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The San Francisco Commute

December 27th, 2017

Do you ever avoid a destination because it’s over a bridge, too confusing to get to, or too dangerous? Would you avoid those same destinations even it was for your dream job? Our San Francisco team works with many candidates regarding commute, location and important factors to be considered when interviewing. “About 90% of candidates mention location when looking for a job. Often, it’s not just geography they consider, but also traffic patterns around the city. For instance, there are certain bridges or routes that are musts to avoid for some people.” San Francisco Director of the DevOps & Systems Administration team, Margo Slaff, comes across candidates quite often who will not even consider a position that does not meet their commuting preferences.

How do companies attract employees who do not want to make the daily commute to their office?  More organizations are starting to change their policies and benefits surrounding daily commutes.  Sara Madding, Director of the JavaScript & Mobile team in San Francisco, is seeing these changes at that clients with whom she works. “Larger companies are offering shuttles from public transportation hubs to their offices to ease the stress of commuting on their employees. Some smaller companies who don’t have the funds to support this type of benefit are offering more remote opportunities and flexible arrival times.  This can bring in candidates who live further outside an area who would be a great fit for the role.”

Adding to the list of recruiting challenges, commuting in major metros like San Francisco has become an important factor for organizations looking to attract top talent.  One particular issue that Madding and Slaff have run into are the two distinct markets in the San Francisco Bay area.  It is more likely to find a candidate with a car if they live in Silicon Valley versus living within the San Francisco city limits. Having a car gives people more options of where they are willing to commute because they have their own mode of transportation. However, those who live within the San Francisco limits typically rely on public transportation and do not need cars for their daily lives.

Whether it’s the close commute or flexible work hours, it’s always important to talk to the company or your recruiter to explain your needs.

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Posted in Talener Blog

The Length of a Los Angeles Mile

December 13th, 2017

How does twenty minutes of additional commuting affect your day? A lot; says the UK Household Longitudinal Study. This government questionnaire, run from 2009-2016 concluded that an extra 20 minutes of commuting time each day drops worker satisfaction and is costs the employee money; a lot of money. In Los Angeles, twenty more minutes is a way of life.

But what happens when 20 extra minutes is your only option? I mean, really your only option.  We’re talking about the length of a Los Angeles mile. Picture yourself on your five-mile commute in the suburb of a small city. In less than 20 minutes, you can make it to work.  Now, picture yourself in Los Angeles. You are one mile from your job – one mile! It sounds like a dream come true. But it isn’t.

Kim Coe, Talener’s Director of Client Services spent two years in our Los Angeles office and couldn’t have been more surprised (and probably agitated) about what commuting in LA means. “I knew traffic was bad, but I wasn’t prepared for a rush-hour mile in LA.”

Just how long is an LA mile during rush hour? Depending on where you are, it can be 20 minutes or more, says Coe.  And it is impacting current employees, employers, and potential employees.

Alex Klein, current Director in Los Angeles expresses the challenges he faces on a daily basis in Talener’s West LA office.  These challenges come in the form of candidates not willing to commute one extra mile because it could increase their commute by an hour.

“Time and time again, candidates tell me that the LA traffic during rush hour just isn’t worth the job – even if it is their ideal position.  The extra commuting costs (gas, maintenance & time) can easily add up to over ten thousand dollars a year,” Klein confirms. “Nearly every candidate I meet with provides specific areas to avoid during the job hunt.  This limits opportunities that I may have for them, but I can’t say that I blame them.”

“When meeting with an applicant in New York, everyone was open to jobs located anywhere in Manhattan. In Los Angeles, applicants had selected areas where they wanted to work.  And, had even more specific locations in which they wouldn’t even consider,” remembers Coe.  “The commute time impacts every aspect of a candidate’s job hunt.”

“Factors like family, work-life balance, or convenience were at the top of their mind.  Some wouldn’t even consider an interview if the drive to the interview was unbearable.”

Since public transportation lacks in routes and accessibility- flex hours are increasingly popular across several industries. Both Klein & Coe have seen an evolution in companies offering late arrival to avoid the rush.

“People in Los Angeles will take a job that they are less excited about or for less money because the commute is better,” tells Klein.

For those of us outside of the LA bubble, we may ask if this is any way to live? But for those in LA who enjoy sunny weather year-round, the beach, and the laid-back lifestyle – it is just home; traffic included.

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Posted in Los Angeles, Talener Blog

Salary History Inquiry Bans: California Joins New York City in Closing the Wage Gap

December 1st, 2017

Over the past 6 months, Talener has taken significant steps to close the wage gap across its offices.  In addition to holding itself to the standard of creating a more inclusive work environment, it also helped to prepare the Talener New York City office for the NYC Salary History Inquiry Ban. This law took effect in October 2017; prohibiting employers, staffing agencies, or anyone representing a job in NYC from asking about or requiring disclosure of compensation history.  By eliminating compensation history, employers should no longer rely on previous compensation to determine future pay.

On January 1st, 2018, California will join New York City with an amendment to its Equal Pay Act; eliminating compensation / salary history as a factor for hiring.  Compliance to both acts are similar, but there are a few key differences that can cause headaches for organizations with offices in California and New York City.  Next year will also introduce these types of laws in Oregon, Massachusetts, San Francisco, and more.

What are the key differences between the California and NYC policies?

  • The New York City Law expressly allows asking about desired or expected salary. Likewise, asking about measurements of production, including sales revenue generated, are permitted. Plus, the NYC law addresses deferred compensation and unvested equity as a subject that is OK to initiate with potential candidates.  The California law does not expressly prohibit or allow these conversations.
  • Candidates / applicants in California are entitled to a pay scale for a position, under reasonable request.
  • California will prohibit employers from using prior compensation as the sole means to justify salary, an offer, or in the decision making process to hire someone.

What kind of steps has Talener taken to be compliant with these laws?

  • Removing compensation questions from any digital and print forms or applications
  • Requiring employees to agree to a policy which bars them from asking about, using, seeking out, or sharing compensation
  • Educating candidates and clients about the changes
  • Creating a time / date stamped feature in the applicant tracking system that documents when / if compensation has voluntarily been disclosed and how it occurred
  • Committing to not using or sharing already-known compensation information with clients
  • On-going staff training

To see more steps and to learn more about our compliance policy, read more here.

If you have questions about how the laws might affect you and what steps you should consider, feel free to reach out to or pick up a brochure in one of our offices today.

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Posted in Current Events, Talener Blog

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