Archive for October, 2010

Powering your Part-time Hiring Strategy

Looking to add some part-time employees for the holiday season/new year?

Before your organization can count the money saved with adding part-time workers vs. full-time, it’s important to educate yourself on the logistics and legality behind it.

Whether your retail business is looking to add seasonal hires or your mid-sized organization is growing, part-timers may be the key to keeping costs down and productivity high. Before you start recruiting, take a moment to review the basics:
Recruiting for Part-Timers:

Despite the down economy, students may still be your best bet for part-time help, especially for summer, evening, or weekend hours.  Allbusiness.com suggests:

To tap into this applicant pool, try advertising in local and student newspapers/websites, as well as on bulletin boards at nearby high schools and colleges. You can also call nearby schools to see if they have employment offices that match students with potential employers. Other resources include temporary agencies and websites targeted at seasonal or part-time employment. In addition, retirees are good candidates for part-time help; consider advertising at local supermarkets or calling nearby retirement associations.

Leveraging an applicant tracking system can be a big part in keeping your part-time and full-time talent pools separate during the recruitment process. Use an ATS that constructs a dynamic workflow within the Applicant Flow to mimic the client’s hourly/part-time recruitment strategy. This includes additional Bins and Status Levels designed to match the hiring process for part-time candidates. Additional process includes screening questions focused on availability and experience to limit and manage large applicant volumes.

Hiring Part-Time Workers:

A recent article in the LA Times offered some “Did you Know” tips for organizations looking to add part-timers to their workforce:

Did you know…

  • Part-timers qualify for overtime, and meal and rest break rules might apply to them too. In California, which has a daily overtime rule, even an employee who comes in one day a week could be due overtime if he or she works more than eight hours in one day.
  • Some benefits, including certain retirement plans or leave laws such as the Federal Family Medical Leave Act, can be triggered if a worker exceeds a certain number of hours in a year, regardless of the employee’s part-time status.
  • Even a single part-time employee must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, and minimum-wage laws must be followed.
  • Bringing a part-time worker aboard might bump up a business’ status with regard to employment laws. For example, if adding a part-time worker boosts the workforce from four to five, the business might have to comply with a state’s workplace disability rules.
  • If a small business expects to add part-time workers, it’s important for the owner to learn the rules that apply ahead of time and put the proper procedures in place.

Again, the benefits of utilizing a Talent Management system greatly facilitate the headaches of paper-work (automate it!) and compliance laws (track it!). So before you amp up your work force with part-timers for the holiday season, make sure you have a plan in place! Familiarize yourself with state laws for part timers, and make your life easier by having an applicant tracking/talent management system in place.
Additional Resources:

Part Time and Temporary Employees – Employee Rights Center (findlaw.com)

Part Time Employment Overview (United States Department of Labor)

Understanding the Federal HIRE Act (White Paper)

iCIMS Blogger, Katie Meeker

Management Perceptions May Pose Biggest Threat to Security Employment

October 20, 2010, Washington, DC— Change in corporate leadership, a lack of leadership buy-in or support of security programs, and difficulty showing the value of security programs are the three issues that security and risk professionals believe pose the biggest threats to their jobs, according to a recent survey conducted by the Security Executive Council.

The survey, conducted in August, asked both the Council’s Tier 1 Security Leader™ members and its community at large the question, “What in your organization is putting your continued employment at greatest risk?” It generated one of the highest response rates of any Security Barometer poll the Council has run. Continue Reading…

Is the security guard industry growing in a down economy?

I am often asked to comment on whether the security guard industry is growing or shrinking in a down economy.   It is a difficult question to answer because payroll growth in the security guard industry has been largely a result of increased prevailing wage rates.  What we are seeing in 2010 are dramatic increases in workplace theft losses which are more than likely the result of reduced coverage at sites.     Over the last 22 years we have witnessed physical security staffing cycles and expect the current cycle to trend as follows;

  1. 1. Moderate growth of 1-2% nationwide.  I expect the Arizona, Texas and Southern California markets for physical security services to increase dramatically over the next 3 years in support of our nation’s borders.
  2. Reaction to event;   workplace violence shooting,   terrorism alert or natural disaster temporarily increases security guard billable hours dramatically only to see those hours decrease gradually over a 6 to 12 month period
  3. Economy;    During recession, security guard hours are cut to levels that do not adequately support security services at client sites.
  4. Losses;   occur at client sites and client restaff to pre-recession levels and growth of 1-2% continues

While technology is certainly expanding there are very few better visual deterrents than a human being.     Feel free to contact me at mlehner@mechanicgroup.com if you have a comment about this blog or simply wish to further discuss its contents.

Mike Lehner is a principal with The Mechanic Group, Inc. a leading insurance, risk management and consulting firm to the security industry.

Mid-Sized Organizations' Most Pressing Financial Human Resources Challenges

According to a study performed this year, mid-sized companies face challenges just as complex and just as often as larger companies do. The main difference, however, is that mid-sized companies are forced to face these challenges and overcome them with fewer resources and less sophisticated processes in place. Not only do the challenges themselves, but this shortage of strategic, tailor-made solutions put, the HR and payroll aspects of mid-sized organizations in an uncomfortable situation that can affect the company from top to bottom.

According to the results of the white paper, “More Complexity, Fewer Resources: A Unique Study About HR Challenges in Mid-Sized Organization” (2010), some of the most pressing challenges these companies faced included:

• Simply meeting the needs of HR and payroll in mid-sized companies was a challenge.

• Remaining in compliance with all of the new regulations and stipulations was as or more difficult to accomplish in a mid-sized versus a ‘big” company.

• There was a recognized need for improvement and updating when it came to HR and payroll technology.

• Reporting was of critical concern, with nearly 100% of survey takers admitting that finding improved reporting strategies would result in better business decision-making.

• Mid-size organizations were less likely to opt for outsourcing their HR and payroll technology, even though those that did performed better and had higher satisfaction than those that kept things in-house or created a hybrid combination of both.

How many of these challenges is your mid-sized organization up against?

For many companies, an effort to save money and cut back on budgets has prevented the leadership and administration from implementing new solutions that could minimize the impact of all of these challenges and more. However, in most instances, making the switch to outsourcing HR and payroll technology only requires a minimal outlay of capital while paving the way for rapid change and increased focus. When companies don’t have to sweat the small stuff, they’re better able to focus their attention on what needs it the most: their bottom line.

How To Tell If Your Human Resources System Is Outdated

One of the most dangerous maxims in business is, “But that’s the way we’ve always done it.” What this essentially means is that there’s a fairly good chance that you’re following a human resource principle that may be outdated. If you’re still working in an obsolete HR system, you could be wasting time, talent and money, while propagating a broken system that’s holding you back from true success. As the world of free enterprise becomes increasingly regulated and scrutinized, adopting today’s best practices and cutting-edge solutions that can withstand the test of time means you must always think of the future of HR, today.

Is your current human resources system static and one-sided, or strategic, dynamic and interactive? The more one-dimensional your current system is, the less effective it will be in attracting, training, deploying and retaining the industry’s best talent. If not, this is a sure sign that your organization is at risk of being outdated and out of touch.

Does your current human resources system focus solely on the needs of the bottom line or does it zero in on all areas, from the smallest employee to the largest department? The less comprehensive your focus is, the higher the chance is that you’ll wind up letting something important slip through the cracks or escape notice.

How easy is it integrating your HR systems solution with other key operational aspects of your business? The more difficult integration is, the more difficult achieving the right research and results will be. Make integration and transparency the key to your far-reaching success.

Does your current human resources system foster collaboration, or does it leave departments isolated from or in competition with one another? The easier collaboration and teamwork are within your organization, the easier it is to streamline and replicate achievements both up and down the corporate ladder.

The danger of being outdated isn’t just behind in the times. It means that every day you put your company in jeopardy of being obsolete and disconnected from the needs of the market.

2010 CALSAGA Annual Conference

The 2010 CALSAGA Annual Conference will be held at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa in Santa Rosa on October 27-28.  Located in the Historic Railroad Square and in the heart of Sonoma County, this year’s conference will feature an all-star lineup of speakers and vendors, as well access to world-class food and entertainment.

This year’s theme, “New Challenges…New Opportunities ” will take a look at the political and regulatory challenges facing the security industry.

Click here for link to Event Website and full details

Crucial Questions to Ask Human Capital Management Providers

Human capital management is about the total workforce marketplace, not just aspects of it. The total workforce marketplace is a three-punch system that hinges upon attracting and hiring talent, deploying and managing them, and finally retaining and rewarding them for their efforts and out-put. Working to insure that a human capital management provider has mastered each of these three key areas is essential to your overall success. The following are questions that can help you get closer to a solution that is completely comprehensive, without redundancy or other waste.

What does it mean to “attract and hire?” How far is your company willing to go? How many ways are they going about targeting this foundational goal? When you need the answer to these questions, it pays to zero in on three primary areas that offer telltale signs of success:

1. Applicant tracking. Can they tell you who applied and how many are up for consideration. How easily can you get your hands on important applicant information and make sure no one talented or eager falls through the cracks?
2. Background assessments and hiring paperwork. Are you vetting potential candidates carefully enough? How do you know?
3. Training. Does the human capital management provider offer training? Is it taken seriously? How intensive is it?

Once you leave the realm of talent attractions and hiring, it’s time to consider how the staff will be deployed and managed. Who will handle payroll and HR? What mobile solutions are there? Who plans the schedules? Who tracks time and attendance? How will you know? These are important questions, as are the ones in the next category.

If your company is focused on long-term retention and relationships, you need to think about the incentives you offer workers to entice them to your company and then keep them there once they’re hired. What rewards are there? What services? What about benefits and insurance?

If you can’t answer these questions satisfactorily for any solution, in or out-of-house, then you need to think carefully before moving forward.

Mobile Technology Workforce Management Ideas

Smartphones are becoming more and more ubiquitous, but how can mobile technology be integrated into workforce management solutions? Chances are, anyone with a Smartphone is already using it to check work emails and communicate about daily work-related matters. Current mobile technology is in a position to revolutionize the world of workforce management.

Mobile devices will be used as tools by regional managers, store managers, and sales-floor personnel alike to speed the accomplishment of a wide selection of daily tasks. Responsibilities like training and scheduling, including filling open slots, will take place entirely or almost entirely through mobile devices. Overtime and other unique payroll functions will also be handled by such portable technology.

Mobile technology is ideal for more than personal emails and instant messages on the go. Company employees will be expected to produce visible, measurable outcomes relating to task management using mobile devices. Staff will no longer have to be tethered to the desktop or laptop computer to search for breaking information or important communications. Employees will be able to increase store sales by checking other branches for necessary merchandise, keep track of their own store’s inventory, and retrieve information about product specifications and other data.

The list of functions mobile technology can streamline is by no means exhausted. Mobile devices can be used to bid for specific shifts, schedule performance reviews, and request vacation days or sick leave. As mobile technology continues to develop, so will its applications in the workforce management arena.

As with any new technology, using mobile devices has its drawbacks. Smartphones or other devices might get stolen, lost, hacked, or broken while in use. On the other hand, mobile technology is ideal for improving internal communication and customer service, as well as saving money. Despite its possible risks, the potential workforce management benefits of mobile technology are far too great to ignore.

Companies throughout the world are taking advantage of the time and cost-saving capabilities of mobile technology. Valiant offers a wide range of solutions for companies looking to incorporate mobile technology into the workplace, including a fully PDA-accessible Web Clock.

How Much Does A Company Save by Implementing Workforce Management Technology?

According to a recent study by Axsium, organizations save significant amounts of money during the first year after implementing enterprise workforce management technology. The study determined that companies save an average of $1,614 for each employee during the 12 months after they utilize workforce management software. Payroll costs were reduced by 0.4 percent on average during the same time period.

The study was limited to companies who are leaders in their industry and chose to use specific enterprise workforce management technology in recent years, including attendance management, scheduling, leave management, and time and attendance. A fourth of the organizations participating in the study devised a business case in order to figure out the workforce management system’s return on investment. Almost 90% of those who participated in the study felt that the new workforce management system was in line with their expectations or proved even more helpful.

Study results also indicated that the return on investment from implementing workforce management technology could be bigger. Just over 30% of those participating in the study reported that it took them more than two months to become familiar with the new technology and master the skills necessary to operate it efficiently. In addition, most of those who responded reported needing more time to devote to tasks completed with workforce management technology than prior. Almost 50% of those participating in the study implemented only an incomplete part of the new system provided to them.

The overall findings pinpointed significant workforce management issues that could be resolved by spending a greater amount of time on training and communications. Focusing more attention on change management was also touted as a way to increase the total revenue garnered from workforce management technology implementation. Although the return on investment per employee is already substantial, the study indicated that by spending more time training employees, eventually the total amount saved could increase even more drastically.

By investing in workforce management technology, organizations can save thousands of dollars each year. Valiant provides workforce management technology solutions for companies of all sizes.

Best Practices in Human Capital Management

Human resources professionals have a myriad of jobs within a company, which may make it difficult for them to keep track of which workforce management solutions are most successful at any given time. Best practices for human resources professionals include analyzing strategic business intelligence, instituting and maintaining an employee portal, and incorporating mobile technology in the workplace.

Previously, human resources professionals simply dispensed information concerning the strengths and weaknesses of company employees. With the advent of modern workforce technology, however, human resource professionals can actively analyze methods by which developing talent in certain areas can net the organization in question more profits. HR employees can utilize analytics tools to cull data from all departments of a company to analyze current profit margins, as well as predict ways to increase profitability in the future.

Since human resources have such a wide range of workforce management tasks to supervise, instituting an employee portal would simplify and streamline the process considerably. Such a portal would allow employees to access all work-related information across departments, including payroll, in one easily accessible central electronic location. An employee portal would not only be a best practice in itself, but would also be a way to host best practice communities on topics like continuous feedback, development options, social learning, and tracking goals.

The vast majority of professionals have smart phones or other mobile devices that allow them to connect with others and have access to crucial information in moments. Incorporating mobile technology is especially essential for workers who travel frequently so that they can stay up to date and learn of company communications and policies during their daily routine. Creating mobile applications that encourage employees to remain engaged with their jobs while increasing their productivity is a prime way to harness the power of modern mobile technology.

With the aid of modern technology like Smartphones and employee portals, human resources professionals have been provided with a new collection of best practices to apply. Valiant Workforce Management Solutions offers advanced workforce management software and other solutions that are ideal for streamlining many disparate administrative tasks.

Download the Top 30 U.S. Guard Companies