Category Archives: HR News

IT Challenges Executives Will Face In Coming Years

IT challenges need to be at the top of the list of questions for companies to address in the coming years. According to the 2017 Gartner Symposium of CIO and Senior IT Executives worldwide, the information technology challenges coming in the next several years will take your breath away. Ranging from profound website modifications to AI-driven fake content, the IT challenges will demand precision and effort if your company is going to avoid being potentially hurt by such rapid-fire changes. However, if you know what is coming in advance and you take the proper steps, then a danger quickly can become an opportunity.

Total HR Access Expertise for IT Challenges

it challenges

IT Challenges in 2018 and Beyond

Although HR managers can help with such IT challenges by pointing your company in the right direction, Total HR Management does not pretend to possess an expertise that is not a part of our traditional HR services wheelhouse. As a professional employer organization (PEO), we focus on doing what we do best. Instead of taking on the IT advances on our own, by working with the very best technology consultants and gaining insight into future advances in that arena, we help our client companies address such issues. We provide access to both valuable experience and proven expertise by working with top consultants. After all, when it comes to technology, everyone can have an opinion, but only a true expert can offer an ongoing solution.

The IT challenges that will need to be faced by executives in the next five years include the following as presented below. By focusing on the top three IT challenges, Total HR offers our client companies a taste of what is to come. As you will see, a fascinating aspect of these changes is how they already have begun to affect our society as a whole on the levels of media, culture, and entertainment. In a sense, all three areas are quickly merging.

Three IT Challenges In The Next Five Years

1) Mobile Optimization For Voice Searches

Although mobile website modification has been the focus of recent years, Gartner has found that websites now need to be ready for voice-based search queries. Voice-based search queries are the fastest growing mobile search type. Voice search will continue to accelerate its pace of adoption, and your website needs to be ready. Both mobile browser- and mobile app-based transactions will continue to grow in 2018, but voice search will transcend all other traditional mobile searches. Indeed, voice searches are expected to become normative.

Over the next two years, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft will continue to expand the capabilities of voice-search technologies. By 2021, your business will need to have redesigned your website to support voice-search. If you manage to accomplish this goal, it is estimated you will be able to increase digital commerce revenue by 30%.

2) AI Generating False Information and Fake News

Gartner warns that while AI is proving to be able to generate useful new information, it is just as effective at distorting data to create false information as well. The problem with detecting such fake news is that AI and machine learning systems today can categorize the content of images faster and more consistently accurate than humans. Fake news and counterfeit reality will become a problem for companies in 2018 and beyond. In 2018, there will be a 10-fold increase in commercial projects to detect fake news and false data according to the Gartner predictions study.

By 2020, AI-driven creation of “counterfeit reality,” or fake content, will outpace AI’s ability to detect it. By 2022, most people in mature economies will consume more false information than true information. Given such changes, your company needs to be ready to address any fake news affecting your industry as a whole or your company in specific.

3) Artificial Intelligence Affecting the Job Market

Everyone is worried about the rise in artificial intelligence stealing jobs and putting people out of work. Although AI will remove the necessity for certain jobs, it will create other jobs at the same pace. In 2020, AI will become a positive net job motivator, creating 2.3 million jobs while eliminating only 1.8 million jobs. By 2021 Gartner predicts, AI augmentation will generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity.

Yes, those numbers are overwhelming, and they will affect your business. What’s important is to understand how artificial intelligence will affect the macrocosm of your industry as well as the microcosm of your business. After all, if your competitors are using AI to get ahead, you need to take advantage of this opportunity as well. Ask yourself a simple, yet direct question: How is AI going to affect my business model and what can I do to make sure that the net result of such updates and technological transformations are positive for my company?

Total HR Management Can Help

Remember that the Chinese character for crisis also means opportunity. Often what appears like a crisis, in the beginning, turns out to be an opportunity in the end. The difference between your company being in danger and you company becoming more successful are the actions taken to address these changes. The IT challenges are coming whether you like it or not. Total HR wants to help your company address those challenges in advance before they become a problem in the future.

To learn more about what we can do to help you with the coming IT challenges, please contact Total HR Management by calling (800) 975-5128 today. Our HR managers are here to help your company succeed.


No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions.  Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.


Top HR Trends for 2018 (Part 3)

The top HR trends in any given year are important to follow. In 2018, the top HR trends will have a resonant effect on companies across the nation. As technology advances and management options expand, you need to keep your company one-step ahead of the curve. In response to this need, Total HR Management offers this comprehensive list of the latest HR trends that are going to play a role in the coming. Our awareness of these top HR trends helps us to provide better service for our clients, staying a step ahead of the competition. As always, our goal as a professional employer organization (PEO) is to provide our client companies with HR services that are both useful and affordable.

top hr trends

Top HR Trends of 2018 in your Hand

Part 3 of this three-part article closes out the list of top HR trends by focusing on supporting and optimizing the employee experience at your company. Beyond recruiting and selecting the best talent in your industry, the following top HR trends will help you make your employees more valuable by improving their understanding of your business and improving their skill sets. By examining each of the top HR trends, we want to help our client companies develop an awareness of what could be coming down the line. After all, each of these changes can help a company continue to succeed moving forward.

Twelve 2018 HR Trends (9-12)

9) Shaping And Optimizing The Employee Experience

Technological advances in human resources management have provided the ability to track employees. Thus, HR managers can now figure out which internal strategies are working and which are not. Human resources in a company are about building an internal brand for your business that attracts and keeps the best employees. Rather than having to choose between the building of employee relationships and getting all the paperwork done, AI technologies can allow for both. Faster technological applications now allow for a more streamlined employee experience that can be shaped and optimized. Human Resources providers build internally conducive atmospheres for employees by bringing people and processes together.

10) Continuous Feedback Loop = Employee Growth

Annual reviews are quickly becoming a relic of the past. 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least twice a week. Ongoing corrective feedback has proven to be more constructive than any form of feedback. Without direction, employees often get lost in minutiae. By allowing managers to use new technologies to keep track of employee productivity and processes, companies can increase the bottom line.  Regular and constructive feedback based on performance has been shown in research studies to be effective. HR providers can use analytical tools to help achieve optimum performance from every employee in an organization. Research also has also shown that employees prefer on-the-spot feedback, as long as it is constructive, over formal yearly reviews. In 2018, this trend that highlights ongoing feedback will continue to be adopted by companies in many industries.

11) Taking Advantage of Online Education and Learning Software

Like ongoing feedback, ongoing learning is a key HR trend in the ongoing optimization of the employee experience. Online educational resources and digital training through learning management software (LMS) give HR the ability to measure employee productivity by garnishing concrete data. LMS software widely used across multiple industries include SkyPrep and SkillPort. For example, SkillPort offers a full learning experience as a stand-alone learning platform, but it also can be easily integrated into existing business and IT systems. Such flexibility takes online education to the next level by merging what your business needs with the latest educational and training delivery tools.

12) Greater Focus on Technology Skills Development

Closely related to the previous trend, there will continue to be a greater focus in 2018 on technology skills development. Professional development technologies can be employed through company intranets, fostering transparent forums that connect employees and foster educational collaboration. In other words, you don’t have to leave your cubicle to receive training from someone on another floor. Instead, such training can be done online effectively without draining resources or wasting time. HR can use these tools to help every employee raise their level and maintain a comfort zone with the company’s latest technological platform.

2018 HR Trends = The Future Success of Your Company

By knowing 2018 HR trends, particularly about technology and how it can optimize the employee experience, you can help to ensure future success. Total HR Management is happy to support you in that process. Take the first step to keep up with the competition by calling (800) 975-5128. Allow us to help you succeed in a manner you envision.


No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions.  Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney


Does Your Company Have An Office Policy On Workplace Wearables?

Prior to the 21st century, workplace wearables really were not a human resources issue for most companies. Beyond the Casio calculator watch from back in the day, workplace wearables were not a reality before the release of the first version of the iPod on October 23, 2001. Even then, workplace wearables really did not become a question to be addressed by HR professionals until the rise of the Internet and the introduction of the Apple Watch in 2015.

workplace wearables

Do You Need A Workplace Wearables Office Policy?

Today, from health monitors and location trackers to wireless earbuds and smart glasses, workplace wearables pose a sudden multitude of benefits and risks to employers. Without a doubt, the demand for workplace wearables is exploding. Over the next 10 years, the market is expected to quintuple from $14 billion to $70 billion. In many industries, employers are just as excited as consumers and employees. The challenge is that new technologies often cause disruptions and unforeseen negative consequences when carelessly integrated into the workplace.

There is no question that employers must be mindful of legal pitfalls looming in the future. It’s essential is to make sure that a workplace wearables office policy opens the door to the benefits while avoiding any increased exposure to employer liability. In addition, any such policy will need to be revisited as the technology changes. After all, today as the 21st century is deep in its second decade, we merely are at the dawn of the workplace wearables revolution.

The Benefits of Workplace Wearables

As a professional employer organization, Total HR Management believes that an office policy on workplace wearables is becoming more and more of a necessity in 2017. Although the benefits of workplace wearables are many, the distracting influences and even external threats must be considered as well. Workplace wearables need to be divided into categories, particularly in relation to Internet access and privacy considerations. Although the benefits are significant, the potential negatives must not be allowed to disrupt an office.

The benefits of workplace wearables include enhanced worker communications and increased workplace safety. Moreover, wearables can be part of employee training and can improve employee tracking. Workplace wearables can allow employees to record themselves performing a task. Beyond providing a record, such a recording offers the potential for instantaneous feedback through sharing.

In other words, workplace wearables offer 24-7 access to your employees while they are on the job. They remove many of the traditional excuses for being out of touch or non-contactable. Moreover, according to experts from the University of London, wearable technologies have been also found to boost employee productivity by 8.5 percent, and to increase job satisfaction by 3.5 percent.

The Risks of Workplace Wearables

With access to the Internet available all the time, workplace wearables pose an obvious risk to confidential information and intellectual property. The impulsive nature of being in the moment with a workplace wearable could cause an employee to reveals inappropriate information. Rather than having the traditional filters and boundaries, workplace wearables make communication through email and social media a little too accessible. In light of the potential disclosure of your company’s confidential information, the issue of workplace wearables in the office must be handled with firm precision and a delicate balance.

Fitness-oriented workplace wearables can help improve the morale and the health of your employees. However, employee fitness programs connected to workplace wearables open the door to a host of potential issues. All such programs must be vetted to make sure they do not violate federal programs like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Although you can encourage employees to be healthy and keep fit, such programs need to be largely self-administered. You might want to give your employees Fitbits, but you are not allowed to track their progress. You need to be very careful not to open the door to potential penalties and federal violations. From HIPAA requirements and ADA prohibitions to EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) issues and GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) question marks, the federal hurdles for an employee wellness program combined with workplace wearables are many.

Is Smaller Always Better?

The potential business uses for smartwatches, smartglasses and other intelligent wearable devices are numerous. As wearable devices become smaller and more discrete, concerns about data security, surveillance and safety grow as well. Many of these devices offer hidden sound and video recording possibilities. Literally, the devices used by Cold War spies seem almost antiquated in comparison to what any consumer’s smart phone now offers. Beyond smartphones, miniature recorders and cameras are now common as well.

If an employer has access to the tracking capabilities and data collection of workplace wearables, written policies that explain in detail what types of data may and may not be collected need to be established. It must also be clear how the data will be used, and how it will be stored or destroyed. Workplace wearables should not be a step into either the spy world of James Bond or the tyrannical oppression of George Orwell’s 1984.

Even more importantly, employers need to make sure that employees do not use workplace wearables to violate wiretapping and surveillance laws. They also need to make sure that they avoid doing the same. For example, in California, all parties to a conversation must consent to its recording. Without a doubt, such dangers must be avoided. Any new workplace wearables introduced by a company need to benefit both the employees and the employer.

Total HR Management Can Help

The challenges that come with introducing wearable devices into the workplace have been faced in the past. With the pace of technology adoption only increasing and new challenges on the horizon, you need to stay ahead of the game. Total HR Management can help, including a revision of your employee handbook to include a workplace wearables office policy..

To learn more about how we can help your company establish a policy in regards to workplace wearables, contact Total HR Management today. Please call (800) 975-5128 today to speak with an HR professional and access the help your small to mid-sized company needs.


No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions.  Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.




Ensure Your Company is Compliant With 2017 Form I-9

Ensuring that your company is compliant with the 2017 Form I-9 is more crucial than ever before. Given a renewed focus on immigration issues, employment eligibility verification has come to the forefront of HR necessities in 2017. Total HR Management has the proven track record to ensure that our client companies get and stay in compliance.

On January 21st, the new 2017 Form I-9 became a legal requirement for both employers and employees. If you are not using the new Form I-9 today, then you are behind the proverbial curve. The HR managers at Total HR can help you become compliant with the new regulations. If you need to know more about 2017 Form I-9 compliance, please read more.

2017 Form I-9 Compliance

2017 Form I-9

New 2017 Form I-9 for Employment Verification

Distributed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the 2017 Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired in the United States. It is a requirement for all employers to ensure the proper completion of Form I-9 for each new hire. What’s essential to understand is that the completion of the 2017 Form I-9 applies to both in citizens and non-citizens.

In addition, the 2017 Form I-9 is not just completed by employees. Rather, both employees and employers are required by the federal government to complete the form. In certain cases, an authorized representative of the employer can carry out this task. In relation to employees, however, every employee must fill out Form I-9 with no exceptions. As an employment eligibility verification, the 2017 Form I-9 is designed to avoid employment fraud and illegals from entering the legitimate workforce.

Preventing Employment Fraud

On the 2017 Form I-9, an employee being hired must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her employer with acceptable documents that establish both identity and employment authorization. By examining such documents, the employer can determine employment eligibility and the genuine right of the potential new hire to work in this country. Here is a link to access the list of acceptable documents for such employment verification.

Once completed, employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period. Such documentation needs to be readily available for inspection by authorized government officers. Total HR Management helps our client companies process these forms and manage them if needed. Our goal is to make sure that employment verification issues never become a problem for any of our client companies. After all, such problems only get in the way of the true business of your business: being profitable and productive.

Above all, Total HR does not want any company to see ICE agents knocking on their front doors. If this does happen to your company and the needed forms and proof of eligibility are not filled out or readily available, employers will end up shouldering all the blame. This doesn’t need happen at your company.

Smart Fillable PDF Features and 2017 Form I-9

The most prominent changes to the 2017 Form I-9 are its new “Smart” fillable PDF features. The 2017 Form I-9 can now be completed electronically, which hopefully will decrease errors and increase compliance. However, if a company uses the electronic Form I-9 on the government website, they must still print it out and have the form signed by both the employee and employer. There also are updated instructions and the new penalties related to Form I-9 for non-compliance.

While it’s probably not worth going out of your way to have an employee use the “Smart” PDF version, there’s enough benefit to the “Smart” form that employers should definitely consider using it. In fact, the HR managers at Total HR believe it is the wave of the future. Employers may want to consider structuring their on-boarding procedures to provide an opportunity for employees to complete Section 1 in the fillable PDF on-site. At the same time, the fillable PDF option makes no change to employers’ ability to electronically complete, sign, and store the 2017 Form I-9.

Total HR Management Can Help

If government forms and smart options seem intimidating, you are not alone. However, the HR managers at Total HR Management can help. To learn about how Total HR can help your company get and stay in compliance with the 2017 Form I-9, please call Total HR Management at (800) 975-5128 today to set-up an HR audit.

IRS Guidelines For Maintaining Certified Professional Employer Organization Status

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released guidelines in Revenue Procedure (RP) 2017-14 for the requirements that U.S. business entities must satisfy to maintain their Certified Professional Employer Organization status (CPEO). The release also provides procedures relating to the suspension and revocation of CPEO certification and voluntary termination of CPEO status.

Under a Congressional bill enacted in late 2014, the IRS became the regulatory body in charge of establishing a voluntary certification program for PEOs. As a respected certified professional employer organization, Total HR Management commends the federal government for taking this step to help improve quality control in the PEO industry.

Certified Professional Employer Organization = Reliability

certified professional employer organization

IRS Certified Professional Employer Organization

The hope of the top companies in the industry is that the new standards will weed out the fly-by-night companies run by second-rate profiteers. Such questionable companies abuse the PEO designation to take advantage of honest business owners across the nation. These con men stain the reputation of the industry as a whole and prevent HR outsourcing from helping many companies that could truly profit from the capable services that go hand-in-hand with working with a PEO. Given the need to remove this negative element, James Harwood, the Founder and President of Total HR Management, visited Washington, D.C. in 2016 to express his support for the new guidelines to congressional representatives.

Made effective on December 29, 2016, the new CPEO procedures help to guarantee that a Certified Professional Employer Organization is legitimate and professional. From the IRS perspective, a professional employer organization is an organization that enters into an agreement with a client to perform some or all of the federal employment tax withholding, reporting and payment functions related to the client’s employees. At the same time, a PEO also provides additional HR options for client companies, ranging from recruitment & selection and benefits administration to EPLI coverage and employee handbook updating.

New Certified Professional Employer Organization Requirements

According to the latest IRS guidelines, the standard for maintaining a CPEO certification include the following annual requirements:

  1. Filing an online verification with the information and documents required by the regulations
  2. Paying a $1,000 user fee
  3. Submitting to a background and tax compliance check
  4. Posting a bond
  5. Submitting audited financial statements.

Beyond these annual requirements, a CPEO also must comply with a number of additional reporting requirements to maintain its status. Although the new requirements do not cover all of the service bases that would verify the quality of a certified professional employer organization, it certainly does enough to weed out the bad eggs. In the vast majority of cases, simply having to make a series of annual reports to the IRS will scare away the fly-by-night operators.

IRS Combines With NAPEO

Traditionally, the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) has been the voice of the PEO industry. NAPEO has advocated for the interests of PEOs at all levels of government while providing resources and support for members. NAPEO also administers certification programs for HR professionals and PEO managers. By combining NAPEO’s quality support with the new IRS regulatory focus, the PEO industry will be taken to the next level of excellence. By making Certified Professional Employer Organization status the norm, the PEO industry will be protected moving forward.

IRS Revenue Procedure 2017-14 covering certified professional employer organization status will be updated periodically to improve CPEO program procedures and requirements. Total HR Management notes the importance of such updates to mirror the changes in a rapidly evolving industry. Being on the forefront of HR outsourcing and employee leasing, Total HR commends this positive step in the right direction. If you want to learn more about how Total HR can help your company, please call (800) 975-5128 today to speak with a certified PEO professional and set-up an HR audit for your business.


No Legal Advice Intended: This blog includes information about legal issues and legal questions.  Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.

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