Posted in pre-employment background checks
According to ‘The Employment Situation‘ report released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the United States decreased by 0.3% to 4.6%, while the economy added 178,000 jobs, in November.
The U.S. unemployment rate is the lowest since 2007, with major gains in professional and business services and in health care. The number of unemployed persons declined by 387,000 to 7.4 million.
However, the civilian labor force participation rate (62.7%) is at a 40-year low – 95 million Americans are not in the workforce.
Additionally, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) remained high at 5.7 million last month. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
Overall, job growth appears to be slowing down. In 2016, employment growth has averaged 180,000 jobs per month. This compares with an average monthly increase of 229,000 jobs per month in 2015.
The report revised the change in September from 191,000 jobs added to 208,000 jobs added and the change in October from 161,000 jobs added to 142,000 jobs added. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October were 2,000 less than previously reported.
Posted in employment
A new report from LinkedIn – Global Recruiting Trends 2017 – suggests that most hiring budgets will stay flat in 2017.
Despite the expectation that hiring volume will increase for most companies, and the fact that 83% of executives say talent is the number one priority in their organization, just one-third of respondents expect to get a budget boost for recruiting.
This means that as the hiring volume rises, recruiters need to get creative and automate their workflow. The recruiting teams that are growing are focusing mostly on finding full-life-cycle recruiters and employer branding specialists, indicating the increasing importance of the company’s image.
The study also shared information on how budgets are spent: 52% is allocated to traditional channels, such as job board advertising and recruitment agencies, 17% is allocated to sourcing, screening and recruiting technology, and 8% is set aside for recruiting events.
Despite recruiters citing employee referrals as the top source of quality hires, only 9% of the budget is allocated to referral programs.
Interestingly, while the global numbers are very positive, this is the first time in five years when the year-over-year growth is slowing down. This subtle cooling of the job market reflects hiring slowdown in Brazil, China, and parts of Europe.
The biggest increases we might see in 2017 are projected for India, Mexico, and Southeast Asia.
Given that recruiters report limited headcount and budget, while hiring demands are growing, it makes sense that automation is top of mind for the industry.
Automation would increase the speed of screening candidates, minimize human bias, and help assess soft skills more precisely. Large companies are driving the focus on big data, listing it as their #1 trend in the LinkedIn report.
Posted in fraud, scams
In 2015, online shoppers spent nearly $3 billion during Cyber Monday and visited more than 4,500 retail websites, according to the Better Business Bureau.
This year, it’s projected to be even bigger.
When shopping online, it’s important to do your research and shop securely. To help you do exactly that, the BBB have shared some tips to keep you protected as an online consumer.
- Mobile Security: It’s important to have a secure device. Be sure you’re using the most recent updated version of apps and operating system on the phone. Also, actively manage your location services, Bluetooth, microphone, and camera – making sure apps use them appropriately.
- HTTP and HTTPS: If you’re shopping online, make sure to look out to see if a website has “https://” at the beginning of its web address. The “S” at the end of HTTPS indicates that the website is secure, which makes it safe to enter credit card or other personal information. Do NOT submit personal information to any website that is not secure.
- Looking out for Scams: Check out the BBB’s Scam Tracker page to keep an eye out for scams, report a possible scam, and learn what you can do to protect yourself from scams.
- Interest-Based Advertising: You might notice ads personalized to you, sometimes based on your previous web searches. This is called Interest-Based Advertising. If you want to opt-out of receiving this type of advertising, visit http://youradchoices.com/.
For more than 100 years, BBB has helped people find and recommend businesses, brands, and charities they trust. These tips were originally published on the BBB website.
Posted in background checks
According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 75% of employers said they have hired the wrong person for a position in the last twelve months. Of those who had a bad hire affect their business, the average cost of the bad hire was $17,000.
That’s a significant sum for most small businesses and emphasizes why it’s so important to run comprehensive pre-employment background checks.
Worryingly, the report suggests that only 72% of employers are currently running such checks. This is down from previous studies, which have reported the number to be as high as 90%.
Of the 72% in this study that reported running background checks, here’s how their background checks break down:
- Criminal background check: 82 percent
- Employment check: 62 percent
- Identity check: 60 percent
- Education check: 50 percent
- Drug test: 44 percent
- Licensing check: 38 percent
- Credit check: 29 percent
The study also indicated that 20% of employers continue to perform background checks on employees post-hire – a best practice we would strongly advise employers to consider.
Study respondants shared that the primary ways a bad hire affected their business included:
- Lower productivity: 36 percent
- Lower quality of work: 33 percent
- Negatively affected employee morale: 31 percent
- Lost time to recruit and train another worker: 30 percent
- Cost to recruit and train another worker: 30 percent
- Employee’s managers or coworkers had to spend excessive time assisting bad hire: 29 percent
The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from August 11 to September 7, 2016. It included a sample of 2,379 hiring managers and human resources professionals, ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government), coming across different industries and company sizes in the private sector in the USA.
Posted in workplace management
Employers are facing the worst talent shortage in the last decade, according to ManpowerGroup’s latest Talent Shortage Survey.
According to the study, 40% of employers indicated they were facing hiring difficulties— an increase from 38 percent in 2015. In the United States, this number is slightly higher at 46% – a significant jump from the 32% reported last year.
In total, 42,300 employers were surveyed. The most severe talent shortages were reported in Japan (86%), Taiwan (73%) and Romania (72%). At the lower end is China, where just 10% of employers reported hiring difficulties.
The shortage has led to many employers now training and developing existing employees to fill open positions, rather than looking externally to fill roles.
“When the talent isn’t available, organizations need to turn to training and developing their own people, and in many cases this means first identifying the skills that will be required in increasingly digital industries, like manufacturing,” said Kip Wright, senior vice president of Manpower North America.
According to SHRM, employers must become more flexible and creative in their recruitment strategies in order to find a solution to the talent shortage. Examples might include flexible work hours, remote work, and a re-invention of criteria.
Manpower Group created a nifty infographic to highlight key findings – take a look.
Posted in employment
Starting today, employers, unions, community colleges, and other organizations are hosting hundreds of open houses and events to commemorate the second annual National Apprenticeship Week, Nov. 14-20, 2016.
The goal of the celebration and the events being hosted will be to help tell the unique story of how apprenticeship is working for more than 500,000 people in America. These half a million apprentices are spread across diverse and growing industries, such information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, building trades, transportation, cybersecurity and business services.
“Apprenticeships are experiencing a modern renaissance in America because the earn-while-learn model is a win-win proposition for workers looking to punch their ticket to the middle-class and for employers looking to grow and thrive in our modern global economy” according to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.
In 2015, more than 300 events in 47 states during the inaugural National Apprenticeship Week celebrated the important role apprentices play in offering employers an opportunity to develop a highly skilled workforce to help grow their business while receiving on the job training.
During NAW 2016, business leaders, educators, community organizations and current and former apprentices will share how apprenticeship works for them using #ApprenticeshipWorks. The Department of Labor encourages the public to follow Facebook and Twitter for the latest highlights on NAW and other related activities.
To register an event, find an event near you, and learn more, visit the NAW website.
Posted in employment
According to ‘The Employment Situation‘ news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 161,000 jobs in October 2016. The unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons sat at 4.9 percent and 7.8 million respectively.
In October, both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 59.7 percent, changed little. These measures have shown little movement in recent months, although both are up over the year. Job growth has averaged 181,000 per month so far in 2016, compared with an average of 229,000 jobs per month in 2015.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics declined to 5.7 percent in October, while the rates for adult men (4.6 percent), adult women (4.3 percent), teenagers (15.6 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (8.6 percent), and Asians (3.4 percent) showed little change.
The report revised the change in August 2016 from 167,000 jobs added to 176,000 jobs added and the change in September 2016 from 156,000 jobs added to 191,000 jobs added. With these revisions, employment gains in August and September were 44,000 less than previously reported.
Posted in Department of Labor
Last week, the Department of Labor launched a new online resource to provide workers quick and easy-to-access solutions.
Worker.gov, currently in beta, is dedicated to the needs of workers. It was developed in response to feedback received during the White House Summit on Worker Voice, regional worker voice summits, and listening sessions with workers across the nation who found existing government websites detailing their rights difficult to navigate or understand.
Their launch release stated: “We’re removing the guesswork, and providing workers access to critical information about their rights under the major labor statutes in a way that makes sense for them. Worker.gov recognizes the simple truth that people do not think about having an “FLSA” or “FMLA” or “Title VII” problem. They just know that they have an unfairness-on-the-job problem.”
Given that the website is still in beta, worker.gov will continue to evolve and improve in response to input and feedback of users.
Posted in employment
Employees who take most or all of their vacation time each year perform better, are more productive, and more satisfied in their jobs than those who do not, according to multiple studies on workplace productivity.
In a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for Project: Time Off, 77% of talent managers and human resource (HR) professionals agree that fully utilizing vacation leave drives higher employee performance and productivity, boosts organizational morale, contributes to employee wellness and results in higher employee retention.
HR professionals in this study also believed that if employees started taking more of their available time off to recharge, it would lead to higher levels of job satisfaction (74%) and increased employee engagement at work (67%).
A similar piece of research by Cornell showed that employees who take regular breaks from work perform with 13% more accuracy than those who refuse breaks.
Over-working also leads to lack of sleep. In fact, a recent Harvard study estimated that sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity.
Promote rest and relaxation in your workplace
Here are a few stats, and simple steps HR Managers and employers can promote rest and relaxation:
- 66% of Americans don’t use all of their paid vacation days. Reinforce the fact that not only is PTO available, but highly recommended.
- 55% of workers say that workplace stress is directly related to their software. Ensure that all employees have adequate software and training to perform their work to the best of their abilities.
- 87% of workers report that work flexibility increases their productivity. Consider how your company can implement opportunities for employees to work-from-home or with flexible hours.
- 71% of Americans believe that short breaks during the day help productivity. Make sure staff have the opportunity to step away from their desk several times a day, ideally to socialize, exercise, or to step outside for fresh air.
- It takes 15-40 minutes to regain concentration after an interruption. Limit interruptions, such as unnecessary meeting and poorly timed questions between staff. More and more companies are starting to ban meetings one day a week – a tactic you might also want to consider.
Lead by example and ensure that employees in your workplace take their paid time off, are in an environment conducive to productivity, and get the necessary rest to be effective and happy at work.
Posted in EEOC
Last month, the EEOC approved an updated Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for Fiscal Years 2017-2021. The previous plan ran through 2012-2016.
The new strategies continue to integrate all components of EEOC’s private, public, and federal sector enforcement, to have a sustainable impact in advancing equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination in the workplace.
“This SEP builds on the EEOC’s progress in addressing persistent and developing issues by sharpening the agency’s areas of focus and updating the plan to recognize additional areas of emerging concern,” EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang said about the new strategic plan, which will continue to prioritize the areas identified in its previous EEOC SEP for 2013-2016, too.
The Commission makes the following changes in the SEP substantive area priorities:
- The Commission revises the priority on Immigrant, Migrant and Other Vulnerable Workers to have district offices and the federal sector program identify vulnerable workers and underserved communities within their areas for focused attention.
- Under the Emerging and Developing Issues priority, the Commission narrows the issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act that fall within the category to qualification standards and inflexible leave policies that discriminate against individuals with disabilities.
- Under the Emerging and Developing Issues priority, the Commission adds two areas. The Commission adds a new priority to address issues related to complex employment relationships and structures in the 21st century workplace, focusing specifically on temporary workers, staffing agencies, independent contractor relationships, and the on-demand economy. The Commission also adds a focus on backlash discrimination against those who are Muslim or Sikh, or persons of Arab, Middle Eastern or South Asian descent, as well as persons perceived to be members of these groups, as tragic events in the United States and abroad have increased the likelihood of discrimination against these communities.
- The Commission continues to focus on gender-based pay discrimination. In addition, in recognition of the pay disparities that persist based on race, ethnicity, and for individuals with disabilities and other protected groups, the Commission extends its equal pay priority to explicitly reach all workers.
- The Commission removes the term “retaliatory actions” from the access to the legal system priority as the term was undefined and resulted in inconsistent application.
EEOC’s substantive area priorities for Fiscal Years 2017-2021 are:
- Eliminating Barriers in Recruitment and Hiring
- Protecting Vulnerable Workers, Including Immigrant and Migrant Workers, and Underserved Communities from Discrimination
- Addressing Selected Emerging and Developing Issues
- Ensuring Equal Pay Protections for All Workers
- Preserving Access to the Legal System
- Preventing Systemic Harassment
The national priorities of the SEP are complemented by district-level and federal sector priorities, recognizing that particular issues most salient to these communities also demand focused attention. You can learn more about the district-level implications here.
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