Employer Blog

Christopher Lihzis

Christopher Lihzis

Website URL: http://www.thealphagroup.com Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hey, did you hear there are millions of unfilled jobs, right here in these United States, because there is a gap between what employers want and need, and the skills job candidates have to offer?

The economy added 171,000 jobs in October, far more than economists were expecting, while the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.9 percent, a development many expected.

Do you keep a to-do list at work? And if you do is it a source of happiness at work or an endless source of frustration, overflowing with unsolved tasks – as it is for many people?

I hate my to-do list because

1. I feel so overwhelmed when I see this long list of to-dos.

2. Items not crossed off on the to-do list are a reminder that I didn’t finish what I set out to do and that I could have done more with my day.

If you feel the same way, here are 3 simple tips to help you use your to-do list in a way that creates happiness at work rather than frustration.

Here is basically everything you need to know about the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) in one handy post.

No organization’s culture is perfectly healthy.

But there are some organizations where the culture is toxic — way beyond the “normal dysfunctional” level. These cultures tolerate or encourage behaviors that suck the life out of people. And no matter how great a business’s strategy, marketing, and financial operations are, a toxic culture will poison business success.

How do you know if your company culture is toxic?

Here are a few signs:

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Do you have a social media policy for your workplace?

If you don’t, you better get cracking, because as this new survey from SilkRoad clearly shows, there’s a good chance that your employees are using social media on the job. In fact, in some cases they are doing so despite the organization’s best efforts to block them from doing so.

Titled Social Media and Workplace 2012 Report, the top-line finding that jumped out at me was this: 75 percent of workers access social media on the job from their personal mobile devices at least once a day (and 60 percent access it multiple times a day), despite the fact that only 43 percent of them work in organizations where social media access is completely open.

Yes, that’s a pretty good indication that when workers are motivated, they’ll do what they want to do no matter how much the much the company tries to stop them.

Companies struggle with social media policies

Many companies are starting to reevaluate the traditional hiring process. After all not only is the traditional process long, but it can be surprisingly inefficient. A great way employers are looking to update and shorten this process is with video interviews.

How does your company's staffing model, processes, and experience compare to other Massachusetts and New England businesses and organizations?

To find out, participate in our exclusive New England Staffing Survey. The goal of this survey is to provide insight into staffing and hiring trends in New England and Massachusetts. All participants will receive a general, cumulative report of information gathered to compare their business to others in New England.

All individual information provided by participants in this survey is PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL and not shared with any 3rd party information services.


Nothing says "Welcome to the Company" like having new employees fill out paperwork on their first day. While some of that paperwork can be delayed, the federal government demands that employers fill out one certain form within three days—the infamous Employment Eligibility Verification Form, or I-9 Form as it's known.

The average American worker today stays at his or her job a mere 4.4 years, according to a recent Forbes article, while Gen Y’ers (those born between 1977 and 1997) are leaving in a fraction of that time—91 percent expect to stay in a job fewer than three years.


This coming fall, the Department of Homeland Security may release its updated version of the Form I-9.

The new form is likely to be 80 percent larger than before, increasing from a five-page document to nine pages and will include several changes over the previous version. While some of the proposed (but not yet finalized) changes aim to improve the employee verification process, others can complicate the process.

Moreover, a few of the changes are even controversial.


The current Employment Eligibility Verification Form, commonly referred to as Form I-9, expires Aug. 31, 2012. Once it expires, what should employers do?

All U.S. employers must complete and retain a Form I-9 for all citizens and noncitizens they hire for employment in the United States, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Millennials and work ethic. While the debate rages on between the generations one thing remains certain. This generation, set to be the most educated in history, is moving into the workforce and even as we study how they work, why they work, and the best way to make use of their considerable skills, we need to learn what all this means to those recruiting and hiring them. Recruiters, hiring managers and HR pros take note, these are the statistics and what they mean when hiring millennials.

Why are we so captivated by the Olympic drama? Because, it’s the ultimate reality TV, and I believe we enjoy witnessing greatness in action. We get to watch athletes at their peak, breaking records, going beyond normal human limits, and defying the odds.

Employers expect health care costs to rise an average of 7 percent next year, forcing organizations to employ a variety of cost- control measures that largely focus on asking workers to pay more, according to a new survey by the National Business Group on Health.

Reasons for the heightened use of temps, contractors and the like begin with the shaky business climate. Despite growth and profits, companies have been loath to hire full-time and part-time staff in case the economy suddenly tanks again.

Using temporary workers at the start of a recovery is nothing new. But other factors behind the contingent expansion are less tied to the business cycle. These include cost-savings. Although contractor fees can exceed the hourly wage of a regular employee, especially in the United States where employer-provided health care is standard, the total compensation of a regular employee typically exceeds that of contingents.

If you feel overwhelmed you may need to rethink how you use your time. Here are seven ways you may be wasting time without even realizing it.

Resumes are the currency of recruiting. Job sites, recruiters, and hiring managers all require them and use them to screen both prospects and candidates in or out.

Because at least early on, resumes are the sole determinant as to whether a candidate moves forward or not in the hiring process, it’s important to understand their strengths and weaknesses. essential part of the candidate assessment process. The premise of this article is that if you are going to continue to rely so heavily on resumes, everyone involved needs to be aware of each and every one of the many weaknesses and problems associated with using them.

Every day is a battle for productivity when you’re a small business owner or consultant. And, if we’re being honest, productivity can be especially hard to hold on to during these warm summer months when BBQs and beach daydreams wreak havoc on our day.

Performance within groups typically does not just happen.

For a group to really perform well, it needs practice. The group needs to understand the best way to organize itself for performance.

This concept is commonly understood by sports teams and the military. They clearly see the need to give groups opportunities to practice. Boot Camp for the military and pre-season workouts for sports teams are the norm.

It’s interesting to note in business that there is far less interest or appreciation of group development and the need for practice. Team practice, for the most part, is not factored into the business or corporate world. We form groups in business and march them into the corporate battle zone expecting them to perform and when they fail we are surprised.

Following the Supreme Court’s split decision last month regarding Arizona’s 2010 immigration law known as S.B. 1070, three principles are clear:

  1. The federal government’s role in setting immigration policy supersedes the efforts of all states in this area;
  2. Despite the decision, certain state immigration laws requiring employers to enroll in E-Verify will remain in operation until the federal government says otherwise; and,
  3. The stage is set for a comprehensive reform of existing immigration law by the federal government sometime in 2013 regardless of who is elected as the country’s next president.

Nothing, in my opinion.

However, from the ridiculous overabundance of articles, comments, and recruiting conference content that trashes job boards as if they are the worst source of hire, I am obviously in the clear minority.

I continue to see and hear well respected thought leaders in the staffing industry make claims that the value of the job boards is waning and that the quality of candidates on the job boards is low, and it hasn’t slowed down.

Because there is such a strong belief that job boards somehow only offer low quality candidates, I am taking the time to offer a different point of view, as well as leverage statistics to prove that the job boards have the same percentage of “A” players as LinkedIn or any other source of hire.

Simple exercise for team building.

It uses questions from a Mensa quiz to illustrate the point that a team’s collective wisdom is always greater than any individual team member’s.

To get started, see how many of these questions you can answer individually. According to Mensa, if you can figure out 23 of these, you qualify for “genius” status.

(I’ve filled in the first one for you—check the bottom of this post for the complete answer key when you are done.)

There’s a famous story from the early days of the space race.

President John F. Kennedy was visiting NASA headquarters for the first time, in 1961. While touring the facility, he introduced himself to a janitor who was mopping the floor and asked him what he did at NASA. The janitor replied, “I’m helping put a man on the moon!”


Let’s face it. The economy is still a mess and people aren’t finding jobs fast enough.

Given this fact, there are a lot of people looking to place the blame for these developments. And has been the case for the last several years, many are focusing on employment screening and background checks. I won’t say that all who oppose background check are flat out wrong in every instance, but all too frequently they rely on myths, misconceptions and urban legends to support their arguments.

Here is my list of the most commonly held misconceptions about employment background checks:

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