A Step-by-Step Guide to On-Boarding New-Hires

Many organizations struggle to on-board and engage new employees effectively which poses challenges in setting them up for success in their new roles. As a result, we've compiled a step-by-step guide to help you successfully on-board and engage your new-hires.

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Readlist: On-Boarding

The following is a Readlist with a ton of great articles on the subject of on-boarding. We encourage you read, save or share these articles!

Congress Passes Bill to Reauthorize E-Verify

On September 13, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives passed bill S. 3245. If signed by President Obama, this bill would reauthorize the E-Verify program, the EB-5 Regional Center program, the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker program, and the Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver program from September 30, 2012 to September 30, 2015.

Currently, more than 300,000 employers use E-Verify, which is an online service that allows employers to verify new employees’ employment eligibility to work in the United States. Using E-Verify, employers can compare information on an employee’s I-9 form to data in U.S. governmental records.

Source: SHRM – “Congress Passes Key Visa Reauthorization Bill” (9-17-2012)

New FCRA Forms for 2013

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued changes to the notices required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The changes simply direct consumers to the CFPB instead of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for more information and there aren't any other changes to the content or spirit of the notices. Please note that you can begin using the new form at any time, and your current form is also acceptable until January 1, 2013. The forms MUST be updated by January 1, 2013.

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11 Tools for Recruiting Hard-to-Fill Jobs

11 Tools for Recruiting Hard-to-Fill Jobs

Recruiting for new, specialized, or highly technical positions requires a different approach than past years. Some of these jobs didn't exist 10 years ago, while others require such specialized experience or specific technical skills that older recruiting methods don't suffice. In any case, the need to find talent for these hard-to-fill jobs is forcing many employers to consider using other recruiting strategies beyond job boards and advertising.

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Job Descriptions: An Essential How-To Guide

Employers often face challenges in creating new job descriptions for positions that they do not currently employ, identifying essential job functions, and keeping job descriptions updated. For these reasons, members often request sample job descriptions from ERC and consult with us to develop or update their job descriptions.

Based on our experience and knowledge in helping organizations with job descriptions coupled with our research on job description development practices, we've developed an essential how-to guide to creating new job descriptions to equip you with tips and guidance on managing this important, but often arduous, HR responsibility.

What Sources to Use

When creating a job description for a new job, using secondary sources of job information can help you better understand a position and the typical duties a person would perform in that role. Use these cautiously, however, and validate the job description with the new position's manager before finalizing it to be sure that the job description accurately captures the true job duties. Good sources to use to develop new job descriptions include:

  • BNA Job Description Tool / Other online job description tools
  • O*Net / Job Description Writer
  • Dictionary of Occupational Job Titles
  • ERI’s position analysis tool
  • Compensation or salary survey job descriptions
  • Sample job descriptions from other organizations
  • Job postings

Who to Consult for Job Information

Job analysis should always be used to create a new job description. Interviews, questionnaires, and/or observation techniques can be used to gather information about job tasks and duties, determine the most essential functions of the job, evaluate the abilities needed to perform the work, and uncover the qualifications or background necessary to complete the job duties. Common techniques include (in order of most used):

  • Interview/meeting with supervisor of job incumbent
  • Interview with job incumbent or past incumbents (typically high or average performers)
  • Observe job incumbents working on tasks
  • Ask supervisor and/or job incumbents to complete a questionnaire (i.e. PAQ)
  • Interview with subject matter expert(s)

The job incumbent or manager should not write the job description. Rather, a trained HR professional should. You can, however, gather important information from these individuals about the job, such as:

  • Purpose of the job
  • Basic functions and duties
  • Responsibilities related to supervision (number of employees supervised)
  • Level of discretion/authority
  • People with whom the position interacts and level of interaction
  • Amount and type of physical exertion
  • Abilities (mathematical, verbal, etc.)
  • Minimum educational or technical qualifications (diplomas, degrees, certifications, etc.)
  • Minimum experience required to perform duties
  • Exposure to certain work conditions

What Information to Include in a Job Description

At a minimum, job descriptions should include the job title, key duties and responsibilities, a job purpose summary, required job knowledge or skills, requisite physical and cognitive abilities, required educational level or certification(s), minimum qualifications/ competencies, preferred qualifications/competencies, reporting relationship, indication of essential duties, "other duties as assigned," and creation/revision dates.

Information about work conditions/environment, FLSA exemption status, and location of work are also somewhat commonly included in job descriptions.

Job descriptions should not include instructions or recommendations about how to do the job, performance expectations or standards, occasional or temporary job duties that are non-essential, future job duties, and generalized statements. Job descriptions also should not contain a laundry list of job duties, but rather should reflect the position's priorities.

How to Identify Essential Functions

One of the most important things employers must do when developing job descriptions is to identify and delineate the essential functions of the job.  

An essential function must be an important task that only the person in the job can do. In other words, the duty would be a hardship for another person to handle. An essential job function is not necessarily a duty that takes up the largest percentage of an employee's time, nor can it be automatically considered an essential function across similar jobs. 

There are a number of strategies organizations use to determine essential functions, including asking the job incumbent's manager, observing employees doing tasks, conducting a thorough job analysis, and reviewing core duties and most critical job tasks.

How to Write Job Descriptions

Job descriptions should be written using clear and very specific language. Each duty or task should begin with an action verb in the present tense (i.e. supervise, create, analyze, administer, etc.) and imprecise words should be limited (i.e. assists, handles, etc.). In addition, no references to race, gender, disability, or other protected classes should be included in the document. Similarly, avoid jargon and spell out acronyms.

How Often to Update Job Descriptions

Ideally, job descriptions should be "living documents" which are evaluated annually because it's not uncommon for job descriptions to grow outdated or need minor adjustments each year. Nonetheless, the majority of employers re-look at job descriptions only when a position becomes available, when there is a change in the duties of a position, and when there is a significant change in the organization.

Be aware that if job descriptions are not updated on a regular basis, you risk running into trouble with regulatory requirements like complying with ADA, as the courts frequently revisit employers' job descriptions to determine if employees are capable of performing certain job duties and whether those duties are essential.

Job descriptions are generally regarded as legal documents, necessary for maintaining compliance with ADA, FLSA, FMLA and other employment laws in addition to aiding the recruiting and hiring process, helping managers evaluate performance and set performance criteria or goals, determining compensation or grade level, and helping to identify training needs. For these reasons and more, be sure that your job descriptions are created and written accurately and updated on a regular basis.

Additional Resources

Job Description Resources

ERC offers numerous resources to help employers create and update job descriptions through Membership including salary surveys, a job description tool, and sample job descriptions. ERC members can contact hrhelp@yourerc.com to access these resources.

Job Description Services

ERC can help create job descriptions as well as facilitate job description updates. For more information about our services, please contact hrhelp@yourerc.com.

ERC Forms Partnership with Corporate Screening Services

ERC has partnered with Corporate Screening Services, a leading provider of pre-employment screening products and solutions, to offer its members a free Screening Program Assessment (SPA) and discounted pricing on background screening. ERC members will receive at least 5% off all background screening products.

Corporate Screening combines state-of-the-art data gathering technology with in-depth examination and analysis to verify information and mitigate the risks associated with hiring employees. With offices in Cleveland and Tampa, Corporate Screening utilizes an expanding professional staff of 80 analysts and consultants to service the needs of hiring professionals representing a full spectrum of industries, with special emphasis on the healthcare, financial, manufacturing and higher education sectors.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Corporate Screening as we believe their products and processes are tops in the industry,” said Pat Perry, President of ERC. “Background screening is a popular outsourced solution for our members and we think they will be very happy with the service and quality at Corporate Screening.”

“Corporate Screening is honored to have been selected as ERC’s background screening partner especially in such a competitive market. We share many of the same values and virtues as ERC so this an incredibly natural fit. Our team is excited to continue ERC’s tradition of providing exceptional benefit to its members,” said Greg Dubecky, President of Corporate Screening.

For more information on the discounts available to ERC members, click here.

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