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February 23, 2015

When is an Independent Contractor Not an Independent Contractor?

Filed under: General HR Buzz9:37 am

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By Joyce Marsh, SPHR, Sr. HR Consultant

Think you have a good grasp on the difference between regular employees and independent contractors? The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) seems to be cracking down even more lately when it comes to enforcing misclassifications.

The DOL recently announced numerous instances where a number of companies failed to classify their employees correctly and now owe the agency back wages and damages ranging from $109,000 to $1.3 million. To save your company from being added to this list, here are a few vital warning signs that you may have misclassified your employees:

  • You have given your contract employee paid vacation or sick leave.
  • You pay your contract employee by the hour or on a salaried basis, versus by the project.
  • The work they perform is usually paid reported on a W-2 basis.
  • The person’s business expenses have been reimbursed.
  • You’ve had the contract employee sign a non-compete agreement.
  • They only perform work for you and do so as an individual, rather than as a company.

Don’t be mistaken, the DOL is taking this seriously. They’ve hired over 2,000 investigators since 2008. Looking for misclassifications has become a routine investigation for them now.

So, take a second look at any contract employees you may have and reclassify as needed. Just make sure you make up any back pay you may owe them to be compliant.

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February 16, 2015

Internal or External Hires – Which is Best?

Filed under: General HR Buzz,Hiring & Jobs,HR Consulting3:14 am

 

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by Megan Mohr, CCP, Compensation Consultant, HR Performance Solutions

In an ideal world, HR would be able to hire the perfect mix of internal and external candidates to keep their company running smoothly and its staff happy. Unfortunately, none of us work in a perfect world! So, that leaves HR with the internal vs. external quandary for most of their hires. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for when to hire internally or externally, here are some pros and cons of both options:

Internal Hiring 

Pros

  • Increased engagement
  • Quicker onboarding
  • Less expensive
  • Better cultural fit

Cons

  • Potential for less innovation
  • Internal politics
  • Biased hiring
  • Fewer applicants
External Hiring 

Pros

  • Fresh ideas
  • Larger talent pool
  • Increased diversity
  • Avoid internal politics

Cons

  • Less cost-effective
  • Longer onboarding
  • May not fit company culture
  • Possible detriment to staff morale

These lists of pros and cons only skim the surface of the components HR considers when making the decision of internal vs. external hiring. If you look at the numbers, the majority of positions are filled with external candidates. The SHRM Human Capital Benchmarking Database shows that in 2013, 66% of positions were filled externally compared to 26% internally.

Decisions, Decisions …

Each company and each position is different and has different needs. HR will usually make its internal/external hiring decision based on whether the position requires collaboration, if the skillset is unique to the company, what the internal supply of talent actually is and any changes within the company or industry. Whichever approach your HR department decides to take, it needs to consider these factors when making a decision:

  • Thoughtful Job Descriptions
    If you find you’re using the same tired, canned job descriptions every time and getting unsatisfactory hires, it might be time to breathe new life into what’s written. Be sure the language you choose is universal and not limited to just what an internal candidate would understand. Take some time to see how the competition is handling job descriptions. Many industries are opting for more fun yet realistic job descriptions versus the old, worn out ones.
  • Beware of Biases
    No one is without bias. But in HR, you can’t let that affect any decision you make. Don’t fall for any pressure to hire from within if that’s not the best decision for the company. Take a hard look at your hiring practices to see if there’s more of an internal or external trend and then determine why it may favor one over the other.
  • Take a Good Look at What Makes You Unique
    Every company and its culture are truly unique. Take a good, objective look at what makes your organization and the positions unique. This will help the HR team better weave its new hires and the company culture into a more tightly-woven and cohesive entity.
  • Think Succession Planning
    Make sure you know the movers and shakers within your company and those that do their best to fly under the radar and take that into consideration when new positions open up. Keep upper management up-to-date on who’s moving up and who is stalled out. This lets you be proactive when it comes to succession planning.
  • Don’t Stop Onboarding

If you think that once the new hires have been shown their desk and gone through orientation that onboarding is done, think again. To the new hires, onboarding can be a long, slow process. Make sure they get to spend quality time with not only the team they’ll be working with but with upper management as well. The more employees feel like they understand and are part of the big picture, the more welcome they’ll feel and the harder they’ll work.

Let HR Performance Solutions and its HR consultants help your organization with its recruiting, hiring or onboarding process. Contact us today for more information.

 

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February 9, 2015

HR’s Influence on Culture and Innovation

Filed under: General HR Buzz4:21 am

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by Emily Sternberg, HR Consultant, HR Performance Solutions

Managers often say “if we keep doing what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always gotten.” In today’s business environment, this couldn’t be less true; managers should now state; “if we do what we’ve always done, we may go out of business.” The key to success in today’s business landscape is transformational innovation.

According to recent KPMG study, innovation isn’t brought on by investing more in research and development or better technology, but by investing in human capital and creating an innovative culture. Human resources professionals are now uniquely positioned to influence a culture of innovation. It begins with talent acquisition and performance management. HR must work directly with functional leaders to identify competencies for success in specific positions and recruit for those needs.   Performance Management is the next key role in developing a culture of innovation. Train and encourage managers to set stretch goals and hold employees accountable to them. These types of goals will help the company achieve its objectives and more importantly its competitive advantage. HR must encourage risk taking, rewarding successes while also using failures as an opportunity to learn and try again.

Most importantly, HR must recognize that culture change isn’t a task to check off a list. The role of creating a culture of innovation is ongoing, it’s about looking at industry best practices, and applying those not in the same manner that brought success to other organizations, but in a way that is a best fit for your company.

 

 

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February 2, 2015

The Love/Hate Relationship Employees Have with their Jobs

Filed under: General HR Buzz11:20 am

 

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by Joyce Marsh, SPHR, Sr. HR Consultant

It’s not unusual to complain to coworkers about your job or unload on your loved ones when you get home from work about a bad day at work. On the flip side, most of us have been known from time to time to actually gush or brag about what they do for a living and where they do it.

Have you ever wondered if the things you love or hate about your job are just you? Or do others have the same complaints or compliments? Wonder no more, Glassdoor compiled its millions of company reviews to find the top ten likes and dislikes employees mention about their jobs. Are yours on the list?

10 Biggest Employee Likes

1. Great Co-workers

2. Work Environment

3. Good Benefits

4. Interesting Work

5. Good Pay

6. Work-Life Balance

7. Flexible Work Schedule

8. Company Culture

9. Fast-Paced Environment

10. Smart People

 

10 Biggest Employee Dislikes

1. Annoying Co-workers

2. Poor Work-Life Balance

3. Poor Work Environment

4. Long hours

5. Low Pay

6. Management

7. Inflexible Work Schedule

7. Few Career Opportunities

8. Poor Company Culture

9. Few Training Opportunities

10. Little Fun

 

Common Threads

After you read through the lists you may notice some converse likes/dislikes such as Work Environment/Poor Work Environment, Flexible Work Schedule/Inflexible Work Schedule and Company Culture/Poor Company Culture. One thing we noticed was that Good Pay and Low Pay were on the lists. This is a common denominator in many companies, but if your company’s pay tends to trend on the “dislike” list, there’s something you can do about it.

HR Performance Solutions programs Compease and Performance Pro can put you on the “like” list in no time. Compease is our compensation administration and salary planning program that’s loaded with current and market-driven salary survey data to help ensure your compensation is fair and equitable. Performance Pro is our powerful and easy-to-use talent management system designed by HR experts that can reduce administration expenses by up to 67% and boost employee performance.

Click here to contact us or visit hrperformancesolutions.com to learn more.  

 

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