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HR Magazine, February 2005 - What's New

   2/1/2005

HR Magazine, February 2005

Vol. 50, No. 2

Health savings account tool; Hispanic recruitment resource; organizational chart design software; more.

Disability Management

MHN, a subsidiary of Health Net Inc., has developed a new health improvement and support program designed to help injured and seriously ill employees re-enter the workforce and return to work quickly and effectively. The new Workplace Re-entry Program features a “virtual classroom” teleconference that focuses on the psychological factors that can inhibit recovery and return to work. Through this program, participants can receive mutual support, compare health symptoms, and discuss effective problem-solving techniques and topics such as stress reduction and lifestyle management. This innovative health improvement program is designed to accelerate the recovery of ill and injured employees and help them return to work by focusing on cognitive and self-management skills.

Compensation And Benefits

Evolution Benefits Inc. and the Human Resources & Investor Solutions of Mellon Financial Corp. have joined together to create an innovative tool for health savings accounts. This new benefits tool combines Mellon’s health savings account services with Evolution Benefits’ Benny debit card to give health plan providers and third-party administrators a new option that integrates seamlessly with other employee benefits accounts, such as flexible spending accounts and health care reimbursement arrangements.

Hawthorne Benefit Tech-nologies Inc., also known as BeneTrac, has launched a new feature in its online benefits management software called Hidden Paycheck. This new software feature allows HR managers to quickly generate reports that show the total cost of an employee’s compensation package, including both annual earnings and employer-paid benefits. The reports provide an easy and cost-effective way for employers to educate employees about the actual costs associated with their compensation and benefits packages. This new feature is provided free of charge to all users of BeneTrac’s online software tools.

Mortgage Benefits Corp. (MBC) has joined together with Unisource Information Services to create bundled discounts on real estate settlement services that employers can now offer as a low-cost benefit to their employees. The new bundled services are available to any employer that becomes a member of MBC’s MortgageChoice Plan, a no-cost group mortgage benefit. After the employer joins the program, this special benefit becomes available to all employees, their spouses, domestic partners and other family members. All plan members gain instant access to MBC’s national network of mortgage brokerage firms and their loan agents, which is comprised of more than 100 wholesale lenders, and other service pro-viders who offer special discounts. The Unisource services include title insurance and settlement services, credit reporting, and flood risk assessments.

Compliance Tools

COCO Development LLC has announced the launch of its COBRA compliance software tool, COBRApoint. The new release is one of the only COBRA compliance software products available online and offers an advanced and sophisticated letter generation system specifically designed to help employers comply with the complex regulation notification requirements of both COBRA and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The software also allows employers or third-party administrators to insert customized documents quickly and easily into reports and required notices of health insurance coverage. Other features of the software can help to ease the record-keeping and tracking tasks that are required by both COBRA and HIPAA.

Retirement Benefits

American Express Retirement Services has expanded its financial education and planning services program to include new workplace seminars and one-on-one sessions designed to educate employees on how to develop financially viable future and retirement plans. These financial education programs can help participants better understand their personal relationship with money, the importance of financial planning in today’s environment, the financial impact of significant life events and how to best achieve their personal financial goals. American Express Retirement Services’ financial education program includes seminars such as “The Road to Retirement,” “Insuring What Matters Most,” “Benefits Enrollment Sessions” and “Health Care 2005.”

Staffing

A leading Hispanic diversity and career-based online portal, iHispano.com, has launched a new web site dedicated to helping Hispanic job seekers and employers connect. The new web site is designed to be an effective recruitment resource that can help employers locate talented and experienced job candidates of Hispanic heritage. In addition, iHispano.com has joined with Latina Style Magazine to develop a new career resource center on the magazine’s web site. Latina Style has worked with iHispano for nearly two years to provide career development options to the thousands of Latino business professionals who work throughout the United States.

Blogger-Jobs.com is a new web site launched by veteran web log developer Jeremy Wright and www.recruiting .com. The site is an innovative recruitment service that matches employers with job candidates who post information on web logs—also known as “bloggers.” The new online service is designed to help employers capitalize on the explosive growth of web logs on the Internet by using these “blogs” to identify and recruit qualified job candidates. Blogger-Jobs.com is one of the first career-oriented web sites to specifically target bloggers who tend to be savvy about the current trends and developments in high-tech industries.

Kenexa Inc. has announced the release of its new software tool, the Kenexa Interview Builder. This innovative software product is designed to develop competency-based structured interviews that HR and hiring managers can use to identify and select the best available job candidates. When using Kenexa Interview Builder, HR managers complete a web-based job analysis to determine the critical skills and competencies needed for specific jobs and also to identify the traits that tend to indicate top performers. The software then generates several key interview questions designed to accurately assess a candidate’s qualifications and work traits. During the interview, hiring managers can rate the candidates’ responses to the questions and then input the scores into the Kenexa Interview Builder software for further analysis.

Training And Development

Fisher Vista Inc. has launched the first online directory of Internet-based seminars (also known as webinars) that are devoted exclusively to human resource management topics. The free-of-charge directory lists both live and archived webinars on a variety of HR management topics, including recruitment and staffing, compensation and benefits, training and development, and outsourcing. The directory draws its list of webinars from a variety of online sources and is co-sponsored by HRmarketer.com. The new directory allows visitors to search and locate webinars by title, date and cost, as well as to browse descriptions, speaker bios and registration details.

Advance Mentoring Inc. has announced the launch of its new web site, www.advancementoring.com. The web site is designed to help users develop successful career paths by matching them with mentors who possess skills and expertise in their areas of professional interest. The new mentor match service allows users to find mentors based on common traits such as skill sets, experience, location, or affiliation with a school or organization. Advance Mentoring also has launched a web-based mentoring service designed to help employers improve workforce productivity and retention by offering an in-house and online mentoring program to their employees.

Employee Relations Associates Inc. has launched a new online question-and-answer service called Ask the Experts. This new service offers both employers and job seekers access to top-level business professionals to ask questions and seek advice on a wide range of career development and HR issues. HR professionals can gain immediate access to this senior-level advice service by visiting www.er-associates.com/ asktheexperts.cfm. Employers and job seekers can then post questions on the web site and should receive a reply within 24 hours.

Workplace Management

SmartDraw.com has announced the release of the SmartDraw 7 Org Chart Edition, a new tool for creating high-quality organizational charts in minutes. This newest edition of Org Chart includes dozens of symbols and professionally designed templates, simple drag-and-drop drawing, and the new and fully automated Org Chart Builder, which is designed to make easy work out of developing complicated charts. SmartDraw’s Org Chart Builder allows users to create organizational charts by importing chart data from popular office software programs, including Microsoft Office, Excel and PowerPoint.

Product manufacturers and developers provide information for What’s New. Inclusion in this sample of products does not necessarily imply endorsement by SHRM or HR Magazine.

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