Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Tag Archives: Human resources

On the Clock: A Pocket Guide to Timesheet Rounding


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Back in the day when handling payroll was pretty much a pen-and-paper process, employers would use rounding to account for odd minutes and seconds outside the regular work schedule. Timesheet rounding helped streamline calculating wages and save chunks of time in the process.

But does it still make sense today?

What Is Timesheet Rounding?

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all employers are required to track and store employee time records completely and accurately. This can be done either by asking employees to write their hours down, using regular time clocks or through time-tracking software.

“So, what does timesheet rounding mean?”

In a nutshell, timesheet rounding means that the actual work hours of your nonexempt employees are rounded up or down by set increments. Depending on the type of your business and general industry practices, you can round work hours in 5-minute and 15-minute increments or to 1/10th of an hour (more on that in a moment).

These days, thanks to GPS-enabled time tracking and payroll automation, fishing for small deviations from regular clock-ins and clock-outs has become much easier. And yet, some small-business owners still use rounding to calculate their employees’ wages.

Is Timesheet Rounding Legal? Read more of this post

How to Design an Interview Process that Predicts Performance

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

First, let’s get one thing out of the way. Traditional interviews don’t actually predict performance. Rather, the best way to predict performance is to test job-related skills in context. Nevertheless, there is a place for interviews in the hiring process. Interviews are a useful tool to build rapport, and even start a relationship, with candidates after their skills have been validated. They can, and should, also be used to answer unanswered questions from the hiring process.

Interviewing is often used as a synonym for candidate selection, but it shouldn’t. Interviews should only comprise a small part of the candidate selection process. In fact, if an “interview process”, a.k.a. a selection process, is designed properly then traditional interviews only need to play a minor role.

Rather than dealing with hypotheticals, I’m going to share a real blow-by-blow story about a recent hire we made. The process included a recruitment agency, marketing, online skills assessment using our own platform, interviews and reference checks. I’ll explain how each step worked and why we did things in a very deliberate order. Read more of this post

Competence is Context-Dependent

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

The same, but different

Is a graphic designer at a major accounting firm the same job as a graphic designer at an early-stage startup? There is an obvious overlap is functional skills, but that’s where the similarity ends.

A designer at startup will have limited resources and even less time. They’ll be required to “ship fast” because the clock is ticking and everything is an experiment. Management will have a relatively high tolerance for mistakes, and decisions will be made on the spot.

Conversely, a large accounting firm will be far less tolerant of risk, decisions are made by committee, perfection will be prioritized over speed and autonomy will likely be low.

How similar do these roles sound now?

While the fundamental craft is essentially the same, the context is entirely different. Success is measured differently, and the respective operating environments have very little in common. Read more of this post

How Companies Use Skills Assessments

The following content was submitted by Vervoe. The original article can be found here.

We analyzed how more than 4,000 companies use skills assessments on Vervoe, particularly employer and candidate preferences, and wanted to share the results with you.

Here are some of the most interesting things we learned:

COMPANIES

Hiring funnel

The first step companies tend to replace with skills assessments is phone screening. Intuitively this makes sense because it’s a manual process that is very time consuming. Instead, recruiters can avoid screening altogether and review candidates after they’ve completed a series of job-related tasks.

Many companies have been able to consolidate several steps into one and reduce the number of steps in their process. This reduces the burden for candidates. As a result, the average number of stages in a hiring funnel is between three and four.

Nearly 70% of companies are using a skills assessment at the top of the hiring funnel. This is consistent with the removal of phone screening, which is typically a top of funnel activity.

While corporates often use skills assessments at the top of the funnel, the companies most likely to use assessments at the bottom of the funnel are staffing firms. Read more of this post

Why I’m Not on Facebook and Other Musings by a “Non-Joiner”

Young people without Facebook accounts are regarded as suspicious by a number of employers, their human resources departments, and some psychologists. Might this group of resisters have something sinister to hide, and even be psychopathic? This issue has been reported on herehere, and here (from 2012). The fact that it’s taken me so long to notice that non-joiners are regarded as strange in a negative way shows my limited interest in Facebook. Now that I’ve received the memo though, I’ll say I’m not surprised that people are wondering, “What’s different about the non-joiners?” and then coming up with hunches that have a negative spin.

Life has dealt me a strange hand such that I find myself (1) a non-participant when it comes to a number of activities that most enjoy and (2) having to vociferously defend my preferences. As a result, I’ve come to notice how consistently people assume non-joiners to have character flaws. Observe: Read more of this post

Making Virtual Work a Success for Employer and Employee

Better CollaborationThe next Better Collaboration video conferencing event on strategies for driving virtual workers’ productivity is coming up! The information that will be presented is geared towards organization leaders who’re interested in learning about the best tools and practices for virtual work arrangements. This event will take place on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 2:00pm-3:00pm Eastern Standard Time/11:00am-12:00pm Pacific Standard Time. To register, please visit the Better Collaboration Meetup site. Details regarding this event follow: Read more of this post

Gender Representation Disparities in Various Career Fields

Why is Human Resources (HR) dominated by women? It’s been difficult to ignore how frequently this topic has been tackled in the past few years. After considering a number of articles (listed below), I’ve decided to add my voice to the discussion on internal drivers behind career decisions while considering the role of brain development. Indeed, when considering why there are vastly different proportions of men and women in various fields, more insight can be gained by looking beyond physical differences and paying attention to internal predispositions instead.

Interviewing, Selecting, and the Lying Game

I know all there is to know about the lying game. I’ve had my share of the lying game!

That was cheesy, I know. Seriously though, from pretending to work, to pretending to like your job, to pretending to be interested in the job you’re interviewing for, appearances matter a lot within our current system. Like they say, appearances can be deceiving. As someone who’s been on both sides of the interviewing and selection process, I’ll share my thoughts on this issue and touch upon technological advances that may change the process of interviewing and candidate selection in the future. Read more of this post

Another Look at Employment Gaps, Responsibility, and Objectivity

“They just think that you might have a problem with drugs or alcohol,” a friend explained, “They don’t want to hire someone with that sort of problem.” So, employment gaps carry a negative stigma even though people have a wide variety of reasons for taking a few years off here and there. Due to the recession, potential employers have become more understanding as more people have them now, so I hear. However, well-meaning friends and relatives will urge you to cover them up with some story if you don’t already have a conventionally acceptable excuse to take a break. You can also gauge how much of a concern employment gaps are to those that have them by conducting an Internet search on how to explain them. Read more of this post

Independent Thinkers Need Not Apply

Creativity

Creativity (Photo credit: Mediocre2010)

An issue recently came up with regard to describing oneself as an “independent thinker” on one’s resumé. One of my contacts in Human Resources advised me that this is generally construed as someone who doesn’t follow directions or is resistant to feedback from a supervisor. (I’m guessing that synonyms such as “autonomous” aren’t any better.) However, wherever I look, I see organizations that are interested in innovation as a matter of survival in today’s hyper-competitive world. Hence, I also keep seeing demand for workers who can contribute a fresh outlook and think creatively. Read more of this post

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