Employer Tips

Hiring Hourly Workers Ahead of the Holiday Rush


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If the current, candidate-driven market has you worried about filling vacant positions, may we suggest one talent pool that may help? Students. While some employers might be skeptical at first, there are quite a few benefits to hiring students for seasonal work.

Benefits of Hiring Students for Seasonal Work

  • Students will appreciate abbreviated work arrangements, and they’re probably less likely to get upset if their role doesn’t turn into a full-time arrangement because they’ll have to worry about going back to school and other commitments.

  • Students will be eager to learn and do a good job, especially if it’s their very first job. They will want to put something positive on their résumés.

  • Students will bring new skills to the table. The youngest generation in the workforce—Generation Z—comprises the most tech-savvy workers in history, so they might be able to help with many tech-related and mobile-device hiccups, among many other things.

  • Extra workers help improve employee morale. If your current employees won’t be asked to work extra hours or pick up extra slack during your busier seasons due to understaffed shifts, they will welcome the extra help.

  • “Hourly employers that hire students can expect that their desire and need for flexible schedules and other accommodating employment terms will only increase as the workers who typically fill these roles .


How to Attract Students for Seasonal Work

Here are a few tips for attracting student talent for your open, hourly positions:

  • Start recruiting early. Don’t wait until the week before you need seasonal help to start recruiting students. Plan to recruit them a month or so before your busy season starts so they can balance a job with their other commitments.

  • And if you’ve hired students in the past for seasonal work, reach out to them first to see if they want to rejoin the team during your busy season, especially if they were reliable and worked hard. Also, make sure you clearly advertise that your seasonal positions are available to teens under 18, if applicable.

  • Use mobile platforms for recruiting. As mentioned above, Gen Zs are tech-savvy, which means you should be using mobile apps and mobile-optimized sites and platforms to recruit them. They may not know your seasonal positions exist otherwise.

  • Offer more than minimum wage or other incentives. While you don’t have to offer a lot more than minimum wage, consider offering 50 cents to a dollar more than the minimum wage to attract the best candidates. And consider offering things like free lunch on Fridays or other small incentives and perks to keep them happy, working hard, and engaged while working for your organization.

Make it fun, but also represent roles as valuable learning opportunities. Yes, students like to have fun. But most of them also want to be valuable members of the workforce when they get a job. So, although you will want to advertise your organization as being a fun place to work with great perks, don’t overdo it—students still want to become professionals one day and learn the ropes so they can be successful in the future.



6 Must-Have Traits for Your Managers

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Research continues to show that good employees leave bad managers, not necessarily bad roles or bad companies. Unfortunately, however, bad managers are prevalent across organizations and entire industries. In fact, only a select few (about 10%) demonstrate that they have the right characteristics or traits to effectively lead. 

Six of those characteristics are outlined below.

1. Accountability

Effective managers “practice what they preach” and are highly accountable. They don’t expect their employees to be extremely punctual, for instance, if they are not also punctual. They don’t reprimand employees for poor performance without holding themselves to high performance standards. And they don’t give feedback without also asking for feedback.

Essentially, effective managers will have high levels of integrity and demonstrate fairness and trustworthiness. Even before they are managers, they will have teams that follow their lead and look to them as an example.

2. Empathy

Employees—especially managers—who are empathetic toward others tend to be more effective communicators and collaborators. They listen and practice fairness, and they are highly emotionally intelligent.

They’re also especially adept at mitigating conflicts, lessening levels of workplace stress, and generally fostering practices of positive and productive communications with their clients, partners, bosses, peers, and subordinates.

3. Transparency

Managers who are transparent with their employees are more likely to have their employees’ trust. Their employees trust they will notify them of any important news, feedback, projects, etc., and know they will receive important feedback and information that’s relevant to their performance and everyday work.

Employees who have transparent managers don’t worry about being terminated at a moment’s notice due to office politics or knowing where they stand at work.

4. Authenticity

Authentic managers earn their employees’ trust. They also tend to be more emotionally intelligent and inclusive and can significantly mitigate workplace stress, harassment, and bullying.

5. Ability to Trust and Connect with Others

Good managers will respect their employees’ autonomy and won’t micromanage them. They know how to delegate effectively and how to build highly effective and productive teams.

They also show their employees appreciation and know each of them on an individual level, encourage their employees to take time off, and recognize their employees in positive ways.

6. Willingness to Learn

Highly effective managers always show a willingness to learn, especially in the modern world, where rapid change and technological innovation are inevitable. They always seek out new soft skills and hard skills to learn as they become available and important.

Managers are the backbone of any successful organization, especially because they foster high levels of employee retention and engagement. So, make sure your organizations’ managers have the six traits and characteristics highlighted here if you want them to be effective.


5 Warning Signs That an Employee is Disengaged

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Employee engagement inside the workplace is one of the hottest topics in HR and learning and development (L&D) these days because engaged employees save their organizations money, as well as earn them more money. Yet according to one poll, only 34% of employees in the United States are engaged at work.

As you’re trying to improve your organization’s employee engagement rates, pay attention to the warning signs that an employee may be actively disengaged at work. Here are five of them.

  1. He or She Is the First Person to Leave and the Last to Arrive

    If an employee is always the first person to leave at the end of his or her shift or at the end of the workday and the last person to arrive every morning or shift, this person’s engagement levels could be waning. Sure, some employees have home-related responsibilities outside of work, but if all of a sudden, they don’t stay at work longer than they absolutely must, they are probably starting to become more disengaged.

  2. They Start to Call Out More

    When employees start to take multiple days off in a row for no apparent reason or stay home sick more often, they are probably disengaged, especially if they start using all their paid time off in a short burst of time. Absenteeism rates are the highest for employees who are disengaged because they don’t want to be at work.

  3. They Stop Participating in Meetings and Become Silent

    If an employee who was once talkative during meetings or, at the very least, chimed in every so often suddenly never has anything to say, he or she may be disengaged.

    Disengaged employees will not want to participate in meetings or talk about the work they’re doing because they’re beginning to care less; some might even become more cynical and lash out at others.

  4. They Begin to Avoid Others at Work

    Disengaged employees may also start to avoid others at work. They don’t want to socialize with others as much, and they probably stay at their desks most of the time. On the other hand, they might start to hang out in the break room more often to socialize and avoid doing the work that isn’t engaging to them.

  5. Their Work Quality Begins to Change for the Worse

    Employees who are disengaged will also cease to care about the work they are producing and whether it’s high quality. So, expect to see work quality and performance decline rapidly and suddenly among those employees who are actively disengaged.

Be sure to watch out for the warning signs detailed above if you want to manage or improve your organization’s employee engagement rates.


News Regarding Sexual Harassment Training Deadline

Important Update Below

 
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As you know, on January 1, 2019 a new law, SB 1343 (Sexual Harassment Training) went into effect that required employers with 5 or more employees to provide Sexual Harassment training to all employees by January 1, 2020 and once every two years thereafter.  

On August 15, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Bill SB 778, which extends the deadline to complete this training to January 1, 2021 and thereafter once every 2 years. Employers are still required to train new nonsupervisory employees within 6 months of hire, and new supervisory employees within 6 months of the assumption of a supervisory position. The bill also specifies that an employer who has provided this training and education in 2019 is not required to provide it again for another 2 years.

Seasonal and temporary workers must receive training with 30 calendar days or within 100 hours worked, whichever is first.

What does this mean for you?

The deadline to have all managers and employees trained has been extended for one year. 

We are happy to answer any questions that you may have or schedule your training today!

Too Many Jobs, Not Enough Workers

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According to the June 2019 JOLTS report, not only is the candidate supply down and labor demand increasing, but the quit rate is up, as well—and this should come as no surprise given the favorable position the job market puts jobseekers in. 

To put the lack of candidates into perspective, even if you were to place all unemployed people back to work (felons, criminal records, no educational degree, no industry experience, etc.), you still couldn’t fill all of the job openings in this country!

As the candidate-driven market shows no end in sight, we wanted to share best practices for hiring in these difficult times, which are outlined below.

Best Practice #1: Discover Candidates’ Motivations

Recruiters must understand that candidates are looking to improve their situation. This can look different, depending on the person. Some people want more money. Others may want a stronger/better culture and to work for a company they have greater faith in. Work/life balance is also a huge driver these days. And finally, shrinking or eliminating a big commute could help to sway a person to a new assignment.

Recruiters and hiring managers should be digging deeper into what it is that drives candidates to make a decision and focus on that piece of the puzzle. The game is no longer just about how much money people make, and that should be remembered when candidate discussions take place.

Best Practice #2: Pay Fairly

Seeing as the market demand is overwhelming the candidate supply, we should see a corresponding increase in wage growth, but that’s not the case. Wage growth is rising but still underperforming, and companies should be aware of the trap of not paying candidates appropriately. If a candidate has multiple offers and yours is the lowest-paying one, or not even rivaling the other offers, you’re going to lose the candidate.


Best Practice #3: Work with a Trusted Recruiter

Finally, partnering with a trusted recruiter or staffing firm. Recruiters educate their clients to help them understand the full scope of the employment landscape. While the unemployment rate is important, the difficulties businesses are feeling in the space are due to a massive increase in competition.

Businesses need to understand who and what they are up against and why this is driving candidate expectations so high. Luckily, it is a recruiter’s job to know this and keep a pulse on the job landscape and latest trends, which, in turn, provides businesses with a deeper and more clear insight that can help inform their recruiting strategy.

As employers across the country continue to struggle to fill the void, we’ve got to ask: What talent attraction strategies are working well for your company? Did you know we offer recruiting services? Please ask us how we can help!


Do You Understand the Most Common Employee Learning Styles?

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One obstacle that many instructors—whether they’re in primary schooling, advanced graduate education, or training in the workplace— run into is getting through to an audience with a variety of learning styles.

Not everyone learns the same way. Tools that are extremely effective with some students may have minimal impact on others. Here, we take a quick look at the seven learning styles:

Visual (Spatial)

Visual learners absorb information best when using pictures, images, and spatial understanding. Trainers may be able to effectively reach these individuals through illustrative diagrams, videos, animations, or demonstrations.

Aural (Auditory-Musical)

Aural learners like to listen and prefer to receive information from live presenters, while listening to podcasts, etc., to help them best capture and retain knowledge. The use of sound and/or music also appeals to these learners.

Verbal (Linguistic)

Verbal learners learn best using words in both speech and writing. Relaying what they’ve just been taught to others, for example, could aid these types of learners in absorbing information.

Physical (Kinesthetic)

Physical learners learn by using their bodies, hands, and sense of touch—for example, learning how to assemble a cabinet by actually assembling one.

Logical (Mathematical)

Logical learners prefer to use logic, reasoning, and systems. These learners could benefit from an explanation of why a process exists and why it exists the way it does. Understanding the context in which it logically addresses needs can help them retain that information.

Social (Interpersonal)

Social learners crave interactions with others to help them learn. They prefer being in groups or with other people.

Solitary (Intrapersonal)

Finally, some learners prefer to be on their own and alone. Solitary learners prefer to work by themselves and are more likely to take advantage of self-study opportunities.

It’s important to note that these are broad categories meant to help instructors better understand their audiences rather than precise definitions that can be accurately attributed to individuals.

Actual learners may exist on a spectrum between social and solitary, for example. Additionally, these categories can overlap—there may be visual learners who also learn well by using logic and in groups.

Understanding that not everyone absorbs knowledge the same way is key to effectively training a broad audience with different learning styles. The first step is to simply understand the different learning styles that are out there.

What New Hires Want from the Onboarding Experience

 
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Onboarding can make or break any new hire. If you aren’t properly onboarding your new staff, these workers may become a flight risk. New research reveals that 64% of new employees are less likely to stay at a job after a negative onboarding experience.

We’ll break down what employees want from their onboarding experiences a little later, but first, we want to highlight more findings from the research because we feel that the data provides important clues as to why employees are leaving. Back to the research!

Millennials Most Likely to Leave

The fact that 64% of employees are leaving after a negative onboarding experience is especially important to consider as the hiring market continues to be competitive. Research also found that 40% of employees are expected to quit their jobs this year. Of these employees, some of the most important to consider are those in the Millennial age range, as they are the true future of the workplace.
Research found that 60% of Millennials say they are open to a different job opportunity, which likely has to do with the fact that the majority of Millennials (55%) feel like they are not engaged at work. In other words, if businesses want to retain young talent, they need to ensure an engaging, positive workplace experience from the first day of employment.

Three things to consider when reviewing your onboarding experience:

Employees often feel mislead by job descriptions. 

More than 25% of employees say that they didn’t receive enough information about their job before accepting the offer. Meanwhile, only 40% of employees say that their current job completely reflects how the position was described during the interview process.


New hires prefer an organic onboarding process. 

Of the new hires surveyed, more people (33%) dread adapting to office politics and personalities more than learning protocol or filing onboarding paperwork. However, not all new personalities are bad. About half (49%) of employees believe the best way to get acclimated to a new job is by making friends in the workplace, and would rather make friends with coworkers than have a designated new-hire buddy.


Interactive onboarding would make new employees feel more comfortable. 

New hires don’t want to be singled out. A majority of employees surveyed (38%) report they feel most welcome during onboarding when included in a group of other new hires. Additionally, new hires prefer intro meetings and interactive onboarding groups (31%) more than happy hours with colleagues. This is important for businesses to consider, especially when over half (52%) of employees state they spend up to 5 hours being onboarded at their new job.

In order to retain your talent longer be sure to keep these three insights in mind when onboarding new hires.


What Training Skills Do Your Managers Need?

 
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Managers are often expected to have some role in the training and development of their employees. After all, it’s the manager who oversees the work of his or her staff members. In addition, as the person responsible for the team’s performance, managers have a strong incentive to mold the performance of the individuals who compose that team. Unfortunately, managers aren’t necessarily the best trainers. Oftentimes, they are put in a management role because of their technical aptitude, charisma, or ability to lead. If companies want their managers to also be able to train staff effectively, they need to make sure their managers have the requisite skills. Let’s look at the critical skills necessary to position managers as effective trainers.

Communication

This may sound obvious, but communication is a more complex skill than many people appreciate. Effective communication is the ability to convey information—and the significance of that information—from one person or group to another. It’s more than just telling someone that “we always send a thank-you to sales prospects after we’ve given them a demo.” It means conveying the significance of that activity and explaining how and why it fits in with the company’s broader mission.

Identifying Learning Styles

Not everyone learns the same way. There are numerous learning styles, with some people learning more effectively by listening, some by doing, some by individual study, etc. To be effective at training staff members, a manager needs to understand these different styles and to adapt messages if some team members don’t seem to be picking up on the message the first time around.

Passion

Passion might not necessarily sound like a skill, but it is. Passion, in the sense we’re using it, doesn’t necessarily mean genuine passion in every aspect of every bit of information being presented. It means the ability to convey a sense of passion to those being trained. A manager who comes across as apathetic or who is simply going through the motions when training staff isn’t going to encourage a high level of retention and commitment from his or her employees. Not all managers are natural teachers and trainers, and they don’t need to be experts. But they should, at least, be somewhat well-versed in the three key skills mentioned above that can help them be more effective at assisting in the training and development of their staff.


How to Avoid Misclassifying Unpaid Interns This Summer — and All Year Long

 
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The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) revised test for determining whether interns are employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) just turned one, and the summer hiring season is fast approaching. Misclassification can be costly for employers. Let’s make sure you understand and are correctly applying the DOL’s revised test for unpaid internships.

DOL Identifies 7 Factors for Determining ‘Primary Beneficiary’

A year ago, the DOL announced a new primary beneficiary test for determining whether interns are employees under the FLSA. The Act requires for-profit employers to pay employees for their work. Under the Act, “employ” means to “suffer or permit to work.” Based on that vague definition, interns and students may qualify as employees to whom compensation must be paid.

Under the primary beneficiary test, the DOL uses seven factors to determine whether the employer or the intern is the primary beneficiary of the relationship. The test is intended to be flexible and dependent on the unique circumstances of each case, and no single factor is determinative. In its statement announcing the adoption of the primary beneficiary test, the DOL noted the change would “eliminate unnecessary confusion among the regulated community” and give the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) “increased flexibility to holistically analyze internships on a case-by-case basis.”

The Primary Beneficiary Test Includes an Examination Of:

  • The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand there is no expectation of compensation (any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests the intern is an employee—and vice versa);

  • The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to training provided in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training offered by educational institutions;

  • The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal educational program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit;

  • The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar;

  • The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which it provides the intern with beneficial learning;

  • The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern; and

  • The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at its conclusion.

If the intern is found to be the primary beneficiary of the parties’ relationship, he wouldn’t be considered an employee under the FLSA, and he would therefore be exempt from the Act’s payment requirements for employees.

What This Means for You

The DOL has increasingly scrutinized internships and cracked down on the misclassification of workers and interns. As a result, you should take steps to ensure your interns meet the primary beneficiary test. Evaluate each internship on a case-by-case basis, and carefully consider the structure of your internship program and the program run by the schools with which you affiliate, as well as any compensation you offer and your method of payment. Merely labeling a summer position an “internship” doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay the intern—compensability depends on whether the intern receives the primary benefit of your arrangement with him.

Additionally, you must take care that all written communications and materials related to your internship program are carefully worded to avoid any inference of an employment relationship. Double-check the wording on your webpages and downloadable information and any mailers, marketing materials, internship agreements, and other relevant documentation that you provide to interns and their schools.