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4 Things You Need to Know About Employee Classification

tandemhr-classification-blogUpcoming changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) have employers scrambling to review their current employee classifications. While employers may not be overly excited about the extra work, periodic audits of employee classifications are a good business habit as incorrect classification can prove costly and disruptive.

What is the difference between an exempt and non-exempt employee?
While exempt and non-exempt are not the only employee classifications to consider, they are the most common. Exempt employees are typically paid a salary and are not eligible for overtime pay regardless of how many hours they work. They fall into one of several categories created by the FLSA including management, professional, administrative or outside sales. Non-exempt employees must be compensated for overtime hours – this is generally at one and a half times their hourly rate for any hours worked over 40 per week, but some states have richer overtime compensation requirements. Employers should familiarize themselves with the applicable FLSA rules for the states where they conduct business.

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H is for Human: Putting People Back in Your HR Processes

tandemhr-human-blogThe New York Times released an interesting story last week about Zenefits and Gusto, two web-based human resource outsourcing services specializing in software solutions for the small to midsized business (SMB) market. While the article focuses on the challenges Zenefits faces recreating its brand after a devastating blow to its core culture, we find the most interesting thing about these two companies is their ability to extract from their business model the very thing that serves as the foundation of their business – people. Read more…

Don’t Shoot the Messenger: 6 Tips for Delivering Tough Messages to Employees

tandem hrNo one likes to be the bearer of bad news. Managers and executives are often faced with the need to provide honest feedback or deliver messages that may not be easily received. Sometime an employee is not performing to standards or needs to work on a personal or professional issue impacting their work or others around them. Other times your company may make a good business decision that may not be seen as favorable among the masses, and you’re responsible for communicating the news.

While some people seem to have been sprinkled with linguistic fairy dust upon birth, finding just the right words to say at just the right time, the majority of us find it difficult to convey appropriate verbiage and end up fumbling through delivering challenging messages.

The following are a few tactics that can help hone your communication skills under pressure. Read more…

4 Hiring Blunders That Can Land You in Hot Water

TandemHRThere are many laws that have been enacted to protect people from being discriminated against when it comes to employment and the hiring process. It is important for your company to ensure compliance when it comes to the interviewing process to avoid potential litigation. This means educating all hiring managers as well as any others in your company that are involved in the recruiting or hiring process.

To get you started, here are the top 4 hiring blunders that can get interviewers into serious trouble:

Blunder 1: Asking inappropriate questions during the job interview

Before you interview, know what is and is not permissible by law to ask. Consider providing inexperienced interviewers with sample questions in advance. Also prep them on topics that might come up during the interview meeting and how to handle those topics. For example, if an interviewer notices or suspects a candidate is pregnant, they are not allowed to ask any questions about the pregnancy or day care arrangements. Also, steer clear from asking questions regarding applicants’ religion, race, sexual preference, age, physical health, citizenship status or drug or alcohol use.

Blunder 2: Providing inadequate application forms Read more…

What does ‘Equal Opportunity Employment’ really mean?


In simplest terms, equal opportunity employment (or EOE) means a fair opportunity is given to all people in search of work. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee or applicant when it comes to race, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), color, national origin and religion. It also prohibits discrimination based on the age, disabilities, genetic information, or military or veteran status. There may be additional protected classes at the state level too!

EOE can be costly when you’re not compliant.
Equal opportunity employment practices must be enforced at all times. If an employer is found guilty of violating the anti-discrimination law, then legal, sometimes irreversible, consequences for any inappropriate conduct will be enforced. Companies can lose substantial amounts of money from paying court fees and settlements. In many situations, companies or individual customers may no longer choose to do business or transact with the offending company, impacting the bottom line.

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8 Onboarding Tips for Setting New Hires Up for Success

on-boarding-tandemhr Onboarding is the process of helping a new hire adjust to the social and performance aspects of their new job.

The more quickly and smoothly this transition occurs often times makes a measurable difference in the employee’s success in their new position. According to the Wynhurst Group, a Washington D.C. based executive coaching and consulting firm, 22% of staff turnover occurs in the first 45 days of employment. Furthermore, new employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to remain with an organization after three years.

It makes sense right? I mean imagine for a second that you are beginning the day in a brand new position at a new company. How would you feel if your employer were not ready for you or seemed disorganized? What if your training was inadequate or you generally did not feel the employer was invested in your success?

Following are 8 ideas for making the onboarding process a positive experience, ensuring a quicker and smoother transition for everyone. Read more…

Management Tip of the Week: Better Group Decision Making

Tandem HR management topIs your team having difficulty making decisions or has your team made a decision that not everyone supported? If so, next time try using the Nominal Group Technique for group decision making. This process is proven to be more effective than the traditional one vote one person method. It’s particularly helpful in situations where:

• Certain team members are more vocal than others
• Some team members are not participating
• The group does not easily generate ideas
• There are new members on the team or the team is new to working together

Here’s how the Nominal Group Technique works: Read more…