Harvis, Inc Human Resources
"Helping people solve employment issues"
Q & A

      
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                    Interactive Forms - Q&A
                    Consulting & Full or Part Time HR Outsourcing or Insourcing - Q&A
                    Screening and interviewing services
 - Q&A
                    Contingency recruiting and sourcing
 - Q&A
                    Outplacement Services  - Q&A
                    Job Description service - Q&A
                    
Employee Manual service  - Q&A
                         Human Resource Mentoring and HR Training - Q&A
                    Federal and state compliance - Q&A
                         Employer's and employee HR perception audit - Q&A




Q&A   Interactive Forms                           7 Entries

Q:   How does Harvis convert an old paper form into an electronic form?
A:   First, it is either scanned into the computer or re-created using MS Word or Excel.  Next, it is converted to Adobe .pdf document.  Finally, the fields and interactivity are added, the form is tested, then returned to the client to use as needed.

Q:   Most of my employees don't use computers- so how will this benefit me?
A:   Many companies have an "outdated" computer lying around that works just fine- however it is not as "new" as other office computers.   Simply set this computer up in a lunch room or some other place where employees can use it like an "information center"  - also known as a kiosk.   You may already have employees punching in on a PC or other device, so help them get used to technology- and the keyboard.

Q:   Can we send an email with the form attached so the employees can complete then return the forms?
A:   Absolutely.    Imagine being able to read a health insurance application or FMLA request, etc.

Q:   Can data entered into the form be dumped into an OLE database or can a database populate the forms in advance ?
A:   Yes, but that is getting into SAP technology and some heavy duty investments.  Call Harvis to discuss the level of interactivity and integration with your IT department or financial software packages if needed.   Generally, this is NOT NECESSARY just to use interactive forms at a level you are comfortable with.

Q:   What about backgrounds, colors, layout, pictures, etc.  Is there any flexibility?
A:   The sky is the limit-  although that ends for most of us about 15 miles straight up.

Q:   How are clients charged when Harvis converts forms?
A:   Fairly-  the charge includes design and conversion to .pdf (IF NEEDED).  We include form updates since there is always something clients want to change within a month or two and also cover expenses to set up the forms on your company's server or WEB site.   If you have your own "PC guy" then you also save there....

Q:   How long does it take to convert a form to use it interactively?
A:   Depends- can be from 15 minutes to two or three hours.  Glad to give a quote.

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Q&A     Screening and Interviewing Service      7 Entries

Q:   Is Harvis a temporary staffing agency or anything else like that?
A:   No.  Harvis forms no statutory employment relationship with the candidates we interview for clients.  It is simply a fee for service; we are paid to conduct interviews.

Q:   What does it mean to interview our prospective employees by "proxy"?
A:    Harvis interviews on behalf of the Client to process applicants and move the most qualified into candidate status.

Q:   How is this service different from a recruiting company?
A:   Harvis works to screen and interview applicants just as though we worked at your business.  The major difference is we use consistent interview techniques and processes to identify the best candidates and avoid bad hires.  This service saves the client time and effort from having to review tens or hundreds of resumes and emails to simply get to a few qualified candidates.

Q:   What are the primary differences between Applicants and Candidates?
A:   Applicants are the raw material that go into the screening or refining process.  Candidates come out the finished end of the interview process and are potential options for hire.  Even with candidates, an employer may not fill a position.

Q:   What if our company wanted to hire just one person, but after meeting the finalists, decided to make three job offers?
A:   Since Harvis provides this service on a fee for service basis, the client always benefits when they choose to hire more than one candidate.  With each additional new employee, the per head hiring expense is dramatically reduced.

Q:   How can Harvis claim to conduct better interviews when they know nothing about our employees, managers, policies, culture, statistics or industry standards ?
A:    Each client may be different, but people and processes remain the same.  Harvis asks key questions to understand what the ideal candidate should posess in terms of personality, skills, experience and so on then uses a  proven screening and interview process.

Q:   What does it cost to provide interview or screening services to a small business?
A:   In most cases, our time and services will actually cost LESS than the expense to advertise the job opening in a newspaper or online.  


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Q&A    Contingency Recruiting Services           4 Entries

Q:   We can't find anyone, so how will Harvis do any better?
A:   There are no guarantees, however we're familiar with methods outside the traditional approach to locating candidates. 

Q:   Does Harvis "head hunt" executives and other desirables from companies considered friendly to us, or from our competitors?  We don't want a reputation for stealing employees from any other business.
A:   Once we're turned loose, the process is underway as agreed.  If there are certain businesses, geographic areas, or people to avoid or approach, it is helpful to tell Harvis about this in advance.  Communication is key.  If "where" a candidate is located is irrelevant to our Client, we're OK with that too.

Q:   We're in a very competitive industry and don't want our local competitors to find out what we're doing.  How does Harvis recruit without disclosing our business name or other identifying factors of the position?
A:   We will work out those details before starting your project.   Some clients require their name disclosed up front in a form of goodwill while others prefer to keep things quiet on the home front.

Q:   What happens if someone is performing the responsibilities Harvis is recruiting for and we need to let this person go after a new candidate is identified.
A:   These cases are to be carefully managed and Harvis could help in the process.  


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Q&A     Outplacement Services                       4  Entries

Q:   How does Harvis manage the emotional aspect of this service?
A:   Harvis will introduce a clinical psychologist to work with affected employees if appropriate.

Q:   What is so difficult about terminations that someone would need this service?
A:   Sometimes it is better to have an independent third party communicate on behalf of an employer who must discharge, lay off or downsize an employee or a workforce.

Q:   How do employees respond when they get this information?
A:   Employees may not like the news, but if it is to be delivered, it must be done honestly in a dignified and respectful way.  The presence of overly sympathetic managers who will remain employed does not help in the process.  Employees seek reasons they are no longer employed and use this experience to move on to their next work/life stage.

Q:  Does Harvis have insurance to cover liability?
A:  YES,  we are insured to address issues and require clients to add us as an additional insured when this service is engaged.  


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Q&A   Job Description Service            5 Entries

Q:   How does organizational structure affect the format of job descriptions? 
A:   If your management team allows employees to make their own decisions the job descriptions will be quite different from the employees who must follow rigid directives issued from the top down.  These companies and job descriptions would be put together in very different ways.

Q:   What if work performed by employees doesn't really match the job description?
A:   Change the work; or change the job description.  One of them is being communicated incorrectly to the employee. 

Q:   I don't want a piece of paper limiting what each person does here.
A:   In the end, the job description is a formal guide to one job.  A manager can request- or demand an employee work in any way they require- as long as it is not illegal or outside of a contract.  Job descriptions should not be contracts on their own.

Q:   What if an employee refuses to perform an aspect of their work; or performs poorly over and over again?  What good is the job description then?
A:   Your job description, if written CORRECTLY can define what is acceptable, unacceptable, required and optional skills and abilities.  Behavior issues are separate from following responsibilities on a job description and should be treated as such.  

Q:   What other ways does a job description help the employees?
A:   Most people are looking for ways they can improve their lifestyle through higher status at work and higher income.  If job descriptions are shared publicly, employees at all levels of the company will know what experience and responsibilities are required for each respective position and how to "move up the ladder" per se. 


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Q&A       Employee Manual Service               7 entries

Q:   Can Harvis help customize an employee manual template our business purchased a while ago from an industry source?
A:   Yes.  Templates are helpful, but in the end, many companies aren't sure what to add to make them compliant.  Filling in the blanks on a template is not the best way to fully convey the expectations and responsibilities at your company.

Q:   What's the problem with updating my employee manual by borrowing from other sources?
A:    If you have taken to write your manual by referencing various WEB sources or borrowed manuals, you are essentially scraping together a manual that may not apply to your business or industry.  Plus you may be stealing copyright material.

Q:   How do I know if our manual is written the right way?
A:   As each newspaper is different, so is each employee manual.  An experienced employee manual author can disseminate a manual and determine whether a particular standard is met and whether body content or body context needs modification to protect the employer and define policies.

Q:  Why spend time or money on employee manuals when most employees won't read them anyway?
A:   When employees flagrantly separate themselves from resources the employer designed to improve communication, it is an indication of other serious underlying issue impacting employees and the business.  There's no reason a business shouldn't have an updated employee handbook or policy manual to explain the rules and expectations that apply to everyone. 

Q:   Our employees seem to only read the manual when there is a problem with vacation or benefits.  Is this normal?
A:    Since what an "employee gets" is very important to the employee, it's common this area is well defined and available for reference.  Other areas like FMLA and discipline processes to name a few will be reviewed when they're needed.

Q:   Why do some employees challenge everything in our manual?
A:   Challenges can tell a lot.  Employee challenges to policy may indicate positive discussion and concern for those policies that don't truly reflect market or industry standards, or they can be initiated to create conflict and rabble rousing at the workplace.  Management must be atune to employees and listen to their concerns to either validate challenges and make changes or disregard them as misguided or as false intentions.  General misunderstandings should be addressed ASAP.

Q:   How do we make our handbook a part of the employee's experience at work?
A:   Make it accessible and reference it when the opportunity presents itself.  Publish it on your WEB site, save a copy on your server, or place a few spiral bound copies in lunch rooms or break rooms.  Encourage employees to challenge the manual in positive and negative light without reprisal.


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Q&A Human Resource Mentoring and training       6 Entries

Q:   Does the material qualify for CE credits with other accredited institutions?
A:   No.  Although the materials may qualify, Harvis does not intend to promote the class in that way.

Q:   What is the value of learning from an unsanctioned instructor?
A:   Most people learn best by talking and interacting with experienced trainers and professionals.  Our instructors deliver materials designed by Harvis and add their own real life and professional experiences. 

Q:   How does Harvis teach experiences?
A:   By talking about them in the form of case studies.  The student will understand that much of HR is in the gray zone and requires compassion, consideration, preparedness and unbiased analysis.

Q:   What is a Human Resource Generalist?
A:   This is the title for an HR manager with responsibility in all areas of HR.  Small companies with one HR manager will typically hire a generalist who runs the show.   As companies grow, the HR responsibilities increase and the HR department branches off into specialization areas like compliance, recruiting, benefits, Human Resource Information Systems(HRIS) and so on. 

Q:   What if the student doesn't participate and appears uninterested?
A:   Harvis will let the owner or management know.  Occasionally, a business will need to delegate  a manager or other employee to help with the human resource type activities.  The fact is some employees probably want nothing to do with Human Resources.  Consider whether this HR Trainee is worth the business investment.

Q:   What if the lesson is not challenging enough for a semi-experienced student?
A:   Harvis will consider the student's HR skills before starting any training.  


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Q&A    Federal and State compliance        6  Entries

Q:   Is workers' compensation a part of human resource compliance for Pennsylvania?
A:   Yes.  In Pennsylvania Workers' compensation insurance must be obtained by every employer to protect the wages of employees injured while at work or due to work reasons.

Q:   Is Harvis a law firm or affiliated with attorneys?
A:   NO.  Harvis Inc is not a law firm nor do we claim to provide legal services.  Employers, employees and their agents should consult an attorney on any issues they believe to require an attorney. 

Q:   What if we are paying salaries to employees and never authorize overtime pay?
A:   Depending on a number of factors, the Fair Labor Standards Act(FLSA) may require overtime to be paid to employees EVEN IF THEY RECEIVE A SALARY.

Q:   We use a payroll service so they must be responsible for knowing and following all the overtime, payroll tax and withholding laws, right ?
A:   Don't depend on it.  Many payroll services just process what they're given and don't scrutinize pay methods or tax issues.  In the end, the employer is the only responsible party.

Q:   An employee requested Family Medical Leave for only two hours, but the employer wants him to stay home the whole day.  Is this a problem ?
A:   YES.  With FMLA, the employer may not mandate how and when the employee uses time.  The only way this could be mandated is if the employer is not, in fact, required to comply with FMLA provisions, most notably having 50 or more employees.

Q:   We terminated a new employee after only a week because he was not working out.  He also was eligible for health insurance, but didn't get his ID card yet.  Do we need to provide Benefit continuation coverage through COBRA?
A:    If the employee was covered by health, dental or vision benefits at the moment he was separated from employment, he may be entitled to continue his coverage through COBRA if the employer is a covered employer.

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Q&A    Human Resource Consulting     5  Entries

Q:   What human resource tasks or services does the Harvis representative perform while working as a consultant on-site with our company?
A:   It could be any of the Services offered.  Our Service Agreement would define it.

Q:    Explain the scope of human resource services ?
A:    Harvis and our business partners can help with most any non-traditional or specialized requests for consulting or assistance.

Q:   Can Harvis fill in for a few weeks just long enough to get our business up and running from a human resource perspective?
A:   Absolutely.  Entrepreneurs benefit from this approach as well as businesses who need a boost with HR , but are not ready for a full time HR hire right now.

Q:   Can I change the amount of time and level of support for Harvis' proposed HR Service packages?
A:   Sure, we're flexible.  Tell us what you are interested in.

Q:   Will Harvis help implement programs or facilitate meetings to improve Human Resource structure and communication?  
A:   Yes.  Communication is the key.  We'll look for other potential organizational challenges that could be related to problem areas at the workplace.


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Q&A      Employee HR Perception Audits            7 Entries

Q:   Our business would like to see what the employees think, but what are we required to do once the findings are available from Harvis?
A:   Nothing is required.   Hopefully, the management or owner will use the information to improve perceptions and improve communication at the workplace.

Q:   Who gets to see the findings?
A:   The business could keep the findings confidential or share the information with the employee base.

Q:   How do employee comments create useful information?
A:   Harvis listens and asks many open ended questions.  Harvis requests employees don't share their comments with co-workers and they trust us to withhold their identity in our findings report.  Many employee comments are neutral in terms of a particular subject area.  When one question elicits extremes in good/ bad, positive/ negative, strength/weakness, admiration/ hate, fairness/ inequity, etc we flag and clarify the comments.   In confidence, when one person illicits a particular strong comment, it may be biased or irrelevant.  When half of the department or workforce makes the SAME comment, in private, this means attention is warranted.  Now apply this approach to a 30 to 45 minute interview with each employee.

Q:   How does HR work itself into the Audit?
A:   Most of the audit is based on communication and practice of HR policies, training, hiring, benefits, pay, etc for employees to address; if they choose to do so.

Q:   What is the genesis of this type of HR Employment Audit?
A:   Did you ever listen to a friend or family member discuss their boss, their workplace, etc in painful detail?  At least now, this information can be useful to the Company if they choose to act on employee concerns.

Q:   What if Harvis identifies a skeleton in our closet during an HR audit?
A:   We are always confidential and once in an agreement with a client it's our duty to protect their information.  Depending on the issue or circumstance we may be able to help address it or make recommendations for the Client to self-remedy.

Q:   Are only "bad" issues identified?
A:   No.  The employees drive the discussion so if most comments are rosy accolades about how wonderful it is to exist within the businesses walls, then the report will demonstrate that.  Unbiased discussion and confidentially are the key to helping employees open up.


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