Salary History: What you can & can’t ask based on recent changes in laws across the country

November 14, 2017

Throughout the recruiting process, there are countless questions aimed towards finding out whether job candidates will be a fit for the company. A common topic recruiters and employers bring up when vetting jobseekers is salary. While this may have been the norm in the past, asking about previous pay history is now banned in certain locations. The reasoning for this ban is to make efforts to close the pay gap between men and women, and to encourage basing pay upon skills and qualifications instead of previous salary, according to NYC Commission on Human Rights A recent Hunt Scanlon article covered how bans on compensation history questions could change the way recruiting firms do business, and how employers recruit talent. Here is what you need to know as a recruiter, employer, or jobseeker about salary history questions where the laws are in effect.

What you CAN’T do under the new laws:

  • You can’t ask a prospective candidate what they are currently earning at a job.
  • You can’t use the candidate’s previous pay to determine an offer if you stumble across it on accident.

What you CAN do:

  • If the candidate offers salary history without prompting and voluntarily, it can be considered.
  • You can ask about a candidate’s salary expectations, as opposed to what they made prior.

What happens if you break the rules:

Where you are restricted from asking about salary, based on a recent article by Business Insider:

  • California
    • The ban covers private and public employers from asking a candidate’s pay history, set to take effect in January 2018.
  • Delaware
    • All employers are banned, taking effect in December 2017.
  • Massachusetts
    • All employers are banned, taking effect in July 2018.
  • New Orleans
    • The ban is currently in effect just for city departments and employees of contractors working for the city.
  • New York City
    • Public and private employers are banned from asking pay history questions, effective now.
  • Oregon
    • The law banning all employers from salary questions goes into effect January 2019.
  • Philadelphia
    • The ban was set to take effect in May, 2017 for all employers, however, a temporary halt has been placed on it.
  • Pittsburgh
    • City agencies are banned from the inquiry, effective now.
  • Puerto Rico
    • All employers are restricted from inquiring about candidate’s pay history, going into effect March 2018

It is important for all parties involved in any recruiting process to be aware of these new and upcoming bans on salary history questions.

Direct Consulting Associates (DCA) stays current on these laws around the country. If you have any questions about this, please contact us for a conversation.

The Case for Unlimited PTO by Matthew Cohen, Energy & Sustainability and HVAC Practice Leader, DRI

October 25, 2017

By Matthew Cohen, Practice Leader - Energy & Sustainability and HVAC/R, Direct Recruiters, Inc.

As a recruiter, I routinely manage the expectations of candidates during the offer stage of their interview process. Recently, the most negotiated piece of the offers I see besides salary is paid vacation time.  For decades, the standard for vacation time in most industries was a small amount of PTO accrued over time and the additional PTO was tied to the amount of years someone was employed.  We are seeing a fundamental shift in the importance of PTO.  The advances in our understanding of mental and physical health has caused candidates to value PTO as a key factor in their decision-making process when deciding on a career change.  This shift begs the question: why not have unlimited PTO for your employees?  Below are three reasons unlimited PTO should be considered:

  1. Healthier, Happier Employees: There are a multitude of studies that show the negative effects sitting in an office can do someone both mentally and physically. Having unlimited PTO can give an employee an opportunity to decompress and recharge whenever they feel the need.  Employees who come to work with a positive attitude more often can create a better work environment and decrease stress and employee burnout which will in turn, increase employee retention.
  2. More productivity: It sounds odd, but there is a case to be made that the more PTO employees are given, the greater their productivity. If employees can come to work with less mental or physical stress, they are more likely to produce results at a higher rate. If employees are counting the months until their next few days of PTO, that distraction can limit their productivity.  In addition, having unlimited PTO can create a greater relationship between employees and employers which also can lead to an increase in productivity.
  3. Greater Accountability: One of the biproducts of allowing unlimited PTO is greater accountability between employers and employers. Employees are more likely to be more transparent and honest about their work if they have the freedom to take PTO when they need to.  Those who abuse unlimited PTO and who are not productive when back at work, can be dealt with swiftly with a shared understanding that unlimited PTO means more accountability when at work.

While not all industries and jobs can support unlimited PTO, the importance of vacation is growing at a rate where we all need to understand and take notice.  We are seeing unlimited PTO polices work in many industries and we see this as a continued trend in the future.  Next time you hear someone say, “I need a vacation” you might just want to give it to them.

Contact Matthew:
440-996-0860
mcohen@directrecruiters.com
Matthew's LinkedIn

Employee Spotlight Video: David Duggan, Account Executive at DCA

October 9, 2017

As an Account Executive at DCA, David Duggan acts as a link between DCA and clients, and actively works to connect top Healthcare IT talent to hospitals and health systems across the country. David brings extensive experience building and maintaining client relationships while continuously demonstrating DCA's Core Values. Tom Clark, VP of Operations said, "David’s experience establishing, building, and maintaining client relationships helps him bring a calming presence that is very natural and inclusive to those around him.  Our clients enjoy interacting with David, as do his teammates.  He’s done well for us and our clients in time-sensitive, high pressure situations.  David is a terrific ambassador of our Core Values.”

We recently put David into the spotlight and asked him a few questions relating to his position here at DCA. David gives a great overview on his position at DCA, the DCA core value that resonates most with him, and the keys to success at DCA and in the HIT and IT staffing industry.

Watch our Employee Spotlight video and meet David Duggan! Contact him if you are interested in speaking with him about your IT and HIT initiatives, or to have a networking conversation: dduggan@dc-associates.com or 440-991-1061.

 

 

In a Candidate-Driven Market, HIT Hiring Managers Can Still Land Top Talent

September 19, 2017

This DCA article appeared on healthcare-informatics.com on August 10, 2017.

It’s no secret that the growth in healthcare technology has been outpacing the talent supply. The competition for technical talent is fierce. Hiring managers are scrambling to fill open positions and often times, without success. One big reason is that HIT professionals are getting as many as 20 recruiting calls per day. It’s a candidate-driven market and they have the latitude to be very selective.  Another reason is that your organization’s hiring process may be outdated, and therefore, no longer effective.  Making a few changes to meet these challenges might just be the solution:

Know your needs. Prior to announcing your open HIT opportunity or interviewing candidates, you need to develop a job description with selection criteria. The job description should provide a clear understanding of the job’s duties and minimal requirements. For example, if you’re looking for a software implementation specialist, you may need a candidate to have 3-plus years of experience in implementing software in a healthcare setting with 3-plus years configuration experience on Facets, HealthRules, Trizetto, Diamond, Amisys advance, or similar system. In addition, you need to make sure the job’s duties align with your organization’s vision. Time spent on creating a concise picture of the hard and soft skills, education, and IT experience required of a candidate and how they will fit best into your environment will have a payoff; namely that you and the candidate will be on the same page, leaving no room for ambiguity. You don’t want to lose your shot at choice talent due to a misunderstanding over job-related functions and requirements.

Speed up the hiring process. In the overall tech sector, unemployment is currently less than 2 percent, meaning the number of American technology professionals actively seeking employment is extremely low. For healthcare tech-related jobs, there aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill the growing number of positions.  So, it’s not surprising that when a passive or active HIT professional is ready to make a job change, they get snatched up quickly. In fact, they are often off the market within 10 days. Therefore, your organization needs to move quickly. It’s time to rethink the length of their hiring process. The mindset that a longer hiring process is helpful because it ensures they have adequate time to compare candidates and ensure that they are hiring the right person for the position, is so yesterday.A longer hiring process will only cause an organization to completely miss out on nearly every in-demand HIT candidate.

Offer attractive compensation. In a candidate-driven market, you’re at risk of losing top candidates by offering a mediocre compensation package. Therefore, before you even start interviewing for a position, you need to do your due diligence and come up with the best and appropriate combinations of salary, annual incentives, long-term incentives, and benefits. You may find that generous, even outrageous, offers are being made for qualified HIT candidates, including large base salaries, bonuses, stock options and many other perks.  Payscale.com is a good resource since it provides up-to-date information on the salary for healthcare IT professionals. Remember, candidates don’t just look for a reasonable paycheck. They want a package with different types of compensation.

Provide great candidate experience. A great candidate experience has become an integral part of the hiring process for every industry and organization including those in HIT. Don’t underestimate the importance of it. The experience begins even before a candidate walks through your door with such things as a full explanation of the job, frequent contact, and a rundown of your specific hiring process. Even little things mean a lot to candidates especially when arriving for the interview including a greeter, tour of the facility, introduction to future co-workers, and technology resources, etc.  Regardless whether you make the candidate an offer or not, they will tell others about you. If you treat them with respect, they’ll be your advocate. If you don’t, they may rant to friends and family and post on social media which could prevent top talent from looking your way.

Establish personal connection. According to CNN, the average American adult devotes about 10 hours and 39 minutes every day in front of tablets, smartphones, personal computers, multimedia devices, video games, radios, DVDs, DVRs, and TVs. It’s no surprise then that in today’s always-on world, job candidates are hearing back from employers via text messages. However, one of the top wishes of all candidates is being able to talk to a human during the recruiting and interviewing process.  A personal call will go a long way with a candidate and in establishing that vital personal connection. Even a brief chat can create a positive feeling about you and the organization.

Don’t overlook current employees. Because candidates are at a premium and you probably already employ some of the best HIT professionals, why not promote from within. Many organizations that are filling vacancies from their existing HIT workforce, found definite advantages besides a quick fix. For example, an existing employee already understands how the organization operates, knows the technology, fits the culture, has an existing relationship with the hiring manager, may need very little training, and most likely feels motivated by their career progression. Giving employees a career runway also helps with retention.

Be adaptable. This is no time to be inflexible. In fact, you probably will need to compromise since holding out for that one in a million HIT professional may not work.  This doesn’t mean you should settle for a bad hire. It simply means that you must be flexible in a market where IT talent is highly sought after. Therefore, if you have a list of 10 skills sets required, you may have to figure out what five are most important. Place more emphasis on hiring a person who is willing to learn, shows enthusiasm, and fits the culture.

What to Look for When Hiring Healthcare Cybersecurity Pros

By Bill Siwicki and posted on Healthcare IT News on Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Cybersecurity is not computer science or computer engineering, it is a business discipline that requires people from all backgrounds and majors.

Healthcare has special challenges securing information and devices. The consequences of a successful hack can be, at their worst, extreme results on people’s health and well-being. Medical records are worth more on the black market than identity data, and thus make health records particularly vulnerable to theft and ransomware attacks.

As a result, healthcare organizations hiring entry-level and senior security professionals should have certain abilities and areas of expertise in mind when studying job candidates, knowledge that differs based on the level of the job.

“For entry-level cybersecurity roles, candidates need to understand networks, applications, devices and how to secure them,” said Bret Fund, co-founder of SecureSet Academy, a cybersecurity education organization. “Differences will come once they’re in a role. In finance, for example, you’re looking through transactions and reviewing payment gateways. In healthcare, your focus changes to ransomware, exfiltration of data, and device security on a large scale.”

Cybersecurity is not computer science or computer engineering, it is a business discipline that requires people from all backgrounds and majors, said Mansur Hasib, program chair for cybersecurity technology at the University of Maryland University College, and author of the book “Cybersecurity Leadership.”

“There are four things that determine someone’s success: knowledge, attitude, skills, and habit,” Hasib said. “Attitude and habit determine success far more than anything else. Therefore, entry-level people should demonstrate they are excited about the mission of an organization and stress their attitude and habits to hiring managers.”

Entry-level candidates also should show passion for perennial learning and desire to innovate because cybersecurity is “people-powered perpetual innovation,” he added.

Senior positions, like the chief information security officer, require more skills, more knowledge and different degrees of each.

“Experience will be the key factor in dealing with the challenges and threats that are unique to healthcare,” Fund said. “CISOs and CSOs of tech companies will find it more complex than their previous roles. Given the choice between a senior security leader from a large tech company and a senior security leader with healthcare experience, hospitals will choose the healthcare background because the job requires a deeper understanding of the implications of breaches.”

Since prospects for senior-level positions have a job history to discuss, these candidates should be able to rattle off stories that demonstrate how they have used their knowledge, attitude, skills, and habits to deliver mission success, Hasib said.

“How did they enable an organization to maximize business benefits while minimizing business risks?” he explained. “They should share stories of how they fostered an innovation culture.”

Both education and experience are critical to the success of a candidate coming into a senior-level position. What they know and what they’ve been through and succeeded at will demonstrate to a healthcare organization their competence.

“We are seeing more creative and uncommon threats on the rise, particularly in the healthcare space,” Fund said. “Candidates should have a fundamental understanding of how to recognize and mitigate from their education, while their experience provides wisdom and maturity to combat threat actors in an effective manner.”