When a small business owner offers employment to a candidate, it can be one of the best feelings in the world for both sides. But what happens if somewhere along the process, mistakes are made that can eventually come back to harm the business? Even worse, what happens if the same mistakes get repeated over time – resulting in catastrophic financial losses and disruption of the business? You might not think it’s possible in your organization but no company is immune to legal trouble when it comes to onboarding new hires. On November 4, 2019, Alberto Ruisanchez, chief, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) gave several helpful tips to stay out of trouble when making your next new hire. In his presentation, entitled “Avoiding Unlawful Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination,” Mr. Ruisanchez mentioned three key areas where employers find themselves in trouble with the law:
Recruitment or Referral for a Fee
While each of these areas are critically important to pay attention to, I’ve found that most small businesses make mistakes with onboarding the most. Most specifically, there are mistakes made when proving the employee has the right to work in the United States. Here are a few tips to keep your business above board and your new hires happily employed for the long haul!
Be cautious of making hiring preferences based on citizenship status. According to Ruisanchez, many employers are unable to make hiring preferences for American citizens. What does this mean? If you have an open position at your company and non-American citizens apply, you cannot reject them on the basis of their citizenship status. For example, If Joe’s Plumbing and HVAC has an opening for a Senior Manager role, any eligible applicant cannot be dismissed simply because they are not American. If the US Department of Justice or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discovers a practice of excluding qualified applicants from progressing in your hiring process, you may be subject to fines and back pay for all affected individuals.
Now, as with many things relating to the law, there are exceptions. Federal Contractors who participate in contracts that have citizenship-based hiring requirements, workers who are unauthorized to work in America, workers who require employer sponsorship, and, of course, wherever allowable by law.
In order to reduce the odds of trigger an inquiry by the USDOJ and EEOC, I recommend the following tips to stay on the right side of the law:
For roles that are open to citizens and non-citizens alike, do not ask for citizenship status the application. Only ask if the applicant is eligible to work in the United States.
Keep a record of all applicants and save paperwork + digital applications for the appropriate amount of time required by law.
Understand employee rights with completing Form I-9, and try not to be too “helpful.” When completing Form I-9, a new hire document that all employees must complete, it’s important to give each new hire a choice of which documents they use to complete the form. There are two main requirements for the Form I-9. List A documents show proof of identity and work eligibility while List B documents and List C documents combine to show proof of identity and work eligibility. You have to let the employee pick From my experience, small business owners and administrative staff might think they are being helpful by telling new applicants which I-9 documents to bring but that’s actually no-no. Here’s what I recommend instead:
Provide your new hire with the full list of List A, List B, and List C documentation. Here is the official USCIS list.
Give the employee an ample amount of time and notice to secure the documents that they know will cover both proof of identity and eligibilty to work. As the employer, you should check both to ensure neither documents have expired.
When it comes time to recertify an employee, follow the same course of action. Prescribing which documents to use may seem helpful but it can actually be discriminatory if you only accept certain documents.
For more helpful tips and a recap of the events from the 2019 SHRM Global Mobility and Immigration Summit, check out #GMIS19 on Twitter!
The implications of the #metoo era continue to spread far and wide. As a result, state governments across the country are making big changes. States are making an honest effort to make the workplace less hostile for women and we’re here for it. Take California for example. Cali is known for progressive policies and a pro-employee environment. Did you know that the state is making it mandatory for employees with a handful of employees to complete Sexual Harassment prevention training by the end of 2019? This article will give you a quick overview of what’s required and answer some questions on how Jumpstart:HR, LLC can help your organization meet these new expectations.
If you’re an employer in California, keep reading. And don’t worry, even if you’re not an employer in the Golden State, keep reading. Your state could be next!
Which employers are required to provide sexual harassment training?
As mentioned above, employers with 5 or more employees must provide sexual harassment training to all employees. This includes not just key decision-makers and HR but all employees and supervisors. The state provides some flexible learning options, too. Training can be done in a classroom setting or any other effective interactive training format. That means you can send your employees to training, conduct training in-house, or register for an online program that fits the requirements. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is requiring this training to be completed at least once every two years.
What type of sexual harassment training do employers have to offer?
According to the CA DFEH, employers are required to offer sexual harassment prevention training through one of the following:
Interactive E-learning training
Live Webinar Training
While there are a few options for employers to consider, the main focus for the training is retention. Not just retention of employees (obviously) but retention of knowledge. Each training options must include the ability to interact with material and have questions answered. It’s not enough to sit through a lecture. The trainings have to be dynamic! Memorable! And complete with quizzes and attendee participation. For training that is offered online, employees must be able to contact a knowledgable trainer who can answer their questions within 2 days or less.
Training must cover not only the prevention of sexual harassment but also:
The definition of sexual harassment
Examples of sexual harassment
The limited confidentiality of the process
Resources for sexual harassment victims
California is investing in comprehensive training and each training must include quizzes and skill-building activities. Those activities are meant to assess the participant’s understanding and application of major concepts.
Wait – how does California define a supervisor?
I’m glad you asked! Because that can often be a tricky question to answer when people merely collaboration on projects as opposed to lead people. Supervisors, by definition, are employees within an organization that have the ability to offer a job and terminate employment. They can also appoint, reassign, reprimand, or reward other employees. California also considers people who have a significant influence in these areas as supervisors as well. These are important distinctions because being a supervisor is not about your title but rather your influence in an organization. For example, if there are two programmers that report to the same boss – yet one is more senior and can help shape the career path of the junior programmer – the senior programmer could be considered a supervisor. It would make sense, then, for the senior programmer to participate in supervisor training.
Does Jumpstart:HR offer sexual harassment training?
Yes, we do! Starting October 1, 2019, Jumpstart:HR will provide live webinar and online e-courses for employees and supervisors alike. While we traditionally support small businesses and startups, both the live webinars and online e-course are designed to support employers large and small. “Eliminating sexual harassment at work isn’t about the size of your company, but rather your commitment to making positive changes that make the workplace a safe space for everyone’ says Jumpstart:HR, LLC Owner Joey Price. Our training has been crafted with the help of legal professionals and stand up to the rigorous guidelines mandated by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
In this internet era, finding job listings is pretty straightforward. However, it is arguably harder than ever to stand out in a crowd of experienced applicants. However, if you have excellent skills and you know how to draw attention to them on your resume, your chances of being noticed by a recruiter are pretty good. Also, if you are an employer looking for talent, wouldn’t you like to know what skills are in demand today and needed for tomorrow?
After analyzing various reports and profiles, I have identified the top five skills that helped get candidates hired last year. Take a look:
Cloud and Distributed Computing
With the rise of cloud computing-based applications like Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Cloud, and Google Drive, the need for skilled and capable professionals is increasing. Companies are eager to spend more money on employees with cloud computing skills because of the high demand for remote software storage. As a result of high demand, professionals with these skills can easily command high salaries. In 2018, the average salary packages offered to Platform Engineer and Cloud Architect was about $107,185/year and $142,141/year.
Data analyzing, data organization, and business analyzing are among the few areas that need analytical reasoning skills. As companies collect data more than ever before, they are starving for professionals who can make smart decisions based on it.
Whether you are preparing business analysis or working on increasing engagement with data analytics, the capability to comprehend and present numerical data proves to be in high demand. Know that, in 2018, salary packages offered to Data Analysts and Business Analysts were about $65,000 and $70,000 per year.
The age of artificial intelligence is here to stay. Therefore, this high-demand skill comes as no surprise. From generating personalized ads to tracking digital footprints to develop self-driving cars, AI is becoming a part of our daily.
Artificial Intelligence is expected to offer 2.3M opportunities by the year 2020. Just search on Indeed; vacancies in the field of artificial intelligence have doubled over the last three years and are expected to rise in the upcoming years. AI is the future, and employers seem to have caught on to this trend.
Even though advances in technology have shifted the focus away from human interaction, people management remains number four on the top skills list! Technology is appreciated, but so are people, and the results of a combined effort you drive as a team are valued much higher compared to results-driven by one individual.
In the business, building successful relationships with employees and management is essential. Therefore, companies who want to build great workplace culture and improve the employee experience hunt for people with great people management skills. The people who are masters in this area are best suited for leadership positions in any organization.
With the increase in competition in the business field, the need for marketing skills is also increasing. Companies make every effort to stand out amongst competitors, and so must employees on an individual basis. As a result, the demand for people with excellent sales and marketing skills is growing.
When it comes to the salaries of the marketer, it usually varies with the capabilities and results produced. Where some marketers got vast salaries, others got even double of them. However, with the ability to earn commission and bonuses, the salary growth possibilities in this field are limitless.
While these may be the top five workforce skills in the US job market today, one constant thing is change. If your company requires updated job descriptions or general HR consulting support, contact us right away.
To stay on top of Jumpstart:HR, LLC’s view of all things Human Resources, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter today.
Do You Know The Rules On Paid and Unpaid Internships?
“I’m looking for an intern because I just lost a critical employee.”
“We believe interns should be ready to contribute on the first day of their internship!”
“Our interns work as long as they’d like!”
If any of these three statements reflect your paid or unpaid internship experience, I hate to break it to you but you’re doing it wrong. Students who agree to join your organization shouldn’t be evaluated the same way as an entry-level employee because the rules of engagement aren’t the same. A quick rule of thumb is that employees are hired to SHOW and interns are groomed to GROW. If you’re in the middle of the hiring process for your summer interns and think you might be going about it wrong, we’ve got you covered!
This article will explain:
The merits of paid and unpaid internships
The seven factors that the Federal Government uses to validate an internship program
What to do if you’re stuck or confused
Are Internships Still Worth It?
If you’re a hiring manager at your organization, you’re probably wondering if internships still matter. In an era of AI and bots, lean teams and freelancers; the idea of hiring an intern might feel like an afterthought. Not only do interns legally require more hand-holding than other labor classes, but turnover is darn-near 100% since unlike Mike in Accounting who’s been at your company since the pre-Internet age, internships have to end at some point! In my professional opinion, internships are worth it for employers and interns alike! My thoughts on the subject are below but I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section or by tweeting me on Twitter (@joeyvpriceHR).
If you’ve ever looked at entry-level job descriptions (or written one lately), you know the conundrum that early-stage employees face. Many “entry-level” jobs require at least 1 or 2 years of experience in the industry… But how does one get this experience without having experience? Well, a perfect way is through an internship. Whether a student has a paid or unpaid internship, there’s redeeming value for the student who makes the most of their time at work. Yes, unpaid internships continue to be a hot topic on college campuses but they do pay off. Unpaid internships offer a whole host of opportunities for students who make the most of their limited time on your team:
Valuable work experience
Opportunities to network with industry professionals
A chance at reducing college tuition debt
Internships also benefit employers in many ways. They offer employers a way to begin building a pipeline of future talent, increase brand recognition among early-stage professionals, and may provide skilled labor at a discounted cost to help support mission-critical tasks. However, internships also come with a degree of risk, and an unsuspecting employer may find themselves under scrutiny or facing legal penalties and fines if their internship programs do not measure up to Federal, State, and local guidelines.
What Mistakes Do Employers Make When Hiring Interns?
Perhaps the biggest issue that arises when providing internships is whether the experience actually constitutes an internship, or if it is considered to be employment. Remember, internships are meant to be an educational experience first and foremost. Thankfully, there is Federal guidance on what makes a good internship program! The following criteria and tests can be used when determining whether or not your internship program is truly an internship:
Both the intern and the employer understand that the intern is not entitled to compensation
Make it clear to your interns from the very start that they will not be paid for their efforts as an intern. Try to capture this in writing either when you offer the internship to the student, or in the original announcement to which the intern applies.
The internship provides training that would be given in an educational setting.
Say goodbye to the days of making your interns take everyday coffee runs, lunch orders, and other menial tasks. The work that an intern is asked to complete should be similar to that of what they would otherwise do or learn in the classroom (business majors should learn about business functions and processes, political science majors should gain an understanding of the political process, etc.)
Completing the internship entitles the intern to academic credit
So, if the intern isn’t getting paid in money, what should they be paid in? Why, academic credit of course. Work with academic institutions’ internship coordinators to coordinate how many hours an internship will be expected to work, and how many credit hours the intern may be expected to receive.
The internship is limited in duration and educates the intern
Put a time limit on how long the intern will be expected to work for your company. This helps in setting expectations for your interns, as well as in determining the number of credits your interns will receive for their experience. How long should an intern last, you might ask….?
The internship corresponds with the academic calendar.
Depending on the State, college, or academic program, this length might differ. However, make sure that the internship corresponds as closely as possible to the academic calendars of the colleges in which your interns are enrolled.
The work complements, rather than displaces the work of a paid employee
Plain and simple, your interns should not replace your regular workers. Doing so almost universally results in your interns being considered regular, paid employees. Not to mention, it is also unethical and, if your interns continue not to be paid, could result in stiff fines for your company.
The intern is not entitled or promised a paid job at the end of the internship.
Promising an intern a job doing essentially the same things they’ve been doing as an intern causes problems. Mainly, it essentially creates an “unpaid trial service period” to test out employees until they become regular employees. A documented or promised job at the end of the internship also can be seen as creating an employment relationship.
By no means does this list preclude you from paying your interns for the work they do for your company. In fact, you may need to pay your interns in order to be competitive and attract top college talent to intern for your organization. However, it is important to keep the above 7 factors in mind, regardless of whether your interns are paid or unpaid.
Help Prevent Sexual Harassment with Our New Training Program.
Do You Want to Build The Perfect Internship Experience?
If you’ve gotten this far in the post, pat yourself on the back! It shows that you’re committed to helping your workplace be a launching point for successful students who benefit from mentorship at your office. If you’re interested in building out your internship program – or refining it – contact us today! It never hurts to have a second set of professional eyes reviewing your program to make sure it’s perfect. Jumpstart:HR, LLC can assess your internship program for the following:
Does your internship program pass the seven-step test?
Is your internship program one that students want to sign up for?
How do you make the most of the time your interns have with you?
How do you attract interns that resonate with your brand/mission/values?
What do I need to know/do if an intern doesn’t quite work out and needs to be terminated?
These are all big questions that we talk for small businesses and small teams at larger institutions. Drop us a note and let’s chat!
It can be expensive to fail at hiring a new employee in a small business or startup. In this video, Joey Price, of Jumpstart:HR, LLC gives you everything you need to know about low quality of hire and how to improve candidate experience and your employee onboarding results.