Top Trends in HR: Ones to Watch in 2015

Look out, world. Now that we’ve all gotten accustomed to the idea of those pesky millennials infiltrating our workplaces, we have a new crew to look out for! Generation Z is on the rise, applying for and landing internships at companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and VMWare. Generation Z is those born between 1994 and 2000, which means these companies are looking at high school students for their source of talent. Brand awareness is key for this group, so companies are best served to get their social media marketing and brand in shape when recruiting these teens and young adults to internships at their organization. For smaller companies, this means that you may have a department of just three individuals – one being a baby boomer, another a Millennial, and the third a Generation Z intern. So how do you get them to work together and be productive and efficient with vastly different working styles? Here are a few tips that employers can apply – whether you have 5 employees or 5000.

• MILLENNIALS are moving into leadership roles.
o These young men and women (roughly born between 1980 and the mid 1990s) are now taking leadership roles within the workplace. A whole new crop of workers is coming in to the picture (the Generation Z interns mentioned above), and that means millennials are moving into management positions. Employers need to know how to work with (and sometimes for) these individuals, and understand what makes them tick.
• HONESTY is now a valued concept in the workplace.
o The younger generations demand honesty and transparency – no gimmicks, just cut to the chase.
• THE SKILLS GAP continues to widen.
o As colleges continue to offer degrees in liberal arts, but hands-on job experience outweigh the value of these liberal arts degrees, the skills gap continues to grow. The educational institutions need to get on board with the reality of workplace demands, or the skills gap will continue to widen over the next several years. Although college graduates are coming into the workforce, their education does not line up with the needed skills across many industries.
• Another major trend is the continuing “JOB HOPPER” movement – those fascinating millennials may also have something to do with this growing phenomenon.
o No longer are the days of 30-40 year loyal employees. Job hopping, aka the continual job search, is evident as over 80% of employed people are currently looking for other job opportunities.
• Of course, technology and SOCIAL MEDIA RECRUITING have taken a huge rise and are allowing people to search for jobs with greater ease and availability. SOCIAL MEDIA is also being used by employers to attract talent, as many of the younger generation have technology constantly at their fingertips.
• SUCCESSION PLANNING has become a hot topic as well, as more baby boomers are hitting retirement age.
o Companies may try to retain some of these older employees for an extended time, in order to transfer their knowledge to the younger generation of employees. Succession planning and cross-training are two concepts that are often overlooked in the workplace, because they do not become an issue until an employee leaves the organization. However, it is critical for companies to have some type of succession plan or cross training implemented in order to ensure that there is not an information gap along with the growing trend of skills gaps within the workforce.
• WOMEN are joining millennials in management positions.
o Societal trends such as couples choosing not to have children, more women attending college, and delayed adulthood are all contributing to this trend. Forbes magazine estimates that of the highest succeeding companies (from a financial marker), 37% have women in a leadership role.
• One of the most recognized trends in recent years, which continues to flourish in 2015, is FLEXIBILITY for employees.
o Many employers now offer telecommute options and we’ve also seen an increase in employers hiring temporary workers and independent contractors or consultants. Millennials and Generation Z’ers are also accepting contract roles versus finding a “real job.” Long-term stability and job security are not priorities for these younger workers. Take for instance, Task Rabbit. A website that was previously used for personal assistants, errands, and small tasks is now being used by these young workers for contract positions and project work.
These non-traditional career options are partly the result of heightened technology use and awareness worldwide. Freelancing has become a much more common occurrence, and job seekers consider these options when evaluating their next role. As such, it behooves employers to seriously contemplate implementing these variables in their workplace in order to attract the younger generation of talent that is seeking this flexibility in large numbers. These trends are all indicative of the societal changes we’ve seen across the board, from technology to social media to flexibility in work and in life. It will be interesting to see what 2016 brings to us in the world of HR trends and hot topics.

References: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2014/10/29/the-top-10-workplace-trends-for-2015/2/

The Top 5 Healthcare Reform Facts You Need to KNow

Ask any recruiter or candidate looking for a job in HR, and 90% will tell you that the biggest change for 2015 and 2016 is health care reform. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA or ObamaCare, has set out with lofty goals and mandated personal health care coverage, as well as encroaching on an employer’s decision to provide health benefits to its employees. It is no longer the employer’s choice, but is instead mandated that for certain provisions to be followed. So, you may ask, what are the top five things that you need to know regarding healthcare reform, specifically as it pertains to the workplace? Here’s your cheat sheet, so get ready to take notes!

#1 – Most individuals are now required to have medical coverage – which means in many cases, employers will have to evaluate their options and offerings to employees.
#2 – Employers with 50 or more employees will face penalties as of 2016 if coverage is not offered to full-time employees, however, coverage does NOT need to extend to spouses. Also, employers with 2-99 employees are considered “small group” in the insurance industry world and are given certain considerations to follow.
#3 – Small businesses may qualify for tax credits! This is great news for our small business clients. Of course, the details vary and are specific to each client, which is why we are here to answer your questions and offer the best solutions for your company’s needs.
#4 – Employers are required to inform their employees IN WRITING of their insurance options by means of Summary Plan Descriptions. Are your handbook and SPD’s in compliance with the health care reform act?
#5 – More good news! Your company could be eligible for a medical-loss rebate. What does this mean in language that we can all understand (rather than the convoluted text of ACA and other acts like it)? Basically, insurance companies are obligated to use 80-85% of their premium dollars directly for insurance claims or healthcare improvements. If they fail to meet that target, the employer is entitled to a rebate that is then distributed amongst the employees. The potential of getting money back is always a good thing!
Healthcare reform is a hot button topic right now, and Peoplescape wants to inform our clients of the loopholes and intricate details of this act as it pertains specifically to your organization. These top five facts are helpful to all employers alike, but we’d love to give you a more personalized analysis of how ObamaCare is affecting your workplace. Remember, knowledge is power and we’re here to share ours with all of our clients.

References: washingtonnational.com, obamacarefacts.com, optimahealth.com, hhs.gov

Seeking a “Digital Native”

The phrase “digital native” is a fairly new term that is being employed by a number of companies, particularly in the media, digital, start-up and tech worlds. Doing a quick google search for “digital+native+jobs”, I found the following:

An ideal candidate is a digital native, who has a passion for learning and always uncovering new opportunities in the digital space, and who has a solid grounding in the world of digital media and technology.” – for Sr. Digital Strategist at Saatchi & Saatchi LA

The Social Media Manager is a digital native, skilled in onsite attendee engagement in a face paced environment.” – for Social Media Manager at Oracle

“Requirements: Digital native and experience with Google Docs or Microsoft Office” – for Administrative Assistant at Revzilla.com

These are just a few of the many came up. So what is a “digital native”? According to the Oxford Dictionary a digital native is “a person born or brought up during the age of digital technology and therefore familiar with computers and the Internet from an early age.” On the surface it seems like a harmless phrase to throw on to a job description, in fact, it seems likely that an employer might want someone like this for a Social Media position; however, if being a digital native is a requirement as seen in some of the posts above, are you unintentionally sending a message of age discrimination?

Would you consider someone who was born 40+ years ago (1975 or before) to be a digital native? To put this in perspective, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft on April 4, 1975. So would you classify those born in this year as having been familiar with the internet and computers from an early age? Not to say that skills and competencies can’t be learned, but by definition, the term digital native seems to point more to a specific generational group.

The EEOC has not yet had a claim of age discrimination based on this qualification, but with claims of this type on the rise, I would venture to bet it is on the horizon. Furthermore, as we’ve seen in several cases, especially in California, statements such as the ones mentioned above can have an adverse impact on one (or more) protected classes by disproportionately hiring candidates under the age of forty.

At this point in time, I would use this phrase at your own risk, but seriously consider how and in what context you are using it.

Pinpoint: Interviewing Skills and the On-Demand Workforce

Interviewing potential candidates for a new job position can be tough.  Sharpen your skills with these quick tips from our hiring experts.  Also in this month’s issue: the unique challenges and benefits of the on-demand workforce.

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Pinpoint: Managing Millennials

Everyday it seems a new article comes out highlighting the challenges and benefits of the Millennial generation in the workplace.  Find out what you need to know about spotting and managing Millennials in this issue of Pinpoint.

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Pinpoint: New 2015 Employment Laws

The new year is almost here, and with it will come a slew of new regulations that could affect your business.  Find out what you need to know in this issue of Peoplescape’s Pinpoint.

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Pinpoint: Emotional Intelligence and Job Preference Profiles

Get Peoplescape’s expert advice on gauging your employees’ Emotional Intelligence, and find out why you should be using Job Preference profiles to make sure you’ve got the right person for the job.  You’ll find all this and more in this issue of Pinpoint.

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Pinpoint: Maternity Leave, Executive Search, & More!

It’s our inaugural issue!

Check out Pinpoint for expert advice on Maternity Leave, Executive Search, Creating Positive Work Environments, and much more.

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“Tell me now, right now …and change”

How do we manage performance (i.e. give and receive feedback, set objectives and coach) inside the new conversational context?

What does the new conversational context mean in today’s organizations?
People everywhere are tweeting, posting, communicating, connecting in real time. There is an authenticity of commentary and break-down in formal hierarchies. The need for immediate feedback that  this all brings, drives changes right now in how we are running our performance reviews and sharing with our people whats working and what isn’t.
Put these together and its telling us, we need authentic feedback in real time that can be shared openly in order to immediately build improvements into the processes, products or behaviors, before the day is even over.
Apps that allow this immediate feedback to be gathered, authentically and diplomatically and shared quickly enough to influence changes that can impact the outputs of current projects are going to be those that are adopted.
Today I heard about just such a system, developed by a small business … and the entrepreneur in me, lit up with excitement. I will share what I learn as I explore this market offering and feedback to you what I glean in real time.
@BelindaMorris www.peoplescapehr.com

“Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast”

From as far back perhaps as our first fascinating high school biology class we couldn’t help pondering “the chicken or the egg”. We later learned that this dilemma and conclusion extended well beyond biology.Then came “nature or nurture”, psychology 101, and the plot thickened. There was something to sink our ideologically hungry, pre-adult teeth into at last. If you were anything like me, it took almost a decade to formulate a well balanced opinion giving them both a fair shake.The strategic business world seems to have been grappling with its own existential dilemma, “strategy or culture”. My still favorite quote from Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” was popularized in 2006 by Mark Fields the president of Ford. Until that point there was a whole lot of focus on strategy and quite a few upturned noses at culture change work, although being practiced in the mainstream by us large firm human capital consultants for some time. However, as one of those super, smart management gurus, Drucker’s remark may have just settled it… Culture does indeed eat strategy for breakfast, especially if it (the culture) doesn’t support, or isn’t aligned with that which the strategy is trying to achieve.  At last there’s one dilemma where an answer seems to have weighed in and conquered its opponent. However brilliant a strategy or business direction may be, it will never be successfully implemented if the culture does not support it and enable it to play out. The organization’s people have to ‘buy-in’ to the strategy, they have to be involved and genuinely believe that it makes sense to them, at this place, in this culture and at this time. They need to see how it all fits together and how easily the proposed strategy might flow out of a culture such as they have, for the strategy implementation to fly.Thanks to Dr. Drucker, we are able today to give organizational culture its rightful place on the boardroom agenda and on the lips of the most cynical, scientific managers and leaders.”Central to his philosophy is the view that people are an organization’s most valuable resource, and that a manager’s job is to prepare and free people to perform” quoted from the website of Peter F. Drucker & Matsatoshi Ito Graduate School of Business.