Fall 2009
Vol 2, No 3
iVision Human Resources
quarterly newsletter
It's beginning to look a lot like fall? The coldest October on record is upon us, however it hasn't stopped me from enjoying the change in color of the leaves.  This is Minnesota and you never know what weather pattern you will get!
As the 4th Quarter is here, it's a good time to prepare for the coming new year and to get your employees educated on the big issues of healthcare from our contributing author, Joe Byrd of Byrd Wellness Concepts. We also have a optimistic view on finding employees by explaining the difference between "active" and "passive" recruiting.

Back by popular demand, I will be speaking with Peter McClellan on AM1570 on Thursday October 22nd at 5:00pm.  I'll discuss the differences between layoffs and firing, active and passive recruiting and performance management.  Tune in to learn more about these topics.

I'd love to hear comments or questions about what you learned from the show.

Happy Fall!

Julie McDonald
Industry & Legal Update
Company Policy on H1N1

Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe, disease-free workplace for employees. Educating your employees about swine flu, the symptoms, and the potential medical treatments is important in the prevention of spreading the disease.  This allows for your employees to be more productive and reduce time away from the office. 

Encourage sick employees to stay home from work. Have a plan or policy in place in the event that a large percentage of your employees become ill.  One component of the plan should include enabling employees to work from home if you company encourages telecommuting.

For more information on creating a policy or what businesses can do, visit

Group Health Plans Required to Extend Coverage for Dependents in Accordance with Michelle's Law
September 01, 2009

Michelle's Law requires group health plans and plan issuers to continue coverage for dependent college students if they are forced to take a medically necessary leave of absence from school. The law takes effect October 9, 2009. For calendar year plans, the law's effective date is January 1, 2010.


Something to make you go hmmm...

The person who figures out how to harness the collective genius of his or her organization is going to blow the competition away.

Walter Wriston
In This Issue
Active and Passive Recruiting
Healthcare Awareness and Health Education

Quick Links

iVision website

HR Q & A

Question:  Should you have a Social Media policy into your handbook?
 Answer:  Yes - you need to guide your employees on what they can and cannot talk about regarding your business activities within FaceBook, Twitter, etc.
Submit your question on any HR topic.
If it's featured in our newsletter we'll treat you to a cup of joe!
Balancing Active and Passive Recruiting 
iV color logoI've often heard from clients that they don't want to hire someone that is unemployed.  I understand this line of thinking.  It's simple and seems to go with the thinking that someone that is unemployed is not a strong or qualified candidate as someone that has a job.  This line of thinking is extreme and it doesn't take in the full picture of candidates.

"There is no denying that many share the opinion that the best people don't get laid off. To me, this is a narrow point of view as situations certainly exist, such as our current economic environment, that put even the best people at risk," notes Jason Farr, vice president, global talent acquisition, Coca-Cola Enterprises.

On the other hand, there are a number of articles that during this recession have implied or stated that passive recruiting, that is calling a candidate that isn't looking for a job, is a "shameful practice" as it leads to mistrust of corporate America. 

At this time, it is true that most industries are seeing an increase in the number of applicants per position. However, this increase has not equated to larger pools of qualified candidates. Instead this increase creates an additional burden for companies as they spend more time processing unqualified applicants.

As with most sections of your business, when it comes to recruiting, one size does not fit all.  Great recruiting requires both active and passive strategies.  Since you are looking for the best possible person you need to look past the "paper" (or resume) to get beyond the idea of "damaged goods" that is simply not the case.  It takes a great HR person to know the difference.

I believe it's important to not limit ourselves and to be open to all candidates.  While it is true that there are 20-25% of people actively seeking employment at this time, there are 80% of people that could are being eliminated from your open position.  
There are specific roles whereby the chances are that 90% or more of appropriate candidates will be developed through passive recruiting. For certain roles, in certain professions -namely technology roles, there are simply not a lot of candidates, and the best people are employed elsewhere. Passive recruiting can be very costly, however it is essential in these industries that have large barriers to entry and, as a result, smaller qualified applicant pools.

Thus if you're a company looking for these types of people, you have to know where they are and be able to convince them to come elsewhere. To not adopt this approach for these key roles would be irresponsible.  But a vital element in all of this is you don't have to pursue only one strategy. The different approaches do require different skill sets. Active candidate recruiters tend to have a "post and pray" mentality and are very assessment-focused; passive candidate recruiters are skilled at sourcing strategy and research, among other things.

The key is that your recruiters and HR professionals need to have the skills and techniques to do both and should not necessarily be single-strategy focused. Some roles will require both an assessment and sourcing strategy.

Overall, if your ultimate goal is to increase your value to your organization, you have to stay away from only-one-way-or-another, all-or-nothing mentality.
Healthcare Awareness and Health Education
by Joseph Byrd, Owner, Byrd Wellness Concepts
Everyday habits impact your employees' lives significantly.  These habits also impact your company significantly, since poor employee health is leading to increasing healthcare costs.  The key to changing health care costs is changing health.  The first step to a healthy company is awareness.  The more aware your employees are, the more smoothly your benefits plan can be run. 

Once awareness increases, the next step is education.  The more employees know the better choices they will make.  Only 36% of employees feel educated about their benefits, according to a recent study.  It is difficult for employees to make decisions on their healthcare use if they don't feel like they know enough about it.  Regular communication (through newsletters or surveys from a broker or wellness provider) is a great way to keep your employees educated.  

By educating your employees on the benefits plan, employees will know what they have.  The same goes for everyday habits that lead to (or prevent) health issues.  Once employees are aware of the role they play in their own health and care, the better decisions they will make.  These better decisions - healthy decisions will lead to increased productivity, decreased medical costs and eventually lower insurance premiums.  The moral of the story is: increase employee awareness, educate them on your healthcare plan and ways they can impact their own health and the impact they have on costs for everyone in your company.