Symmetry provides outstanding human resource advice, support, and advocacy to start-up and small companies who do not have an in-house human resource team.
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Willful blindness is a legal term that means there is information you could and should know but have elected not to know. Deliberate indifference and contrived ignorance also are used to describe the phenomenon. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of willful blindness in the world today. Willful blindness causes the downfall of an organization’s leadership and culture.
If you are like most business owners, you are inundated with résumés from applicants looking for jobs at your company. Sifting through the summaries of job applicants’ credentials and experience can be a Herculean task. When you find the perfect applicant with a stellar background, your efforts may seem worthwhile. Unfortunately, sometimes applicants who tout amazing credentials on résumés aren’t as stellar as they appear on paper.
Recent studies find that nearly half of newly hired employees fail within their first 18 months at a job. Contrary to what you might expect, technical skills are not the main reason new hires fail; instead, poor interpersonal skills dominate the list. These are weaknesses that many of their managers admit were missed during the interview process.
In 2004, a grassroots movement called “Ban the Box” was created. In the decade since the start of the campaign it has picked up steam and many states and cities are considering passing or have already passed a Ban the Box resolution. What is it? And what do employers need to know? Ban the Box urges employers to remove questions about past criminal convictions on job applications so that people can be judged on their qualifications and skills first. The concern is that it is difficult for people with old and minor past convictions to secure a job.
The task of writing and revising job descriptions may sound dull, but at the same time be daunting. With so much to consider—essential versus nonessential functions, varied job responsibilities, experience and education requirements, etc.—the job can be mind-numbing. Then throw in the legal issues to consider, including things like how to prevent discrimination and wage and hour claims, and the job can get overwhelming.
Congratulations—you’re hiring a new employee. Now that you have it narrowed down to your favorite candidates, it’s time to bring them in and ask them a few questions to see if they are the right fit for your company. What questions to ask? Even scarier, what questions are no-nos? Generally, the list of prohibited questions coincides closely with the protected classes under federal and state laws. Where things get really confusing is sometimes it just depends on how you ask a question.
Finding just the right person for a job is the constant challenge for small businesses. Even if you have the benefit of up-to-date training, high-tech tools, and good common sense, you can often face an uphill struggle. You’re either inundated with applications—many from unqualified candidates—or you’re left with such a small number of suitable applications that they can’t be confident of finding the best person for the job.
As the economy and employment rates improve, noncompete agreements are grabbing more and more headlines and seem to be on everybody’s radar. What are they? Do I need one? How can I make sure what I write is enforceable? These are all questions that we frequently get asked by employers. I’m sure many of you have hired your rockstar employee, only to see them go after considerable time and money, training the employee. As a result of situations like this, more and more employers are looking to draft noncompetes to protect both their time and resources. As with most areas of employment law, what’s allowed varies from state to state. In fact, it would be impossible to write a noncompete that is applicable in all 50 states. Which means pulling one from the internet is not going to protect you. With the improvement in the economy, more employers are feeling pressured to have employees sign noncompetes. Increased mobility and greater job opportunities give employees significantly more latitude than in recent years. With the resulting rise in noncompetes, litigation over noncompetes is also on the uptick. There has been 60 percent more litigation over noncompetes than in the past decade alone, making this an extremely topical issue.
The task of writing and revising job descriptions may sound unexciting, while at the same time be daunting. There is so much to consider—essential and nonessential functions, varied job responsibilities, experience and education requirements, etc.—creating or updating can be mind-numbing. Then throw in the legal issues to consider, including things like how to prevent discrimination and wage and hour claims, and the job can get overwhelming.
We received an anonymous call about one of our employees telling us that the employee is a drug abuser. We don’t know what to do?