New Scrutiny on H1B Visas Could be Good AND Bad for Small Businesses

New H1B Visa Guidelines Could be Good AND Bad for Small Businesses

The new scrutiny on H1B Visas granting skilled foreign workers employment in the U.S. could be good and bad for small businesses. It sort of depends what kind of business you run.

Small American tech businesses didn’t see the seismic shift downward they’d hoped for in the number of H1B visas allocated this year. They were hoping to see fewer visas issued in hopes they could snap up the work that usually goes to foreign workers.

Small American IT firms have been complaining for years about cheap foreign labor driving down both the wages and employment for American IT workers.

Pundits too now insist these visas are used primarily by tech giants to avoid paying domestic tech contractors and employees more. Some, however, vehemently dispute this claim, arguing H1B visa recipients are paid very well indeed and are only brought in when domestic talent is insufficient.

New H1B Visa Guidelines

Despite hopes the Trump administration would do more, when the new guidelines were unveiled and applications for this year’s H1B visas opened this week, the quota of 85,000 was unchanged.

However, there is a glimmer of hope since the path for foreign workers to take positions requiring a college degree did get a little harder to navigate, thanks to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The agency says it will temporarily suspend fast-track ‘premium’ processing of applications. However, that only puts a small dent in what’s causing the issues for some small American businesses in the first place.

Premium processing involves a USCIS commitment to respond to an application within 15 days for an extra fee.  It’s a method used for clearing a backlog of applications.

Here’s How Small Business is Getting Gamed 

The trouble is not all small businesses benefit from the decrease in availability of foreign tech workers.

Smaller established businesses and start-ups that could use foreign workers in specialty occupations feel they have been getting squeezed by the bigger players they accuse of manipulating the system.

Here’s their complaint. Federal officials only allow one application per foreign worker. Bigger companies can file what are sometimes thousands of applications since they have the resources to eat up bigger numbers of the overall quota. When the number of applications exceeds the quota, a computer run lottery takes over.

Other Issues

To make matters worse for smaller businesses, global recruitment firms have moved in and taken the lion’s share of visas set aside for foreign workers with special skills and college educations.  These companies gobble up the available applications as soon as a window opens leaving smaller businesses shut out.

Also, though any small business that needs a specialist with a college degree can apply for one of these visas, a large number are take up by the IT sector. Small businesses in other sectors like engineering and some physicians use the applications as well  but find it hard to compete.

Future Regulation also a Mixed Bag

USCIS changes and the fact there are several bipartisan bills in the House and Senate aimed at giving priority to American workers could mean the possibility for bigger shifts on the horizon — and not all of them good for small businesses.

The House Judiciary Committee reviewed a bill in January that would force employers to give some high-skilled foreign temporary workers under the “exempt” category of the H1B visa program a raise. The minimum they could get paid would go from $60,000 to $100,000 dollars and be tied to inflation.

The bill is looking to amend the Immigration and Nationalization Act and change the definition of “exempt H–1B nonimmigrant”.

Most recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported steps to prevent these visas from being used “fraudulently.” The changes will center on site visits by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agents and will focus on areas in which:

  • an employer’s basic business information can’t be validated.
  • there is a high ratio of H1B employees compared to American workers.
  • petitions are being made for H1B workers who work offsite.

Another USCIS memo suggests the agency will make it harder for entry level computer programmer positions to be designated as “specialty occupations.”

All this could be good news if you’re an IT or computer programming contractor hoping all this regulation will convince huge tech firms to hire your company instead of bringing on cheaper foreign competitors.

If, however, you’re a small startup in need of affordable labor, it means more government scrutiny and a more uneven playing field when competing with larger firms.

President Trump Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “New Scrutiny on H1B Visas Could be Good AND Bad for Small Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends

What Should Be In Your Employee Handbook?

What Should Be in an Employee Handbook?

If you run a business that employs people, you’ve got to devote a whole lot of your time and energy cultivating and developing working relationships and processes to ensure things run smoothly. Those relationships and dynamics will constantly evolve as your business grows — and if those rules or changes aren’t properly communicated, it can create a whole lot friction among even the tightest-knit working units.

That’s why it’s essential that you draft and issue an employee handbook to all of your staff members.

What is an Employee Handbook?

If you’ve ever worked for a big corporation or a retail chain, chances are you’ve been handed a bulky employee handbook at some point in your life. At the end of the day, an employee handbook is simply a working document that spells out essential information that employees might need to refer to while they’re on the job.

They are typically all-encompassing, and are designed to answer all of the frequently asked questions employees may encounter as they’re finding their footing, and list all of the rules and regulations team members will need to comply with in order to meet the terms and conditions of employment.

But employee handbooks are no longer exclusive to corporate giants — they’re now essential tools for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Why Do I Need an Employee Handbook?

There are plenty of benefits you can expect to receive by developing your own employee handbook, and some are more obvious than others.

First and foremost, employee handbooks are great tools with which to eliminate confusion and improve communication between you and your staff members. If you draft policies that you believe are crucial to the success of your business, you need to establish them in writing and share them with employees no later than the first day of their employment to ensure that everybody is on the same page.

On the flip side, employee handbooks also provide crucial protection for employees. When all of your company policies are spelled out in writing, you’re forced to maintain resolute consistency where enforcement is concerned. Employee handbooks help hold employers to account, and help to provide employees some peace of mind that they will receive equal treatment in the workplace, and that your business is indeed governed by sensible policies.

What Should Be in an Employee Handbook?

Just like no two businesses are alike, you’ll be hard pressed to track down two employee handbooks that are completely identical. Different things work for different companies, and various industries demand bespoke policies. But not matter type of business you’re running, there are several essentials you’ll probably want to include when drafting your employee handbook.

Non-Disclosure Agreements

Non-disclosure agreements aren’t legally required in the U.S., but it’s become increasingly commonplace to include a basic agreement or a conflict of interest statement towards the front of your employee handbook. These help to protect any proprietary information about your business, as well as your company reputation.

Anti-discrimination Policies

All business owners are legally obliged to comply with federal and state employment legislation relating to discrimination and harassment — one of the more obvious examples being the Americans with Disabilities Act. That being said, you may have laws specific to your industry or the services you provide, too. By including this information in your employee handbook, employees will both know how their rights are being protected, as well as how they are expected to treat others while at work.

Compensation

At the end of the day, most of your employees are motivated by their pay check — and so you need to spell out any and all payroll policies in writing to avoid confusion or conflict. Use your employee handbook to spell out what sort of deductions you’re required to make for state and federal taxes, and clearly explain voluntary deductions like benefits programs. You should also explain how overtime pay, payroll scheduling, salary increases and time keeping records are expected to work.

Work Schedules

One of the most basic elements of any employee handbook is time. Let your employees know any policies you might have on work hours, attendance and punctuality. Clearly explain how they are going to be expected to report absences, as well as any rules or opportunities for incorporating elements of flexible or remote working.

Code of Conduct

Another basic you’ve got to include in your handbook is a clear explanation of how you expect your employees to perform in certain situations. It’s worth mentioning things like dress code, general behavior and ethics — but you should also be wary of any legal obligations your staff may need to adhere to that are specific to your business.

Security

As an employer, you are obligated to provide all employees with a safe and secure place to work — and an employee handbook is the perfect place to tell team members exactly how you plan on doing that. You should also mention obligations your employees must adhere to, such as Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations requiring them to report all accidents, injuries and potential safety hazards to management.

IT Policy

Even if your employees don’t work at computers, you should still draft an IT policy for inclusion within your employee handbook. This needs to cover the use of personal devices like phones, as well as social media use and how employees are accessing and using customer information, the Internet and various cloud systems while representing your company.

Employee Benefits

All employee handbooks should strive to answer all of the essentials where employee benefits are concerned. For optional benefits like health insurance, you should include all of the basics about service providers, payment options and points of contact. But there are also some required benefits you must spell out, too.

Leave Policies

It doesn’t matter how much your employees like their jobs — they’ll still want to take advantage of any and all leave options. That’s why you’ve got to include all policies relating to vacation, maternity or paternity leave or bereavement leave in writing in your employee handbooks. You must also spell out any leave you’re required by law to provide, such as jury duty, military leave or family medical leave.

General Information

Don’t forget to include all of the humdrum aspects of employment, either. An employee handbook is where you should communicate any information relating to probationary periods, verification of employment, termination and resignation procedures, relocation, union representation — the list goes on and on. But if it’s important, it must be added.

This list is by no means exhaustive. What’s more, it will be ever-changing.

Employee handbooks and company policies have got to evolve alongside a business in order to ensure its continued success, and the success of your policies will live or die by your ability to maintain dynamic lines of communication with your employees.

Emmployee Handbook Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “What Should Be In Your Employee Handbook?” was first published on Small Business Trends

5 Things Your Employees Want Most

The 5 Things Your Employees Want Most

Are you giving your employees the things they want most? If not, they may not stick around for long. Over one-third of U.S. employees have switched jobs in the past three years — and more than 90 percent of them left their companies to do so, reports Gallup’s latest State of the American Workplace report.

What are your employees considering when debating whether to stay with your business or seek greener pastures? Gallup identified five key factors that employees look for when assessing a new job and/or a new employer. Here’s the skinny on what they want — and what you can do about it.

What Employees Want Most

1. The Ability to Do What They Do Best

Six in 10 employees say a job that allows them to do what they’re best at is very important. If your employees’ jobs don’t take advantage of their strengths, they’ll get frustrated and bored.

What you should do: When interviewing job candidates, don’t focus solely on the current position you’re filling. Ask about their longer-term career goals and what they hope to achieve in the future. Once employees are hired, work with them to create a personal plan that develops their skills.

2. Better Work-Life Balance

More than half (53 percent) of employees say a job that enables work-life balance and personal well-being is very important. Women, Millennials and Generation X value this especially highly.

What you should do: Offer flextime and/or remote work, if practical. Both are great ways to attract and retain employees. (Gallup reports 51 percent of employees would switch to a job that offered flextime hours.) However, the survey notes, it’s important employees feel they are encouraged to take advantage of work-life balance opportunities. If you work until 9 p.m. every night and never take lunch, your employees won’t feel comfortable asking for flexible hours. If you offer remote work, make sure employees working outside the office feel included as part of the team.

3. Greater Stability and Job Security

Fifty-one percent of employees say stability and job security are very important in deciding whether or not to accept a new job. (Baby boomers care less than other generations about this factor.) Your Millennial and Gen X employees, in particular, are looking for stability  — whether from seeing their parents and older family members struggle through recessions, or because of hefty student loans.

What you should do: Share the history of your small business with job candidates and employees — it shows them your business is a stable place to work. In addition to the past, share your vision for the future. What do you want your business to achieve, how do you plan to get there, and how can each employee help you reach that goal?

4. A Significant Increase in Income

Forty-one percent of employees say this is very important in considering a new job. Men are more likely to feel this way than women.

What you should do: At the bare minimum, make sure your wages are competitive with others in your area and industry. Otherwise, employees may feel they have no choice but to leave your company to get a raise. However, competitive pay isn’t all workers are looking for. When evaluating job offers, Gallup notes, emotion plays a bigger role than rationality. Focus not on straight dollars, but on opportunities your business offers to earn bonuses or pay increases based on individual performance and improvement. The report suggests creating different “levels of expertise” within job roles so employees can level up as they learn new skills, even if they don’t become a supervisor or manager. It’s not so much the money that matters as what the money represents — a chance to learn, grow and be rewarded for doing so.

5. The Opportunity to Work for a Company with a Great Brand or Reputation

Over a third (36 percent) of employees say this is very important when considering a job offer.

What you should do: Use marketing, public relations and social media to build a strong reputation for your business and your brand. For example, Gallup suggests, you can share news about awards your business has received, community organizations and activities you contribute to, media coverage and customer testimonials. You may not be able to compete with world-leading businesses like Google or Amazon for employees, but you can burnish your reputation within your own industry and region.

Hand Pile Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “5 Things Your Employees Want Most” was first published on Small Business Trends

5 Reasons Why Every Employee Should Take Vacation Time

5 Benefits of Taking a Vacation

Vacation is a must for everybody but unfortunately, many employees in the US do not use their vacation time. They fear that they will fall behind work or lose the chance of getting a promotion, if they take time off from work. However, believing you are the only person to do your job is not realistic. Ok, maybe your coworkers cannot do all parts of your job but at least handle some parts until you return back. Therefore, don’t hesitate to use your vacation days because taking a vacation has many benefits. Below you can see some of them.

Benefits of Taking a Vacation

  • Increases Productivity and Creativity: Taking time off from work for vacation increases productivity because you lower your stress level and prevent burnout. Upon returning from vacation, you feel mentally refreshed and relaxed. Therefore, your tasks don’t seem so difficult anymore and in fact, you can put more emphasis on them since your mind is clear now. Also, after you come back from vacation and go to work, you realize that you have a new outlook in life. Stepping outside of your regular routine and going to different places will help you see things from a different perspective and this increases your creativity.
  • Makes You Happier and Healthier: When you book a vacation, you find something worth waiting for and start counting your days. This feeling keeps you more energetic and boosts your mood. As a result, you become a happier person. Moreover, giving your brain and body a break by going to vacation can help lower your anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure. This consequently lowers the risk of a heart disease caused by stress.
  • Improves Relationships: When you take time off and go to vacation, you spend more time with your loved ones and spending quality time with them increases your bonding as a family. You collect memories that you won’t forget for the rest of your life and keep talking about these memories throughout the years.
  • Review Your Goals: During vacation, you can find some alone time to review your goals and decide where your career is going. Maybe a small change like going to vacation is not enough and you need a bigger change in your life. You can only understand this, if you take some time off to step back and move away from your daily routine.
  • Realize Your Dream Trip: You only live once and there are so many places to explore in the world. Don’t worry; nothing will change if you live the office for a few days or weeks. Your coworkers can survive without you for a while so start planning because there’s no better time than now to make your dream trip happen.

Vacation Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “5 Reasons Why Every Employee Should Take Vacation Time” was first published on Small Business Trends

When is it Time to Fire a Client or Customer?

When is it Time to Fire a Client or Customer?

Many times a small business owner is so wrapped up in running the business and also running after new business that he or she doesn’t realize that they would be better off firing the clients who are making them crazy. Now that is not to say anytime a client starts getting on your nerves you should jump at the chance to get rid of them. As a small business coach, I have seen countless times the angst and frustration business owners go through when they are being treated poorly again and again by one of their clients.

More often than not, this one client is causing them to lose focus of their goals to be productive and increase profitability in other areas because they are so wrapped up in that one client who is either making unreasonable requests, paying late or asking for ridiculous pricing and expedited deadlines.

How to Know if it’s Time to Fire a Client

There are many questions you can ask yourself when trying to decide if it is time to fire a client? I boil it down to just two questions:

1. Would you be upset or secretly relieved if this client decided to take their business elsewhere?
2. Knowing what you know today, would you hire this client again?

In his book Good to Great, author Jim Collins poses these same questions when it comes to deciding on whether an employee should be on your “bus” or not. We have found these to be applicable to customers as well.

While these questions seem very simple and straightforward on the surface, there are lots of factors that can impact how you answer them. For instance, one of our small business clients was recently feeling very uncomfortable with not being paid on a timely basis from one of his clients, to the point where the debt had reached six figures. It was pretty clear that if this company defaulted, it would leave our client in a pretty tough spot. Was it time to cut their losses and sue their customer?

Before pulling the trigger on a lawsuit, we advised this small business owner to call his client and make an appointment to go in and have a face-to-face sit down. There is so much to be gained from sitting down with someone (especially with someone who owes you money).

This customer was responsive, (to his credit he recognized that he did owe our client the money and he never dodged telephone calls) and was willing to have the sit down meeting to talk.

Prior to that meeting, we had a meeting with our client and explained the reality that his customer had put him in a situation where he had asked him to be his creditor and his bank. With that in mind we said he should come into this meeting with his banker’s hat on and ask for financial statements and to access the necessary data on why he should keep him on as a customer.

The objective was to try and come out of this meeting with an agreement of what his customer had to do. In the pre meetings with our client, we had to role play this several times to get him ready for what questions he had to ask and discuss and receive the financial info to make the right decision and develop a course of action.

“I was surprised that this guy gave me his financials,” was this client’s reaction after the meeting. “I came out of the meeting with a payment agreement which was workable to both of us. My customer made a case for his growth spurts and why cash was tight with government related contracts. I had a tour of the plant during my visit and could see the activity and what was going on which confirmed what he was telling me.”

Within a period of six months our client’s customer had made good on the payment plan to get caught up while continuing to do business on a day-to-day basis. There was a blip along the way and they sat down and talked again to make adjustments on the pay down. The only bad thing about this customer was that he wasn’t paying. Otherwise he was an ideal customer for our client and proved to be worth salvaging and growing with. What had started out as a good reason to fire the client was resolved with a little coaching and a plan to work together to get payment and future resolution.

What if a customer makes you cry? That would seem like a pretty obvious one to fire wouldn’t it? Maybe to someone outside the business, but when you’re in the middle of the situation, it’s easy to rationalize staying in the relationship. This came up recently when I met a business owner with some colleagues over beers one night. I simply asked if she had ever fired a client before, and within five minutes she was fighting back tears.

Now don’t get me wrong, most of our clients have cried with us at one point or another during the relationship, but usually it happens as we dig a little further into things. I asked this business owner the two questions outlined above. Not surprisingly, she said she would be very relieved if this customer took his business elsewhere and that knowing what she knows today she would never take this customer’s business again.

The problem is she was getting stuck in the “how.” “How” do I fire this client without him suing me or saying bad things about our business? “How” do I take on this man who is a bit of a bully? The “how” questions were numerous. She didn’t know where to start.

Like most small business owners, she didn’t want to have an unsatisfied customer and she wanted to complete the project they had agreed to. But, it became obvious during our discussions that her customer had changed the agreement and was adding things to the project that made the work not only frustrating but also unprofitable. By the time we finished some role playing for what the termination would sound like she wanted me to go with her to fire this client since it “sounded so good when I said it!”

When It’s Time to Fire a Client, It’s Essential

Firing clients and firing employees are almost never an easy thing to do, but they are an essential part of running a successful business. Just like plants need to be pruned to stay healthy and grow, your business needs to be pruned of clients and employees that are holding you and your company back.

Fired Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “When is it Time to Fire a Client or Customer?” was first published on Small Business Trends

Hiring Regs Set Back Small Businesses $11,700 Annually, Report Finds

Small Business Cost of Hiring a New Employee Includes $11,700 in Regulations, Report Finds

America’s small business community has long lamented the heavy burden of government regulations on their operations. One specific area government regulations come down hard on small businesses is in the hiring of new employees.

The Regulatory Cost of Hiring A New Employee

According to a new report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, regulatory costs for hiring one new employee sets back small businesses a whopping $11,700 per year on average.

What’s more disheartening is that the costs of regulation to smaller businesses with 50 employees or less are nearly 20 percent higher than they are for the average firm, as per the report.

Unsurprisingly, the Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s report titled, “The Regulatory Impact on Small Business,” (PDF) found that current regulations as a whole bring “significant inhibiting effects on free enterprise, entrepreneurship, and especially on small business.”

Current Regulations Limit Free Enterprise, Entrepreneurship

Drawing from available research and from interviews with small business owners and regulatory experts, the Chamber of Commerce Foundation set out to determine the impact of federal, state and local regulations on small businesses.

“Small businesses are the foundation of our economy and the embodiment of the promise of American entrepreneurship,” said Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which educates the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive. “Their vitality is our nation’s vitality, so we care deeply about what they need to succeed.

The Foundation aggregated all the resources and noted that final federal agencies small business regulations have increased to more than 88,000 in the past 22 years. Of these rules, 15,458 have been identified by federal agencies as having a negative impact on small businesses.

While the comprehensive literature review also found that research on the burdens of state and local regulations is surprisingly slim, the overall conclusion nevertheless was that small businesses are disproportionately hurt by burdensome government regulations.

Small Businesses Hurt by Government Regulations

Some specific ways the report identified that small businesses are hurt by government regulations, and which prompted President Trump’s recent Executive Order to cut two federal regulations for every new regulation enacted include:

  1. Costly workers compensation and unemployment insurance laws: These laws heaped on small businesses vary from $657 per worker in North Dakota to as high as $2,340 per worker in Alaska.
  2. Restrictive state occupational licensing rules: Often referred to as the right to practice, these licensing rules and costs are particularly dire in education, health care and financial service sectors.
  3. The maze of red tape: Beyond the federal level, businesses also deal with complex state and local red tape that often hamper growth and make doing business more difficult.

“This important report… points to the critical influence the regulatory environment has on a small company’s ability to launch, to grow and to thrive,” stated Carolyn Cawley.

Employment Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Hiring Regs Set Back Small Businesses $11,700 Annually, Report Finds” was first published on Small Business Trends

70 Percent of U.S. Workplaces Affected by Opioid Painkiller Abuse

Opioid Addiction Statistics Reveal 70 Percent of U.S. Workplaces Affected by Opioid Painkiller Abuse

A disturbing majority of businesses in the U.S. are being negatively impacted by prescription painkiller abuse and addiction among employees.

Opioid Addiction Statistics

A survey recently released by the National Safety Council reveals more than 70 percent of workplaces are feeling the negative effects of opioid abuse. Nearly 40 percent of employers said employees are missing work due to painkiller abuse, with roughly the same percent reporting employees abusing the drugs on the job. Despite the prevalence of addiction in offices across the country, employers are doing little to mitigate risk. Record pill abuse in workplaces is coming at a time when Americans are taking more opioids than ever before, reports The Washington Post.

A recent survey from Truven Health Analytics and NPR reveals more than half of the U.S. population reports receiving a prescription for opioids at least once from their doctor, a 7 percent increase since 2011. Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday reveals that almost half of non-cancer patients prescribed opioids for a month or more are still dependent on the pills a year later.

Experts say that current opioid and heroin abuse is driven in large part by the over-prescribing of pain pills from doctors. Despite the problems opioid abuse is causing in the workplace, many employee drug tests do not look for the substance. Fifty-seven percent of businesses test for drugs, but 41 percent of those businesses do not test for opioids.

“Employers must understand that the most dangerously misused drug today may be sitting in employees’ medicine cabinets,” Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, said in a statement. “Even when they are taken as prescribed, prescription drugs and opioids can impair workers and create hazards on the job.”

Among people not currently taking opioids, nearly half view addiction as the biggest threat from using painkillers. Among current patients on opioids, fears over unwanted side effects still dwarf fears about long-term dependence and addiction. Medical professionals say doctors need to start by prescribing the least potent and least addictive pain treatment option, and then cautiously go from there.

Experts also say the patient must take greater responsibility when they visit their doctor and always ask “why” before accepting a prescription.

Addicts may begin with a dependence on opioid pills before transitioning to heroin after building up a tolerance that makes pills too expensive. States hit particularly hard by heroin abuse are beginning to crackdown on doctors liberally doling out painkillers.

“When four out of five new heroin users are getting their start by abusing prescription drugs, you have to attack the problem at ground zero — in irresponsibly run doctors’ offices,” New Jersey Attorney General Porrino said in a statement March 1. “Physicians who grant easy access to the drugs that are turning New Jersey residents into addicts can be every bit as dangerous as street-corner dealers. Purging the medical community of over-prescribers is as important to our cause as busting heroin rings and locking up drug kingpins.”

A record 33,000 Americans died from opioid related overdoses in 2015, according to the CDC. Opioid deaths contributed to the first drop in U.S. life expectancy since 1993 and eclipsed deaths from motor vehicle accidents in 2015. Combined, heroin, fentanyl and other opiate-based painkillers account for roughly 63 percent of drug fatalities, which claimed 52,404 lives in the U.S. in 2015.

Painkiller bottle Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “70 Percent of U.S. Workplaces Affected by Opioid Painkiller Abuse” was first published on Small Business Trends

Millennials Looking for Small Business Jobs Deep in the Heart of Texas and OKC

Cities Where Millennials Want to Work for Small Businesses

It’s generally assumed that millennials are seeking jobs in coastal cities — New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles.

But new data from Indeed.com shows that millennials looking to work for small businesses are actually narrowing their searches toward inland cities.

Cities Where Millennials Want to Work for Small Businesses

In fact, when identifying metro areas where millennials are most often looking for work at small businesses. Oklahoma City topped the job board’s list, not L.A. or New York.

This is the latest crop of data looking at generational trends among job seekers.

Outside of Oklahoma — but not too far away — three Texas cities made Indeed’s top 10 destinations for millennial job seekers. Those hot spots for small business jobs include Houston, Austin, and Dallas/Fort Worth.

Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina, are second and tenth, respectively, on Indeed’s list, too. Indianapolis ranks fourth.

Not all locations are inland, of course. Jacksonville, Florida, cracked the top 5 on Indeed’s list. And San Jose and Riverside/San Bernardino, California, also reached Indeed’s list.

Indeed examines click-thru rates on job ads posted to its site. For this data, it looked at millennial job seekers who clicked on job postings from small businesses. That generates Indeed’s Interest Score.

“We know that millennials are the largest age group in the workforce today,” says Paul Wolfe, Indeed vice president and head of HR. “Recent findings suggest that millennials are desired by small business employers because of the generation’s fresh perspective and technical skills. Additionally, millennials may be attracted to smaller business so they can more directly see the impact that their work contribution has on the company’s success.”

Young Blood, Fresh Takes

So, what’s to glean from this batch of data?

Small businesses — no matter where they are — should never count themselves out of any discussion. Don’t believe in norms, averages or perceptions. For instance, one would assume that millennials would be more attracted by the proverbial bright lights of the bigger cities in the U.S.

Clearly, the cities that millennials are attracted to for small business jobs are among the more trendy cities in the U.S. nowadays.

Millennials add a unique dimension to any business team. Full of drive and unbridled energy, a millennial or two or three could really inject some new perspectives into a company. It gives a company a fresh take.

Image: Indeed

This article, “Millennials Looking for Small Business Jobs Deep in the Heart of Texas and OKC” was first published on Small Business Trends

McDonald’s Incident Shows Importance of CPR Training for Your Employees

Can Your Employees Save a Life? McDonald's Incident Stresses Importance of CPR Training

A McDonald’s employee saved the life of a Miami, Fla. police officer by jumping out the drive-thru window Tuesday.

Pedro Viloria, the employee, noticed something odd when the off-duty officer and her two children pulled up to receive their order, reports ABC News.

Viloria said the officer seemed to have trouble breathing when she came to the drive-thru window to grab her food.

“In that moment, I thought, I’d rather save that woman’s life,” Viloria told WPLG. “I see she’s like inflating her neck, like trying to breathe, like ‘ahh,’ and basically I thought something was going wrong.”

Surveillance video shows the car pulling away and running into the median; the police officer was unconscious at the time.

“Her kids were screaming, ‘Mother, mother, stop it, mother what are you doing?’” Viloria said.

Viloria quickly jumped out the window and raced over to the car. He ordered the children to call 911 while he headed back to the restaurant to get more help.

A firefighter entered the McDonald’s as Viloria was looking for more help. The off-duty firefighter performed CPR and used an automated external defibrillator machine to bring the woman back.

“I thought if these kids lose their mother today, that’s going to be tragic,” Viloria said. “It is what a hero does. If I needed to die to save that woman, I would have done it.”

McDonald’s praised their employee for his quick thinking in rescuing the officer.

“I think I speak for our McDonald’s family when I say how proud we are of Pedro. He is an excellent employee, so it didn’t surprise me that he took immediate action and jumped through a window to help save this woman,” the company said in a statement.

McDonald’s Drive-Thru Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “McDonald’s Incident Shows Importance of CPR Training for Your Employees” was first published on Small Business Trends

Unpaid Invoices Prevent Small Businesses from Creating 2.1 Million New Jobs (Infographic)

The Impact of Unpaid Invoices

For one week a month, jobs reports dominate the headlines.

Political sides argue the implications of the numbers. And everyone wants to know — who’s responsible?

You may never hear slow job growth numbers being blamed on unpaid invoices to small businesses, though.

The Biggest Impact of Unpaid Invoices

But according to new data from Fundbox, small businesses not getting paid for their products or services has a direct impact on their ability to hire.

Of the six ways that unpaid invoices adversely impact small businesses, hiring is No. 1.

Twenty-three percent of the small businesses surveyed by Fundbox say they can’t hire a new employee if they have outstanding invoices.

One small business owner told Fundbox that an unpaid invoice results in a dilemma: “I choose between hiring freezes and not paying myself while I work on getting the payment.”

So, if small businesses got paid for all unpaid invoices at once, Fundbox estimates, they could add 2.1 million new jobs to the U.S. economy.

Something’s Got to Give

It’s obvious small businesses are operating on a shoestring budget. No bill can go unpaid without having a negative impact.

And while hiring is most likely to take the hit initially, other areas of a small business will suffer, too.

“Being paid late is an unfortunate reality faced by most small businesses. This has a massive trickle down effect on the owner, the company, and the economy,” says Prashant Fuloria, Chief Product Officer for Fundbox.

Owners told Fundbox that an unpaid bill will likely hit their pay first. Small business owners will eat the loss. A total of 79 percent of small business owners say they can’t pay themselves if they have an unpaid invoice.

Eventually, an unpaid invoice’s impact will snowball.

New equipment will be the next thing to take a hit. New computers or new tires on the company truck will have to wait.

Marketing will suffer, too. And then, if the invoices continue to go unpaid, small businesses say they’ll cut back on current payroll, starting with scaling back hours.

Check out more data from the Fundbox survey in the full infographic below.

The Impact of Unpaid Invoices

Budgeting Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Unpaid Invoices Prevent Small Businesses from Creating 2.1 Million New Jobs (Infographic)” was first published on Small Business Trends