Top Talent Prefers Being Recruited Via Their Mobile Device | Colorado Employee Benefits Advisors

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If you haven???t noticed, newspapers are shrinking in size. Fewer people, especially the younger demographic of 18- to 40-year-olds, read them and this especially applies to when they???re searching for jobs. Employers who continue to use only the older methods of recruitment ??? classified ads and job boards ??? may not attract the most coveted applicants due to them not seeing the posting, or worse, feeling that the company looking to fill the position is old-fashioned and not technologically up to date.

According to an article on the website of Society For Human Resource Management titled, ???The Most Sought-After Talent Prefer Mobile Recruitment,??? almost 70{2eaa4f485d9cc6f51fe4a6cf8ce3ef0ebac906948fdf8a67ddff1a19f4ba00be} of applicants labeled as ???high-potentials??? were attracted more to companies with mobile recruiting options versus just over 50{2eaa4f485d9cc6f51fe4a6cf8ce3ef0ebac906948fdf8a67ddff1a19f4ba00be} of other applicants. Another comparison of high-potentials shows that about 75{2eaa4f485d9cc6f51fe4a6cf8ce3ef0ebac906948fdf8a67ddff1a19f4ba00be} use mobile devices when searching for jobs while only 40{2eaa4f485d9cc6f51fe4a6cf8ce3ef0ebac906948fdf8a67ddff1a19f4ba00be} of other potential employees do.

Because most people tend to do everything on their tablets or smartphones, it makes sense that searching for a job would just be another addition to that list. The article bears that out, noting that convenience is one of the primary reasons that high-potentials do this. Besides convenience, another benefit noted is that information can be obtained quickly via mobile device and high-potentials can respond faster to job postings.

The article states that everyone, at some point, will use a mobile device when job hunting, but those who are high-potentials take it to the next level. Everything from researching companies, receiving job alerts, filling out job applications, and even taking assessments was more likely to be done by a high-potential candidate on a mobile device. Furthermore, high-potentials were nearly two times as likely to prefer text messages and communication through social media (e.g., LinkedIn).

So, what???s the message to employers? If you want to attract top talent, then you must utilize mobile recruiting. Employers can build such a program by integrating all their job search functions, such as listings, applications, assessment tests, etc. on a mobile platform. They also need to make it simple and streamlined. As the article states, you don???t want a candidate who???s a high-potential to skip through your job recruiting process due to frustration.

 

Originally published by United Benefit Advisors

Employers Hope To Alter Health Care Reform

Following Republican gains in the U.S. midterm elections, the desire of U.S. employer organizations to make substantial changes to the health care reform legislation passed in March 2010 was the focus of a panel discussion at the??National Business Coalition on Health‘s 2010 annual conference, held Nov. 11-12, in Washington, D.C.

“Maybe now we can have a conversation between the two sides. Maybe one of the positives of the election is that it will result in a better answer from us, the American people,” said Larry Becker, director of strategic partnerships and alliances at Xerox.

Wish Lists

After a widely anticipated effort in early 2011 by the Republican-controlled House to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act fails in the Democrat-controlled Senate, “we have our list and we’re checking it twice,” said Randy Johnson, senior vice president for labor and employee benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, referring to modifications in the law that he believes could attract bipartisan support. In the short run, he expects to see “even more confusion for the business community” over the future of health care but also “an opportunity to make improvements” in what the Chamber views as a deeply flawed law.

Johnson said the Chamber’s top priorities are:

??? Repealing the 2014 employer mandate to provide coverage or pay a penalty.

??? Repealing the 2018 excise tax on high-value (so-called “Cadillac”) health plans.

Among more targeted initiatives, he pointed to:

??? Repealing the 2011 tax form 1099 requirement for all vendor transactions above $600.

??? Repealing the 2011 exclusion on purchasing??over-the-counter medications using flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts.

??? “Possibly” changing the 2012 requirement to report the value of an employee???s health benefits on individual form W-2s.

Maria Ghazal, director of public policy at the Business Roundtable,??an association of CEOs from large U.S. companies, said she would like to see “implementation of the law in the least disruptive and least costly way.” While faulting several aspects of the legislation, she noted that there was “high enthusiasm for its??wellness and??prevention provisions among our members.”

Other top priorities for the Business Roundtable, Ghazal said, are:

??? Passing medical liability reform, including a safe harbor for health care providers following best-practice guidelines. Ghazal called liability reform “an underused piece of limiting health care costs.”

??? Adding incentives for more consumer choice and engagement, “such as with the use of??health savings accounts,” and “giving employers the tools to manage their health benefits more effectively.”

“More options, not fewer, are key to stemming the rate of health care cost increases,” Ghazal said. She expressed the hope that the midterm elections might create “an opportunity to create more competition” under health care reform.

“Make sure the money is spent well. Let’s make sure we get value added,” said Xerox’s Becker. He called for “getting transparency around cost and quality to consumers and providers so that, at every point, patients have access to the data about providers. And providers who have authorization ought to have access to patient data.”

Excise Tax

On the 2018 excise tax on Cadillac plans, Becker noted that there would be “two major elections between now and then. That [tax provision] may change.”

Ghazal pointed out that??excise tax calculators are available online and that “companies are looking at the tax. Generally, everyone’s evaluating it,” but whether they’ll respond by lessening the value of their health benefits or dropping coverage is uncertain.

“Many employers are surprised to find they’d be considered a Cadillac plan,” said panel moderator Cheryl Demars, CEO of??The Alliance, a cooperative of employers seeking to control health care costs with improved quality and individual engagement.

The Chamber’s Johnson noted that, under the health care law, the excise tax doesn’t take effect until 2018 “largely due to union pressure.” How unions respond as 2018 approaches could be key to the future of the tax, he observed.

Grandfathered Status

Addressing the issue of whether or not to maintain??grandfathered status, most large employers “are leaning toward not staying grandfathered because of the economic issues involved,” said Becker, pointing to the “need to raise employees??? share of premiums due to rising health care costs.”

“Generally, our companies have moved on” regarding the loss of grandfathered status, concurred Ghazal, adding of the grandfather provision, “it’s almost as if you need an advanced degree to understand it.”

Pay or Play?

Johnson noted that a 2010??survey by consulting firm Mercer indicated that??a fifth of U.S. small employers (those with 10 to 499 employees) were likely to terminate their health plans, especially those with low-paid workers and high turnover,??under the “pay or play” rules that take effect in 2014, the same year that state-run health care exchanges launch. “Others are planning to stay below 50 employees to avoid the no-play penalty,” he added.

Johnson dismissed the??small business tax credits provided under the reform law (to encourage small businesses to maintain coverage) as “extremely limited and virtually useless, in the view of the Chamber’s small business members.”

IRS Offers Tax Break on 401(k) Rollovers

WASHINGTON???The Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance making it clear that the 20% withholding tax that applies to certain pension distributions will not be imposed on 401(k) account balances that employees roll over to Roth 401(k) accounts.

???Mandatory 20% withholding does not apply to in-plan Roth direct rollovers,??? the IRS said in a notice that was made available Tuesday.

The rollover feature was included in a small-business jobs bill that President Barack Obama signed into law followingcongressional passage in September.

If employers add the conversion feature this year, employees who roll over funds into a Roth 401(k) will get an extra tax break.

Under the law, employees who roll over funds from their regular 401(k) plan to a Roth 401(k) account by year end can pay taxes that are due on the money in equal parts in 2011 and 2012 rather than pay the entire tax liability next year.

But employers had been reluctant to add the feature until regulators resolved numerous questions, including whether the 20% withholding tax applied, that arose since thelegislation passed.

The IRS notice is at??http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/article/0,,id=109875,00.html.

Autism Enters Into Benefits Equation

When Michael Kulstad???s son, Cameron, was diagnosed with autism at age 4, Kulstad knew he faced years of expensive medical treatment.

. . . Unfortunately, his employer, an international law firm, didn???t provide such comprehensive coverage. Kulstad struggled to coordinate care for his son and manage the red tape involved in getting just part of Cameron???s therapy covered.

. . . Unlike other chronic medical conditions diagnosed in childhood, autism is sometimes mislabeled as a learning disability and doesn???t qualify for coverage under some insurance plans. The National Institutes of Health defines autism as ???a developmental disorder that appears in the first three years of life and affects the brain???s normal development of social and communication skills.???

. . . [Twenty-three] states have mandated autism coverage, with such initiatives currently making their way through 22 other state legislatures and the District of Columbia. But state mandates aren???t a panacea for parents of autistic children. The laws can???t require companies with self-funded insurance plans . . . to offer autism coverage. ERISA exempts such plans . . . from compliance with state insurance laws.

. . . Douglas Nemecek, the national medical director of behavioral health for Cigna Corp., the Philadelphia-based insurance company, also receives more inquiries from companies about autism benefits. Some employers ???recognize the significant impact the autism spectrum disorder is having on the employees and their family,??? he said. ???On the other side, they are balancing that with concerns for the cost of these treatments, especially with the cost associated with the intensive Applied Behavior Analysis treatment,??? which is individualized behavior-based therapy.

Employers Seek New Path to Savings with Dependant Eligibility Audits

More employers are scrutinizing employees’ health-insurance dependents in order to weed out ineligible beneficiaries.

Employers are looking to cut costs amid a sputtering economy and worries that health-care reform will accelerate rising corporate health-care expenses.

So some companies are conducting audits to verify dependents’ eligibility, to make sure they aren’t paying for people they shouldn’t be.

Benefits-consulting companies say interest in dependent audits has been growing for the past few years, but has ticked up more recently. ConSova Corp., whose business is mostly dependent audits, says sales have increased 150% this year over last year, and that it has already booked four times as many dependent audits for 2011 than it did in 2010.

Budco’s Budco Health Service Solutions, another firm that conducts dependent audits, says it expects to perform 25% to 30% more such audits in the first quarter of 2011 over the year-earlier period.

These companies aim to verify the relationships of dependents such as spouses and children, soliciting documents including marriage and birth certificates. In many cases, employers haven’t previously asked employees to verify dependents’ eligibility.

“Historically it’s been the honor system,” says Michael Smith, chief executive of ConSova, of Lakewood, Colo. “If you say that’s your spouse, they believe you,” he says.

Employers next year will pay an estimated $7,612 in health-care premiums on average per employee, a 7.8% increase over this year, according to Aon Hewitt. Employers paid an average of $2,100 annually per dependent in 2009, the most recent year available, according to human-resources consulting firm Mercer.

In most cases where an audit finds ineligible dependents, employees appear to have made honest mistakes. Some have enrolled non-immediate family members without realizing coverage shouldn’t extend to them, or they forgot to remove children who graduate from college or got too old.

Other times, employees are cheating. Budco says one third of the ineligible dependents it finds are the result of fraud, mostly in divorces when spouses try to keep their exes on their plans, says Dave Chojnacki, executive vice president of Budco Health Service Solutions.

In many minor cases, companies remove the dependent without penalty. For more serious offenses, employers sometimes ask workers for repayment or fire them, says Mr. Chojnacki.

It can violate federal law if an employee knowingly provides false information in writing to an employee benefits plan. But employees rarely get sued for this, partly because the amounts at stake are generally small, says Tom Christina, an attorney at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart.

Government contractor Science Applications International Corp. began an audit this month. It had done spot audits before, but never a full-scale one. Now, the McClean, Va., based company is asking 30,000 of its employees to verify dependents.

“We wanted to make sure we weren’t spending more than we should have and wanted to position ourselves well for upcoming changes in health-care legislation,” says Brian Keenan, executive vice president of human resources at SAIC.

The company has seen health-care costs rise over the last several years. Mr. Keenan expects the audit to save the company between $3 million and $4 million next year. He expects the impact of health-care reform to cost the company between $2 million and $3 million in 2011.

He says the company will deal with offenders on a case by case basis. At the very least, it will drop ineligible dependents. If it finds fraud, it will take more serious action, he says.

Defense contractor DynCorp International LLC is completing its first dependent audit of its 8,000 U.S. employees and expects to save more than $800,000 next year, says Don Platt, director of corporate benefits. So far, the audit has discovered 160 deceased dependents and more than 90 ineligible children, says Mr. Platt.

DynCorp considered making employees repay the company, but decided not to because it was complicated to determine how much each employee would owe, says Mr. Platt.

New employees now have to verify dependents with documents, says Mr. Platt. They also have to sign a form saying that the information they are providing is accurate and if found to be untrue they will be terminated.

National Semiconductor Corp. is currently doing a health-care dependent audit through??XeroxCorp.’s ACS. The Santa Clara, Calif., based analog-chip maker is asking 1,400 employees with dependents to attest that their dependent information complies with National’s rules. The audit will be completed at the end of November.Typically companies find that between 3% and 8% of employees are ineligible. National expects to be in the lower range of that percentage, says a spokeswoman. “In light of U.S. health-care reform, the audit provides an opportunity for us to evaluate everything and clean-up our data,” the spokeswoman says.

HHS Approves Medical Loss Ratio Rule

Source: Business Insurance
19-Nov-2010

By Jerry Geisel

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [last week] issued the first in what will be a series of guidance and rules to aid states in complying with a health care reform law requirement to set up insurance exchanges by 2014.

Under the law, the exchanges are to be open to individuals, such as those working for companies that do not offer coverage, and small employers [initially]. Coverage will be offered by commercial insurers, much like the exchange that was created by Massachusetts’ 2006 health care reform law.

In the initial guidance, HHS notes that states will have the option to establish exchanges as a governmental agency, either as part of an existing agency or through the creation of a new state agency. Alternatively, an exchange could be part an independent public authority, as is the case in Massachusetts.

The guidance also says exchanges could negotiate rates with insurers or could act as a ???clearinghouse??? that would be open to all qualified insurers.

The guidance is available at www.hhs.gov.