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Ten Things That Require Zero Talent

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching (

Saw this at a client’s office, and had to share…

Ten Things That Require Zero Talent

1.       Being on Time

2.       Work Ethic

3.       Effort

4.       Body Language

5.       Energy

6.       Attitude

7.       Passion

8.       Being Coachable

9.       Doing Extra

10.     Being Prepared

I agree with this list. Some of the items may be redundant, but it stresses how important the things are that we all can easily control when at work. It's also why I'm a proponent of the saying "Hire for attitude and train for skill."

Happy Selling!

Tags:  attitude  hiring  improve sales 

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What You Need to Know About Overtime!

Posted By Kenyatta Turner, LegalShield Independent Associate, Monday, June 26, 2017


If your employees work more than 40 hours per 7-day workweek they may be entitled to overtime pay. New overtime rules were set to take effect late in 2016. These regulations would have expanded the number of employees eligible to receive overtime pay but they are currently tied up in federal court. It is vital that you observe the current regulations to avoid potential fines or litigation. If you have questions about state or federal overtime rules, contact your LegalShield provider law firm.

  • Current Rules - Federal overtime regulations are part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA entitles employees working more than 40 hours in a workweek to one and one-half times their regular pay rate. If your business has, “an annual gross volume of sales made or business done of $500,000 or more” you are required to pay overtime. All schools, hospitals, medical facilities and public agencies are required to pay overtime. Click here to determine whether FLSA applies to your business.
  • State Regulations - Many states set additional rules for overtime pay. California, for example, requires overtime for those who work more than 8 hours in a day and double pay for those who work more than 12 hours in a day. Other states set specific thresholds for businesses that must comply with overtime rules. Arkansas requires employers with more than 4 employees to pay overtime. Click here to view a map highlighting current state overtime laws. It is important to understand both the federal and states regulations where you do business.
  • Exempt Employees – There are exemptions for some executive, administrative, computer professionals and other professional service employees.

From the Department of Labor:

A. Currently, to qualify for exemption, a white-collar employee generally must:

  1. be salaried, meaning that they are paid a predetermined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed (the "salary basis test");
  2. be paid at least a specific salary threshold, which is $455 per week (the equivalent of $23,660 annually for a full-year employee) in existing regulations (the "salary level test"); and
  3. primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties, as provided in the Department's regulations (the "duties test").

Certain employees are not subject to either the salary basis or salary level tests (for example, doctors, teachers, and lawyers).

  • New Rules from 2016 – Overtime exemption thresholds were set to nearly double in December of 2016; however, the new rule is currently tied up in court. There is a great deal of speculation about the fate of the new rule with many expecting a change in direction from the new administration. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would allow certain employers to offer comp time instead of overtime pay. The bill still must pass the Senate but it is yet another sign that changes are coming. It is important for all businesses to follow these changes carefully.  If you have any questions, contact your LegalShield provider law firm or Kenyatta Turner at 602-367-1069 or

Tags:  Accounting  business owners  business resources  business risk  business services  employees  Employers  Hiring  HR  human resources  labor  legal  legal services  management  small biz  small business  small business owner  startup  tax  wage hour lawsuits  women-owned business 

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5 Reasons Your Small Business Should Have an Employment Application

Posted By Margaret Jacoby SPHR, MJ Management Solutions, Inc., Wednesday, January 13, 2016

employment applicationEmployee hiring is vital in building a desired culture within small businesses and organizations. Having a team that truly understands what your business is trying to accomplish and that works well together to meet common goals is the quickest path to success. But how do you get to that point? It all starts with finding the best HR solutions for the employee hiring process—more specifically, detailed employee applications.

You may think that accepting a resume should be sufficient, but using a comprehensive employee application saves organizations time and money in the long-run by making the hiring process more efficient.


Still only using resumes to find good candidates? Need a simple, easy-to-use employment application along with other important hiring documents? Check out our WebForms here.


Here are five reasons to develop and use a strategic employee application.

Reason 1: To Weed Out Obvious Wrong Choices
The employee application is your first chance to filter out those candidates who simply aren’t a good fit for your company culture. When you include relevant, behavior-driven questions, in addition to the basics, you’re better able to filter through applicants before ever meeting them in person.

Using the employee application form in this manner prevents wasted time on interviews that won’t produce qualified job candidates. It also frees you up to spend more time learning about potential employees in whom you’re genuinely interested.

Reason 2: To Be Prepared for Interviews
Scheduling and conducting interviews is a time-consuming process. More often than not, the majority of interview time is spent discussing job history, career and personal goals, and values. Knowing the answers to these types of questions before you begin each interview allows you to dive right in and get straight to the point.

employee hiring application interviewA comprehensive employee application helps you prepare for interviews so that you can truly get to know every interviewee and determine if he or she is a good fit for your organization.

Reason 3: To Remain Legally Compliant
In today’s world, inadvertently asking someone the wrong thing can lead to serious legal repercussions. This holds true whether the incident occurs in person, in writing, or otherwise. Unfortunately for business owners and managers, there’s a fine line between getting the information you need and digging too deep.

It’s important to the success of your business that you know as much as is necessary to choose the right person for your team; the engagement of your employees depends on it. On the other hand, being too invasive could get you into trouble. Finding the right balance starts with developing an effective employee application.

Reason 4: To Eliminate Untruthful Candidates
When you use employment applications instead of relying on resumes only you have a strong base for rejecting candidates who are untruthful. Applicants can be required to sign an application and state that all information contained in the application is true. Failure to be truthful or omission of relevant information such as a criminal conviction can later be grounds for immediate dismissal. Resumes only give you the information the candidate wants you to have. An application can ask for information you need to evaluate the suitability of the candidate

Reason 5: To Streamline the Employee Hiring Process
Last, but certainly not least, developing a comprehensive and strategic employee application helps to streamline the hiring process, making it a more efficient and effective procedure. This relieves some of the stress that naturally accompanies times of transition and growth within organizations.

Now What?

At MJ Management Solutions, Inc. we offer HR solutions to keep your business in compliance while streamlining processes like employee hiring by providing customizable, downloadable forms. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you customize an employee application, or subscribe to our newsletter to receive one free form each month.

Tags:  employment  hiring  small business 

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Year-End HR Planning: 7 Areas Needing Your Focus

Posted By Margaret Jacoby SPHR, MJ Management Solutions, Inc., Wednesday, December 30, 2015

year end HR planningThe end of a year brings with it an opportunity to evaluate successes and challenges, both personal and professional. As you celebrate the holidays and anticipate the start of 2016, remember the importance of year-end planning within your business.

Year-End HR Review

One of the most crucial aspects of your year-end HR planning is policy review. And the best place to begin a comprehensive review of your policies? Your employee handbook. When it comes to HR solutions for small businesses, this one document contains everything needed to effectively manage employees and handle day-to-day responsibilities.

Many business owners and managers become overwhelmed at the thought of reviewing their human resources hiring processes and everything contained within the pages of the all-powerful handbook. And rightly so—that’s a lot of information! But this review is vital to your ongoing success and to ensuring your company remains in compliance with increasingly aggressive employment laws.


Don't have an employee handbook? We can help you start the New Year right by developing a customized handbook for your business—just contact us.


Fortunately for you, we’ve broken down the employee handbook into the most important sections to review. Here are the seven sections, along with things to remember about each.

  1. Background Check Policies. Many employers use criminal and credit checks to help determine if a candidate is the right fit for their company. When making your decision, be careful that these checks don’t have a negative impact on certain groups of people. For example, if someone has been convicted of a crime, consider the type of crime and whether it affects this person’s ability to perform the job.
  2. Application Forms. Your new hire packet should include a comprehensive employee application form that gives you all the information needed to make your decision, without putting you at risk for a discrimination law suit.
  3. I-9 Forms. Employers in all states are required by the federal government to verify and record employment eligibility of all workers using this form. New versions are released periodically, so it’s important to make sure yours is the most current.
  4. Classification of Workers. There are two things to consider under this category: exemption status and employment status.
    • Exemption status. The law requires that employees not only receive at least minimum wage, but that they also receive additional compensation for any hours worked beyond 40 each week. Certain job positions are classified as exempt from these requirements, meaning they aren’t guaranteed overtime pay. The federal law is a bit complex and individual states may have additional regulations, so consider speaking to an HR expert while reviewing this part of your handbook.
    • Employment status. Some employers choose to work with independent contractors in order to avoid certain obligations. However, the guidelines for classifying independent contractors are stringent, and you may have workers who fall under the classification of "employee.” This could lead to legal repercussions, since these workers who are being treated as independent contractors may not be receiving everything the law requires.
  5. Pay Practices. While it’s expected that varying positions earn varying salaries, government employment agencies strive to promote pay equity. This means that similar positions should receive similar pay, regardless of race or gender. Conduct a self-audit of your pay practices and begin working on those areas that don’t reflect equity.
  6. Social Media Policies. Many companies have begun laying out specific "dos and don’ts” for employees’ interactions on social media. However, some social media communication regarding terms and conditions of employment is protected under the National Labor Relations Act. Make sure the language of your policy makes it clear that you do not prohibit these types of communication.
  7. Medical Leave Policies. When reviewing these policies, you want to make sure they don’t call for the termination of employees who have been on leave for a specific amount of time. Instead, communicate that the employer and employee will engage in a discussion of reasonable accommodations (interactive process) or extension of the leave of absence before the employee is terminated.

Making Year-End Planning Simple

When you’re ready to start your policy review in preparation for the new year, reach out to MJ Management Solutions, Inc. We have the HR solutions you need to manage the administration of human resources in your business and ensure a successful start to 2016.

Margaret Jacoby, SPHR, is the founder and president of MJ Management Solutions, a human resources consulting firm that provides small businesses with a wide range of virtual and onsite HR solutions to meet their immediate and long-term needs. From ensuring legal compliance to writing customized employee handbooks to conducting sexual harassment training, businesses depend on our expertise and cost-effective human resources services to help them thrive.

Let’s connect: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Google+



Tags:  entrepreneur  hiring  small business  small business hiring 

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Don't Let Employees Park Their Brains at the Door

Posted By Gabriel Salcido, Arizona Small Business Association, Saturday, February 14, 2015

Decades ago during the industrial revolution, leaders of companies settled on a management style that involved relating to their employees that I call, "Park your brain at the door." 

These managers apparently decided their employees were unable or unwilling to be engaged in the business, understand metrics, make suggestions for improvement or even be productive.

So managers decided that their employees should arrive at work each day and park their brains at the door.


Regardless of how productive employees were at home, such as being president of the local parent teacher association, leading a Boy Scouts troop or participating in church activities, they were seen as incapable of transferring that knowledge and skill to the workplace.

Management told people to show up each day, not to ask questions or make recommendations, not to analyze things and just do what they were told. At the end of the day, people had to pick up their brains again and go home. I believe this poor leadership style was one of the reasons for the rise in union activity.

It seems inconceivable that management behaved this way and got away with it for so many years because as today’s leaders know, the most knowledgeable employees about a process are usually the people who perform it everyday.

Process decomposition, mapping and documentation efforts rely on groups of employees who actually perform a job. For this reason, not only is it desirable; it should be mandatory that employees are not allowed to leave their brains at the door.

Employers should want, need and expect employees to think on the job, make recommendations and suggest steps for improvement.

This obvious but critical concept is even more important with the new employees that companies are hiring today.

When I was a young manager my boss just had to tell me what to do and I did it. That was why I received a paycheck.

But today, some Gen X and Y employees not only want to know what you want them to do; they insist on knowing why you want them to do it. This puts pressure on today’s leaders to become “servant leaders,” a phrase coined by Robert K Greenleaf to describe the leadership concept of tailoring your style to the needs of your employees.

These contemporary workers are less likely to park their brains at the door and instead tend to be vocal even if their boss doesn’t ask for their input.

Remember that the #1 reason employees leave companies is due to a bad relationship with their boss or manager. This means that today’s leaders have to be very sensitive about the feedback they provide subordinates. 

If leaders want to keep their best and brightest, they should regularly solicit and welcome recommendations, suggestions and input about company processes.

Do you insist your people bring their brains to work? If so, how do you encourage their input?  


Tags:  Employee Benefits  hiring  team 

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10 Reasons Why You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Mis-hire

Posted By Jerry Houston, HPISolutions, Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Industry colleague Steve Morris gives us some great advice about mishires... Bad hires are draining, both financially and emotionally. We might also add that they are very disruptive to business. Today, more than ever, it's important to understand the system you employ to find new talent will determine whether you make a sound and strategic business hire.


Here are 10 reasons you can't afford the luxury of a bad hire and what inevitably happens when you hire the wrong person for the job... and think how this poor hire will affect your teambuilding efforts in your organization!

  1. Wasting time and money defining the job, advertising for the position, recruiting potential candidates, and interviewing key prospects.

  2. Paying unrecoverable fees to recruiters and incurred legal fees (should the ex-employee sue).

  3. Wasting time and effort on existing employees during the on-boarding and training processes, as well as getting the new hire acclimated to your business.

  4. Turn out less work or fewer, if any, results for every dollar and hour you invested, because the bad hire did not do their job.

  5. Frustrate and negatively impact the workload of all the people who worked with the bad hire and who were expecting better performance; some may even disengage as a result.

  6. Lose opportunities to engage and sell to new and existing customers; as a result, you may sour relationships with potential new clients.

  7. Destroy long term relationships with key existing clients.

  8. Other people you employ may be led in the wrong direction.

  9. Lose the time invested in coaching and other attempts at corrective action.

  10. Depending on the job, total dollars lost in opportunities. The collective effort of others in the company could range from a few months of payroll to tens of millions of dollars in less than two years. 

We agree with Steve that we don't know any business that can afford these multiple and sometimes hidden costs of a single bad hire.

The bottom line must hire right the first time with a disciplined job benchmarking and job-matching process.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? Contact us today at and register for our FREE workshop, Building High Performance Teams on October 23rd.


Tags:  Employees  Hire  Hiring  HR  Tips 

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What to Do Before Hiring Your First Employee

Posted By Rhette Baughman, Arizona Small Business Association, Friday, August 8, 2014

When your business takes off and you have more work than you can do, consider hiring your first employee.

Here are eight steps from SCORE and the Small Business Administration on what to do to comply with federal and Arizona regulations.

1. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as an Employer Tax ID or Form SS-4, from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

2. Set up records for withholding taxes. For federal income tax withholding, employees sign a withholding exemption certificate, Form W-4 and employers submit Form W-4 to the IRS; employers annually report wages paid and taxes withheld on Form W-2 to the federal government in a federal wage and tax statement (plus send Copy A of the W-2 forms to the Social Security Administration as well as to your employee (go to for dates and details).

For Arizona state taxes, employers withhold Arizona income tax from the payment of wages for compensation for services performed in Arizona, and new employees complete Arizona Form A-4 available on

3. Federal law requires employers to verify an employee’s eligibility to work in the U.S. and complete Form I-9 (employment eligibility verification) attesting to the confirmation. Employers can use the information on Form I-9 to electronically verify the employment eligibility of a new hired employee by registering on E-Verify (

4. Report newly hired employees to the Arizona New Hire Reporting Center (

5. Obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis or through the Industrial Commission of Arizona.

6. Arizona law requires small businesses to display posters in a place where employees will see them easily. Required posters (English/Spanish) can be downloaded free from the Industrial Commission website. The U.S. Department of Labor provides a Web page on workplace poster requirements for small businesses.

7. Develop a job description for each employee that outlines the major duties and specific job expectations along with skills and qualifications required.

8. Write an employee handbook for your business: workplace rules and policies you want your employees to follow.

Originally published at Arizona Daily Star. Written by Diane Diamond. Photo credit flazingo_photos via photopin cc.

Tags:  entrepreneur  hiring  hr  new company  small biz  Small Business  startup 

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