Workforce Management June 2004

By Staff Report

Jun. 1, 2004

Dangerous business
By Sheila Anne Feeney
It might seem tough to recruit employees to work 16-hour days that begin with the donning of flak jacket. But offer salaries of $20,000 a month and it’s easy to find people with the right job skills. Then comes the hard part: deciding if they have the right stuff for work in a war zone.

Top dollar
By Douglas P. Shuit
The 10 highest-paid human resource leaders in U.S. public companies work in industries ranging from manufacturing to retail to advertising. Their multi-million dollar compensation packages show that workforce executives are indeed gaining elite corporate status–they are among the five highest-paid officers in their companies. But the profession still has a long way to go before it shares top billing with CEOs and CFOs.

Hiring without limits
By Joe Mullich
At IBM, disabled workers contribute millions to the bottom line, and provide a crucial point of view for a company that makes and sells technology for people with disabilities. “We consider diversity strategic to our organization,” says Jim Sinocchi, director of diversity communications or IBM, who is a paraplegic. “We don’t hire people who are disabled just because it’s a nice thing to do. We do it because it’s the right thing to do from a business standpoint.”

System failure
By Sam Greengard
Human resources leaders, IT and top management are often at odds when it comes to choosing a recruitment-management system. While human resources may view functionality, speed and performance as key factors, the IT department is more likely to regard compatibility, ease of integration and its ability to support the application as the most significant issues. Top executives often prefer to leverage a company’s existing enterprise technology investments. Unless a strong business case can be made for a best-of-breed system, cost and compatibility usually win out.

Between the Lines
The 401(k) gamble
The plans are based on choices. And at every turn, employees make the wrong ones.
  Reactions From Readers
Letters on tuition reimbursement, leadership and productivity.

In This Corner
The life cycle of a “twofer”
It’s all too easy for an internal investigation into harassment or discrimination to become an opportunity for retaliation. And voila–two legal claims instead of one.

Legal Briefings
The cost of intentional misrepresentation to an employee: $555,666.

Data Bank
The global imperative

The class of 2004
Recent grads aren’t looking for lavish perks. They’d be amazed just to land a job. Also: Fallout from gay marriage in Massachusetts. Higher medical-claims cost are coming. A human-resources coalition takes on the issue of uninsured workers.

Pension Benefits
From panacea to pariah
In the wake of a court ruling and a lack of legislation, companies are bypassing cash-balance plans, once seen as an answer to traditional pensions.

Contingent Staffing
Companies demand vetted temps
Facing the risk of property and identity theft, some companies insist that their staffing agencies run background checks on temporary workers–and pay for it.

Health-Care Benefits
Weighing the costs of bariatric surgery
Although gastric-bypass procedures and other bariatric surgeries to combat obesity are popular, they’re also costly. Employers and insurers balk at picking up the tab.

A taste of greater profits for a Disney restaurant
A creative sommelier-training program for servers at the high-end Napa Rose restaurant has resulted in higher dinner tabs. The tips are better, too.

A call-center scam prompts greater security
International fraud, customer dissatisfaction and a sense of lack of control have pushed companies to step up oversight at outsourced overseas call centers.

Human Resources Management
A tool for analysis
Human resources annual reports can reveal trends, illuminate plans for the future and be used for persuasive purposed with line managers. But they are far from universal.

May  2004

April  2003

March  2003
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