10 Tips for Hiring Minors This Summer


It’s that time again, when employers are considering hiring minors for the summer—in camps, restaurants, resorts, swimming pools, and anywhere else business picks up in the warm weather months. There are strict laws pertaining to hiring minors.

The child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibit employers from hiring minors (individuals under the age of 18) to work at dangerous occupations, for an excessive number of hours, and at unsuitable times of the day or night. States also have child labor laws and when state and federal laws differ, the stricter law applies.

Child Labor Laws Are Strict and Detailed

There are separate rules for minors under 18, under 16, and under 14 years of age, both on the number of hours and times of the day and year they may work, as well as the types of work that they are allowed to perform. In addition, there are rules on proof of age, minors driving motor vehicles, minimum wage rates, children working in agriculture, and work under federal contracts.

Severe penalties may be imposed on employers that violate child labor laws. In addition, employers are prohibited from retaliating or otherwise discriminating against an employee who files a complaint or participates in a legal proceeding under the Act.

Do You Need to Pay Your Summer Employees — Or Are They Interns?

Springtime every year, employers begin thinking about hiring summer interns. And the question arises—do we have to pay our interns? Particularly in times when employers have decreased their hiring numbers, summer interns are an attractive option at little or no pay.

Interns cost much less than new hires and employers don’t have to provide interns with benefits. But, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) intern test is strict and hard to pass. If you don’t pass it, then your interns are actually employees and you have to pay them.

According to the DOL, if all of the following six factors are met, an employment relationship does not exist between an intern and the company that sponsors the participant. In such a case, it may be considered an unpaid internship:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment;

  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;

  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;

  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern, and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;

  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and

  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

If no employment relationship exists, the participants are not subject to the FLSA, and no intern pay is due.

10 Tips to Remember When Hiring Minors This Summer:

Here are some tips for handling your summer hires:

  1. Understand and comply with both federal and state child labor laws and occupational safety and health regulations that apply to your business. Employers must check state law and federal law and comply with the more restrictive law.

  2. Stress safety, particularly among first-line supervisors who have the greatest opportunity to influence teens and their work habits. Work with supervisors and experienced workers to develop an injury and illness prevention program. Train adolescent workers to recognize hazards and use safe work practices.

  3. Assess and eliminate hazards for adolescent workers, such as:

    1. Driving a car or truck

    2. Operating tractors or other heavy equipment

    3. Using power tools

  4. Employers are responsible for verifying the age of their minor employees. Age certificates do not give employers authority to violate any child labor laws. Employers must determine a minor’s age and set his or her job duties and work schedules accordingly and carefully. Also, employers must file the minor employee’s age certificate, keeping it for as long as the minor is employed.

  5. Unless employers are absolutely certain that they are not engaged in interstate commerce, they should assume that they are.

  6. Internships in the for-profit, private sector will most often be viewed as employment by the federal DOL, unless the test described above is met. Interns who qualify as employees rather than trainees typically must be paid at least the minimum wage and overtime compensation for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

  7. Remember, the federal child labor laws limit the hours and the times of day that minors age 14 and 15 may work. Minors 14 and 15 years of age may be employed outside school hours in a variety of nonmanufacturing and nonhazardous jobs for limited periods of time and under specified conditions. Minors aged 16 and 17 may be employed for unlimited hours in any occupation other than those declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

  8. Child labor regulations limit the hours and the times of day that minors age 14 and 15 may work to:

    • Outside school hours;

    • No more than 3 hours on a school day, including Fridays;

    • No more than 8 hours on a nonschool day;

    • No more than 18 hours during a week when school is in session;

    • No more than 40 hours during a week when school is not in session;

    • Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.—except between June 1 and Labor day when the evening hour is extended to 9 p.m.

  9. Children under age 14 may not be employed in nonagricultural occupations covered by the FLSA. Permissible employment for such children is limited to work that is exempt from the FLSA, such as delivering newspapers to the consumer and acting. Children may also perform work not covered by the FLSA such as completing minor chores around private homes or casual baby-sitting.

  10. Minors age 15 may work as lifeguards at traditional swimming pools and water amusement parks when such youth have been trained and certified by the American Red Cross, or a similar certifying organization, in aquatics and water safety. The federal child labor provisions require that a 15-year-old must acquire additional certification if he or she is to be employed as a swim instructor.

5 Tips for Writing More Detailed, Effective Job Descriptions for Your Business


Writing a good job description can be a challenging process. It requires a deliberate balance between providing enough detail to draw in great candidates without using so much that people aren’t engaged or interested. Is your business writing job descriptions that are as good as they could be? If not, it could be missing out on attracting high quality applicants to fill open positions and provide real value.

If you’re interested in improving your business’s job descriptions, doing so could be as simple as making a few small changes to your writing style to better define your available jobs and attract higher quality applicants.

From identifying the most important skills to reading listings from your competitors to learn more about what’s already working, read on to discover five tips for writing more detailed, effective job descriptions for your business.

1. Define the key skills the job requires. 

What are the key skills and competencies that prospective employees need to have to fill your available position? Your job listing needs to clearly communicate any and all essential skills in order to avoid attracting unsuitable candidates.

Start your job description writing process by noting the four or five most important competencies for prospective hires. Then, when you’re writing the listing, use these as key points in each section of your copy.

You can list essential skills and competencies in bullet point form, or include them in your job description. The key point is to make sure they’re included, as they play an important role in defining the type of candidate you’re searching for.

2. Outline duties and responsibilities. 

What duties and responsibilities does the role require? What will the future worker be responsible for? What are the key points of the job that will require the most time and attention?

As well as outlining the key skills the job requires, it’s important that you outline the duties and responsibilities that the person you eventually hire will need to deal with as part of the position.

Just like with the key skills and competencies the job requires, you can list duties as bullet points or provide a longer description of the work involved in the role, giving prospective applicants more information on the position.

3. Be fun, but use familiar terminology. 

Job listings often tend towards the extremes: they’re either extremely bland, written using dense corporate language and buzzwords, or so casual and lighthearted that it can be hard to tell exactly what type of job they’re describing.

The best job listings strike a balance between the two extremes. They’re easy for the prospective applicant to read and understand, but heavy enough on the details that it’s immediately clear what the job entails and what skills are required.

From using too many buzzwords to avoiding the essential details of the job, it’s vital that you choose language that doesn’t affect your listing’s usefulness. Stick to simple, familiar terminology that your target audience of applicants can easily understand.

4. Talk about the relationships involved. 

What relationships are involved in the position? Every job requires working with other people, and it’s important that prospective applicants understand who they will be working with as part of your business.

As part of your job description, list the people that the prospective applicant will report to – for example, a manager or executive – as well as the people that they’ll spend most of their time with as part of their job.

This is important because it helps people understand how they will fit in as part of your business. Listing important relationships also defines the job and attracts an audience of people who already have experience in similar positions.

5. Make sure you’re being realistic. 

Are you asking for too much? Many job descriptions include long lists of required skills that, while fantastic when available, just aren’t possessed by the majority of job seekers.

One simple way to ensure you aren’t being unrealistic in your job description is to look at listings from competitors. Are your competitors demanding in their lists of skills and competencies, or are their listings more concise?

It’s important to define who and what you’re looking for. At the same time, however, being too selective about the skills your job requires could result in you attracting a far small audience of applicants and struggling to find a good candidate.

4 Simple Ways to Make Your Company's Hiring Processes More Efficient


Is your business struggling to hire and retain great people? Hiring talented people to join your business can be a time-consuming process that can have a significant effect on your business’s ability to achieve its goals and objectives. Luckily, it’s surprisingly easy to make your hiring process more efficient, giving your business more time to focus on growth. Small but valuable optimizations to the way your business attracts and hires new people can have a significant positive effect.

Would you like to make your business’s hiring process more efficient and save time finding great people? Apply the four simple tactics below to optimize your hiring process and create a more efficient business.

1. Use an external HR/recruiting consultant. 

Many companies carry out their recruiting work internally in an effort to reduce the cost of hiring new people. Keeping your hiring process internal can save money, but it can also cost your business a significant amount of time.

This time is often better spent focusing on growth and business development. With an external HR/recruiting consultant, your business can focus on achieving its goals while someone else manages its hiring process.

Working with a third party recruiter or HR consultant not only gives your business more time to focus on achieving its goals; it also lets your business benefit from the recruiter’s experience and connections within your industry.

2. Clearly define the available job position. 

What position are you hiring for? It may seem simple, but many employers forget to clearly define the position they’re trying to fill, resulting in a flood of applicants that just don’t fit your business’s needs.

The more specific you can be in your job listing and description, the higher the total quality of applicants you’ll attract. Being specific filters out people that don’t suit the job while making the opportunity more attractive for high quality applicants.

Instead of preparing a short job description that doesn’t adequately explain the type of employee you’d like to hire, offer a greater amount of detail so that you attract the best applicants to your business.

3. Test candidates as thoroughly as possible. 

Although testing candidates slows down the hiring process, it can save you a great deal of time – and money – that would otherwise be spent hiring someone that may not be a good fit for your business.

It’s far better to screen out bad applicants early through a thorough hiring process than to end up with employees that aren’t good matches for your business. Because of this, it’s important that you test prospective candidates quite thoroughly.

From technical tests to interviews, reference checks and more, take your time and ensure you’re hiring the very best. An extra day of research during hiring can save your business a significant amount of time and money on the whole.

4. Once you’ve hired, create systems for the future. 

The key to running an efficient business or organization is turning one-off processes into repeatable systems. The more you can systematize the hiring process, the more efficient it will become when you need to hire other employees in the future.

Treat your first major hiring process as a learning experience – an experience that your business can use to build repeatable systems in the future. Take note and look at the aspects of the hiring process that challenged you the most at this point.

Once you’ve completed the hiring process for one employee, turn the process into a step-by-step system that can be repeated in the future. This will result in your next hire taking significant less time, as well as potentially costing far less.

Finding Reliable People: 5 Ways to Make Sure Job Applicants are Reliable Choices


From small businesses to large companies, every business – or every organization – is only as good as its employees.

When your business is built around reliable, highly skilled and professional people, progress and results come easily. You can’t grow any business by yourself, and it’s essential that your team represents your business’s values and goals.

Are you searching for reliable people to add to your team? Recruiting people that aren’t just skilled and talented, but also extremely reliable, is one of the toughest aspects of growing your business.

Luckily, it’s possible to screen your applicants for reliability throughout the hiring process, from receiving their resume and cover letter to interviewing them for the position.

Read on to discover five ways to ensure your job applicants are reliable, talented people that will add real value to your business.

1. Look for a history of great performance. 

Do you know the saying “the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior?”

The most effective way to narrow down your hiring pool to highly reliable people is to look for applicants with a great past. From a reliability perspective, this makes it important to look for people that have a history of consistent, high quality work.

Have you received job applications from people that exceled in their past jobs? Do any of your applicants have stellar references and recommendations? People can and do change over time, but top-performers often work very consistently.

If you’ve noticed outstanding resumes in your list of applicants, prioritize them, as an excellent job history is often an indicator that someone will perform well in their position within your business.

2. Make sure they’re a good match for your company. 

Company culture is one of the most important yet frequently ignored aspects of the hiring process. A candidate with a fantastic background that doesn’t match up with your company culture may not necessarily be a good fit.

The reason is simple: people typically perform at their best in an environment that they feel comfortable in. Someone accustomed to a slow, relaxed work environment may not excel in a fast-paced, high-stress, results-focused work environment.

Don’t just screen applicants for competence and reliability – also screen them for a culture match. If an applicant has a great resume but seems out of place within your business, they may not ever feel comfortable enough to perform at their best.

3. Avoid people that jump from one job to the next. 

Highly talented people often don’t spend much time at each job before moving on to the next. No matter how talented someone may seem, it’s best to avoid hiring serial “job hoppers” to work within your business.

Although applicants with a long history of short periods at different jobs may have great skill sets, their history shows that they could jump on to the next job as soon as a better opportunity reveals itself.

If you’re interested in hiring someone with a history of moving from job to job at a rapid speed, it’s important to be aware that you may need to deal with them moving on to another employer in the near future.

4. Value positivity – it adds value to your business. 

Some people are highly talented, professional and dedicated, but have a negative or pessimistic attitude that wears on their coworkers. It’s often far better to hire highly positive people than to choose a more talented person with a negative attitude.

Many businesses thrive on energy, and a candidate with limited energy and a low-motivation mindset – no matter how talented and effective – can have a negative effect on the performance of your entire team.

This is ultimately part of hiring people that match your company’s culture. As well as being a good fit for your work environment, it’s important that the people your business hires are a match for its attitude, outlook and energy level.

5. Write your job description to prioritize reliability. 

If reliability is essential – as it is for most important positions – you should write your job description to emphasize how important a dependable person is for your business.

Doing so will reduce the number of people that apply for your job, but it will also screen out most (but not all) applicants that view your business simply as a point that can be used to jump to a more lucrative opportunity.

Should Your Company Use Recruitment Services to Find Staff?


Is your business beginning to expand? When your company is producing more and more revenue and dealing with a greater number of customers, it’s important that you expand your workforce to deal with the additional demands of trading.

There are many ways to hire new staff. Your company can hire based on referrals from its existing employees, advertise a position and hire directly, or work with a recruitment agency to outsource the task of hiring someone.

In this guide, we’ll look at four of the biggest benefits of using the third option: a recruitment agency. Read on to learn why your company should use recruitment services when it needs to find the right people to add to its team.

You’ll attract a higher level of candidate. 

One of the biggest benefits of working with a recruitment agency is that you can access a higher standard of candidate than normal. This is because recruitment agencies often approach people already in employment with your offer.

This means that your job listing won’t just be responded to by people looking for work – it will also be advertised directly to people that are already in a high level position as a new job opportunity.

Your business benefits from access to highly qualified, capable and experienced people that otherwise may not see your job listing, expanding the pool of people that could end up working for your business.

You’ll be able to access far more people. 

As well as being able to attract higher quality candidates to your business, using a recruitment agency lets your business access a larger number of people, expanding your ability to fill a new position.

Since recruitment agencies fill hundreds of positions per year, they know exactly where to advertise your job posting, which publications to reach out to, and how your business can best maximize its audience.

The end result of this in-depth knowledge is more candidates for your business to choose from and a greater level of access to high quality employees that could help your business grow.

You’ll save time and focus on your business. 

Hiring can be an extremely demanding process, particularly if you’re attempting to fill a challenging position. It can take a huge amount of time to find the right person for the job – time that can often result in reduced business productivity.

If your business is already pushed to the limit dealing with its existing customers or clients, managing the hiring process could be a daunting task that makes it difficult for your business to deal with its existing operations.

Working with a recruiting firm, on the other hand, frees up time and allows you to focus on what you do best: running and growing your business without needing to deal with extra tasks or distractions.

You’ll benefit from expert hiring knowledge. 

If you’ve never hired before, the process of adding new people to your business can be extremely challenging. There’s their salary and benefits to consider, competitors to research and study, and the hiring market to understand and learn about.

All this can be an extremely difficult job, particularly if you’ve never hired someone for the specific position you need to fill. This makes the expert hiring knowledge of a professional recruiter all the more appealing.

When you work with a recruiting agency, you don’t just access a higher quality level of candidate – you also get higher quality help. Their in-depth knowledge can result in your business getting the high quality candidates it needs without all the stress.

How to Recruit Great People for Hard-to-Fill Positions


Does your company need to hire a talented individual for a challenging position? It can be extremely hard to fill certain roles, particularly those that require advanced qualifications or a great deal of experience.

With demand for talented people high and competition between employers equally as great, it can be hard to set your company apart from its competitors when you’re aiming to hire someone truly exceptional.

Luckily, it’s still possible to recruit great people for positions that are challenging to fill. These five tips, tactics and techniques will help your company differentiate itself from its competitors and win the attention of talented, exceptional people.

Start with a detailed, specific job posting. 

The more specific you can be in your job posting, the greater your chance of finding a top-performing employee. Talented people know what they’re good at, and they’re far more likely to respond to a clear, detailed job posting than a generic one.

Outline the exact skills and qualifications you’re looking for, from specific technical skills to the qualifications and credentials you need. Be as specific as possible in all aspects of your posting, from experience and education to qualifications.

The more detailed your posting is, the better the image of the position candidates will see when they read it. Describe your position in detail and you’ll attract great candidates with a clear idea of what you’re searching for.

Offer a competitive salary and benefits. 

It may sound obvious, but offering a competitive salary and great benefits is often the key to winning talented employees. Highly talented, skilled people know what they’re worth, and they’re unlikely to even entertain an unimpressive offer.

Study your industry so that you have a full understanding of compensation, benefits and other forms of payment for employees. The better you know your industry and its average compensation, the better you can make your offer for new hires.

It’s also important not to be shy about the benefits and salary your company has to offer its staff. Since most top-performers are already employed and changing from one employer to another, they need a serious offer to consider making the jump.

Prepare a detailed, comprehensive hiring plan. 

Does your company have a plan for hiring new people? Without a plan, it’s easy for your business to spend a large amount of time – and often a significant amount of money – attempting to hire talented people without any success.

Before you start the hiring process, prepare a detailed, comprehensive plan so that your HR department knows exactly which steps to take. List platforms you’ll use to find people, limits on salaries and benefits and other important information.

If your company is relatively small and hasn’t hired for many hard-to-fill positions before, consider working with a recruiting company. They will have an established process for filling high-competition positions that your company can benefit from.

Be prepared to negotiate – you’ll need to. 

Since in-demand people understand what they’re worth and how valuable they are to employers, it’s unlikely that your company will be able to hire a top-performer without some level of negotiation.

From salary to benefits, working hours and other important aspects of the job, you’ll need to be prepared to negotiate to ensure both parties – your company and its new employee – are treated fairly as part of your working relationship.

Again, this is an area where understanding your industry is important. If you have a full understanding of the standard conditions throughout your industry, your team will be better prepared to negotiate with any prospective employees.

Make it clear you reward top performers. 

Does your business reward people that go above and beyond their expectations? A common fear of top-performing staff is that their contributions – which often go far beyond expectations – will be missed, passed over or ignored.

No one likes being ignored after putting in extra effort, making it important for your business to clearly communicate to any prospective employees that it pays attention to people that contribute beyond par.

Make it clear, during the hiring and interview process, that your company rewards its top performers, and you’ll become a more appealing opportunity for the people interested in working for you.