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How Much Do Employers Expect You to Work After Hours?

Written by Blogger on . Posted in Industry

We live in a society where the line between work and free time is too easily and too often blurred, but most employers still don’t have a policy in place to deal with working after hours.

Technology and Its Impact on Employees During Nonworking Hours,” a new report from SHRM, found that a large majority of employers don’t have anything in writing dictating what their staff members can and can’t do when working outside of the office.

However, most typical employees still feel guilty if they don’t respond to emails at night or on the weekend, even if doing so is not technically part of their job description. That’s because most companies rely on organizational norms, not written policies, to dictate such behavior.

“Employers are not creating policies that delve into employees working outside of the traditional workday,” Evren Esen, manager of SHRM’s Survey Research Center, said in a press release. “Whether an employee responds to email at night or during the weekend is usually linked to organizational norms. If there is such an expectation, then employees are likely to follow suit.”

Some highlights of the report include:

  • Only 21 percent of companies have a formal policy in place regulating the use of wireless communication devices during non-working hours.
  • About 26 percent of organizations have an informal policy in place, while 81 percent of those rely on managers to relay rules to employees.
  • Of the companies that don’t have any policy in place dealing with working after hours, 87 percent allow employees to set their own limitations.
  • Employers are more concerned about how much their employees are working after hours if the work is being done on a company-owned device.

Ultimately, employers should make it a priority to develop an after-hours working policy, whether the employee is using company-provided equipment or not. Companies that have no policy in place could be leaving themselves open to lawsuits for not paying proper overtime.

Facebook: The Next Big Job Board?

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There is lots of advice out there about how you can find your next job on Facebook, but now it seems that the popular social networking site is going to make that task even easier by launching its own job board.

A recent article from NASDAQ claims that Facebook is planning to launch its own job board later this summer, although the article couldn’t credit its source, saying only that the information came from “people familiar with the matter.”

If it does become a reality, the job board could pose a huge threat to competitors – specifically LinkedIn – as well as other companies that develop apps to help companies showcase their jobs on Facebook.

“In recent years, the success of sites like LinkedIn, which merge users’ personal and professional histories with information about jobs, have put pressure on once-dominant sites like Monster.com,” the article notes. “While job seekers once considered sharing information on Facebook to be a liability when finding a job, today a host of companies, including those partnering in the new job board, have popped up promising to better match job seekers and recruiters using profile information from Facebook users.”

According to NASDAQ’s sources, the job board will aggregate job openings from other third-party providers, making those jobs available to all users. Facebook also plans to involve BranchOut, Jobvite, and Work4 Labs – all of which currently use Facebook for recruiting purposes – in the new effort.

Not much else is clear about how the new job board will operate, although Facebook does plan to make the service available for free, at least initially.

Layoffs Drop Significantly in June

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As everyone anxiously awaits tomorrow’s employment numbers, a separate report is showing that companies are making the lowest number of layoffs in over a year.

The most recent report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that employers made 37,551 layoffs during June, a whopping 39 percent decrease from May, and marking the lowest number of job cuts in the last 13 months.

Although we’re not out of the woods yet, this is a huge step in the right direction, and offers a glimmer of hope at a time when many people are predicting that the economy is still getting worse.

“Even with recent signs that the economy is headed for another summer slump or worse, including the first contraction in manufacturing activity in three years, employers appear reluctant to shed too many workers,” Challenger CEO John A. Challenger said in a press release. “While it does not take long to shrink payrolls, it can take a significant amount of time to rebuild them, particularly as reports of the growing skills gap becomes more widespread.”

Even more encouraging is that the biggest job cuts in June were in education, just in time for schools and universities to wrap up things for the summer. And even that industry’s 6,569 layoffs were down 36 percent from last year.


“Continued weakness in the recovery will further delay hiring, which will, in turn, further delay the full recovery,” Challenger said. “Whether or not we see an  increase in job cuts depends on the length and severity of the recovery’s slowdown.

“However, barring some major economic catastrophe, companies in  the U.S. are likely to hold steady for the remainder of the year,” he added. “We probably  will not see a major ramp up in hiring or firing; certainly, not before the November elections. Even after the election and regardless of who wins, it  could be several months until companies understand the full implications of  the outcome and how to plan for the future.”

Check out the full report for more info on what industries and states are seeing the most layoffs, the top reasons companies are letting people go, and the industries planning to hire in the coming months.

Employers Ramp Up Hiring for Olympic Games

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The Olympic Games are a time-tested tradition enjoyed throughout the world, but beyond the athletes and the competition, it’s the employees behind the scenes who keep the event running smoothly.

Traditionally, the Olympic Games are held every two years, alternating between summer and winter events. The host city changes for each event as well, with this year’s games being hosted in London.

The Olympics regularly attract participants from more than 200 nations around the world, which means there is a huge influx of visitors to the host city. It is estimated that the London games will cost $14.8 billion.

But that cost is well worth it for the city, which will see plenty of business before, during, and after the games take place. Obviously, Olympic Park itself will see most of the business, but patronage will flow all throughout the city as guests book rooms at local hotels, make reservations at local restaurants, and tour around local landmarks.

Given the amount of business the games will bring to the city, it’s imperative that local businesses ramp up their hiring efforts in order to meet demand. That means figuring out a way to hire a large number of talented employees within a small period of time.

To help with the hiring efforts, game officials have established a program that will help unemployed people and students find a job related to the games. A total of 100,000 people are expected to nab paid positions in catering and hospitality, cleaning and waste, event services, retail, and security.

“The vision of London 2012 is to use the power of the Games to inspire lasting change. Part of that vision is inspiring lasting change in London’s communities, particularly in the east of the capital where much of the Games is being held. Getting people into work – some of whom might have been unemployed for a long time or may have never had a job before – is a key element of the area’s regeneration.”

Opportunities are also available with the ceremonies department, which is in charge of putting together the actual opening and closing ceremonies, and the London 2012 Organizing Committee.

Unemployment Hits Veterans Harder than Most

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The most recent unemployment rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 8.2%. Yet, that number is higher for veterans.

In the article, “Veteran-Friendly Job Resources to Ease Vets Back into Job Market,” writer and human resources consultant Deborah S. Hildebrand notes that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Unfortunately, the unemployment rate in 2010 for veterans who have served since September 2001 was at 11.7%, while the August 1, 2011 TIME.com article, “More Young Veterans Jobless,” put the current unemployment rate for veterans at around 13%. Both numbers exceed the current national average of 9.2%

The experts say that the most likely reason is that many companies don’t make the connection between military experience and recruiting candidates for their open positions.

Granted, much of the problem has to do with how veterans view themselves. When they develop their resume, they often use military acronyms and a government formatted resume that is foreign to private human resources professionals and hiring managers. Veterans need to learn how to translate their years of experience and skills into the right words.

Beyond that, employers need to rethink how they look at the men and women who served this country. Defense contractors, for instance, often hire veterans with security clearances who can work on top-secret projects.

For other employers who are not as sure about recruiting veterans, there are tax benefits as well as government funding for training and worker relocation, such as VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.

This initiative made changes to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) by adding two new categories. It allows for-profit employers to claim a credit of up to $9,600 for qualified veterans who begin work before January 1, 2013 or up to $6,240 for qualified tax-exempt organizations. For more information, visit the IRS website.

Additionally, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) offers resources to assist employers in hiring veterans including a Veteran’s Hiring Tool Kit and no-cost consultation and technical assistance.