How unemployment rates are affecting recruitment and retention - Proper employee classification under FSLA - Employment Internships - New and improved HR Strategies website

Low unemployment rates are affecting recruitment and retention

The national unemployment rate is 3.6 percent and provides job-hunters with the advantage of being in a buyer’s market. What does this mean for employers? The competition to hire is intense and employers must be quick and creative in their recruiting processes. Employers must sharpen their pencils when it comes to evaluating their total rewards. It’s more important than ever that the compensation being offered for positions accurately reflects what the market dictates. We never want to lose a talented person because another company is willing to offer them $5,000 more per year or a more robust benefits package and time off. Take the time, before it’s too late, to help ensure employees stay engaged, motivated and loyal.

We also have had to become more innovative in recruiting new employees and in particular millennials. Studies indicate millennials are looking for a career package that includes career mobility, diversity of responsibilities, a work/life balance and a culture that values social responsibility. These same requirements play sharply into holding on to employees since the best retention strategy is often a strong recruiting strategy. With that in mind, you should evaluate the most critical positions in the organization. Make sure the compensation being offered accurately reflects the value of the position based on a compensation survey. If it doesn’t, use the opportunity to adjust the compensation before the individual starts looking elsewhere and let them know how much they are valued by the organization.

Recruiting and retaining top employees is vitally important to any business. Organizations with a solid strategy are more likely to succeed in matching the best people to the right jobs – and in keeping them on board.

HR Strategies, LLC can help you with compensation surveys to assure you are strategically hiring and retaining your employees.

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Are your employees classified correctly?

Exempt versus non-exempt isn’t a choice that can be made by an employer. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), employees are to be paid at a rate of at least one and a half times their regular rate for any hours worked over 40 in a week, unless they have been classified as exempt under certain specific statutory categories or meet other requirements in the regulations.

Under Section 541 of the FLSA regulations, an employee may qualify as exempt from overtime requirements if he or she satisfies a “primary duties test” (performs specific job responsibilities under the executive, administrative, professional, computer and outside sales regulations); is paid on a salary basis (salary does not fluctuate based on the hours that the individual works); and is paid above a salary threshold set by regulation. Under the current regulations, employees must be paid more than $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to satisfy the salary threshold for exemption.

Employers should be reviewing job descriptions and pay practices to ensure compliance. This is more than a cursory glance; it involves reviewing the scope and responsibilities of the position to determine if and which exemption status would be applicable. Audit exempt workforce decisions to ensure that the position meets the primary duties test. You may want to use the expertise of HR Strategies, LLC, other consultants or an attorney to ensure compliance.

Please note that there is a 2-year statute of limitations that applies to the recovery of back pay, except in the case of a willful violation, in which case a 3-year statute applies.


Employers who willfully or repeatedly violate the minimum wage or overtime pay requirements are subject to a civil money penalty of up to $2,014 for each such violation. Willful violations of the FLSA may result in criminal prosecution and the violator fined up to $10,000. A second conviction may result in imprisonment.

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Internships are a great way for students to get real-world experience in a particular career and for employers to scope out potential new hires upon graduation. But when they are not well planned, they won't be successful for the interns or the employer.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 72 percent of interns are offered a job, and 85 percent accept. Historically, the retention rate of hired interns is higher than other entry-level employees.

The basics of an internship program should include:

  • Internships must promote learning with specific learning goals.
  • Interns must be supervised.
  • Interns are required to work a certain number of hours.
  • Interns should be formally evaluated.
  • Interns can earn academic credit, but that is not a requirement. If it's for credit, a faculty member is supervising them, so if you've got problems with that student, you've got someone to reach out to. Internships for credit also mean that a faculty member will hold the employer accountable to make sure the intern is not just doing errands

Tips for a Successful Internship Experience

  • Make sure the interns work on real projects, not busy work although it shouldn't be urgent or critical work. Think of short-term projects, so they have a chance of completing it. •
  • Don't treat your interns like second-class employees. Encourage them to be part of your organization.
  • Supervise them. Make sure you help them develop soft and hard skills. Offer continuous feedback. Give them a regular orientation, and go over acceptable work hours, dress code and professional behavior.
  • Managing interns can be a great assignment for an emerging supervisor to help them develop new skills.

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New website, phase I

After months of hard work and dedication, we are pleased to announce the launch of our brand-new website! The new site launch is available, and the URL is www.hrstrategies.org

Our goal with this new interactive website is to provide our visitors an easier way to learn about HR Strategies, LLC products, services and solutions and also to allow the visitor to browse information based on their own choice.

We will be constantly updating our content with helpful information, articles, news, newsletters, training information and company announcements. We hope you find the new website with a fresh look, easy to access information and we also wish to establish this portal as a source of information for those who visits our site.

For any questions, suggestions, feedback or comments, please E-mail us.

Thank You!

HR Strategies Team

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