All posts tagged Outsourcing

Providing Health Insurance to Employees is Good for Business

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Being a small business owner is not easy. Small business are severely disadvantaged when it comes to the time, money and resources needed to compete with large corporations. Finding the best places to spend and save money is crucial to success. We often come across business owners who believe they can’t afford to offer health insurance to their employees, or that the ROI for offering benefits just isn’t there. A recent article from the Harvard Business Review makes a great business case for offering benefits to employees.

Regardless of your opinion on this issue of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or your political stance, you can;t deny that right now there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to health insurance. Especially for individuals relying on Marketplace plans. If you are not currently offering a group health plan to your employees in favor of them obtaining their own coverage on the exchange, you likely have some anxious employees. The stability offered by an employer-sponsored health plan has a number of business benefits.

Health insurance is linked to lower stress
Research shows that employees who have health insurance are less likely to be stressed. This is easy to imagine given that the medical debt is the source of the majority of collection agency calls. Stress can be detrimental to your workforce. Employees who report high levels of stress are more likely to burn out and less likely to be high performers. Stressed employees negatively impact your bottom line, and anything you can do to alleviate that stress will improve it.

Health insurance improves long-term decision making
Employees who are struggling to make ends meet often have a difficult time making log-term decisions. Often these individuals are so focused on getting through the next week or the next pay period, that they lack the attention to long-term goals needed to be a high performer. Reducing an employee’s financial stress helps them be a better long-term decision maker and offering health insurance is way employers can do this.

Not having health insurance hinders cognitive ability
When financial stress weighs on a person’s mind, they are less likely to be able to pay attention to much else, including the work they do for your organization. If you are looking for innovative, bright employees, you need their focus and attention on their work. And is not just about the “what if” scenarios. Over 1/3 of employees have chronic ongoing medical issues that don’t just go away. The peace of mind provided to employees who know they will be able to go to the doctor or get the medication they need, allows them to perform at higher levels in your organization.

The uncertainty in the current healthcare market makes this the perfect time to consider whether offering health insurance may be what you need to take your company to the next level. Not only will you be able to attract and retain the best employees, but you will also get higher levels of performance out of your employees who are able to focus their attention on their work.

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A Plus BenefitsProviding Health Insurance to Employees is Good for Business

Standing Out in a Job Interview- Advice from Real Small Business Leaders

Job interviews are nerve-wracking, no matter how many or how few you have participated in.  It is your one shot to impress your potential employer and help them see that you would be a good fit for their organization and you don’t want to mess it up. So, how does a job candidate go about this exactly?shield-1020318_1280

You could read countless career-advice blogs, magazine articles or books, but we wanted to find out from real business leaders what one thing a job candidate can do to stand out in an interview. So we asked some of the smartest people we know, our clients. We also asked some of the leaders within our own organization to weigh in. We ended up with some common themes.

Being on time for an interview is critical. Robert Brockbank, owner of B&S Painting Inc. listed that as his number one thing a job candidate can do to stand out. Justin Rowley, VP of Risk at A Plus Benefits agreed, but said it is important to a job candidate not to show up too early either. Showing up 15 minutes or more before an interview sends a negat8ve message instead of a positive message.

Being on time isn’t the only first impression that is important. Dressing appropriately, looking the interviewer in the eye and following basic instructions (did they show up when and where they were asked to, did they bring any documents you requested, etc.) are also important to Rhonda Porter, owner of Nutrition West. This can all take place within the first few minutes of meeting, before you even answer any interview questions.

In most interviews, the employer will ask a number of questions designed to help understand what kind of an employee you have been in the past, so they can determine if that is the type of employee that would fit the open position. What kinds of things are employers looking to hear? Alice Johnson with Duane’s Auto Wrecking wants to hear that the job candidate is willing to learn and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Chuck Travlelstead, owner of Wing Pawn is also looking for a history of a strong work ethic. When answering questions, Mehana Curie, Payroll Manager with A Plus Benefits , wants job candidates to provide specific examples. This helps her to learn more about the candidate’s capabilities.

Many of the leaders at A Plus Benefits emphasized the importance of the job candidate demonstrating he or she has some knowledge about the company. Jake Lunt, COO of A Plus Benefits said job candidates should take the time to review the company website, learn something about competitors, and determine if he or she is already connected to any of the employees on LinkedIn. If so, reach out to those employees to find out what working at the company is really like.

Being familiar with the job descriptions and how you would fit within the organization is also important. Amber Hunter, Director of Employee Performance at A Plus Benefits suggests that job candidates be prepared to explain how their education and experience fit with the position and also admit where they may need additional training.

Personality matters as well. Tiffany Bundy, Payroll Operations Manager at A Plus Benefits wants get the impression that you are a positive person. If your previous employer wasn’t a good fit, it is ok to be honest about it, but spending time in an interview listing only the flaws in your previous employers and co-workers, sends a bad impression. Also, if you make a mistake, lose your words or stumble she wants to see you be able to laugh it off and move forward. She also wants to hear that you are passionate about the kind of work you will be doing.

Follow-up was mentioned by several of the leaders, including Jacob Hoehne, owner of Issimo Productions. Steve Anderson, VP of Benefits at A Plus Benefits said he appreciates receiving a follow-up email from a job candidate after an interview. It shows that the candidate was really interested in the position and the company.

The next time you are headed in for an interview take these pieces of advice into consideration. It just might just give you a leg up on your competition.

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A Plus BenefitsStanding Out in a Job Interview- Advice from Real Small Business Leaders

Do I Have to Pay Someone Working as an Intern?

Unpaid internships are popular across the country, providing benefits for companies and valuable experience for college students or recent graduates. This question comes up with our clients each year, as they look for ways to recruit new talent from colleges and universities. There is a common misconception that if a student is willing to work for free to get industry experience, then there’s no harm in taking advantage of it. Unfortunately, this practice leaves many employers open to substantial legal liability. It is vital that you make sure your unpaid internships meet DOL standards to help avoid significant penalties.computer-1185626_1280(1)

DOL Guidance
The 2010 guidance addresses unpaid internships under the FLSA, clarifying the determination of whether an intern is considered an employee (subject to minimum wage) or a trainee (legally eligible to perform unpaid work). These guidelines apply to for-profit, private sector employers. Unpaid internships in the public sector and for non-profit charitable organizations are generally permissible under the FLSA.

To determine whether an intern can be considered a trainee, the DOL lists six criteria that the internship must meet.

  • The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment.
    • This can often be satisfied by having a student’s university sponsor and oversee the internship and offer course credit for its completion.
  • The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
  • The intern does not displace regular employees, but instead works under the close supervision of existing staff
    • If the intern is working under the same supervision as regular employees, then the internship likely does not satisfy this condition.
  • The employer providing the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern and, on occasion, the employer’s operations may actually be impeded.
  • The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship and the internship is for a fixed time period.
    • Though an incidental job offer at the conclusion of the internship is acceptable, the employer is generally not allowed to use unpaid internships as a “trial period” for potential future employees.
  • The employer and intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

If all of these conditions are met, then an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA and an unpaid internship is legally permissible. The DOL has issued a fact sheet on this topic.

Employers who are not in compliance with the DOL regulations face legal exposure, including penalties from the government and potential lawsuits. Penalties can include owing back pay, taxes not withheld, Social Security, unemployment benefits, interest, attorneys’ fees and liquidated damages (double the unpaid wages).

Compliance Tips
The following strategies can help your company’s unpaid internships stay compliant with federal law and meet the six criteria established by the DOL.

  • Work with the student’s university. The school will often sponsor the internship and may offer the student course credit. Coordinating with a university can help ensure that the internship is providing the necessary training to make it an educational experience for the student.
  • Make sure the intern is learning skills that are applicable in multiple job settings, rather than being specific to your company.
  • Consider allowing interns to observe various aspects of your company’s operations (for example, job shadowing) without always needing to engage in work.
  • Make clear before the internship begins what the responsibilities and expectations will be, that the internship is unpaid and that there is no expectation of a job offer once the internship is over. Keep records of these written expectations along with any other documentation that describes what the intern does, what training is available, what type of supervision is provided, etc.
  • If the internship program causes any disruption to your company or represents a time commitment for any of your employees, this should be documented as well. An unpaid internship that satisfies the DOL’s requirements should actually be somewhat of a drain on the employer due to the time put in for training and the lack of production coming from the intern.

If your company has unpaid interns, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the DOL guidelines and make sure your program is in compliance as it could be costly for your company to get caught not complying.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact an HR Business Partner at A Plus Benefits at 1-800-748-5102 or humanresources@aplusbenefits.com

Information in this post was provided by Zywave.
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A Plus BenefitsDo I Have to Pay Someone Working as an Intern?

What Are the Differences Between a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and a Payroll Company?

We have met with countless small business owners over the years and learned they have some specific things in common, no matter the industry or size of the company. First, small business owners are busy. They do not have extra time to spend processing payroll, fielding employee benefits questions or researching human resources best practices. If they do happen to have extra time, they would much rather spend it with their family and friends than dealing with administrative headaches.startup-593326_1920

This leads many business owners to consider available options to help with some of the time-consuming tasks related to running a business. Payroll processing is one of the tasks that is often first on the chopping block. Luckily there are many options for outsourcing payroll including payroll software companies, payroll processing companies, and PEOs. Sure, we’re biased being a PEO ourselves, but our clients have suggested several distinct characteristics that set a PEO apart from other payroll solutions.

Access to exclusive resources
Based on 26 years of experience working with business owners we know that they are almost universally passionate about what they do. That passion drives them to push toward their goals, even during the most difficult times. They are also understandably protective of their business and employees. They want to be able to offer the very best pay and benefits, but cost is a real concern. Working with a PEO allows a small business the ability to offer a wide range of Fortune 500 level benefits at unbeatable prices. This includes employee benefits such as medical, dental, vision, life insurance, disability, 401(k), flexible spending, dependent care plans and many more.

Benefits are just the beginning. A PEO is also able to provide human resources solutions such as leadership development training, tools for recruiting and retaining the best employee talent, and turn-key onboarding resources. While there are standalone resources out there for each of these areas, the cost of even one of these solutions is generally too high for a small business to justify.

Cutting-edge technology solutions backed by world-class service
It is undeniable that technology makes our lives easier.  The challenge with new technology is that it is only as effective as the person using it. Having the newest and best payroll software will not make someone instantly an expert in payroll.  Working with a PEO gives a company access to not only the very best payroll and human resources software available, but also to the expert-level customer service professionals that you need to make the most of the technology.

Coordination of all employee-related business functions
A small business owner often has to wear many hats. One of those hats is to coordinate the various vendors that are working with the company and employees. There may be a benefits broker for health and dental, and yet another for vision. There is likely a financial advisor helping with the 401(k) and maybe a supplemental insurance broker helping with life insurance and disability. That is four to five individual relationships to manage and invoices to pay and that is only relating to benefits. There are additional vendors for workers’ compensation insurance, drug testing, payroll and many more. Working with a PEO allows business owners to consolidate payroll and all of these items with a single vendor. This not only saves the time and frustration associated with dealing with multiple vendors, but also allows for a unique coordination of services not available anywhere else.

A PEO offers a suite services for small business owners that simply are not available anywhere else. As small business owners research and consider their options, we hope they will look at the opportunities working with a PEO will provide their business. We believe whole-heartedly that the industry offers solutions small business owners need to compete and win in an increasingly competitive market.

If you are interested in learning more about how a PEO can help your small business grow through high-level technology backed solutions, more affordable benefits and other exclusive resources that meet the needs of business owners and employees alike, contact one of Business Consultants for a free quote.

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A Plus BenefitsWhat Are the Differences Between a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and a Payroll Company?

What’s Happening with the FLSA Overtime Changes?

You may remember that last year it was announced that there was going to be a change to the overtime exemptions for white collar workers. Ten months have passed since the proposed rule change was announced and yet nothing has changed leaving many business owners are wondering what is going on.

The new rule would require that these employees who make under $50,440 annually to be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a week, even if they are considered an executive, administrative or professional level employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act.dollar-bill-1088855_1280

Under current regulations, certain salaried employees can be exempt from overtime if they meet certain requirements: (1) the employee must be paid a predetermined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed; (2) the amount of salary paid must meet a minimum specified amount; and (3) the employee’s job duties must primarily involve executive, administrative, or professional duties as defined by the regulations.

The second requirement, the minimum amount an employee must be paid, is the portion of the rule that is set to be changed. Currently the minimum is $455 per week (equal to $23,660 per year) and would be raised to $921 per week (equal to $50,440 per year). This presents a challenge, particularly for small businesses that typically have strict compensation budgets.

Here is a timeline of events along with the latest update:

  • In mid-November 2015, it was announced that the change to the overtime rules would likely not take place until mid to late 2016, leading many to believe that a change could come in July of 2016 or even later.
  • New information came out in February of 2016 stating that a final rule would likely come before May 16, 2016 due to the election year. A report released by the Congressional Research Service, urged agencies to complete any final rules that they did not want to be subject to the mercy of the next Congress and next President.

At this point, the timing of implementation is still not clear. What is clear is that companies, particularly small businesses with strict compensation budgets should audit the compensation and other polices for their exempt employees that would be affected by the rule change and make some decisions about what will be done once the rule is passed. It is not only about the compensation itself, but also time tracking, time off and many other polices that often differ for exempt employees. It si possible that the window for compliance will be 30 to 60 days which is not much time for organizations with a lot of affected employees.

If you would like help auditing your employees and preparing for compliance should the new rule be enforced, you can contact an HR Business Partner for assistance.

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A Plus BenefitsWhat’s Happening with the FLSA Overtime Changes?

Making Flexible Work and Wage and Hour Laws Work Together

Flexible work arrangements are becoming increasingly popular among employers and employees. As Millennials begin to take over the workforce, employers will see that more and more employees will be asking for this benefit. There are many types of flexible work arrangements. Most often people think of telecommuting, or working from home. That is certainly a popular form of flexible work, but there are many more. Perhaps one employee would do better working four 10 hour shifts while an earlier (or later) start time best for another employee. Among the concerns many employers have when considering implementing flexible work arrangements, particular remote work is compliance with wage and hour laws. This is a valid concern and one that should be taken very seriously, particularly for non-exempt employees. This is likely to become even more important as new overtime rules expected to take effect later this year will mean that a number of white-collar workers will no longer be considered exempt from overtime.DeathtoStock_SlowDown3

A recent article from the Harvard Business Review gives some great advice for managing this situation.

Establish clear work-time guidelines: A flexible work arrangement does not mean that there are not guidelines as to when the employee should be working. Make it clear to employees what working time and non-working time looks like. The FLSA can provide a good guideline for this. Also outline what types of breaks in working time are appropriate. Clearly state that all overtime must be approved by a supervisor. As a reminder, these are things you should be doing for all employees, even those with traditional work arrangements and particularly those that are non-exempt.

Record all hours worked: Employers are required by federal law to keep a record of all of the hours worked by employees going back at least three years and your state and local laws may require more. If you use a timekeeping system (such as the A Plus Benefits TimeClock), make sure your remote employees can access that. If you use another system, make sure that remote employees have access to record their hours, or develop a spreadsheet or other mechanism for them to report their working time. Once again, this should be done for all employees, not just remote workers.

Consider when to compensate remote workers for travel time: Travel time can be a tricky wage and hour law to navigate and remote workers make this even more difficult. An employee traveling from their home to work and back again each day does not have to be paid for the time commuting, according to the FLSA. But what about a remote worker who starts their day at home, but then travels to the office for a meeting? The safest things to do in this case would be to pay the employee for that travel time, because typically for non-exempt employees, travel that occurs in the middle of the work day (crosses their normal working hours) is considered compensable time (must be paid and counts toward overtime). Make sure any of your non-exempt remote employees understand your expectations of starting their work day at home and then traveling to the office (or vice versa). If you have employees with a particular long commute, you may want to avoid these types of situations mall together to eliminate that extra cost.

Consider when to reimburse teleworkers’ expenses: Some employees who work from home may need to be paid for the use of their phone, computer or internet work purposes, particularly if the costs of those resources would push the employee’s pay below minimum wage. Here are some best practices:

  •  Give employees who telecommute (even just occasionally) laptops instead of desktops so they have access to a company computer at all time and never have to use their own equipment.
  • You can provide these employees with a cell phone or use free internet phone services like the one through Google to avoid additional costs for a home phone line.
  • If you require an employee to work from home or if working from home is a reasonable accommodation for the employee Americans with Disabilities Act, employers need to reimburse them for all necessary expenses related to performing work at home.
  • Even if work at home is optional, employers need to consider if the employee paying for phone, internet, computer etc. would cause them to earn less than minimum wage, and if so, must cover that cost.

Flexible work arrangements can be a win-win for employees and organizations, but it is important that organizations understand what some of the legal impact may be of having employees who occasionally or always work at a location away from the office. Rest assured, there are definitely more benefits than risks in most cases and a well-structured flexible work arrangement can cause little to no extra liability for the company.

As with all legal compliance issues, if you have concerns, we recommend you contact an employment law professional. Our HR advisors at A Plus Benefits can also assist you in making sure your flexible work arrangements are not creating any unnecessary extra liability.

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A Plus BenefitsMaking Flexible Work and Wage and Hour Laws Work Together

Maximizing the Benefits of Employee Reference Checks

Have you ever wished that you had a crystal ball to tell you which job candidate will be the best fit for your open position? Turnover is expensive and avoiding bad hires can give a small business a distinct competitive advantage, saving time, money and lost productivity.

One way to get some good insight into how your top job candidates will perform at your organization is to check into their work at past jobs. But checking references can be tricky as the laws protecting employees and past employers vary by state and there is no way to ensure that you will get a detailed accurate response from the reference. A recent article from Harvard Business Review gives some additional best practices for checking references.secretary-544180_1280

Check the laws in your state. Utah for example, has reference immunity laws to protect employers. This means that a former employer cannot be held liable for information they provided in a reference check as long as that information about job performance, professional conduct, or evaluation of a current or former employee in response to a request from the current or former employee or a prospective new employer as long as it was provided in good faith. An employer is assumed to have acted in good faith unless the employee can prove with clear and convincing evidence that the employer provided information with actual malice or with the intent to mislead.

Even with this type of immunity, some employers will still feel uneasy providing detailed information about an employee. One way to make employers feel more comfortable about giving you information is to provide them with a signed written release authorization form the employee (contact us for a template you can use).

Specify what you are looking for. Ask the job candidate to provide references specific to the type of information you are hoping to learn. Ask to speak to former managers to assess overall performance and achievement, peers to assess cultural fit and subordinates to assess leadership abilities.

Explain why you need the reference’s help. Explain the benefits of having a reliable reference. Acknowledge that no individual is perfect and that it doesn’t do the company or the employee any good to be hired by a company where they are not a good fit.  Also explain that you will keep their comments confidential. Starting the conversation this way may help the references open up and give more accurate information.

Ask specific questions. Choosing carefully crafted questions that get to the root of what you are hoping to learn about the individual will elicit the best results. Simply asking, “what did you think about Jane’s performance?” is too open ended. Help the reference understand the position you are hiring for and ask specific questions about behaviors that will be important to the job candidate’s success.

Don’t forget soft skills and cultural fit. Ask some questions to help you understand work ethic, empathy, teamwork and cultural fit. These are difficult to discern from a resume and often even in an interview. A reference can be a great source for this type of information.

Assess growth potential. References can also be a great source for understanding potential. Ask questions about the job candidate’s curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. Try to gain an understanding of the job candidates ability to grow, learn and adapt to changes.

Past behavior is a great predictor for future behavior. Take advantage of the opportunity to contact the references of your top two or three job candidates before making your final decision. If you need help, contact A Plus Benefits and speak to an HR Advisor.

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A Plus BenefitsMaximizing the Benefits of Employee Reference Checks

7 Ways to Pump Up the Energy in Your Workplace

It becomes more noticeable every day that employees are not just coming to work for a paycheck. A job is so much more than an exchange of money for effort put forth by the employee. What businesses are learning is that this old way of thinking doesn’t work anymore. In order to compete for the best employee talent, businesses (especially small companies that may not be able to offer the highest salaries or biggest perks) must manage not only their employee’s time, but also their energy.light-bulb-503881_640

Take a look around your organization. Does your workforce need to be re-energized? A recent article from Inc. gives seven ways to add unlimited energy to your employee team.

Make sure everyone knows the company’s goals.

Employees who understand why they are working hard will be more game for putting in the extra effort needed to reach the company goals. Employees want to be able to see how their contribution leads to the overall success of the organization.

Be flexible in your polices whenever possible.

Encourage employees to challenge the status quo and understand why things are done a certain way. This means being careful of falling into the trap of saying “because we’ve always done it this way.” If you have the ability to be flexible, your employees are more apt to respect your polices. Our HR Advisors can help you find areas where you can be a little more lenient and areas you may not want to bend.

Match employee interests with business needs.

Find ways to allow employees to take on projects they enjoy. If you know one of your customer service representatives also enjoys writing, allow him to write a guest blog every once in a while. Or maybe your receptionist enjoys event planning. Allow her to plan the next company or client event. This can be great growth and professional development opportunities and helps keep employees happy and engaged.

Let employees decide what to do when problems arise.

Encourage your employees to come up with their own solutions rather coming to you with every problem. Again this empowers employees and provides opportunities for growth and development. It also allows for some creativity in problem solving, with fresh ideas being brought to the table. When employees come to you with a problem, ask them how they think it should be solved. Then help them choose the best solution and allow them implement it with your full support.

Find out what skills employees are interested in learning.

This goes along with number three and requires that you really get to know your employees. Find out what things they would be interested in learning and then sponsor that learning when possible. Whether it is buying them a book on a topic of interest or paying for an educational seminar or class, encouraging personal and professional growth keeps employees active and engaged. Even if the topic doesn’t directly relate back to their job, there may be ways they can use the skills they learn in the future.

Learn where employees want to go with their careers.

Just as you want your employees to understand the company’s goals, it is important that you understand your employee’s professional goals. What areas interest them? What does their “dream job” look like? From there you can help them focus their professional development in a way that will help them get there. Along the way you will benefit from an employee gaining the skills you will need to promote them in the future.

Create a fun committee.

We have also heard this called a “culture club.” This is a group of people responsible for making sure that employees have a little bit of fun. As a leader it can be difficult to take time out to plan these types of events and the employees on the committees will gain valuable skills and spend time doing things they enjoy. It really is a win-win.

The leadership in an organization has a huge impact on employee energy. Employees who work for leaders who promote more sustainable ways of working are 51% more engaged, 68% more satisfied at work, and 100% more likely to stay at the company.

These seven easy tips can be a great way to start re-energizing your workforce if you see they are falling flat.

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A Plus Benefits7 Ways to Pump Up the Energy in Your Workplace

How to Pinpoint a Toxic Employee Before You Hire Them

We’ve all been in a situation where we have either worked with or hired an employee who could be described as toxic. Their bad attitude, lack of respect and overall rude behavior can be extremely detrimental to the workplace. In fact, according to the research, a single toxic employee can cost an organization over $12,000. That is not even taking into account the added costs to the organization related to decreased employee morale, upset customers. Small businesses who are constantly trying to make the most of their limited resources cannot afford these bad hires. A recent article from the Harvard Business Review gives some tips for avoiding hiring an employee who will become toxic to your organization.thumb-1006395_1280

Ask the right interview questions
Good interviewing is the best way to avoid bad hiring. Behavior based interviewing, where you ask a candidate to describe how they would handle certain situations will give you the best insight into whether their values match with company values. Ask for more than one example for each question, so that you can really understand if the candidate will be a good cultural fit. Also, be sure to follow a structured interview process, asking the same questions of each candidate. Some examples include:

  • Tell me about a time when you’ve had to deal with stress or conflict at work. What did you do?
  • When have you failed? Describe the circumstances and how you dealt with and learned from the experience.
  • What are some examples of your ability to manage and supervise others? When have you done this well? When has it been difficult?

Observe the candidates’ behavior before, during and after the interview
In addition to asking questions and recording answers, it is the job of the interviewer to record other details about each candidate that can be keys to understanding future performance. For example:

  • Did the candidate arrive on time?
  • Did they speak negatively about former employers, managers or co-workers?
  • Did they take responsibility for past failures or try to blame others or their circumstances?

Other things to consider are how the candidate treated your employees when they came to the interview. Did they greet the receptionist warmly? Did they chat with any employees in the waiting area or restroom prior or after the interview? Speak with every employee who had contact with the candidate while they were at your organizational and ask for their feedback. You may even want to have an employee take the job candidate out to lunch to get a better feel for their personality.

Ask for and speak with references
Ask the candidate to provide you with references and when you speak with them, be sure to ask questions about what it was like to work with the individual. Share your company’s values with the reference and ask if they think the job candidate would be a good fit. Some examples of questions to ask:

  • What is one thing his coworkers liked best about working with him? What did they like least?
  • Is the candidate a team player? Do they work well with others?
  • Would you rehire this employee? Why or why not?

You may also want to reach out to your network and see if anyone you know also knows the candidate. Check on LinkedIn and Facebook to see if you have any mutual connections. Ask your current employees if any of them know the job candidate as well.

Treat all job candidates with respect, no matter what
The only way to attract great employees to your organization is to treat job candidates with respect and fairness. Coach anyone participating in the hiring process do the same. Rude, disrespectful interviewers will attract toxic people and will give your organization a bad reputation among potential future candidates.

Are you dealing with a series of bad hires that lead you to believe you may need to revamp your hiring process? Contact one of our HR Advisors today to find out how we can help.

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A Plus BenefitsHow to Pinpoint a Toxic Employee Before You Hire Them

Successful Onboarding Leads to Successful Employees

Recruiting the best employees is costly and time consuming, especially for small businesses. Once you have found your great employees, it is in your best interest to make sure they stick around. And this turnover is expensive for so many reasons, not the least of which is the damage to employee morale and productivity. One of the main reasons employers lose great employees during their first three to six months is due to a less than stellar onboarding experience.

A recent article from Entrepreneur gives four questions you can ask yourself to determine if your onboarding process is broken.business-1067978_1280

1- Do you new hires have the tools they need for success?
Being a new employee is stressful and that stress is magnified when you have no idea how to get the things you need to successfully do your job. A survey done by TinyPulse found that 24 percent of employees said they were less productive because they lacked the tools they needed.

2-Are their goals clearly defined?
One of the biggest motivators for employees is a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Helping new employees set clear goals and checking win with them regarding their progress helps new hires hit the ground running. It also keeps them motivated, productive and engaged.

3-Do new hires understand the organization?
Having a basic understanding of the workplace culture, mission, values, organizational structure and history helps new employees fit in. It may be surprising how many organizations miss this step, but companies that do this well, see high levels of employee engagement and low levels of turnover.

4- Have they become part of the team?
Employees are more likely to be engaged and productive when they develop friendships with their co-workers. Your onboarding process should help them integrate into the company culture and provide plenty of opportunities for social interaction. One way to get this rolling is through a mentorship program.

If the answer to any of one of these questions is “no” for your organization, it may be time to revamp your onboarding process. Our Onboarding Toolkit is a free resource for employers full to tips, tricks and templates that can be customized for your business. And if you need help getting started, our HR Advisors can point you in the right direction.

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A Plus BenefitsSuccessful Onboarding Leads to Successful Employees