An employer brand can be a great recruitment strategy

As employers with open positions to fill, we often consider what we’re looking for in a candidate.  We assess the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform at an acceptable level in the position.  We think about the professional characteristics of employees who have been successful in the position in the past.  We visualize how we want the new hire to interact with our team. Then we advertise to reach out to potential candidates explaining what we’re looking for.

But how many of us consider what our ideal candidates want in a company and promote ourselves to them? Recruiting is as much marketing as it is a human resources and management venture.

Ask yourself this: What’s important to your target employee pool?  What attracts their attention?  What are they looking for in employment?  What will you offer that will make them want to come work for you?  What do they have to offer that will make them feel like a valuable contributor at your company?  What characteristics of your company will make them proud to be your employee?  What benefits, working arrangements, or opportunities for development and growth are you offering in which they will find value?  These are all questions we should consider as we promote our company with every position we post.

Creating an “employer brand” that appeals to your preferred candidates is a key component to effective recruiting.  You want to be sure the avenues you’re using to get the word out about your position reach candidates who are not only qualified, but who will also identify with your employer brand.  Be sure to sell the company to your potential candidates.

Your brand also shapes the message you’re communicating.  Many times employees aren’t just looking for work, but they want to know they will belong to an organization that they can be proud of, a company with practices they support, and one with philosophies that resonate with them.  Do you have a passion for supporting the community, empowering specific people groups, environmental responsibility, or sharing a love for your product with the world?  Sell that!

Communicate the things that make you a great employer. Maybe it’s your work environment, flexible work arrangements, or a culture of fun in the midst of productivity.

Then communicate what you have to offer candidates. It’s a great way to differentiate yourself as an employer and attract the candidates who will be most successful in your business.



Trisha Crigger, HR Generalist

Pregnant employee may entitled to protections under the ADA

In 2008 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was amended. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) significantly expanded protections under the ADA. The definition of disability was expanded to include temporary impairments.

If an active impairment substantially limits a major life activity, the employee is protected by the ADAAA. The ADAAA has also expanded the definition of “Major Life Activity” to include things like digestive function or circulatory function. Other things like lifting, standing or bending can be considered major life activities.

Many common conditions related to pregnancy may qualify and require an employer to engage the employee to seek reasonable accommodations to allow the pregnant employee to continue to work or to allow her unpaid leave of absence rather than losing her job. This applies to employees that are not eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act or those that have already exhausted their FMLA eligibility.

Take these two examples:

  • A pregnant employee has severe nausea (morning sickness) and can’t get to work for her morning shift. As a digestive function issue that is severe enough to impact a major life activity (in this case working), the employee may be entitled to an altered schedule, reduced hours, telecommuting, or unpaid leave of absence while the condition exists.
  • A pregnant employee is told by her doctor that she can’t lift more than five pounds. Lifting is a major life activity so the employee may be entitled to accommodation such as light duty work, a temporary transfer to a job that does not require lifting or an unpaid leave of absence.

There are many other possibilities of conditions affecting a pregnant employee that can be considered severe, even if short term. If you are not sure whether a condition may be protected under the ADAAA, contact BCN services for guidance.

There are 3 key things employers need to remember:

First, if an employee indicates that they cannot perform their job due to some impairment, they do not have to use the term “ADA” or even request an accommodation. If their statement leads you to believe they may have an impairment, you need to determine if this is a potential ADA situation. If so, it is imperative to engage the employee in a dialogue to discuss the situation and determine if there are any possible accommodations that are not an undue burden to the employer. Remember that pregnancy is a limited duration so, if nothing else, an unpaid leave of absence will not likely be considered an undue burden to the employer.

Second, the employer is entitled to determine whether an accommodation is a medical necessity.  But be aware that the ADA limits who may contact an employee’s physician. For example, the employee’s supervisor is prohibited from contacting the physician. Don’t risk a violation of the ADA by contacting the employee’s physician. Your BCN Services Partnership Manager or Human Resources Administrators will be able to assist you in these situations. The HR department at BCN Services has the knowledge and experience to make those communications for you to avoid any claims of interference in the employee’s ADA case.

Third, there may be more than one accommodation that could allow the employee to continue working. During the interactive dialogue, you are not required to accept the employee’s suggestion. Multiple options providing for the same outcome allow the employer to determine which accommodation should be provided.

ADAAA provisions are being revised by court decisions on a regular basis. This new legislation will continue to be interpreted by courts and will impact employers. BCN Services continues to monitor legislative changes and court rulings to provide our clients with best practice guidance.

If you have questions about whether a pregnant employee can perform essential job functions or needs accommodations, BCN Services is always available to provide advice and guidance.



Jeff Walsh (200x190)

Jeff Walsh, Partnership Manager