HR Tools That Help Protect Employers and Employees

By Michael Klazema on 8/20/2019

As the job market has evolved, it has become more complicated for employers and employees to protect themselves, preserve their rights, and maintain positive, productive relationships. The good news is that technology and legislation are evolving, too, giving all parties more options for managing the employment relationship in a shifting job market. 

One of the biggest protective tools at an employer’s disposal is the employee background check. Hiring is a challenging process—especially right now, with unemployment rates in many parts of the country nearing record lows. Employers must strike a balance between not being so selective that they leave themselves with no hiring options but not so indiscriminate that they make dangerous choices. 

Criminal background checks and other types of background check tools—such as verifications for employmenteducation, and other resume information—can reduce the risk of negligent hiring lawsuits and help ensure qualified hires. Employers can use to vet employees thoroughly. 

Among the challenges that employers and employees face in the changing job market is the rise of the gig economy. The traditional full-time (or even part-time) job is becoming less pervasive in many industries. Instead, many employers are relying on contingent workers: independent contractors, freelancers, consultants, or specialists who are hired and paid on a per-project basis. In some situations, these “gigs” are even looser—think of companies such as Uber, for which “projects” are short-term driving gigs.

In some cases, employers are struggling to manage the ongoing growth and dependability of their workforce. The good news is that there are many tools available now that companies can use to handle this piece of their recruitment, hiring, or employee management processes. 

  • Slack: This cloud-based collaboration software allows teams that are geographically separated to communicate and work together seamlessly via a series of instant-messaging tools.

  • SAP Fieldglass: SAP Fieldglass is a “vendor management system” that is intended to help companies manage their external workforce, a category which could include independent contractors, temporary workers, or even hourly employees who work remotely. The software helps employers to enforce corporate policies among external staff, track worker performance, manage the invoicing process, and more.

  • ResourceGuru: ResourceGuru is a tool for tracking and coordinating freelancer schedules. Your freelancers can enter information about their schedules and availability into the system. You can then assign projects based on who has availability. 

These three tools represent just a small percentage of the tech-oriented solutions that companies have developed to help employers manage the changing world of work, hiring, and employee management. What about employees? Especially in the case of freelancers and other gig workers, how can workers ensure that their rights are being observed and protected? 

The bad news is that independent contractors don’t always have the same rights that full-time employees do—such as the ability to unionize. That fact could change in the future. Pete Buttigieg, a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election, has outlined a plan that would give unionization rights to gig economy workers. Expect the gig economy to factor into the 2020 election in potentially game-changing ways.



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