. Whether we are the corporate cheerleader, the sage-like oracle, or the coach assisting them with business blocking and tackling, we are the people that others rely and depend upon. Because others rely on us, in good time and bad times, I believe it is incumbent upon us to know ourselves, so that we can lead from a position of self-knowledge and strength. It is that belief that causes me to say  — every business leader should participate in a triathlon, at least once.

For the last several years, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of a dynamic group of business leaders and CEOs that meet once ...

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Potential Job Turnover Crisis Looming

There is  a massive disconnect between employee engagement in the workplace and employers lack of urgency to address this concern. The result of this slow reaction by employers, according to Monster.com, is 81 percent of employed workers are “very likely” to search for a new job within the foreseeable future. When compared against a similar survey conducted by the American Management Association that showed 61 percent of business leaders see nothing urgent in the job changing intentions of the workforce, a potential perfect-storm of job changing and turnover that could be looming on the employment horizon.

America’s Workforce: A Revealing Account of What U.S. Employees Really Think About Today’s Workplace ...

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Firing Can be Good for the Company and Employee

For anyone that has ever had employees, eventually the day will come when you have to fire an employee. Often seen as cruel or unjust, in reality, it’s often a freeing experience for both the manager and the employee.

Typically, this day comes several months — even years — later than it should. Management indecision is the No. 1 reason a company keeps an employee longer than it should. This form of indecision by managers has several negative effects, including the erosion of the confidence of co-workers and subordinates, and the prolonging of the inevitable termination.

Terminations are a by-product of either a poor hiring decision by the company or underperformance by the employee. If the company made a bad hiring decision, the ...

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Vocational Education Viable Alternative for State's Workforce

At the recent Mackinac Policy Conference, Gov. Rick Snyder indicated that Michigan needed to do a better job focusing on its greatest resource, its people. The state needed to prepare its people for the right jobs and work with the private sector to determine future employment needs. That will mean giving the proper education to young people who are heading toward the workplace. The popular perception is that will require the young people of Michigan to attain either a 2-year or 4-year college degree. Unfortunately, that perception is far from fact, both from an educational readiness perspective, as well as from a future jobs availability perspective.

Here are some sobering facts to consider regarding education nationally and in Michigan:

The Battle for Talented Employees to Get Worse

The battle for talented employees has increased significantly in 2013. All of the data shows that there is a massive disconnect between the education levels of our current workforce and the high-paying jobs available today and into the foreseeable future. Combine that with the latest jobs number showing, a drop in unemployment to 7.7 percent, and an above expected increase of 236,000 new jobs in February, companies are scrambling to hire good employees.

This puts a premium on employees who are currently in the workforce-and those employees know it. From wage increases to signing bonuses, skilled and talented employees have several job options and they aren’t shy about pursuing their next job opportunity.

A new trend that we are seeing is ...

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Manufacturers Among Leaders of Job Creation in 2013

The good news is that manufacturing hiring was up in 2012, with more growth projected for 2013 and 2014. The bad news isn't enough trained skilled laborers in the American workforce to fill the jobs available.
According to a new hiring report from the Society for Human Resource Development (SHRM), its Leading Indicators of National Employment shows specifically regarding manufacturing employment, recruiting, and compensation the stats are:

•          42.2 percent of manufacturers plan to hire in the near future
•          Projected on an annual basis — January 2013 compared with January 2012 ...

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Finding Dream Job Takes Effort, Commitment

As the New Year begins, many of us take inventory of our lives and look for ways of improvement. Besides joining a gym or signing up for a language class, one area where some decide change is necessary is in their careers. In my book, The Job Search Process, I outline eight key points to land your dream job. Rather than cover the tried-and-true categories of resume writing or how to behave yourself in an interview, I focus on one overlooked area job seekers minimize: how to actually look for a job. So, for those looking for a new career in 2013, here is a guide to conducting your personal job search process.

It all starts with commitment. If you are currently employed, pledge a minimum of 10 hours per week to look for a new job. If you don’t have a ...

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Michigan Right-To-Work Legislation Long Overdue

With all of the talk regarding the Michigan Right-to-Work vote taking place everywhere I turn, I started to reflect upon the only time in my life I was a union member. I was 16 years old and had secured my first job at a car wash. I remember getting one of my first paychecks and noticing that there was a line item for union dues deduction. 

I went to my shift supervisor and let him know that there must have been a mistake; I was in high school, how could I be a union member? I was informed that I was indeed a union member and that there wasn’t an option not to be a part of it.

Thirty years later it still doesn’t make sense to me that I was forced to be in a union. By agreeing to work for that employer, I was ...

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Michigan and MEDC Miss the Mark with Talent Website Re-Launch

If the purpose of the new State of Michigan job connect website is to match employers with job seekers, the upgrades that have been made miss that goal — for both employers and job seekers. 

After a failed launch on October 1st, the second iteration of www.mitalent.org went live on October 16. The updated site incorporates 20-30 changes, designed to enhance the experience of the job seeker or employer. Unfortunately, what has been created does just the opposite; it creates barriers to connecting job seekers with employers seeking new talent. Considering the lack of talent in many skilled categories (IT, Accounting, Health Care, Skilled labor), the long term effect is the State may need to import workers or send the work to other  ...

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Leaders Make it Their Job to Look After Others

Our business, Diversified Industrial Staffing in Troy, recently celebrated its 14th year in business.  During that time, we have had several dozen internal employees and have placed several thousand in various jobs. When I started out 14 years ago, the relationship between me as an employer and my employees was very hierarchal and very top down in nature. Employees came to the office, did their job, and went home. The relationship was almost transactional in nature, devoid of warmth and intimacy.

I was running a small company like it was a big company. It reminded me of hearing my parents describe working for big companies and hearing them say that they were “thankful to have a job.” They had the mentality that they had very few job options ...

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Top 6 Mistakes Companies Make in Attracting Talent

Recent reports indicate that there are labor shortages for IT, manufacturing, mining, and medical professional jobs. Hundreds of thousands of job are currently unfilled in the United States. While there are many reasons beyond the control of companies  looking to hire, there are several factors that are within the control of companies looking to hire. Based upon our experience with both businesses looking to add employees, and employees seeking new job opportunities, I  have compiled  the Top 6 Mistakes companies make in attracting new talent.

1. Holding out for the “perfect candidate.” In areas such as skilled trades, where there is a significant labor shortage, companies that need to get ...

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Would You Pay Bad Employees $3,000 to Leave?

The average cost of making a bad hire, according to 41 percent of companies surveyed by CareerBuilder, is $25,000. The survey — conducted among 2,696 employers between Aug. 16 and Sept. 8, 2011, by Harris Interactive — found that a single bad hire can significantly affect an organization’s bottom line.

A bad hire can be measured several ways, including:

  • Less productivity – 41 percent
  • Lost time to recruit and train another worker – 40 percent
  • Cost to recruit and train another worker – 37 percent
  • Employee morale negatively affected – 36 percent
  • Negative impact on client solutions

One company, online retailer Zappos, is ...

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How one company reduced employee turnover by over 80 percent

One of the biggest costs to any business is employee turnover. Regardless of the industry, there is a significant cost to losing employees (often to competitors), recruiting potential new employees, screening, testing and evaluating  the applicants, conducting multiple interviews, making job offers and sometimes counter-offers, onboarding new hires, and often many months of training.

This doesn’t take into account the lost productivity or missed opportunity costs of having an empty seat in your facility. Nor does it take into account the impact on a company's legacy and culture. According to www.hrtogo.com, calculations can easily reach 150 percent of the employee's annual compensation figure.

To put this into ...

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Career Builder Data Shows Woeful Lack of Available Machining Talent in Metro Detroit

Career Builder verified last week what many local manufacturers already know — there is a severe lack of manufacturing talent seeking new jobs in Metro Detroit. The Career Builder Active Candidate Ratio shows that there are 4 jobs for every 1 machinist in Metro Detroit.

Let me explain. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are 9,600 active machinists (machine operators) in the Metro Detroit area. In a recent 90-day period, 346 of those machine operators posted their resume onto Career Builder, making themselves available for new job opportunities. In that same 90-day period, 1,372 help wanted ads were posted for machining talent. This data shows that in the Machine Operator category, the Active Candidate Ratio is .25% — ...

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U.S. Employers — Skills Gap takes toll on Morale, Quality, and Revenue

The same week when increased unemployment numbers were issued by the U.S. Labor Department, a Harris Interactive/CareerBuilder survey sent a much different message to the nation.s businesses.  Rather than dwelling on people who are not currently working, this survey sought to find out what is happening to U.S. companies that are looking for new employees. The results were that the lack of skilled talent, across many job sectors, is impacting both the morale of current employees, and the bottom line of the organizations seeking new talent, in a very negative fashion.

According to the employer survey, 34 percent of respondents reported that job vacancies have resulted in a lower quality of work due to employees being overworked, and 23 percent of ...

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Employee accountability vs. Employee entitlement

Baseball umpires and public school teachers, what could they possibly have in common?


Both groups of unionized employees have come under public attack for their lack of employee evaluation methods, each group preferring to go with longevity and tenure, over competency testing and management evaluations. On May 29th, Jim Leyland, the manager of the Detroit Tigers, went on one of his infamous rants regarding the poor performance of umpires in a game against the Cleveland Indians. In the 2010 documentary, Waiting For Superman, Michelle Rhee, then the chancellor of the Washington, D.C. public schools from 2007 to 2010, was featured in the documentary about the failing public school system, begging to have teachers evaluated ...

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Yahoo! must get rid of Thompson Now

It has been discovered that recently appointed Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson lied about his educational background on his resume.  The Yahoo! Board Member who vetted Thompson has since decided not to stand for re-election to the Board, while Thompson has refused to leave amid calls for his resignation. Thompson is arguing that this is a minor white lie. Legally, it borders on egregious fraud. Ethically, it goes against the values of the company he publically represents.

CEOs of publicly held companies are held to a higher standard than those in the private sector.  As the CEO of a company that directly utilizes the money of the public-at-large, this “little white lie” is a possible SEC violation.  The fact that Yahoo included ...

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