Protecting Your Organization and Workforce During Global Crisis

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is SafeGuard Global. For nearly a decade, organizations around the world have relied on SafeGuard Global for their global HR needs, specifically around payroll and employee compliance. SafeGuard Global is an Endorsed Program sponsor of NPAworldwide. The post below gives practical advice to follow during a global crisis.

Although today’s global pandemic and the resulting economic turbulence are hurting some industries harder than others, it’s likely that everyone will feel some effect. If, before the global crisis, your organization’s goals or plans included international expansion and hiring, you may be trying to figure out how and whether to proceed.

Protecting your organization and workforce during this turbulence starts with adapting to the present—and keeping one eye toward the future. Here are some things to consider as you plan your course of action.

Rethink which countries offer the most opportunity

You may already have a target list of countries you’d like your organization to hire in and expand operations. But current conditions may require a temporary shift in strategy—such as hiring in one or two countries rather than your originally planned five. As you prepare your organization to weather the storm, diversifying your global footprint can help ensure you’re ready to move forward once economic and health conditions improve.

For example, it may make sense to shift some operations and hire workers in a country where labor costs in your industry are more favorable, especially in an unsteady market. Or, it could be evaluating your existing client base—are there certain countries not already in your plans where you can expand to better support your clients and their changing needs?

Another area to consider is your network of independent contractors and how you can expand your presence in a country where you already have a concentration of valuable contributors. If you converted your contractors to employees, not only would you be protecting the organization from the risk of misclassification—be aware that governments will likely be cracking down on employment violations as a way to bring in revenue—you’d also be protecting your talent pool into the future.

By hiring your contractors as employees, and thus securing their employment in this climate, you’re showing that you value them and their contributions, and you’re protecting a workforce in a market that could prove beneficial in the long term.

Review your benefits program and adjust where necessary

In addition to securing their employment, converting independent contractors to employees also makes them eligible—or even required, depending on the country—to receive employee benefits like paid leave and health coverage. Among the many lessons this global pandemic has taught us, is just how important benefits like paid leave and health coverage are, not just for employees, but for society as a whole.

As you evaluate where your workers are now—and where you want to hire in the future—an important thing to keep in mind is what the employment requirements are in the country and how they correspond to additional benefits you currently offer or need to offer to stay competitive. Also: whether benefits, required or not, will affect your relationship with your employees.

In France, for example, if an employee takes leave due to illness, that suspends the work contract and the employer’s obligation to fully compensate the employee. The French Social Security Health System would pay the employee a daily benefit, and the employer would only legally be required to make up the difference between that benefit and the employee’s normal compensation.

Seek guidance and external expertise

As you steer your organization and workforce through this global crisis, navigating challenges in new or unfamiliar global markets, you may find there’s a lot of “you don’t know what you don’t know,” so seeking expert consultation becomes imperative.

Talking with a trusted resource like an employer of record, one with in-country expertise all over the world, can help you understand the current situation as it relates to your hiring and expansion plans and offer guidance based on countless employment situations and challenges solved over time.

An employer of record provider can also help you be agile in a time when adaptability is required:

  • Onboarding employees in a new global market in as little as two weeks
  • Converting your valued independent contractors to employees to reduce risk
  • Bringing on workers in a country where you can save on labor costs
  • Keeping your workers even as you dissolve your foreign entity

Contact us today to speak with a global solutions advisor and learn how Global Employment Outsourcing (GEO) may be the solution you need to adapt to today’s tough climate and position your organization for success in the future.

The Cost of Toxic Employees

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Paulette Steele with Real Resumes located in Queensland, Australia. Real Resumes is educating people from beginning to end on getting a job.  Short videos cover all aspects including: where to look for a job, writing effective resumes, researching and preparing for the interview, and most importantly, mastering the interview itself. Paulette has 15 years of recruitment experience and a vast career in various industries. She writes about toxic employees below.

The first thing to address is – what is a ‘toxic employee? What kind of person fits this description? Well to sum it up, toxic employees are people who don’t fit your company culture, produce a low standard of work, take more sick days than others and don’t fit in well with the rest of the team. You know the kind of people we’re talking about, right!!

Their toxicity spreads like wildfire leading to high turnover rates, and a general vibe of unhappiness. Besides that, there’s the lost clients/customers and business opportunities. Read the rest of this entry »

Coach your Clients on the Background Check / Reference Check Experience

by Dave Nerz

Recruiters and employers spend hundreds of hours to develop a shortlist and extend an offer to the top talent selected to fill a critical role. The last steps before candidate hire are the background check and the reference check. In today’s world, candidates have choices and are likely getting multiple offers and counteroffers if they are truly top talent. Don’t let an automated process (background check) or a hiring manager-driven manual process (reference check) derail the plan you have put in place. Coach clients on how to speed and smooth the process while letting the candidate know what is happening and how long it might take. Communication is key to a great candidate experience.

Long before these final steps are implemented, check with your client to see if they are using a professional and reputable background checking partner. Recruitment best practices have this step being completed in as few as 24-72 hours with a good business partner. If it is taking longer, ask your client why? Might be a good idea to test the practice for yourself. Run a check on yourself or on an internal employee willing to give it a go. A clunky process will cost your client top talent and will give a less-than-outstanding candidate experience.

Communicate well what is happening in the reference check process. This is a joint responsibility of the candidate and the employer. It is a great way to see if the candidate cares about the outcome and is able to effectively manage things outside of their direct control, but well within their sphere of influence. If the employer has more than a day or two invested in the reference checking process and has still not connected with a reference source, communication needs to direct and specific with the candidate. The candidate may need to do a reference replacement if someone is non-responsive.

For clients not doing this regularly, they need to be coached. As the recruiter, you need to fill the void between candidate and employer. Information needs to flow freely and with speed. Good luck! Get coaching!

Salary Histories Obscure While Salary Transparency Increases

by Dave Nerz

While questions about salary history are top of mind for recruiters and candidates looking to be considered for jobs, employers are struggling with salary transparency issues every day. Pay has long been a confidential topic in the workplace. In fact, most conversations about pay are limited to review time or when an employee is being given a raise or adjustment. With some employers, salary transparency is beginning to change.

Current studies show that in the US only about 27% of employers share salary information with employees and early-stage candidates. Another 22% indicate they are likely to start sharing this information with both employees and candidates. So, the workplace is very evenly split on this topic of salary transparency, or will be, as those planning to share actually start doing so. A full 51% do not share salary info and do not intend to do so.

So, what are the advantages to greater salary transparency? Those that currently share details, they find it speeds the hiring process, streamlines the negotiation process, ensures fair pay, filters out and saves time spent with those that would likely decline and offer, and creates an environment where more interview time is spent on other topics.

The future is sometimes driven by the market and other times government intervenes. Governments worldwide are interested in fair pay and are busy pushing forward transparency laws. Even from an employer perspective, the goal is not really about transparency. The ultimate goal is fair pay; transparency forces that faster than good intentions alone. Fair pay then instills trust in the company and the process. Lack of transparency creates lack of trust and can create pay inequity that is systemic. Leaving employees in the dark can create candidates that are suspicious and employees that are distrustful. It has been found that many employees incorrectly assume they are being underpaid relative to market conditions. PayScale, LinkedIn and Salary.com are driving market transparency that will require employers to share more if they do not want to be compared solely against generic industry/marketing data. A clear picture of rates and ranges will give employees an awareness of standing within their current job and what upside exists. This can all be used to retain and motivate when used appropriately.

Transparency comes with both risk and complications. Each employer needs to make fully informed choices that have been strategically thought through and implications considered. No doubt recruiters will save considerable time on candidates that may be a mismatch on salary where employers are fully transparent on salaries.

It is certainly an interesting trend that while employers are in the process of becoming more transparent about salaries, recruiters and employers on the other side of the equation are becoming limited in what they can ask employees. Salaries are trending toward transparency while salary histories are trending toward completely obscurity.

How Promoting Company Culture Can Help You Find More Candidates

by Veronica Blatt

casual office company cultureHave you ever wondered how to get more candidates for job openings, or candidates more suited to the needs of your clients? It can be tough, especially in a market with very high employment, such as the one we’re currently in.

Ah, but there’s a secret weapon. It’s the company culture. Culture is what determines whether a workplace is friendly and open or a place where everyone minds their own business. It can determine the degree of flexibility in a workday. It’s reflected in whether people would rather hike on the weekends or binge-watch television. If you create a “cool” culture in the working environment, you’re way ahead of the game! Read the rest of this entry »

How to Prep Your Client for an Interview

by Liz Carey

Recruiters know to prep their candidates for an interview – a great resume only gets you so far. Sometimes, the best person for a job isn’t the best interviewee. Similarly, hiring managers aren’t always the best interviewers, and may not leave the best impression on the potential hire they interview.

At the end of the interview, the hiring manager often asks “so, do you have any questions for me today?”, and many recruiters take this opportunity to arm their candidates with penetrating questions in order to make a lasting impression. So if you have a hiring manager who isn’t prepared to answer these questions, the candidate might doubt the leadership at this company and lose interest in the role. It’s a candidate’s market, and in today’s fierce recruiting environment, you have to make sure your client sells not only the role, but themselves, to the candidate.

Here are some tips to give your client regarding the interview process:

  1. First, is making sure everyone is on the same page by using a calendar invite or similar software to get the interview on both your candidate’s and client’s calendars. Trying to coordinate calendars by calling or emailing back and forth with available times is a big hassle and time-waster. Get interview scheduling under control with something like Calendly or SimplyBook.me to find times that work for everyone and reduce cancelled or missed interviews. With scheduling software, your client can set their availability preference, share the link with you and the candidate(s) they want to interview, and let them pick a time, which is automatically added to you and the candidate’s calendar. It’s efficient and simple.
  2. Second, the interview itself. Sometimes recruiters are so good at prepping candidates that the interviewer isn’t prepared for the interviewee’s questions! A corporate headhunter told me a story of a time the hiring manager was at a loss for words when a interviewee asked about potential financial risks of the company’s that they garnered from the company’s public financial statements. Be prepared to answer questions about the company, its culture, career development, reductions in force, ethics, etc.
  3. You want every interview to be a dialogue, not just bombarding the candidate with questions. You want the candidate to feel comfortable opening up to you. Build in time during each interview for candidates to ask questions, and for the interviewers to thoughtfully respond to them.
  4. If you don’t know the answer to a question, tell the candidate that you will get back to them. …And make sure you actually do follow-up within 24 hours.
  5. Many candidates do not want to waste time waiting, as they may have other interviews/offers on the table, so be prepared for direct questions like “When may I expect an offer?” or “When will you decide on filling this position?”

And importantly, if a candidate doesn’t ask questions, that is a huge red flag. It shows they didn’t take the time to research the company and shows a lack of interest. You want candidates who ask questions because that shows they have a genuine interest in your client and its success.


Recruiters and Employers: How Will You Attract and Retain Millennials?

by Dave Nerz

Get ready! By 2025, Millennials will be almost 75% of the workforce. That is just 6 years away.

The good news is that this demographic will infuse the workplace with a fresh perspective and new ways of thinking. The challenge is that Millennials have expectations that differ from the generations that preceded them. This will create significant organizational change and many new challenges to be addressed. Older generations label Millennials as entitled, self-absorbed, and even unreliable. As with most stereotypes, these perceptions will be only partially accurate for some of the many workers in this generational category. Regardless, organizations and the leaders setting direction will need to respond and change. Methods and practices for employee attraction and retention will need to be examined. Read the rest of this entry »

Is working as we know it unhealthy?

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is John Francis, info@theonera.com, president and senior managing partner of Theonera, Inc. in Waterloo, Ontario (Canada). Theonera is a boutique recruitment firm specializing in engineering and software professionals and sought-after senior managers. Theonera has been a member of NPAworldwide since 2011. John shares his thoughts on a flexible work schedule below.

More CEOs need to look at introducing a 4-day work week

Throughout my 25-year career as a recruitment and retention professional I have known people who are constantly stressed at work. The stress they feel filters down through their life and embeds itself into every aspect of it. There are many stressors today — information overload, work demands, family care, finances, fear of missing out, career stagnation — each one piles unto the other to cause excess stress. Read the rest of this entry »

Searches for Purple Squirrels Should Die

by Dave Nerz

image of a purple squirrelRecruitment and search have become increasingly more difficult for independent recruiters. Independents are the NPAworldwide constituency; that is my motivation for examining this subject. Let’s take a look…

Employers have taken back the massive quantities of simple-to-fill positions that they shared with recruiters in the early 2000s. These have gone in-house or they have gone to online and AI-based services that can bang out the 15 new sales reps needed in every city across North America or wherever they are needed worldwide. Client companies have taken to job boards (their own and industry applications), low-cost agencies, hourly recruitment, list builders, employee referrals and even off-shore RPO to fill other slightly more difficult roles. What that leaves is the truly unique and especially difficult roles to be shared with independent search consultants. Headhunters are called in to fill these challenging and specialize positions. Read the rest of this entry »

Clients Tell Us What They Look for in Agency Partners

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s guest blogger is Alex Fraser, Marketing Director at London based recruitment software supplier Engage Technology Partners. Engage provides a cloud-based platform that allows collaboration of clients, recruitment agencies and contractors throughout the recruitment supply chain process.

Recruiters are always looking for better ways to serve their clients. But sometimes it’s important to step back and look at the big picture: how are clients using recruitment agencies and what really matters to them?

To get a sense of how UK businesses really perceive the recruitment industry, we questioned 100 medium-to-large employers across a range of industry sectors. Read the rest of this entry »