HOW OBAMACARE IS REDEFINING THE FULL-TIME WORK WEEK

April 30th, 2013

As of January 2014, ObamaCare may send the traditional forty-hour work week the way of the dinosaurs. While the Bureau of Labor and Statistics defines full-time employment status as more than 35 hours per week, beginning 2014, the definition changes to one who works a minimum of 30 hours per week or 120 hours per month.

Suddenly the notion of job-sharing is in our faces. The Wall Street Journal says it’s already happening at fast-food restaurants.

Moreover, employers suddenly must come up with a way to deal with the magic number of 50 employees or face penalties.

Take a closer look

An article in Forbes (Tim Worstall) suggests the incentivizing of part-time jobs under ObamaCare. At first blush, the idea of more opportunities for temporary, contract and part-time workers seems appealing, but the trickle-down effect of the new definition is costly.

If businesses with 50 or less employees have workers that work more than 30 hours, they will face a fine that could be several times higher than their annual profit depending on the employer’s provisions for employee health insurance.

It is a conundrum that makes employers think twice about offering health care benefits, or at least promotes a notion of cost-sharing.

Also, it could be argued that if two workers replace one full-time worker, would the amount paid for the job remain unchanged? Wouldn’t the unemployment figure be skewed as well?

Since 2009, when Obama was sworn into office, The Washington Examiner reports that Americans with full-time jobs fell by 370,000. By contrast, part time employment rose 1.5 million.

Olympic Staffing Services monitors what is important to you

PPACA is not going away soon, if at all. ObamaCare is the largest body of legislation on health care since 1965’s enactment of Medicare or Medicaid.

We have always believed that giving you a place at the table is a great way to satisfy the high caliber candidates and successful businesses we serve. It is why we are involved in our communities and why we keep abreast of news and views that impact you.

Subscribe to our blog. Contact one of our seasoned team of staffing professionals to learn more about what Olympic Staffing can offer you.

OBAMACARE AND HEALTH CARE EXCHANGES

April 23rd, 2013

Health Care Exchanges, also called Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOPs), are a cornerstone of the (PPACA) or ObamaCare. SHOPs expected to be formed in October 2013 and functional by January, 2014.

What is a SHOP?

It is a system to purchase health insurance for individuals who are not eligible through their employer, who don’t receive coverage through a government plan, or for small businesses to purchase competitively priced insurance plans for their employees.

Ideally, a SHOP will offer consumer-friendly benefit packages at competitive prices. Levels of coverage include bronze, silver, gold and platinum, each with a rising price tier. Private insurance is obligated to offer at least a silver and gold tier.

Intending transparency, and as a clearinghouse of consumer health information, the SHOPs are also expected to better monitor insurance accountability.

What might this mean for you?

While PPACA mandates exchanges to be regulated at the state level, the way they are created seems ambiguous. Individual states may form their own exchanges for which they are granted access to government subsidies. More than 25 states have opted out of managing an exchange due to incomplete information on how they would work or because of high costs, leaving the federal government to step in to manage it. There are simply too many questions and few firm answers.

Further, because of the lack of clarity on the legislation, glitches and loopholes arise. Lack of clarity leans toward delays in processing of information and claims, for starters.

Many employees will be covered under their employer or through the exchange utilizing subsidies, but coverage for their families may come into question. What is being called the ObamaCare Glitch may result in employee dependents being locked out of affordable health care. In fact, it is expected to affect as many as 500,000 children, especially those with special needs.

Regard also the myth of the stabilized health insurance premium. The New York Times reports that the unclear language involving SHOPs is allowing health insurance premiums to soar, sometimes in double digits, in many states where regulators do not have the authority to lower or deny rates. Florida and Ohio insurers raised rates nearly 20 percent for some policy holders.

Olympic Staffing Services monitors what is important to you

ObamaCare is the largest body of legislation on health care since 1965’s enactment of Medicare or Medicaid. Are you prepared?

We have always believed that giving you a place at the table is a great way to satisfy the high caliber
candidates and successful businesses we serve. It is why we are involved in our communities and why we keep abreast of news and views that impact you.

Subscribe to our blog. Contact one of our seasoned team of staffing professionals to learn more about what Olympic Staffing can offer you.

IF OBAMACARE WAS DESIGNED TO BE AFFORDABLE, WHY DOES IT COST SO MUCH?

April 16th, 2013

March 2010, by a vote of 219 to 212, The House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), coupled with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. No Republicans voted for it and 34 Democrats voted against it.

ObamaCare, as the laws are coined, will be completely phased in by January 2016. The laws were intended to reduce the number of Americans without health care coverage and to reduce overall costs of health care insurance.

Goals were to be reached by eliminating requirements for pre-existing conditions and lifetime limits for health insurance coverage, making health insurance affordable and easier to obtain through Health Care Exchanges, providing insurance subsidies, and extending coverage for young adults.

Has the federal government decreed a health care plan with too costly results?

When Obama campaigned for president in 2008, he promised his health reform plan would bring down premiums “by $2500 for the typical family” by end of his first term.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects Obamacare will only slightly alter the federal deficit over the coming decade. In a February 2013 report, Real Clear Politics, Ben Domenech reports the CBO believes ObamaCare “will be more expensive than the Obama administration thought, disrupt the marketplace more than they thought, and be tougher to implement than they thought.”

Health care reform is expected to cost $940 billion over the coming decade, but it appears this estimation should be much higher. Where will these monies come from? We are paying for ObamaCare with increased taxes, penalties and decreased benefits.

9 realities about ObamaCare and costs

  1. PPACA includes a 2.3% tax on gross sales of medical devices, which is expected to raise approximately $29 billion within 10 years.
  2.  A health insurance tax of $100 billion (Forbes) will result in increased premiums
  3. Included is a mandated tax on branded prescription drugs based on the drug manufacturer’s total share of the market.
  4. Individual Flexible Spending Accounts will be reduced by half, from $5000 to $2500. This cap will directly affect parents and special needs children.
  5. The percentage of medical deductions allowed shoots from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of adjusted gross income.
  6. Investment income incurs a 3.5 percent surtax.
  7. Americans without health coverage will pay a 1 percent tax in 2014, and a 2.5 percent tax in 2016, that adjusts over the term with inflation.
  8. The law eliminates a tax deduction for employer-provided retirement prescription drug coverage coordinating with Medicare Part D
  9. Companies with more than 50 employees would be required to pay a fee of $2000 per employee if they fail to provide coverage.

Olympic Staffing Services monitors what is important to you

ObamaCare is not going away. As the largest body of legislation on health care since 1965’s enactment of Medicare or Medicaid, we should expect to learn what we can to be prepared.

We have always believed that giving you a place at the table is a great way to satisfy the high caliber candidates and successful businesses we serve. It is why we are involved in our communities and why we keep abreast of news and views that impact you.

Subscribe to our blog. Contact one of our seasoned team of staffing professionals to learn more about what Olympic Staffing can offer you.

 

Organizational Structure Discussion | Arcadia California

November 15th, 2012

No matter what industry you are in, your employees are more likely to benefit from a hierarchical company organization than an egalitarian one. While it may seem archaic and unnecessarily structured to many within the paradigm working toward global equality, it has been observed in numerous studies that people are most responsive to the proverbial “pecking order.” As a company owner or manager, it may become your prerogative to use this to your advantage.

In a thesis on social hierarchy, Joe Magee and Adam Galinsky of New York University, pose that,

The reason that people prefer hierarchical order, as opposed to other types of order, is that hierarchy is particularly effective at facilitating coordination within social groups. … As a mechanism of coordination, hierarchy provides clear lines of direction and deference that maximize the coordination of action for many kinds of tasks, especially in comparison to more egalitarian structures.

In short, your staff is likely to be more productive in a hierarchical office than in one where there is little or no chain of command. What is vital here is the clarity that hierarchy provides–the clear and accepted roles each person plays in an office create a sense of order, which in turns creates a more comfortable, less chaotic atmosphere. If your employees are operating calmly, without underlying structural anxiety, their output is likely to improve.

In a recent article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the data of five studies was compiled a reported to indicate that subjects in the studies felt more confident in a company with hierarchy in its organizational chart, and they also showed that they were more readily able to quickly process and recall employees and their relationships given a structured illustration to study, rather than viewing several names group together without any linear connections. These conclusions support the hypotheses of Magee and Galinsky as mentioned above.

Ambiguity often breeds anxiety, and the lack of clarity that looser or non-existent company structures provide is likely to breed a less than stable work environment.

No matter the structure of your company, having the right employees is important. Contact the experts at Olympic Staffing to help find you the best employees for your structure and your business today!

Managing Your Contingent Workforce

September 12th, 2012

In the last three years, there have been significant changes to tax laws regarding the payment and treatment of contingent workers, or independent or freelance workers. Most notably, this change eliminated interns from working without compensation. This reaction from the U.S. Department of Labor was a response to the increasing number of instances in which companies were beginning to exploit the cheap or free labor of eager interns. Without being fully fluent in the new policies on contingent workers, companies fall into a dangerous ignorance that could be extremely costly.

The priority of understanding the newer guidelines pertaining to contingent workers is to define “contingent worker” against the more traditional definition of “employee.” Very simply, classifying workers into either of these categories comes down to management. If workers require specific training, instruction or management in order to complete the tasks to which they are assigned, these individuals are traditional employees. On the other hand, if a worker requires no guidance as to how, when or where to complete a task and is hired specifically to complete tasks or projects that require their expertise, s/he would be classified as a contingent worker.

The U.S. Department of Labor released a factsheet to help managers determine if their interns can remain classified as unpaid interns, or if they must be moved into the contingent worker classification.

Companies who are found to be out of compliance by inaccurately classifying individuals as contingent employees when they are fulfilling the tasks and duties of full-time employees will be charged significant fines and can be forced to pay back taxes of its misclassified employees to cover lost dollars for Medicaid, Medicare, social security and federal and state taxes. Many companies who are found guilty of misclassifying employees deny any malicious intent, but rather state that the definitions of contingent workers versus employee are too vague and even misleading.

Using a qualified staffing agency can help take the guesswork out of hiring and maintaining a contingent staff, including a pool of interns. Contact Olympic Staffing today to find quality candidates and the peace of mind that comes with insured compliance!

Minding the Gap: Management Strategies for Teams with Technology Gaps

August 27th, 2012

In a world in which technology advances at an exponential rate, employers are faced with a growing challenge: how to manage teams of employees who have different levels of capacity for understanding, operating and integrating technology into their fields. Without strategies to incorporate both the lightning-quick “millennials” (younger individuals who have grown up with, and adapt seamlessly to new technology) as well as the Baby Boomers, teams and companies can experience stagnation.

Here are several ways that strong leadership can lessen the technology gap:

Understand the effect of the technology gap on communication.

Teams cannot work together effectively without utilizing effective communication; unfortunately, according to one UCLA study, as much as 93% of communication is nonverbal, and this is where the office can become divided. More specifically, when employees communicate via technology (instant message, text message, email) there is no observable inflection, body language, or tone of voice–all of which have been vital for effective communication until very recently. Older employees might be offended that a younger person would email a question as opposed to asking it face to face, while younger employees could feel frustrated if they feel they are moving at a much faster pace than others in the office. Observe your team and listen to them; model your company’s ideals for effective communication and technology decorum.

Integrate both worlds.

One of the best ways to get a team working well is to make sure that each member feels valuable. And the only way to do that is, of course, to genuinely value each member’s skill set. Using this framework, encourage the mindset that the younger workers need to bolster their person-to-person skills and the older ones need to amp-up their working knowledge of pertinent technologies and social media. Offer teachable opportunities which will allow both groups to shine–as well as learn from each other. Provide feedback to your team about why both of these areas of business are invaluable, and go out of your way to make examples of employees who are exemplary in their ability to unite technological adeptness with excellent and effective writing and people skills.

Offer Incentives.

If your older employees have been doing their jobs well for years without the pervasive use of technologies, it can be difficult for them to identify a motivation for learning to use and incorporate those methods. Offering incentives for attending company-sponsored workshops and training based on social media and technologies as they pertain to your field is one effective way to encourage your staff to take advantage of those offerings.

Olympic Staffing can help you to find applicants who are motivated, hardworking, and committed to your company’s vision. Contact our staff to begin working with us on your staffing needs!

 

Recruiting Tools and Challenges

August 22nd, 2012

With an exponentially quickening pace and the vast expansion of technologies and social media, job recruiters have to adapt quickly, efficiently and seamlessly all the time. Challenges exist today that would not have occurred to recruiters and companies even five years ago. So how can you stay on top of the recruiting game? Follow these guidelines to ensure that your company can survive and thrive:

Utilize social media, and utilize it well.

In a recent survey conducted by JobVite, 92% of recruiters stated that they would use “social recruiting,” or social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to employ candidates in 2012. The numbers speak quite clearly, indicating something every recruiter should pay attention to: without the proper use of social media and mobile tools, your company will be left behind.

Use Facebook to build a strong company presence on the site, and to garner interest in your product or service. Candidates will see that your business is thriving and want to be a part of that.

Twitter is useful for searching for candidates based on calculated search terms. Including hashtags in tweets for recruiting purposes allows candidates to find your tweets by searching for terms such as #NAJ (“Need A Job”; other suggestions include #employment, #jobsearch, and #sales).

LinkedIn is a resource for candidates and recruiters to network and broadcast their employment needs. The ability to use search parameters to make the pool of qualified candidates smaller and tailored to your needs is a resource that should not be overlooked.

Remember that you are selling each other.

The recession and subsequent growing unemployment rate has had a negative effect on many recruiters and employers; because so many people need jobs, it can be easy to slide into the mindset that only employers have something employees need–and not the other way around. If applicants do not feel that they will be valued or appreciated for their skills and contributions, they will not want to interview or work for your company, and if they do end up accepting a position, there is little guarantee they will stick around. In order to ensure that you do not fall into the trap of the interview power struggle, take just a few minutes before each interaction with a new candidate to remind yourself of what your company can offer that individual. Relay that during the interaction as opposed to focusing solely on what s/he can do for you.

Once you’ve employed a candidate, give him incentive to stay.

In order to prevent your employees from accepting better offers elsewhere, it should be your priority to offer a work situation from which an employee would not want to walk away. Many employers find that offering a better-than-competitive salary creates a reason for their employees to remain there, thus offsetting the costs for continual hiring and training employees due to high turnover rates. Additionally, employers find that the more “perks” they can offer (often at negligible or no cost to the company) the higher their retention of top-quality employees.

Olympic Staffing makes finding excellent candidates as easy as a phone call. Contact someone today to get started on building your dream staff! 

The Post-Promotion Office: How to Make a Successful Shift

August 10th, 2012

We spend eight hours a day with people at work. According to a recent Randstad study relating job satisfaction to workplace friendships, the best strategy for contentment and teamwork in the workplace is to create friendship bonds with co-workers. But what happens to the equilibrium of those friendships in your office when you are recognized for a promotion? It is impossible to be an effective manager without transitioning into the new role properly. Here are some ways you can ensure a smoother transition:

Create Distance.

If your new promotion comes with a new office, this distance will be created for you. However, if your title changes but workspace doesn’t, take some time to revamp your surroundings. Rearranging your furniture might be the most effective change, because it necessitates a shift in muscle memory. Both you and your co-workers will reap the subconscious benefits of this change.

If it is not possible to rearrange your office, try giving your personal touches a once-over and eliminate anything that undermines your credibility. Sure, that birthday card with the sexy swimsuit model your co-worker gave you six months ago might be a hoot, but will your female staff members feel the same in your newly promoted context? Edit your personal effects with the image you would like to portray in mind.

Be Honest and Open Your Transition.

Give your co-workers a heads up that things will be shifting in the coming days and weeks, and let them know that you will struggle with this, too. Gather them and illustrate in a friendly, direct way what specifically will need to be adjusted. Your staff will appreciate and benefit from an outline of the boundaries you need to set, and you will feel relieved that you can communicate what you feel: that you valued the friendships you had with them, but that those friendships cannot operate in the same ways now that you have advanced. Additionally, if you outlined your boundaries publicly, you have a much more solid basis for correction if someone has difficulty adjusting to your new guidelines.

Keep Yourself in Check.

Physical and social distance from people with whom you have had friendships can create feelings of loneliness and isolation for you–and those feelings can make it very tempting to bend your own rules a little and go out for just one happy hour drink with a co-worker or blab a piece of info divulged in a managerial meeting. To avoid this, take good care of your physical, mental and emotional health, and remember the three R’s:

 Remind yourself that objectivity and distance are your best bets for successful management of your team.

Refuse to gossip.

Remain consistent.

 A promotion can seem like an answered prayer, but it can also feel confusing and worrisome when in the context of shifting office dynamics. Following the tips mentioned above can help smooth your post-promotion transition and create a more harmonious environment. Olympic Staffing can help you find candidates who are ready to take on the task of managing your teams. Contact us to begin finding your ideal staff member!

Welcome to the Olympic Staffing Blog!

January 4th, 2012

Thank you for stopping by the Olympic Staffing blog. We are very excited to share the latest industry news, tips and information to help businesses and candidates across Southern California.

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