The 20th annual SHRM-Atlanta conference is running full bore. I have attended two sessions this morning. Both have provided some scary news.
The first session was part of the Business Acumen & Leadership track. The session was entitled The Most Important Organizational Performance Metrics: What Every HR Organization Should Be Measuring. It was presented by Dr. Lepora Manigault (and was sponsored by Intellectual Capital Consulting.) She presented the Top 15 Metrics to Share with Your CEO. The list was mixed. Some were good, such as the Dollar Value of the Increased Workforce Productivity between This Year and Last. I can see a CEO being interested in this and perhaps Incentive Compensation Differentials between high performers and low performers. However, I don’t see CEOs being interested in Time to Start figures or the percent of performance appraisals completed on time. These are HR activities and CEOs are not going to be interested in these. They will however be interested in the fact that you are not doing them, but they don’t want to know the details.
The scary thing from this session was the fact that almost NO ONE in the packed room was measuring anything. Or at least they were not willing to say so.
The second session I attended was Contingent Workers & Independent Contractors: Avoiding Misclassification Pitfalls. It was presented by David Long-Daniels of Greenberg Traurig LLC. It was a general knowledge session of what makes for an independent contractor and what doesn’t. He did have some interesting insights to dealing with temporary agencies and reminding everyone of the doctrine of “joint employer responsibility.” He also let everyone know that the IRS has a program to encourage your employees and your competitors to report your mis-use of Independent Contractors. They are offered a financial incentive of 15 to 30% of what you have to pay to the IRS. Nice.
The scary news that came out of this session was pending legislation, that is likely to pass. This legislation is called The Fair Playing Field Act of 2010. Among other things it will require you the company using an independent contractor to inform the IC, in writing, of the Federal Tax obligation they will have to pay and also a written statements of the employment laws that do NOT apply to them.
Stay tuned for further conference reports. More great sessions and a great exhibitor hall to spend time in.