Resources available for employers trying to recruit people with disabilities

September 15, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

As October nears, employers may be hearing a lot about how people with disabilities can benefit the workplace. Every year, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) designates October as a time to raise awareness about the value of employing people with disabilities.

This year’s theme–“Because We Are EQUAL to the Task”–was chosen to show employers “the reality that people with disabilities have the education, training, experience, and desire to be successful in the workplace,” according to an announcement from ODEP.

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Finding a way to drive gender diversity in STEM fields

August 18, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Most employers would agree that STEM careers—jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—are on the upswing in both numbers and importance. Most also would agree that there are far more men than women in STEM jobs.

A 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, “Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation,” signals a promising future for women in STEM careers since statistics show they earn an average of 33 percent more than their non-STEM colleagues. The problem, though, is a lack of women in those lucrative jobs. The report shows that the percentage of STEM jobs held by women stood at just 24 percent in 2009. An October 2011 report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce in puts the figure at 23 percent.

So the fact that women seem to have some catching up to do is a wake-up call for employers interested in cultivating and retaining women for STEM jobs. read more…

Resources help employers bring veterans to workplace

June 16, 2013 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

It’ll soon be July 4th, a day many employers mark by declaring a holiday so employees can have time for patriotic celebrations. But many of those people so fervently celebrated – the nation’s veterans – would be happier to be earning a paycheck than to be feted with a parade.

Recent statistics show improvement in the employment rate for veterans over the last year, but officials note more progress is needed. Figures compiled by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University show that the unemployment rate for all veterans in May 2013 was 6.6 percent. That’s down from 7.8 percent in May 2012 but up from 6.2 percent in April 2013. The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans isn’t quite so favorable. It was 7.3 percent in May 2013, compared to 12.7 percent in May 2012.

Despite relatively low unemployment numbers, the picture isn’t all positive. The unemployment rate for the youngest post-9/11 veterans is still well into double digits. The rate for those ages 20-24 was 17.7 percent in May 2013, down from 22.1 percent in May 2012. The rate for nonveterans ages 20-24 was 13.4 percent in May 2013 and 13.2 percent in May 2012. read more…

Categories: Feature / Seeking Talent

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Can I ask that question on a job application?

by Toni Everton

An increasing number of unsuccessful job applicants are filing discrimination charges, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state enforcement agencies are taking a close look at job applications for evidence of unlawful bias. So the question is, what can you ask on a job application? This article doesn’t contain an all-inclusive list of what to ask on a job application; rather, it provides guidance on a couple of issues the EEOC and state enforcement agencies have recently questioned.  read more…

Getting a handle on emotional intelligence can smooth the way for a diverse workplace

January 20, 2013 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

Proponents of a diverse workforce understand that an employee group made up of all ages, races, and cultural backgrounds has a lot to offer. In spite of the advantages of diversity, though, employees’ differences can lead to a lack of understanding that holds everybody back. But is there a secret to capitalizing on the strengths diversity brings to the workplace?

An understanding of “emotional intelligence” may be that key to getting past the downsides and realizing the rewards of diversity. Emotional intelligence–how well a person is able to control emotions and understand the emotions of others–is a concept that’s been around for decades. Notably, it’s the subject of a handful of best-selling books by psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, whose books include Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition; Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (published in 2006) and Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence (published in 2011). read more…

When is it OK to stereotype?

by Mark Schickman

We are a country that is properly committed to judging people based on their individual qualifications and not stereotypes about their groups―race, gender, age, or ethnicity. One seldom sees articles suggesting that any one category makes a better executive than another. The one exception is the never-ending stream of articles that say women make better executives than do men―the most recent major survey out just last month.

Surely, there is a need to tout the skills of female executives because statistics show that women remain underrepresented in high executive positions. Another study this month shows that the Fortune 500 companies have workforces that are about half female, but only 21 of those companies have female CEOs. Women comprise 14.3% of executive positions and hold only 16.6% of the board seats in the Fortune 500. Women executives also earn 16% less than their male counterparts, tracking the national statistic that women generally earn 84% of what men do. For women of color, the statistics are far worse in every single category.

So it’s important to look past our biases and make our decisions based on individual merit. But should we create a remedy by suggesting another form of stereotypical analysis? Should we mitigate against the extra quarter-million dollars of income that taller, slimmer, good-looking employees receive during their lifetime by suggesting that unattractive people make better employees because they aren’t distracted by an active social life? No, whatever the motive, there is something fundamentally troubling about the broad argument that one class is better than another, something that tends to foster discrimination rather than halt it. read more…

Categories: Seeking Talent

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Employees on the autism spectrum: guidance for employers

December 16, 2012 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) – a group of developmental disabilities that can cause social, communication, and behavioral challenges – affect one in 88 children and one in 54 boys, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That makes autism the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States, according to the advocacy organization Autism Speaks. ASDs occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

The National Longitudinal Transition Study, a project of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts in Boston revealed striking statistics about those affected by autism:

  • Although 67 percent of youth with autism who were part of a study on employment reported working at some point after high school, 42 percent earned less than the federal minimum wage, and most of the youth in the study reported that the majority of their coworkers were also people with disabilities. read more…

Long-term unemployment seen holding back jobseekers

November 18, 2012 - by: Diversity Insight 3 COMMENTS

No law specifically says employers are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants who have been out of work for months or even years. The long-term unemployed don’t have protections spelled out in any antidiscrimination laws – or do they?

When jobseekers are part of a protected class that has a disproportionate number of people unemployed, they can begin to wonder if they’re stuck in unemployment because of their race, age, gender, disability, or some other characteristic protected under discrimination laws. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been wondering the same thing. read more…

Hiring foreign professionals

by A. Neal Barkus

Suppose your company has a computer engineering position that it has been trying to fill for several months with no success. Suddenly, you’re contacted by a dream applicant ― someone with an excellent educational record from the local university, relevant job experience, and attractive personal qualities. Let’s call this applicant Manesh. He is a citizen of India and is about to graduate with a master’s degree in computer engineering. He has been in the United States on a student visa for the last three years. The manager of the department with the vacancy is anxious to hire Manesh. You realize that hiring a foreign professional is more complicated than hiring a U.S. citizen, but your competitors seem to be doing it. How do you get started? This article answers the basic questions.

Temporary nonimmigrant work status for professionals

Foreign professionals who are interested in working in the United States may qualify to do so as (1) a prospective permanent immigrant (e.g., someone whose goal is to obtain a green card) or (2) a temporary nonimmigrant worker for a limited number of years. In some cases, a foreign worker may have “dual intent” ― that is, he intends to work temporarily in the United States and return to his home country when his nonimmigrant status expires and remain in the United States permanently if permanent resident status is approved during his period of nonimmigrant classification. read more…

Categories: Seeking Talent

Review Applicants’ Criminal History Cautiously

December 11, 2011 - by: admin 0 COMMENTS

By Kara E. Shea

Employers are understandably hesitant to hire an applicant with a criminal history. There are good reasons to exercise caution ― employers face considerable exposure for workplace violence committed by employees.

The U.S. Department of Labor‘s Occupational Safety and Health Administration regularly cites employers that have failed to enact adequate safeguards against workplace violence. Employers also may be sued in private lawsuits based on negligent hiring or retention of employees who commit workplace violence.

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