What’s #HotinHRT – HR Tech Talk

4 more Strategies to Boost your People Power using Tech

The 4th industrial revolution #4IR is here and the future of work is digital. While tech gets the spotlight in #The Internet of Things people will still lead the way. People who are equipped and empowered with Artificial Intelligence #AI to make smarter business decisions. Read more

Bring Your Own Device to Work? Party Foul or Best Idea Ever?

Have you considered adopting a “Bring Your Own Device” policy at work? Think BYOB party rules except this would be giving the responsibility of purchasing smart phones and/or laptop computers for work entirely to the individual employee rather than the company paying for these work-related items. Of course, the pro’s for you as an employer include cost-savings on such devices, and simplifying the workplace technology policies by eliminating at least a couple electronic devices from the list. But what about the downside of this concept? Here are a few reasons why we would NOT suggest adopting a policy like this in your workplace.

1. Your company data is all held on someone else’s phone – which means you lose proprietary rights to most (if not all) of it. Of course, the exact details on this would need to be ironed out in litigation, but trust us, it won’t be fun or end favorably for you as the employer.
2. What happens if a device is lost or stolen? Who replaces it? The ambiguity here gets quite messy. The company’s information is on the device, but the employee is fiscally responsible for the device. So who pays when something happens in the course of doing work required by the job description?
3. How do you purchase software for the laptop? Again, who is financially responsible here if the software is required to perform the essential functions of the job?
4. Who supports the software? Do you have an IT department that is responsible for going on employees’ personal devices to perform software updates? Again, this becomes quite messy as the lines are not clearly drawn between employer responsibility and employee responsibility/privacy.
5. Although allowing the employee to choose their device (for instance, the age-old fight between iPhone addicts and Android loyalists) may seem easier, it won’t be easier to wipe their personal device clean when they leave work.

In the long-run, it’s best to have a work device for work to be done. You can allow for the employee to use the work device as their personal phone/computer as well, with the understanding that upon termination of employment, they will lose all personal data on the device. Giving the employee a little bit of freedom to use the device (within reason) at their discretion for personal tasks and affairs, is a better scenario for you as the employer than requiring the use of a personal device for work-related tasks.

Want more information on how to protect your company from these types of policy decisions? Consider an HR audit and complete review of your existing policies and procedures in order to make the best changes moving forward as we enter the last few months of 2016!

Is Your Data Secure? Workplace Worries for the Boss

As a boss, you are tasked with the not-so-fun chores of employee management, disciplinary action, reviewing what’s working and not working in your office, and implementing change even when your employees are not on board. As a boss, you are also the go-to person for complaints, concerns, and employee disputes. Guess what? We have one more thing to add to your list of workplace worries – data security and the use of cloud storage. Even if you don’t promote the use of cloud-based storage company-wide, chances are your employees are utilizing it. Why? Because it’s easy, it’s useful, and it’s efficient for sharing information across devices and locations.

But what are the risks of using cloud-based storage? Here are a few things to consider when making use of these new technologies in the workplace.

1. Last October, user names and passwords for over 7 million people were compromised on Dropbox. Utilizing services such as this does open up the company for potential leaks of vulnerable information.
2. Misappropriation of information is also a real threat in the case of utilizing cloud-based storage. Employees who are getting ready to leave the company could be taking information that they shouldn’t have access to once they are gone. Downloading information to a non-work device, printing from a home printer, or sharing files outside of the workplace has potential risks as well.
3. E-Discovery is a nightmare!! Trying to subpoena records for cloud-based systems or Google or Facebook is a huge mess for everyone involved. Nothing comes easily, and the dates of access and user access information can easily be switched or hidden from the investigation with enough internet savvy or hacking knowledge.

So what can you do to make better use of the tools at your disposal while still protecting the company? Consider using cloud-based storage but also put policies into writing that each employee must agree to, so that your company information is protected at all times. In today’s workplace, there are so many potential risk factors, and increased technological worries for bosses. The most important thing for you to do as a boss is to educate yourself on what is out there for employees to use, and protect the company’s interest while still utilizing the technology and knowledge up for grabs.

Learning to Speak Geek: Tech Recruiting Tips for Non-Geeks

Although tech recruiting isn’t something we normally do here at Peoplescape, it’s something we have a genuine interest in learning more about, and as our valued customers, clients, colleagues, and friends, we wanted to share some new insight on this growing field with you. In order to recruit in any field, you will be best served if you are knowledgeable about the field: become one with the company you are recruiting for, learn the tricks of the trade, and get a picture of the ideal candidate. But with tech recruiting, you have to go a few steps further into the world of geek. Here’s how!

Step 1: Understand technical departments. Different divisions have different goals, and as the recruiter looking to find the perfect fit for that department, you also need to understand those goals and the way the department ebbs and flows. As with most situations when you are the newcomer in a foreign land, you should make every effort to learn the language.

Step 2: Know the team and tools. Who are the major players? What are the tools at your disposal for this recruitment? Use the network and links that are already provided for you, and build on that as much as possible. Create a connection with the team so that you can act as their voice during the search.

Step 3: Match resumes to roles. When you are less than familiar with the day-to-day tasks for a certain job, you need to make sure that the job description is clear and that the resumes that you are putting forward as potential candidates match those job descriptions. Remember that cute cardboard matching game that you played as a kid? Those cardboard pieces should all match up nicely in this puzzle too!

Step 4: Ask good questions. Asking questions can be so critical in any relationship, and especially so in matching a candidate to a job. Make sure you are prepared prior to any conversations with candidates. Discuss the role with as many people in the company as you can, so that you have a full circle view of the role, the responsibilities, and the intricacies that make a department work (or not).

Step 5: Educate yourself. Still unclear on what exactly a software engineer is versus a website developer? Educate yourself! Google, follow blogs, join groups on LinkedIn. Get out there and take advantage of the resources available. And if all else fails, call a professional HR team who knows what they’re doing with any and all recruitments! @PeoplescapeHC #peoplescapehr #HRprofessionals

New Recruiting Techniques: Video Interviews are in, Cover Letters are out!

Earlier this year, Peoplescape wrote a blog on the trends coming our way for 2016. One of these trends, as discussed by leader of talent acquisition at Amazon in Seattle, Danielle Monaghan, is clearly a reality now: mobile job application capabilities. From Indeed to Monster to Snagajob, companies are definitely moving in the direction of mobile everything! Here’s another twist…video interviews. Have you done one? Does your company use video interviews? What about cover letters? Are those still in or have you done away with these entirely?

Digital video interviews are an opportunity for candidates to reflect on how they present themselves, but literally giving them a one-way view of their side of the interview using videos, computers, and smartphones to record answers to preset questions. Candidates are usually given a chance to re-record if they are not happy with the way they answer a question, giving them time to process and handle interviews, as well as think about their responses to personality and situational questions. Video interviews also cut back on the lengthy and stressful process of first interviews, allowing for one final in-person interview for qualified candidates who have already been pre-screened digitally.

Cover letters are often a template that candidates use and copy and paste for each job, maybe changing up a word here or there, or inserting the specific job title. The video interview allows for a much more personal touch, face-to-screen interaction, a “read” on the candidate’s personality, presence, and communication skills – all things a cover letter simply cannot do. And let’s be honest; most recruiters are skimming through those cover letters, looking for a key word here or there even they bother to read it at all.

Video interviews arguably leave room for a more creative and meaningful content to emerge – something that the employer is tailoring to their needs, rather than the candidate tailoring a cover letter based on their perception. Savvy recruiters and executive search professionals, such as the ones you’ll always find on our team at Peoplescape, who truly have a knowledge of HR and the way that search works best for the candidate and the company, are always on the cutting edge of recruitment tools, and looking into engaging ways to make the recruitment process better for all parties involved.

Here’s an idea for candidates looking to get a leg up on the competition in today’s mobile world – why not record a short introductory video in place of a cover letter? You might surprise the employers who are really looking for a stand out in the crowd!

Why Your Boss Should Be On Social Media

Social media rules our world; let’s face it. If you aren’t on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook or at the very least, LinkedIn, then you basically don’t exist in 2015. So why is it that many C-level executives are NOT on social media? Here’s a few ideas.   They’re afraid that anything they say or do may be used against them. Smart on one hand because that’s true, but their lack of engagement on social media also makes them seem less human to their employees and colleagues. Another reason may be that they simply don’t have the time. But, again, let’s get real. You can tweet or like a Facebook status in less than a second these days, so that excuse doesn’t really fit anymore. If a mom of 19 kids can post things on her social media, I’m pretty sure the CEO of your company has a second or two to spare as well. Another sad fact is that some CEO’s are a bit out of touch with the reality of social media in today’s world, and they believe it is not relevant to their lives. Is this actually true or is social media unavoidable no matter who you are? Here are a few tips on why we think your boss should be on social media from #yourHRConsultants about how and why the top dogs at your company can and should get in the game on social media.

1. Free advertising – Reach out to your customers via social media and you’re basically advertising your business for free. Win, win!

2. Build trust among your employees – Shout out to the hard work your IT department did last week, or give the Sales Team a pat on the back on your social media account. A little acknowledgement can go a long way!

3. As we’ve discussed here before, a personal touch to your company brand can have a big impact on your organization’s success. By putting a name, face, and Twitter account to your CEO’s reputation as a cutthroat businessman, you can also lend a little human feeling to the man’s reputation.

4. Honesty and transparency are big trust builders, so if you’re looking for company team-building and loyalty, start with creating an example of that on your own social media accounts and see how fast it moves through the masses at your organization.

Happy Posting!

Shiny New Toys: Attracting Your Next Millennial Stars

Like moths to the flame, millennials are attracted to shiny new objects. Right? Isn’t that the perception for our younger generation in today’s workplace? But shockingly, the one thing that attracts millennials to your organization more than a new cell phone, a company car or the latest in Apple technology on their desktop, is something that used to be much more prevalent. It has since fallen to the wayside as priorities seem to have shifted for many companies, and budgets become more constrained for those “extra benefits” that used to be more present.

What is it that millennials are searching for in their next company? Are you ready for it? Money! Shocked? I know I was. But more specifically than money, millennials are actually looking for repayment assistance for student loans when considering their next employer. A recent survey conducted by SHRM found that less than 1% of employers plan to offer this benefit to new hires, but it is the foremost thing on fresh grads’ minds as they struggle to pay off their student loans while starting out in a new career.

One company that has decided to jump in with both feet is Price Waterhouse Coopers (@PWCareer) where employees are offered $1200 to pay back student loans each year. For someone fresh out of college, this is a huge benefit because their actual paycheck is being spent on adult things that they may be brand new to dealing with: rent, electricity, groceries, gas, even the dreaded laundromat visits. As more employers get on board with this benefit, it may have a huge payoff for them as well, when new college grads seek out companies that will help them pay off their student loan debt. New hires may also be more inclined to be productive and stick around if their needs are being met.

Let’s be honest here, friends, a brand new cell phone or a shiny tablet probably won’t hurt either! To really make a difference, you have to get to the core of what the millennials need. And student loan repayment assistance is certainly on the top of the list!

(http://www.hrmorning.com/the-new-benefit-thatll-help-you-attract-the-best-of-millennials/)

Clicking “Like” may now be considered protected activity

We’ve all heard horror stories about an employee posting something about work on Facebook or Twitter and later being fired for it. Well, a case in Connecticut may have just given employers a bit more guidance on what is protected activity under Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act with regard to Social Media.  In other words, can you fire an employee for what they write or what they “Like” on social sites?

Quick overview of the case:
Triple Play is a sports bar and grill operating in Connecticut and when preparing their tax returns in January 2011, a large number of employees discovered they owed money to the state. As several complaints rolled in from employees who suspected the employer had made a mistake in calculating  state tax withholdings, the owner scheduled a staff meeting with the current employees and the payroll provider.

A recently separated employee, Jaime LaFrance, took to Facebook and began the following conversation: “Maybe someone should do the owners of Triple Play a favor and buy it from them. They can’t even do the tax paperwork correctly!!! Now I OWE money…Wtf!!!!”

There were many comments that followed including a comment from a sympathetic restaurant customer and current employees. The separated employee made a remark in the conversation that was potentially defamatory by insinuating that the owner had pocketed the tax withholdings. Shortly after that comment, another current employee “liked” LaFrance’s original comment on Facebook. As a whole, the conversation was not very becoming of the employer and included foul language. One current employee commented saying “I owe too. Such an A**hole”. The owner of the restaurant learned of the conversation and reviewed it. As a result, both of the current employees were terminated for their participation in the conversation.

Ultimately the NLRB ruled that the employees were wrongfully terminated because they were participating in Protected speech – but why? The conversation was considered protected because the discussion related to terms of employment and was intended for employee’s mutual aid and benefit. The NLRB ruled that since the current employee only liked the original comment and not the potentially defamatory comment, this behavior was also protected. Furthermore, the employee that commented on the conversation was also only responding to the original statement of the conversation and her referral to the owner in foul language was merely an expression of her opinion rather than a statement of fact.

Is your head spinning yet? As an employer, I imagine it’s a bit frightening to think that Facebook activity may be considered protected, especially when it’s unbecoming to a company! Perhaps, Triple Play’s owner could have used our tips on responding to reviews on social media! You may also want to check out Littler’s full breakdown of the case and suggestions to employers!

Note: The employer filed an appeal, but in October 2015, the Second Circuit upheld the decision of the NLRB!

What Can Social Media Do For Your Selection Process

When meeting new people, whether in social settings or professional meetings or conferences, instead of asking for business cards or phone numbers, we’re seeing a new trend. “What’s your LinkedIn profile?” or “What’s your IG?” These social media avenues have become a personal stamp or signature, putting our own personal brand into the mix of celebrities, companies, and products. Of course, it makes sense then that companies would use social media to target new superstars to join their organization. But like with any new technology tool, companies must be careful with how they use social media for recruitment. It’s critical to represent your organization in the same way online as you would in a face-to-face meeting, and to be consistent with your approach. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for playing the social media recruitment game! Good luck!

Do’s

  1. Do have a presence across various avenues of social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, YouTube…the options are endless!
  2. Do make deliberate decisions – use a social media tool such as hootsuite.com to schedule posts and do your research to make sure you are posting at a time that will be effective for job seekers!
  3. Engage in conversations – use LinkedIn group forums or respond to tweets and posts in order to engage your audience. If your presence is real and known, your results will be better!
  4. Do use social media to conduct mini background checks…Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram all give a sneak peek into the candidate behind that professional resume. Social media is public information that you have access to, so use it!
  5. Be consistent – this is a good business practice in general, but definitely applies to social media recruiting. Fair, equitable, and consistent postings and interaction with your audience are key to success in utilizing social media to benefit your organization and the HR department!

Don’ts

  1. Miracles CAN happen….but don’t expect them to! Patience and diligence will pay off in the long run, even if it seems like a really long journey to get there.
  2. Don’t count solely on social media. There are (GASP!) some people who do not use social media at all, so when advertising for certain positions, analyze the best places/tools to utilize to find your target audience.
  3. Don’t make any guarantees online…again, social media is a public forum. Encourage everyone to apply equally, and follow up with qualified candidates by phone or email. Keep the process under wraps, while utilizing social media to broadcast open positions. Be smart about your postings, because EVERYONE can see them!
  4. Don’t make decisions based solely on a candidate’s profile…follow all legal obligations and EEO guidelines throughout your recruitment and selection process.

Don’t write social media off as a passing trend…from MySpace in the early 2000s to the world of Instagram today, social media is here to stay. So accept it and use it to your advantage!

Latest Trends in Telecommuting

As you can see, many of our posts revolve around social media and digital natives and technology. Why is this the case? Well, to be honest, technology is what makes the world go ‘round in the 21st century. So in order to stay present and relevant in our world, human resources professionals must adopt these strategies and skills in order to successfully provide services to our clients and ensure that our presence in the industry is known. According to the HR Daily Advisor online, business analysts predict that up to 30% of workers in industrialized countries will be telecommuting within just a few years. (http://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/current-trends-of-telecommuting/) What does this look like for your business? Do you currently offer telecommuting as an option? Why or why not?

Telecommuting does have its benefits for companies as well as employees. Here are a few:

Business Perks

  • Decreased costs in utilities and building maintenance for office
  • Money saved on increased productivity and decreased absences
  • Reduced turnover due to higher employee morale and flexibility

Employee Perks

  • Elimination of commute time
  • Flexibility
  • Higher standards of productivity to prove that telecommuting is worth it for the employer

So what are the latest trends in telecommuting? Here’s what that looks like!

1. Employees are willing to sacrifice other benefits in favor of telecommuting as an option

2. Increase in telecommuting for government employees

3. More common in various fields – i.e. science and engineering (not just human resources consulting and customer service call centers and tech geeks)

4. Many employers and employees view telecommuting as a way to benefit the environment – less fuel emission, less wear and tear on roads/highways, etc.

5. Employers that embrace telecommuting are acknowledging the value in technology – after all, technology enables telecommuting to be an option!

6. Shared workspaces in the office are becoming more common (and acceptable) as many employees are not in the office 40 hours a week as they were in a traditional workforce.

7. In less than 10 years, telecommuting has moved from an unusual perk to a common benefit offered by many employers.

“The major work of the world is not done by geniuses. It is done by ordinary people, with balance in their lives, who have learned to work in an extraordinary manner.” – Gordon B. Hinckley