J. R. Peterman Associates, Inc .

News and Information


Remote Interviewing to satisfy staffing needs 

The Corona Virus is for now, reshaping the way employers handle the hiring process. Utilizing Skype, Zoom and other online video conferencing tools, some companies are finalizing hiring without in-person interviews. 

Specific to the insurance industry, 3 1/2 months is the average time to fill a $75K vacancy, and 4 months for sales, management and executive positions. Therefore, waiting until the end of this virus situation to engage in recruiting will set your talent acquisition plans back another 3+ months. Better to stay engaged in recruiting efforts- we can help with that. 

It may take time to get comfortable with using video conferencing for interviews. However, using Zoom and other , newer software, and learning their applications will open up a path to successful hires. 

Here are a few considerations when interviewing by video conferencing: 

You may here a dog bark or a baby cry in the background. Ignore it. We are all working from home and in the same boat here. As long as the conversation is professional and meaning full, it goes a long way in evaluating a candidate’s qualifications and cultural fit. (Be sure to talk about company culture).

With the latest “shelter in place” directives, delayed and/or fluid start dates are becoming the norm. Start dates have been extended to 45, 60, even 90 days out. Under these current circumstances, companies can feel relatively certain that the candidate’s commitment to the position will stand.

We are sure COVID-19 creates matters in your business that take precedence over hiring, but when the crisis is past, there will be a talent gap and increased competition for available talent. We can help fill the talent pipeline now and in the future. This will assure you that you will have quick access to the best candidates to fill the coming staffing needs.


Onboarding Remote Employees

Onboarding a remote employee can be a tricky process made even trickier due to the COVID-19 outbreak. To be sure, the first few days of an employee’s start date is crucial to their performance on the job. How then can a smooth onboarding process be assured when office visits are cancelled, meetings are remotely conducted and the world is on lockdown? Here are some tips: 

Double down on high-touch: Two weeks before the start of the new employee, make sure everyone takes the time to introduce themselves. Encourage everyone to send a video greeting if they are able. Also consider sending a welcome email a week before the start-date so the new employee knows what to expect. You might want to include tips on how to work well remotely and a link to the company directory with phone numbers. Taking extra time for cordial communication is more important now than ever and will make the new employee settle into the new workplace quickly.  

Day One:To ensure the best onboarding system, there has to be uniformity in the process. Each new employee that joins the organization, whether it’s at the offices or remotely, has to have the same process. This establishes that everyone is equal. With remote onboarding specifically, having a unified system also allows everyone to be on the same page without any overlap or miscommunication, in a time where communication is paramount.

Hardware: Make an inventory of everything a new employee will need to be effective. Ship a laptop, smart phone and other things needed to equip their home office. Make sure that the laptop comes pre-installed with all of the software that the employee will need. Have someone from your team orient the new hire on the organization’s systems and processes.

an inventory of everything a new employee will need to be effective. Ship a laptop, smart phone and other things needed to equip their home office. Make sure that the laptop comes pre-installed with all of the software that the employee will need. Have someone from your team orient the new hire on the organization’s systems and processes.

Software: There are key pieces of software every person needs to work remotely. Don't assume  your new hire knows how to use the software you have provided.Offer training and be sure to offer your time to walk  a person through a challenge.

Paperwork: Send new hire paperwork via email( tax, benefits enrollment forms, withholding forms, etc.) . Have them sign and submit the paperwork electronically.

The Buddy System: Establish a key contact for the new hire to help them through the first few weeks. The mentor can help the new employee adjust, troubleshoot, and feel like a part of the team.

Regular Contact: Regular one on one meetings ensure the remote employee feels connected. The meetings allow managers to give and receive feedback to track progress and correct course if needed. Video conference a remote employee in to team meetings. Encourage digital team camaraderie to keep the remote employee connected to the team.

Set Clear Expectations: Once the new hire starts, ensure that the hiring manager takes the time to discuss expectations openly. Typically, remote employees are highly self-motivated and self-directed. In fact, research shows that they are almost twice as likely to work longer hours than their on-site counterparts. That being said, establishing specific, measurable outcomes for what the remote employee needs to accomplish is critical to ensuring productivity and preventing burnout. Discuss which specific hours the employee needs to be available and what your meeting cadence will be. The new hire should understand the culture, how staff engage with each other, standards and norms. 

Travel Insurance Now Required to visit Schengen Countries

Schengen Nations: a group of European countries that allow easy passage between their borders. In order to enter a Schengen Nation as a traveler, you are required to purchase insurance or you will not be allowed to enter the country.The following countries are a part of the Schengen Area:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Travel Medical Insurance is required: In an effort to protect themselves from the financial burden made by medical bills left unpaid by tourists, more and more countries are now requiring visitors to show proof of travel insurance before being allowed to enter. This ensures that in the case of an emergency, the traveler is able to cover any medical expenses should they require treatment.

These destinations also require travel medical insurance for entry: 

 Antarctica, Cuba, Ecuador, Thailand, Qatar, Russia, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates. The lists above are accurate as of June 2019. For the most up to date information on which countries require travel insurance as well as the details of the requirement, please visit the State Department’s website.

Source:  Adele DiRende, Marketing Intern at Arch RoamRight. From Arch Travel Blog Published on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 https://www.roamright.com/travel-insurance-blog/what-is-schengen-travel-insurance-and-do-i-need-it/


   International Workforce Well-Being Survey  

Did you know? 82% of expats go to the doctor in the first 6 months of moving abroad. This highlights the importance of having the right level of medical insurance in place, getting pre-trip planning advice and even having access to virtual health care in helping those relocating abroad to keep healthy and well in their new home. Simply having access to the right healthcare has a positive effect on the well-being of a third (32%) of global workers. Explore the other key findings from Aetna’s 2019 expat well-being survey to support your international workforce here:


Open Workspaces-

Article Taken From: “Ragans PR Daily By Robby Brumberg:  https://www.prdaily.com/report-u-s-workers-hate-open-office-spaces/ May 22, 2018

Would you change jobs to find a less annoying workspace?

According to survey data collected by Bospar PR, it would appear many of us would—especially those toiling in an “open” office setting.

The survey, which garnered responses from a diverse cross-section of 1,000 U.S. workers, found that 76 percent of Americans “hate open offices.” The top reasons cited included:

  • Lack of privacy (43 percent)
  • Overhearing too many personal      conversations (34 percent)
  • Cannot concentrate (29 percent)
  • Worries that sensitive      information can be leaked (23 percent)
  • Can’t do their best thinking (21      percent)

Despite a recent trend of employers tinkering with barrier-free offices, community benches and desk clumps, the science is not sanguine about open workspace productivity. 

What is it workers want, then? Eighty-four percent of Bospar’s respondents said working from home would be ideal. Nearly 60 percent cited “not having to commute” as a top reason for wanting to work remotely, and 41 percent indicated that they’d be more productive working from home. Thirty-five percent said that remote work would enable them to produce more “thoughtful” output.

Workplace environment appears to be a hill that many employees are willing to die on—or at least take a pay cut over. According to the survey, “Eighteen percent would pursue a new job to have a workspace they like better, and 9 percent would petition to work part-time in an environment they do like.”

Amid the clamor for more collaboration, connectivity, corporate camaraderie and increased participation, companies are inevitably alienating some workers. Most, it would seem, would prefer to work in a quiet, non-distracting atmosphere. That might be the most universally desired and appreciated work perk of all.

87.5 Million Expatriates By 2021


According to a new research report published by Finaccord, the total number of expatriates worldwide amounted to around 66.2 million in 2017. This figure has grown at a compound annual rate of 5.8% since 2013, given that there were around 52.8 million expatriates in that year. By 2021, Finaccord forecasts that the number will reach around 87.5 million.

· The global expatriate population has reached 66.2 million and is on track to rise to 87.5 million by 2021;

· the highest numbers of expatriates reside in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Germany;

· individual workers account for over 70% of expatriates worldwide and students for 8.5% of them.

Source: IPMI Magazine. Read the full article here: https://ipmimagazine.com/medical-health-insurance/en/news/insurance/item/5315-87-5-million-expatriates-by-2021   

New Legislation - The Salary Question

California recently passed legislation that prohibits employers or an agent of an employer from asking about an applicant's previous salary. If the applicant voluntarily provides this information without being asked, the employer can use it in determining salary for the applicant.

Delaware, Massachusetts and Oregon have passed similar laws which will take effect within the next 12 months. New York (effective 10/31/17) and San Francisco effective July 1, 2018) have passed similar laws. April, 2018 Update: California, Oregon, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York City, Philadelphia and Puerto Rico outlawed employers from inquiring about a candidate’s salary history. New Orleans and Pittsburgh put in place similar bans for hiring city workers.  Michigan and Wisconsin have also prohibited the salary history question bans. Vermont passed salary question ban effective July 2018 and Connecticut, effective 1/1/19.

Top comments.

Food for Thought- Income Disparity


“There is no bigger threat to our democracy than wealth disparity. It is a story normally reserved for monarchies, dictatorships, and plutocracies, and yet we got in this pickle because over the last 40 years the corporate focus on profits took on manic proportions relative to other stakeholders such as employees, communities, and the planet….”

Source: Paul Tudor Jones, Tudor Investment Corporation Head, and Robin Hood Foundation Founder. Quote published in Editorial Comment by Randy Lane, Editor, page 12, Forbes Magazine 12/26/17 

Advice Worth Repeating


In an active job search? Don’t Overlook Anything About Your Online Presence. 

Always be aware of and review your Online presence. Your online resume offers another read on how “buttoned up” you are outside of your professional world. Be sure to make a positive and professional impression across all social media platforms that you are using. Inconsistencies between your resume, your online resume, LinkedIn profile may reveal lack of detail orientation, or expose stated variations in duties/titles/etc. at the same job. Unprofessional photos can also raise questions or suggest that you are not aware of how you present yourself in a career environment. Be sure that your resume, online profile, and online communication are free of typos, grammatical errors, or poor (hard to read) formatting. According to LinkedIn, 58% of all resumes have a typo of some form. 

Source: LinkedIn Talent Solutions, January 2018