Do I Want to Implement a Benefit Program?

A benefit program can serve the objectives of a company in several ways, when well-thought-out and implemented with deliberation. The key here is for the company to decide on its objectives and then develop programs that support those goals.

Too often a company adds a benefit to the company program because a manager read a magazine or took a meeting with someone selling a service. Just because you could offer on-site massage does not mean you should. Starting a new service or benefit deserves a study of costs, employee preferences, and how the benefit fits into existing company programs.

Just as no company would introduce a new product without significant prior market research, and no recruitment campaign for new employees would be initiated without first considering the employee qualities desired and developing a job description for the position, no benefits program should be initiated without doing the research.

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How To Reject a Job Candidate

With unemployment soaring sky high, almost any job posting will result in many applicants. For the hiring manager, it can feel overwhelming and you may be tempted to rush right through. There are a lot of good reasons for not doing that, but one of the most important is how you/your company will be viewed in the future.

Most applicants put a lot of time and effort into the job application process. They spend time reading advertisements, researching companies, and crafting a cover letter that will get them noticed. If they get an interview, they may take time off from their current employer, or spend money to travel to meet with you. Perhaps they have practiced their interviewing skills, both on the phone and in person. Hanging over their head the entire time is the fear that they won’t ever get a job, because they know how bad the market is at any level.

Over and over again I hear them tell me the same thing: why don’t I hear back? They are left waiting and wondering, often for months at a time.

Don’t do this to your applicants, it just isn’t fair; and it is downright rude.

I recommend that every applicant receive an email from the hiring manager within three business days of sending in their application. Ideally, that email should let them know if their application is being reviewed, or that they are not under consideration. An email template will work just fine for this early communication, one for each scenario.

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Long-Awaited FSLA Changes Can Have Dramatic Impact on Small Companies

It made a big splash in the news and there have been a number of articles about it, so almost everyone knows that the rules regarding salaried employees will be changing as of December 1, 2016. It will effect more than 75,000 workers in Washington State alone.

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Disconnects in the Workplace

English is a clear and easy language used all over the world in business because of its broad applicability . .. right?  Then how is it that so many of us can hear the same instructions and  say we understand, and yet there always seems to be the one guy who just doesn't "get it"?  You know who I mean -- he's enthusiastic, and eager, but keeps getting it wrong. He'll jump right in and answer questions, wrong. It's gotten to a point where you won't send him out for a tuna sandwich, because you're afraid he'll come back with mac & cheese.

It's a frustrating situation all around, I know.

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What is a Competitive Salary?

Many companies, when posting an advertisement, will mention that they offer a “competitive salary”, perhaps DoE (depending on experience). Have you truly thought about what it means, or are you just using a phrase everyone uses?

Its quite vague to say a salary is competitive; no employer is going to say they pay a non-competitive or below market wage. And what do we mean by competitive anyway? For example, one of my past employers was located in downtown Seattle, as were most of the employees. Rents for a nearby 2 bedroom apartment were upwards of $2500, and food was at a premium. A competitive salary there needed to take into account the high costs of living. In Kent, the costs are much lower, with mortgages on 3+ bedroom houses going for the same as those Seattle rentals, and although car costs are usually more, the overall number is significantly lower.

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