Preparing for Election Day 11.6.18

Election Day 2018 is fast approaching and with everything going on in our political landscape, it will be a record turnout at the polls.  This could have an impact on your business so it’s a good idea to review your time off to vote policies now to minimize disruption on November 6th.

As an employer, you not only have an obligation to ensure your employees can take time off to vote but it may also be mandated by state law. While there is no federal law that outlines time off to vote, over half of the states in the US have laws that do.

State laws vary from state to state, some even outline the amount of notice an employee must provide to request time off to vote, others may even require advance postings of their policy to employees.

While some states have no time-off requirements, Georgia law requires that employees are granted time off to vote, if they cannot vote during non-working hours.  Georgia employers must provide two hours of leave to vote in “any municipal, county, state, or federal political party primary or election for which such employee is qualified and registered to vote.”  Employees in Georgia must provide reasonable notice to their employers and to be eligible they must not otherwise have two hours outside of work to attend the polls and vote.

I’ve typically seen Georgia employers have a simple, yet clear policy allowing time off to vote, up to two hours, if employees cannot get to the polls during non-working time.  This time off request may be submitted and approved however you would normally process time off requests but shouldn’t be deducted from PTO or other time off policy balances.

Click here if you would like to receive a free Time Off to Vote policy that you can copy and paste into your employee handbook.  Keep in mind this is a Georgia specific policy so be sure to check your state law and edit as needed.  If you are unsure of your state-specific law, I’m happy to help clarify that for you or you can check with your employment attorney.

Lastly, don’t forget to communicate this to your employees, encourage and support them to get out there and vote!

Election-2018

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!  We help everyone, 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!

Special policies in the workplace are some of my favorite to write!

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 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. I think a short policy in your employee handbook can go a long way in protecting you as an employer.  Also, it gives 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.”

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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.

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 on how to hire someone from my generation.

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Millennials “the big generation!”

Millennials most recently became the largest generation in the world! This means that my generation will be the largest generation ever 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.

And Big Mistakes Companies Make:

  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 and find another job, and who can blame them! To keep those great millennial employees, 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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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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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!

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, our team and our clients.  That word is BUILD.   This year, the 17th year in business (gulp), 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!

Hire Ventures, Inc.

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 with 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 onboarding!

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 soon 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 peek, 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!