Archive for April, 2017

How Unintended Gender-Bias In Job Posts Slow Your Hiring Process

Monday, April 24th, 2017

One of the most common reasons why companies lack diversity is the lack of having employees from underrepresented groups. This does not only limit diversity in employing and attracting talents, it also slows the entire hiring process. One way of attracting and finally getting to hire qualified candidates is by boosting your pipeline and removing the gender-based language from your application forms.

The concept of gendered job listings is gaining recognition, it refers to the use of female or male terms within the job description. This has been a huge problem for companies that focus on bringing underrepresented groups or more women in technology. Looking for perfect candidates (unicorns) is not easy and putting certain requirement will make it even harder.

Flood your pipeline

Flooding your pipeline is a better way of reaching a wider pool of applicants including candidates from underrepresented groups.  When you flood your pipeline you’re more likely to attract and have more applicants, which will improve diversity and speed up your hiring process.  However, when you exclude certain genders from applying for a post in your company, you are excluding half of potential employees.

When companies use gender language in the application process, potential employees with the right skills and experience will read your job description, but won’t apply because of the gender language. When the gender language in removed from your application process, your company will be open to all applicants and have the highest chance of getting the best candidate for the job.

Not as hard as it seems

Removing gender language doesn’t have to be time-consuming or as difficult as it may seem. Just use neutral words in your job listing. Gender listings will be understood differently by different candidates out there. Some words like aggressive, assertive, strong or competitive, skew male, while words like community-nurture or concerned skew female. Avoid these biased words and use your best bet, gender-neutral terms. For example, instead of listing, you are looking for ‘a strong programmer who can thrive in competitive working place’, why don’t you list something like ‘an exceptional programmer motivated by goals’?

The simple act of using gender-neutral language offer tremendous diversity for employers. Ignore gender language, take a few extra minutes and review your job description and be sure your doors will be wide open for a unicorn candidate for your job.

Do Overtime Rules Apply to Seasonal Employees?

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

With the summer just around the corner, many business owners are already looking to hire seasonal employees. If you’re one of them, you might be wondering…

Does the Fair Labor Standards Act apply to seasonal workers?

The answer is, well, yes and no.

Section 13(a)(3) of the FLSA provides an exemption from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA for “any employee employed by an establishment which is an amusement or recreational establishment, if (A) it does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year…”

In layman’s terms, if your business is open less than seven months a year, you might not have to pay your employees minimum wage or overtime.

But, in a recent interview with TSheets, Parsons Behle and Latimer attorney Maria O. Hart warned, “Don’t let the fact that this exemption exists mislead you into believing you’ve a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to complying with the FLSA. It’s a tricky and complex statute filled with strict requirements and complicated loopholes.”

Loopholes like this one: “Some state wage laws may not recognize or permit the application of this exemption, and since an employer must comply with the most stringent of the state or federal provisions, it is strongly recommended that state laws be reviewed prior to applying this exemption.”

In other words, not so fast! While the Department of Labor (DOL) might consider your seasonal employees exempt from the minimum wage and overtime rules of the FLSA, your state laws probably don’t.

“State law usually mandates payment of minimum wage, with very few exceptions,” explained Hart.

So, yes, seasonal employees can be exempt from minimum wage and overtime rules — but also, no, they can’t.

Confused yet? Hart has some advice.

  1. Check with your employment counsel first.

“If your business qualifies as a seasonal employer and you want to take advantage of this exemption, you’re certainly entitled to,” Hart said. “You just need to make sure you meet every single one of the requirements first.”

The best way to do this?

“Involve your employment counsel from the onset,” she said, “and continue to keep them involved in the critical decisions you make regarding your employees.” Not only can your counsel advise you on the best course of action, but they can also make sure that you and your business are meeting all your obligations and complying with the FLSA — this year and beyond.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the FLSA and exemption rules.

No one expects you to do this entirely on your own. After all, not even the DOL, the very department charged with enforcing the FLSA, gets it right 100 percent of the time. And, “if the DOL can’t get this right,” Jackson Lewis attorney Paul DeCamp said, “what chance do other employers have?”

However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t try. As a business owner, you should have a basic understanding of what’s required from you and your employees when it comes to this complex statute. Ignorance of the law is not an alibi if you get hit with a wage and hour lawsuit.

“The DOL’s website is the best place to start,” Hart said. The DOL publishes many fact sheets and other general guidance documents meant to assist business owners. Daniel Abrahams, an attorney with Brown Rudnick LLP, told TSheets that business owners should “enlist legal counsel to help you stay abreast of changes that may impact you.”

  1. Always abide by state laws.

In a recent quiz conducted by TSheets, it was found that more than 58 percent of quiz takers believe the FLSA (a.k.a. Federal law) trumps state law — but it’s simply not true. “The federal law is merely one legal framework,” Hart said, “but it’s structured to set a minimum standard. Each state is well within their authority to create a more robust or stronger law.” As a rule, employers are required to follow whichever law is more stringent.

On top of that, “In general, state laws apply to whatever state the employee is working in,” said Hart — even if your business is headquartered across state lines or you have employees working in multiple states.

“Again,” she cautioned, “it’s always a good idea to check in with your legal counsel, someone who is familiar with the different state laws and can help you comply with them.”

  1. Track employee time — even if they’re paid by the season.

In some cases, seasonal employees live and work on site. These employees are often expected to be “on” nearly 24/7, but does that mean they’re always on the clock?

“In many states, minimum wage rules still apply to these employees … even if overtime rules do not,” said Hart. “So it’s always a good idea to track employee time.” In these cases, even if your employees are paid by the season, their total compensation divided by the total number of hours worked must still equal the state’s minimum wage. If not, you’ve got a problem.

“Find a way to divide tracked time into categories like ‘on the clock’ and ‘on call,’” Hart said — things like “on-call” time, meals, and employee housing should be built into your compensation structure. When in doubt, “Your legal counsel can help you figure it out,” she added. “Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re on your own when it comes to FLSA compliance.”

Automated time tracking makes it fast and easy for employees to clock in and out anytime, anywhere. And because time data is stored securely in the cloud, it’s there whenever you need it. “In the event you are hit with a wage and hour lawsuit,” said Hart, “accurate and organized time records can serve as your No. 1 defense!”

by Myranda Mondry

Myranda is a writer and researcher at the employee time tracking app TSheets where she runs a daily blog dedicated to helping small business owners succeed. Topics she likes to write about include recruitment, company cultures, how to take the pain out of payroll, and, of course, how to track and schedule your time.  First published on the TSheets Time Tracking Blog

Top 4 Innovative Recruiting Strategies

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

recruitment

Video interviewing, ramification and social recruiting are some of the newest technologies used by employers and recruiting agencies in the war for top talents. They change the way people communicate and free employers from paper processes by cutting through the traditional recruiting strategies. Some employers and recruiters ignore engaging in recruiting strategies that are highly effective at their own risk. Everyone today can use innovative recruiting strategies that are cost-saving in the economy and job market. What are some of the different recruiting strategies that can help you get top talents?

Undercover recruitment

Observing potential employees first hand outside the recruiting process helps recruiters to get a valuable insight into the candidate skills, talent, and abilities that are difficult to notice during an interview. Watch the candidates you aim in action before their start date. Put recruiters or interviewers in different innovative locations, such as events, association conferences, or customer service situations. This will give you firsthand experience with a potential employee.

Innovative referrals

There is a massive opportunity to capture top talents through referral programs, social media and marketing and incentives. Companies that already use innovative referrals as their recruiting strategy are benefitting and get to employ top talents. They turn their employees into talent scouts and train them to identify top talent. They teach them about the employee referral process and show them examples of other employees who joined them through referral programs and what they are doing for the company. This helps them scout for top candidates before referring them to the company.

Social Media Recruitment

When you need special candidates who are qualified, why don’t you think about doing a campaign? Some companies have succeeded in this strategy. They have fueled interest starting campaigns and using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to promote their campaign. Don’t search in the same place or use the same search tool over and over, instead approach recruitment differently from other companies. You can combine excellent recruitment strategies such as a great recruitment branding and extending your campaign message far and wide.

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Agencies

Finding top talents is still a challenge for many companies. Reviewing applications and interviewing potential candidates take time from your existing obligations. Nowadays, many employees are partnering with staffing agencies which help them search for top talents. Staffing agencies are valuable tools that you can use to quickly find potential candidates, they offer the best services, especially if you’re looking to fill in workforce gaps, part-time workers or sick leaves. They offer you talent fast and flexibly and reduce the risk of you employing non-competent employees. The greatest cost of all by a long shot is having the wrong people representing your company.  They also offer financial risk if you have to fire someone unexpectedly.

If you are looking to fill a current vacant position in your company with the top candidates, you need to elevate your current recruitment strategies. If you are doing that okay, filling your openings with qualified candidates will be easier and you won’t need to add any stretch to your recruiting process.  Use the above innovative recruiting strategies to get the best employees in your company.