Posts Tagged ‘Employers and Hiring’

Should Businesses Hire Just Because it’s the Right Thing to Do?

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

employee screening, employee background checkAs the economic recovery slogs on without a significant change in employment, some HR experts and recruiters are advocating a push in hiring as a way to reduce poverty and homelessness. Instead of awaiting the perfect candidate, businesses can hire the next best person and provide training to bring them up to speed. Companies with one full time opening could hire one-and-a-half workers. Extend and reach a little, and change a life—or two.

Why? As one former recruiter says, there is a value in simply employing people. To give them hope, while keeping families intact and off the street. Illustrating the reality of family life for a large number of Americans today, is a recent 60 Minutes piece, following up on a story done a year ago about the large number of homeless kids in central Florida. Having lost their homes through eviction or foreclosure, many were then living with their families in motels. One year later, some of these same families are now living in their cars.

The story featured parents who once enjoyed full-time jobs and were able to support their families. Now, they’ve been out of work for months or years. Friends and family can no longer offer their extra rooms and couches, and the families have nowhere to go. Kids get ready for school in the morning in gas station or convenience store bathrooms. School systems hire homeless child specialists to help kids deal with the many problems associated with sleeping and living in cars.

If you’re an employer, are you in a position to hire someone and lift him or her out of poverty? Could you make a lasting difference in a family’s life by giving them the means to put a real roof (not a car roof) over their heads?

If you don’t need any workers, you can still strengthen your community. Why not donate a scholarship in your business’s name to your local technical or community college? Giving a student in need the chance to obtain an education is a life-changing act. Programs offered at these schools typically teach the skills most needed by local industry.

Imagine what would happen if 25% of the businesses in America each hired one worker. With approximately 6 million firms with employees in this country, that’s 1.5 million new jobs. While it might be a nice idea that goes nowhere, it’s worth thinking about—especially at this time of year.

Alabama Campus Shooter Possibly not Properly Screened before Hiring

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Reports are surfacing that the professor charged with the fatal shooting of three colleagues last week in Alabama had a violent history that perhaps could have been discovered—with more thorough background screening.

Amy Bishop, who also wounded three others, had more than one incident in her criminal past. She was arrested in 2002 for assaulting a woman in a pancake restaurant—over a child’s booster seat. She shot and killed her brother in 1986, in what was officially ruled an accident. And she was questioned about a mail bomb received by her supervisor at Harvard.

The question remains: was this information available, and not acted upon by the University? Or did the University of Alabama use an insufficient level of pre employment screening for Amy Bishop’s position?

Employers typically choose from several levesl of background screening. The lowest level might be enough for a back office employee with no client contact, on-the-job driving, or access to sensitive data. On the other hand, day care providers and nursing homes, who work with vulnerable populations, need all the information they can get on a potential hire.

Why not the University of Alabama? Isn’t it better to know more, rather than less, information on a university professor, who is in a position of power and influence over students?

Now that the damage has been done, and the victims’ families face untold grief and loss, it is easy to look back and wish things had been done differently. Instead of regretting inaction, isn’t it better to take all possible actions—before workplace violence occurs?

Unemployment Down, but Hiring Outlook Still Bleak

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Although January’s unemployment figure dropped from 10% to 9.7%, other sources are not so optimistic about future hiring. Temporary staffing and payroll processing firms are among those reporting few positive indicators for hiring boosts in the near future.

ADP, a payroll processing company for US employers, issued a report that 22,000 private sector jobs were lost in January, 2010. Goods-producing sector jobs fell 60,000 while the service sector lost 38,000 jobs to arrive at the total. Within the two main categories, small business employment fell by 12,000, and manufacturing lost 25,000 jobs.

Unemployment has tracked high for the manufacturing and construction sectors for over two years now, with 1.9 million construction jobs lost since December 2007. The ripple effect of 15 million Americans out of work is continued lower consumer spending, which means employers don’t need more workers.

There are a few good-news items in the ADP figures: first, the service sector’s 38,000 jobs gain is the second straight monthly increase. Second, the overall drop of 22,000 month-to-month is the lowest decline since employment started falling in February 2008. Third, medium-sized businesses actually grew employment by 9,000.

Kelly Services, Inc., a temporary staffing firm, reported a loss in revenue and profit for the 4th quarter 2009 over the same period in 2008; however, revenue was up from the third quarter 2009. This could be a positive indicator; temp staffing services often see increases in business prior to full time job boosts.

The construction industry is still being hit hard. According to the United States Labor Department, construction saw 75,000 jobs lost in January. A bright spot in the Federal report is manufacturing, with an 11,000 job loss—much smaller than the drops seen in 2009. Motor vehicles and plastics/rubber were two areas that increased jobs, by nearly 30,000 total.

While unemployment figures for January were better than expected, hiring will likely not occur on a large scale until consumer spending bounces back—and that’s not likely until employers start hiring again in a big way. Stay tuned for updates as they come.