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Love is in the air…and #MeToo. What’s an employer to do?

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Love is in the air…which could spell doom for some employers in light of the #MeToo movement.  This movement that went viral the end of last year has brought so much awareness to sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace.  There have been millions of posts since the #metoo movement, with countless stories of sexual harassment in the workplace.  I myself have my own experiences and while I didn’t share them on social media, hearing these stories by so many other women has brought it all back.

What the heck is an employer to do to ensure everyone has a safe and harassment free work environment?

How could these claims, allegations and shared stories be so rampant when almost every US organization has a sexual harassment policy? And where was HR you may ask?  HR’s job is not only to hire talent but to manage performance, be an employee advocate, and help foster a great place to work.

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Clearly this is indicative of a much bigger issue. Too often employers have “CYA” policies that they don’t follow, they don’t practice and above all, they don’t value.

This tells me that the problem isn’t with the policy; it is with the culture.

Having a healthy culture is more than a policy or statement in your employee handbook.  The best company cultures are those that are felt and reinforced in every area, from how you recruit, reward, recognize and value employees, as well as how you terminate. Embracing and supporting culture is not just senior management or HR’s position, but the responsibility of every employee.

So, in light of the #metoo stories that have been shared, how can you protect your organization from becoming the latest headline?

There are many things you can do, starting with coming together to review the current policies and practices.  Do you have a dating policy in place?  What about your anti-harassment policy, is it tight, do you follow it?  Do you have a practice that includes “Love Contracts” (sometimes these are called consensual relationship agreements)?

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And, given that people are human and things may happen, make sure that you have a culture and practice that ensures that complaints are properly handled, should they come in. This includes quickly responding to the complaint and possibly hiring a third party investigator or external HR Consultant to work through the investigation in an impartial manner.

Having the combination of policy, practice and strong supportive culture all working together can and will help ensure that your organization is free of harassment and be a great place to work for everyone!

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How Not to Hire a Millennial

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Hello everyone! My name is Tracy Stevens and I am the new Marketing Intern at #HireVentures and I am a Millennial! When some people hear that, it makes them cringe. But why?

The Millennial generation, or Generation Y, are those born between the early 1980s and 2000s. We make up about 32% of the U.S. population, which has surpassed the Baby Boomers by 11 million. Also, a good percentage of us have not yet earned a college degree. While many employers don’t give much thought to my generation, NPR credits that, “(millennials) are the most racially diverse generation in U.S. history — and embody the changing face of America.” So, if we are so diverse, does this mean that hiring managers must change their practices to better understand how our brains work? Or should the young person move away from the norms of their generation to remain in a career?

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The answer for both of these questions is no, neither party has to change. We just need to understand how our differences can become our strengths. Here are a few of the characteristics my generation has to offer and how they are a pro for your business, instead of a con:

  1. Being tech-savvy: The millennial generation has grown up around technology and many have not known a life without these amenities. Millennials are also seen as the most connected generation, with their whole lives on display through social networks. This might seem like a con in the workplace, with the many devices and “distractions” included on each device. Turn these distractions into strengths by including them in everyday work. Also, when looking to recruit a millennial, take the job search online. There are great applicant tracking systems on the market (like our partner JazzHR) that will give you all the features needed to enable your on-line recruiting and develop your employer brand through social sites. By extending the job search online, your company would receive many more applications from this tech-savvy generation.
  2. Need for Attention: Gen Y is often seen as the generation that demands everything. While we want to multitask most of the time, we also want to be recognized for the hard work put in. Time.com even calls millennials the “Me, Me, Me generation,” and how, “the average middle-class American family today walks (around their house) amid 85 pictures of themselves and their pets.” In the workplace, try having an experienced employee become a mentor to the young person. A millennial craves constant reassurance because we want to know if the job is being done right. This mentor could help guide the millennial through the challenging work, provide advice when the standards are not met, and show appreciation when a job is well done.  This is when an effective on boarding program can make or break your new employees.
  3. Job-hoppers: The millennial generation is supposedly the generation that has multiple jobs in the same field for short periods of time. According the Pew Research, millennials are actually just as likely to stay with their companies as much as Generation X, their older counterparts. Even with this research, millennials are likely to job-hop until they find the perfect fit, and why not. When hiring a millennial, make sure that objectives are stated very clearly. We are more likely to accept a job offer and stick with the career if we know the standards that need to be met. So, maybe establish frequent performance reviews or feedback sessions.  The old annual performance review program just isn’t enough anymore.

Consider this scenario.

You are a millennial and have just started looking for a summer internship. After applying for some positions, you receive an interview. A couple days later, you go to the interview and are wowed by the company but they barely look at your resume. Once you show up for the second interview, they take you out to a neighborhood to “see if you’re a good fit” by going door-to-door selling TV subscriptions. After doing some research, you find that this company has been doing this same “bait and switch” act with many others. What went wrong?

The scenario above is not just a “what if” scenario. This has happened to many young people and will continue to happen, unless companies change their ways.

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So, that brings us to the crux of this article, #hownottohireamillennial.  These are the mistakes that we see our clients make on a regular basis:

  1. An outdated recruiting process, such as paper applications and long lead times between receiving the application to interviewing applicants.
  2. No collaboration or feedback.  Waiting for an annual performance review to be completed is so last generation!
  3. Writing vague job offers that not even the seasoned employee can understand. This goes along with the “bait and switch” in the above scenario.
  4. Using an excessively vigorous hiring process. No one wants an inch-thick stack of hiring papers.
  5. Failing to provide post-interview feedback. It might seem like a lot of work but we would like to know why we did not receive a follow-up interview.

Companies in 2018 are now seeing that practices from 30 years ago will not work today. Some of the mistakes listed above could simply be corrected by updating policies and procedures. Millennials, as stated before, are not like anything this business world has seen. We have different ideas and work in completely different ways.

  • Does that make us difficult to work with? Maybe!
  • But does that mean companies should change their cultures to suit us? No!

Millennials are definitely a tough bunch to figure out. We are very different from other generations and have very different needs. But we are essential to the growth of any company. We can bring new ideas and innovation to the table. We might sound like a tough cookie to crack but with a little time and effort, every difference can become a strength to your company.

Everyday, millions of millennials are entering the job market, searching for their perfect career. To make sure your company hires the best, avoid these mistakes and you’ll be sure to make an amazing hire!

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The dreaded “F” word…

The Flu!

Experts say this flu season is shaping up to be the worst in nearly a decade and it’s not over yet.  Some small companies are being hit so hard it’s hard to keep the doors open, others are faring ok but feeling the pain with employees out sick and trying to keep up by working from home.

No matter your company or policies, I think we can all agree, when an employee is sick, it’s best if they stay home!

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But, what does that mean for employers that have basic paid time off policies?  How do you encourage employees to stay home and use that day of PTO as opposed to coming in and “powering through”, thus exposing the entire team, company, office and everyone that comes in contact with them along the way to the dreaded virus?  Who, then exposed, are going to be doing the same thing.

And, what are the employee rights if there is no paid time off available?  Can they apply for leave under a state or federal program?  Do they just call out and go unpaid, risking losing their job, or being unable to pay their bills?  Or are they forced to take precious vacation time to stay home and get well?

From a legal perspective, there are only a few states that require employers to offer Paid Sick time.  Georgia is not one of those states so decisions to offer paid sick leave is really up to each employers’ practice and policy.

From a federal perspective, under FMLA job protected leave, the common cold, flu, and other everyday illnesses would not qualify.  These illnesses on their own do not meet the definition of a serious health condition under the ruling and would not qualify under FMLA leave.

As an employer, what can you do to prevent the flu from disrupting your entire business and losing valuable work hours and productivity from your employees?  I recommend as a general rule, employers focus on the things they can control within the company.  This means policy, practice and culture.

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Aside from the usual practices to stay healthy like encouraging plenty of handwashing and sanitizing, providing tissues and a clean, sanitary workspace and maybe some healthy snacks in the breakroom, there are other things that employers can do to reduce the impact of the flu and other contagious illnesses on your business.

  • Develop policies that encourage employees to stay home when sick… offer paid time off for employees to stay home as needed to either get well themselves or care for a sick family member. This doesn’t have to be a separate sick policy, it can be a Paid Time Off or PTO policy that covers sick, vacation, personal time or any time needed out of work.
  • Create a culture that supports employees taking time off when sick. Leaders should practice what they preach, stay home when you are sick!  If an employee is out sick, make sure they know not to return to work until they are fever free for at least 24 hours. And, don’t make employees feel even worse for missing time; Give them the support to take time as needed and come back when well.
  • Support practices that allow employees to work from home, as needed. There are so many companies that have the capability to allow employees to work virtually or from home, but they just haven’t done it.  Make the change and support work from home or virtual working capability.

Here’s to staying healthy and feeling good in 2018!

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#oneword2018

Happy New Year!  I can’t believe it’s already the middle of January in a new year.  I am so excited for the start of this new year and all that it can bring.  From a business perspective, it’s a great time to review the prior year accomplishments or misses, time to set goals and plan for the future.

I am especially loving the trend of choosing a single word for the year, just one word as opposed to a series of resolutions that will be quickly forgotten.

I’d like to share with you my word, the word I have chosen not only for myself, but for my business, for Hire Ventures.  That word is BUILD.   This year, our 16th year in business, my focus will be on building Hire Ventures, building our team, building our service and product offerings, building our client portfolio, building our social media presence, processes and so much more.

So, in the spirit of our #oneword2018 and with the anticipation of this new year ahead, I want to share what we have recently built, our new brand colors and logo!

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I’m very excited to finally have a logo that I love, with colors that speak to me.  It’s been a long process but this is one I can proud of and I can’t wait to see it printed on our new business cards, tote bags, pens and other fun tchotchkes.

What is your word?  What speaks to you?  What are you most excited about moving into 2018?

JazzHR Partnership

We are super excited to announce a new partnership for Hire Ventures!

Our clients know how much we love technology, how we love to leverage it to make us work smarter, faster and better!  Over the years we have implemented countless applicant tracking and human resource solutions that enable our clients to hire and manage their talent resources more effectively.  There are a lot of systems that we like and depending on our clients needs, we make recommendations on the system that will be the best fit.

More often than not, that system for recruiting is JazzHR (formerly known as The Resumator).  This system is amazing and has tiered offerings for companies of all sizes, even smaller companies that are looking for a system that can give them a sleek mobile enabled careers page and get their positions posted to source good candidates and screen them to hire the best.  This system lets you manage every step of your recruiting process, from sourcing through on boarding!

Because of the exceptional track record with Jazz, we have entered into a partnership with them.  We are super excited to offer our clients this system, with the best pricing and implementation service available.

If you know you’ll be hiring in 2017 and are ready to elevate your recruiting, let’s do it together!  Visit our partner page for more info:  https://www.jazzhr.com/hireventures.jazzhr-logo_blue-purple-cropped

And, if you want a sneak peak, here is a quick three minute video on the software:  https://vimeo.com/170617441.  

Contact us today to see if Jazz is the right fit for you and let us help elevate your recruiting!