Top websites for jobs see growth in employer visits



New data from SimilarWeb, a platform that analyzes web traffic, show just how closely tied the two are.

In an analysis shared exclusively with Fast Company, SimilarWeb looked at five top job sites including indeed.com, glassdoor.com, ziprecruiter.com, monster.com, and careerbuilder.com, and compared traffic to those sites from the period between March through November in both 2020 and 2019. The analysis reveals that average monthly visits decreased by 6.2%, with monster.com experiencing the sharpest decline and LinkedIn remaining the most stable. The latter was likely due to the fact that the platform has a networking component and not just job listings.

“The decline [overall] was most dramatic from March to April,” the report’s authors state, “dropping from a total of 271.7 million to 195.6 million. That tide turned upward in the summer months as unemployment benefits began to expire and the number of COVID-19 cases was beginning to slow, especially in large cities such as New York and San Francisco, which are also home to many businesses.

Tracking the hot spots of the pandemic alongside unemployment numbers shows that as businesses shutter or even pivot, the workforce is suffering. The latest unemployment data from the BLS indicate that the second wave of COVID-19 is turning up the number of weekly unemployment claims to just shy of a million (947,000) and the number of freelance and self-employed workers also ticked up to over 425,000 that applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

There may be one bright spot. SimilarWeb finds that employers are returning to online jobs platforms at a faster rate than jobseekers. “This [could be] due to the need for businesses to rebalance their net headcount reductions,” the analysts note. “As of the last week in November, job employer traffic saw positive year over year growth at +9.2%, however, this increase in job employer traffic was the lowest it was compared to other weeks in November ranging from +10% – +12%.”





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Tech check: the next verification for every hiring employer


Police checks, academic checks and working
with children checks are standard for many businesses when hiring new people,
but what are we doing to make sure new employees are digitally skilled?

In the space of 20 years, we have gone from only three per cent of small business having internet access to 99 per cent. In a single generation, we have gone from competing at a suburban level to now competing globally. This is not a change that can be dealt with by the IT guy in the corner or someone’s friend who knows computers.

So, how can business owners build digital skills into their business? The answer is in hiring the right people. But digital literacy is not the same as digital skills – knowing how to drive the car is not the same as knowing how the vehicle works and what is possible to do with it. So, when it comes to hiring new people and giving them access to your systems and data, how do you know they’re not still on their digital L plates?

The same as a police check, the tech check should be integrated into your hiring process, and here are the three steps of a tech check that every employer should incorporate into their hiring process.

1. Start requiring candidates to have the certificates or training you want for your digital systems. This helps raise the bar and shows that you are serious about increasing your digital maturity. Past experience doesn’t automatically imply competence. Ask to see their online learning history or even check what type of sites they have learnt from. Micro courses and training from providers like Linkedin Learning, Coursera, Udemy and other online short course providers show the right intent. If you don’t see any of that it is likely they a standard user of the tool hoping the time using it will get them across the line.

2. Test and evaluate the core digital skills you are looking for. If a person is applying for a role in your finance team get them to undertake a Microsoft Excel test and then see if they can generate a Microsoft Power BI report. If they are working in marketing, see if they have any training in client relationship management (CRM) software and get them to conduct a test email out campaign. Too often recruitment ads request advanced digital knowledge and get the employee to self-assess. This is as risky as getting you to award yourself your own driver’s license.

3. If your business is behind the eight ball when it comes to digital skills, look for the candidate’s input. Explain a manual or time-consuming process or way of doing things in the business and see how they would solve it. Don’t be afraid to learn something from them during this stage. In software development, there is a concept called the 10x developer. It is the person who can solve your problem in 1/10th of the time with 1/10th of the number of lines of code. Maybe they don’t have all the industry knowledge or background you would want but they will certainly make up for it in digital output.

Remember that on the other side of the hunt
for people with digital skills are prospective employees looking to be part of forward-thinking
companies. Make sure that’s your business and not your competitors.

Zaun Bhana, technology strategist





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How small-business leaders can improve their employer brand through social media


Social media for business is often thought of as a marketing channel for attracting and retaining business. However, the capabilities and value social media adds to an organisation today extends well into any external communications arm of the business. Employer brand value, communication and talent attraction is a key area where social media has played a vital role for businesses across many industries.

Today your online brand presence plays a key role in attracting industry talent. An employer with a strong social media presence versus an employer with no real presence could well be the difference in the quality of candidates you enquire into your business.

So, how does social media contribute to increasing employer brand value?

Social media employer value is more than a glitzy page showcasing team events. My experience through our own talent recruitment, has been that yes, culture out on display on social media is one part of talent feeling comfortable with you as an employer, but also it’s your performance as a business and the showcasing of growth and opportunity that are also standouts.

The following channels are key social media marketing platforms businesses need to consider in an employer brand communications strategy:

  • social media platforms (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram)
  • review sites (Facebook can be included here also and also employer review sites such as glassdoor.com)
  • blogs and forums
  • video content platforms (such as YouTube).

Keeping the communication channels in mind, the following are fundamental elements you need to incorporate in your employer brand value strategy:

  1. Staying relevant and being thought leaders with up to date and consistent content
  2. Showcase third-party endorsement via reviews and highly rated community recommendations
  3. Professionally manage and maintain your community management
  4. Share company milestones and internal personal and team training and development initiatives e.g. team strategy sessions, workshops, speaking opportunities etc. such as training days and workshops)
  5. Present your company culture and personal growth opportunities that have existed in your company

By way of example, Attention Experts recently worked with a water cooler small business, Call a Cooler. As engaging in a social media strategy built on the five elements discussed helped improve the company’s hiring process and established a summer sales team specifically tasked to sell products door to door. Third party endorsement and online reviews played a key role in attracting talent, building a reputable online brand presence showcased the company’s culture and also its mission around supporting the environment which aligned with a lot of the talent it was trying to attract. Content generated was aligned with the company’s core values, mission and purpose and highlighted the communication management of stakeholders.

In summary, a successful employer brand value through social media is achieved through consistency, understanding the value you have to offer as an employer and most importantly showing these strong points of your brand as an employer in the most genuine way possible. Be authentic and deliver value, this value will return to you with great talent finding you via social media through eventually what is a great employer brand.

George Hawwa, Founder and Growth Director, Attention Experts





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As an employer, do your employment contracts protect you?


While most people may think of employment
contracts as a form of protection for the employee, they also equally protect
the employer. An employment contract outlines the rights and responsibilities
of both employers and employees involved in the employment relationship. What
should employers include to protect against potential litigation?

Put it
in writing

Although contracts can be in either written or
verbal form, verbal agreements may be difficult to prove should things go
wrong. You should always have written contracts in place so that disputes can
be settled under the terms, conditions and clauses specified in the contract.
Generally speaking, it’s the employer who creates the employment contract
before the employee commences employment.

Include
essential information

Although employment contracts differ across
organisations and roles, they should contain the following important
information at a minimum:

  • Date of commencement and duration of employment (the contract may need to be renewed at the end of the period).
  • Hours of work, duties and responsibilities of the employee.
  • Remuneration, perks, bonuses.
  • Maternity and paternity leave, annual leave.
  • Company policies regarding dismissal, suspension and indiscipline.
  • Termination notice period and post-employment restraints.
  • Job redundancy, intellectual property rights and probation period.
  • Disclosure of confidential information.

Employment agreements may contain many more
provisions, but these are some of the essential inclusions.

Include
your responsibilities

Employers have specific responsibilities
towards their employees which include providing a safe and healthy working

environment, paying fair and equitable remuneration for all job roles,
informing employees about their rights and duties and prioritising employee
wellbeing at all times.

They must also train and mentor employees,
invest in proper PPE and safety equipment and keep themselves adequately
insured in case of accidents or mishaps in the workplace.

However, despite the best efforts, workplace
disputes can and do occur, and it’s best to keep yourself informed of your
rights as an employer.

Avoid
litigation

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman,
Australian employers have the right to dismiss employees for breach of
contract, lack of performance or other disciplinary issues. Having a
well-structured employee contract can protect you against potential damages and
stop the employee from violating the terms of the agreement.

As an employer, you are entitled to create and
implement workplace policies, and you also have the right to be notified of
resignation or impending leave notice. Employers can also include specific
confidentiality and non-disclosure clauses in the contract.

In the absence of a proper employment
agreement, employers should still consider seeking legal counsel as they may
have other grounds for claims. These could include theft of trade secrets,
intentional breach of contract, breach of confidentiality, or defamation issues
among others.

It’s best to get legal advice when drafting
employment contracts. If structured incorrectly, the agreement may not be
enforceable in a court of law and you may be vulnerable to litigation.

Rolf Howard, Managing Partner, Owen Hodge Lawyers





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Employer organisations call for decisions to promote local bargaining


EMPLOYER ORGANISATIONS in Finland have demanded that local bargaining be increased to promote employment and the competitiveness of businesses.

The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) and the Federation of Finnish Enterprises on Thursday voiced their support for a system of local bargaining that removes all limitations on non-unionised businesses and guarantees all businesses an equal opportunity to utilise local bargaining.

Businesses, they added, should be able to bargain locally with shop stewards, other employee representatives and the entire staff.

“We are talking about employment and competitiveness. The coronavirus has called more attention to the need to find flexible local solutions so that businesses can succeed and safeguard jobs,” argued Jyri Häkämies, the director general at EK.

“Removing the limitations on bargaining is promoting local bargaining in accordance with the government programme. We expect the government to move forward on the issue,” he added.

Mikael Pentikäinen, the managing director at the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, reminded that the issue is also linked to equality.

“Every business and employee must have the right to agree on issues locally. The needs of a company and workplace are known best at the workplace – nowhere else,” he said. “It is the duty of a company’s staff to consider what model of bargaining suits them the best. The starting point must not be that union members are in a better position than others.”

The press release is a response to reports that the tripartite task force appointed to find ways to promote local bargaining for the government’s budget session next week is at an impasse.

Pentikäinen told Talouselämä earlier this week that he is not confident in the task force’s ability to arrive at a unanimous proposal.

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff (Akava) and Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK) have expressed their bafflement with the approach taken by EK.

“Employer organisations, trade unions and contracting organisations together agreed on questions, procedures and parties related to local bargaining in collective bargaining agreements. Now EK is questioning the entire bargaining system, trust and the commitment of employer organisations to collective bargaining agreements they themselves have agreed on,” they stated.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi



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Coronavirus patient from Melbourne abattoir has annual leave deducted by employer instead of sick leave


Melbourne abattoir worker Eh Choe, 38, has been home sick with coronavirus for the past two weeks, isolating in a separate room of his house away from the rest of his family.

But despite having to isolate at home, Mr Choe told 7.30 his time off work has been deducted from his annual leave, rather than his sick leave.

He works at the JBS meat-processing plant in Brooklyn in the city’s west, which has been linked to 82 cases of the virus.

“I am drained from having COVID-19,” he told 7.30 through a Karen (a language spoken in Myanmar) translator.

“Even though I am feeling a bit better, my energy is not back to 100 per cent.”

Mr Choe works in the cold room at the factory, often moving between warm and freezing temperatures throughout the day, so when he started to feel a fever, he thought nothing of it at first.

“The inside of my workplace is cold, but I would get sweaty when helping other people or working outside. My body temperature would go up and down while I was working,” he said.

“When I got home at night after work, I got a fever and took medicine. I felt my temperature going down a bit after.”

When he went back in to work at JBS on July 13, the company had COVID-19 tests on site.

A sign outside JBS says 'stay home if unwell'.
Eh Choe works at the JBS meat-processing plant in Brooklyn, Melbourne.(ABC News: Simon Winter)

“I had a bit of a cough at that time, so I took the test, and the next day the result came stating that I am positive.”

He told 7.30 that despite being diagnosed with COVID-19 and needing to stay home and recover, his work did not deduct his two weeks from sick leave.

“I do have sick leave, I have more than 100 hours of sick leave. I saw [on my payslip] that they did not count my days off from my sick leave but instead it’s from my annual leave,” he said.

“Usually we need to fill in a form first before they allow us to take annual leave. But this time they told me I can take days off from work without filling in the form.”

Despite Mr Choe’s experience, JBS said that any worker who tests positive to the virus is entitled to take sick leave.

In a statement, the company said: “There has been confusion among our workforce about the type of leave employees are entitled to take.”

Since being contacted by 7.30, JBS has offered to change Mr Choe’s annual leave to sick leave.

JBS is just one of several meat-processing facilities in Melbourne where COVID clusters have emerged.

JBS’s Brooklyn factory was ordered to shut down for two weeks. The company said it had deep-cleaned the factory and tested all workers at the site.

‘Insecure work is driving the second wave’

A woman wears black glasses and a blue jacket.
Sally McManus would like to see pandemic leave available for all workers.(Supplied)

Workers in essential industries like aged care, transport and manufacturing, who cannot work from home and are often on casual contracts, along with migrants and those with English as a second language, are being hard hit in this second wave.

Sally McManus from the Australian Council of Trade Unions says workers who do not speak English are “so vulnerable to being exploited, exposed, getting infected”.

“If you’ve got the coronavirus, you are certainly sick and it is sick leave, not annual leave,” Ms McManus said.

“It’s those workers that are now becoming the fodder really for the coronavirus pandemic and they’re being sent out to be the essential workers and they’re paying the price.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has implored workers who feel unwell to stay home, and the Government has offered one-off payments of $1,500 for workers without paid sick leave who are required to isolate with COVID-19.

“Too many people are still going to work when they have symptoms,” Mr Andrews said today.

However, Ms McManus said many workers in insecure work may be reluctant to isolate.

“The issue is this: it’s that people who are insecure workers who don’t have sick leave also can be sacked at will,” she said.

“As a community, we need to support those people staying at home, because what they’re doing is they’re actually saving lives and they’re also saving jobs by not going to work and spreading the virus.”

She is adding her voice to the growing call for paid pandemic leave for all workers.

“The obvious thing we need to do [is] to take away that financial penalty that people are currently facing when they weigh up whether they should get tested or whether they should stay at home,” Ms McManus said.

“Insecure work is driving the second wave that’s occurring. The holes it leaves in our defences, the fact that workers don’t have paid sick leave in the middle of a pandemic, is what is spreading the virus.”

Federal Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations Christian Porter told 7.30 in a statement that the Government would look into the issue.

He said the Government would continue working with stakeholders, including the ACTU, “to identify data and evidence illustrating where circumstances may arise where a lack of financial support for a workplace absence could manifest as a contributing cause of workplace transmission of COVID-19, particularly in Victoria”.

“The Government will consider that evidence when it’s made available before deciding next steps.”

Multicultural hub a coronavirus hotspot

A man in a suit speaks at a lectern.
Wyndham Mayor Josh Gilligan said the council was cooking meals for vulnerable community members who were self-isolating.(Supplied: Josh Gilligan)

Mr Choe lives in the city of Wyndham, west of Melbourne. It is a sprawling multicultural hub that its 27-year-old mayor Josh Gilligan is very proud of.

“You will never find a more diverse local government area than Wyndham,” he said.

“You’ve got the second-fastest-growing city in the nation here … 48 per cent of the 275,000 residents that we have are migrants.

“We’ve got over 100 countries represented in our city.”

It has also become known as a COVID-19 hotspot, with the highest number of total confirmed cases in Australia.

The diversity of residents, many of whom do not speak English as a first language, is presenting unique challenges in getting health messages across in the fast-moving environment of a pandemic.

Along with posters and pamphlets in different languages, the council has taken to social media to get the word out on public health messages.

“We’ve been using Facebook, which auto-translates into a whole series of languages across our city,” Mr Gilligan said.

The council is also using its commercial kitchen to cook meals for vulnerable members of the community who are self-isolating.

“This council is delivering 600 meals a week, 250 hampers that are comprised of staples to hundreds of families, some of which have COVID-19, who cannot leave their home because they are in lockdown,” Mr Gilligan said.

“They don’t have the support networks like most of us do, whether that be family born here, as an example.

“We’re making sure that the families in these homes don’t have to choose between making sure they have food to live on, versus leaving the home knowing that would be contrary to strict health guidelines about staying at home.”

Whole family gets coronavirus

A man wears a pink jacket.
Khun Ree has been in isolation at home with coronavirus.(Supplied: Khun Ree)

Another local resident, Khun Ree, 65, tested positive to coronavirus around two weeks ago and has been isolating at home. He has been mostly relying on a weekly Burmese radio show on SBS to keep informed about the virus.

He too caught the virus via a local abattoir.

“My daughter’s husband works in a meat-packaging factory. He got it from there,” Mr Ree told 7.30 through a Burmese translator.

“He didn’t realise what it was. He felt sick, took paracetamol and went back to work. After it happened twice, we drove him to have a test.

“Our whole family went for tests and we tested positive.”

Members of a family sit and stand around a dining table
Khun Ree’s entire household contracted coronavirus.(Supplied: Khun Ree)

Mr Ree lives with eight other family members across three generations. The whole household of nine contracted the virus from his son-in-law who works at the meat-processing facility Somerville Retail Services (SRS) in Tottenham. There have been 106 cases of COVID-19 linked to the facility.

When 7.30 contacted SRS, the company declined to comment.

Watch this story tonight on 7.30.



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Domestic violence survivor, former prisoner and mum of three now an employer with a female-led business


Not yet 40 years old, Canberra woman Joan Anderson has lived through a lot.

Joan has fled two violent domestic relationships, raised three children in-and-out of women’s refuges, served time for cocaine importation, fought drug and alcohol addiction, and had a six-month hospitalisation for mental illness, resulting in her children’s temporarily rehoming.

Her experiences — unimaginable to most — have transformed her into a compassionate and focused business owner who hires other women.

But a decade ago, Joan felt trapped in a “helpless” existence.

Having served a 19-month jail sentence, she desperately wanted to turn her life around, but said she was “released to a refuge and given nothing but a $10 Coles voucher”.

She said feelings of hunger and loneliness took hold and, being at her lowest, she reconnected with old friends and mingled with the wrong kinds of people.

“When I first met him, I had met him because my ex had assaulted me, and I had visible injuries of assault,” Joan said.

“He mentioned, ‘Men should never hit women’ … so I had a lot of faith in him. But after I got pregnant, it got a lot worse.

Three states, no money, no car, two kids, and pregnant

The pregnant mother tried to get help, but said domestic violence services were initially dismissive.

“They would say, ‘You need to get an AVO [apprehended violence order]’, and I’d say, ‘Well, I already have one. It’s just a piece of paper and he walks straight through it.’ And they’d say, ‘Maybe you don’t understand how an AVO works.'”

Joan eventually got out of the relationship with the help of child protection services and local police.

“There had been a serious assault when I was five months’ pregnant,” she said.

“That prompted CYPS [community services] to say, ‘Look, let’s get you in the refuge today; we’ll pick up your kids from school.’

“We had to move between three states, and I didn’t have any money … I had no car and I was pregnant with my youngest.

“I can’t overstate the difference in our life now, for making that decision and going.

Three gardeners in uniform.
Women Get It Done gives independence to women experiencing family violence and significant barriers to employment.(ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

‘Confidence, interaction and community engagement’

Once settled in Canberra, Joan started the business Women Get It Done to give independence to other women experiencing family violence and significant barriers to employment.

The service offers gardening and maintenance work to people in Canberra with the labour carried out by female employees in need.

Women Get It Done also collects donated furniture and whitegoods to give to domestic violence survivors entering refuges and public housing.

Joan said she did not want other women to have the experiences she did, of trying to rebuild with nothing.

Instead she said the most fulfilling element of her business had been witnessing vulnerable women gain “confidence, interaction and community engagement” through employment.

Safer Families Levy has raised $21 million for Canberra hub

Joan’s contribution has been meaningful on a smaller scale, but other measures, including the ACT Government’s $30 Safer Families Levy, have been broader.

Ever since Marcus Rappel murdered his ex-partner, Tara Costigan, as she fled with her newborn, Canberra’s levy has raised $21 million for the Family Safety Hub.

Two law enforcement officers in uniform.
ACT Policing’s Acting Superintendent of Judicial and Family Violence Operations Susan Smith and family violence coordination unit specialised officer Senior Constable Brendan Thurgar.(ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

That money helped launch ACT Policing’s family violence coordination unit, employing specialised officer Senior Constable Brendan Thurgar.

Since 2016, the unit has helped almost 2,000 people to obtain apprehended violence orders (AVOs) and link up with support services, such as the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, and Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services (MARSS), Senior Constable Thurgar said.

Family Violence Evidence in Chief reforms also came into effect after Ms Costigan’s murder, allowing ACT Policing to unlock a powerful tool to use in court.

It has meant officers can conduct “contemporaneous” video or audio interviews with victims at the scene.

The court “gets to see the emotion of the victim, any injuries on the victim, the environment the incident occurred in, rather than a black-and-white piece of paper,” Senior Constable Thurgar said.

Acting Superintendent of Judicial and Family Violence Operations Susan Smith said the unit had led ACT Policing to recognise that not all family violence situations benefitted from, or even required, a police response.

She said the unit often enlisted third-party counselling services, behavioural management courses and perpetrator programs:

Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Minister Yvette Berry said the levy had also formed the Health Justice Partnership, meaning 297 women had been assisted by Legal Aid and the Women’s Legal Centre over the past year.

The partnership links women in need with legal advice when they use the public health system.

Ms Berry said the top legal issues for these women were domestic and family violence, parenting and child support, contact orders, and property and housing.

“On average, each client had around four legal issues, showing the complexity of their circumstances when they saw the lawyer,” Ms Berry said.

She said the partnership had demonstrated prevention and early intervention rather than “just an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff approach”.



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