Josephine's Personnel Services, Inc.

Employees & Job Applicants – Law Changes in Recruiting & Hiring for 2013 (Part 1)

August 12th, 2013
Do you know California law?

Do you know California law?

Searching for quality employees can be a tough feat and as if it wasn’t already a challenging process, the addition or revision of recruiting and hiring laws within the state of California make it even more difficult.

In this multiple post series, we will introduce the changes that occurred in the recruiting and hiring laws during the 2013 calendar year. This includes but is not limited to, new wage information rules for temporary service employees, hiring reporting and more. Today, we begin by introducing the changes relevant to the ever growing technological resource we know as personal social media accounts.

Social media is part of our everyday lives, and while every professional publication or development seminar has told us the importance of keeping our social media profiles professionally acceptable, the idea of social media privacy rights are often times overlooked, until now.

Effective as of January 1st, 2013, employers must follow new rules in relation to requesting social media account information from job applicants both internally and externally.

Social media accounts as defined by the law are “an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet web site profiles or locations.” This can include, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Vine, Path, Foursquare and any other site including one or more of the aforementioned aspects of online information. As an employer or hiring manager, you should be aware of the following changes when conducting interviews with potential employees and/or candidates.

Personal account login information: According to California state law, it is now prohibited to request or require the personal login information to any social media platform associated with a job applicant. Accessing an applicants personal social media profile is strictly prohibited.

Access to personal social media: While conducting an interview, it is now disallowed to request that a candidate access their personal social media pages or profiles in your presence. This is important to keep in mind when talking with new applicants as it is considered a violation of privacy.

Disclose any personal social media web addresses: According to the new hiring and recruiting laws of California, it is illegal to require job applicants and current employees to divulge any personal social media handles, web addresses or usernames. This includes Twitter handles, Facebook addresses, Instagram pages and LinkedIn profile links among others. Keep in mind that exceptions to all of the above mentioned changes can occur in relation to workplace investigations and office issued communication devices.

Understanding California recruiting and hiring laws is an essential component in effectively managing growth within the workplace. Here at Josephine’s Professional Staffing, we have a vast knowledge of California employment laws and programs and are prepared to use that knowledge to benefit you and your business. Contact us today to learn more and be sure to check back next week for part two of our blog post series on law changes related to recruiting and hiring.

About Josephine’s Professional Staffing

Founded in 1988, Josephine’s Professional Staffing has nearly 25 years of business success and is continuously committed to providing superior quality staffing solutions to companies in the Bay Area. We proactively and consistently search for avenues to provide staffing solutions in the field of administrative, accounting, healthcare, light industrial, technical and professional services while taking pride in each of our employees. Josephine’s Professional Staffing is a Certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (UDBE), and Minority Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (MWOBE). We can be reached at jps@jps-inc.com or 4008.943.0111 and are located at 2158 Ringwood Avenue, San Jose, CA 95131.

Photo Credit: Prayitno

Interviewees: Tips For Making a First Impression

January 17th, 2013

Tips to make the best first impression at a job interview.

Have you struck out on your past couple of interviews? Maybe you haven’t had much experience interviewing? A lot of the times interviewees can get caught up in the excitement of an opportunity and forget about the essentials. In last week’s post we touched on why an employer should take the time to make a good first impression on interviewees, however, most of the pressure can fall on you. Here are some ways to help make the best first impression and land the job.  Read the rest of this entry »

Does Your Company Culture Stand Out from the Pack? How to Attract “Top Dog” Candidates

November 23rd, 2011

How can you keep your organization competitive in the drive for top employees? It can be hard for organizations to really stand out from their competitors. But with company culture becoming an important factor in career decisions, it’s time to look at your organization and see how yours compares.

Why do companies as disparate as Google, Southwest Airlines and Zappo’s get such great reviews from their employees? Why do they attract so many candidates, and so many good ones? Easy. They’ve developed company cultures that epitomize strong values, a modern work ethic that includes fun and service to both their customers and their communities.

These top companies know what good employees are looking for, and they make sure to publicize what sets them apart from the competition.

If you want to appeal to the top-drawer candidates that apply to these popular companies in droves, it’s time to think about what your company can offer. Has your company defined its core values? Created a distinct corporate culture? Have you expressed these values on your web site or in your job listings, where candidates can see them?

For example, Google promotes its “all for one and one for all” corporate mentality on its website, by mentioning how “at lunchtime, almost everyone eats in the office café, sitting at whatever table has an opening and enjoying conversations with Googlers from different teams.” This includes the founders and other upper-level executives. They also create an open work environment, with very few solo offices and a generous supply of laptops to allow for mobile coding, anytime email and note taking. They offer plenty of opportunities for exercise and comfort: providing bicycles or scooters to help staffers travel between meetings, massage chairs, large inflatable balls, game rooms and gyms. They even encourage socializing by sponsoring employee groups for different interests, such as meditation, movies, wine tasting and salsa dancing.

Southwest Airlines has long understood how employee satisfaction and environmental awareness go hand in hand. They also know that their employees like to feel like contributing members of society, especially in their home community. That’s why they promote their Charitable Giving and Community Outreach programs. They started Community Giving Boards that have been trained to evaluate charitable giving requests from their local community. The Boards are made up of local employees from various work groups who evaluate the donation requests and donate complimentary, round trip tickets to approved organizations for fundraising or transportation purposes. They also sustain a relationship with Ronald McDonald House Charities so they can aid in the transportation needs of families facing serious illnesses and administers their own Medical Transportation Grant Program in conjunction with hospitals and organizations that assist individuals who must travel to receive medical care.

Last but far from least is Zappo’s, a company that makes sure you know they’re about much more than shoes.  They have an entire page on their site devoted to their Family Core values. These include:

  1. Deliver WOW Through Service
  2. Embrace and Drive Change
  3. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  4. Pursue Growth and Learning
  5. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  6. Do More With Less
  7. Be Passionate and Determined

They make it very clear that they expect employees to be innovative, to go above and beyond, to embrace teamwork and to have fun while doing so. They are proud of their unique corporate culture and openly share it through their web site, blogging, videos and more.

If you want to attract great candidates, you have to be a great company to work for. Not every company can be just like Google, Southwest or Zappo’s, but you can certainly take tips from them on how to create a corporate environment that excellent people will want to work in.

Why Didn’t You Hire Me? How To Answer Tough Questions From Rejected Candidates

June 24th, 2011

Most candidates, when they discover they didn’t get the job you interviewed them for, will want to know: “Why didn’t you hire me?” While some applicants will accept the polite rejection letter or e-mail that you send, and only ask the question of themselves, some will want to ask you directly. While that is understandable, you need to careful in how you reply.
Try to strike a balance between being firm yet polite in your rejection, saying things like:

  • ”Your experience and skills are impressive, but…”
  • “We’ve decided to go in another direction.”
  • “We found a candidate with more specific experience.”

If an applicant contacts you and presses for more information, such as “what other direction are you taking?” or “what more specific experience do they have?” don’t feel you have to answer those questions. Keep your response polite but vague and try to end the questioning with: “I really can’t go into detail about other candidates, but we do appreciate your interviewing with us. We will keep your resume on file for any other opportunities your skills and experiences might match.”

If a candidate persists, try something like “Our recruitment process and selection criteria are confidential, so I can’t comment on what did or did not go well in your interview process.” Again, promise to keep their information on file for future consideration.

The more detail you go into, the more potential liability you open up to you and your company. Some HR managers and recruiters refuse to respond to such requests for this very reason.

One HR manager says “I never tell a candidate the reason for his/her not being hired. I simply say, in a letter, that even though his/her credentials are impressive, we have hired another candidate whose background is a better fit for the position. If you tell someone the specifics of why they were not chosen, they tend to want to argue the point. Why open a crack where they can fit the crowbar in?”

However, you should always contact someone you interviewed in person, whether by phone call (especially for upper-level or management positions) or e-mail. This allows them to move on, not having to wonder whether they are still under consideration. Be sure to sincerely thank each applicant you interviewed and wish them well in their job hunt. If treated with respect and courtesy, that rejected applicant may refer future employees to you or someday even become one of those employees themselves.

Send an email to those who sent in resumes who were not hired, and encourage them to continue to check our website for new job openings for which they might be qualified. If they receive an acknowledgment that their resume was reviewed, then another advising them of the hiring decision, they feel they have been given consideration. Ignoring applicants or worse, interviewees, is what leads to the questions most interviewers would like to avoid.