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2 Reasons Companies Resist Internships … and 2 Reasons Why They Shouldn’t

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As spring inches closer and closer, HR teams can expect another round of resumes submitted for internships. Along with the flood comes the debate of whether you should be hiring interns at all.

As a former intern myself, I believe many organizations need to take a closer look at how seamless an internship program could be to the fabric of day-to-day operations.

Two Reasons for Resistance …

1. Legal Ramifications: First and foremost, an incorrectly handled internship program is a legal liability that you cannot afford. Recent years have seen examples of this as disgruntled, unpaid interns of publishing and entertainment companies filing suit, claiming they not only were taken advantage of, but that the duties they were asked to perform violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).If your organization is considering an internship program, it is crucial you review the FLSA, which establishes rules for minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and more for employees in the private or public sector. This does not mean all internships should be paid, but be sure HR is willing to dedicate enough time to understand the company’s legal parameters before accepting applications for would-be interns.

2. Leadership: Another reason organizations avoid internship programs is the lack of proper personnel. An internship is the training wheels to your bicycle, and it should operate as such. An effective program will balance structured projects with critical evaluation from a supervisor.

In case you were wondering, the junior associate one cubicle over doesn’t count. To be successful, a mentorship program needs oversight from an experienced leader. A capable manager will communicate the intern’s objectives efficiently and how the end result aligns with the company’s initiatives.

Even with the proper management, don’t expect your interns to succeed overnight. Like pedaling a bicycle, it requires time and energy for new workers to understand their role and how to accomplish its goals. Before opening the doors to an intern, be sure you have the right leader who can train and mentor one into a seasoned employee.

… and Two Reasons to Relax

A fluid transition from the classroom to the boardroom is important, and for many intern applicants, this is their first taste of corporate life. At the very least, these impressionable candidates are an excellent way to spread your company’s story.

1. Build Brand Advocates: For anyone who has undergone an internship, the memories instilled by the experience likely are still being shared with peers and family. These stories build a platform for your business to shine. A positive mentorship program has the power to create loyal advocates who essentially advertise your company for free, through word of mouth. To dedicate time and effort in helping interns reach their potential is to invest in your company’s future.

Having this attitude also helps you avoid assigning them only menial tasks. Instead of reducing them to paper pushers and morning mocha runners, empower them to make a measurable impact on the company’s success. You never know: They could be future employees who elevate you above the competition.

2. Get a Fresh Perspective: Another reason to hire interns is because they don’t fully understand the way your business operates. This may sound like a negative, but an intern who challenges the status quo may help you become more efficient. Although companies may hate to admit it, over time, it is easy for daily processes to become stagnant. Interns counter this by offering another set of hands and a fresh perspective on how to get the job done.

In the end, an internship is a great learning opportunity for both parties. The intern garners honest corporate experience while the company has a chance to see whether or not the individual “fits the bill.”


Aaron Santelmann

by Aaron Santelmann


Author Bio: A young and enthusiastic writer and researcher, Aaron is an instrumental member of Paycom’s lead generation and reporting team. Aaron is an engaging writer who maintains a strong presence on Paycom’s blog where he focuses on politics, government and compliance, tax guidelines and other employer regulations that impact businesses across the country. Outside of work, Aaron enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with his family.

Why HR and PR Need to be Friends

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Why HR and PR Need to be Friends

Today’s tech has created an environment with 24/7 access and instant communication. Anyone, anywhere, at any time can share live company updates, photos and videos to countless followers, media outlets, investors and competitors.

This live and on-demand style of communication directly impacts your HR department, since employee actions and consumer satisfaction can be shared in seconds. Your employees, who directly engage with the brand, instantly can become either a champion or a liability.

Trending for the wrong reasons

Consider the recent heightened awareness around the airline industry’s customer service. With the average flight carrying an estimated 230 passengers, a flight crew may have a few hundred citizen journalists on any given flight. The environment has evolved into a “neighborhood watch” under which every employee action is open for documentation, praise or scrutiny.

Overnight, one of your employees – if not your entire company – can make headlines. Another example is last year’s viral video of an upset Michael’s customer claiming mistreatment at the register. The smartphone footage of the store manager remaining calm and composed through the customer’s anger quickly gained national media attention. The store employee received a wave of positive public support and the attention prompted Michael’s corporate office to release an official company statement on the incident.

Benefits of linking HR and PR

In some cases, like a recent incident with a national airline, once HR relates sensitive information to the PR team, it’s often too late to circumvent less-than-desirable online and media attention. Establishing early lines of communication between the two departments is an advantage not only to the general health of a business, but also to a company’s crisis plan.

Media attention is often generated by unexpected circumstances such as:

  • local and national awards and accolades
  • campus emergency
  • fatality or injury
  • consumers organically praising the brand a.k.a. employer brand lift
  • illegal employee activity
  • successful marketing campaigns going viral
  • destruction from natural disaster, power outage

With the speed and convenience of today’s communication, every interaction with a company can be immediately shared. Because of this, HR and PR should be closely intertwined within the fabric of a company. Individuals often are raised to learn that integrity is what you do when no one is watching. Now, everyone is always watching.

 Empowered employees are the best ambassadors

How can companies better prepare employees to understand the vulnerabilities of this emerging climate? By strengthening the relationship between your HR and PR departments and empowering your employees with the right training, which proactively educates your workforce on potential pitfalls of mobile technology. Your employees, properly trained on the dos and don’ts of online conversations, are now ambassadors instead of liabilities.

In the not-too-distant past, CHROs had little visibility into the market insights of the CCO and CMO. But now, with the growth of social media, today’s savvy executives recognize that their PR and marketing counterparts have a front-row seat to product feedback and how employees are performing in real time.

In order to avoid being tomorrow’s headline fodder, ensure that your HR and PR departments are developing social media and public relations training for your employees. Everyone, from the receptionist to the CIO, needs to be aware that their actions could be displayed to a public audience and even go viral.

We will discuss how HR and PR can join forces to communicate an organization’s value, culture and personality, which plays a key part in company branding and policy in part two of this blog, titled What Happens When HR and PR are BFFs.

Be sure to check out the latest episode of our HR Break Room podcast “Fight or Flight: What HR Can Learn from the United PR Disaster” to learn more about how HR can help prevent negative incidents by working closely with their PR and legal teams, and how to create policies that empower employees to mitigate tricky situations.

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Posted in Blog, Employment Law, Featured, Talent Management


Author Bio: A writer, speaker and business leader, Jason has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom where he is the director of public relations and corporate communications. A featured writer on human capital management technology, leadership and the Affordable Care Act, Jason launched Paycom’s blog, webinar platform and social media channels, helping empower organizations around the nation. Jason is attuned to the needs of businesses and helped develop a tool to aid organizations in their pursuit to comply with the ACA; one of the largest changes in healthcare the country has seen. While working in athletics for ESPN and FoxSports, Jason learned the importance of hard work and branding. In his free time he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and exploring new areas to strengthen his business acumen.

reverification

Best Practices for Utilizing Section 3 of the Form I-9

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Best Practices for Utilizing Section 3 of the Form I-9

Employers are used to filling out Section 1 and Section 2 of Form I-9 because it’s required for every employee. However, Section 3 – otherwise known as the reverification process– can be a bit mystifying.

Who should be reverified?

Employees with expiring employment authorization or documentation should be reverified to ensure continued authorization to work in the United States. The need for reverification is determined by looking at the List A and List C documents that were presented when the I-9 was initially completed. The work authorization expiration date entered by the employee in Section 1, if any, also should be taken into consideration.

When should the reverification process be completed?

The reverification process should be completed prior to the expiration date of the employee’s authorization or documentation. The expiration date is found in two places: the date provided by the employee in Section 1, and the date recorded under List A or List C in Section 2. If these dates conflict, employers should use the earlier date to determine when reverification is necessary.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recommends reminding employees that their documentation will expire at least 90 days ahead of the expiration date. This gives them time to present a List A or List C document or receipt showing continued work authorization. Paycom’s Document and Task Management system helps to ease the burden on employers by providing reminders 90 days prior to an employee’s reverification date.

When should the reverification process NOT be used?

Knowing when you cannot reverify an employee is important, too. U.S. citizens and noncitizen nationals should not be reverified. Additionally, lawful permanent residents should not be reverified if they provide a Form I-551, Permanent Resident or Alien Registration Receipt card for Section 2. An employee’s citizenship status is found in Section 1, as well as at the top of Section 2. Also, List B documents – even if they expire – should not be reverified.

How do you complete Section 3?

To complete Section 3, simply examine the unexpired documents presented by your employee to determine if they appear to be authentic and relate to your employee. Then, record the document title, document number and expiration date, if there is one. Lastly, sign and date this section. You must use Section 3 from the most recent Form I-9, even if the employee’s original form is an older version.  Likewise, if you previously have completed Section 3 for the employee, you should use Section 3 on a new version of the form and attach it to the employee’s original I-9.

 Other instances in which you can use Section 3

Employers also may complete Section 3 when an employee is rehired within three years of the date that the Form I-9 was originally completed. To complete Section 3 for rehires:

  • Confirm that the original I-9 relates to the employee.
  • Determine if the employee is still authorized to work or if reverification is required by reviewing Section.
  • Enter the date of rehire in Section 3 if the employee’s work authorization is still valid.
  • If expired, request the employee’s valid List A or List C document and complete a Section 3 reverification.
  • Sign and date Section 3.

 

Name Changes

You also can use Section 3 to record when your employee has a legal name change. You are not required to update Form I-9 for name changes. However, the USCIS recommends maintaining correct information on an employee’s Form I-9. Similarly, you are not required to request documentation of a name change from an employee, but it is recommended in order to be reasonably assured of your employee’s identity if the government ever asks to audit the Form I-9.

Paycom’s Document and Task Management solution automates employment verification from within the Paycom system to help ensure compliance and reduce your exposure to audits and penalties from Form I-9 violations. Employees and employers can complete the Form I-9 online, including Section 3, utilize electronic signature verification, and securely store completed Form I-9s and supporting documentation within the Paycom system.

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Posted in Blog, Compliance, Document Management, Featured

Alyssa Looney

by Alyssa Looney


Author Bio: As a compliance attorney for Paycom, Alyssa Looney monitors laws, rules and regulations to ensure that the Paycom software is up to date, specifically regarding immigration law and state law developments in the Western United States. She holds a JD and an MBA from Pennsylvania State University, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. Outside of work, Alyssa enjoys cooking, being active, playing with her puppy and exploring Oklahoma City.

May the 4th

Disturbance in Your Workforce? May the 4th Be With You

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A short time ago in an employee suggestion box not far, far away, this note from a disengaged employee was discovered.

Dear Management,

Being a real trooper, I’ve faithfully served this empire for many parsecs. But lately, morale here is in the trash compactor. I’m close to “storming” out of here! Here’s why:

  • We don’t feel valued. It’s challenging to work for someone who acts like a dictator. (The black cape? A bit much.)
  • We want a comfortable working environment. These uniforms don’t exactly help. (I have to plan bathroom breaks 30 minutes in advance.)
  • We want to contribute, but we’re afraid the boss will choke us from across the room if he doesn’t like what we say. A little two-way constructive feedback could make a death star-sized difference. 
  • I find our lack of training disturbing. With the literal universe at our fingertips, why do we not have an online learning management system?

A disengaged staff is a real phantom menace. Don’t let this happen; awaken your workforce today with our “What Employees Want” toolkit to help you keep the force in your workforce as strong as possible.

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Posted in Blog, Employee Engagement, Featured, HR Management, Learning Management, What Employees Want

Rod Lott

by Rod Lott


Author Bio: As Paycom’s Creative Services Manager, Rod Lott brings more than two decades of experience in marketing, advertising, branding and journalism. A published author and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, he has worked with such brands as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sonic Drive-In and OU.

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