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Fresh Starts and New Employee Resources

As we wrap up 2023 it’s a good time to review your hiring practices and think about your employee goals for 2024.  Are you maximizing your resources (especially your talent)?  Are you being creative when it comes to your employees and/or thought about what that even means?


Over the last few months, there’s been a resurgence of companies bringing employees back into the physical office to work.  Many companies believed there was a lack of synergy in having their employees scattered and in-office meetings encourage brainstorming and spontaneity that sparks new ideas.  While I’m a fan of hybrid opportunities (allowing for flexibility and in person contact), I want to make sure we don’t lose sight of the opportunities flexible work arrangements may provide.


When hiring employees, are you using the same resources you’ve always used?  Are you targeting populations that may be overlooked and untapped?  With the availability of remote work instituted by Covid, individuals with disabilities were able to take advantage of work arrangements they may not have been afforded previously.  For some, leaving the house isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s a hardship.  And there are job boards and resources provided that specifically target these individuals. 


In addition, women are often serving dual roles as caregivers and may require more flexible work arrangements.  The DOL’s Women’s Bureau recently noted a study they commissioned reported caregiving reduced lifetime earnings by an average of 15%. Most of these caregivers want to be productive and efficient employees but need some additional flexibility.  Leaders tend to agree that having a motivated and appreciative employee increases productivity and morale.


Finally, there are individuals who’ve been incarcerated for a variety of reasons who are now looking for employment opportunities.  These are individuals who have made mistakes and learned from them.  Most truly appreciate the opportunity to be good employees and show how they can contribute to organizational success.  Opening the door to 2nd chance hiring can also lead to new and motivated resources.


If you haven’t yet actively recruited these individuals, check the following for ideas:

·         The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep;

·         The Workforce Initiative and Opportunity Act (WIOA) or www.Careeronestop.org;

·         The DOL’s Women’s Bureau at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/wb;

·         In Texas, the Texas Workforce Commission, https://www.twc.texas.gov/, can help with suggestions for recruiting and retaining second chance individuals;

·         In other states, check with the state labor offices (you can find these through:  https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/state/contacts).


The key is to be intentional in looking into these areas.  There are resources and individuals out there ready to work!  Rethink your current efforts to expand your horizons!






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