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Why I-9 Compliance Should Be a Top Priority For Your Business

Posted by Afton Funk

Apr 20, 2011 10:56:00 AM

So you’ve gone through the entire recruiting process, received a signed offer letter and hired the perfect candidate.  If you think your role in the hiring process ends there, you are sorely mistaken.  Besides undergoing a satisfactory onboarding process, all new hires must properly complete government forms which enable them to legally call themselves employees of your company.   Out of all the new hire paperwork that needs to get done, one of the most familiar — our good friend the I-9 — is the most important to complete and maintain correctly.  Proper I-9 completion and compliance is a matter that the government takes very seriously, as demonstrated by the current Administration’s renewed vigor in audits for compliance enforcement.

Abercrombie and Fitch.  Chipotle.  Subway.  Macy’s.  All four of these mega-businesses have recently been penalized and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for noncompliance of I-9 laws.  Mind you, some of these businesses were pegged not for hiring undocumented workers, but simply for incorrectly filling out the forms.  Just this past week ICE issued 1000 Notice of Inspections to companies requesting Form I-9 documentation for all current employees and any employees terminated within the last 3 years. In the past, 80% of companies that have been inspected by the ICE ended up paying considerable civil money penalties for incorrectly filling out an I-9.

If ICE were to send your company a Notice of Inspection tomorrow, would you be ready?  All I-9 form documentation must be in accordance with 2006 interim final regulations.  I-9 forms must not only be complete, but also filled in properly, accurately and in a manner that is easily accessible by ICE.  Creating a customized company compliance plan for form I-9 documentation is your best defense against an ICE inspection.  A good plan should include:

  • A training session on how to properly handle and fill out I-9 forms
  • Consulting a third-party to audit your system to make sure it would pass an ICE inspection
  • Regular audits completed in-house
  • A system (automated or otherwise) to ensure that forms are completed correctly within 3 days of hire.

While the government may offer some leniency through its Good Faith Compliance provision that allows companies up to 10 days to fix I-9 documentation errors that are considered minor, you do not want to take any chances.  Do your due diligence and get a process in place to collect and maintain proper documentation.

In this case, it is not about what you do, but how you do it.

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Topics: Onboarding, Recruiting & Sourcing

Getting on the Applicant Tracking Treadmill

Posted by Colin Kingsbury

Feb 18, 2008 11:51:00 AM

As the end of January quickly approaches a lot of us start thinking about those new years resolutions... Moises over at the Sourcing Corner asks whether there is some sort of corporate fitness program out there to get businesses into shape:

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Topics: Recruiting & Sourcing

A Good Conversation Indeed

Posted by Colin Kingsbury

Jul 13, 2006 2:10:00 PM

I have picked the  occasional bone  with  John Sumser  but as I hope I've made clear, I kid out of respect. Which is why I was flattered to receive this response  to my  recent critique  of one of his daily articles. John says,
While that is very entertaining, the point we were making is that Jobby represents a generational difference, not an overnight sensation.
On that I could't agree more. Resumes are problematic to say the least, a "legacy format" if ever there was. But before we get too excited, it's worth considering this excerpt from the  original article
The other day we visited a relatively new entrant to the recruiting software space. We tried to get them talking about Jobby. "Hmmm, this is very bad." They said. How do you control it? People could spam the system.
The more I think about this, the more I sympathize with the point of view given by the vendor.

The problem with resumes is that they are an unstructured document containing structured data. Unstructured data is the picture of a couple jogging on the front of the box of low-fat blueberry muffins. Structured data is the label on the back that tells you they replaced the fat with salt and sugar.

Tagging as implemented today is not that much different than the slogan on the front of the muffin box. They're keywords, with a little added salt and sugar. They are better in the one sense that you can search for ".NET programmer" and not have to worry about the hundred different ways those things might appear on a dead-tree resume. I like the way Jobby does search and refinement of results in terms of feel. Feel, as Steve Jobs has taught anyone who pays attention, is hugely important. But let's not get too distracted here. People long ago learned to "game" keywords to the point that they are remain useful only because there isn't anything much better at the moment.

The problem is in many ways precisely the one named by the anonymous vendor: spam. More precisely, it is the ability of the user to add unverified information to the system that defeats the purpose. The power of Wikipedia is not that anyone can write an article, but that anyone can edit it. For every person who wishes to inject junk, there is another who revels in flensing it out. This is the missing link in resumes, tagged or not.

Ultimately what we all want is honest information. The problem is that I don't see how we're going to get it. I've written before about how  reputation systems  play a critical role in the success of eBay. But eBay also has the benefit of running a dominant closed market where they can get away with forcing everyone to play the game their way. Recruiting currently enjoys nothing like this. Good people may set up profiles that expose them as they are, but mediocre or dishonest ones will probably not. No one with a brain will voluntarily air their dirty laundry. And various layers of government regulation (which are bound to get worse) will likely conspire against the more creative ideas that might force people to do so.

Perhaps pushing the good people up higher will be sufficient. But part of me thinks that would constitute a niche resource rather than a general solution.
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Topics: Applicant Tracking System, Recruiting & Sourcing

How heavy are your butterflies?

Posted by Colin Kingsbury

Dec 29, 2005 4:30:00 PM

Via the prolific Jobster Blog  comes yet another story on today's talent-shortage-and-this-time-we-mean-it:
check out this quote from randa newsome, head of staffing at defense contractor raytheon, regarding the challenge of finding top talent in today's tightening labor markets: "The biggest human resources, staffing challenge I have ever faced is this one."
Full article here.

Compare and contrast with  this November 16th article  at the  Wall Street Journal  (subscription reqired), titled, "  Behind 'Shortage' of Engineers: Employers Grow More Choosy ":
Consider the case of recruiter Rich Carver. In February, he got a call from the U.S. unit of JSP Corp., a Tokyo plastic-foam maker. The company was looking for an engineer with manufacturing experience to serve as a shift supervisor at its Butler, Pa., plant, which makes automobile-bumper parts.

Within two weeks, Mr. Carver and a colleague at the Hudson Highland Group had collected more than 200 resumes. They immediately eliminated just over 100 people who didn't have the required bachelor of science degree, even though many had the kind of job experience the company wanted. A further 65 or so then fell out of the running. Some were deemed overqualified. Others lacked experience with the proper manufacturing software. JSP brought in a half-dozen candidates for an interview, and by August the company had its woman.

To JSP, taking six months to fill the position confirmed its sense that competition for top engineers is intense. Company officials "struggle to fill" openings, says human-resources manager Vicki Senko.

But for candidates facing 200-to-1 odds of getting the job, the struggle seems all on their side.  "Companies are looking for a five-pound butterfly. Not finding them doesn't mean there's a shortage of butterflies," says Richard Tax, president of the American Engineering Association, which campaigns to prevent losses of engineering jobs.
This made me think of yet another story, this one about how Southwest Airlines has remained profitable because of the  long-term fuel contracts  they signed several years ago.
The better-than-expected profit the Dallas-based carrier reported Thursday morning would have been a loss without the benefit of fuel savings it locked in years ago.
In commodities markets for things like electrical power, there are at least two prices: long-term contract prices, and "spot rates" to buy one unit of whatever, right now.

Companies today, especially in the US, basically buy all of their talent at "spot prices." They'll negotiate multi-year contracts to buy toner and fax paper, but unless they have a C-title, employees are all at-will. When you're looking at positions that are going to be in-demand for years to come does this make a lot of sense?

The bottom line is that this subject is no longer about feel-goodism, social justice, PR value, or anything else "soft and squishy." A company that is able to secure quality talent resources for longer terms at lower costs will deliver superior financial performance to its shareholders. 
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Topics: Recruiting & Sourcing