Why Teens Don’t Have Summer Jobs Anymore

Fewer teens are getting summer jobs, but what does this mean for the economy as a whole?

Summer JobSummer jobs among kids ages 16-19 has declined by 30 percentage points since the 1970s. What is the reason for this lack of teen employment, and what does it mean for the economy?

Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA, says several factors are at play. “First, stores such as Macy’s and Sears have closed hundreds and hundreds of stores in recent years, and thousands of jobs have been lost as a result.”

Once the mecca for teens looking to socialize as well as earn cash, these shuttered retail stores could spell trouble for teens.

“When so-called ‘anchor’ stores such as Sears or J.C. Penney close down, it becomes very problematic for the mall as a whole,” explains Wilson of Employco USA. “Filling that retail space is very difficult, and with giants like Sears experiencing a major decline, that means that many malls across the country are going to be left with huge vacancies. This puts all the stores within the mall at major risk, from your kiosks to your pretzel stands to your small clothing stores.”

In addition, teens are now shifting their focus from flipping burgers to working internships in their desired field of employment, especially as President Trump has now made internships more widely available to teens. Continue reading

Podcast: Legal vs. Illegal Interview Questions

Rob, Scott, and Jason discuss legal vs. illegal interview questions; from laws that prohibit hiring discrimination to questions that you can and cannot ask. Plus, some recommendations on best practices for interview scenarios.

Employco also has an upcoming live webinar discussing “Legal Recruiting and Hiring” on June 21st. Register here: http://www.employco.com/blog/2018/06/06/webinar-june-2018/

Interview Questions

Contact us with any questions you may have, we’re here to help: hr@employco.com

Webinar: June 2018

Legal Recruiting and Hiring

Webinar, June 2018

Join us on Thursday, June 21 for a live, 30-minute webinar designed to provide you with information on the latest legal trends and requirements related to recruiting and hiring new employees.

The recruiting and hiring process is complicated enough without the additional burden of having to worry about potential legal concerns and discrimination claims. Several federal and state laws influence a company’s search, evaluation, and selection of new employees. To help avoid discrimination claims, information requested from the applicant should be directly related to the position he or she is interviewing for.

Registration is FREE for current Employco clients and first time participants (the cost is $249 otherwise).

Webinar Registration

California Says “No Medical Marijuana at Work”

Employment expert explains why groundbreaking bill was shot down, and what employees need to know

CaliforniaLast week, California made the decision to shelve a law which would have offered workplace protections to employees who are qualified to use medical marijuana. In part, the bill could have allowed these qualified users to be “under the influence” of medical marijuana at work, provided that they were not unduly impaired or having a negative impact on the company.

“Critics of California’s AB-2069 said that the bill was too broad and impinged on an employer’s ability to maintain a drug-free workplace,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment solutions expert. “This is an issue that is only growing in size and scope, as many states now allow marijuana use, either medically or recreationally or both. This has led to some very murky waters for employers, especially as some states prohibit the discrimination of employees with a medical marijuana card, while other states do not.”

So, what should an employer do to navigate this issue?

First, Wilson advises employers to get familiar with their state’s specific legislation. He also says, “If your employees are part of a collective bargaining unit, then it is likely that drug stipulations already exist, including specific limits for drug use. For example, in a recent case, an employee was found to be under the influence while on the job, but he claimed his medical marijuana card gave him permission to use while working. However, a drug test revealed that he was 10 times above his prescribed limit.”

Continue reading

How to Decrease Employee Turnover

Employment solutions expert talks employee retention and ‘on-boarding’ new employees

Employee TurnoverEmployee turnover can be very costly, yet employee retention rates have been decreasing in recent years. In fact, one recent study found that one-third of employers expect to lose employees this year. So, what can companies do to better retain their top talent?

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment solutions expert says, “Employee retention is no longer as simple as giving your workers adequate compensation for their efforts. In order to keep top-performing talent on staff, employers really need to make an effort to stand out from the crowd and make their firm a place people want to work.”

Wilson says that “on-boarding” is one way to make sure that employees stick around. “On-boarding is a new term which H.R. professionals are using to describe the way in which companies can help new employees have a smooth introduction to the team. It’s an ongoing process that lasts far beyond an employee’s first day, and it’s meant to help keep workers engaged and inspired, which in turn can help increase employee retention rates.”

The employee engagement expert says that on-boarding should be done with intention and foresight. “You should chart out your employee’s first 3-6 months with the company,” says Wilson. “You want to integrate them into the firm and make them feel like they are part of a community, rather than just another cog in the machine. You can do so via social engagements, in-office mentoring, and team building exercises. On-boarding is quickly becoming part of every progressive and forward-thinking company, and it’s one way to help keep employees from feeling disengaged.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Should Employers Be Allowed to Ask About Your Salary History?

Employment expert explains why it’s illegal in many states to ask about past salary

Salary HistorySeveral cities and states have banned the infamous “salary history” question from the interview process, including California, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York City, New Orleans, and many more. But, why is this question being banned, and what do employers need to know in order to protect themselves?

“Part of the thinking behind banning the salary history question is that it will help to minimize the gender pay gap,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and Employment Trends Expert.

The belief is that inquiring about salary history can create a vicious cycle in which women are paid less presently and in the future, simply because they were paid less in the past. Concerned civil rights activists point to the fact that women are offered less when compared to similarly trained and educated males, even when these interviewees are coming right out of college.

“In other words, social justice activists want to reverse this trend by wiping that question off the interviewer’s docket,” says Wilson. “And, interviewees who lie or fudge their past earnings do so at their own peril: It is possible for employers to discover your salary history, as some employers ask for W-2 forms or pay stubs to confirm your compensation, or they might ask you to sign a form to permit them to ask your employer about your past earnings.”

Wilson says that people also say asking about salary history is unfair when it comes to employees who are moving from a city with a lower cost of living.

“For example, if a Chicago-based employer asks someone who lives in rural Indiana about their salary history, it could be seen as problematic because that employee is going to be faced with the high cost of city living although they are going to be receiving compensation based on their previous low cost of living,” says Wilson.

So, what should employers do?

  • Revise and review on a periodic basis.  It is always a good idea to review what each job title in your company earns elsewhere in the marketplace, regardless if the position is open or currently filled. “At a minimum, I recommend obtaining new salary survey data for each open position,” says Wilson. “This provides the current market rate for the position and what the employer can expect to pay for average vs all-star talent.”
  • Be transparent about salary whenever possible. “If you’re going to pay within the market average, consider advertising the salary range to the candidates,” says the employment expert. “Demystifying what you intend to pay the chosen candidate will help to foster an environment that is immune to criticism and charges of inequality.”
  • Get clear on candidates’ expectations. “Ask candidates early in the recruiting process for their compensation goals,” says Wilson. “Asking ‘What is your salary target?’ is an invaluable and simple question which is beneficial to both parties. In situations where candidates are looking for more than you feel they are worth, it will save everyone’s time if there is a significant discrepancy.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

How 2018 Summer Internships Will Change Under President Trump

Employment trends expert explains changing regulations regarding internships

InternshipResearch shows that students who have internships are more likely to find employment following graduation than students who do not. However, in recent years, controversy over unpaid internships has meant that some companies have decided to change their policy regarding student interns.

But, President Trump might be reversing that trend, as new policies regarding unpaid internships will loosen up the regulations that companies formerly faced.

“Under recent provisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act, it is now legal for employers not to pay interns, provided that the intern benefits more from the working relationship than the employer does,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA. “It is also important that the intern does not perform any tasks or functions which would replace the efforts of any existing employees.”

In other words, says Wilson, these new provisions will make it easier for students to find internships than in previous years, while simultaneously protecting the jobs of paid workers.

“Just because an internship is labeled ‘unpaid’ does not mean that it is valueless,” says Wilson. “Nothing compares to hands-on learning, and students can vastly benefit from these positions.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

The New Rules of Office Etiquette

H.R. expert reveals what employees need to know about their rights

AnnoyedA new survey of 2,000 employees has revealed that 100% of people say that their coworkers are annoying.  Simply put: We all have a coworker that gets on our last nerve. The most annoying behaviors in the workplace include: loudness, gossip, bathroom/eating habits, and email/meeting behavior.

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, and human resources expert, says, “It makes sense that loudness tops the list of most annoying behaviors, because many offices are now embracing an open-floor plan. As a result, it can be difficult to retreat from noise or find peace and quiet to do your work.”

Wilson also says that tech-based missteps also rate high on the list. “People who hit ‘reply all’ when it is not necessary to do so, or who send kissy-face emojis or use text speak in their emails (such as ‘LMK’ or ‘TTYL’) tend to get under other people’s skin,” he says. “It shows a lack of professionalism and an assumption of familiarity that can feel invasive.”

Another new issue that many employees are facing is related to allergens, such as a person who might have a sensitivity to certain fragrances, yet they are sitting close by a coworker who douses themselves in floral perfume every morning.

So, what are employees’ options if they find their coworker annoying?

“When it comes to a small matter such as an issue with a person’s speaking volume or if they have a habit of eating smelly tuna at their cubicle, the best thing to do is to approach the person one-on-one. Keep it light, and you can even be a bit self-deprecating,” says Wilson. “Mention that you have a health issue which makes your nose sensitive to fragrance and can even lead to serious migraines, or explain that you struggle to concentrate when music is playing.”

But, if the employee won’t compromise, you are going to need to speak to H.R., says Wilson. “If you have a suggestion box or an anonymous form, you could select this option if you are concerned with anonymity. Some offices now even have an online suggestion box where people can send in anonymous questions and comments to H.R., and these can be very invaluable. Human Resources can often easily find a solution, whether it’s moving your cubicle farther away from a loud-talking employee or instituting ‘quiet hours’ or allowing noise-canceling headphones.”

Ultimately, Wilson says, some annoying behavior from coworkers is unavoidable, but for the most part, employees can work together to create an enjoyable and pleasant environment for everyone.

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

What Illinois Employers Need to Know About New Required Retirement Plan

Chicago-based employment expert explains “Illinois Secure Choice”

Starting in May 2018, a new retirement plan called Illinois Secure Choice is being introduced in Illinois. For the first several months, this program will be voluntary, but beginning in November 2018, employers will be legally required to participate in this plan. However, many companies are still woefully uneducated or undereducated about this program.

“It is imperative that employers in Illinois become better acquainted with these changing retirement requirements,” says Rob Wilson, President of employment-solutions firm Employco USA, which is based in Chicago, IL and services a number of prestigious Illinois companies.  “This is especially true right now, as big changes are coming with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program, which is a retirement savings plan that enables Illinois-based workers to save their own money through a regular payroll deduction.”

Here the employment expert outlines what Illinois employers need to know about Illinois Secure Choice:

  • Voluntary Pilot Phase. “After several delays, the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program is ready to launch its pilot phase in May 2018. Starting in May, employers that elect to voluntarily participate can begin to process employee payroll deductions and remit the funds to the retirement plan provider,” says Wilson.
  • Employer Requirement Phase. “Starting in November 2018, employers will be notified of their legal requirement to participate in the program. Employers in Illinois that have 25 or more employees, have been in operation for at least two years, and that don’t offer a qualified savings plan (e.g., a 401(k) plan) will be forced to automatically enroll their employees into Secure Choice,” says Wilson.

“Employees can opt-out at any time. Employers will be responsible for dispersing information packets (provided by Secure Choice) to each of their employees. Employers will also facilitate enrollment of employees into Secure Choice, set up the payroll deduction process, and remit employee contributions to the plan provider. Employers who do not comply with the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act may be subject to fines and penalties.”

Wilson concludes, “Instead of participating in Illinois Secure Choice, an employer can choose to offer an employer-sponsored plan, similar to ones that we have helped clients transition to. However, you need to move quickly in order to make sure you have your ducks in a row in time for these new deadlines.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Here’s Why Millennials Keep Changing Jobs

Employment expert discusses new findings about “job switching” among young people

Changing Jobs“Job switching” is a fast-moving trend which has changed the face of the American workplace.

“Gone are the days of retiring after 50 years with a gold watch,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “A new study has found that job-switching continues to rise, particularly among Millennials and those working in the tech industry.”

Wilson says that “job-switching” is the result of employees seeking greater learning opportunities and increased pay. “Today’s young workers aren’t afraid to leave a well-paying, suitable job, which makes them different from former generations. And, research shows that this willingness to try new things pays off, especially when you are young: New research shows that workers who spend 2-3 years at their first job end up earning more money over their lifetime than workers who spend 4 or more years in the same role.”

The employment trends expert says that becoming complacent could stagnate an employee’s growth, as well as keep them from learning new skills and networking with new people.

“A person who shows up to the same office every day for years is probably not going to be greeted by opportunity very often,” says Wilson. “On the other hand, workers who are willing to put themselves out there and keep their skills sharp could find that their tenacity pays off.”

So, what should employers do to keep employees from bailing?

“Make sure that you are offering your employees more than just a paycheck. Along with room for advancement, offer your employees continued learning seminars and educational opportunities. Allow them room for creative control where possible, and help tease out their hidden skills and abilities.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.