10 Best Cities For Young Professionals Seeking Work-Life Balance

Written by Megan Wells. First appeared at InvestmentZen. Reprinted with the special commentary for The HR Tech Weekly® ▸ 

Des Moines, Iowa, Skyline by Michael Tompsett

Good Job, Good Life

When career progression is the priority, choosing where to work often overshadows where to live for many young professionals. Yet, work-life balance remains important to this generation. A vibrant nightlife and great food scene, or good schools and activities for families top the list of desirable attributes in a location. Promoting other aspects of an area to candidates helps attract top talent.

Rent

Knowing your city’s housing costs makes the take-home pay real for a potential new hire. Few want their monthly income eaten up by rent to live in a cool neighborhood. With an average rent of less than $1,000 per month, Des Moines, Iowa, starts to look pretty good when coupled with a mean salary near the $50,000 mark. For a candidate considering a job offer in this city, the lure of generous disposable income could close the deal.

Walkability

Sharing with a candidate how “walkable” a city is reduces the negative impact of other factors like cost of living. Many dream of living in a diverse and exciting city environment where they complete daily errands on foot rather than in the car. San Francisco and Oakland, California, rate high in walkability.

Unemployment

Emphasizing an area’s strong local economy offers a sense of security in both the company and the area. Three cities currently have a low unemployment rate of 2.1%, Aurora and Denver, Colorado, and Madison, Wisconsin. While a potential employee needs to keep the car in these locales, a thriving city outweighs the time spent behind the wheel.

When looking to achieve a balance between a great job and a great life, help candidates to see the bigger picture. Smaller cities offer much in the way of generous salaries and affordability when compared to their big, coastal counterparts, leaving more time and income for the important things in life.

10 Best Cities For Young Professionals Seeking Work Life Balance

Many young professionals are eager to begin a financially independent lifestyle. With a new paycheck, saving, spending and lifestyle habits are likely to evolve. For most people starting off a new career, it’s important to have discretionary income for enjoying life outside of work. Living in a city large enough to offer activities and entertainment, with minimal use of a car can also be an added benefit.

By understanding these characteristics, we observed these national averages:

  • United States unemployment rate for metropolitan areas, according to BLS, is 4.1%
  • United States average rent index, according to Zillow, is $1,426
  • United States annual mean wage, according to BLS, is $49,630
  • According to WalkScore data, the average WalkScore in the U.S. is 41.3.

Then we asked ourselves, which cities can beat the averages and provide extra incentive for young professionals?

InvestmentZen was able to gather and analyze data from a number of sources to determine which 10 cities have the best stats for a strong work-life balance.

Methodology:

We used a weighted average to compared unemployment rate, walkability score, Zillow Rent Index, the annual mean wage for all occupations, and population for over 500 U.S. cities to determine which had the best balance of work life balance. These indicators prove to be the making for some of the best cities in the U.S. for young professionals.

These cities turned out to be great for young professionals who are looking to enhance their quality of life.

10. Aurora, CO

  • Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
  • Walkability Score: 43
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,788
  • Annual Mean Wage: $55,910

The second city in Colorado to make the list (and the third most populous city in Colorado)  Aurora is home to many niche industries. While there are still more traditional business service suppliers, aerospace industries and bioscience firms are a major part of the economy in Aurora.

9. Oakland, CA

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
  • Walkability Score: 72
  • Zillow Rent Index: $2,999
  • Annual Mean Wage: $69,110

With lower rent than sister city, San Francisco, residents of Oakland have the opportunity to work in San Francisco and commute back home to a less expensive apartment in Oakland (though the wages and unemployment rates are similar in both cities).

8. Milwaukee, WI

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
  • Walkability Score: 62
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,136
  • Annual Mean Wage: $49,350

Milwaukee is the second city in Wisconsin to make this list. The primary occupation groups in Milwaukee, according to BLS, are production jobs like machine operators and metal and plastic workers. Other heavily staffed industries are office and administration staff. The higher than average walkability score and relatively low rent are two contributing factors that bring Milwaukee to the list.

7. Detroit, MI

  • Unemployment Rate: 4%
  • Walkability Score: 55
  • Zillow Rent Index: $627
  • Annual Mean Wage: $50, 960

Though the unemployment rate in Detroit is still high, the city is coming back from its collapse. Detroit is becoming a hub for artists, architects, and engineer. Billions of dollars of construction projects have been spent to rebuild infrastructure, including transportation which is making the city more accessible and attractive to many young professionals.

6. San Francisco, CA

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
  • Walkability Score: 86
  • Zillow Rent Index: $4,207
  • Annual Mean Wage: $69,110

Even with the sky-high rent index, the wages, walkability and unemployment rate are enough to boost San Francisco to the 6th spot on the list. It’s no secret that the tech industry is booming in San Francisco. The economy in the bay area has outpaced the rest of the state, and the country, in economic growth for the last five years.

5. St. Paul, MN

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
  • Walkability Score: 59
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,232.50
  • Annual Mean Wage: $55,010

Just across the river from the larger city of Minneapolis, St. Paul has grown in size over the last couple of years. New music venues, restaurants and night spots are popping up making the city an affordable but fun option for young professionals. The nicely balanced mean wage to rent index allows young professionals to life affordably and enjoy a nice work-life balance.

4. Tacoma, WA

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
  • Walkability Score: 53
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,155
  • Annual Mean Wage: $61,170

Tacoma has the second highest annual mean wage on this list, and with a zero percent income tax in the state of Washington, stretching a paycheck can also help pad discretionary income for young professionals.

3. Denver, CO

  • Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
  • Walkability Score: 61
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,582
  • Annual Mean Wage: $55,910

Denver’s population has grown since 2010 by more than 93,000 (15.5%), largely due to a rise of newcomers headed to the mile-high city. One of the continually growing industries in Denver is its microbrew and craft beer scene, which can be a nice career path or fun extracurricular in this city.

2. Madison, WI

  • Unemployment Rate: 2.1%
  • Walkability Score: 49
  • Zillow Rent Index: $1,075
  • Annual Mean Wage: $50,830

Madison is a rapidly growing city. Between 2015 and 2016 Madison grew more than any other city in Wisconsin. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Madison surpassed a quarter million residents in the last year. According to the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, they accredit the growth to economic opportunity, livability factors and accessibility to amenities. It’s also notable that 55.1% of adults aged 25 and older have at least a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

1. Des Moines, IA

  • Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
  • Walkability Score: 45
  • Zillow Rent Index: $814.50
  • Annual Mean Wage: $49,420

The number one city on this list has exceptionally low unemployment and moderate wages. Another influential marker for Des Moines is the low rent – of the ten cities to rank on this list, Des Moines has the lowest rent.

Click here for a full, ranked list of data (including metros under a population of 200,000).

About the Author:

Megan Wells, San Francisco, CA

Megan Wells is a data journalist and content strategist based in San Francisco, California. Wells currently focuses on personal finance, mortgage, and fintech content. Wells’ work has appeared on Fox, Nasdaq, MSN, Motley Fool, and more. Wells also spoke at the 2015 Exceptional Women In Publishing conference.


Source: 10 Best Cities For Young Professionals Seeking Work-Life Balance – InvestmentZen

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Remote Work Is Changing the Way We Lead

Remote Work Is Changing the Way We Lead

Written by Georgiana Beech, specially for The HR Tech Weekly®

Vintage Workplace

It goes without saying that businesses must adapt to changing employment trends or risk becoming obsolete. In order to recruit top talent and build an innovative, valuable workforce, companies must offer environments and perks that are attractive — that is, they must be modern and malleable.

With technology becoming entrenched in all aspects of the modern office, opportunities for remote work are abundant. According to the University of Alabama, 20 to 25 percent of American workers currently telecommute in some way, though up to 90 percent would like to. Slowly, the traditional office is fading.

Employees can now be scattered not only across the county, but across continents. With a multitude of business applications available, managing projects at a distance has never been easier. Communication between multiple departments (or even cooperating companies) streamlines the workflow and ups efficiency.

However, management across teams comes with a new set of challenges. Leaders need to switch up their style as much as employees do. Previously, American attitudes toward business have endorsed an every-person-for-themselves school of thought, encouraging workers to worry only about their personal progress.

Now, distance has forced a more group-minded approach. Employee development must be focused on critical thinking and problem solving. When working remotely, even though technology provides abundant connection, there is less immediate support available. Therefore, employees must be capable of higher-level assessment and problem management.

Managing employees equipped with more abstract skill sets may be challenging for some leaders. Your team may become noticeably self-sufficient, solving more problems on their own. This can be challenging to cope with if you’re used to leading with a very assignment-driven agenda.

You may also see your team diversify as you take on members from other companies or countries. Working with employees from different cultural backgrounds can create barriers to effective communication. You may have to contend with factors such as power distance, communication expectations, and conflict management styles.

Even if you feel comfortable navigating intercultural communication, your employees may not. With communication being a fundamental tenet of successful telecommuting, it is important to make sure that your employees feel prepared and empowered to tackle these challenges.

It can seem overwhelming to adopt a management style that’s appropriate to remote workers. It may even seem overwhelming to implement the technology necessary to make remote work possible. Based on the economic trade-off, though, the learning curve is worth it. Employees are happier and often more productive, in-office business costs lower, and you keep your business on the forefront of trends.

The infographic below, provided by the University of Alabama, details the current attitude towards remote work, as well as some of the implications for leaders as their offices make the switch.

Virtual Team Leadership: The Highs & Lows of Leading a Team Remotely
Source: Virtual Team Leadership: The Highs & Lows of Leading a Team Remotely | UAB Online Degrees
How Easy Is It for Your Employees to Be Employees?

How Easy Is It for Your Employees to Be Employees?

Author: Jen Stroud, HR Evangelist & Transformation Leader, ServiceNow

How Easy Is It for Your Employees to Be Employees?

I once worked for organization where most employees exiting said their reason for leaving was because it was just too difficult to be an employee there. Wow! Too difficult to be an employee? As HR professionals, we hear concerns about managers, pay, or even leadership as reasons people leave. Those are big challenges most organizations face at one time or another, and they are not easy to solve. But when an employee says it’s too hard to be an employee, that should get your attention quickly.

Jen Stroud, HR Evangelist & Transformation Leader, ServiceNow
Jen Stroud, ServiceNow

An HR leader told me that making work life easier for their employees is vitally important. This leader works for a company that is in the business of saving lives every day. They want their employees focused on this critical mission rather than on who can answer their benefits question or what process they need to follow to be reimbursed for a course they’ve taken. And they’re not alone. All executives want their employees focused on their mission, whether it’s creating innovative products, building a sales pipeline, or servicing customers. Organizations hire employees to perform a role that is vital to a company’s growth and stability. Any obstacle that gets in the way of that mission should be removed. Yet, the challenges often remain because some people view change as difficult and too disruptive or we have bought into the belief that one system can solve all our HR technology needs. It’s also possible that no one is asking employees what they think or ignoring the signs of frustration until it’s too late.

The good news is that with the technology solutions available today, HR leaders can dramatically impact the employee service experience in a positive way. But you have to be willing to look at your employee service experience and your HR technology landscape in a new way. You have to be willing to imagine the art of the possible and be ready to disrupt the status quo. I have met with several HR execs over the past few years who cannot acknowledge the need to disrupt their HR service landscape. Instead they trust that the investments they’ve made in the past will pay off one day. HR has been a laggard department when it comes to innovation and change. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be your reality.

Your Employee Service Experience

First, ask the simple question, “Is it easy for employees to take care of their basic HR needs and be productive in their jobs?” Are you providing your employees with a service experience at work that resembles their service experiences outside of work? Employees bring expectations to work every day. If they use an app in their personal lives that makes it easy to get something done, that is the type of experience they expect at work. And while no two organizations are alike and employee expectations vary, it is safe to say that most organizations face the same challenge—the majority of employees have high expectations for their employee service experience. Consider the following when assessing your current state:

  • Do you provide a one-stop shop for all HR questions and requests?
  • Are employees able to view their submitted requests at any time?
  • Are you keeping employees notified on the status of their requests in the manner they most desire (via text for example)?
  • Can employees easily find information pertinent to them and quickly submit requests to HR?
  • Can employees do all of this from their mobile device?

Your HR Technology Landscape

Digital Employee Experience

In most organizations, HR teams spend more than 30 percent of their days repeating the same information to employees over and over again and doing other repetitive work. Unfortunately, the information is not always consistent and correct. Often, response times are long leading to frustrated employees. In addition to preventing HR teams from focusing on more strategic initiatives, old school work environments that rely heavily on email communication and lack automated workflows are encouraging attrition as employees make the decision to move on to other organizations where they feel more valued… where it’s easier to be an employee. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much time is your HR team spending on the daily administrative minutia of answering the same questions over and over again whether by email, phone or in person?
  • Are they still manually updating systems and processing paperwork?
  • Are employee needs being anticipated? Are their expectations being managed?

Are the HR systems in use at your company fit for purpose or are there gaps that prevent you from providing a service experience to your employees that will make them feel valued and prepared to fully contribute to your mission? Most companies have invested in technology designed to manage employee information and transactions. The missing link is often the “interaction” component. Consider the following questions:

  • How is email used in your company to manage employee questions and requests?
  • Can you easily determine how many and what type of requests are coming into HR or your employee information needs?
  • Do employees have access 24/7 to a knowledge base that will inform their decisions about benefits?
  • Can your HR team easily and independently make modifications to workflows and forms without having to engage with IT or professional services?

There are great HCM solutions available in the market today though I have yet to see one that alone can truly accomplish all of these. Email continues to be used in most organizations to manage interactions with employees even though it provides no visibility into request status and no structure or metrics for HR. The good news is that service management technology exists that integrates with existing HR technology to fill in these gaps allowing organizations to streamline and modernize the entire employee life cycle.

If employees are not giving you direct feedback as they leave your company, they may be posting their thoughts on sites such as Glassdoor or otherwise letting potential applicants know about their experience. Don’t wait for disaster to strike or be overwhelmed by the challenges in front of you. All great journeys begin with one bold step. The first step in your transformation journey could be a matter of adding structure and visibility to your employee request and information processes. Seize the opportunity to make a difference—a difference that will have a long term impact on the viability of your company. Invest in your employee service experience and you may reap the rewards of higher employee engagement and longer employee tenure. At the very least, you will have far fewer complaints about the ease of working in your organization.

On the streets. An image from SplitShire.com

Finding the Right Job in the Right Field (Infographic)

Millennials – those who are born between 1977 to 1995 – is the generation that is widely discussed and written about these days. Characterized as tech-savvy, updated, and forward-thinking individuals, the millennial generation cannot be simply ignored nowadays, as many experts see them as the future that will revolutionize the way we conduct business and the way we think about the workplace.

But surprisingly, a significant number of Millennials across the world are still struggling to find the right job that matches well with their skills and knowledge. In the latest report from the International Labor Organization, it was reported that the global youth unemployment rate was expected to reach 13.1 per cent in 2016 and remain at that level through to 2017 (up from 12.9 per cent in 2015).

With the increasing saturation of the labor market, Millennials need to gain legitimate experience, hone their skills and knowledge by being involved in industry-related projects, and acquire the ability to be efficient in an environment relevant to their degree. These play a crucial role in finding the job that matches their education and qualification as prospective professionals.

However, the problem not only lies in the competition in the labor market but also on the way people view what a “job” is. For most Millennials, a 9-5 job is a set-up that will inhibit their personal growth, though also sees it as the only way to gain legitimate work experience. The Millennials have to change their outlook towards what job is and should start leveraging the potential of freelancing as a type of employment.

To learn more about freelancing and how it can help millennials find the right job for them, check out the infographic below from BrainBoxol.


Source: Finding the Right Job in the Right Field (Infographic) | Brain Boxol Blog

Work Hard Anywhere

How Ergonomic Technology Is Eliminating Office Injuries

How Ergonomic Technology Is Eliminating Office Injuries

As a refresher of its core meaning, ergonomics is the “applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.” This definition of ergonomics is a good reminder of how our time spent at a desk can present hazards and injury. While it may seem to some that those who work in an office are least likely to experience harmful consequences from their work environment, this is actually untrue. Back injuries, carpal tunnel, and rotator cuff injuries are just a few of the conditions that can develop without proper ergonomics.

Thankfully, technology has stepped in to save the (work) day. Take a look at some of the latest ways technology is helping eliminate the risk of office injuries.

Monitor arms

As you plan a productive and ergonomic office space, one commonly overlooked (yet essential) component is the positioning of your computer monitor. If you are looking at a screen that is too low or too high for 8+ hours per day, you will likely end up suffering from neck and back issues. One recent release for the modern workspace is an advanced monitor arm. These redesigned arms suspend your computer monitor (ranging between seven and 20 lbs.) above your desk, and can be adjusted to the precise height you require. When you are done using your monitor for a period of time, you can simply move it out of the way to open up more of your desk space.

State-of-the art computer mouse designs

Now it’s time to pick a computer mouse. If you haven’t reviewed the latest developments in ergonomic mouse designs, you are in for a treat. New computer mouse designs take every curve of the hand into consideration, providing unmatched support and futuristic designs. These high-tech offerings limit the chance of joint problems and of developing muscle strains.

The latest in ergonomic keyboards

Finally, it is time to choose a desktop keyboard. Ergonomic research has led to some pretty impressive keyboard designs within the last few years. Soft palm rests, high quality keys, curved layouts, and split key designs are some of the top features found on the latest ergonomic keyboard releases. These technologically advanced designs offer a comfortable, injury-free experience for users. They also prove how far along the science of ergonomics has progressed.

Enhancing your space with ergonomic technology

Leveraging the latest advances in technology is a fantastic way to make your workspace more ergonomic. Not only will ergonomic office technology help you to avoid pain and injury, but it can also improve your productivity and boost your mood as a result. Begin by assessing your current workspace to see what is working and what isn’t. If you are unsure whether or not your current office adheres to ergonomic practices, start paying greater attention to any strain or pain felt when using your computer, keyboard, chair, or mouse. When you have taken the time to assess every element, you can begin to research which brands of ergonomic office technology are right for you.

Written by Jackie Edwards, specially for The HR Tech Weekly®

Artificial. An image from stockio.com

How to Write Great Job Descriptions: 15 Science-Backed Tips

Some vector hands and objects for free design. An image from stockio.com

Whether your company needs to fill a new position or replace an existing employee, it is incredibly important to have the right job description to attract the talent you want.

Crafting that description is not an easy thing to do, especially considering that 63% of all new job openings in 2016 came from the creation of new positions.  So, how do you create a compelling and effective job description?

While there is no one-size-fits-all template for every position, there are some specific tips that can improve the quality of your posting. These tips can increase the number of applicants, and hopefully help you find just the right fit. Once you have it written, make sure you consider all of the available job posting sites on the web to ensure you are getting eyes on your posting.

Here are 15 science-backed tips to help you write the perfect job description from Employment Background Investigations, Inc. (EBI):

How to Write Job Descriptions Infographic


Source: How to Write Great Job Descriptions: 15 Science-Backed Tips

Affordable Care Act Reporting Software

The Biggest Challenges of Affordable Care Act Reporting

Written by Adam Miller, HR Compliance Manager, Passport Software, Inc.

Affordable Care Act

I’ve helped hundreds of Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) manage their Affordable Care Act requirements and file their 1094-C/1095-Cs. Though each had different reporting needs, the same question kept coming up…

How do I complete Part 2?

1095-C Part II
The original source: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1095c.pdf

Lines 14, 15, and 16 make up Part 2 of the 1095-C and provide details of an employer’s offer of coverage to a full-time employee. Knowing how to correctly complete this section is imperative for Affordable Care Act compliance and avoiding penalties.

Line 14—Use code 1E.

Choosing a line 14 code requires you to know three things:

  • Was coverage offered?
  • Did it meet minimum standards?
  • Was it available to the spouse and dependents?

Deciding on the best 1A-1K code to complete line 14 has one extra nuance, and it can save you hours of scrutiny: If a full-time employee is offered coverage and has the unconditional option to add their spouse and dependents to their plan, you may use the corresponding 1E code for all employees offered coverage—even those who are not married or do not have children. Since spouse or dependent coverage doesn’t need to meet any cost standards, there is little reason not to offer it.

With this allowance, most fully ACAcompliant companies will find they can use Line 14 code 1E for every 1095-C they submit, instead of 1B for single employees, 1C for single parents, and 1D for childless couples. Your life is already easier, isn’t it?

Line 15—Forget about Line 14.

This continues to be a very tough concept to nail down. The IRS wants to know: What is the monthly employee’s share of the least expensive, employee-only plan available to this person?

Let’s review each part of that statement.

  • Employee’s share—the employee’s remaining portion after the employer’s contribution.
  • Least expensive—the qualifying plan with the lowest monthly cost available, often referred to as bronze level. This is not what the employee is paying for a more comprehensive plan.
  • Employee only—One Person. Forget that on Line 14 you reported that the offer included the spouse/dependents. For the purposes of ACA reporting, it does not matter which plan an employee actually enrolls in, only what they could have chosen and what it would have cost them.

Line 16—What happened after Line 14?

It isn’t difficult to find that code 2C applies to employees who accept an offer of coverage, or that 2B is used for a part-time employee. Things start to get murky with code 2D. Code 2D refers to the variable-hour[i] employee who is in their Initial Measurement Period, also known as the Look-Back Method.

People start to panic when it comes to employees who were offered insurance but declined. In their 1095-C Instructions, the IRS wrote 1181 words describing all the Series 2 Codes in use. Nowhere does it say “Use code __ if the employee declined coverage.” In cases where you have made an a fully qualified offer which an employee has turned down, use whichever of 2F/2G/2H matches your method for calculating their income and ensuring affordability:

  • Use 2F if you look at W-2 Wages
  • Use 2G if you use the Federal Poverty Level
  • Use 2F if you look at the employee’s Rate of Pay

Congratulations…

Not only have you completed Part 2, but unless your company self-insures, you can bypass Part 3 completely!

What’s the next step?

Knowing how to correctly use the codes and contribution fields is fundamental, but organized tracking of ACA-related information throughout the year is equally important to save time and avoid penalties. A good, regularly maintained spreadsheet is a serviceable option for smaller ALEs with straightforward ACA reporting. For larger employers, or more complicated reporting, a specially designed software solution or service will reduce the compliance workload and help avoid penalties. A good one will help you accurately manage changing and editing data and even create the 1094-C/1095-C forms or electronic files.

Passport Software’s ACA Software and Services range from on-premise software to full year-round compliance management services. Our friendly service is fast and accurate, and our customers have given us great reviews. Our software is IRS-certified and we are IRS-approved to file on behalf of our clients.

Dealing with past years reporting troubles? We can help there, too.

Learn more about Passport Software’s ACA Software and Services, or call us at 800-969-7900.

[i] variable-hour refers to cases where it is unclear whether the employee will be comfortably above or below the 130 hour per month full-time threshold.

Form 1095-C
The original source: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1095c.pdf

About the Author:

Adam Miller

Adam Miller is the HR Compliance Manager at Passport Software, Inc. He designed their ACA Software and, as a support tech, he has helped hundreds of people with Affordable Care Act compliance and reporting.  Adam has a background in engineering, the service industry, and print, which makes him a technically proficient and friendly communicator for Passport Software.

Passport Software, Inc.

181 North Waukegan Rd, #200

Northfield, IL 60093

800-969-7900

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A man at the glass-desk with laptop. An image from kaboompics.com.

5 Ways Outsourcing Your Payroll Can Improve Work-Life Balance

Written by Jan Van Mol, Head of Global Alliances at SD Worx.

Outsourcing Payroll

There are plenty of reasons why outsourcing payroll strategies can be hugely beneficial to your company. Typically, it is the financial arguments that are used, not the emotional ones. However, there are many ways in which outsourcing your payroll can improve the wellbeing of your employees and can restore their work-life balance.

It’s well known that happier employees are much more likely to commit themselves fully whilst at work, bringing increased employee retention rates. Yet, many employers don’t realise that changing your payroll strategy can have an incredibly positive effect on the happiness of your employees. Here’s five reasons why:

1. Reduced workload

If your team is overworked and understaffed, an outsourced payroll strategy is the perfect way to get things back on track. An outsourced payroll strategy takes away the need to recruit and train an additional team member, and can dramatically reduce the workload of your staff much more quickly than getting a new member of staff.

Reducing this workload will make your employees instantly happier as the amount of potential overtime required will fall. Working fewer extra hours will allow employees to improve their work-life balance and will free up time for them to do the things they really love outside of work.

2. Reassuring the workforce

Payroll duties are sometimes given to members of staff who already have packed schedules with their own duties and responsibilities, which can lead to an anxious workforce.

Some employees may also feel concerned about other staff members having full access to their salary details. Moreover, relying on an over-tasked employee to process payroll can create tension for employees who expect to be paid accurately and on time each month.

By outsourcing payroll, an impartial person has access to salary details, which will eliminate any personal tensions surrounding payroll. Knowing that an outside specialist has sole responsibility will also reassure employees that their payroll matters are being taken care of, leading to a more relaxed workforce, a better work-life balance, and a better company culture.

3. No delays

Internal payroll managers are subject to the same demands on their time as everyone else in your company. If a company is going through a busy period where everybody’s help is required to solve an urgent issue or meet an external deadline, those members of your team responsible for payroll are no exception to this.

By outsourcing your payroll to specialist company, you hand over a big responsibility that would require lots of time, money and pressure on payroll employees. The payroll process becomes the outsourcing company’s top priority, so the internal team can focus on other tasks. There are few things which disgruntle an employee more than delayed pay, so offer your employees guaranteed on time payment by using an outsourcing partner to handle your payroll.

4. Lifting the pressure

Managing payroll is a huge responsibility, since you are personally responsible for the livelihoods of everyone in the company, many of which will be close personal friends and colleagues. This can put a lot of moral burden on an employee.

Outsourcing your payroll removes the personal element, as the person making sure that everybody is paid each month won’t individually know the people whom they are paying. Taking this emotional burden away from one of the members of your staff will relieve them of a huge weight, meaning that they are less likely to have to put in long hours to get the payroll sorted in time and will be able to regain a much better work-life balance.

5. Lead by example

Making a positive action such as changing the way you run your payroll will have a trickle-down effect throughout the business. Firstly, it will show employees that their payroll is an essential part of the business, and will lead the way for other changes in different areas and departments.

Many workplaces suffer by not adapting their strategies as the business grows and develops. Outsourcing your payroll strategy is a great example to show your teams of how to be proactive about making changes for the better that will set the business up well for its next phase. You’ll be amazed at how influential such a decision can be, and how large an impact it can have on the mindset of your workers.


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5 Social Media Recruiting Tactics You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

5 Social Media Recruiting Tactics You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

Written by Helen Sabell, CEO & Principal of the College for Adult Learning.

ICU

In our current digital era, it is so easy to reach a wide group of people from your fingertips. It is important for companies to have strong social media recruitment strategies so that they can fill their teams with the best candidates for each position. Social media recruiting is one of the most effective tools in attracting talented professionals to your organisation.

Read on to learn how you can improve your social media recruitment tactics and increase your chances of finding the perfect candidate for your role.

Sourcing Candidates

Sourcing potential candidates via social media is an excellent strategy, especially with people using an average of five or more social media platforms. LinkedIn is the most common social media platform recruiters turn to in order to find talent and it is an excellent place to start. However, if people are using more than five social networks, surely there’s room to branch out?

Instead of heading straight for LinkedIn, try other social media sites like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook to source new talent. Specialised search tools such as Followerwork can search through Twitter bios for job titles and keywords. Chrome browser extensions such as Intelligence Search, can easily search Facebook and Google+ and help you find potential candidates.

You can also use social media to filter out bad candidates since how someone behaves on social media can be a direct indication of their attitude. If you find that your candidate’s values do not match your company’s you can cross them off your list before you go through the lengthy recruitment process.

Monitor Your Competition

Social media is not only an excellent form of finding candidates, but you can also use it to keep an eye of your competitors. There are many tools available to recruiters to monitor the social media activity of their competition. Certain tools allow you to set up search columns which display how often certain hashtags and key terms are mentioned on sites such as Twitter. Such insights can allow you to get a leg up on competitors and improve your on social media tactics.

Targeted Facebook Ads

Targeted Facebook ads can be a great opportunity to connect with the best candidates. Many companies are investing a large portion of the advertising budget towards Facebook ads. Targeted Facebook ads allow you to choose certain demographics so that your ad is seen by the groups you are looking for. For example, if you are searching for an entry-level candidate, you may target a younger crowd (e.g. early 20s). It is an excellent way to narrow down your search and make sure you are reaching the right people.

“Occupational targeting” is also an excellent strategy to make sure your Facebook ads reach users who are experienced and working in your desired industry. You can alter your settings so that you are targeting users from particular companies, job titles or adult education courses.

Engage With Candidates

Social media platforms are a great way for you to communicate with new and current candidates throughout the recruitment process. Your Facebook page is a great tool for communicating your company’s image to potential candidates. Be sure to include useful information about the work culture, locations, employee testimonials and other relevant information.

Encourage your candidates to visit your page and ask any questions they may be pondering. Be sure to present an accurate image of your company as most people can usually tell if you are being ingenuine. You will pull in more talent if you provide an authentic persona of your company. 

Participate In Online Discussions

Social media can give you the opportunity to make sure you are present in the right conversations. Through the social media sphere, you can sort through your pool of candidates and find the right people. Being present in LinkedIn groups and using hashtags is a great strategy for making sure your job ads are seen by your target group. Make sure your job hashtags are unique and carry some relevance to the role.

Adult learning forums are constantly active, with many students seeking job advice and eager to gain experience. Online forums like these are an excellent place for recruiters to source talent and find the right people for their positions. Make sure you are getting your brand out there so that you have a well-known presence online.

Recruiting through social media strategies opens up a world of opportunities for HR professionals. It is a vital channel for sourcing new candidates and reaching the best people for the job. Start getting to most out of your social media recruitment strategy today.

About the Author:

Helen Sabell

Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult and lifelong learning. She has designed, developed and authored many workplace leadership and training programs.

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Greenhouse + Interact

Interact by Xobin, an AI based assessment platform, announces integration with Greenhouse

Leading AI based assessment platform from Bangalore announces integration with the top ATS provider in Silicon Valley.

Greenhouse + Interact

Bengalūru, September 1, 2017 — Interact, the leading AI based smart assessment platform from Xobin, and Greenhouse, the world’s leading recruitment platform, today announced an integration. This integration adds intelligent proctored assessments in every software skill for human resource professionals using Greenhouse’s platform.

Hiring doesn’t have to be crazy. All growing tech companies run into the same fundamental problem while hiring — UNCERTAINTY.

  • Uncertainty about the quality of hire
  • Uncertainty about the team fit
  • Uncertainty about time and money spent.

Interact makes creating and conducting online Assessments easy for recruiters. Its secure environment verifies the integrity of the submission with the keyword pattern analysis and eye motion tracking. Add that to the fact that recruiters can send out invites to all their prospects in a single click, and Interact becomes doubly efficient. With a Candidate Journey and Code Playback, recruiters will have the same degree of trust as if the test was taken in front of their eyes. This removes the necessity of a secondary verification of skills. Thus, saving loads of time per hire, freeing the schedule up and improving productivity. This also ensures that only the most qualified candidates end up being hired.

“Interact is a platform for secure and fast hiring. It uses AI to block improper test attempts. This gives candidates the comfort needed and the recruiters the authenticity they need”, says Guruprakash, the CEO of Xobin.

He further adds “It is exciting to be partnering with Greenhouse and seeing our mutual customers benefit from this combination of tech. Our customers were able to allocate more recruiting resources towards sourcing, improving the overall quality of candidates being evaluated and getting through the Interact Assessments. Thus saving their valuable time.”

Dane Hurtubise, the VP of Platform and Partnerships at Greenhouse had similar things to say about the integration as well, “Candidate integrity and authenticity are two major factors for making impact hires. Interact’s smart assessment platform enables our mutual customers to automate the process of verifying candidate ability and integrity in a single step, saving both recruiter and candidate time and energy. We are thrilled that Interact by Xobin is joining our community of partners!”

About Interact

Interact is a comprehensive recruitment suite for companies to find the right tech talent in a secure, authentic and super fast manner. The AI powered Platform uses Pupil Tracking and Keying Pattern Analysis to ensure Candidate integrity while taking an assessment. With a vast library of application and coding based questions, Interact helps recruiters create assessments that are tailored for the candidates and helps them find the best fit for any given role.

About Greenhouse

Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies source, interview, hire and onboard the right talent. Headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco, Greenhouse was founded by Daniel Chait and Jon Stross. Recognized as the 2017 Best Place to Work in the U.S. by Glassdoor, the Greenhouse team currently works with over 2,000 of the world’s most innovative people-driven companies, including Sony, Airbnb, Slack, TIME Inc. and more.