The Daily Rundown: Employee Engagement Starts with Hiring

Connecticut raises minimum wage, employee engagement is impacted by the hiring process, and new trade pact pays off for small business.

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The Daily Rundown

Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Each day, we bring you stories and trends that impact small business owners and their workforce.

On today’s agenda: the rising minimum wage in Connecticut, the correlation between the hiring process and employee engagement, and the impact of the USMCA trade agreement on small businesses.

Connecticut joins list of states with $15 minimum wage

Connecticut is the newest state to join the list of locations raising the minimum wage. The bill was passed last Friday and the governor has indicated that he will sign it into law. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 and has not increased since 2009.

The Number: $11. The legislation calls for the increase to be phased in by 2023. The first step requires employers to pay $11 by October 1, 2019.

The Quote: The bill includes a provision that allows employers to pay certain workers under age 18 either $10.10 an hour, the state’s current minimum wage, or no less than 85% of the state minimum wage — whichever is higher — for the first 90 days of their employment. This is a concession to business groups and municipalities that hire teenage workers during the summer months.”

Correlation between hiring process and employee engagement

Minimizing employee turnover and promoting employee engagement is especially important when the labor market is tight. The hiring and onboarding process can be a crucial part of employee engagement and retention. Research suggests that a positive hiring process, good onboarding program and the overall culture of the workplace are all key components in getting employees to stick around.

The Number: 90. Approximately 30% of new hires leave the job within 90 days of employment

The Quote:81% of active job seekers from the millennial generation considered praise during the hiring process as important or very important. And, not getting it could be a turnoff for them.”

Saying “goodbye” to NAFTA, “hello” to USMCA good for business

A recent report by the US international Trade Commission suggests that American small businesses are benefiting from a trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico. President Trump, Prime Minister Trudeau and former President Peña Nieto signed the agreement in November of last year, positively impacting import/exports by American small business.

The Number: Almost 60%. The U.S. International Trade Administration identifies that nearly 60% of the US firms that export to both Canada and Mexico have less than 20 employees.  

The Quote:Although most people don’t think of small businesses as importers/exporters to other destinations, it is a different ball game when it comes to Canada and Mexico.”

Darned if you do, darned if you don’t…

Even though it’s now illegal in many place for employers to ask for a salary history, there are still plenty of states where it’s a routine–and even a normal–part of the hiring process. If you’re applying for a job and are asked about past compensation, here’s a look at how to answer questions about your salary history.

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