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.

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‘Entitled’ Millennials May Have the Right Idea

Employment expert explains how younger workers are demanding more from bosses – and getting it

MillennialsMillennials often get criticized for having an ‘entitled’ attitude, and this appears to hold true in the workplace as well. Recent reports reflect that younger workers do appear to demand more than their older counterparts.

“Previous generations used to be happy to have a steady paycheck and a gold watch upon retirement,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA. “But younger workers don’t approach employment the same way. Research shows that Millennials change jobs more frequently than previous generations, and they also have a lower opinion of corporations. In other words, they don’t want to commit years at companies which they see as purely self-interested.”

Wilson says that employers would be wise not to give up hope when it comes to engaging and retaining younger workers.

“Yes, these workers are more prone to dissatisfaction and more apt to leave jobs that don’t make them happy, but research shows that when companies approach Millennials as individuals and try to appeal to them on their own level, they do so with great results.”

When Millennials are engaged by their employers, and companies make an effort to reach out to the younger generation in the workplace, they see a vast improvement in both agility and innovation.

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New Study Reveals the Costly Woes of On-Boarding New Staff

Human resources expert reveals why so many companies struggle to keep new employees – and how to change that

Employee quitA new study found that over 20 percent of people quit their new positions within the first 6 weeks of joining a company. Furthermore, the new research from Robert Half found that 93 percent of new employees consider leaving their jobs before the end of their probationary period.

“The results found that 36 percent of people leave their jobs due to issues with ‘onboarding,’” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employee engagement expert. “Yet many firms neglect to put much effort into acclimating their employees to their positions.”

Losing a new employee can be a financial hardship, thanks to the cost of recruiting and training employees, and it also creates a workplace that feels unstable and tense for existing employees.

“A revolving door of employees is a problem for a number of reasons,” says Wilson. “It increases the risk of fraud and other crimes, but it also makes employees feel as though newcomers aren’t going to stick around long…ergo they aren’t very welcoming or very thorough in their training, as they figure it’s a waste of time.”

Wilson also points to the fact that searching for employees is very time-consuming and leaves other important tasks unfinished. “A human resources team who is constantly focusing on finding new employees is doing so at the cost of caring for the needs of existing employees.”

So, what should companies do in order to ensure that their new employees stick around for the long haul?

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Improving Job Market Means Employees Have Options: Don’t Let Your Top Talent Get Poached

Employment expert shares “The Three E’s” which will keep employees happy and hard-working

Leaving EmployeeAs the job market improves, so too does employers’ risk of losing employees. It is estimated that around 60 percent of employees are either actively or passively searching for a new job, or they are being approached by other companies who want to ‘poach’ them for their own team.

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert says, “Losing an employee is a serious financial blow. It will cost you about 6-9 months of salary to replace a salaried employee, and this does not even include the soft-dollar cost of lost knowledge. This includes technical and institutional knowledge as well as lost productivity as other employees have to pick up the missing employee’s slack, which can in turn cause lower morale, lower employee engagement and other financial concerns.”

Wilson says that employers would well to remember the three E’s (economics, employee engagement, and environment) when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.

“From an economic standpoint, you need to think in terms not only of salary and health insurance, but also a total compensation package,” says Wilson. “There are many benefits which today’s employees are looking for, including whether you match a 401k, what is the value of the paid time off offered, along with medical, dental, vision and life insurance.”

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Survey: Employers Open to Hiring People with Criminal Backgrounds

H.R. expert explains why the corporate opinion on criminal backgrounds is changing, and what it means for employers

Criminal Background CheckA recent survey of Illinois employers found that companies are more open to hiring those with a criminal past than ever before.

Additionally, many states are changing previous regulations which prevented convicted criminals from working in certain fields.

“In Illinois, for example, lawmakers have made 100 occupations newly available for those with a criminal background, such as jobs in real estate and accounting,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, a national employment-solutions firm. “With these legal stipulations out of the way, many employers are looking at such candidates in a new light.”

But, is it wise for employers to take such a risk?

“When it comes to criminal backgrounds, you really have to be judicious in considering what the offense was, how long ago the crime occurred, as well as what position you are hiring the candidate for,” says Wilson. “Clearly, hiring someone with a string of drug offenses to work in a pharmacy environment or veterinary clinic could be problematic, but alternately, a person in recovery could thrive in other positions such as customer service or data entry.”

Wilson says that there is no guarantees when hiring an employee, even those without a criminal background.

“It’s easy to assume that just because a person has a criminal background, they should be avoided or looked at suspiciously, but if the crimes were in the past and they have paid their debt to society, then it is possible to consider that these people may be excellent candidates for employment,” says Wilson. “Yet proceed with caution, we recommend all employers conduct a criminal background screen prior to hiring an employee – and, make sure you are well-versed in what the crime was and what that could mean for your company.”

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

New Study: Employees Won’t Commit to Companies Anymore…Unless They Offer Flexible Work Options

Employment trends expert explains how to retain talent in a competitive market driven by agile employment demands 

FlexWorkAs the economy strengthens and jobs’ numbers improve, employees now have more options and bargaining power than in recent memory. However, a new Emerging Workforce® Study suggests that these new options are changing the way employees consider possible job opportunities, and in turn changing the way that employers attract and retain staff.

“The new research shows that the number of contingent workers has increased by 14 percent since 2017,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment-solutions firm that is renowned for their impeccable service and forward-thinking practices. “Additionally, over 40 percent of employees say they will only work for a company which offers such freelance or work-from-home options.”

Known as “agile employment,” Wilson explains that employees are looking for more control over their work lives and they expect companies to adequately respect those needs and offer such opportunities.

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What Employers Need to Know About Fall Internships

H.R. expert explains how companies should approach hiring student interns

With fall approaching and school commencing, many college students will be considering a fall internship. However, companies who are considering hiring student interns need to be careful about how they proceed with this arrangement.

Internships“Interns can no longer be used as free labor,” says Rob Wilson, human resources expert and President of Employco USA, an employment solutions firm. “It is crucial that the intern can be shown to benefit as much from the arrangement as the company itself.”

Wilson explains that companies who are considering interns should consider not only how these workers would benefit them, but how the experience itself can benefit the intern. “Students will need to be able to prove that their time with your firm is educational and applicable to their chosen major,” says the H.R. expert.

Furthermore, says Wilson, companies will need to budget for these interns.

“The days of free internships are pretty much over,” says Wilson. “There is a very thin margin of internships where it is still okay for a worker to receive no financial compensation, but we advise all of our clients to pay their interns. It’s a good business practice and one that will be beneficial for you in the long run.”

Wilson also says that hiring interns will bring a fresh perspective and a new outlook to companies.

“When you bring the next generation into your workplace, you are going to enjoy the benefit of their unique outlook and fresh take on issues in your industry,” says Wilson. “Student interns should be a win-win for both you and them, provided you take the needed steps to make sure the program is run effectively and managed well.”

For more on this topic, you can listen to Employco USA’s HR Podcast entitled, “Company Internship Programs.”

Internship Programs

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

Podcast: Company Internship Programs

Rob, Scott, and Jason discuss company internship programs along with special guests Griffen and Pat – who both just completed their own internships over the summer. They touch on the do’s and don’ts, along with: goals, valuable feedback, and the significant benefits involved for both the intern as well as the employer.

Internship Programs

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

Companies Commit to Hire Workers with Autism, but is the Workplace Autism-Friendly?

Employment expert explains what adaptations employers should make for employees with autism

Companies like SAP and Microsoft have recently made a committed effort to start hiring employees who fall on the autism spectrum. This is timely, as more people than ever are being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Although varying in degree, individuals with ASD can require several modifications to the workplace. However, 80 percent of people with autism struggle to find employment, likely because employers are not well-versed in this condition and how to manage it in the workplace.

DeskRob Wilson, President of Employco USA says, “It’s important to become educated about these conditions and to realize that some people genuinely do need to have modifications made to their workplaces to be successful at their duties. Just as we do not hesitate to make handicap-accessible restrooms, we should similarly be willing to work with those who have developmental disorders.”

Wilson says that hiring staff with ASD can be incredibly beneficial for your company.Experts theorize that if great thinkers like Einstein and Newton were alive today, they would be diagnosed with ASD.  No wonder corporations like Microsoft and Walgreens are going out of their way to seek job candidates with autism. These firms realize that autism has amazingly powerful advantages: People with autism tend to be highly intelligent and highly focused workers, along with loyal employees,” he says.

Here, Wilson outlines steps that companies should take to make their workplaces ASD-friendly:

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