Category Archives: Healthcare

Think Employee Lawsuits Can’t Happen to You?

Think again.

Discrimination in hiring can be costly when employees sue.When dealing with hiring issues, “I didn’t know” and “I didn’t mean to do that” are excuses that don’t get too much sympathy in court. Discrimination in hiring and firing are serious issues that can be very costly for your business. When cases go to trial awards can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because punitive awards are often tacked onto actual damage amounts. Fortunately, most cases are settled out of court somewhere in the middle of what a claimant asks for and what and employer believes is fair. The real winners are, you guessed it, the lawyers.

 So…what kinds of discrimination are common?

 Discrimination comes in many forms.
  • Age discrimination laws are designed to protect workers over the age of 40.
  • Race and ethnicity discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act requires reasonable accommodation in the workplace of disabled workers if the disability is known to the employer.
  • Several States have passed legislation that prohibits practice of excluding unemployed individuals in advertisements for job vacancies.
  • According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), A blanket refusal to hire workers based on criminal records or credit problems can be illegal if it has a undue impact on racial minorities,

 OK….How do I protect my company from discrimination actions?

Avoiding lawsuits, penalties and fines in employment related matters requires a framework of compliance measures put in place at your business and constant monitoring of your company’s compliance. That is one of the key benefits provided by human resource (HR) professionals.

You can employee in-house HR professionals or you can outsource that function. Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) provide the HR functions on an “as needed” basis. PEOs can help establish the proper framework including employee handbooks, sensitivity training as well as procedures to deal with discrimination issues as they may develop.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is an excellent resource for HR professionals to stay abreast of the laws and regulations surrounding the employer/employee relationship. They also have HR certification programs that result in Professional Human Resource (PHR) and Senior Professional Human Resource (SPHR) certificates.


Jobseekers – How to Nail a Job Interview

How to Nail a Job Interview, dress neatly, firm handshake, eye contact, be prepared. For a successful job interview, job seekers should be prepared by researching the company and if possible the person who will interview you.Everyone knows that first impressions are the ones that count. But, do you know how to deliver a great first impression at a job interview?

The impression you give on a social level is slightly different than on a job interview. On a social level, your goal is to get a positive acknowledgement that the person you are meeting isn’t weird. Sounds funny but on a personal level, people are initially usually expecting a simple exchange of words and body language to establish normalcy and then look for areas of common interest. If the normalcy bar is reached, the people will invest more of their time establishing a relationship in another. Below the bar (weird level) and people look for the exit.

In a job interview, you are under review and being judged by one with the power to literally change your life. Sounds ominous but not to worry, remember, the other person invited you to interview because they want to hire someone. If you aren’t weird, have the right credentials and present a positive first impression, you have a great chance of nailing it and getting the job.

So let’s look at a few things you can do to better your chances:

(You are on your own with the weird issue)

Do your homework on the company

Job seekers should research potential employers before the job interview. Also, if possible, check out the LinkedIn profile of your interviewer.First, Google the company and explore their website. There are two reasons to research a potential employer. First, make sure the organization is somewhere you want to work. Is the chemistry right for you? If it isn’t, success in landing the job will likely end in a short stint at the company and too many short-term jobs on your resume isn’t good. Second, be prepared to ask and answer questions about the company.

  • If the company has a blog, read it. Look over the website and to get a feel for their products and how they market them. Look at their “In the News” section to be aware of major happenings at the company.
  • If you know someone who works at the company, talk to them about the other people there and the work environment. If you know who will be interviewing you, Google them and also check out their LinkedIn profile.
  • At the end of the interview ask the person if you could take a copy of the company’s handbook along to review. Salespeople call this “assuming the sale”.


Job Seekers should relax and breathe deeply before a job interview. Meditation and breathing exercises along with listening to relaxing music helps the job seeker prepare for the interview.While a lack of preparation is one of the biggest sources of anxiety, a well-prepared attitude may be one of the best relaxation techniques available. A positive attitude is contagious, spread yours around. Successful interviewing is all about passion and emotion. People remember positive attitudes, but they never forget fearful or negative ones. Be aware of your emotions and anxiety and before the interview, listen to some music or do some breathing exercises to get into a relaxed frame of mind. Avoid nervous body language like crossing of the arms or clutching your hands in front of your stomach. Look at the interview as a fun experience and it will likely become one.

Here are a few tips from Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, that will help in a job interview

  • Offer a firm handshake
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Maintain good posture
  • Be respectful. “Yes Sir/Ma’am  No Sir/Ma’am” show respect
  • Give positive non-verbal communication (smile and nod head when in agreement)
  • Let the other person do a lot of talking
  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain about past employers

Dress appropriately

Professional dress makes a great first impression for the job seeker. Dress neat and appropriatelyRegardless of how many interviews you have been to or how many you have scheduled, treat each as the last one you will need to go to. Look the part of someone a company would want to hire. A good rule of thumb, often used by successful salespeople, is to dress one level above the person you will be meeting with. In today’s business casual world, that means dress shirts and slacks for men and dresses or pant suits for women. Business casual should be the minimum level of dress for any job. A business interview is not the time to wear your best club clothes.

An employer will appreciate that you have intuitively known the proper dress and grooming. A banking or investment firm will likely mandate more formal attire, so anticipate that and show up accordingly. At many startups and design firms, the college look of tee shirts and sneakers are common. However, they will appreciate the importance you have given to the interview if you show up in business casual.

Remember – Good luck comes to those that bring it

A job interview is about showing a potential employer that you have the required skills and attitude for the job. It is also about demonstrating to the hiring person that you come without baggage and will fit into the company’s culture and its plan for success. Treat the interview as an opportunity to share how great you really are.

Help, I have been Stricken with Technology Blindness!

"Technology Blindness is when a person experiences anxiety about new technology and mentally freeze, unable to comprehend it.", "technology blindness", "Technology for Dummies", "new technology", "user friendly"Have you ever tried to explain some sort of technology, be it software or hardware, to someone who is less than receptive to the idea? It usually starts with them saying either “How does this work?” or “I can’t figure this out”. As you begin to explain, if they are already in a state of anxiety over their lack of comprehension,  a common reaction is them throwing their hands up in the air, either literally or figuratively, and experiencing a temporary case of ‘technology blindness’.

Technology blindness is a brain freeze caused by sheer anxiety. Often, the victim has experience in frustration with technology and has convinced themselves that software and “gadgets” just aren’t their thing. The human mind doesn’t particularly like feelings of incompetence or failure and might recognize those feelings about to descend upon it. Whatever the reason, the victim’s mind goes blank and their immediate reaction becomes, “Would you do it for me?”.

IT support people have dealt with technology blindness for many years and often develop a distain for its victims. One can almost read an IT person’s mind when a request for help arises- ‘”Yes, you dummy, I will perform miracles now”. You can’t blame them though when recipients of their wisdom typically gush praise when their problem is solved, often with a couple of keystrokes.

As many a psychologist will tell you, until victims of certain maladies want help, they must suffer.  One personal favorite way to cure technology blindness is to take a deep breath and remind yourself that most things are designed with the average person in mind. Onward, to the help files!

You Are Not Blind, Relax.

Ovation’s hiring platform was designed to be simple and it really is once you walk through it. Admittedly though, some users have had trouble getting going. Fortunately, for us, the stumbling blocks seem be limited to a couple of things that we are working on to make them more obvious. I have encouraged more than one user to give it a try and I tell them that if they hit a wall to give us a call. We also offer a weekly WebEx QuickStart demo on Thursdays.

Here at Ovation, we take turns with the after-hours requests for support. Incoming calls are forwarded to our cell phones and we can usually talk through problems quickly. Last week, I took one of the support calls from a user in California, Lane,  who stricken by technology blindness, wanted to know “What do I do?”. My first question was whether he had signed-up for the application. Hearing him say “How do I do that?”, I knew he had an extraordinary severe case of blindness and needed some tough love to regain vision.

I asked Lane if he would do me a favor. I said that our intent was to make Ovation a very easy to use, effective hiring platform.  I asked if he would go ahead and sign-up at the “Try it for Free” button and give it a try on his own. I was very curious to see if and where he might hit a wall in posting that first job. I made sure he understood that he could call back at any point and I would lead him forward. I ended the call with optimism.

Fifteen minutes later, I received a call from Lane. He said that he was successful in signing up and had a job ready to post. When he went to open the job, the system reminded him that opening the job would use the free first job post credit and asked if that was the intent. However, Lane couldn’t see where to click to agree and was stuck.

My blindness is cured!, technology blindness, help I'm stuck, It's a miracleI was already glad to hear he made it on his own. I knew what the problem was- browser incompatibility.  He was using an early version of Internet Explorer and it sometimes misses in rendering pop-ups completely. I walked him through switching to the Chrome browser and re-logging in. Now, the problem was fixed and he opened the job with ease. While I was on the phone, we walked through publishing the job to Indeed and SimplyHired and I congratulated Lane on his success. Lane was really relieved and happy. He was cured!

As we develop and improve our platform, we have the user in mind. Ovation is designed to make hiring easier and organize the process. And, cure blindness!

Save Time Using Job Search Websites to Find Employees

Are you tired of looking for employees?

competitive job market, job seekers, employers, good candidatesIn today’s competitive global job market, finding quality employees continues to be a challenge. Job search websites are a very powerful tool for recruiting applicants, with benefits that often get overlooked by small businesses.

So, what are job search websites?

Job search websites are sites where job seekers can apply for jobs instantly. Conversely, they are sites that employers can post job openings. There are websites that gather the results of many of such sites, and plainly present the choices to the job seeker. and are two such sites, with up to 7.5 million visitors per site each month. According to a survey conducted by, “87% of Baby Boomers choose job boards as the resource they turn to first in a job search, followed by 82% of Gen X and 77% of Gen Y where all generations spent between 5 and 20 hours per week searching for jobs online”.

How do these sites work?

Whenever a prospective employee fills out an online application, it is stored in a database. The same goes for when an employer posts a job opening. Then these indexing sites gather all the information from these databases, from multiple different sites. Think Google, except they specify in searching employment websites for data instead of the entire web. This saves both the employer and applicant time by only having to visit one site, and getting the benefit of visiting many.

What are the benefits of using employment websites?

If your not already using job search sites to advertise your jobs, your missing out. Employers who have adapted benefit from:

  • Saving time by only posting your opening on one site.
  • Employment websites are usually free for the job seeker. This increases the number of people that visit them.
  • Search engines help narrow results, allowing you to see only the relevant information.
  • With internet based searching, job seekers from all over will see your post.
  • A resume can be uploaded, allowing employers more searchable data.
  • The time it takes to update your post is significantly less.

How can employers get more applicants for the job?

There are many tools available that can help employers create high-ranking job listings, effectively increasing the number and quality of applicants you get for that listing. This works like SEO for normal websites. Through certain techniques, these tools can help get your listing at the top of its class where everyone can see it.

Starting the search for good employees is easy

If you want to hire the best employees, you have to start by being visible where the best talent is spending the majority of their time searching; online. The Ovation hiring tool will help you find good employees.  Try Ovation free for 30 days and see how your business can harness the power of job search websites.

Using Ovation with All Job Boards

Ovation allows you to create job postings from scratch, use past postings, or access editable job descriptions from the Ovation library. You can also set up your own library of company specific job postings.  job postings. job posting sites, job boards, Ovation allows a user to manage job postings to any job board. When a user creates a job posting in Ovation, either from scratch or from the Ovation template library of job descriptions, Ovation  creates a unique web link to the new posting.

A job applicant clicks on the web link within the job description to complete the job application or to upload their resume to be ranked against other applicants with Ovation’s system to rank candidates according to best suited for the job.

While Ovation allows  direct posting to Indeed, Simplyhired, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others, here is how you can use Ovation with any job board, even niche boards:

Create a job posting in Ovation

It is important to create an appealing and comprehensive job description.

Here a sample of a job posting ready to be published

A professional job post will include specific responsibilities and skills or other requirements that the job seeker must have to be best suited for the job.Notice the Job Posting Details2This web link will take the job applicant directly to the Ovation application which they can complete or upload their resume. Once they do, it will be ranked by Ovation and shown with other applicants’ submissions for the Ovation user’s review. When posting to a job board not directly supported by Ovation, the user can simply highlight and copy the job description on the Ovation Job Posting Details page,

Job Posting Details3

drop it into any job board’s job description page and add the  Link to job description and application. Job boards post job descriptions for job seekers to identify opportunities..

Now, all potential job candidates will be directed to the Ovation job application webpage to complete the job application and their application will join those of candidates who responded to similar posts on other job boards.

For more information about posting jobs within Ovation see the Help Section.

Are Employees Happy in Their Current Job?

Current employees looking for jobs, employment, find employees, job search, job fit, employee satisfactionOne half of existing employees will consider looking for a new job if the economy improves according to the Fourth Quarter 2012 Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey. This may prompt employers to take a look at their retention efforts. Employees don’t search for new job opportunities merely when they are unhappy. Many people are constantly evaluating their options in an effort to improve their job situation and to advance their career.

According to the survey, forty percent of all employees expect to get a pay raise in the next 12 months which means that most employees either don’t expect a raise or just don’t know.

Employee expectations of re-hire are about 41%. Of course, currently employed people typically stand a better chance of being hired than do unemployed individuals. Unemployed individuals surveyed had a slightly lower (37%) expectation of being hired in the first quarter of 2013.

What Should Employers Do to Increase Employee Satisfaction and Retention?

There are several positive actions employers can take to improve retention including

1. Award non-compensation perks such as

  • Option for employees to work remotely
  • Casual dress codes
  • Flexible work hours

2. Other compensation options such as:

  • Restore previously eliminated benefits like 401k matching, health and dental
  • Stock awards
  • Salary increases that consider recession year omissions

In addition to retention programs, companies can put recruiting and hiring programs in place to prepare for business needs. Establishing relationships with vendors such as Ovation, Taleo, and direct recruiting firms like Robert Half can provide a candidate pool that can be tapped at a moment’s notice.  Having job posts constantly running can cast a wide net to improve the quality of a company’s workforce.  “Top performers are instrumental in helping organizations grow,” Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half UK, said in a news release. “However, it is all too common for companies to wait until they receive resignations in order to enhance their retention efforts, but by then it is often too late to keep those key staff.”

What Signs Might Indicate that a Valued Employee May Quit?

In the environment described, key employees may look for greener pastures. According to Robert Half, an international recruiting firm, these are some major signs that current employees might be looking for other opportunities:

  • A change in attitude in the employee while performing their job
  • Long lunch breaks or frequent absences
  • The employee is dressing in more professional attire
  • The employee is exhibiting a noticeable drop in productivity

If an employer suspects a valued employee might quit, they should consider meeting with the employee and asking them if they are looking and emphasize the value that they represent to the company. Often, employees feel under-appreciated and need reinforcement. Even offering an incentive to stay is appropriate as this is not a time to resent an employee’s loyalty to the firm.

Job Search in 2013? Try Social Networks.

There is no doubt that the job market has changed dramatically in the last couple of years. Traditional means of finding a job – newspapers, sending resumes to a ton of companies, even search firms – have been replaced permanently by job boards and social network postings.

The infographic below shows where job seekers are and which social networks they are using.