Archive for January, 2011

Workers caring for Parents

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

The Obama administration is taking action to persuade employers to support workers caring for aging parents. The President’s Budget for FY2011 provides many initiatives to build work-family policies including investments to support caregivers for elderly relatives or family members with disabilities and to build employers’ knowledge base about policies.


Some highlights in the recent report by the executive office of the  President Council of Economic Advisers are:

-Nearly one-fifth of employed people were caregivers who provided care to a person over age 50, even when the figure was researched in 2008

-Only about 15 percent of workers report working from home at least once per week.

-The costs to firms of adopting [flexible work practices] can be outweighed by reduced absenteeism, lower turnover, healthier workers, and increased productivity.

-The need for flexibility in jobs has been caused by changing demographics in the workplace since WWII. “In 1950, women constituted about 30 percent of the labor force; in 2009, they comprised nearly half. At the same time, people born around 1940 have a life expectancy over 10 years longer than those of the previous generation (born in 1910), producing added responsibilities for the care of older family members as well.”

-“A substantial fraction of work could, in principle, be conducted from home or a satellite office. One study estimated that in 2000 more than half of all jobs were amenable to telecommuting, at least on a part-time basis, and undoubtedly that fraction has increased since then as a result of the spread of high-speed internet and mobile technology.”

-“Perhaps the ultimate form of workplace flexibility is the evaluation of employees based on what they produce rather than the number of hours they work. This management practice, called ‘results-only work environment’ (or ROWE), allows for flexibility along multiple dimensions because it permits workers to choose when, where, and for how long they work, as long as they are sufficiently productive.”

-“There is evidence that workers take into account the entire compensation package—and not only wages—when considering job offers….[skilled] workers must be paid higher wages to accept jobs without health insurance, partly to help pay for their health expenses. Similarly, workers who have little workplace flexibility require higher wages to help pay for services such as emergency child care and elder care…if the value to employees of flexible arrangements exceeds the costs of providing them to the employer, flexibility is a cost-effective tool for attracting and retaining workers.”

-“A growing literature links job stress to poor health (such as chronic hypertension and heart disease) linking poor worker health to poor economic outcomes, such as lower productivity and slower economic growth.”

-“Flexible practices may help society in ways that are not taken into account by either an employer or employee (what economists call “social benefits”). For several reasons it is possible that these social benefits are larger than the private ones. Taxpayers and society as a whole benefit from having productive individuals in the workforce because they are more likely to make contributions in the form of taxes (and conversely are less likely to use the social safety net). As another social benefit, allowing workers to work during atypical hours can reduce the commuting time for other workers that may not be taken into account by a profit-maximizing manager.73 One study found that in 2005, peak-period drivers spent 38 extra hours a year in traffic as a result of highway congestion, up from 14 hours in 1982.74 Moreover, over a third of drivers report that traffic congestion is a serious problem in their community.”

-“Especially at this time as the U.S. rebuilds after the Great Recession, it is critical for the 21st century U.S. workplace to be organized for the 21st century workforce”


I will follow up with knowledge and studies on workplace flexibility in future posts, but it is heartening to know that high level governments may soon assist with the vital need to support employees with multiple family care demands.

The full Work Life Balance report


How to Hire the Right Talent

January 19, 2011 Leave a comment
Despite thousands of applicants applying to organizations with job opportunities, businesses today are facing a long-term talent shortage unlike anything experienced over the past several decades. Leading editorials as diverse as The Economist and CNN Money have pointed out that the problem is the shrinkage in highly skilled work force, increasing worldwide demand for highly skilled knowledge workers and globalization of the economy will create difficulty for even the most creative and successful businesses in managing their talent pipeline. 

[Over the next 10 years… performance metrics must be employed along with the aid of tools and techniques to source and screen talent.]

How do I know I have a problem?

* I have fewer applicants than I’d like showing up at my door
* Resumes never give me the right picture
* I am spending too much time calling each candidate
* I am spending too much time talking to candidates that are not really qualified
* My applicant to hire ratio is very low
* Line organizations constantly differ with the candidates that are shortlisted….

Organizations measuring their recruiters in traditional methods and processes are losing out in the war for talent.]

According to us recruitment has 3 key areas to focus on that every recruiter and recruitment manager need to live by.

1. Attracting talent exhaustively
2. Screen talent systematically
3. Measuring talent for knowledge, skills, abilities, and other factors such as fit.

Recruiters today are being trained to “screen out” applicants, thus making their roles very transactional. Measuring the number of transactions a recruiter could perform in a specific amount of time led to the creation of the most commonly used metrics: Cost-Per-Hire. Many organizations continue to employ these same metrics on today’s recruiter with poor results and low “client” satisfaction….

To summarize: “How recruiters are measured is having its impact on the quality of hires”. But smart recruiters and recruitment managers can change the way they hire and be accountable for quality of hires while continuing to make more hires through a very systematic approach. To achieve this recruiters should spend more time with pre-qualified candidates and leverage technology that simplifies processes and systematically follows the 3 key areas of focus; attract, screen, and measure.

How do I address that problem?

The smartest employers, who hire the best people, recruit a pre-qualified candidate pool of potential employees before they need to fill a job. The earlier you adopt these practices, the better your organization will do in the war for talent.

Posted by Jaffee, Cabot at Tuesday, 01/18/2011 12:13 pm
Categories: Uncategorized

How are you doing with 2011 Goals ?

January 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Here’s a form helping you use the SMART goal method:

1. Specific – consider who, what, when where, why and how in developing the goal

2. Measurable – include a numeric or descriptive measurement

3. Achievable – consider the resources needed and set a realistic goal

4. Relevant – make sure the goal is consistent with the mission

5. Time-bound – set a realistic deadline.

Categories: Uncategorized

Become your own manager

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Formal performance reviews are becoming less popular in the workplace as a primary indicator of a worker’s productivity. In “Job outlook brightens for 2011” in Report on Business weekend, Linda Allan, an etiquette and career coach suggests:

“Companies are moving responsibilities entirely to employees to create what are called pro-active performance plans” (from Lisa, Yes I know some jargon here).

“The smartest think to do right now is look back on 2010 and pull together evidence of everything you’ve done that improved your company’s position…and don’t forget to include all those ‘kudos’ you received this year from colleagues, clients, supply providers-anyone who commented that they way you handled a situation was exemplary, your thinking was clear and your approach was innovative.”

Why not make 2011 the year you give your career (and morale) a boost by collecting your kudos once a month ?

For article


Studies on Workers with Disabilities

January 5, 2011 Leave a comment

An interesting article in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, summarizes results from related studies on workers with disabilities. Some insights are:

  • The potential effects of employing PWD (people with disabilities) on safety, cost, efficiency, service quality and management were investigated. Potentials and limitations of people with different types and degrees of disabilities with regard to jobs in the hospitality industry were also questioned. A notable guiding principle emanating from this study is that hiring of employees should be based on merit, suitability and capability of the candidate, regardless of the presence or degree of disability. (25 May 2010-3 stage Delphi study)
  • A global challenge faced by PWD is to find and maintain satisfactory
    jobs. PWD are largely excluded from the labor market, which also leads to exclusion from social life (Barnes & Mercer, 2008).
  • Effective diversity management involves the consideration of all such dimensions. Disability, as one of these dimensions, merits detailed investigation for better recognition and efficient human resource management. (Baum, 2007)

Workers with disabilities in Tourism