How to Protect Your Business from Phishing Scams

Phishing crimes are on the rise – here is what employers need to know

PhishingPhishing scams cost the United States half a billion dollars each year. From direct deposit scams to fraudulent PDF files, there has been a shocking rise in these email phishing scams. Indeed, Microsoft’s Security team reports that these malicious phishing emails have increased by a whopping 250 percent.

So, what do employers and employees need to know in order to protect themselves from these scams?

First, it’s crucial that you educate everyone on your team about phishing scams and how to make safer choices online.

“It’s important to understand that it is not enough to simply be aware and cautious when it comes to your own online behavior,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and human resources expert. “Your entire company can be negatively impacted across the board if just one employee gives up access to your Office 365 account or similar program. Once the phisher has that foothold, they have access to an entire wealth of information, and they can then use this position of power to gain access to more info and phish other people on your team.”

Second, talk to your human resources and payroll team about how they should never make changes to an employee’s direct deposit paycheck or other benefits without every appropriate form being submitted and verifying the person’s identity.

Continue reading

Podcast: Succession Planning

Rob, Scott, and Jason discuss succession planning; from workforce planning and identifying key roles to providing successors with skills, facilitating training opportunities, coordinating hands-on experience, providing continuous feedback, and more.

Succession planning is the process of identifying high-potential employees, evaluating and honing their skills and abilities, and preparing them for advancement into positions that are key to the success of business operations and objectives.

Losing a key employee can be a devastating interruption to business operations. Succession planning can help ensure the smooth transition of staff into the vacant position with minimal interruption to the business.

Succession Planning

Contact us with any questions you may have, we’re here to help:

Webinar (EACA): Controlling Workers’ Comp Costs

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, recently joined Jim Wurm of the EACA (Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association) for a webinar on “Controlling Workers’ Comp Costs.”

Check out the recorded webcast to learn “how to control your insurance costs and potentially save money through features like: Workers’ Compensation cost reduction through a bulk buying approach, direct access to a best-in-class experience MOD, paying premiums on a per-payroll basis to free up cash flow, and developing a safety and loss control program.”


Succession Planning: Handing Down Your Business to the New Generation

Human resources expert shares effective, actionable tips for how you can start succession planning

Succession PlanningResearch shows that most business owners are not as concerned with succession planning as they should be. Only a small minority of businesses have a succession plan for when their CEOs retire or switch companies, and this can be a very costly mistake.

“Scrambling for a CEO has been shown to cost upwards of $1.8 billion in shareholder value for public companies,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment solutions firm. “Another issue with lack of preparedness around successions is that companies end up hiring ineffective CEOs, which again harms a company’s bottom line and employee performance. Indeed, 27 percent of companies have been negatively impacted by poor succession planning.”

Wilson also points out that C-level employees are not the only ones who pose a serious loss to the company when they leave. “Whether it’s a key person in your I.T. department or your marketing department, losing long-term, highly-skilled and experienced staff is going to be a blow to your company.”

So, what should employers do to ensure that these successions are as smooth and seamless as possible?

“First, look at your key personnel on every level of your staff,” says Wilson. “How deep is your bench? Don’t presume that just because an employee is young and not near retirement that you don’t need to worry about their successor at some point. Be prepared for all possible scenarios, including family emergencies, health crises and leaving the state for spouse’s employment changes or other reasons.”

Continue reading

New Survey Says Performance Reviews are Useless

Employment expert Rob Wilson explains what companies should do instead

Performance ReviewA recent survey found that two-thirds of organizations feel that their performance reviews are not effective. Described as ‘subjective and highly ambiguous,’ performance reviews can be a very impactful tool when used appropriately, but as this research shows, most companies say that they are falling short of the mark.

Employment trends expert Rob Wilson, says, “Although some employers are eliminating the annual performance review, we don’t see that as a good solution for the vast majority of companies. Without an annual review (even if it’s just a compilation of more frequent ones), it’s very difficult for employers to work on merit pay increases.”

Wilson, who is the President of the national employment solutions firm Employco USA, says that instead of ditching performance reviews entirely, companies need to rethink the way they approach this measuring stick and bring performance reviews into the modern era.

“Modern performance reviews are largely based on the merit system used by the military in World War I – a system that has not grown adequately to suit the needs of today’s corporate structures. The original idea was that workers were so plentiful that poor performers needed to be identified from efficient workers so the former could be replaced and the latter promoted. This mentality is slowly dying as the labor market tightens up. Employers are now more concerned with coaching poor performers instead of replacing them immediately. Annual reviews are less effective in this regard, since their primary purpose is to hold employees up to a (typically) quantitative standard, not to assess granular performance and insert coaching opportunities. That’s where frequent check-ins come in,” says Wilson.

What is a frequent check-in? Think of frequent check-ins as microscopic evaluations. In this process, managers evaluate employee performance periodically throughout the year, not just at its end. Managers are checking in on employee performance as it happens, not giving a rating months later.

Continue reading

House Votes to ‘Ban the Box’: Gov. Agencies Can No Longer Inquire about Criminal History on Job Applications

Human resources expert explains the impact of the Fair Chance Act on employers outside the gov. realm 

Job ApplicationLast week the House Oversight and Reform Committee passed a bill which would effectively “ban the box” that would keep federal agencies and contractors from asking potential employees’ about their past criminal history, until after these applicants had been offered a conditional employment offer.

Known as the “Fair Chance Act,” the measure is meant to help previously incarcerated individuals increase their ability to rebuild their life post-conviction.

But what does this mean for employers?

“Currently, this legislation only prohibits federal agencies from including a criminal history box on their application and from asking these questions in interviews before a conditional job offer is made,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and human resources expert. “However, ten states (and the District of Columbia) have ban-the-box laws that apply to private employers— including California, Illinois, Hawaii, and New Jersey, and other companies such as Target have banned the box across state lines at all of their locations.”

Wilson says this number will likely continue to grow, but he explains that banning the box doesn’t mean that employers have no rights when it comes to establishing a person’s character and mental health.

Continue reading

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is Now Commonplace in Workplaces: Here is What Employers Need to Know

Employment expert explains what companies should know regarding ‘mobile device policies’ and keeping sensitive data safe 

Mobile DevicesTwo-thirds of Americans have smartphones, and nearly half of us use our phones for work purposes. That number is only continuing to increase, and 95 percent of organizations allow employees to use their phones for business tasks.

However, employment expert Rob Wilson says that some companies could be opening themselves up to lawsuits by not having a strict mobile device policy in their handbooks.

“If you enter a workplace in America, you are likely going to find most employees with their cell phone on their desk beside them,” says Wilson, who is President of Employco USA, a national employment-solutions firm with locations across the country. “And, when they go home at night or on the weekend, many of them will be performing work tasks via their phones, even if it is just to quickly check their work email.”

Wilson says while many employers view this as a win-win, there are some considerations that should be taken into account.

“Yes, when an employee uses their own phone for work purposes, you are going to save money,” agrees Wilson. “You won’t have to pay for multiple phones, and you won’t have to deal with the burden of fixing broken phones or replacing stolen phones. However, even if your name isn’t on the bill, you could still be paying a price.”

Here, Wilson outlines the concerns which could crop up when employees BYOD:

Continue reading

What the Proposed Overtime Changes Will Mean for Employers

Human resources expert available to offer commentary on new overtime proposal

Department of LaborThe Department of Labor (DOL) has just released their proposed changes related to the federal overtime regulations.

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment solutions expert says, “Under the new proposal, employees earning less than $35,308 per year will automatically be eligible for overtime pay. Employees will continue to earn one and a half times their regular pay rate for time worked over 40 hours in a week. However, since this is a proposed rule, the final regulation may incorporate substantial changes including a possibility of the salary threshold ending up higher or lower than the current target of $35,308.”

As for the impact of the possible changes on the business community, Wilson points to past attempts by the Department of Labor to alter overtime regulations.

“This isn’t the first time the DOL has gone down this road,” says Wilson. “In November 2016, a federal court in Texas granted a nationwide injunction prohibiting the DOL from increasing the salary threshold to $47,476. The law would have also included an automatic increase that would be scheduled for every three years. The change was set to take effect December 1, 2016 with the first salary threshold update set for January 1, 2020. Although the Texas court’s permanent injunction is on appeal, the 2016 rule would be rescinded as part of the new proposal.”

Wilson says that the DOL proposal is not without its drawbacks.

Continue reading

BREAKING: Pres. Trump’s Trans Military Ban Starts in April – How LGBT Employers/Employees Should Prepare

H.R. expert explains how this breaking news story may impact the LGBT community and how to handle transgender issues in the workplace

Dept. of Defense SealThe Defense Department has just announced that President Trump’s ban against transgender military members will go into effect in April. With just a matter of weeks until the ban is implemented, many transgender people in a variety of industries are feeling frightened about their own job status, even if they do not work in the armed forces.

No wonder—a recent survey led by the DC Office of Human Rights found that 48 percent of employers showed bias against hiring a transgender individual, even if the applicant was more qualified than others. In addition, nearly 90% of transgender individuals report workplace harassment. Human resources professionals across the country need to become educated and prepared when it comes to handling transgender issues, both as it relates to hiring and harassment and beyond.

Rob Wilson, human resources expert and President of Employco USA, says, “It is against the law to discriminate against applicants based on gender, race, or religion, and the same holds true for transgender individuals as well. Thanks to Macy v. Department of Justice, there is a legal precedent which prevents hiring staff from refusing or rescinding job offers upon finding out that a person is transgender.” Additionally, there are other things that employers must consider as well, such as:

Continue reading