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April 12th, 2016 / by Mike Cooney

I-9 Form Updates

Did you happen to notice that the current I-9 Form has expired? The I-9 Form actually has an expiration date of March 31, 2016. Unlike that food in your refrigerator, don’t throw it out quite yet. It is still good to use.

That is right. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has advised employers to continue using the current version of the Form I-9, even though the March 31, 2016 expiration date on the form has passed.

Employers must complete Form I-9 within three days of hire for all newly hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the U.S.

USCIS will provide updated information about the new version of Form I-9 as it becomes available.

Please contact us if you have any questions or need more information about the I-9 Form.

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March 25th, 2016 / by Mike Cooney

The Squeeze Is On

The latest data shows national unemployment rates at 5% and only dropping from there.  In February, 242,000 new jobs were created and six straight years of record breaking growth shows no signs of slowing.  Locally, the Portland Metro Area’s job growth was among the fastest in the US and it’s unemployment rate has plummeted to 4.3 %, the lowest since the days.  The unemployment rate is half that for those with a college degree.

This scenario creates unique challenges in talent acquisition and employee retention.  The post and pray model will not fill candidate pools in this environment.  The squeeze is on for businesses to remain competitive in recruitment strategies.  What can employers do differently to fill and, more importantly, keep positions filled?

With so few candidates looking for work, the net will need to be cast much wider. The good news is there are many things employers can do... more

March 8th, 2016 / by Mike Cooney

A Case of the Millennials

The recently penned open letter by an employee to her CEO at Yelp and the rebuttal has brought focus back to the newest generation in the work place. Millennials. Millennials make up 50% of the workforce today, increasing to 75% in the next 10-15 years. Dubbed Generation ADD, The Selfie Generation, even the Unemployables, make no mistake, whatever you want to call them; they bring new and unique challenges to the employer landscape. No, that’s not a headache you’re feeling but rather you have a case of the Millennials. Like every generation prior, the Millennials are the creation of the generation before them. We gave ourselves this case of the Millennials.

Incredibly tech savvy, the Millennials are accustomed to information being available immediately. They want to know how they are doing as they are doing it. They are well educated with high expectations of themselves; they want to be proud... more

April 8th, 2015 / by Mike Cooney

Tap the Productivity Goldmine

Hidden Employee Issues – Looking For The Signs

In a previous article, I examined how to avoid being the last one to know about a problem employee in your office. We focused on how to not be blinded to an employee’s “soft” performance by their high output of “hard,” or physical, product. We also explored how to make more yourself accessible to other employees so they will bring you into the loop before problems escalate out of control.

Now, let’s talk about another way to identify employee red flags…by navigating into what might be less-than-familiar territory for some HR departments.


Connect the Dots

Quality, productivity, safety. Negative results in these areas are most commonly chalked up to systemic issues. Today, however, smart companies are looking at the latest department performance and profitability analytics with an eye toward people.

The productivity of “Department X” is inextricably entwined with the human capital that makes it tick... more

January 12th, 2015 / by Mike Cooney

Will the New Minimum Wage Impact Your Business?

The Pacific Northwest has been on the front line of the minimum wage increase movement. Both Oregon’s and Washington’s minimum wage increased effective January 1, 2015 – along with 20 other states and the District of Columbia.

Now comes the time for questions commonly asked during minimum wage adjustments. What do I do with my other positions? Do I adjust their pay?

In other words, even if you don’t have anyone paid at the minimum wage level, the shift can impact other hourly-paid positions, especially those with hourly rates a few dollars higher than minimum wage. Now is a good to time conduct a compensation analysis to review wage and salary levels for both your nonexempt and exempt positions. A review will help you stay on top of the wage pressures that can impact employee recruiting and retention.

From the low-end $7.50/hour in Arkansas to D.C.’s chart-topping $10.50/hour, click on this Inquisitir... more

November 25th, 2014 / by Mike Cooney

Why Was I the Last One to Know? Don’t Be in the Dark about Problem Employees

There’s a toxic employee in your office. Who knew?

Well, as it turns out, everyone but you. Counterintuitive though it may seem, the head honcho is often the last one to hear about a destructive employee in his or her own workplace. When the awareness does come, it often arrives once a situation has escalated to the breaking point or beyond. Nipped in the bud early, the problem might have been resolved.

The Set Up

Steve has been with your company for three years. He gets a ton of work done and earns raves from customers. You can count on Steve whenever a critical deliverable needs to be met. He will work late or all weekend if needed, without you even needing to ask. He always takes your constructive feedback well and you‘ve never heard about any issues with other team members. In short, he’s a go-to guy.

Cut to the next scene: ... more

October 14th, 2014 / by Mike Cooney

Ignore the “Doom-and-Gloom”: The Hiring Heat is On!

It’s a well-known fact: Ever since the recent Great Recession, companies have had a crush of job candidates and a leisurely amount of time in which to reach their hiring decisions.


Well, perhaps. Until now, that is.

If you buy the doom-and-gloom news stories from some of the major pundits, you might get the impression that the job market is still where it was in 2009, when the U.S. unemployment rate hovered around 10%. In reality, unemployment was just south of 6% as of Sept. 2014…and the year overall has seen a dramatic change in the marketplace.

Over the past several months at RedZone HR Solutions, we’ve been recruiting nonstop on behalf of our clients to fill all types of positions, including marketing, supply chain, warehouse, customer service and administration. Good candidates are no longer on the market very long, if they even hit the market at all. This is a good... more

August 19th, 2014 / by Mike Cooney

“The Worst Companies to Work For” (…and Four Steps to Keep Your Company Off the List)

In the movies, it’s tempting to root for the bad guy. Loving to hate the villain keeps the plot rolling and our pulses racing. And we can do it guilt free, because we know the bad guy always gets his (or hers) in the end.

In the world of business, having a bad guy reputation in the eyes of your employees can be just as fatal as any on-screen shootout. And, thanks to company review websites such as – not to mention your employees’ own Twitter feeds – discontent can quickly spread far beyond cubicle walls.

But it’s more than just your reputation that’s at stake. Having a clear understanding of how happy your employees are (or aren’t) has just as big of an impact on your financial bottom line. Need proof? Read on to learn about some of the biggest bad guys in business.

Worst of the Worst

In contrast to... more

July 22nd, 2014 / by Mike Cooney

Hiring Tips from NFL’s Chip Kelly? A Lesson in Talent Analytics from the 2014 NFL Draft

As most Oregonian football fans know, former University of Oregon (U of O) head football coach Chip Kelly has always been a bit unpredictable. It’s been business as usual in his new role as head coach for the National Football League’s (NFL’s) Philadelphia Eagles. During last month’s NFL draft, Kelly pulled a game changer on potential recruits, grilling them as hard about their dedication in the classroom as about their perseverance on the gridiron.

Why? Because, an analysis of NFL statistics clearly shows that the number of college graduates on a team’s roster significantly impacts the team’s overall success.

In fact, Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman had a head start on this concept even before Kelly joined the squad in 2013. For years running, the Eagles organization has analyzed the attributes possessed by players on the division championship teams that compete for a coveted Super Bowl appearance. According to Kevin Clark’s... more

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