Most businesses in the US are too small to have a full-time HR professional, let alone a compliance officer. Yet, in these dramatically different times it can be a costly mistake to not keep up with rules and laws that are changing rapidly and for the first time being applied to at-home workers.

Writing for HR.com, Dan Marzullo says COVID-19 is making it “more important than ever for businesses of all sizes to make sure they’re abiding by HR compliance.”

Large corporations have HR compliance officers to monitor labor laws and requirements, and ensure the company – and employees — are complying with the often complex rules. They train managers in the rules and help them work through difficult situations.

But large or small, all businesses are required to comply with the laws. As the well known adage goes, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

So what’s a small or even mid-sized business to do? Marzullo, who himself runs a small business in Colorado, offers a solution: “This is a role that can be outsourced.”

In fact, it is usual for HR professionals who serve on a consulting basis to wear both hats. While an HR compliance officer is a specialist and an HR professional fills multiple roles, the jobs are not exclusive and have duties that overlap. Unless your business has employees in several states working in different locations, an experienced outsourced HR professional will be able to keep the business on the right side of the rules.

Marzullo notes that one of the first tasks an outsourced HR professional typically faces with a new client is updating their employee handbook. Or creating one for the first time.

“It’s a critical document for any business because it serves as a communication tool to define your company’s procedures, policies, and how you conduct business,” he writes.

If you haven’t reviewed your handbook since before the COVID pandemic, read through it now. Does it mention remote work, flex time, remote work schedules? What does it say about who pays for work at home internet access or the equipment? Anything?

Probably not, yet these are now common issues that every business will confront sooner or later.

Noting that worker’s comp claims for carpal tunnel were on the rise before we all started working from home, Marzullo says an HR professional can help to head off these claims by training employees how to avoid injury.

Having an HR consultant on retainer is not the only way for a small business to ensure compliance with the rules. Hiring a part-timer or even a temp to put the workplace in order is an option Green Key Resources can help you with.

From anywhere in the US, give us a call at 212.683.1988 and we’ll show you what we can do for you.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


Majority of Employers Still Honoring Job Offers and Internships

There’s some good news for college students anxious about their summer internships. Almost two-thirds of employers intend to go ahead with them. The same is true for the jobs they offered to graduating seniors.

A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found 64% of employers are not revoking their offers of full-time or internship employment. They may shift the start date and 29% expect to move interns to a virtual program, but only 15% are reducing the number.

The survey did find about a quarter of employers were considering what to do about the offers they made, given that no one is certain what will happen in the next several weeks.

Even if they decide to make cuts, there’s no reason to despair, says Green Key’s Clare Wright. There are companies still hiring. In fact, the dearth of campus recruiting has created opportunities.

“Smaller firms will have a chance to snap up those high caliber candidates who are eager to get working right out of school.”

Katelin Carbon, who as Green Key Resources’ Recruitment Director focuses on healthcare, says jobs are available for new grads in physical and occupational therapy and as speech language pathologists.

“Given all that is happening,” she add, “There is a huge need” for RNs especially in ICUs and emergency rooms, and for respiratory therapists, where there is a severe shortage.

“We encourage new grads to upload their resumes to job boards – Careerbuilder, Monster, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn.”

Add Handshake to that list, adds Wright, who says, it is “an excellent resource for both college students and employers looking to hire.”

Especially for employers who do have internships and jobs to offer, Wright recommends being more proactive and creative in recruiting.

“Employers should reach out to colleges who are currently holding virtual career fairs and offering online career counselling to seniors,” she says. “Companies should invest heavily in their social media presence as well as hiring through their own staff networks – everyone will know someone affected by this pandemic so word of mouth networking will be strong.”

Wright, an Executive Director with a focus on office support, adds that Green Key Resources may be able to help.

“We are always ready and willing to talk to recent grads. While most clients like to see some relevant internship or corporate experience, often companies will look to grads with any kind of work experience such as summer jobs, or customer service.”

Wright, who graduated college in 2009 during the worst recession since the Depression, has some words of encouragement for college students: “Try to breathe. The job market will bounce back.

“This will not be the graduation that you expected, but it will be okay. You might not end up in your dream job right away, but make connections, create a LinkedIn page, network, temp, finish up school strong, use your college career department, attend a virtual career fair that many colleges are hosting, focus on sectors that are hiring right now — healthcare, tech, pharma, e-commerce are all still hiring.”

Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash