Talent Wars: Are you prepared for battle?

The war for talent is on, as most industries require very specific skills from their employees. Targeting and attracting that talent is critical to remain competitive in the marketplace. There are many ways to ensure your recruiting efforts are successful.

Resourceful HR’s top five tips:

  1. Create a contingency plan.
  2. There will always be unexpected vacancies and no candidates ready to fill the role. Recruiters are great at building a pipeline of talent and maintaining relationships with quality candidates. They should spend time finding professionals with critical skill sets or experiences that would be valuable to your organization to ensure you can move quickly in hiring someone should the original plan fall through.

  3. Vet your internal candidates and external talent pool.
  4. A good recruiter can gather market intelligence on the talent pool and see what the market has to offer. This will ensure that the decision to promote from within or offer training to existing employees is because they are the best person for the job and organization.

  5. Engage recruiters that know what you offer.
  6. Recruiters (internal and external) should serve as a brand representative for your organization. Maximize their ability to build interest and excitement for working for the organization.

  7. Craft your compelling story.
  8. All communications a qualified candidate receives, whether it be your website, job boards, postings, social media, or communications with your recruiter should help them understand what differentiates your organization and why they would be interested in joining your team. From organizational goals and career opportunity to the unique culture, every aspect of working for the organization should be used to garner enthusiasm for joining your team.

  9. Assess your culture before you make a hiring decision and ask the right questions.
  10. Articulating your culture and work environment and what it takes to thrive at your organization during the recruiting process will allow candidates to know what success entails. Asking the right questions of candidates will allow you to fully understand the likelihood a candidate will be able to perform as needed. (Link to: http://springboard.resourcefulhr.com/successfully-assessing-cultural-fit/)

Quiz: Is it time to bring in recruiting resources?

There are some tell-tale signs that it is time to outsource recruiting. If you answer yes to two or more of these questions it may be time to look for a recruiting partner.
1. Is it taking you longer than expected to find quality candidates?
2. Are you spending your time weeding through candidate resumes that are clearly not the right fit?
3. Is recruiting taking your time away from your core business functions?
4. Are you experiencing high turnover rates from employees you hired that aren’t the right fit?

Onboarding. Start New Employees Out on a Road to Success

Many believe onboarding is the process by which new employees fill out new hire paperwork – they are set up for payroll and benefits and provided a quick overview of the systems they’ll be working on. While these activities are important, onboarding that results in maximizing performance and earning a greater return on your investment requires a little more strategic planning, which our clients have found to be well worth it. By viewing the onboarding process as an investment throughout a new hire’s introduction to the organization, you will greatly impact the new hire’s contribution to your organization and the timeframe in which they can make it happen. We recommend creating a process that focuses on integrating new employees into your culture and team and getting them up to speed and confident in what is expected of them from a conduct and performance perspective.

Here are some tips to consider as you build your organization’s onboarding process:

  • Allow technology to expedite the compliance portion of the process. Email the new hire all the required paperwork in advance of starting. Share relevant information upfront such as the organizations’ pay schedule, insurance options, any information that will affect their household. When they arrive on the first day, they’ll already have it completed or know questions they need answered.

  • Create a schedule for their first day, week and month so they have clear steps on how to get to know the organization (culturally and procedurally) and give them opportunities to interact with teammates. Schedule meetings throughout the first month to engage with different levels of employees throughout the organization to allow them to hear about different teams and projects.
  • Make sure there are lunch plans for their first day. They won’t know going into day one what they can anticipate for lunch, so plan that for them.
  • Communicate to all team members what will be changing when the new employee starts and how the onboarding process will unfold. It will provide a greater sense of security around what they can expect and the importance and value of their role. It’s important to remember that while it is exciting to start a new job, it also means change, which can be a challenge not just for the new employee, but also for other team members.
  • Make the process fun, interesting and productive! Don’t just provide a slide deck overviewing the organization’s mission, vision, and values. Ask other team members to provide the introduction and give them the freedom to be creative and provide anecdotes of the culture in action. Getting existing employees involved will get new employees excited about working with their new teammates.
  • Set and communicate expectations. Let new employees know what the organization, team and individual’s goals are and how their contributions support those goals.
  • Share how things operate and how different teams interact to support one another. Highlight, beyond an organizational chart, how the teams work together and who has accountability for which aspects of projects.
  • Provide a tour of the organization and if it’s a large space, provide a map for future reference. Introduce the new employee to as many people as possible. Make sure they know the logistics of the workspace such as where the cafeteria/kitchen is, the bus routes are, where to park, where the bathrooms are, etc. In addition, show them what’s available off site such as where the nearest coffee shops are, which restaurants do take-out and delivery to the office and which are great when you need to go off site for lunch.
  • Have the tools for their job ready, such as a computer and login information, mobile phone, if appropriate along with the information/instructions needed to get set up quickly and easily.
  • Create a peer onboarding system so they have someone other than their manager to go to if they have logistical questions. Provide guidance to the peer to check in frequently in the initial days to ensure they have what they need or any cultural questions can be answered in a comfortable environment.
  • Have their manager meet with them on the first day and throughout the first week to review and answer questions on expectations. Throughout the first 90 days, there should be frequent check-ins to ensure the new employee is on track, feeling comfortable with their role, and has the tools they need to perform their job.
  • Be consistent. Use the same onboarding process for each new hire and make changes and additions as you get feedback from employees on what worked well and what would have been helpful for them to have during the onboarding process.

Business Growth Strategies: A Legal Tools Primer

With the “Great Recession” finally ebbing, the leadership of every company should re-examine their business’ growth strategy and in parallel, re-evaluate the legal tools being employed as part of implementing that strategy. Keeping it simple and straightforward, one way to think about and plan the growth strategy for your company is this:

• Buy
• Build
• License
• Strategically Partner

Execution of each of these growth strategies, in turn, involves corresponding legal tools, including corporate, finance, commercial, licensing, and intellectual property law.

>> READ MORE for a discussion of the right legal tools to incorporate in your business strategy >>

Confidentiality Agreements: Exciting Company News! Why You Shouldn’t Tell your Spouse or Friends

With news of layoffs and companies in the red, isn’t it refreshing to hear news that your company is doing so well that it is considering buying another company or launching a new product? This means greater job security for you and perhaps a big payoff for your family. The first thing you may want to do is rush home and tell your spouse. But wait. First ask yourself whether you legally have the right to share the news.

In the interest of protecting the company and your position within the company, it may be best to keep quiet. The most compelling reason for not divulging company information is you may have a legal obligation not to. Another important reason is it could jeopardize the deal or business opportunity. Of course you trust your family and friends but they may also have people they feel they can ‘trust’ and continue to share the information that was supposed to be ‘just between us.’ If the information is shared, ‘beyond your control’, you could be legally responsible for sharing inside information. Insider trading may be the first thing that comes to mind, but confidentiality agreements are not just meant to protect public companies. If a private company deems information confidential and you don’t know why, there may be a very good reason that you are not privy to. In any case, no matter how good your intentions are, err on the side of caution.

Bottom line: Think before you share company information and make sure you are familiar with the non-disclosure agreement you signed and/or your company’s confidentiality agreement.

As employers and business owners, it is critical to not only draft a confidentiality agreement but to also communicate it to new and existing employees on a regular basis. As you draft or update agreements, these are some of the confidentiality aspects you may want to consider:

  • Think through the consequences if information does become public – would it jeopardize the deal or opportunity on the table?
  • Can employees share company information with their spouse or other family members? If so, what information is off limits?
  • How do you plan to communicate to employees what information is off limits, and why it is a big deal if they share this information?

HR Legal News – Family Medical Leave Act: Successor in Interest

Dollar Tree purchased no inventory of Factory 2-U; it brought many of its own employees or newly hired employees; it closed the store for a month to perform renovations, trained employees in its own method’s and changed the plaintiff’s job title and responsibilities.

Sullivan v. Dollar Tree Stores Inc.

The Law

This HR legal news monthly update is brought to you by David Black, HR attorney and Andrew Niederhauser, Group Assistant for the NW HR Best Practices Roundtable. Each month they cover a legal development relevant to the HR profession to provide you with greater insight into law and the practical ramifications for employers. If there is a particular aspect of the law or situation you are interested in having us explore please contact David.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles “an eligible employee” up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for several reasons, including to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious medical condition.

However, an employee is not eligible for leave under FMLA until he/she has worked for an employer for 12 months or at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months. Here, the term “employer” “includes…any successor in interest of an employer.” 29 U.S.C 2611 (4)(A)(ii).

>> READ MORE HR Legal News >>

Mergers & Acquisitions: How People Factor Into the Deal

2009 was a very interesting year as the economic turmoil inevitably reshaped the way that many companies run themselves. Now that we’re more than halfway through 2010, all signs are indicating continued improvement. Organizations that were able to weather the storm may be on the lookout for prime opportunities to grow (and in some cases downscale) their businesses. Likewise, organizations that didn’t fare so well may be looking for a safe harbor in the form of a more well run business to acquire them.

Upon reflection of what we’ve been through, organizations should be contemplating what the future economy will look like and how they organize their current business for optimal growth and survival. Part of these strategies may entail either strategically selling off certain business segments or buying new ones in order to further market share or innovation.

>> Read More Mergers & Acquisitions >>