The HR Specialist: Compensation and Benefits

Good economic news means HR pros are spending more of their time recruiting, hiring and orienting new staff. But the process looks and feels a lot different than it used to.

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Jeb Breithaupt, who owns a home building and remodeling company, says, “It takes me longer to hire someone for my staff than it does to design one of my custom homes. The philosophy behind my 11-step hiring process: Make the applicant work to get the job. Yes, that takes time. But my success rate is 90%. When I’ve failed to follow it, I’ve regretted it every time.”

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For years, managers at Heffernan Insurance Brokers have organized bike outings for employees who participate in team-building and fitness activities. Now, employees can borrow bicycles from their employer for exercise or running errands.

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It’s getting a lot easier for your most valued employees to find jobs at other companies. And if your retention efforts aren’t better than your competitors’ recruiting, you stand a good chance of losing your star employees.

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Turning back the clock on the trend toward more open spaces in office buildings, software publisher IssueTrak has replaced most employee cubicles with offices in response to staff requests. The company transformed storage space and open, common areas to private offices so every employee could have one.

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A coder for National Medical Bill­­ing Services just finished his medical degree, which he earned as a part-time student while working full time as a coder for the St. Louis-based organization. The company worked out a flexible schedule with him and also allowed him to work remotely so he could move out of state to attend classes.

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Pay-raise budgets at U.S. employers have picked up from all-time lows four years ago, going from a mean of 2.2% in 2009 to 2.9% in 2013, according to the “WorldatWork 2013-2014 Salary Budget Survey.” While employers plan to loosen the purse strings next year, spending on pay raises will be far from lavish.

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To attract 3,000 new salaried em­­ployees this year—800 more than the company anticipated—Ford Motor Co. launched a recruiting campaign that relies heavily on social media.

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Organization-wide diversity can’t just be the diversity professional’s job or the HR manager’s responsibility. It requires true partnership and participation across functional areas to align efforts that support a shared vision for diversity and inclusion.

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Employees of Dimension Data Americas have half a dozen ways to develop their skills and further their careers with the Virginia-based tech company. For example, its Dimension Data University is an e-learning platform that allows em­ployees to log on when they have time to take skills-development classes.

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