Jennifer King is an HR Analyst at Software Advice, a company that reviews and compares recruiting and employee performance review software. She reports on trends, best practices and technology in human resources. The Global Human Resources Outsourcing (GHRO) team enjoys Jennifer’s insights into the recruiting industry, and so today’s post reprises elements of one of her recent blogs: Why Recruiters Use Social Networks to Screen Job Candidates.
In a 2011 Reppler survey about how recruiters use social networks to screen candidates, 91 percent of the respondents claimed they have visited a potential candidate’s profile on a social network as part of the screening process. But why? With all the tweets, status updates and comments, it’s unavoidable for any social job seeker not to be searchable in some way.
With social media, it’s possible to learn more about a job seeker than what is on his or her resume, giving recruiters and hiring managers more insight into the behaviors and personal lives of their candidates.
According to Eric Meyer, partner in the labor and employment group at Dilworth Paxson LLP, “Businesses and recruiters want to know as much as they can about a person who they may give a job offer. But the real purpose behind screening is to make sure the person you’re hiring doesn’t have any red flags that would make them a bad fit or a potential liability for the business.”
When it comes to commenting, posting photos or sharing status updates, we don’t typically update our social media profiles with recruiters in mind. Instead, we post things that are relevant to our lives, interests and personalities, giving recruiters a clearer picture of the person behind the resume.
Tips for Job Seekers
For recruiters and hiring managers who choose to look up candidates online, it’s likely that what they find will also shape their first impression of that person.
“Perception is reality in the business world,” says Amy Henderson, account executive with Technisource, part of Randstad Technologies. “The way people perceive you online, through social media—that’s what they use to make first impressions. And those first impressions are lasting impressions.”
And even with privacy restrictions set up on social networking sites like Facebook, it doesn’t mean an employer won’t take extra steps to get a look at what’s behind those privacy restrictions, even if that means bluntly asking a job candidate for his or her login information.
But by requiring login credentials for candidates’ social media profiles, employers run the risk of losing top talent due to a perceived lack of trust.
“With every one of these fatalities, the lives of a worker’s family members were shattered and forever changed. We can’t forget that fact.” – Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
Safety in the small business workplace is the focus of increasing attention from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), so the Global Human Resources Outsourcing (GHRO) team thought we’d review some of the key issues.
In the Department of Labor (DOL) 2012 regulatory agenda released in January 2012, OSHA listed action items on Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (I2P2), confined spaces in construction, crystalline silica exposure limits, and walking work surfaces, among other issues.
According to its agenda, OSHA is planning to move forward with its proposed rule on I2P2 by conducting a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act Small Business Advocacy Review Panel.
The process was initiated on Jan. 6, 2012, when OSHA notified the Small Business Administration (SBA) of its intention to convene a panel in order to gather more information from small businesses on the impact of the proposed rule.
Although no proposal has been made available to stakeholders, it is believed that under the I2P2 rule, employers will be required to implement internal safety programs that “find and fix” workplace hazards on a rolling basis.
The focus will be on small businesses, including businesses with as few as 20 people. Inspector visits will deal not only with workplace safety matters, but also labor laws and reviewing whether the workers are contractors or employees.
What types of companies fall under OSHA and Department of Labor (DOL) regulations?
All companies with even one employee must conform to certain OSHA and DOL regulations. Once you have five or more employees, you must set up committees mandated by the law.
How can I tell which state and federal regulations apply to my company? And what happens if I’m out of compliance with some obscure regulation?
A professional organization like GHRO can conduct a compliance audit of your business to make sure you are meeting state and federal regulations. If you aren’t, we’ll help you comply. For example, we have procedures, forms and reports you can begin using immediately.
I have a troublesome employee. Under what circumstances can I dock his pay?
You can never dock an employee’s pay. There are fair, legal and successful alternatives to end the trouble.
A recently hired employee hurt herself at work and right now she can’t do the job she was hired for. Do I have to take her back?
Under most circumstances, you’re responsible for finding some tasks that can be accomplished by an injured employee during the recuperation period. You need to identify appropriate tasks. And you need to set up appropriate procedures before the next injury occurs.
What are the chances that the Department of Labor or OSHA will ever visit my company?
There are millions of small businesses in the U.S., but you can face fines even without a DOL or OSHA visit. For example, a common citation issued by the DOL is failure to file a Safety Summary Form. (If you haven’t filed yet, you should file immediately to show good faith.) Similarly, any claim by a disgruntled employee may involve OSHA and the DOL.
The economy is a constant topic of discussion and any growth is considered a good sign. Recently, statistics have shown a spike in small business employment.
Small Businesses See Growth in September
Intuit Inc., a Mountain View, California-based company, reported that small-business employment grew 0.14 percent in September which meant a 1.6 percent annual growth rate. 27,000 news jobs were created nationwide in September, which is great news for those looking for employment from a small company; opportunity is there and employees have room to grow with a small business.
Positive Economic Outlook
While small-business jobs increased at a slow, but steady pace, monthly pay for small-business employees did not see an increase in September; there was a decrease in average monthly pay by $4. Thankfully, losing $4 per paycheck is a minimal loss when compared to the pay lost by having hours cut back or losing a job altogether.
Small-business are an ideal workplace for some job seekers. You have the advantage of working with a small, close knit team and the opportunity for promotion and added responsibility as the company expands. Employees are typically happier because of the potential for growth, friendly atmosphere, and lack of corporate red tape.
Even in an economy that is struggling to get back on its feet, small businesses provide a financial opportunity for job seekers. Employment is increasing at a steady pace and employees will have a chance to stretch themselves and see what’s they’re made of.
It’s usually very clear why a company would invest in hiring an excellent law or accounting firm to represent their interests. These two industries offer services that save their clients countless amounts of money annually. Business owners easily see the intrinsic value of investing in these firms, yet often have a hard time seeing the benefits of investing in their company’s human resources.
Recruitment Services: Attract Better Talent
It is necessary for a firm to identify the skill set that they are seeking in a potential employee in order to target their search appropriately. An empowered Human Resources team is able to clearly identify their firm’s hiring needs and is less limited in the tools available when seeking out the best ways to fill those positions. In the long run, better hiring practices will bring better employees.
Employee/Labor Relations: Minimize Employee Turnover
Maintaining high levels of job satisfaction amongst staff is the key to keeping long-term employees, especially in this tumultuous economy. By investing in Human Resources, companies are able to stay on the leading edge of benefits; employees can trust that their employer cares about their health and happiness, adding to their overall opinion of their workplace.
Human Resources Management: Increase Productivity
By identifying and targeting productivity goals, firms are able to set realistic expectations for growth and monitor progress over time. Additionally, maintaining long-term staff allows for growth and development within a position, allowing employees to bring more beneficial skill sets to the table and positively impact their work environment.
By putting these ideas into practice with Human Resources Outsourcing, companies are able to focus directly on the task at hand and become more productive and thus, more profitable. What would your company be capable of accomplishing if you streamlined your operations through HR Outsourcing?
It is not Wall Street, the large multi-national corporations or even the vast banking institutions that are the driving force behind the American economy. Small businesses remain the dominating factor that figure into the continuing success of the U.S. Economy. Small businesses with less than 500 employees support more than half of the private sector American workforce. By hiring a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) to help stay profitable in turbulent financial times, small businesses are able to reduce their operating costs, raise the efficiency of their management and stay competitive in the marketplace, thus keeping them playing a successful role in U.S. economy.
Small businesses do the following:
- Employ over half of America’s private sector workforce.
- Are responsible for hiring at least 40 percent of workers in the technological fields such as science, engineering and computer programming.
- Include over 50 percent of home-based businesses.
- Make up nearly all of the firms dedicated to employment.
- Generate the majority of new inventions and innovative breakthroughs in science and technology.
Despite the fact that banks and other lending institutions are currently creating more barriers than providing assistance to small businesses relying on loans to establish credit lines for commercial mortgages, vehicles, equipment and leases; as well as the fact that government regulations are making it increasingly difficult and more expensive per employee to stay in compliance, it has never been more crucial for small businesses to survive in the down economy.
Your PEO to the Rescue
For the reasons above, Professional Employer Organizations are coming to the aid of small business and providing hope for the future to many small business owners.
- Establish an employer relationship by contractually assuming many employer risks by becoming the employer of record for government compliance, safety and worker’s compensation and employee/labor relations.
- Incorporate optional health benefits, 401k administration, general liability coverage, background checks, recruitment services and payroll services.
- Provide relief from the burden of HR management, employee benefits, employee leasing and HR audits.
- Improve employment practices, compliance and risk management in order to reduce a business’s liabilities.
- Allow access to a comprehensive administrative service, employee benefits and HR Consulting.
Smaller companies affected by the present economic climate face more challenges than their larger counterparts. Studies have found that small business suffer more in a bad economy and show lower overall sales than the bigger and more widely recognized companies who rely on their brand name to get them through the tough times.
The fact that lenders have also tightened their purse strings where small businesses are concerned does nothing to help matters. So if it’s sink or swim, how does a small business stay afloat?
The answer to this question is to apply some sound business strategies that entrepreneurs have used during eras of great prosperity as well as throughout the leaner years.
Sound Business Strategies for Small Businesses:
Market like a pro
By taking advantage of mainstream media, which today includes popular communication platforms such as the Internet, mobile marketing and social media, small business can compete with larger brands.
Manage your time and money effectively
By hiring a Professional Employer Organization small businesses are able to cut cost as well as free up their time to focus on the productivity and expansion of their core business.
Keep a staff of well qualified employees
By utilizing a PEO to recruit and manage a sufficiently skilled work force small business can compete in today’s highly technical and quickly evolving marketplace.
By reducing waste, multi-tasking and raising efficiency small businesses can step up productivity while slashing their overhead down to a fraction of previous operating costs.
By researching trends and focusing on what the marketplace will be responding to in the near future companies can get in on the ground floor and stake their claim to innovative new products and services.
By producing and delivering the best products and services possible a small business will build their brand as well as develop something there is still no substitute for; a reputation for excellence.
Turning things around for small businesses and making them more competitive in a difficult marketplace is what outsourcing HR services is all about. Hiring a PEO will provide a small business with the ability to implement the sound strategies that have been the cornerstones of success for many savvy entrepreneurs during both good and bad economic times.
PEO Services Include:
• Benefits Outsourcing
• Employee benefits
• Employee/Labor Relations
• Employee Leasing
• Government Compliance
• HR Audits
• HR Consulting
• HR Management
• HR Outsourcing
• Payroll Services
• Recruitment Services
• Safety and Worker’s Compensation
Saving a small business that is in trouble is not an easy endeavor. However, with the help of a team of experienced professionals most small businesses can find success even in an ailing economy.
Small businesses need to continue to grow in order to for the middle class to flourish and remain a stabilizing economic force. It is often said the middle class is the backbone of the American economy. This is certainly true when considering the combined contributions small businesses have made to their communities as well as to the nation’s economy as a whole.
Large corporations are considered too big to fail and the damage brought about by their demise is a topic widely debated. However, the impact of loosing a good portion of the small businesses responsible for significantly raising the standard of living and being one of the most effective driving forces of the affluence enjoyed throughout the 1980s and well into the 2000s is grossly underestimated.
Small business is vital to keep the opportunities open for hard working individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit to positively contribute to the economy.
It is not only important for banks to keep loaning money and ensuring that small businesses have the capitol they need to expand and help nourish the sickly economy back to health, but also for small business owners to take advantage of all the resources that are available to them.
These resources include human resources outsourcing to cut costs, stay competitive and have access to a more skilled and reliable work force.
Small businesses are critical to economic recovery. Over the past ten years small businesses were reportedly responsible for nearly 80 percent of the new jobs created annually. This is why it is so vital for them to not only be supported by our government, banks and other financial institutions, but it is also necessary for small business owners to utilize all of the tools in today’s tool shed, which includes human resources outsourcing as a valid cost cutting and time saving business solution.