The most successful recruiters will go beyond doing more of the same and instead come up with ways to fundamentally change how they work in order to deliver better results.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the maximum earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase to $137,700. Before the start of new year, adjust payroll systems to account for the higher taxable wage base and notify affected employees that Social Security FICA taxes will be withheld from more of their pay.

From a legal standpoint, affinity groups raise two common issues: the use of social media and discrimination concerns.

We live in a technological world, and it seems as if we now communicate more through our electronic devices than we do in person. Yet, one interpersonal mechanism necessary for securing a job has remained largely sacrosanct — interviews.

Recently, employers have taken up a new trend, eliminating visibility in favor of efficiency by conducting interviews by text. In the constantly evolving hiring market, employers can gain a significant competitive advantage by understanding how this new process works, the benefits it can afford and strategies to implement the practice.

How Does it Work?

Given that text is the most utilized data service worldwide, with approximately 23 billion texts sent every day, it seems apparent that it can be used in hiring. Surprisingly, many employers have not yet capitalized on the practice.

More akin to traditional interviews, some employers utilizing the practice still prefer a live method, where the interviewer and interviewee designate a time window to talk. Generally, this style mirrors a question and answer format, i.ethe interviewer does not provide the next question until the interviewee provides the answer to the previous question. While this method maintains formal questioning, it promotes focused interactivity between the participants and allows each person to mindfully craft their question or answer without extraneous pressures.

Meanwhile, questionnaire formats entail sending all questions to the interviewee at once, who then returns all answers in one message once completed. At the same time, it facilitates reasoned responses, this approach also allows the candidate greater opportunity to research or obtain other help on the answers, which may not be a desired or intended result.

Also read: Recruiting Technology Is a Hot Commodity

Additionally, interviewers can use the asynchronous process to conduct multiple interviews simultaneously and take as much time as needed to review answers and send the next questions, and interviewees can enjoy little to no disruption of their daily lives.

Why Should Employers Do it?

In theory, technology often aims to streamline processes. In practice, results often vary. Interview by text, however, promises a multitude of benefits for employers. Whether a small business or an international corporation, an employer can contact potential candidates that were previously unreachable.

Interviewing by text allows you to operate outside of the confines of a normal workday and geographical time differences, and the response time is often less than one minute. In so doing, you prioritize efficiency by reducing: (a) the amount of time spent on disinterested candidates and for hiring decisions overall; (b) the travel costs and environmental impact not spent on travel; and (c) the likelihood of losing a valuable candidate due to lack of engagement.

Also read: Could Video Interviewing Land You in Court?

Not only can interview by text facilitate progress through internal processes, but it can also promote external growth by perpetuating a contemporary brand image. Instant gratification is ensured by satisfying candidate desire for the hiring process to be convenient and easy. Employers have boundless potential to reinvent their image and desirability merely by doing something they likely already do — pick up the phone.

How to Make It Happen

In most cases, interview by text can likely be implemented with limited changes to an existing hiring practice. Mass text messaging may be the most efficient means to secure seasonal workers but may not be appropriate for a single high-level position. Therefore, it is important for you to consider what goals you seek to achieve.

First, consider creating a policy outlining text message etiquette. You can specify how and when to initiate contact through text, whether short-form communication or use of slang is appropriate and the frequency with which texts should be sent. This guidance ensures that expectations remain clear, privacy boundaries are set and control over public image is maintained.

Second, further ensure quality control by choosing how communications are preserved. You can manage text messaging in one central location through recruitment marketing software that keeps all communications in one place — including candidate applications, email communications, file notes and any text messages.

Also read: Meet Your New Colleague: Artificial Intelligence

Comprehensive and diligent recordkeeping also limits legal exposure. For example, interviews by text could protect an employer against a failure to hire claim based on race discrimination in that the employee conducting the interview did not see the candidate’s face, body language or mannerisms. Eliminating many identifiers and maintaining a record of the interview can deflate a potential bias argument.

Speed, efficiency, and innovation allow employers to attract a modern workforce. Undoubtedly, participating in popular technological movements such as text messaging can make employers relevant. Nonetheless, each employer must determine whether adapting its hiring practices to this new forum is feasible and prudent.

SHRM Online caught up with Gretchen Alarcon, group vice president of human capital management (HCM) strategy at Oracle, to ask her about the company’s new voice capabilities for its digital assistants and other ways employers can support employees’ career growth and help them collaborate more effectively with their peers.

Though health insurance coverage for mental health has
steadily improved in recent years,  experts
say support for mental health awareness in the workplace hasn’t kept pace.

Here’s why that’s notable: More than 200 million workdays are lost due to mental health conditions each year ($16.8 billion in employee productivity).

Three in five employees say they’ve never spoken to anyone at work about their mental health status.

To help understand why mental health awareness remains so elusive, Mind Share Partners, SAP, and Qualtrics conducted a study of the prevalence of mental health challenges and stigma in U.S. workplaces.

Less than half of respondents felt that mental health was a priority where they work, and even fewer viewed their company leaders as advocates.

Mental health awareness stats

Other findings included:

About 86% felt their company’s culture should support mental

A full 50% of Millennials and a whopping 75% of Gen Zers had
voluntarily left jobs for mental health reasons, compared to just 20% of
respondents overall.

In fact, most people don’t consider themselves vulnerable to
a disabling mental health condition, even though 4 out of 5 will manage a
mental health issue in their lifetimes.

According the Centers for Disease Control, poor mental
health awareness, and the accompanying stress, can negatively affect employee:

  • Job performance and productivity.
  • Engagement with one’s work.
  • Communication with co-workers.
  • Physical capability and daily functioning.

Also, mental illnesses such as depression, are associated
with higher rates of disability and unemployment. Depression interferes with a
person’s ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time and
reduces cognitive performance about 35% of the time.

Only 57% of employees who report moderate depression, and 40% of those who report severe depression, receive treatment to control depression symptoms.

Improving the culture

CDC experts say workplace health
promotion programs have proven to be successful, especially when they combine
mental and physical health interventions.

The workplace is an optimal setting to create a culture of health because good communication structures are already in place, and:

  • Programs and policies come from one central
  • Social support networks are available.
  • Employers can offer incentives to reinforce
    healthy behaviors.
  • Employers can use data to track progress and
    measure the effects.

Action steps employers can take include:

  • Make mental health self-assessment tools
    available to all employees.
  • Offer free or subsidized clinical screenings for
    depression from a qualified mental health professional, followed by directed
    feedback and clinical referral when appropriate.
  • Offer health insurance with no or low
    out-of-pocket costs for depression medications and mental health counseling.
  • Provide free or subsidized lifestyle coaching,
    counseling, or self-management programs.
  • Distribute materials, such as brochures, fliers,
    and videos, to all employees about the signs and symptoms of poor mental health
    and opportunities for treatment.
  • Host seminars or workshops that address
    depression and stress management techniques, like mindfulness, breathing
    exercises, and meditation, to help employees reduce anxiety and stress and
    improve focus and motivation.
  • Create and maintain dedicated, quiet spaces for
    relaxation activities.
  • Provide managers with training to help them
    recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and depression in team members and
    encourage them to seek help from qualified mental health professionals.
  • Give employees opportunities to participate in
    decisions about issues that affect job stress.

The post Keys to promote mental health awareness and ease employee stress appeared first on HR Morning.

Business success depends on a variety of factors, and the recruiting trend landscape is no exception.

An analysis of today’s market suggests an economy shaped by several factors, including a gig economy that continues to expand, and a skills gap bemoaned by many HR professionals.

What’s shaping recruiting trends?

The unemployment rate hovers at a record low of 3.5%, a number that has steadily decreased every year since the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

By many estimates, the U.S. economy is considered at full employment. For employers, that means it’s a slow time to hire, as many positions remain unfilled because the number of jobs available exceeds the number of candidates looking for employment.

A low employment rate brings its own set of unique challenges for recruiting, and with global issues like a trade war with China and the U.K.’s expected departure from the European Union, the global economy might be in for uncertain times.

A slow time to hire means recruiters will need to compete for top talent and recruiting tactics will need to be increasingly innovative.

Here are six things we see coming in 2020:

1. Recruiting with flexibility

A competitive hiring market means offering perks to employees, including one that’s increasingly prioritized by job seekers: flexibility. According to a 2019 survey conducted by the International Workplace Group, 80% of respondents said they’d choose the job offer that came with flexibility over the one that did not. Furthermore, 85% of businesses responded that productivity actually increased in their workplace due to more flexibility.

flexibility as a job perk, i.e., allowing employees to work some time from home
and other hours at the office, can help you gain an advantage versus businesses
offering positions that do not include flexibility. Flexibility, of course, can
depend on the type of job and technology involved and is most suitable for
employees who can work remotely via their laptops.

2. Hiring outside your target market

shortage of workers who are traditionally qualified for specific jobs means
employers will continue to look outside their traditional target markets. This
means hiring will not necessarily be based on prior job experience, but based
on the candidate’s potential for growth and the ability to be trained on the

will also need to look for skills they think will help prospective employees
easily adapt to the responsibilities of the job — otherwise known as
transferable skills. Transferable skills can include things like dependability,
strong communication skills, organization, adaptability and leadership.

3. Video recruiting

Video has been increasingly used by organizations in their recruiting processes to convey what tasks the job entails and to showcase the organization’s culture, mission and values. Use of video can help organizations speak to prospects remotely, record interviews for feedback from other team members and assess personality traits.

4. Collaborative recruiting

your business through networking and current co-worker connections is a great
tactic that can bring quality team members to your organization. An employee
referral program that provides incentives to employees who recruit people they
know can be highly beneficial to both employer and employee.

to a CareerBuilder study
from the early 2010s, 88% of employers surveyed rated employee referrals higher
than all other sources as the best means of generating return-on-investment.
When competition for employees is so high, finding new hires through
connections rather than job boards is a viable and compelling alternative.

5. Automation

is becoming increasingly more capable, and digging through each resume manually
is becoming a thing of the past for large organizations. Automation can help
facilitate candidate screening, interview scheduling and skills analysis.

6. Diversity hiring

In 2015, a study performed by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company found that companies with greater racial and gender diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns higher than their respective industry medians on a national basis.

The take home

Whatever recruitment tactics organizations choose to integrate in 2020, methods will ultimately be at the mercy of the job market and the global economy.

While we can’t predict the future of the economy, we can guarantee this: Recruitment will be defined by innovation and technology — and the organizations that embrace both will have greater success at recruiting the right employees for the long haul.

The post Recruiting trends in 2020: 6 tactics you’ll want to sharpen up on appeared first on HR Morning.

Talking about suicide does not need to be taboo.employers mental health; Millennials and mental health

Mental Health America’s 2019 “The State of Mental Health” report has some concerning statistics. While adult prevalence of mental illness has been relatively constant, suicidal ideation, or suicidal thoughts, has increased from 3.77 percent in 2012 to 4.19 percent in 2017.

“That’s over 10.3 million adults in the U.S. with serious thoughts of suicide,” the report noted. Meanwhile, more than 10 million adults in the U.S. have an unmet need for mental health treatment.

Companies should understand how suicide could impact not only a person’s family and loved ones, but also their co-workers, clients and everyone around them, said Ali Payne, practice leader for organizational wellbeing at insurance brokerage Holmes Murphy.

“I think the way we make sure people feel connected is having a strategic relationship with leaders and having leaders be open about how it impacts them or how they do business,” Payne said. She suggested creating a work environment where open conversations are encouraged.

Leaders should educate themselves of the available resources and prepare themselves if a mental health crisis happens, she said.

Suicide is a significant public health issue both in the United States and worldwide. Between 1999 and 2016, suicide rates have increased in every state in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Further, the World Health Organization estimates that one person dies of suicide every 40 seconds worldwide.

“Our Global Suicide Crisis,” a 2019 report from Prudential, notes that while it’s understood that depression and anxiety can be precursors to suicide, there isn’t yet enough known about the many reasons behind suicide to prevent it. Still, addressing depression and anxiety can help.

One way to address mental health in the workplace is by adopting best practices such as telehealth for behavioral health and on-site mental health clinicians, the report notes. It also stressed that when an employee takes time off to deal with a mental health episode, managers should remain in contact with them. “This may not only help an employee through depression — it can also reduce their fear of returning to work,” the report noted.

Workplace benefits and policies like this are valuable, Payne said, but employers and managers can also learn about accessible community-based resources that address mental health. These resources include mental health services provided by and crisis hotlines, government organizations, state-based organizations and local hospitals and health providers.

“A lot of employers don’t always know what those resources are, and they sometimes take them for granted until they’re impacted by [a mental health crisis],” Payne said. “Then they might take the initiative to figure out what those resources are. But I always say, let’s be as proactive as we can and really try to get a handle on what [these resources] are even outside of what we’re buying today.”

Co-workers can also benefit from guidance in learning how to address what they think may be a mental health crisis in a colleague. It may not be a comfortable situation, Payne said, but part of the training she does for clients is based around understanding how to help struggling colleagues.

Productivity Expectations

One work reality that may impact an employee’s mental health is rising productivity expectations, Payne said. “Right now we’re all asking our people to do more with less,” she added, saying that employees are more often wearing many hats and pitching in wherever the company needs them. “We need to make sure we’re thinking about how workload impacts people.”

Even though employers understandably want employees to be their most productive selves, that’s difficult for an employee when they are having mental health problems. It’s an added stress as well if they still feel workplace pressure to be at maximum productivity even when they’re not feeling good, Payne said.

“If they’re feeling like this, they’re definitely not going to bring their whole self to work. They’ll leave a majority of what they need and what they want somewhere else,” she said.

She also suggests that team leaders learn to help people recognize when they’re not feeling 100 percent and when they need to take a break.

Personalizing Programs

“We can’t just say that mental health affects everyone the same way,” Payne said. Financial stress may negatively impact one person’s mental health while career stress may cause a similar reaction in someone else. There isn’t one simple solution to address this workplace issue.

“There’s no silver bullet to anything, and that’s what everyone wants,” she said. “Everyone wants this silver bullet that’s going to solve all the problems in mental health, like stress management.”

While stress management programs have some value, stress impacts everyone differently. People can improve their resiliency, but even so they may not be as resilient of a person as someone else, Payne said. Some people are just more resilient than others. Simply investing in programs meant to increase employees’ resiliency is not enough to address stress and mental health, she said.

Payne encourages her clients to consider all the resources they have at their disposal that can be impactful to different people with different needs who are struggling.

“It doesn’t mean that they’re struggling all the way to suicide,” Payne said. “It might just mean they’re struggling in general. How do we make it OK to not be OK?”

Further national, state and local resources:

Also read:

Through continuous education, you can become legislative subject matter experts and compliance leaders. By setting goals and committing to a disciplined approach to educating ourselves, then utilizing a variety of SHRM competencies to do so, HR professionals can stay on top of evolving laws and regulations that affect the workplace.

Jason Hite
Jason Hite

About 10 years ago a light bulb went off for me that, as an HR professional, I had a crucial impact on the organization’s cybersecurity posture.

I was talking with a colleague in information security, and one of the main themes across our discussion was people. This theme encompassed HR-related topics such as the information security team we were trying to hire, develop, motivate and retain; our organizational security culture and employee behaviors; HR policies and practices that intersected with security activities; and my role as a leader and cybersecurity advocate in the organization.

This conversation, and many subsequent ones, were eye-opening for me. I quickly realized that if I was not part of the cybersecurity solution then I would be part of the problem. As a leader, this was a real-world example of how organizational silos could prevent mission-critical collaboration across core business functions. I refused to be part of the problem and wanted to be part of the solution.

Also read: FINRA’s New Cybersecurity ‘Best Practices’ Is Must Reading for Any Employer

blogHR colleagues have asked, “Doesn’t cybersecurity seem outside of your swim lane?” “Don’t you have enough HR related activities to keep you busy?” and “What will the executives or investors think if you are spending time on cybersecurity and not HR?”

Yes, trust me, there are many days where I have my own HR fires to put out. However, when a cybersecurity event does occur I will know that I’ve done all that I can to protect the organization.

In addition to being a partner and advocate of cybersecurity, HR must also be a protector of sensitive company data, personally identifiable information and protected health information. Over the last decade, HR has been the target of several dedicated cyber-attacks (GoldenEye, Gameover ZeuS) and countless malicious social engineering attempts. We play a crucial role in the data management lifecycle – the creation, storage, use, distribution, archival and disposal of information.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which was launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in October 2004. The theme for 2019 is “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.”– helping to encourage personal accountability and proactive behavior in digital privacy, security best practices, common cyber threats and cybersecurity careers.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology-National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education Working Group has published a guide called “Cybersecurity is Everyone’s Job.” This is a tremendous resource for professionals across all domains, from IT, HR, finance, marketing, leadership and beyond. We all must do our part to “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.”

Over the last two years I’ve had the honor of serving as NIST National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education Working Group Co-Chair for Industry. This group of individuals from government, academia and industry is constantly striving to create ways to not just make people aware of cybersecurity but to get everyone involved. Kick off the NCSAM by reviewing the “Cybersecurity is Everyone’s Job.” For additional information please see the links below.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)

National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Working Group

Cybersecurity is Everyone’s Job