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Recruiting Trends in 2021

Recruiting practices have changed so much in the past year – 2020 taught us to be prepared for anything and everything. From a global pandemic to racial justice movements, a progression that should’ve happened over a span of years instead happened over a few months. Employers and employees have always been on their toes, never knowing the next step. 

Now that we are a few weeks into 2021, we can start thinking about some recruiting trends that will help shape our workforce. To help you prepare for recruiting in 2021, we have put together some predictions for the upcoming year. Follow along to see how we think 2021 will pan out. 

  1. Remote Interviews

Remote interviewing changed the landscape of recruiting in 2020, it was such a hit for so many people, it will more than likely carry over into 2021. This trend was definitely brought on by the global pandemic but many people have adapted to it and learned to love it, so don’t be surprised if it is the go-to in 2021.  

2. Remote Work is Here to Stay 

When remote work was initially brought into the picture, many employers and employees were skeptical about it. Managing employees from a distance seemed to be scary, but once the pandemic hit, remote work was a must if you wanted to keep your organization running. Remote work has become the new norm, and many employers and employees prefer it over working in-office. 

3. Employee Experience

The COVID-19 pandemic brought so many obstacles into the workplace that ended up negatively affecting employee experience. With the new way of life, employers realized the importance of making sure their employees were taken care of – at work and at home. Supporting employees will always be a trend moving forward, making sure they are working in the best environment possible is how to keep everyone happy. 

Recruiting will continue to be changing and advancing, so we must stay on top of the current trends so we can continue to create better practices. AZ HR Hub can help your organization recruit the best candidates possible. We know the ins and outs of recruiting and we want to help you – we’re your #HRPartner, so you can focus on business! 

Workplace Safety

Safety in the workplace is one of the most important things that employers can promote. The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) sets rules and regulations for employers to follow, these guidelines ensure a safe work environment for everyone. 

Human resource departments play a vital role in ensuring safe workplace conditions. HR departments have to stay up to date with OSHA standards and enforce them correctly and effectively. HR personnel also have to oversee management to make sure that they are following organizational safety practices. Follow along for a workplace safety guideline that will help your HR department when ensuring safe work conditions. 

1.     UNDERSTAND RULES AND REGULATIONS 

Every company is different, meaning every company will have different standards to follow. Understanding your industry’s requirements is imperative to providing a safe work climate. 

2.     CREATE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Employees will only know the things that they are taught. Providing training opportunities will allow employees to gain knowledge about workplace safety and will teach them how to implement safety in their work lives. 

3.     PROVIDE VISUAL AIDS 

Visual aids help grab an employee’s attention and can give them quick, important information. OSHA and many other government-based organizations provide free signage for employers to post in their workplace. 

4.     ESTABLISH A SAFETY COMMITTEE

Creating a safety committee of all different types of employees is key to making sure working conditions are always safe. This safety committee should include personnel from all departments, as well as senior executives and entry-level workers. 

5.     PERFORM SAFETY AUDITS

Safety audits allow employers to see how effective their current safety practices are. It also allows employers to make sure they comply with all local, state, and federal rules and regulations. 

Human resource departments are not the only people who can help in ensuring workplace safety – it involves everyone’s help and it’s a team effort. Following OSHA guidelines will help protect employees and employers from workplace accidents. Reach out to AZ HR Hub for assistance with maintaining OSHA guidelines!

Minimum Wage Increases for 2021

2020 has been a year of crazy events, from a global pandemic to a historical election – we have constantly been on our toes. 2021 might be just as crazy, but we can go into it with some knowledge. 

The minimum wage for many states will be changing going into the new year. The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour but if states or municipalities have a higher minimum wage, employers must pay their employees the higher rate. 

Check out the map below to see minimum wages for 2021. Some states will see an increase on January 1st, some states will see an increase on different dates, some will not see a minimum wage change and other states do not have a minimum wage, therefore they follow the federal minimum wage. 

Source: HR Daily Advisor

Alaska$10.34 (effective January 1)
Arizona$12.15 (effective January 1)
Arkansas$11.00, tipped employees must regularly earn at least $20/month in tips (effective January 1)
California$14.00 with 26 employees or more, $13.00 with 26 employees or less (effective January 1)
Colorado$12.32 (effective January 1)
Connecticut$13.00 (effective August 1)
Florida$8.65 (effective January 1) Increases to $10.00 (effective September 30)
Illinois$11.00 (effective January 1)
Maine$12.15 (effective January 1)
Maryland$11.75 with 15 employees or more, $11.60 with 15 employees or less
Massachusetts$13.50 (effective January 1)
Michigan$9.87 (effective January 1)
Minnesota$10.08 for large employers (annual gross revenue $500,000 or more) $8.21 for small employers (annual gross revenue less than $500,000) (effective January 1)
Montana$8.75 (effective January 1)
Nevada$9.75 for employees without healthcare benefits, $8.75 for employees with healthcare benefits (effective July 1)
New Jersey$12.00 with more than 5 employees, $11.10 for seasonal employees and/or 5 or fewer workers, $10.44 agricultural employers (effective January 1)
New Mexico$10.50 (effective January 1)
Ohio$8.80 for gross receipts of $323,000 or more, $7.25 for gross receipts under $323,000 (effective January 1)
Oregon$14.00 metro area (effective July 1), $12.75 urban counties (effective July 1), $12.00 rural counties (effective July 1)  
Rhode Island$11.50 (effective January 1)
South Dakota$9.45 (effective January 1)
Vermont$11.75 (effective January 1)
Virginia$9.50 (effective May 1)
Washington$13.69 (effective January 1)
Paycheck Protection Program

On June 5, 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) was signed into law. The PPPFA modifies the PPP to allow businesses whose PPP loans are forgiven to continue to defer Social Security taxes through the end of 2020. Prior to the passage of the PPPFA, PPP loan recipients were required to stop deferring Social Security taxes as soon as any portion of their PPP loan was forgiven.

The PPPFA also includes other provisions that expand the time periods to spend PPP loans and provides increased flexibility to spend PPP funds on expenses other than payroll costs. Some of the other key provisions include:

  • Reduction of the percentage of loan proceeds that must be spent on payroll costs from 75% to 60%;
  • Extension of the “covered period” for use of funds from eight weeks to 24 weeks (or 12/31/2020, if earlier);
  • Extension of the period of time for employers to reverse decreases in employment and/or wage levels that occurred between February 15 and April 26, 2020 from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020;
  • Lengthening the period of loan maturity from two years to five years; and
  • Permission for borrowers to defer payment until loan forgiveness is determined, instead of six months after loan disbursement.
Difficult Downsizing Decisions

As we are all well aware, many companies are in the process of reorganizing their talent pool. Of course, with the Coronavirus how to do this is top of mind.  No matter what causes downsizing, resizing, or “right-sizing” leaders must carefully evaluate their workers to determine who to keep, who to furlough, and who to downright terminate. 

How is this done?  How do you decide?  There are some key questions to ask yourself when making these determinations:  Who is already causing concerns or issues? Will seniority alone be a consideration?

These questions are important to consider.  On top of these, however, is the diagnosing each person’s competency for performing each of their work tasks.  One of the best ways to do this is using Blanchard’s SLII®.  This is a model for determining competency and confidence to perform a specific task.  When the analysis is done for each person’s responsibilities, you will have a great picture of their value to your organization. 

For example, you have an employee that has been around for about six months that is not great at cold calling yet, but really brings in the sales when they get a lead.  They are learning about cold calling and they are very enthusiastic.  Would you keep them?  I would.  They are exhibiting the behaviors of a good salesperson as demonstrated by their sales lead calls.  With more time and training they most likely will be able to transfer their skills and to do better at cold calling. 

In another scenario, you have someone that is not doing very well at sales calls and they do not show motivation or enthusiasm for the work.  You’ve coached them and provided training for the past several months.  Would you keep them?  No. If I’m downsizing and both the competence and motivation is lacking, I would not consider them as a viable long-term employee. 

When you evaluate each person’s task – not the person as a whole, you will have more data to help you make very difficult decisions about downsizing.  When you list each person’s responsibilities and rate them on both competence and confidence to achieve the task you will get a list of gaps in your workforce.  It will also help you to determine training, coaching, and other interventions.  Lastly, it will help you with succession planning.  We’ll talk about that in  my next article.  

I have provided very basic examples, and you may have many other considerations when reorganizing.  I’d love to hear what your processes are.  Please share!

COVID-19 may be an uncomfortable spot for workers

As we near a re-opening phase of the Coronavirus crisis, many workers are leery about stepping back into the workforce. Some essential workers are even refusing to come to work out of fear of contracting the coronavirus. It’s important for employers to think about the employees’ legal rights and health concerns as well as trying to meet the organizations’ business needs.

Start with a conversation with the employee. As a general rule, communication is the key to a strong employer / employee relationship. Therefore, if a worker is hesitant to come back to work, it is important that the employer speak with them to determine the basis of their fears. This allows the employer to understand the issue and then work with the employee to mutually work through their concerns together. This simple act can mitigate any escalation of the issue.

Your employee has rights!

Remember before you react abruptly that your employee has rights. Think about the legal ramifications of your acts and ask yourself if putting a nervous employee on leave may be a better choice than firing them.

As you go through the decision of how to address an employee that will not come to work, you should also consider any time-off policies you currently have and how they interact with an employee on unpaid leave. These time-off policies could include vacation or Paid Time Off.

There are laws in place to protect your employee that must be considered.

ADA

Employers should accommodate employees who request altered worksite arrangements, remote work or time off from work due to underlying medical conditions that may put them at greater risk from COVID-19. The EEOC’s guidance on COVID-19 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) points out that accommodations may suggest changes to the work environment to reduce contact with others, such as using Plexiglas separators or other barriers between workstations.

OSHA

It’s likely that the employee is covered by OSHA if they believe that there is a threat of death or serious physical harm likely to occur immediately or within a short period of time. OSHA prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for raising concerns about safety and health conditions.  OSHA addresses these concerns as they relate directly to Coronavirus and it’s a good idea for employers to get to know this information.

NLRA

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) grants employees at unionized and non-unionized employers the right to join together to engage in protected concerted activity. Employees who assert such rights, including by joining together to refuse to work in unsafe conditions, are generally protected from discipline.

FFCRA

So what if a health care provider advises an employee to self-quarantine because of COVID-19? The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), states the employee may be eligible for paid sick leave. The FFCRA applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees, and the quarantine must prevent the employee from working or teleworking.

FFCRA regulations permit employers to require documentation for paid sick leave.

WARN Act

Keep in mind laws such as the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). The WARN act requires employers with 100 or more full-time employees as defined by the Act to provide at least 60 calendar days advanced written notice of a plant closing or mass layoff affecting 50 or more employees at a single site of employment.

The act extensively defines “plant closing” and “mass layoff”. It also has specific provisions requiring notices to employees, unions and certain government entities.

Be Proactive

Inform and Protect Workers

All employers should keep employees apprised of ways in which the employer is taking action to maintain a safe workplace. Information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should be made available, for example posting infographics such as these can provide quick reference for employees. OSHA information and local law and regulations should also be posted or made available and updates should be communicated as the situation changes.

We suggest to discuss your particular situation with your attorney if you are not sure how to mitigate potential penalties.

For more information regarding Hiring Procedures and help or HR policies during the COVID-19 crisis, COVID-19 support and information or other HR needs, contact AZ HR Hub at 480-510-7921or email linda@azhrhub.com.

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