Workforce Management January 2005

By Staff Report

Dec. 30, 2004

Reporting to the Depot
By Martin Booe
Home Depot prizes the skills and leadership abilities that former military personnel bring to the company, and that’s why it hired 13,000 of them in 2004.
Now it has launched Operation Career Front, an even more extensive campaign to recruit veterans into its ranks.

Buckle up for Bush 2.0
By Douglas P. Shuit
If President Bush gets what he wants, companies will find themselves scrambling to keep up with an array of administration initiatives, including the partial privatization of Social Security and the expansion of consumer-driven health care plans. Executives should also expect political solutions for imperiled private pension guarantees, as well as medical malpractice insurance reform and stepped-up enforcement efforts by the Labor Department’s wage-discrimination cops.

Eliyon steps up the search
By Patrick J. Kiger
One observer thinks Eliyon Technologies is “the wave of the future” for passive recruitment. Another calls what it does invasion of privacy on a grand scale. Eliyon’s sophisticated software combs the Web for information on companies and their personnel, analyzes it for relevance and compiles it into a searchable database of corporate executives and upper-level managers that has grown to 23 million dossiers. But recruitment, Eliyon leaders say, is just the beginning.

Middle management
Charlotte Huff
  When Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina scrutinized medical costs and claims data for its obese members, it discovered that their care cost at least 30 percent more than normal-weight members. That’s when the Chapel Hill-based plan decided to wade into the high-cost, high-stakes world of obesity treatment, rolling out a benefits package that observers describe as one of the most comprehensive available. Now comes the tricky part: getting employers to foot the bill.

Between the Lines
Lessons from the Donald
You can learn a lot by watching Trump’s weekly fire-a-thon. But what you won’t see is how to lead, support or motivate people.
  Reactions From Readers
Letters on drinking at work and FedEx Ground’s use of contract workers.

In This Corner
But it was just an interview!
Treading on trade secrets with job candidates–even inadvertently–can land employers in legal hot water. In one case, Intel accused Broadcom of conducting job interviews of Intel employees to get confidential information. That allegation changed the trade secret litigation landscape.

Legal Briefings
No overtime exemption for computer-support workers. Sanctions for
e-mail destruction.

PC compatibility: IBM and Lenovo mesh their staffs
The devil is often in the details, but it seems the IBM-Lenovo deal will result in few major changes for employees. Also: Healthy bargains in Wyoming and Minnesota. UnumProvident settles claims dispute. Firings and union stirrings at Wal-Mart.

Global Management
Cirque du Soleil’s balancing act
The Montreal-based troupe’s rapid growth, far-flung presence and crush of aspiring performers raise unique challenges. Cirque also struggles with perplexing U.S. labor laws, and the business of dealing with high-wire artists and contortionists who refuse to accept that one day they’ll have to bow out of the spotlight.

Retirement Benefits
Addressing women’s retirement needs
Financial education programs speak to special challenges raised by cultural factors and longer life expectancy. Weyerhaeuser’s approach is a model.

Health Care Benefits
Merger may bolster consumer-driven plans
UnitedHealth’s acquisition of Definity could put pressure on competitors to add such offerings to their product lines.

Niche players swoop in as Oracle tends to PeopleSoft
As the two software giants slugged it out, smaller businesses jumped at the chance to get their foot in the door with customers. They even succeeded in winning business away.

IRS advice to large companies: Hit the books
Internal reviews of pension plans and executive compensation may help companies avoid penalties and disruptive probes. 

December  2004

November  2004

October 2004
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