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Building A Business Case For Telecommuting

October 18th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Career | Employee Productivity | HR | Telecommuting Employees | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Building A Business Case For Telecommuting)

Want to convince your boss that you should work from home? Make sure you have a compelling case, including facts to prove that working remotely will not impact your productivity. In other words, do your due diligence, talk to your HR personnel, other work colleagues, and be sure to take time to learn about your company’s history as it pertains to telecommuting, otherwise, it could backfire on you.

Building A Business Case For Telecommuting

Here are some tips from Melanie Pinola’s blog on LifeWire titled What You Should Know Before You Ask to Work from Home

“The first thing you should know, if you’ve never worked from home before, is that telecommuting has awesome benefits but it’s not for everyone.

There are many pros and cons to telecommuting. That said, if you want to give it a try, start with the basics below.

Find out what the current policy is

  • Check the employee manual. If there’s an existing remote work policy, then your chances of success are good. You can use the information provided to make your case in your remote work proposal.
  • If there’s no written information but some of your co-workers currently have flexible work arrangements, ask them for advice on proceeding. They’ll have the inside scoop on how easy it was to negotiate the work arrangement and how it’s working out for them.
  • Don’t worry if no one ever has established a flexible work schedule or remote work agreement at the company, though. You can be the first! (In my former job, I was the first person to start working from home regularly as a telecommuter as I was able to prove I could get my job done at home. See below for more details.)

Use your experience to your advantage

  • Because your supervisor’s support and approval will be key to getting your request granted, you’ve got a leg up if you are an established employee whom your supervisor trusts and values. Make sure you maintain that respect and continue to make yourself invaluable to the company.
  • Gather past employee evaluations that had positive comments related to critical telecommuting traits, such as: initiative, ability to work without supervision, and communication skills.
  • If you are a new hire, think about past experience at other companies that prove your ability to telecommute productively, such as occasionally working while traveling for work or working from home when needed on the weekends. If you don’t have past remote work experience, perhaps delay the request, however, until you’ve developed a strong rapport with your supervisor and proven yourself invaluable to the company.

 Be sensitive to your employer’s needs and goals
Look at the company’s mission statements, website description, and other materials to see how they present themselves. If they say they care about their employees’ well-being or are innovative/progressive companies of today, you can use these “branding statements” in your proposal.”

If you are still unable to convince your boss about the benefits of telecommuting, don’t be dishearten, simply try again in a few months. However, if your company has a no telecommuting policy, you should also be respectful of it by either abiding by the company’s policy, or find a company that offers telecommuting to its employees.

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Today’s HR practitioners have a symbiotic relationship with technology. And why shouldn’t they? When you consider the old ways of calculating and managing employee time and attendance was relegated to paper time sheets. In other words, a time-consuming task, that resulted in numerous errors, it’s no wonder many in HR are giving a warm embrace to technology.

Technology Has Become A Great Resource For HR Departments

A brief summary of an article titled World-class HR departments do more but spend less, thanks to technology written by Valerie Bolden-Barrett, for HR Dive reads, in part:

  • World-class HR organizations spend 25% less than average HR organizations and function with 30% less staff, but are more effective, according to a report from The Hackett Group. The consulting firm’s benchmark analysis​ also found that, should an average company with $10 billion in revenue gain world-class HR status, it could save up to $15 million a year. The Hackett Group defines world-class HR operations as those which maintain a level of performance in the top quartile in effectiveness and efficiency.
  • The analysis also showed that world-class HR operations spend more of their budgets on cloud-based technology and selective outsourcing compared to other HR staffs. Top-ranked departments have also reduced the amount of staff performing transactional tasks with error rates for those tasks two to fives times lower that of traditional HR operations.
  • The Hackett Group’s research also found that, through digital technology, HR organizations can improve their efficiency and effectiveness in delivering services, boost customer experience, place additional resources on high-value activities and use sophisticated analytics for better decision-making.

Bottom line: Technology has created remarkable new opportunities to eliminate administrative overhead and, at the same time, give HR departments access to advanced technology tools like, workforce analytics, real-time employee dashboard review, employee self-self service and hosts of other workforce management tools available 24/7 365 days a year.

Do you think your HR department will want to turn their backs on tools that helps them streamline payroll costs and improve productivity? We are guessing the answer is no.

To learn about ATS Workforce Management Solutions go to our website. You can also register for a bi-monthly webinar or call us at 866.294.2467 to arrange a demonstration.

Market Intelligence leader International Data Corporation (IDC) is on the forefront of the cloud and the digital revolution and their evidence-based predictions and analytic reports are much sought-after items. Here are some predictions based on the ever increasing use of mobile devices, the cloud and the non-stop pace of the digital revolution that shaking and shaping today’s business landscape.

Growth of mobile connectivity and today’s workforce

“The U.S. mobile worker population will grow at a steady rate over the next five years, increasing from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020. By the end of the forecast period, IDC expects mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce.

Embrace The Cloud And The Digital Revolution Or Go Home

Key drivers behind the growth in the U.S. mobile worker population include the increasing affordability of smartphones and tablets combined with the growing acceptance of corporate bring your own device (BYOD) programs. In addition, innovations in mobile technology such as biometric readers, wearables, voice control, near-field communications (NFC), and augmented reality are enabling workers in completely new ways, increasing productivity by enhancing communications and business workflows. In a recent IDC survey, 69.1% of enterprise mobility stakeholders polled saw a reduction in opex or capex costs as a result of implementing BYOD programs.”

There are many reasons why smart business leaders are adopting cloud-based solutions to propel their organizations. Many of them believe in the future of the cloud computing technology. And,the report by Eileen Smith of IDC reads, in part;

“Fueled by 3rd Platform technologies like mobile, social business, cloud, and Big Data and analytics (BDA), a new era is upon us where technologies and processes that businesses deploy are so tightly linked to their customers and markets that the boundary between the internal operations of the enterprise and its external ecosystem is rapidly disappearing. Business leaders are challenged to move their enterprises to the next level, that of digital business transformation, employing digital technologies like IoT, robotics, and artificial intelligence to create new ways of operating and growing businesses. IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Digital Transformation Spending Guide sizes the technology and business dollars related to this transformation of business processes. Delivered via IDC’s Customer Insights query tool, users can easily extract meaningful information about technology markets and industries”.

Are you still in doubt about the power of the cloud? Go to our website and download free white papers on the benefit of adopting a cloud time and attendance solution. You can also read customer testimonials on the site and, to reach an account executive by phone call; 866.294.2467.

 

What Is The Right Fit Anyway?

October 2nd, 2017 | Posted by ATS in HR | Recruitment | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on What Is The Right Fit Anyway?)

That’s a tough one to wrap around one’s head when a company says they are looking for the ‘right fit’? What’s the hidden meaning behind these words and will your company know the ‘right fit’ when you see it and if so, what does it represent? Some have argued that these words mean some companies are only interested in hiring candidates who attended the same schools or have the same circle of friends and/or associates as their current employees. If that’s the case, why not say so, on these job applications?

What Is The Right Fit Anyway?

In her article, Hiring Fit vs. Hiring for Inclusion: Which Route Should You Take?

Lin Grensing-Pophal writes, “HR professionals are talking a lot about “hiring for fit,” and the concept seems sound. After all, to create and maintain a strong corporate culture, companies would seem well-served to ensure that new hires will fit into that culture. But is there a flip side to this commonly held wisdom? Could building a culture based on “fit” keep out those who are different in some way? Does it create equal employment opportunity risks? Are innovators being excluded? How can HR leaders help their companies find the right balance?”

The importance of preserving culture within an organization is at times, nothing more than a load of baloney. Progressive organizations are that the ones who are who are diverse in thought and people. The words ‘right fit’ are embraced by some companies, thereby limiting their own growth prospects simply to attract candidates who think like them.

In closing, Lin Grensing-Pophal’s article, in SHRM, contains 6 tips for companies who hire based on ‘fit’:

  • Hire from the broadest pool of applicants. Go beyond recruiting from the same education programs. Go beyond word-of-mouth hires.
  • Use neutral job descriptions focusing on the essential job requirements and the requisite merit, education and skills needed for each position.
  • Identify the company’s core values and how a person who is a strong cultural fit best represents these values.
  • Have a wide panel of interviewers from a variety of backgrounds interview job candidates.
  • Focus on what the individual will be able to bring to the company based on his or her experience and how that will advance the company’s goals, mission, sales and success.
  • Make inclusion a goal during the onboarding process.

Apex Time Solutions (ATS) is the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. Thousands of organizations that spans Canada, South America, US and Europe— including Fortune 500® — companies use ATS TimeWork OnDemand to control payroll costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity.

To learn about ATS best-in-class time and attendance solutions, job costing, employee scheduling, forecasting, payroll and workforce analytics management go to www.atimesolutions.com

 

Some Of The Weirdest Questions Candidates Are Asked At Job Interviews

September 28th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Careers | HR | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Some Of The Weirdest Questions Candidates Are Asked At Job Interviews)

Sometimes you have to wonder if hiring managers throw oddball questions at candidates to come off as being quirky or they are simply going through great lengths to appear smarter than they really are. And, while some of these oddball questions might be part of a corporate playbook and, a way to test a candidate’s analytic and thinking skills some of them are just weird.

A list of aptly named, strange interview questions is compiled by Suzanne Lucas in her article 10 of the Strangest True Interview Questions.

  • “When a hot dog expands, in which direction does it split and why?” –SpaceX Propulsion Structural Analyst job candidate (New York, NY).
  • “Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?” –Whole Foods Market Meat Cutter job candidate (Lexington-Fayette, KY).
  • “If you’re the CEO, what are the first three things you check about the business when you wake up?” – Dropbox Rotation Program job candidate (San Francisco, CA).
  • “What would the name of your debut album be?”–Urban Outfitters Sales Associate job candidate (New York, NY).
  • “How would you sell hot coco in Florida?”–J.W. Business Acquisitions Human Resources Recruiter job candidate (Atlanta, GA).
  • “If I gave you $40,000 to start a business, what would you start?”–Hubspot Account Manager job candidate (San Francisco, CA).
  • “What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?”–Trader Joe’s job candidate (Orange, CA).
  • “If you were a brand, what would be your motto?”–Boston Consulting Group Consultant job candidate (Washington, D.C.).
  • “How many basketballs would fit in this room?”–Delta Airlines Revenue Management Co-op job candidate (Cincinnati, OH).
  • “If you had $2,000, how would you double it in 24 hours?”–Uniqlo Management Trainee job candidate (Los Angeles, CA).

Maybe, some of these companies are trying to pick the best and brightest mind from their list of candidates and that’s one of the ways to select the true creative genius out of the pack. And as for the candidates, the best advice is to be prepared for anything.

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6 Tips To Ace Your Phone Interview

September 26th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Careers | HR | Productivity | Recruitment - (Comments Off on 6 Tips To Ace Your Phone Interview)

Many of today’s companies are now using telephone interviews for the hiring process. It’s often used as a way to gauge a prospective candidate’s interest and also figure out if there is a fit before conducting a face-to-face interview. In some cases, the telephone interview will be one of several interviews a candidate will need to go through before they are hired by a company.

Telephone interviews are also used by companies as a way to screen applicants, and if you don’t make it past the telephone interview, chances are, you won’t be invited for another one. In her most recent article, The HR Digest Presenting tips for phone interview with a step-by-step guide Diane Booker offers some wonderful advice for would-be job seekers on the best approach to you use when doing a phone interview.

Here are those 6 tips to help you ace that interview

Step 1: a heads-up about the company
Irrespective of the nature of the job interview, it is necessary for the candidate to do his research. You must have enough knowledge about the company and what kind of services it offers. Read about the company in such a manner that you get an idea of the kind of duties you will be assigned according to your job profile.

Step 2: make notes
When we have a face-to-face interaction with a person, we pay more attention to the conversation and have our doubts clarified accordingly. While on a telephonic conversation, we might miss out on some factors. This is why it is important to jot down a list of questions you would like to ask the employer beforehand. Such a practice is to avoid any misconceptions and to make sure that all your doubts are clarified.

Step 3: stay hydrated
For a usual job interview, your attire, body language, and facial expressions help create an impact on the interviewer. But on a phone interview, you only have your voice and intonations to strike an impression. To make sure that you succeed at doing so, the most basic thing to do is stay hydrated. Have a glass of water before the expected time of the phone call. By doing so, your voice will sound clear and you will be able to articulate your thoughts well. Having water will also calm down your nerves.

6 Tips To Ace Your Phone Interview

Step 4: keep your documents in front of you
The HR of the company you have applied to might have already asked for your documents and CV through email. These documents will also be presented to your interviewer. Based on this, he will ask you questions. To help you answer these questions smoothly, keep a copy of all these documents in front of your throughout the interview.

Step 5: pick a spot for your phone interview
To make sure that the interviewer’s questions are audible during the interview, pick a quiet spot. This spot must be such that it’s devoid of external disturbances and has excellent cell phone reception. Preferably, this place can be a part of your home which you are well accustomed to. Make sure that none of the musical devices in the house are on and close the doors and windows to avoid further disturbances.

Step 6: smile, even if it’s not visible
A number of psychological studies have proven that a smile can have a positive effect on the person you are interacting with. But is it applicable to a telephonic conversation as well? Absolutely. If you smile while talking, the person at the other end of the phone call can recognize the smile in your voice. This will work in your favor. And also make sure you are calm. Be confident and you will nail the phone interview with some simple tips!

Telephone interviews can be tricky since all you have to rely on is the voice of the person on the other end. And, because of that, you cannot afford to make mistakes, if you do make one, it might be forgiven but too many of them can will lead to failure of a second interview and ultimately the job.

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Since business runs on talent, growing companies need effective workforce management solutions that work, and work well. Manual calculation of employee hours and spreadsheets can result in costly over or under-staffing and unpaid overtime hours, which in turn, can lead to low staff morale. As a business grows, it demands more effective business automation tools—without adding unnecessary maintenance, deployment time, and cost. Organizations need solutions that speeds up HR processes and systems so they are strong enough to meet workforce needs today, but innovative enough to adapt in the future.

What Modern Workforce Management Means For Your Business

If you have already made workforce adjustments to proactively prepare for the upcoming labour changes by lawmakers across the North American, you might be fine. But, what if you haven’t and you are still scrambling to deploy a time and attendance that can adapt to upcoming employment standards act and other workforce regulations?

Here’s what you can expect from an ATS TimeWork OnDemand Solution

  • Simplify scheduling tasks with ATS Workforce Planning tool — to create and manage schedules anywhere, from any web-enabled device
  • Improve staff accountability – easily assign and track job costing projects
  • Enable employees to request time-off, check vacation balances and banked time, from anytime, anywhere  — clock-in/out, and view messages left by management on any mobile device
  • Reduce labour costs through utilization of ATS Forecasting & Budgeting module so you can gain better control over your business by knowing, at any time if you are running over or under budget
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements through automated alerts— to managers, when overtime or other thresholds are at risk

ATS TimeWork OnDemand gives growing businesses the critical information they need to optimize their workforce. ATS TimeWork OnDemand delivers science infused workforce management— that results in real-time business intelligence designed to— inform decisions and provide a high return on investment.

To learn more, go to our website and download a demonstration, or call 866.294.2467.

The rise of the minimum wage, new employment laws and predictive scheduling are just a few of the most recent workplace compliance that many of today’s organizations are struggling to manage. An effective time and attendance solution can be significant a time saver, while also allowing operational managers to access data in

real-time—thus, providing them with a complete picture of employee overtime and hours worked at their fingertips. Here is a quick synopsis of what you can expect from an ATS Time and Attendance solution.

How Can A Time And Attendance Solution Help Your Company With Employment Laws?

Robust and Purpose-Built
At the core of ATS Time and Attendance is a database engine that designed to handle the business requirements of every industry. With ATS time and attendance solution, employee can perform different job tasks, review overtime and shifts from by accessing the employee self-service or through one of the ATS data collectors. The Workforce Analytics dashboard is a treasure trove of data that — when mined carefully — reveals important information on forecasting and actual versus hours scheduled. It’s the difference between making decisions on gut feeling and making them based on facts.

Improved Productivity
scheduling and personal time-off requests are an important part of retaining a productive workforce. The companies that offer employees flexible work hours and also accommodate time-off requests for personal and professional needs are generally desired companies to work for.

Workforce Compliance
Does your company or industry have to deal with collective bargaining agreements, have different locations across several jurisdictions with separate labour laws? For example, unionized employees may have a maximum number of hours that they are allowed work per week or month. In other cases, corporate policy may dictate that employees cannot work more than a maximum number of hours per pay period. Whatever exceptions that are unique to your organization, ATS time and attendance solution can be configured to meet those requirements and ensure that you are in compliance. The system will accurately calculate premium hours, statutory holidays and job tracking and manage overtime.

If you are looking for ways to improve productivity in the face of rising labour costs, tight margins and competition, tracking employee time and attendance by paper, will drive costs up, not the other way around.

To learn more about ATS Time and Attendance, go to our website. You can also register for one of our bi-monthly webinars or download a demonstration. To reach ATS by phone, call 866.294.2467.

 

 

The Work Is Important And The Compensation Should Reflect That As Well

September 6th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Careers | HR | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on The Work Is Important And The Compensation Should Reflect That As Well)

Just scan the Internet and you will find a plethora of sites giving advice on how potential employees should approach the conversation of compensation during an interview. Many of these published articles suggest using a tepid approach, while others go insofar to suggest that the topic should addressed by the candidate only after the employer brings it up. In other words, discuss everything else, but when it comes to subject of compensation, simply dance around it. No human being is going to work for free or for less than they worth, and if they do, it won’t be for very long, regardless the size of the company or its perceived stature.

The Work Is Important And The Compensation Should Reflect That As Well

Why then is it that some companies, are interested in discussing a  candidate’s qualifications for the job that they are trying to fill, yet remain reluctant to discuss the compensation at the onset or deemed it as being rude if the candidate brings it up? At ATS, one of the first things our recruiters address is the compensation. And why not, the candidate has obviously read the job description otherwise, they would not (at least we hope) have applied for the position. Our recruiters say this approach to dealing with compensation, puts the candidates at ease and they can go about discussing the other areas of the job as it relates to the candidate suitability.

A wonderful and recent post by titled; We Want Meaningful Work and a Meaningful Paycheck by Ted Sackett, for TLNT.com sums up employee compensation debate this way;

“I’m going to stop fighting. For years I’ve been fighting morons who claim that millennials would rather do “meaningful work” than making money. That is actually one big lie, I believe perpetuated by employers who don’t want to pay market wages! (Conspiracy Theory Alert!!!) Actually, it showed up on a bunch of studies that were poorly worded and confusing.

The reality is money matters until it doesn’t.

Millennials and almost any other human on the planet would love to do work that is “meaningful” and something they enjoy doing. That isn’t rocket science. But, if you’re not at least making a fair market wage, money is the most important thing for the majority of people.

The studies that said millennials would prefer meaningful work over money, didn’t make it clear about the money. It was put to them as if it was a decision about “more” money or “meaningful” work, what would they choose. The perception being that you are already making “good” money, so now what do you want? More money, or meaningful work, or something else. In that case, the majority of people choose other things because we don’t want to come across as greedy.”

The fair compensation debate has been boiling beneath the surface for quite some time and has morphed into proposed wage hikes across several jurisdictions. And, this has left the pro and those against wage hikes, tied up in knots.

Bottom line:

Everyone wants to be in a job that values their skills and where they also feel a sense of belonging. We are, after all, social creatures. However, it is just as important, that candidates feel they are being fairly compensated. Otherwise, all you will be left with is a revolving, high turnover door.

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Your Employees Are Slacking Off At Work: What Should You Do?

August 31st, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Benefit Accruals | Business Software Automation | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Your Employees Are Slacking Off At Work: What Should You Do?)

So, your employees is slacking off. Perhaps, they are bored with their daily tasks or your work environment is not fun. Bridget Miller’s blog for the HR Daily Advisor titled, How to Get Employees to Goof Off Less at Work reads in part,

“Reducing employee time spent “goofing off” is probably a reasonable goal. But the idea of “goofing off” is probably not the main issue—the real issue is productivity loss. That productivity loss may come from a variety of employee activities, such as spending excessive of time talking about nonwork things with coworkers, doing personal things like browsing online articles or social media, or even taking care of personal errands (like buying gifts online or spending time away from work without taking paid time off (PTO). It could also come in the form of frequent personal calls and texts. Regardless of the specific activity, the concern is that too much time is being spent not working.”

Your Employees Are Slacking Off At Work: What Should You Do?

The article has a few suggestions for employers looking to engage its workforce and increase productivity. In no particular, order here is three out of the seven suggestions:

Invest in good tools for employees. If employees are frustrated at work, or even if they’re overworked, they may be more likely to need to take (too many) breaks and feel more justified in doing so. Conversely, giving employees good tools to enhance productivity can allow them not only to be more efficient but also to have a greater sense of satisfaction because the employer invests in its employees and cares about how well things get done. Likewise, good tools can increase productivity and can offset some of the otherwise “wasted” time.

Consider implementing more flexible working arrangements whenever possible. When employees have options that allow them to handle the demands of their personal life at the most opportune time, they’re less likely to be distracted when they’re working. They’re also less likely to be sneaking in personal calls if they have the flexibility to handle such issues without causing problems. Flexible working arrangements might include things like allowing employees to work nonstandard hours (which could allow for personal matters to be handled at better time of day) or allowing employees to make up time taken away from work on other days.

Ensure employees know where their role fits compared to the big-picture organizational goals. If the employee can clearly see his or her role and how it impacts the bottom line (directly or indirectly), he or she will be more likely to spend spare time on activities that work toward achieving the big-picture goals instead of just wasting time. The employee will feel that his or her contributions make a difference.

Today’s workforce wants flexibility, freedom, and equality. And that includes, work-life-balance and telecommuting opportunities. What they don’t want is to be told that they have to respond to work e-mails at all hours of the night, on their days off or while they are on vacation. And, as for micromanaging employees, it’s both archaic and demoralizing and the quickest way to have turnover. The best and more resourceful managers can always find ways to keep their employees engaged and at that same time, ensure productivity is also high.

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