DHS Raises H-2B Visa Cap

An extra 35,000 H-2B temporary-worker visas will be made available to employers for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2020, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The H-2B guest-worker program, capped annually at 66,000 visas split evenly between the fall/winter and spring/summer seasons, is relied upon by the landscaping, hospitality and construction industries, among others. This marks the fourth year in a row that DHS has released additional H-2B visas in response to pressure from seasonal employers and lawmakers. The Trump administration released an extra 15,000 visas in both 2017 and 2018, and 30,000 additional visas in 2019. The visas will be released in two batches this year—20,000 for start dates beginning April 1, and 15,000 for start dates beginning May 15.

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HR Practice

Aston Carter Deepens Specialization in Accounting, Finance and Corporate Talent

Aston Carter | January 05, 2024

Aston Carter announced deeper strategic specialization for its business. The brand will exclusively provide talent solutions across accounting, finance, human resources, talent acquisition, procurement, supply chain and select administrative professions. Its other solutions within governance, risk and compliance; customer support; and creative and marketing will shift to Allegis Group sister company TEKsystems, which has existing complementary services in those areas. The specialization will enhance Aston Carter's capabilities across its core offerings, increase capacity, and create efficiencies to support the unique needs of accounting, finance and corporate talent. "At Allegis Group we are committed to refining and realigning our businesses to ensure that our customers' needs are always our top priority," said Jay Alvather, CEO of Allegis Group. "Aston Carter's clients and talent can expect the same level of excellent service today, with significantly enhanced capabilities and scale to better support those ever-evolving needs and opportunities." To support the enhanced focus of Aston Carter's talent offerings, the brand has aligned under the leadership team at Actalent, an Allegis Group company that was built around a strategy of specialization. Led by Chad Koele, who will serve as president of both brands, Aston Carter will benefit from leadership, strategy and infrastructure that will support the business' ability to fill a growing need for specialized talent solutions in the marketplace. "For over two decades, Aston Carter has provided highly sought-after talent to organizations around the world — and this move is another step in our evolution to help clients and professionals navigate changing business needs," said Lauren DeMarco-Stadtlander, Aston Carter managing director. "With the guiding hand of Chad's leadership team and their experience, Aston Carter is well-positioned to help our customers innovate and lead in their respective industries." "I am excited by the prospect of creating new value for Aston Carter's clients and talent," said Chad Koele, president of Aston Carter. "Our team has put rigorous focus into a strategy of getting smaller to get better, specializing and segmenting across all lines of business and taking great care of our talent. Applying that same strategy to Aston Carter will bring increased growth and opportunity to its clients and talent as well as its internal teams, who we are thrilled to gain as part of the Actalent family." About Aston Carter Aston Carter provides world-class corporate talent solutions to thousands of clients across the globe. Specialized in accounting, finance, human resources, talent acquisition, procurement, supply chain and select administrative professions, we extend the capabilities of industry-leading companies. We draw on our deep recruiting expertise and expansive network to meet the evolving needs of our clients and talent community with agility and excellence. With offices across the U.S., Canada, Asia Pacific and Europe, Aston Carter serves many of the Fortune 500. We are proud to be a ClearlyRated Best of Staffing® double diamond winner for both client and talent service.

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Employee Benefits

Employee Navigator and MGIS Announce Partnership

Employee Navigator | January 10, 2024

Employee Navigator, one of the nation's leading benefits and HR solutions for brokers, and MGIS, a national insurance manager offering specialized insurance programs for doctors, have announced a new partnership to bring leading-edge HR and benefits technology integrations to doctor group practices. The new partnership builds on MGIS's relationship with Reliance Matrix, a leading benefits and absence provider, and its unique Employee Navigator integration. "We believe the partnership with Employee Navigator will transform the employer and employee benefits experience," said Jeff Brunken, President of MGIS. "Through our relationship with Employee Navigator, our mutual clients will benefit from the technology-enabled efficiencies and ease of business that are so important in today's insurance marketplace. These integrations will help to drive participant engagement and client retention for our benefit brokers." Through the Employee Navigator relationship, MGIS clients will benefit from a dedicated support team that will help brokers build out a full-service enrollment experience and provide additional case management support, at no additional cost. As always, MGIS account managers also provide white-glove, specialized account management and billing support, all critical features for brokers and administrators. "MGIS has a long history of offering the highest quality insurance program for doctors. We're confident that our customers will receive an enhanced benefits experience through MGIS and Employee Navigator," said George Reese, CEO of Employee Navigator. "This partnership provides seamless, integrated benefits administration and will lead to a positive enrollment experience for brokers, employers and participants." In 2023 MGIS announced its exclusive partnership with Reliance Matrix, a national leader in benefits solutions and absence management. Together, MGIS and Reliance Matrix serve doctors in all practice settings and medical specialties. An Employee Navigator carrier partner since 2022, Reliance Matrix more than doubled the number of benefit plans and employer clients enrolled and managed on the Employee Navigator platform in 2023, through more than 150 unique broker partners. "Employee Navigator has played a big part in our overall success in the small and midsize employer market, thanks in part to our unique streamlined billing solution available on the platform," said Paula Hanson, AVP Benefit Technology Solutions for Reliance Matrix. "Our proprietary process raised the bar on service and convenience and continues to win fans among brokers and clients." Marketed through independent brokers and agents, benefit solutions include Disability Guard for Doctors™, a unique long-term disability product blending the highly valued policy provisions of an individual product with the guaranteed issue and simplified administration of a group long-term disability plan, as well as short-term disability, group life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment plans. MGIS also supports a High Limits Disability Insurance program, offering an increased level of protection for high earners, providing more robust and holistic protection for doctors above and beyond any group long-term disability and individual disability coverage. For those groups offering the high limits program, this specialized product will also be available on Employee Navigator as part of an integrated, holistic enrollment experience. About MGIS MGIS is a leading national insurance program manager experienced in building and managing specialized insurance programs for doctors. MGIS partners with highly rated insurers and focuses on disability and life insurance for practices of all sizes, types, and medical specialties. Insurance policies managed by MGIS are backed by the underwriting companies of Reliance Matrix and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, and are marketed exclusively through select brokers and insurance advisers. MGIS services are provided by MGIS affiliated companies: The MGIS Companies, Inc., Medical Group Insurance Services, Inc., and MGIS Underwriting Managers, Inc. About Employee Navigator Employee Navigator is a rapidly growing benefits and HR software company integrated with over 400+ of the nation's leading insurance carriers, payroll companies, and TPA's. Its platform delivers brokers and employers a truly connected digital experience, streamlining the management of everything from online enrollment and onboarding to ACA reporting, time off tracking, and more. The company currently works with more than 5,000 brokers, providing benefits administration and HR products to over 175,000 companies and 14+ million employees and dependents.

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Workforce Management

Auto Group Creates Culture of Trust and Belonging with UKG

UKG | January 04, 2024

UKG, a leading provider of HR, payroll, workforce management, and culture solutions for all people, announced that Heartland Motor Company, the family-owned parent company for a group of auto dealerships and car washes, is transforming its workplace culture to create a great place to work by building a foundation of trust and belonging with the help of the AI-powered UKG Pro suite. With a mission to create remarkable experiences for its people and the communities it serves, Heartland Motor Company partnered with UKG to empower frontline staff through innovative technology that gives employees a voice to communicate and collaborate with each other and leadership. “I’ve never experienced an HCM solution with as much engagement power as UKG,” said Tina Barte, vice president of HR for Heartland Motor Company. “UKG has generated amazing outcomes for our people with technology that allows us to meet them where they are by soliciting feedback — and then taking action on that feedback — to elevate our culture and build trust as well as a deepened sense of belonging.” Since going live on Pro, Heartland has received positive feedback from employees through regular surveys powered by modern AI and natural language processing (NLP) technology that help the auto dealer understand what is working and where there are opportunities to create an even better experience, no matter where employees are located. “We consistently receive glowing feedback on our onboarding process, driven by our UKG suite, and how the automation of previously manual tasks shows respect for our employees’ time,” said Barte. “We can also automatically schedule performance reviews in UKG and deliver meaningful manager feedback, which has been a big driver of employee engagement. Additionally, we’ve used the responses from exit surveys to raise our wage scales and change our vacation policy and benefits so we’re better supporting our people.” To further engage employees, in line with its great place to work mission, Heartland recently upgraded to UKG AI-powered workforce management, which gives employees access to mobile-first technology that provides greater flexibility and work-life balance. “Our employees love the ability to clock in and out of shifts with their phones, which is something we didn’t have with our prior solution,” said Barte. “For our HR team, UKG makes leave tracking easy for FMLA and other types of leave.” Barte noted that Pro makes work easier for all by empowering employees in every role to focus on meaningful work for themselves and the business, which has led to an overall increase in retention and engagement. “With UKG HR service delivery, we know we are processing every employee inquiry, and with document management, we have created a centralized electronic system that administrators and employees both find easy to use,” said Barte. “UKG has done a phenomenal job launching products that make life easier for everyone and allow us to communicate clearly with employees in support of our great workplace culture.” “Great workplaces like Heartland Motor Company prove that innovative HR technology increases productivity, lowers turnover, and grows the bottom line,” said Hugo Sarrazin, chief product and technology officer at UKG. “Most importantly, the power of AI, coupled with a deep focus on creating a workplace where all people feel heard, valued, and a sense of belonging, leads to incredible people and business outcomes.” About UKG At UKG, our purpose is people. We are on a mission to inspire every organization to become a great place to work through HCM technology built for all. More than 80,000 customers across all sizes, industries, and geographies trust UKG HR, payroll, workforce management, and culture cloud solutions to drive great workplace experiences and make better, more confident people and business decisions. With the world’s largest collection of people data, work data, and culture data combined with rich experience using artificial intelligence in the service of people, we connect culture insights with business outcomes to show what’s possible when organizations invest in their people.

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HR Practice

Pipefy Launches AI-Powered HR Automation Solution to Improve the Employee Experience

Pipefy | January 15, 2024

Pipefy, the global industry leader in AI-driven process automation, announced the launch of Pipefy AI for HR, with customizable chatbots that are available to help employees, 24/7. Pipefy AI for HR delivers instant and centralized access to policies, forms, data, and other information frequently requested from HR teams. Pipefy AI for HR gives employees a single portal in which they can not only find the information and documents they need, but also submit requests, such as for vacation time or reimbursements. Employees can use the chatbot to ask questions about PTO, research open roles within the company, or reference company policies. The chatbot is available in any language and accessible on any device. For HR teams, Pipefy for AI means more face time with employees, better SLA attainment, and more time to focus on HR strategy. Pipefy AI helps HR teams make data-driven decisions by providing fast access to data, process insights, and crucial metrics such as attrition and employee satisfaction. For example, HR professionals can ask Pipefy AI questions such as “What are the top factors contributing to turnover in the sales department?” “Pipefy AI for HR is all about helping HR teams deliver exceptional employee experiences,” said Alessio Alionco, CEO of Pipefy. “It does this by improving response times and giving employees more autonomy. Beyond this, Pipefy AI gives HR professionals more time for the 1:1 contact and strategic planning that truly make a difference for employees and the company as a whole. From a process automation perspective, this AI tool works like a virtual assistant, automating workflows, handling routine tasks, answering common questions, and routing incoming requests.” Alionco added, “Generative AI solutions such as ours are ideal to help HR professionals streamline their workload and improve employee experiences – and their adoption is accelerating. In fact, according to Gartner, 81% of HR leaders have explored or implemented artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to improve process efficiency within their organizations.” In a recent Pipefy survey, 79% of business and IT leaders said that they expect the combination of artificial intelligence and process automation – such as Pipefy AI – to increase efficiency by at least 25%. Importantly, Pipefy AI for HR delivers industry-leading security features and certifications, to help make sure that teams are safe, secure and in compliance. About Pipefy Pipefy delivers a leading business process automation platform that increases team productivity and efficiency, centralizes data, and standardizes processes for teams in IT, Finance, HR, Customer Operations and more. Through its no-code process automation and AI framework, Pipefy helps businesses achieve operational efficiency and optimal productivity for every team in every department. Among its many recognitions, Pipefy was named to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing companies in North America in November, 2022.

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