Building Your Employee Talent Pool—Best Practices


"Ironically, the high rate of unemployment does not mean that the skills, education, and experience that your company needs are readily available. Limited salary budgets don’t help."
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Building a recruitment strategy that can meet the ups and downs of everyday business in a volatile economy is a tough challenge. To compound matters, you are not alone in your quest for the best employees.  Even companies that are not currently hiring are actively building their talent communities and their candidate pools in preparation for the possibility of future growth.

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Workers Put All Their Eggs in CEO’s (Market) Basket


"The movie practically writes itself: The bitter family feud. The plucky underdogs. A community pulling together as one to triumph in the name of justice. Hollywood-ready, to be sure—but the unlikely hero in this tale happens not to be a matinee idol but the CEO of a regional chain of grocery stores."

By Jennifer Carsen, JD
Writer, HR Daily Advisor

If you haven’t been following the saga of Tewksbury, MA-based Market Basket over the past few months, here’s a recap:

The Grocery Wars: A Summer of Upheaval

  • In June, Arthur S. Demoulas led a majority group of board members of the family-owned business to oust the company CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas. The men are cousins and are hereinafter referred to as “Artie S.” and “Artie T.”
  • Artie T. was replaced by a geographically distant pair of CEOs.
  • Following the ouster of Artie T., Market Basket workers—none of whom are unionized—walked off the job in droves. In a prepared statement, they demanded Artie T. back “with full authority, non-negotiable … We will not work for anyone but ATD.”
  • Rallies attended by thousands of workers and customers sprang up around the area.
  • Business at the normally booming Market Basket stores dropped off as much as 95 percent due to the lack of fresh groceries being delivered to the stores as a result of the walkouts, as well as voluntary customer boycotts.
  • The new co-CEOs urged the striking workers to return and fired several senior managers. The workers reiterated their demands that Artie T. be reinstated.
  • Impassioned Market Basket protest songs were written and posted to YouTube. A cartoon giraffe, sticking his neck out for his boss, became the visual symbol of the protestors.
  • In late August, Artie T.’s group bought out the 50.5 percent of the company held by Artie S. and his supporters. Artie T. returned as Market Basket CEO. 
  • There was much rejoicing.

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Survey—Background Checks on Social Media? Policy Enforcement?


"In yesterday’s Advisor, we covered 2014 Policy Survey results for policy development and distribution; today, policy enforcement and background checks."

Policy Focus: Background Checks

Multiple states and cities have enacted laws in recent months that govern the use of background checks, so this year’s survey takes a closer look at those policies. We kicked it off by asking how many survey participants have background check policies (74.4%) then moved on to ask how many apply background checks to all newly hired employees and found that 79.4% use them. We learned a few other things about background checks as well, including:

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Policy Survey Results … Who Has Policies on What?


"What’s your policy on social media background checks? How are policies being distributed today? Want to know what your competitors are up to? Here are the results of our 2014 Policies Survey."

The results of BLR’s 2014 Policy Practices Survey are in; here are some highlights:

  • 89.8% of participants have formalized policies.
  • 77.5% have an at-will employment statement.
  • Employee handbooks are the preferred method of distributing policies to employees for 49.9%. An internal website (intranet) is utilized by 29.3%.
  • Social media background checks are conducted by only 14.7% of respondents; top sites are LinkedIn (67%), Facebook (60.8%), and Google (34.5%).

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Severance Agreements: Drafting Do’s and Don’ts for Avoiding EEOC Attention


"In light of two recently-filed EEOC lawsuits, severance packages are even trickier than before, says Attorney Joel Van Parys. It’s fine to use a template for agreements, but it is important to look at them individually."

Van Parys, who is with Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP in Sacramento, offered his tips at the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition held recently in Orlando.

Recent EEOC Actions

Two recently filed lawsuits, in which severance agreements were called  overly broad and unenforceable, may help employers fashion their own severance agreements, says Van Parys.

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