Welcome to the Fall edition of our newly redesigned e-newsletter, RESOURCES. We are excited to re-introduce this exciting forum for the communication of issues pertinent and relevent to HR Professionals.


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(Effective with this issue and in all future issues we will be featuring Q&A with an SNHRA member business. If you would like your business to be featured in a future issue, please contact Jim Guynup:


One of the special features of our Monthly meeting is the great speakers that we have which gives us a special perspective of Human resources or provides us with information that can make our business more effective. Such is the case with The Performance Group.


In this issue we are featuring The Performance Group.  We asked Greg
Pascoe, Tony Mele and Greg Calvert to interview with us this month.

What is the mission of the The Performance Group, LLC?
The Performance Group, LLC (TPG) helps companies to enhance their
performance through metrics-driven approaches to human capital management.
TPG works with a client organization to improve the selection, development
and retention of the particular talent needed by a company to maintain its
competitive advantage.

Please provide specfic examples of how using your services has helped
companies reach their stated goals.

TPG provides industry-specific products as well as talent management
solutions that can be tailored to a particular company. One such
industry-specific tool is Casino Metrics, which most recently has been
successfully customized for Hooters Casino in Las Vegas.

In acquiring the former San Remo and rebranding the property, Hooters¹
talent management goal was to hire and reward front-of-the house and
back-of-the-house staff who demonstrate the unique competencies, termed ³Wow factors² by the Hooters organization, that drive the distinctive customer
experience which Hooters seeks to create. TPG¹s Casino Metrics product was central to meeting this human capital challenge. Working with Hooters
management, TPG customized Casino Metrics, which is an on-line applicant
screening tool, to identify best-fit hourly candidates. Selection via
Casino Metrics has in turn been aligned with the Hooters performance
appraisal and compensation system to effectively reinforce the Wow factors
on the part of the staff.

What does the cost of your services range?
The standard product offerings of TPG, such as Casino Metrics for the gaming industry, are exceptionally cost-effective. The cost per applicant is
typically in the range of $5 ­ $10 and can be less depending on the annual
volume of use by a client organization.

While a client may elect to use TPG¹s products as is, TPG¹s consulting
services offer the opportunity to craft solutions to a client¹s special
human capital needs‹ranging from high volume, entry level positions to
senior executive positions and from individual job roles to team and
organization-wide performance. The fee for such TPG consulting can be
arranged on either a project or time basis.

Why should a company use your services when they already have a trained
human resources person on board?

Even trained HR professionals need support from time to time to implement
critical strategic initiatives. At TPG we work in partnership with HR
professionals bringing to the table our vast experiences in supporting
local, national and international clients.

Do you feel that their are special problems that businesses face when they start up in Las Vegas?
From a human capital perspective, a business startup in Las Vegas is faced
with a tight labor market and the issue of affordable housing . . . these
factors, along with Las Vegas having a fairly transient component to its
population, add to the difficulty of finding and keeping talented, engaged
employees. Consequently, businesses need to be even more diligent in
selecting the right people and avoid being an employee ³revolving door².

Please fill in your immediate response:
I feel Las Vegas is a fascinating city.

Las Vegas biggest potential problem is at the community level, the
"growing pains" of an expanding metropolitan area and at the business level
keeping the focus on the client and not the glitz¹.

The best thing about Las Vegas is its vitality, plus its fun.

My favorite places for entertainment and dining in Las Vegas
still exploring the excellent choices

If there is anything else you would like to add in regards to your company
please add now:

Please contact us to discuss your company¹s human capital management needsand how TPG can support you in attracting and accelerating the talent thatdrives organizational performance.


Thank you Greg Pascoe, Tony Mele and Greg Calvert!




In this fall issue we are exploring staff companies and their impact on the
Las Vegas business community. One of our members that responded to our inquiry on this topic was Jennifer DeHaven of Millenium Staffing Division:

Can you tell us how Millennium staffing started and what it¹s focus is?
(type of workers)?

My business partner, Donna Lattanzio, and I joined forces to create a
company that would combine the Best Practices from our extensive staffing industry experience. We have kept our vision focused on [the rule that we all know: The Golden Rule, our number one Core Value: Always treating our temporaries, clients and internal team the way we would want to be treated.

By adhering to this Core Value, we have created a loyal, determined and trustworthy company. In 5 years, Millenium has grown to 22 internal team members and a network of thousands of temporary employees. We attribute our growth to always providing unmatched, enthusiastic customer service and honest feedback. We do not over-commit and we will not settle for inferior quality.

Millenium Staffing Services is a full-service company with six divisions:


Administrative Professionals (Clerical/Call Center/Accounting)
Skilled Trades
Culinary & Convention Services
Light Industrial
Executive Search, and
Medical (front and back-office)


Why should a business consider a staffing company vs advertising in
fulfilling their human resource needs?

A company should consider using a staffing company vs. advertising for several reasons:

Staffing is our core competency ­ it¹s all we do


Temp-to-hire solution ­ they can "test drive" employees prior to hiring them onto their payroll


Time and money saving ­ by the time an HR department advertises, go through
all the resumes, interviews the selected resumes, screens for skills, performs background checks, drug screens, reference checks, makes job offer, processed new hire paperwork, they have spent a significant amount of time and money; it is much easier to pick up a phone and call a staffing company for a temp-to-hire person.


Special projects ­ utilize staffing companies for planned or unplanned increase in business via projects

Supplement peaks and valleys of production


Provides flexibility of scheduling workforce


Reduces total cost of employees.


In a recent staff meeting Mr Bartholomew a executive of another national
staffing firm stated that: ³The staffing industry needs to increase it 's professionalism and sell a quality placing service rather than cheap labor²
What is your feeling on that statement?

I agree with David Bartholomew (President of the American Staffing Association) completely. I think that the perception of staffing companies in Nevada is evolving. One reason for the evolution is major Las Vegas companies are discovering that staffing companies provide quality staffing for their open positions, by not placing a warm body, but by providing a skill assessed, background checked, drug screened, individual that match the demands of their job opening. Most staffing agencies provide a suite of benefits for their temporary employees too, often including health insurance, vacation pay, 401k, free training, etc. This is not ³cheap labor² though our pricing is significantly competitive, if not less expensive, than hiring employees directly onto your payroll.


Another reason that the perception of staffing companies is evolving is
because the Nevada Staffing Association (Nevada branch of the American
Staffing Association) is getting the word out ­ NSA member companies are
committed to a strict code of ethics. As President of the NSA, I can tell
you that we continually educate the business community on the benefits of
the staffing industry; it is the most efficient and reputable recruiting
source available. Also, if you are going to work with a staffing company,
make sure you work with one that is affiliated with either (or both) the
Nevada Staffing Association or the American Staffing Association ­ this way
you know you are working with a company that abides by values and ethics
that are important to you; member companies also have a wealth of
information at their finger tips that they can share with their clients.


What do you think are the biggest challenges in running a staffing company
in Las Vegas?

Finding talent. If a company depends on recruiting via the classified ads,
than they are at a real disadvantage, as you appealing to the unemployed or
unemployable. At Millenium Staffing, we are fortunate, as we have developed
relationships with over 70+ recruiting sources ­ this is where we find 90% of our talent. Plus, finding talented recruiters can be a real challenge. My business partner and I have over 35 years of staffing experience between us,
we know this industry and we know how to find and keep the best recruiters in the valley.


How has membership with SNHRA,affected your business?
We have met and developed incredible relationships over the years (I have
been a member for close to 10 years). Many of our clients are members, and when we look for a business partner or vendor, we look to the SNHRA membership.


Education: SNHRA offers a great menu of educational meetings and seminars.
When I am not able to attend, I send members of my team, and they always
come back with a wealth of VALUABLE knowledge.

Exposure: SNHRA offers diverse ways to expose your company to the membership, from mixers, to membership meetings, to expos.

I think that the best thing about Las Vegas is it¹s diversity, it¹s business community (incredible growth offers opportunity), entrepreneur spirit, it¹s a small, big town! I love the 24/7 fun that is offered too!


Please fill in the blank:


Las Vegas Biggest Problems are growth related struggles: the school system, transportation infrastructure, affordable housing for the below median waged workers, increase of violent crime.


My favorite place to eat in Las Vegas is I live in Summerlin, so we do not venture far from there when dining out. Some of my favorites are: Terra Rosa and T-Bones at Red Rock, Kona Grill, Fleming Wine Bar & Steakhouse.


The best Las Vegas show is any one of the Cirque du Soleil shows.


I think Las Vegas Residents are dynamic and adaptable!


Las Vegas needs to catch up with its growth! I¹m not sure that makes sense


Our Monthly SNHRA meetings are educational, inspirational, diverse and fun


Thank you Jennifer!




Patrick Hicks and Roger Grandgenett II of Littler Mendelson discuss the issue of retirement and the issue of age discrimination in relation to retirement.


The Demise of Traditional Defined Benefit Pension Plans

In recent years many employers that maintain traditional defined benefit
pension plans have been searching for ways to transform their plans into
other types of retirement vehicles. Traditional defined benefit pension
plans generally provide a benefit to employees expressed as an annuity at
retirement equal to a certain percentage of final average pay (which is
usually arrived at by multiplying a participant¹s years of service by a
specified percentage amount).


These traditional plans generally provide a disproportionate share of
benefits to long-service workers and accordingly may not be particularly
effective at attracting mid-career hires or younger workers who may not
envision spending their entire career with one employer. The cost of
benefits can also be high under traditional pension plans, especially in
periods during which investment gains are lower than expected because it is
the plan sponsor who, by virtue of promising a stated benefit, takes on the
investment risk. Interest rates are also used to determine plan funding
requirements, so periods of fluctuating rates can create further
unpredictability in plan funding.


For these reasons, employers have been converting their traditional pension
plans to alternative plan designs, such as cash balance plans and pension
equity plans. A cash balance plan is a defined benefit retirement plan that
maintains hypothetical individual employee accounts like a defined
contribution plan. In 2003, a ruling out of the District Court for the
Southern District of Illinois put a halt to this robust migration to cash
balance plans. Specifically, the court held in Cooper v. IBM that the
benefits provided under IBM¹s cash balance plan discriminated against older
workers. The holding also implicated pension equity plans. This caused many
employee benefits professionals to question whether cash balance (and
pension equity) plans were legally viable alternatives to traditional plans.

Two recent developments have now bolstered the legal viability of these
types of plans.


On August 7, 2006, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed the
district court¹s decision in Cooper holding that cash balance and similar
plans do not discriminate against older workers. The lower court's findings
were grounded in the fact that because IBM¹s cash balance plan is a defined
benefit plan, the benefits it provides must be measured like other defined
benefit plan benefits - namely by evaluating the value of each year¹s
benefit accrual as a portion of an annual benefit commencing at normal
retirement age.


The Internal Revenue Code ("IRC") and the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act (ERISA) both provide that a plan is discriminatory if ³the rate
of an employee¹s benefit accrual is reduced because of the attainment of any
age.² Under IBM¹s plan (as would be typical under a cash balance plan), a
uniform percentage of pay is provided to the plan account of each
participant regardless of his or her age. This approach results in a
20-year-old participant being allocated a 2006 accrual that will likely grow
to a much higher amount at age 65 than the 2006 accrual that is allocated to
the account of a 60-year-old participant earning the same amount (because
the account of the 20 year old will accrue plan earnings over 40 additional


The lower court held that because older workers might accrue less than
younger workers at retirement in connection with a particular year's accrual
(on account of the fact that their accrual would grow for a shorter period
of time), the IBM plan was age discriminatory.


Employers feared that Cooper would spell the end of cash balance and pension
equity plans when employers were seeking a means to provide alternatives to
traditional pension plans. On appeal, however, the Court of Appeals for the
Seventh Circuit reversed the lower court and found that the structure of
IBM¹s plan was not discriminatory. The court stated that the district court
improperly treated the time value of money as age discrimination. The court
held that benefit accruals under IBM¹s cash balance plan should be measured
by looking at the amount of the employer¹s contributions (which were clearly
age neutral) rather than the value of such contributions after they have
accrued earnings from the date of the contribution through the plan¹s
retirement date. Accordingly, as long as an employer provides credits which
are uniform percentages of pay to all participants, IRC and ERISA
prohibitions against not reducing accruals to a participant on account of his or her age would not be violated.


The Pension Protection Act, passed by Congress on August 3 and signed into
law on August 17, 2006, provides that "hybrid" plans, which are
account-based defined benefit plans, such as cash balance (and pension
equity) plans are not discriminatory so long as participant¹s accrued
benefit, determined as of any date, is greater than or equal to that accrued
by a similarly situated, younger participant. Accordingly, this new
legislation explicitly approves typical cash balance and pension equity plan


Although there are some obstacles that still remain for employers to be
cognizant of when establishing a cash balance or pension equity plan, the
Cooper case and new legislation generally validate the legality of the basic
design underlying these plans. It is expected that many employers who were
sitting on the sidelines waiting for the legal uncertainty underlying these
plans to clear, may now consider redesigning their pension plans.




A young executive was leaving the office late one evening when he found the
CEO (Whom he wanted to impress) standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand. "Listen," said the CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work? "Certainly" said the young executive . He turned the machine on, inserted the paper and pressed the start button.

"Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. "I just need one copy."

Do you realize that if Microsoft made cars we would:

1. All have to switch to Microsoft gasoline.

2.You could only have one car at a time, unless you bought a Car 95 or Car NT. But then you would have to buy more seats.


TRUE Resume disaster: A Resume that had a summary which stated they had financial problems, that she really didn¹t want a job but needed the money because her husband was not working and wanted imported beer to soothe his nerves. Then proceeded to state the church to which she belonged!


Since she was writing this for a staffing company, she also asked that it be a short term job and she would like the company to have a TV so she could watch her soap opera.


Figuratively Speaking (From the Business Press):
79% of the working employed state that listening to music improves their job satisfaction and or productivity.

36% of executives said that employees who are dressed casually are perceived to be creative.



Note from the Editor:
I hope that you all enjoy and find the articles contained within useful for your HR enviroment. Many thanks to all of you who so quickly responded to my requests for this newsletter. If you have anything you wish to contribute to the next issue, please do not hesitate to email me at In the meantime enjoy all the great things of this great holiday season!





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Newsletter: December 2006 Issue