An applicant tracking system is a software package which helps organizations track applicants more effectively through the recruitment and hiring process. These systems allow you to replace the spreadsheets and databases you are currently using with a central data source which creates a more streamlined process overall. A basic system typically allows you to create requisitions, post job openings to the internet, screen resumes, and send interview requests to candidates via email. More expansive systems include automated resume/candidate ranking, customized forms, pre-screening questions, email auto-responders, and reporting features. It is even possible to use these systems for background checks, testing, Human Resources documentation, and performance management. Below are just a few of the benefits of purchasing an applicant tracking system for your business.
- Improving the quality of your new hires. Having an applicant tracking system means that you have tools at your disposal to post, process, and fill job openings faster. Furthermore, you have the ability to set metrics within the system that will screen out resumes not meeting the qualifications of the job you are looking to fill. With fewer hours spent on entering data and reading resumes, your Human Resources staff will have more time to focus on strategies for finding the very best talent available.
- Saving your company money. The online job boards and career sites your company can easily post openings to through an applicant tracking system have greatly increased the channels your company can use to recruit, while decreasing the average cost per hire.
- Insuring your company’s compliance with hiring laws. An applicant tracking system gives you the opportunity to create a legally defensible, scalable, and consistent hiring process that can protect your government contracts and reduce your exposure to lawsuits.
In summary, an applicant tracking system can save your business time and money while improving the quality of your future hires.
In recent years, there has been increased overlap between the functions performed by Human Resources and Payroll personnel. Therefore, it seems a natural fit to combine these functions into one integrated platform in order for you to help the two departments do their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible. You will find that integrating the two systems has several benefits.
1) It eliminates the need for two offices to type in duplicate information, which in turn reduces the possibility of data entry errors. In addition, this saves many man hours which can now be put toward setting new strategic goals for your company, employee training, and/or employee and customer relations.
2) Since payroll employees need data from Human Resources in order to do their job properly, an integrated system shortens the wait time for information, which makes for faster payroll services.
3) You will eliminate potential errors caused by employees updating their information with one office but not the other.
4) It reduces the amount of paperwork flowing between the two departments. If you have a platform with a self-service module, it will allow employees to look up and make changes to their information online. This is a great help as today’s offices are looking for ways to save paper and be more environmentally friendly.
5) Employee satisfaction will increase because they will only need to visit one location for complete information on both payroll and benefits.
6) There is increased communication amongst employees as the two offices work more closely together.
7) It gives your company the opportunity to cross train Human Resources and Payroll Department staff, which ensures that in the event of an unexpected employee absence at a critical time, their important work can still be accomplished.
With the calendar year ending, tax season is right around the corner. Federal, state, and local taxes need to be filed on time and paid in full. Even for the most detailed individual, filing company taxes can be a source of anxiety, because the smallest mistake or omission can result in costly fines. According to the Internal Revenue Service, one out of every three existing employers has been charged for a payroll mistake. If you want to put the stress of tax filing behind you, it is time to investigate outsourcing your payroll services in 2014.
Outsourcing makes sense for your business, particularly if your payroll fluctuates each pay period due to turnover or part-time staff working varying hours. Basic payroll services usually involve calculating payroll and tax obligations for your employees, printing and delivering checks on a weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, or yearly basis, and providing you monthly data reports. The company you outsource to can also free up time for you and your employees by providing automatic check signatures, stuffing envelopes, handling direct deposit of checks, and issuing W-2 forms. They may also provide tracking of benefits information, as well as tie-ins with 401(k) and Section 125 mutual funds which allow employees to designate automatic deductions from their paychecks.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of all is that many payroll companies will offer you the service of filing the state and federal payroll taxes for your business. They typically offer this to you at little or no cost, because they are earning interest on your impounded taxes all year long. The payroll company will also generally take responsibility for any penalties incurred as a result of inaccurate filing. As a result of outsourcing your payroll, you will save time and money, two items critical to the success of your business.
If you are a business owner, you know that your employees are your most valuable resource. Part of effective management is having accurate data on your employees safely stored in a secure format, and one way to accomplish this is through a computer-based human resources management system (HRMS). These systems have the ability to track the entire employee life cycle, including recruitment, hiring, training, employee data, timekeeping, compensation, and benefits. Below are some highlights of how an HRMS can benefit your company.
- Recruiting and Hiring- An HRMS can help to streamline the entire recruiting and hiring process for your Human Resources staff. Modules are available that will sift through submitted resumes and automatically remove those that do not meet minimum job criteria from consideration. Additionally, the system can be programmed to automatically data enter information on applicants for review and follow up.
- Training and Performance Management- Your company can use an HRMS to provide employee training and track its completion. It can also be used to bring your employee performance review system online.
- Payroll- If an employee’s attendance is a factor in their payroll, you can use an HRMS as a means of tracking their time and guaranteeing their paychecks will be accurate.
- Employee Data- A human resources management system can house employee contact information, age, race, gender, social security number, vacation days, and total time with the company. It also allows you to quickly and easily run reports on any aspect of your employee data.
Overall, a human resources management system can create efficiency in your workforce by automating details of your business that would otherwise take hundreds of man hours. This allows your Human Resources staff the opportunity to spend more time on recruiting the very best employees and providing them with superior training and support.
Currently, it is difficult to watch or listen to any news program without hearing the word “Obamacare.” Regardless of if you agree or disagree with the new health insurance law, it has certainly started a national conversation about health care. This makes it an ideal time to think about your own personal responsibilities regarding your health. Read on for tips on how you can partner with medical professionals to keep yourself happy and healthy.
- If you are taking medications, including any nutritional or herbal supplements, make a list of them, with dosages, and keep it in your wallet or purse. If you are allergic to any medications, you should have a list of those handy as well. Be sure to keep these lists up to date; the information is absolutely crucial for any doctor who will be treating you.
- Remember that you know your own body best. While physicians are incredibly intelligent, highly trained individuals, they are not infallible. If something does not feel right with a doctor’s diagnosis, know that it is absolutely OK to seek a second opinion.
- Understand that you can and should ask a doctor questions, and lots of them. You need to have a full understanding of everything that is going on with your health to the point where you can explain it to other physicians if needed. If you are hospitalized or otherwise very ill, make sure to always have a friend or family member on hand that can advocate on your behalf. Any physician who does not want to take time to answer your questions is not someone you want to handle your care.
- Talk to your doctor about nutrition and lifestyle changes that will support your health. Medication is not always necessarily the answer. Diet, exercise, and alternative remedies such as acupuncture can improve your well-being as well.
Many companies choose to handle their own payroll. Typically, these companies are either wanting to protect their salary information, maintain control over their data in the event of last minute changes, or be more cost-effective. If you work in a small business that has a stable, salaried staff, handling payroll internally may work well for you. However, in almost all other circumstances, outsourcing payroll can save your company time, training, and potentially costly mistakes made with tax obligations.
When you outsource your payroll, you will typically receive the following:
- A payroll company will calculate the pay and taxes for each employee and print and deliver or directly deposit checks. They will also assist with deductions for employee benefits and/or 401k plans.
- They will file state and federal payroll taxes for your business, usually at little to no additional cost. Many companies will also handle tax payments that must be made through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
- They will keep management up to date with payroll reports to ensure your labor costs and employee’s checks are accurate.
In terms of cost, you will find payroll pricing can fluctuate based on the economy. Typically, you will pay a manageable base fee for payroll and tax services. Further services can be added for an additional cost.
When searching for payroll companies, you will want to look for stable providers with at least a few hundred clients. Because pricing can be so variable, you should investigate several different companies. Be sure to inquire what their basic service includes, what their tax filing services are, and their hours of operation for customer service to see if they are a good match for your business needs.
According to the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” companies with 50 or more full time employees are required to provide health insurance by 2015, or face steep fines. While 2015 seems far away from now, companies are urged not to procrastinate in taking action. It’s recommended that you have a strategy for the next 12 months, with a goal of meeting the law’s requirements by this time next year. Below are the suggested steps.
Fall 2013- If you are already offering health insurance, you should consider renewing early for 2014, as it may help you avoid the premium increases that will go into effect in the new year. If you are looking at offering health insurance for the first time in 2015, it’s a great time to survey your employees regarding the things they are looking for in a health care plan, or even if they would participate in a group plan.
Winter 2013-2014- In January, if your state has chosen to build its own marketplace, then it will become available. This is where you can start investigating your options for covering your employees. Depending on the size of your staff, you could find subsidizing your employees to purchase individual plans on the marketplace will be less expensive than purchasing a business plan.
Spring 2014- Once you have decided how you want your plan to be structured, you should investigate private health exchanges offering small business plans to see if you can obtain a better deal.
Summer 2014- Once your health care benefits are in place for 2015, you will need to teach your staff about their options. Compile an educational packet that is easy to read and understand, and be prepared to answer any questions about the process. This way, everyone will be fully prepared for the open enrollment period in October.
“Work-life balance” is a term we hear used more and more in society today, as the lives of Americans grow increasingly hectic. To find out exactly what this means, you need look no farther than the dictionary. Per the Cambridge Dictionary Online, work-life balance is “the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing the things you enjoy.” While this definition is a bit narrow, because it implies people do not enjoy their jobs, it captures the general sentiment. With a large percentage of our weekdays spent at the office, it can be difficult to fit in life’s necessities, such as chores and errands, and still spend the time you want with your family and friends.
As an employer, there are some ways in which you can help your employees achieve work-life balance without impacting your bottom line.
- Allow telecommuting when practical. Allowing employees to work from home can truly help them balance their hectic schedules. Telecommuting does not even need to be a weekly event to be valuable to employees. For example, you can consider allowing staff to telecommute when a sudden emergency impacts their child care for the day, of if they have an ailing family member that needs care for a week.
- Give your employees the option to flex their hours. There are a number of ways you can do this. One is to offer employees a variety of times they can begin their 8 hour workday. Another is simply to allow someone to come in earlier or leave later to complete their 8 hours if they have a doctor appointment scheduled. A third would be allowing employees to work 4 10-hour days instead of 5 8-hour days.
- Promote a relaxed atmosphere. It’s amazing what something as simple as having casual dress Fridays can do to lift spirits around the office. You can also promote theme days, such as encouraging people to dress up for Halloween or wear their favorite team’s jersey on the first day of a sports season. In addition to this, you can encourage employees to decorate their desks or cubes in ways that make their space feel more like home. You may even want to hold a contest with small prizes for the best decorators.
The effort you invest in considering ways to help your employees achieve work-life balance will pay off in increased morale.
In the world of Human Resources, an applicant tracking system is a software product which handles job applications for a company and manages resume data for the purposes of recruitment and hiring. By automating resume reviews, your company can ensure that they are preventing discrimination and ensuring consistency in their hiring and promoting practices.
Additionally, utilizing an applicant tracking system will save your employees time in the following ways:
- Functions within an applicant tracking system can expand your recruitment horizons. You can go beyond traditional job ads and career fairs by posting through social media tools.
- Employment applications will be completely electronic, so you will no longer have to sort through mixed media or paper applications. This also allows information to be disseminated to others in the company quickly and easily, without having to make dozens of photocopies.
- An applicant tracking system can automatically take care of several things that previously required person-to-person correspondence and follow up. This includes e-mail acknowledgments that applications were received, distribution of required online tests, and the sending of rejection letters. Additionally, when a person is hired, information already contained in the database can be used to help add the new employee to payroll quickly and easily.
- Applicants tracking systems can sort through applications on your behalf, eliminating candidates that do not have the specific qualifications you are looking for, while at the same time following all required equal opportunity employment laws.
- If you meet someone who you believe would be a great fit for your company but you do not have any viable current openings, the applicant tracking system will store their information for future contact when something does become available.
In short, having an applicant tracking system can save your current staff time, and ensure you recruit high quality staff for the future.
National Payroll Week 2013 kicked off the month of September with four days of education and celebration for Netchex and our clients. Netchex put on several accredited webinars for our clients, team-building games and events for our employees and six happy hours spanning four states for our clients to enjoy.
Internally, Netchex employees enjoyed an active week of company breakfasts and lunches (cooked up by our executive team,) competitive and fun group games, and one killer murder mystery that had the entire Netchex team trying to solve, “Who Dunnit?!”
The “Scandal at the Speakeasy” murder mystery was the highlight of the week, with Netchex employees spending the day dressed as 1920s mobsters, flappers or detectives. The case could only be solved by interrogating or cooperating with fellow coworkers, allowing the entire Netchex team to interact and have fun together.
Our Payroll Week festivities expanded to our client base as well, with six separate, complimentary happy hours near each of our office locations. Spanning four states, the happy hours allowed Netchex employees to meet and greet the clients they serve.
Finally, our daily, accredited webinars let our clients receive valuable information delivered to them straight from our Netchex associates. From Tax Documents to FLSA, Netchex was proud to offer these free courses and provide first-class education for our clients.
“Our team at Netchex always looks forward to National Payroll Week,” said CEO Will Boudreaux. “It allows us to bring awareness to the clients we service that their efforts in providing the best payroll solutions are important to their organization’s success. Payroll week also allows our staff to be recognized for their own efforts as they consistently work hard to provide service and solutions to make our clients better.”