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Dogs in the Workplace (woof woof)

You want to bring your dog/cat/ferret/fish to work…well, ok!

Here at Hire Ventures, we have a pretty eclectic mix of clients, from high tech corporate start-ups to family owned donut shops and everything in between.  No matter the business, if there are employees, there are sure to be HR needs.  With all of our different clients and projects, we often are asked to craft some pretty unique policies.  Well written policies can help an organization ensure consistent practices and compliance, which is a very good thing!

I’ve written everything from “Kegorator in the Breakroom” policies to “Unlimited PTO” both of which are pretty fun but my all-time favorite policy to craft for clients is a “Dogs in the Workplace” policy.  I love this one, mainly because I think being able to bring your pet to work helps support a healthy work-life balance and allows you to have your companion, right by your side throughout the day.

It’s good for the animal and the human and also has been shown to improve employee satisfaction and retention!  win/win win/win

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(Above photo credit, Ms. Betty & little Gigi, hard at work at Hillman Flooring & Design)

Perhaps you already allow dogs or pets in the workplace and haven’t really thought you needed a policy.  This could be true, and you could be ok, but I think a short policy in your employee handbook can go a long way in protecting you as an employer, and giving your managers guidance should a difficult situation ever come up.

When crafting a Pets in the Workplace policy, here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Require that animals must be well socialized, office ready and current on all shots and flea preventative meds
  • There should be approval given, employees should submit a request to bring their pet to work, along with important info (breed, age, gender, if they’ve been fixed, trained etc.).
  • Note in the policy that the company has the right to refuse certain breeds of dogs or specific pets if they exhibit aggression towards other dogs or humans.
  • The company should have the right to limit the size of the animal if needed and how much free roam they have in the office as well as any other restrictions.
  • If you have employees with pet allergies or fears, there should be pet-free zones to ensure they are not affected (humans should come first)
  • Make sure you have management support and proper approvals from the landlord or building manager.

Other considerations:

Make sure that your office space is pet-ready and that there are flexible areas that the animals can go outside to do their “duty”.  And, there are other policies or practices that may compliment your new pet friendly work environment.  This includes:

  • Pet Insurance
  • Pet Bereavement Leave
  • Company volunteer opportunities at your local shelter

There are lots of ways to show our employees that we care about them, and one is by allowing them to bring their pets to work.

What are your thoughts on this policy?  Have you ever worked at a company that allows you to bring your pet to work?

If you’d like a free Dogs in the Workplace policy template that you can easily incorporate into your employee handbook, we have it in our store! If you would like to access this FREE template, please click “Dogs in the Workplace Policy Template.”

This post is in honor of my sweet Lucy who passed in January of this year, she was the best office companion ever and I miss her by my side every day.

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How to Keep a Millennial

In the past 2 blog posts, I have talked about the characteristics of millennials, the know-hows in hiring a millennial, and the don’ts when it comes to hiring someone from my generation. So now that you have taken the advice I have given, and you have hired the millennial, now what?

Companies with great recruiting practices often find it very easy to hire millennials. These companies will appeal to the millennial mindset and attract the best candidates. But many struggle when it comes to keeping a millennial. In a recent study completed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 20-34 year old will stay with their current employer for about 2.05 years. With these kinds of numbers, this gives those employers a higher turnover rate and also labels that worker as an unsteady employee or job-hopper.

So, what can be done to fix this ever-growing problem? A few tips on keeping a millennial include:

  • Let them know what is expected: When hiring a millennial, make sure that they know what is expected of them. Yes, they will ask a lot of questions but that is only because they want to get the job right the first time! The need for reassurance and clarity is real, y’all, and I have personally experienced it first-hand. By giving them clear expectations, the millennial will know from the beginning if the job works for their situation or not. Would you rather spend a little extra time right the perfect employee (maybe through using our partner, JazzHR) or would you rather hire the first applicant and take the risk of them not meeting expectations?
  • Engage the millennial in many activities at work: Millennials are known for being great multi-taskers. But if a Gen-Y person is not given many things to work on, they, in turn, will become bored with the mundane work. By engaging the millennial in many work projects, the young person becomes more involved in the workplace and gives them an opportunity to connect with co-workers. A happy millennial is a happy workplace!

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  • Show them that your company cares: While a connection is very important, by far, the most important tip I could give you is to appreciate all of your employees, especially your millennials! One example of a way to show you appreciate the work done is by giving out “awards” given out at the end of each quarter. These rewards do not need to include much, an award sheet and gift card will suffice. Simply showing your employees that you care will boost morale and keep them around longer!

In many cases, hiring a millennial is the easy part, keeping them is where companies struggle. Keeping a millennial is not a hard task to do, if you know the correct way of appealing to them. Let’s produce an environment where employees love their job so much, they will never want to job-hop to anywhere else.

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How TO Hire a Millennial

We got such great feedback on the first installment of the Millennial spotlight blog “How NOT to Hire A Millennial“, we’ve decided to write a follow-up: “How TO Hire a Millennial.”

Did you know that high growth companies, like those in the high-tech industry, have a significantly higher proportion of millennials in leadership positions than organizations with little to no growth? There is a reason for this. If you are growing and hiring, then this blog is for you!

Do me a favor and type this blog title into Google. What you will find is tons of articles where an analyst is telling you the do’s and don’ts when it comes to my generation. It seems like every non-millennial wants to give their two cents about my generation, when not many articles are coming from the millennial view. So, in this blog, I have chosen to give the millennial view on tips for not only hiring a millennial but keeping them!

 

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Millennials most recently became the largest generation in the world, which means that my generation will be the largest generation to enter the workforce. To many, that sounds like something to run from and never look back. But many companies just respond with, “Challenge accepted.” In our last blog post, I gave some characteristics of millennials and some ways that many employers have struggled with hiring a millennial. Many of these employers refuse to change and expect the young person to change the way an entire generation does business. For a company today to be successful, they must be able to compromise with the workforce and adapt to new ways of thinking. Some of the largest mistakes employers make every day when hiring millennials include:

  1. Working with an outdated hiring process, such as having paper applications and long lead times between applying and hiring.
  2. Providing no feedback until the annual performance review.
  3. Providing vague job offers that create a “bait-and-switch’ scenario.
  4. Using a vigorous and overly drawn-out hiring process.
  5. Failing to provide post-interview feedback.

While these mistakes are made every day in hiring, these methods will need to change to receive the best job candidates. And when the hiring process does not provide a good experience for millennials, they are not likely to stay in that job for very long.

Hiring a millennial is actually very easy when you think about it! Millennials have learned to adapt with the times. We are the generation who grew up with the Internet and other fast-growing technologies. Because we have learned to adapt with growing technologies, shouldn’t the past generations also learn new methods of adapting to us, millennials? I believe the answer is yes, all generations should focus on bringing the hiring process and workplace into the 21st century.

Here are some tips when it comes to hiring a millennial:

  • Streamline the hiring process: Like stated before, most millennials have not known a world without the Internet, as a company, use that to your advantage. Instead of having an outdated applicant system, use a mobile enabled applicant tracking system, like our partner JazzHR.  The days of paper applications and job offers on bulletin boards are so last gen. These applicant tracking systems have everything in one place and make the hiring process easier for the employer and gives a better applicant experience, assuming you are using them correctly and have a defined, candidate focused process (and ya know, we can help with that!).

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  • Teamwork makes the dream work: Millennials have spent most of their lives working in groups, whether that be a class project, a sports team, or any clubs or organizations in and outside of school. Because we work so well in groups, try incorporating teams in the workplace. As stated in the last blog, millennials have a strong need for attention. This teamwork satisfies this need for attention, as well as playing into the strength of working together.

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  • A great work life and home life: One constant criticism of the millennial generation is that they are job hoppers. If a millennial is not happy in their workplace, they will go out and try to find another job, and who can blame them! If a millennial is happy, they will most likely stay so keep them engaged and create a culture that supports work/life balance.  Millennials are known for having many extracurricular activities and they are always on the move.  So offer them flexibility and a rewarding work experience.  A millennial who has made friends and enjoys their workplace will not leave anytime soon. Plan for employee outings and bonding time to keep your best millennials.

The millennial generation is the largest generation to date with over 80 million people. While some companies struggle in finding and keeping a young person, many excel and are known for being a millennial acceptor. Now, its your turn to become successful in hiring millennials!

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EDIT: This month is our 17th anniversary in business! Throughout this month, we are offering some special deals through our partner, JazzHR. To read more about the special offers we have for March 2018, click here.

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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EDIT: This month is our 17th anniversary in business! Throughout this month, we are offering some special deals through our partner, JazzHR. To read more about the special offers we have for March 2018, click here.

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!