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September 30, 2009

Pack The Bags Honey, We’re Heading To Lincoln, Nebraska

Filed under: General HR Buzz,Hiring & Jobs6:54 am

Lincoln, NE and Flint, MI have an interesting connection: They are the two cities in the United States with the greatest difference between the number of employers expecting to add workers in the next quarter and how many expect to let them go.  That’s very good news in Lincoln, and very bad news in Flint.

In Lincoln, over 20% of employers plan to hire soon, and only 4% plan to layoff–a net difference of 17 percentage points.  In Flint, where the economy has had an exaggerated impact on unemployment, pretty much the opposite is true – 26% of employers are planning cuts to payroll and 9% are expecting to hire.

Manpower surveyed 28,000 employers across the nation’s 201 metropolitan statistical areas, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. It measured what percentage expect to be hiring in the next quarter, between October and December of this year, what percentage expect to be firing, and then tallied the difference as “net employment outlook.”

Read the full article here.



September 29, 2009

OMG! Textual Harassment Landing Employers in Court

Filed under: General HR Buzz7:17 pm

Inappropriate text messaging in the workplace, AKA textual harassment, is quickly launching a new generation of complaints and allegations of sexual misconduct at the office.

Perhaps textual harassment is becoming a workplace problem because texting is seen as a more secretive, less confronting way to send sexual proposals or comments to one another. However, more than a few cases of quid pro quo and hostile environment sexual harassment via text messaging have already made their way into the courts.  And the “he said, she said” defense is being eradicated by plaintiffs’ text archives.

Whether through email, spoken word, unspoken innuendo or now text message, sexual harassment is illegal and should not be tolerated in any form.  Employers must be diligent in their enforcement of harassment and discrimination policies and should regularly communicate such policy information to employees and supervisors.



September 25, 2009

HR Fact Friday (pt II): Flu Outbreak Could Give Momentum to Paid-Sick-Days Bill

An outline posted at recommends that employers ‘establish policies for employee compensation and sick-leave absences unique to a pandemic.’ Preparations for an outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus this fall could give momentum to legislation that would require employers to provide paid sick days.

Even with the government urging companies to keep sick workers at home, the measure faces significant legislative obstacles. But advocates are using the flu scare to promote the bill. Titled the Healthy Families Act, it would enable workers to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work up to a total of 56 hours, or seven days.

Providing days off is exactly what the government is asking companies to do if their employees catch the flu. An outline posted at recommends that employers “establish policies for employee compensation and sick-leave absences unique to a pandemic.”

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, “Regardless of the size of the business or the function or services that you provide, all employers should plan now to allow and encourage sick workers to stay home without fear of losing their jobs.”

Advocates of paid sick leave couldn’t have written it better themselves.  Supporters also are making the case on Capitol Hill that the workers least likely to have paid sick days are those in the food service, child care and health care sectors. Opponents of the paid-sick-leave bill acknowledge that the public health argument can be compelling. But they point to the economy as a reason not to move forward with the bill, which they say would place a mandate on companies trying to cope with the recession.

The legislative calendar is another impediment. Health care and energy reform as well as appropriations bills presumably would all come before paid sick days. The measure has had a hearing in the House.

But action in the Senate may be further delayed by a change in leadership at the Health Education Pensions and Labor Committee, where Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has taken over from Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, who died in August. Kennedy was the Senate champion of the paid-sick-days bill.

As a practical matter, even if the measure were approved this fall, it would likely take months for the Department of Labor to issue regulations to implement the law.

Source:, Mark Schoeff Jr.


HR Fact Friday (pt I): H1N1 (Swine Flu) Vaccine Expected to Be Available in October

Filed under: General HR Buzz — Tags: , , , , 6:49 am

The Food and Drug Administration has approved 4 vaccines against the H1N1 flu virus (formerly known as swine flu) for 2009. The FDA expects the vaccines to be distributed nationally in October. Based on preliminary data from adults participating in clinical studies, the 2009 H1N1 vaccines induce a robust immune response in most healthy adults 8 to 10 days after a single dose, as occurs with the seasonal influenza vaccine.

As with the seasonal influenza vaccines, the 2009 H1N1 vaccines are being produced in formulations that contain thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative, and in formulations that do not contain thimerosal.  The FDA said that people with severe or life-threatening allergies to chicken eggs, or to any other substance in the vaccine, shouldn’t be vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that H1N1 vaccination efforts focus on 5 key groups of people:

  • Pregnant women,
  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age,
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel,
  • Individuals between the ages of 6 months through 24 years of age, and
  • People from ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for novel H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

The agency said that the following groups should receive the vaccine before others if the vaccine is initially available in extremely limited quantities:

  • Pregnant women,
  • People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age,
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact,
  • Children 6 months through 4 years of age, and
  • Children 5 through 18 years of age who have chronic medical conditions.

The CDC said that once the demand for vaccine for the prioritized groups has been met at the local level, programs and providers should begin vaccinating everyone from ages 25 through 64 years.  Health officials are recommending that the H1N1 vaccine be used alongside the seasonal flu vaccine.



September 18, 2009

Incentive Pro Product Launch on Schedule

Filed under: HRN News8:29 am

HRN Management Group is on schedule for the October 20th, 2009 release of Incentive Pro.  Incentive Pro, developed by HRN compensation experts, is an online incentive compensation planning and administration solution.

With economic pressures on company bottom line performance, and high profile media barrages lambasting excesses and lack of accountability in executive pay, many companies are holding or even reducing executive base pay and increasing ‘at risk’ performance-based incentive pay components. Incentive Pro defines, establishes and measures individual and group performance against pre-determined achievement thresholds. A balanced scorecard approach is utilized to apply weightings to each objective. Overall achievements based on results vs. expectations are collectively measured and reported. Incentive pay amounts are then determined and supported by documentation.

Incentive Pro supports incentive pay programs by definitively documenting achievements and their affect on bottom line company performance. Incentive pay is directly aligned to return on investment (ROI) and supported by quantifiable data.

To find out more information and to schedule a demonstration of Incentive Pro please contact our office at 800-940-7522 or e-mail HRN at


HR Fact Friday: More Cuts to Payrolls for End of 2009

Filed under: Hiring & Jobs — Tags: , , , , 7:40 am

Okay, I really am trying to find good HR news to feature in my weekly HR Fact Friday posting. Sadly, it’s just not happening. Even with the statement earlier this week by a top U.S. government official that the recession is “probably” over I just can’t take the glass half full viewpoint. And I am in marketing. That’s my job! I am generally an optimistic person but when it comes to the economy, the only statistic that means anything to the millions of laid off workers across the country is the number of new jobs being added to payrolls. The recession will “probably” be over when hiring for new jobs exceeds layoffs. Projections are that that tipping point will not happen for quite some time. Case in point . . .

There are more employers who expect a decrease in their payrolls over the next 3 months than there are employers who expect an increase, according to a survey of 28,000 employers by Manpower, Inc.

While 12 percent of respondents said they expected to increase staff from October through December, 14 percent of employers said they expected to decrease payrolls. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they expected no changes to their payrolls.

“The hiring intentions of U.S. companies continue to be sluggish,” said Jeff Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower. “While there are areas within the U.S. which are showing an uptick, we have yet to see the robust hiring intentions that would indicate a full labor market recovery.”

After seasonal adjustment, Manpower’s Net Employment Outlook for the fourth quarter of 2009 is -3%, the weakest in the history of the survey, which began in 1962.

Source: Sept. 10, 2009


September 16, 2009

The Tale of the Typos

Filed under: General HR Buzz — Tags: , , 1:55 pm

If you do much hiring you’ve undoubtedly had the pleasure of spending hours and hours working your way through stacks of resumes.   You also probably have your own “internal resume grading standard.”    How many typos, spelling mistakes, formatting problems or grammatical errors will you tolerate before “filing” a resume in the trash? One? Three? Five?      Well you’re probably not surprised to learn that someone has actually conducted a survey on the subject.

According to a study by Account temps, a large staffing firm, 40% of executives said it would take only 1 typo to relegate a resume to recycling and 76% indicated that just 1 or 2 typos would take someone out of contention .  Some real life examples of less than stellar resumes/cover letters included the following:

  • “I am a rabid typist.
  • ”Dear Sir or Madman.”
  • “Goog at computer work.”
  • “Dealing with customers conflicts that arouse.”
  • “Following is a grief overview of my skills.”
  • “Reason for leaving last job:   Fried.”
  • “Have a keen eye for derail.”

See for more examples.


September 14, 2009

The Lady in Red. A Different Kind of Color Discrimination?

Filed under: General HR Buzz — Tags: , 2:00 pm

According to USA Today, union representatives for Delta flight attendants have complained that the airline only offers their red dress uniform up to size 18.   Those requiring a larger size (up to size 28) are limited to the navy dress.

Has color discrimination taken on a whole new meaning??? Apparently there are also complaints over the reported fact that flight attendants who wear orthopedic shoes (whatever that means) are required to wear pants rather than a dress or skirt.
Additionally, those desiring to wear those comfortable orthopedic shoes must also get a doctor’s note.


September 11, 2009

HR Fact Friday: Most U.S. Workers Say No to Management Jobs

Filed under: General HR Buzz6:00 am

Most U.S. workers do not want to become managers and they cite increased stress as the most common reason, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

Handling disgruntled employees, increased paperwork and having to terminate or lay off employees were the other top reasons workers shy away from management jobs, according to the survey conducted for Randstad, an employment services company.

Overall, 51% of people questioned said they did not want to become managers, the survey showed.

The oldest workers, those over age 64, were least likely to be interested in management, at 68%.

The youngest workers, ages 18 to 29, were most open to becoming managers, with just 42% saying no to the idea.

Among those who did want to become managers, their top reason was being able to share knowledge with others, followed by being responsible for the success of an organization and being able to influence decisions, it said.

The survey was conducted online from March 23 to April 15 among 2,199 employees and 833 managers for Randstad by Harris Interactive. The overall results had a sampling error of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points. 

Source: Reuters Life!, Tue Sep 1, 2009, Ellen Wulfhorst; edited by Todd Eastham


September 9, 2009

HRN Compnews – Salary Budgets for 2010

Filed under: Compensation,Salaries & Pay3:30 pm

Salary Budgets for 2010

A quarterly publication from HRN Management Group

Salary budgets for 2010 are projected at 2.8% to 3.0% (all industries) according to the 2009-2010 World at Work Salary Budget Survey. Data from this survey was collected from 2,743 U.S. organizations.  Similar conclusions were reached from The Institute of Management and Administration (IOMA) Report and William M. Mercer’s 2009/2010 U.S. Compensation Planning Report with over 1100 organizations contributing data.

2009 has not been a typical year for salary increases or budgets. Due to the economic changes which have occurred salary budgets ranged 0.2 % to 1.4% lower than those originally predicted (depending on industry). Overall 2009 average salary budgets dropped to 3.2% from the 3.8% predicted last fall.


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