Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Small Businesses Planning to Hire

Two recent Global small-business surveys, the Mid-Year Small Business Report Card and Year-End SMB Survey, both seem to have a clear theme for 2014 -- small business owners are going to be hiring. According to the research from the surveys, more than 77 percent of small businesses plan to staff up in 2014 by bringing on employees, paid interns or unpaid interns.  It may have something to do with the fact that many entrepreneurs have made a New Year’s Resolution to find better work-life balance.

Of the many roles entrepreneurs handle themselves when getting their businesses up and running, the least popular is that of HR manager.  Just two percent cited this mission-critical function as their favorite part of the job.  If you are one of the entrepreneurs that are thinking about hiring in the New Year, we have some suggestions to hire wisely.

1.     Clearly define the position.

You should keep in mind that people search for jobs based on keywords or industries.  The more detailed a job description you can draft, the more appropriate your potential candidates will be and the better your chances of matching the right person with the role. 

2.     A flexible work policy may attract and retain better talent.

As long as your team can meet its goals and collaborate when needed, offering flexible schedules and office hours is a enormous selling point.  Generally speaking, top talent does not want to sit in an office all day, rather they want the option to get their work done at a coffee shop or stay in their pajamas at home.   According to the SMBs survey, 36 percent of small businesses plan to offer more flexible working environments to find better employees. Today’s world with mobile technologies and cloud services, you can attract these employees by offering them greater flexibility in when and where they work. 

3.     Do not rush the process.

Take your time to find the right candidate.  According to an article in Business News Daily, you have a higher chance of hiring the wrong person for a role if you're desperate to fill the position and rush the process. If you really need help right away, bring in temporary help while you carefully search for the right permanent candidate.

4.     Remember to Onboard.

Make sure you have an up-to-date employee handbook and they receive a copy of it to review.  Go over the policies with your new employee to make sure they understand your expectations.  It is hard to be the new person who does not know all the processes, so the HR team, whoever that may consist of should ensure a smooth transition from candidate to employee.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


The financial impossibility of taking unpaid leave is the single most common reason workers give for not taking leave when they need it, according to the Department of Labor’s Technical Report in November of 2013.  The “Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act” (the FAMILY Act), introduced in the Senate on December 12, 2013, would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave each year to qualifying workers for the birth or adoption of a new child, the serious illness of an immediate family member, or a worker's own medical condition.

Currently, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.  There is a continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. The purpose of FMLA is to prevent employees from losing their jobs and benefits as a result of extenuating circumstances.  However, FMLA coverage is limited.  FMLA includes private employers that have at least 50 employees in 20 or more work weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, and public employers regardless of the number of employees.  Even if the employer meets the requirements for FMLA, for an employee to be eligible for the benefits, the employee must have recorded at least 1,250 hours of work for the employer in the preceding 12 months and must work in an area where the employer has at least 50 employees within a 75 mile radius. Furthermore, the employee must have a qualifying reason for leave under FMLA.

The FAMILY Act would cover private and public companies, no matter their size.  The benefits would be available to every individual who has earned any income from employment or self-employment in the 12 months prior to applying for benefits and is insured for Social Security Disability Insurance.     The FAMILY Act would allow part-time and lower-wage workers access to benefits if their employer’s size or the length of time with the employer would make them ineligible for the FMLA benefits.  The FAMILY Act’s wage replacement rate builds on lessons from state paid leave programs in California and New Jersey.  The program would be funded by employee and employer payroll contributions of 0.2 percent of wages, or two cents for every $10 earned. This will amount to an average contribution of approximately $2 per week per worker from a worker’s paycheck.

The program created through the FAMILY Act would run parallel to FMLA, but it would be separate.  Individuals who qualify for FMLA leave would also be able to apply for FAMILY Act benefits.  We at Karen McKeithen Schaede Attorney at Law, PLLC will keep you up-to-date on the bill’s progress.

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