Posts

Where Compliance Matters the Most

Let’s keep it clear from the get-go – I’m not a lawyer, I’m only a layman. A layman who’s been filling out these forms for myself for decades. A layman who’s also hired new employees and have had them fill out these very same forms.

When I had new employees fill one of these Form I-9’s, they couldn’t start employment until they completed it and signed it and provided one of six pieces of identification that establish both identity and employment authorization including a U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card.

And if they didn’t have one of those, then they had to have:

  1. A driver’s license or ID card issued by a State or outlying possession of the United States provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address (or something else from a list of 12 total items)
  2. And a Social Security Account Number card (or something else from a list of eight total items)

The above is taken directly from the instructions of the I-9 form. When I completed them they usually included the latter, the driver’s license and/or state ID card and SSN card, and I’d photo copy them and submit them with the completed and signed I-9, W-4 and other pertinent new employee paperwork.

All of this was done manually because the volume of hires was nominal compared to larger companies processing thousands of new hires per year. But again, if they didn’t have the right forms of identification, they didn’t start work.

Period. End of sentence.

So that’s why I just don’t understand how companies time and time again keep making the same errors, get audited and then fined. For example, Hartmann Studios was ordered recently to pay one of largest fines ever for Form I-9 paperwork violations. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) fined the company over $600K for more than 800 violations of I-9 forms. When you start digging, you find example after example of companies screwing up on this one.

The Form I-9, or Employment Eligibility Verification form, has been required since 1986 as part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act. It was revised in 2013 and that’s when the U.S. government and ICE cranked up the volume even more on ensuring I-9 compliance.

But even when you read the instructions to fill out an I-9 form and your eyes glaze over a little, it’s still one of the easiest required pieces of compliance paperwork U.S. employers can and should be able to complete properly each and every time. Todd Owens, CEO of TalentWise, concurred on this point on the TalentCulture #TChat Show. He made it clear that, while he is also not a lawyer, his technology company does offer onboarding software and his team works with many organizations ensuring they remain compliant when it comes to hiring and new employee paperwork.

The bottom line is this – most companies want and need to scale over time to be successful. They need to sustain that growth and they’ll need the right talent to do it. That means the ideal goal for HR in any organization is building the best performing teams and finding the greatest talent. But that doesn’t come easy – HR can’t focus on talent acquisition and management unless compliance is addressed.

Compliance is a necessity that HR cannot ignore, but it’s increasingly complex, both in our own country and even more so as you enter the global market and have to deal with regulations from other parts of the world. But the I-9 form? C’mon.

But even with mastering the I-9 form, HR technology providers that offer onboarding software need to be scaling partners to their scaling customers so they stay compliant locally and globally. They can and should reduce their risk and so they can focus on what matters the most – growing the business and generating revenue. That’s where compliance matters the most.

#TChat Recap: Why Compliance Is A Complex HR Necessity

This week the TalentCulture team discussed why compliance is a complex HR necessity with Todd Owens, CEO of TalentWise.

The ideal goal for HR in any organization is building the best performing teams and finding the greatest talent so that business can scale – and sustain that growth over time. But that doesn’t come easy – HR can’t focus on talent acquisition and management unless compliance is addressed.

HR technology providers need to be partners in compliance for HR because it can help reduce risk and give them more time to focus on what matters most in their organization.

To learn more, listen to the recording and review the discussion highlights below.

What’s Up Next? #TChat returns Wednesday, Sept 16th: #TChat Radio Kicks Off at 1pm ET / 10am PT — Our radio show runs 30 minutes. Usually, our social community joins us on the Twitters as well.

Next topic: #TChat Preview: Candidate Experience Through The Eyes Of The Job Seeker – Wednesday, Sept 16th, 2015 — Our halfway point begins with our highly engaging Twitter discussion. We take a social inside look at our weekly topic. Everyone is welcome to share their social insights #TChat.

Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date! The TalentCulture conversation continues daily. See what’s happening right now on the #TChat Twitter stream in our LinkedIn group, and on our Google+ community. Engage with us anytime on our social networks or stay current with trending World of Work topics through our weekly email newsletter. Signing up is just a click away!

Passive-Recruiting

Photo credit: Big Stock Images

For HR to Empower Up

“Wilderness of mirrors
World of polished steel
Gears and iron chains
Turn the grinding wheel
I run between the shadows
Some are phantoms, some are real…”

– Neil Peart, “Double Agent”

Welcome to your new job!

Now, put on these chains and fill out this form…

And then fill out this one…

And then fill out this one…

And then fill out this one…

Darkness descends…

…and excitement slowly seeps away…

We’re talking old school. Not quite the workplace dungeons of the industrial revolution, but definitely of the pre-internet realm. Instead of empowering new employees from before day one, some companies demagnetize their enthusiasm with a day filled with barely legible photocopied paperwork, horribly dry employee handbooks, and outdated training manuals that haven’t been updated since 1999.

All that anticipation and highly engaged first-day energy completely wiped out by the onboarding electronic magnetic pulse, and then we’re left for dead in a paperwork wilderness. As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, I’ve played Human Resources on TV, but I have actually done the blocking and tackling associated with sourcing, screening, hiring and onboarding. I know first hand, at least in smaller companies, that we’ve been quite guilty of a paper-intensive onboarding experience.

The unfortunate reality is that new employees decide their tenure with a company within their first six months on the job. That’s not a lot of time – but it sure adds up to a lot of recruitment and ramping costs.

Last week the 2014 Candidate Experience Awards were announced. What was obvious is that more and more companies have extensive programs in place to improve their overall candidate experience and ensure they provide a positive, rewarding experience as jobseekers. But many of the award winners admitted that they don’t have a very good “internal candidate experience” and many neglect to focus on the bridge between the two when those final candidates transition to new employees.

Of course what doesn’t happen next can and does have a long-lasting effect on their engagement, productivity and tenure. Therefore, it cannot be underscored enough why employers must improve their onboarding processes, where new employees (regardless of classification) are immediately immersed in the company and its culture, rather than hiding them in paperwork shadows on day one.

I’m proud to have just finished HCI’s Human Capital Strategist (HCS) Certification, and part of the coursework included the following Onboarding Essentials:

  • The time it takes for people to become proficient in their new jobs is critical.
  • The “Breakeven Point” according to Michael Watkins, author of The First 90 Days, is a huge productivity factor that is overlooked by many organizations.
  • Focus on the first 30-60-90 days to get employees off to a fast start.
  • Different breakeven points for jobs, depending on complexity and the applicability of the talent supply pool.
  • Engagement levels are high when joining a new job, but then can quickly decline.
  • Onboarding should be viewed not as an administrative duty but an engagement and developmental experience.
  • The research is clear: a careful and planned onboarding program leads to higher engagement and productivity, and reduces turnover.

Yes, that second to the last one: onboarding should be viewed not as an administrative duty but an engagement and developmental experience.

Unfortunately due to increasing corporate complexity and a constantly changing regulatory environment (not to mention a tightening corporate budget), HR has had little choice but to spend its limited time administering process first, and engaging people second.

To get the engagement, automating as much of the administrative onboarding process as possible is imperative. Otherwise, there’s no way HR (or anyone playing HR on TV) will get to the empowering that Todd Owens, CEO of TalentWise, told us about on the TalentCulture #TChat Show:

HR technologies today are supposed to free HR from routine administration, while helping them keep their organization compliant. Ultimately, it’s about empowering them to deliver a more productive and engaged workforce.

Indeed. However, not all of us in the HR software industry feel that way, or at least develop that way, but I know my mothership PeopleFluent does, along with a few others like TalentWise (in full disclosure, we’re partners). We both certainly know and acknowledge that HR carries the talent torch for us every day. It’s responsible for recruiting, hiring, training and engaging their organization’s most important asset – the people.

That’s why, for HR to empower up, they need to be:

  1. Better Automated. Streamlining the hiring process with the right technology platform enables HR and new employees to focus on the work at hand and immediately immerse into workplace culture. Allowing your new hires to quickly and painlessly move from their offer letter, through whatever “checks” your organization has in place (background and drug screening for example), to onboarding completely gets them ready to go on day one.
  2. And Empowered (as well). Empowering HR from day one is the ultimate outcome, which in turn creates a productive and engaging day one for new hires and co-workers alike. The hundreds of hours of administrative labor saved each year when the paper-process is “turned off” empowers HR to be strategic and to create a sustaining, high-performing, competitive organization today. That’s the business partner the executive team wants in their powerhouse.

Rebooting the human interaction in human resources is what talent engagement is all about and what will ultimately drive the business outcomes that make the top-down and the bottom-up alight with smiles.

photo credit: joshuahoffmanphoto via photopin cc