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That’s Good HR Weekly News Update – October 14, 2011

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October 13, 2011
uncertain economyI don’t know about you, but I am confused. FOUR separate articles in the news this week about jobs and the economy. One talks about increased unemployment in September, the other is about more jobs than expected in September and a third discussing a slowdown in hires in October. Follow that up with an article telling you why you should stop debating the recession and get on with life. Read them all and come to your own conclusions. In a word, things seem to be looking up, looking down and looking flat all at the same time these days. While the economy decides what it wants to do (see blog post from earlier this week about the recession and the staffing industry), this is a good time to stay on top of the key HR issues that will effect your business either way. Attracting key employees, providing benefits and of course, dealing with difficult people are all in the news this week.

Give your employees time to consider benefit options: Employees need time to make big benefits decisions. Most benefits managers know this; what might not be known is more communication methods are needed to allow for the best decision making. (Benefit News)

Leveling Pay on a Global Scale: Multinationals are increasingly trying to use global leveling to standardize pay and facilitate talent-management strategies throughout the world. But, experts warn, it’s easy for such levels to become overly cumbersome as well as bump up against some cultural issues. (hreonline.com)

U.S. and local governments crack down on employers who pay workers as contractors: If your independent contractors clock in and follow your instructions for completing their tasks, maybe you’re requiring too much of them. Maybe they should be considered employees and not independent contractors, government labor experts say. (washington post)

Increase in Unemployment in September: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has recently reported that total non-farm payroll employment has increased by 103,000 positions in September. While the gains are significantly higher than last month’s dismal numbers, the increase in employment is partially inflated by the return of 45,000 telecommunications workers who were on strike in August. (recruiter.com)

More Jobs Than Expected Added in September: From zero to 103,000 in 30 days… What sounds like the tag line of a lame Nicolas Cage action movie (redundant?) actually describes the change in the number of jobs created since last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released September’s Employment Situation Report this morning. (thehiringsite.com)

Dealing with Difficult People? Here is the Secret: It’s About You: Our core emotional need is to feel valued and valuable. When we don’t, it’s deeply unsettling, a cha
llenge to our sense of equilibrium, security, and well-being. At the most primal level, it can feel like a threat to our very survival. (hbr.org)

Hiring managers expect a slowdown in new hires: The Society for Human Resource Management’s quarterly Jobs Outlook Survey says 34 percent of HR managers surveyed have some confidence in the economy and expect job growth in the fourth quarter, down from 57 percent in the second quarter. (bizjournals)

Critical-skill employees are becoming more difficult to attract: With the U.S. economy still unsteady, many companies are finding it relatively easy to attract or retain workers, with one major exception: critical-skill employees. A new survey from Towers Watson and WorldatWork shows that for the second consecutive year, the number of U.S. companies having difficulty finding and keeping critical-skill workers has increased. (benefitnews)

Are you still debating the Recession? It is time to Stop.: These days, with a 24/7 multimedia mega-wired world and lots of space and airtime waiting to be filled, there’s an obsession with two questions just as unanswerable as angels-and-pins: "Are we in a recession?" and, "Are we in a bear market for stocks?“ (fortune.cnn)