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September 2, 2016

Tattoos and Piercings – How it Affects Hiring

Tom Ramsey – Total Placement Staffing Solutions

Screenshot_1In a recent survey with hiring authorities, it was determined most employers could tell within 30-90 seconds whether they would hire someone or not. It all came down for first impressions. Appearance accounted for 55% of their decision. Do they look like they can do the job? Do they represent the image we want to project?

While tattoos were a determent, piercings seem to have even more negative connotations. Iowa State University asked older workers and college students to look at resumes with pictures. Half the photos included piercings. Job candidates with piercings were found less employable with younger people having the harshest opinions.

In another survey, when considering evaluations, raises, assumptions about character, and promotions it was found appearance played a significant role. In a perfect world this would not be the case, but people do judge on appearance all the time. Those that say they don’t are lying. Those are strong words, but it’s true.

While people do have the right to do what they want with their body, companies have a right to the image they want to project. If it is perceived tats or piercings will negatively affect business, they have the right to reject it.

While, tattoos may be more socially acceptable today, in-your-face tats are not. In a Harris Interactive pole, almost a third of respondents without tattoos said those with tattoos were less intelligent and half said less responsible. In the most recent poll on this subject, a CareerBuilder poll of 3,000 managers said they were less likely to promote someone with visible tattoos or piercings. So, how should this information be put to use?

Applicants – don’t blame the employer. They did not make you get that tattoo or piercing. Second, consider the type of job and industry you want to work in and adjust. It’s like any game; you have to play to have any chance of winning – so play to win.

Employers – commit to look past the tats and consider their stats. Good workers are more difficult than ever to find and it is not improving. Concentrate on their talent first. Would you consider them if they had no tattoos? If so, how can the applicant, and you, adapt?

Can the tattoo be hidden? Will it show in short sleeves? Does the job require face-to-face contact with clients? Applicants – remove piercings and cover tattoos for the interview. Then, if all goes well, ask the interviewer; “I have tattoos on my arm. What are your thoughts about needing to have those covered up, or is it OK to wear a short-sleeved shirt where they might be exposed?” Be upfront and don’t take offence no matter the answer. Concern for the company’s policies will go a long way to promote integrity. Bottom line – do you want your interviewer to pay attention to you, or be distracted by your decorations? If they are starring at your tattoos, they will not be paying attention to you. How do you want to be remembered?

While things are different these days, the numbers show that visibly tattooed and pierced people are at a disadvantage. Even though it’s not as bad as it used to be, it’s still something both sides of the table can work to improve. Companies need good talent and should attempt to focus on abilities first. Candidates need to be less concerned about rights, and more concerned about blending into a company’s environment.

Both sides need to play the game in order to have a chance to win. Both sides need each other.

July 12, 2016

The REAL unemployment rate is close to 10%

Several years back our government changed the criteria historically used to report unemployment rates to make unemployment numbers and the administration look better. They conveniently decided to discontinue counting the underemployed, those who are working menial part-time positions because they cannot find full-time jobs. Additionally, the administration stopped including those who really want to work, but have grown so discouraged they just stopped looking for jobs. Why? Because those people no longer qualify for unemployment benefits.

Unaccounted in the official jobless rate are millions of people who still want a full-time job, but can’t find one in today’s unhealthy economy. It is difficult enough to address problem, but doubly difficult when that problem is being masked.

Jeffry Bartash recently wrote: “That excess level of what economists call labor-market “slack”—an impersonal way of referring to people desperate for work—is what gnaws at many officials at the Federal Reserve. Some are reluctant to raise interest rates until more of these people find their way into the workforce.

Buried in the monthly report is an unemployment rate referred to as U6, which includes part-timers who want a full-time job as well as would-be workers who have grown too discouraged to look for work.”

Unemployment U6-Chart

The article further explains, “The U6 measure is sometimes referred to as the “real” unemployment rate. And it still well above prerecession levels seven years after a U.S. economic recovery began.

In June, the U6 rate fell a tick to 9.6%, and it has fallen sharply from a peak of 17.1% in late 2009. In 2000, the U6 rate fell below 7%. Some 16 million people are underemployed or unemployed as measured by the U6.

The upshot: As many as 4 million in the U.S. who want a full-time work are being shut out. In a fully healed labor market they would be putting in 40-hour shifts.
That is not all the damage, either. This group of people also constitute a surplus of labor that helps to keep wages down for all U.S. workers. Companies feel less pressure to raise pay.
Until the U6 unemployment moves closer to 8%, it’s hard to argue the U.S. labor market has fully recuperated.”

If you really believe the unemployment rate is less than 5%, you probably believe inflation has been flat since 2008.  So, why do you think government purposefully understates these economic indicators?

April 27, 2016

DOL Requires Use of New FMLA Poster

JDSupra (04/25/16) Jeff Nowak

DOL Requires Employers to Use New FMLA Poster, Publishes Guide to Help Employers Administer FMLA. The U.S. Department of Labor has released a new guide to help employers understand and administer the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Furthermore, DOL suggests you watch for the new poster soon to be released as they have announced a mandate requiring employers prominently post the new FMLA notice.

April 27, 2016

Q1 2016 Sees Accelerated Growth in Wages

ADP News Release (04/20/16)
A recent article from ADP, said the labor market has maintained its improvement in 2016’s first quarter according to the ADP Workforce Vitality Report. The acceleration was apparent in almost all industries, as well as in all age groups among full-time workers. “Year-[to]-year wages grew substantially for job holders in Q1 2016, rising from 4.1% in Q4 2015 to the current 4.6%,” says Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute. “This is a signal that continued employment growth is leading to a smaller pool of available talent, in turn motivating employers to increase wages to retain experienced workers.”

Bloomberg BNA reported the rate of wage growth for most U.S. workers will likely spike in the second half of the year, according to their most recent Wage Trend Indicator. Kathryn Kobe, an economist who maintains and helped develop Bloomberg BNA’s WTI database, said that she expects a 2.5% to 3% improvement in the rate of wage growth within the next six to nine months. Workers who switched from a full-time job to another full-time job experienced moderate to high growth in their hourly wages, across almost all industries. Workers who moved from a part-time job to a full-time job generally saw a decrease in hourly wage.