impactnews: Karen Walsh Publishes Column in the BBJ on Harassment in the Workplace

Baltimore Business Journal

impactHR’s Karen Walsh, in a column published last week in the Baltimore Business Journal, says it’s no easy task  to understand fully why harassment continues to be prevalent in the workplace today. Yet, Walsh writes, there are a number of practical steps that can be taken by both employers and employees to improve this dynamic and begin a new era of safety and dignity for employees on the job.

Read more

MD General Assembly: Governor Signs Manufacturing Jobs Measure, Expected to Veto Paid Leave Bill

The Maryland General Assembly earlier this month wrapped up its 2017 session, which included action on two bills of interest relative to human resources. First, MD Governor Larry Hogan, Jr. signed into law the “More Jobs for Marylanders Program,” which aims to spur new job growth in manufacturing in counties defined as economically distressed.

Maryland State House

Maryland State House

Under this law, new and existing manufacturers in certain counties may obtain a 10-year income tax credit based on the number of jobs created at the facility and a 100% property tax credit. This measure, among other provisions, also aims to bolster workforce development in MD-based manufacturing by establishing an income tax credit for businesses that employ an eligible apprentice.

In other legislative action, Governor Hogan has said he may veto the “Maryland Healthy Working Families Act,” a bill approved during this session by the MD House and Senate on the topic of paid sick and safe leave. The measure, in brief, would require employers with 15 or more employees to provide their employees with 40 hours of paid sick and safe leave annually beginning on January 1, 2018.

In addition, under this bill, employers with 14 or fewer employees must have a corresponding policy that provides an employee with at least unpaid sick and safe leave. The governor has until May 30, 2017 to veto the bill formally while, in this case, the General Assembly would have to wait until the 2018 session (in January) to mount an override of the veto.

Read more

Survey: Establishing Company Culture Helps Drive Success

A significant majority of business leaders (86%) say company or organization culture is a “major contributor” to their success, according to a new survey by The Alternative Board (TAB). In TAB’s Business Pulse Survey, business leaders surveyed identified the following as having the greatest impact on determining company culture: an enjoyable workplace, mentoring, opportunities to advance and continuing education/training.

In addition, the survey showed that the top three ways to improve a company or organization’s culture are: showing stronger leadership, bolstering personal bonds between employees and customers and promoting more transparency throughout the enterprise.

Read more

impactHR Partners Again with Casey Cares to Encourage Donations of Pajamas/Gift Cards for Critically Ill Children

ImpactHR is once again joining to help the Baltimore-based Casey Cares Foundation with their 2017 “Gift Card and Pajamas” donation drive. Casey Cares encourages year-round donations of gift cards and pajamas for children who are critically ill and receiving treatment in Baltimore-Washington area hospitals. If you or your organization would like to participate in this drive, we invite you to consider donating:

Casey Cares

Casey Cares Pajamas/Gift Card Drive

  • $10-$20 Gift Cards from Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, chain restaurants and movie theaters
  • New, two-piece pajamas in all sizes (adult sizes for teenagers are a priority size for Casey Cares)

How do I make a donation? If you’re in the Columbia area, you can bring your pajamas or gift card donations to our impactHR office lobby (9881 Broken Land Parkway, Suite 302, Columbia, MD) or mail them to us! Contact impactHR’s Barb Nicholson ( with any questions. You also can also contact Casey Cares directly to make a donation.

How will the donations be used? Casey Cares deliver thousands of pajamas each year for hospitals in our region to distribute to children on extended hospital stays. In addition, gift cards are delivered to families for a movie and pizza night at home for children too sick to leave their homes. When children are up to going out, Casey Cares adds restaurant gift cards to their tickets for special events to complete their “night out.”

Learn more and how to donate:

Behaviors, Values and Skills – Setting a Benchmark to Hire Best-Fit Employees

As an employer, the frustration can seem incalculable when a newly hired employee isn’t successful in the assigned role and the relationship is terminated – especially considering the amount of time, resources and money needed to make the hire.

Most hiring managers are good at identifying the right technical skills for a job. It’s often more of a challenge to define properly the contours of the position so that the new hire has every chance to be successful in the role. To be sure, matching an open job with the right candidate is vital to fuel employee performance, satisfaction and ultimately retention.

During the hiring process, employers should center their focus on candidates’ behaviors, values and skills. If a hiring manager, for example, considers only one of these three candidate attributes, chances are the manager is taking more of a risk than necessary in terms of ensuring a new hire will work out. Ultimately, the ideal match between the position and the candidate must begin with the job. The focus should be on the following in evaluating each candidate:

  • Knowledge required for the position
  • Personal attributes (skills)
  • Hard skills vital for the job
  • Behaviors necessary to perform at peak levels
  • Intrinsic rewards/values
  • Proper attitude

With these critical attributes set, you then create a benchmark encompassing the three overarching candidate traits: behaviors, values and skills.

To this end, finding success for the best job fit requires a comparison of candidates to the benchmark you’ve set. This assessment will enhance the hiring process by revealing how an individual will perform (skills); why an individual acts the way they do (behaviors); and what motivates their behavior (values).

Understanding these aspects with each person you interview can provide the information you need to determine, with more certainty, how well he/she will fit in the job and organization.

If you have any questions about your recruiting and hiring processes, please contact an impactHR team member at or phone 443-741-3900.

USCIS Alerts Employers about Form I-9 Glitch from Last Fall

SHRM’s Roy Maurer posted a helpful item about a minor glitch that occurred last fall in Form I-9’s official online version. According to Maurer, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is asking any employers that downloaded the Form I-9 from the USCIS website on Nov. 14 through Nov. 17, 2016, to ensure their employees’ Social Security numbers appear correctly in Section 1 of the form.

In addition, employers who downloaded the form in the Nov. 14-17 time-frame noticed that employee Social Security numbers errantly changed when printing out the form. USCIS fixed the online form error on Nov. 17, 2016.

Learn more

Follow impactHR on Twitter, LinkedIn

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and stay current with all of our activities, information, action-oriented impactAlerts, news, tips, best practices and more!

To subscribe to impactHR’s “impactnews,” click here.