How to Ensure Compliance with Company Policies

How to Ensure Compliance with Company Policies

Company policies protect your business from frivolous lawsuits. They are designed to give equal opportunities to all employees, to create a safe work environment, and to inform workers about what they can expect from the leadership team. But even the most well-meaning corporate policies are useless if they aren’t followed consistently and to the letter. Follow these steps to ensure compliance.

1. Create Policies

Do you have company policies? You need to be proactive. Don’t just assume you can come up with coherent, fair policies on the fly as situations arise. If you don’t have policies in place, your HR team needs to make this a priority. Solicit input from managers, but your human resources department has the final say in the policy-making process. You want to create policies that will be best for your company. That might, at times, conflict with what your employees will want.

You should have policies to cover:

  • Holidays, vacations, sick days, and personal leave
  • Performance evaluations and improvement
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Employee classifications
  • Payment schedules, including advances, deductions, and overtime
  • Meals and breaks
  • Terminations

There are several additional policies you may want to create. Will you allow concealed weapons at your place of work? Will you conduct background checks or drug tests on applicants or employees? What is the procedure if one employee accuses another of bullying or harassment? Can employees bring pets to work? Knowing how you’ll proceed before a heated issue comes up helps to ensure compliance because it sets expectations.

2. Spread Awareness

If no one knows what the policies are, it’s impossible to ensure compliance. A full, detailed list of your policies should be readily accessible at all times. Print out a binder and leave it in the employee break room. Give each new hire a hard and digital copy of corporate policies when he or she is hired. Most importantly, go over the policies to verify that the employee understands and agrees to abide by each one. Ignorance should never be an excuse for not following a corporate policy.

Incorporate your corporate policies into your onboarding process. Go beyond uploading the documents to your onboarding software. Your software should allow you to schedule to-do lists for your new hires, and show you whether or not these tasks have been completed. Don’t just make your company policies mandatory reading material. Create a quiz or questionnaire that prompts employees to share their thoughts about policies. It will be good feedback for you, and it will give new hires the chance to really consider each policy and its potential impact.

3. Lead by Example

Compliance starts at the top. If your managers are taking extended lunch breaks, using company property for personal business, or posting unauthorized updates on social media, your employees will either follow suit or become disillusioned with their leadership. Corporate policies are for everyone, from the CEO to the college intern. If anyone in the company doesn’t follow policy, others will believe that they don’t have to, either. Inconsistency is the biggest danger to successful implementation of your corporate policies.

Consistency is about more than trying to ensure compliance. If an employee ever decides to file a lawsuit against your business, precedents will be a part of that lawsuit. Did you follow every HR policy to the letter, or have you been making exceptions for some? This doesn’t mean that you need to blindly enforce your policies. A salaried employee, for example, may not be subject to the same strict rules as an hourly temp. But document any discrepancies and your reasoning behind them to protect the company should an employee file suit.

4. Be Reasonable

You don’t necessarily need to create a hard and fast rule for everything. You should be proactive and have some sort of general guideline for most scenarios, though. If you’re not sure about a certain policy, don’t exclude it from your corporate policies altogether. Instead, note that this situation “will be handled according to the manager’s discretion.” This leaves the door open for you to change policies later on if they don’t seem right for your business.

5. Follow the Law

There are certain policies every business needs to have in place according to federal law. Review your corporate policies with an attorney to ensure compliance with OSHA, labor laws, and other acts. Remember, your company policies are more than a guide or a handbook. In a court of law, they are typically treated as a contract between an employer and its employees. This is not something you want to put off until a situation arises. Create and ensure compliance with corporate policies now to avoid trouble in the future.

How to Hit Recruitment Metrics

How to Hit Recruitment Metrics

If your recruitment metrics have taken a dive recently, you may want to consider investing in recruiting software like an applicant tracking system. But don’t take our word for it! Independent research has found that technology can significantly improve key performance indicators (KPIs) like cost-per-hire, time-to-fill, and quality of hire.  In one survey, 89% of recruiters said that recruiting technology was either “extremely” or “very” important for performing their jobs well.

Reasons Why Companies Don’t Adopt Recruitment Technology

(Source: Software Advice survey)

So what’s the holdup? Why haven’t some companies gotten on board? Don’t let cost be a deterrent. Recruiting software can save you far more money than it costs by lowering your cost-per-hire and time-to-fill, increasing quality of hire, and improving other recruitment metrics. Here are three ways an applicant tracking system can help you hit your recruitment metrics this year.

Hire Faster

A good applicant tracking software is easy to learn and intuitive to use. Some companies worry that they will lose time and productivity as they switch from paper to software. But the long-term benefits of modernizing will surely outweigh the costs of any ramp-up time. The aforementioned report found that 95% of recruiters were able to learn the software with minimal difficulty. One of the major benefits of recruiting technology is a decrease in the amount of time it takes to fill positions. By filling positions faster, the company benefits from the productivity of a larger team right away.

Hire More Easily

You don’t have to be a technology guru to use recruiting software. Aside from quick implementation (especially by cloud-based providers), applicant tracking software is designed to make recruiting easy. You can directly post and promote advertisements to multiple job boards and career search sites with a single click. You can set up templates and automatic email triggers. Hiring managers have a place to collaborate, and candidate information is located in a single repository. An applicant tracking system will streamline and organize the recruiting process.

If you’re currently using a recruiting software and it’s causing you headaches, it’s time to choose another one. Most recruiting software companies offer a free trial so you can get a feel for the system before you buy.

Save Money

Budgeting is critical in business, especially as you’re growing. Some SMBs feel recruiting software isn’t affordable or worth the cost. They stick with a homemade or manual process and miss out on the savings technology offers. The hard truth is that a manual process costs you time, money, and resources. In the long run, you’ll spend more to hire additional staff to take on the work overload and make up for an inefficient process. As your HR department works harder on tasks that could be automated, key recruitment metrics suffer, inadvertently affecting the quality of your new hires. A good recruiting software system enables individuals to streamline the recruiting process, so fewer people are needed to do the work. A recruitment management system is one tool you can use to boost your ROI and your key performance indicators.

Are you having trouble hitting your recruitment metrics? Consider signing up for a free trial of a recruitment management system like ApplicantStack. Not sure how your KPIs look? An applicant tracking software helps with that, too. It automatically tracks and reports your recruiting metrics, so you can see exactly how far you’ve come.

SwipeClock Acquires Applicant Tracking System ApplicantStack

SwipeClock Acquires Applicant Tracking System ApplicantStack

ApplicantStack joins forces with SwipeClock to provide the best HR labor management solutions for SMBs across the country

Cary, NC, Release Date: January 15, 2019.

ApplicantStack has been acquired by workforce management software company, SwipeClock (https://www3.swipeclock.com/) and will be joining their workforce management solution portfolio. SwipeClock provides HR labor management solutions including time & attendance, scheduling and employee self-service software. The addition of ApplicantStack will give them a best-in-class applicant tracking and onboarding solution to add to their product suite.

“We’re excited to join SwipeClock’s family of premier HR solutions for small and medium-sized businesses,” stated Nathan Shackles, CEO of ApplicantStack. “Joining SwipeClock will enable us to further enhance our ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard products while also providing our customers access to an integrated set of HR labor management solutions.”

ApplicantStack will continue to operate as a division of SwipeClock with the same products and level of service it has in the past. ApplicantStack’s products and services will continue uninterrupted.

“Applicant tracking and timekeeping are among the most compelling requirements for small businesses,” said Coleman Barney, SwipeClock CEO. “The acquisition brings together two extraordinarily complementary products that our partners and their customers can start using right away. This is a natural fit with our strategy to extend and expand our solution with other HR services of value to small and medium businesses.”

About ApplicantStack:

ApplicantStack: the affordable, easy-to-use, full-featured recruiting and onboarding system trusted by 2,500+ companies since 2009 to automate and streamline their recruiting and onboarding process.

We spent our careers in human resources, bogged down with paperwork and craving more time and resources. Our goal is to provide organizations the tool we always wish we had. We created ApplicantStack, a simple, gets-the-job-done software that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. It’s not another thing to manage, but the tool that helps you manage your day.

To learn more please visit: https://www.applicantstack.com/

About SwipeClock:

SwipeClock is a leader in simple and affordable workforce management services. Our more than 1,000 partners have empowered more than 30,000 businesses to reduce labor costs, comply with regulatory mandates, and maximize profits. SwipeClock cloud products (WorkforceHUB, TimeWorksPlus, TimeSimplicity) and hardware clocks (TimeWorksTouch, TimeWorksTUFF and others) provide instant employee access to automated timekeeping, scheduling, leave management, HR dashboards, and other HR resources. With SwipeClock, employers transform labor from a cost of doing business to a competitive advantage.

To learn more please visit:  www.swipeclock.com.

Digital Onboarding for Remote Employees

Digital Onboarding for Remote Employees

Remote work is rapidly becoming an accepted and even desired part of the American lifestyle. Take a look at these statistics. Some might surprise you!

Remote work isn’t just a fad or trend. A recent survey found that 80% to 90% of the workforce says they would like to telecommute at least part of the time. It’s an option that more companies are considering – especially as the job market heats up.

If you’re hiring remote workers, how can you make sure they’re a part of the team? How do you integrate them with your corporate culture and teach them the responsibilities of a new job from a distance? The answer: digital onboarding.

Why Use Digital Onboarding?

Remote employees are accustomed to working from home. Ideally, your new hire is self-motivated, excited to get to work, and independent. Digital onboarding offers several advantages that traditional onboarding doesn’t. And it’s not just good for remote employees. In-office workers will appreciate these benefits, too.

It’s Easy

Instead of dampening first-day enthusiasm with a litany of paperwork to fill out and mindless videos to watch, digital onboarding gets that stuff out of the way ahead of time. Your new employee will be able to spend Day One – whether that’s in the office or out of it – learning the ropes of his or her new role rather than whiling away the hours in a conference room.

It’s Standardized

Every employee goes through a similar onboarding process. When you set up digital onboarding with software like ApplicantStack Onboard, you ensure that every box is checked, every time. Collect all necessary paperwork using a library of state and federal forms. Distribute company policies, benefits information, and other notable documents so they can be reviewed at any time in one place. If your onboarding process is less than successful, you can examine what works and what doesn’t and make changes so that everyone has the same positive experience.

It’s Efficient

Printing and passing out entire reams of legal documents and forms is tedious (and expensive!). Digital onboarding allows you to download documents once, and distribute them to new hires without making multiple trips to the printer. You don’t need to take up an employee’s valuable time to walk a new hire through the onboarding process. Digital onboarding guides your new hire step by step, at his or her own pace.

It’s Engaging

The most engaged employees are actually those who telecommute three or four days a week. Surprised? This kind of schedule offers a good balance between on-site collaboration and off-site autonomy. In-person onboarding isn’t always necessary. Let your new hire do what he or she can do from home. Then, maximize time at the office by building in-person relationships with teammates and colleagues. Digital onboarding gets the mundane tasks out of the way, so you can focus on what really matters when you’re face to face.

It’s Thorough

Use your onboarding software to create a checklist for your new hires and your hiring managers. Authorized users can log in to make sure that tasks are completed, and follow up with anything that’s still missing. Upload safety or training videos to YouTube and link them to your checklist. Your new hire will be able to view them instantly at his or her convenience. Assigning tasks ensures that every box is checked so nothing is overlooked.

Whether you’re hiring someone who will be working remotely full time, occasionally telecommuting, or working from the office every day, digital onboarding makes the onboarding process less painful for all involved. No one wants to spend his or her first day on the job filling out forms.

Want to learn more? Watch this brief demo. Ready to try it out for 15-day? Click here for a free no-obligation trial.

Best Practices for Seasonal Hiring

Best Practices for Seasonal Hiring

While seasonal hiring isn’t limited to the holidays (think summer lifeguards), the winter holidays are most commonly associated  with hiring seasonal employees. Seasonal hiring presents a particular challenge to employers. Competition for quality employees is stiff. Onboarding needs to be successful and immediate. If you don’t start training early, seasonal employees are left to sink or swim.

So what seasonal hiring best practices can help your hiring team overcome these challenges? Do you know how to recruit seasonal players? There are a few rules of thumb that will lead you to success during this busy season.

Hire Early.

Some major retailers begin the application process for seasonal employees as early as June, especially when the job market is tight. With major players adding tens of thousands of workers each holiday season, a small or medium-sized business has to make sure it’s competitive. If you don’t start advertising seasonal positions early on, you’re going to be behind the ball when the holidays roll around.

Offer Benefits.

If you haven’t begun advertising your seasonal jobs yet, don’t panic. You can still beat out the competition by offering better benefits. What kinds of things do seasonal workers want? Higher wages never hurt, but flexibility tops the list of demands. New apps and sites have made it easy for seasonal applicants to comparison shop, so you need to find a way to stand out. Leverage technology like your applicant tracking system to enable applicants to schedule interviews at their convenience. Make sure you’re able to tell your workers their schedules at least a week in advance. Although these employees won’t stay with you for long, they will affect your bottom line.  And a happy employee is a productive one, especially in sales.

Advertise Appropriately.

Post your seasonal job where it’s most likely to be seen by the kinds of people you’re looking for. College job boards, Craigslist, and Facebook are all good sites to find someone who wants seasonal work. An applicant tracking system like ApplicantStack can make it easier to post jobs to niche sites. You can even track which applicants are coming from which sites to determine your most effective advertising avenue. Unless you need very specific skills or have certain prerequisites, you may want to skip the fee-based job sites. Those tend to be frequented by applicants who are looking for a longer-term career rather than a seasonal job.

Interview In Person.

Or at least on video. When you’re only hiring someone for a few months, attitude matters most. You don’t have time to nurture and teach your seasonal employees to connect with peers and customers. In retail, especially, likability matters. A resume won’t tell you if a candidate is respectful, enthusiastic, confident, and poised. That’s something you need to see to assess. In-person interviews are time-consuming, especially if you’re hiring en masse. ApplicantStack integrates with Google Calendar and Outlook, so you can eliminate scheduling complexities and easily find times that work for everyone. Consider hosting group in-person interviews, or use video interviews instead. Face-to-face interviews are part of seasonal hiring best practices because they yield the best results.

Think Long Term.

Don’t neglect to ask about an applicant’s long-term plans just because he or she is only with you for the season. If you can hire someone year after year, that person will become familiar with your processes. College students, for example, can be a great choice for seasonal hires. They may have the same season off each year for several years. They like knowing that they can count on you to employ them when they’re on break, and you like knowing that your seasonal new hire isn’t completely “new.” If someone might need a seasonal job next year, take that into account during the hiring process.

Be Ready to Go.

Once you’ve sealed the deal with your new hire, get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. Use your applicant tracking software to send and receive the necessary paperwork. Smooth out any wrinkles in your onboarding process. If possible, upload safety and training videos to your new hires’ accounts so they can view them at their convenience. Use a questionnaire to get your employees’ uniform sizes and order them ahead of time. Set yourself – and your new hires – up for success by giving them as much information as they can handle before Day 1.

Seasonal hiring best practices can guide you as you make your hiring choices for the holiday season. Snap decisions are necessary, though, and you’re likely to experience some turnover. Once your employees are on board, don’t neglect them. Employee engagement can help lower those churn rates. Training should be ongoing; offer opportunities for promotion. Who knows? That part-time worker may become a key full-time asset.

3 Statements Your Recruiting Team Should Avoid

3 Statements Your Recruiting Team Should Avoid

The current hiring landscape is vastly different than it was just ten years ago. Gone is the 9-5 workday. Gone is the standardized application process. Gone is the time when employees worked for years in the same position at the same company.

Today’s employees find new jobs through social media and word of mouth – not by handing out resumes printed on expensive paper. One survey found that 85% of all jobs are filled through networking. In this modern era of job recruiting, which rules no longer apply? If you hear these statements, your recruiting team is on the wrong track.

“The Recruiting Team Will Be In Touch.”

If what you really mean to say is, “If you haven’t heard from us, you haven’t gotten the job,” then your recruitment mindset is stuck in the ’80s. Social media recruiting expert Andy Headworth bemoans the lack of respect given to today’s applicants. Consider this: one bad experience can cost you hundreds of potential candidates. If your company fails to communicate promptly and courteously with a candidate (despite the many tools out there that make automatic, personalized responses easy and convenient), you’ve left someone angry and frustrated.

Now, let’s say that person takes to social media to vent about his poor experience. According to Harvard Business Review, those negative reviews seriously injure your reputation and even increase your cost per hire by 10% or more. There’s no excuse for a lack of communication with – and consideration for – your applicants.

“If You Don’t Meet the Criteria, Don’t Apply.”

Sharlyn Lauby of the HR Bartender blog notes that during the Great Recession, companies added criteria to the knowledge, skills, and ability (KSAs) needed to apply to jobs. Now that jobs are widely available again, do recruiting teams need to lower expectations a bit? Lauby argues that the better option is to “make investments in employee training and development.”

Others, including Headworth, believe that recruiters should push back on unnecessary requirements. He works “on the premise of always recruiting for 70/75% of the skills needed.” For Headworth, cultural fit is more important. New hires can learn on the fly, but you can’t teach culture.

Whichever viewpoint you subscribe to, a recruiting team should be able to look beyond certain skills to find the potential in a new hire. Of course, there are some ‘must haves.’  Candidates shouldn’t apply to be a nurse if they don’t have a nursing degree. But many of those ‘nice to haves’ are currently used as exclusionary criteria – to the detriment of the employer.

“Follow the Interview Script.”

We get the appeal of this. After all, you can’t compare and contrast candidates’ answers if they aren’t asked the same questions. But there’s a trick to a masterful interview. HR Blog Fistful of Talent calls it the “secret weapon of candidate interviewing.” You need to listen more than you speak.

The most revealing interviews don’t come from drilling a candidate on employment history, education, and past projects. You’ll learn the most about a candidate if you have a conversation. This could take several forms, from chatbots to social media to video interviews.

Learn to use silence effectively. If you’re not saying much, your applicant will jump in. And what he or she has to say could show you much more about how that person’s brain works than a traditional interview.

So What Should You Hear?

The power dynamic in hiring is becoming more balanced. Recruiting teams can no longer simply demand that applicants “show their stuff.” In return, applicants know what they’re going to get if they choose to join up. Companies need to sell themselves.

In the past, hiring managers and candidates have had a teacher/student type of relationship. One person clearly had the upper hand (and the power to pass or fail the other person!). Today’s relationship is more like a blind date. You’re just two parties hoping there might be a spark between you. Any good relationship starts with mutual respect. The language your recruitment team uses should reflect that.