Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Colorado Catchup

Just a few newsy items from the great state of Colorado.
  1. Snow is not falling and neither is the thermometer. Read article here.
  2. Aspen is feeding their employees who have not worked yet. Read article here.
  3. The minimum wage is going up to $7.02/hour on January 1, 2008. Read article here.
Are any of you out there doing anything for your ski resort employees who cannot work because of the weather or are you or they in good shape? We'll be thinking SNOW for you all!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Get Your Revised I-9 Here

USCIS has done it again. A recently revised - June 5, 2007 - and officially issued - November 7, 2007 - Form I-9 is available for use immediately. Read the whole press release from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services here.

The biggest news with this release is that 5 items that were previously accepted as employment eligibility documents on List A of the Form I-9 have been removed.

What should this announcement mean to you?

  • Stop using previously issued I-9 forms immediately.
  • All individuals hired on or after November 7, 2007, should have their employment eligibility completed on this newly revised form, Form I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N.
  • Cease using documents that are no longer acceptable.
  • Continue to complete the I-9 for all new hires as you have done since 1987.
Click here to download the revised I-9 Form.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Annual SHRA Conference Held in Big Sur, California

Back in October, which really seems so far away, myself and 34 other HR professionals attended the 19th annual fall Seasonal Human Resources Association (aka SHRA, à la SHRM) conference in Big Sur, California. Thanks to Patty Ceglio Bishoff from Cool Works (aka SHRA Queen) for getting us all there and organizing the event, and Richard Grena of Mt. Rainier Guest Services for suggesting the Big Sur Lodge and playing tour guide on one of the play days. The annual conference is a chance for HR folks from seasonal properties across the U.S. to get out of the office, play with their peers and share tidbits of wisdom from their seasonal worlds. The bottom line is that when you leave this conference, you feel like you are not alone.

Attendees this year were representatives from lots of wonderful spots around the country including:

  • Aramark (Denali, Lake Powell, Lake Tahoe)

We also had International Agency Sponsors in our midst including:

As always the topics for learning were varied and catered to the seasonal world.

  • Benefically Speaking
  • Recruiting the Generations
  • Employees 24/7 – Housing, Recreation
  • Employees who ROCK!
  • International hiring update
  • ACMNP Update

And of course, we had a bit of free time to socialize and network with the other attendees.

A few of my personal highlights.

  1. Google Your Employees! The collective jaw for all of us dropped at hearing the employment attorney say that HR folks might as well check social network profiles on MySpace, Facebook, and others, as well as Googling your potential employees. He stated that it is out there for public consumption so you might as well use it. The caveat, and if you have been in HR for any amount of time you knew this was coming, is that some of the information you see cannot be used in determining the fit for a new hire like religion, race, sexual orientation, etc. So use it, but tread carefully and have a consistent practice.
  2. Hiring International Students should be about Cultural Exchange. A few years ago, I was dumbfounded that one of the International representatives would dare to say, "What is so great about working in Alaska?" His point was why on earth an International student should pay more to fly all the way to Alaska when they can get a cheaper flight to New York. What selling points did we have to offer that the east coast employers did not already have? This financial challenge is still around today and will continue with the Euro doing amazingly well against the US dollar. Remember that these students have big choices to make, they are spending a lot of money to come, and the reason that the visa program exists is for cultural exchange. Of course, they come to make money, but they also come to America to learn about our culture. Give them lots of great experiences and send them back with new knowledge and personal growth, not just the ability to make up 80 rooms in a day.
  3. The Ocean Is Powerful. Okay, this may seem silly, but stay with me. We went to the beach at Pfeiffer State Park two days in a row. The first day was beautiful, sunny, clear, only a slight breeze and small waves. The next day we went back to find it still sunny, but so windy that one could not stand there without getting pummeled by sand and walking into the surf, was well, a damp experience for those that dared. How does this apply to our workplaces? Just like Mother Nature, sometimes the days in HR are really good and sometimes they are really bad. But the experience is still powerful, dynamic and well worth the time. That second day at the beach made us all very grateful for the day before. So, may you have a good mix of hopefully a lot less bad days than good days so you can feel a sense of accomplishment for the tough ones and joy on the good ones.

To see pictures of our days at Big Sur, click here. To learn more about the Seasonal HR Association, or SHRA, click here.

Hope to see you all at the 20th annual conference in 2008!