What’s New

Nov 1, 2004

2004 Nov HR Magazine HR management tools; testing programs for entry-level employees; COBRA software; more.

Retirement Benefits

HR Online

Best Software has announced the availability of Abra Workforce Connections, a web-based self-service system for Abra, the company’s HR management and benefits software for small and mid-size employers. This new tool allows managers and employees to view and manage all employment-related information online. The new benefits administration module included in Workforce Connections allows employees to select and enroll in benefits plans and to update their personal data quickly and accurately over the Internet.

Invesmart Inc. has launched RightPath, a new offering of services for defined contribution plans. RightPath is designed to ensure that plan participants are funding their retirement savings sufficiently and managing portfolios correctly. With RightPath, plan sponsors can provide participants access to high-quality retirement planning and investment management services. Participants in RightPath plans also will have access to investment advisers who work with Invesmart Advisors Inc. The advisers are available either by appointment or through Invesmart’s advisory call center. For participants who prefer to do it themselves, RightPath offers access to a wide range of online investment support and planning tools.

American Express Retirement Services has introduced an expanded education and information service for 401(k) retirement plan clients. The new service provides individual attention to financial planning and personal follow-up contact after an employee retires. Frequently, when plan participants retire, the only education or information they receive about their retirement benefits is a quarterly statement or newsletter. This new service is designed to help ensure that plan participants understand their retirement options and actively manage their accounts based on their individual needs. To continue personal follow-up with the participant, American Express Retire-ment Services will contact plan participants with phone calls from one of their licensed retirement specialists. These specialists are trained to provide assistance and answer any questions about distribution and payment options that are available to plan participants.

DailyAccess Corp. has announced the launch of its new corporate web site, www.dailyaccess.com. The redesigned site consolidates various web pages to help deliver the most efficient online retirement plan administration and processing services possible. Through the new web site, DailyAccess can help employers and plan sponsors administer their retirement benefits plans with enhanced services such as record-keeping, compliance support, information on mutual fund company relationships, sales support and customer service.


Competency Manage-ment Inc. has released its new applicant and employee assessment tool, CoreCompetency Valuator. This new assessment tool was developed by a team of psychologists not just to evaluate basic work skills such as reading and math comprehension but also to measure job competencies such as attention to detail, honesty and social skills. Designed for ease of use and trouble-free implementation, the new assessment tool can be offered through an employer’s intranet or through a secure Internet server. This tool can integrate seamlessly an organization’s existing human resources information system and can be up and running in as little as two weeks.

Astron Solutions Inc. has developed and released its Finders Keepers Easy Employee Retention Kit, a new tool that is designed to help employers hire and retain the best talent possible. This new hiring and retention tool is a five-step program that includes customized first impression surveys, job-offer-turndown surveys, stay interviews, job applicant and employee opinion surveys, and exit interviews. The Finders Keepers survey and interview products are designed to work together to offer insight into the attitudes and opinions of job candidates and current employees. This insight can help organizations to significantly improve the quality of their hiring and increase employee retention.

EliteGraduateJobs is a new consulting service that specializes in the sourcing, prescreening and hiring of recent college graduates. The services are offered in four distinct areas: IvyGradJobs.com, MBAGradJobs.com, LawGradJobs.com and UniversityGradJobs.com. EliteGraduateJobs provides a new and unique way for employers to locate and hire employees from the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities. College relations professionals with EliteGraduateJobs host campus events, attend job fairs, advertise in student publications and work closely with college career centers. The company also uses recruiting techniques, based on ideas from HR and recruiting professionals and their experiences with client companies, to help identify the best candidates for the job. Candidates are screened through interviews and skills assessments so that suitable candidates are matched to the needs of the employer. EliteGraduateJobs can also help clients with the hiring process—such as conducting employment negotiations and supporting new-hire orientations.

Training And Development

HR Classroom Inc. recently has added audio-only versions to its popular line of sexual harassment prevention training programs. The audio option allows participants to listen to the complete text of each training session by using headphones or speakers with their personal computer. The HR Classroom compliance training system delivers the training content via a web browser to any computer with access to the Internet. HR Classroom allows companies with multiple locations to provide cost-effective compliance training easily and regularly.

Optimo Inc. has announced the launch of its newest training and development sessions, called the Purple Box Seminars. This training series features the educational session “Optimize Your Thinking,” designed to help businesses improve communications and teamwork among their employees. The new seminars are available in half- and full-day sessions, which include interactive discussions and role-playing. By helping participants to better understand personality differences and group dynamics, the seminars can help employees learn to deal with conflict and perform better as a team.

Work/Life Benefits

Ceridian and Workstream Inc. have joined together to offer a new employee discount service to employers. This new service provides Ceridian clients and their employees access to a variety of programs and services from Work-stream at discounted rates. This new employee discount benefit can provide cost savings between 5 percent and 60 percent for a wide range of products and services from electronics to floral delivery to travel planning. The new service also includes an easy-to-use administration tool and reporting capabilities, and offers employers a new way to provide an extra and cost-effective benefit to their employees.

Workplace Management

ADP Employer Services division has introduced the newest version of its time-and-attendance management tool called ezLaborManager. This web-based time-and-attendance software is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses automate and streamline their time-and-attendance payroll processes. This new software tool can give employers the ability to project and reconcile payroll, allowing them to pay employees for the current week based on projected hours worked. Any payroll adjustments based on actual hours worked are automatically calculated following the pay period and can be accepted or rejected online by employers. Using this method can help can help to streamline payroll processing and delivery.

Workplace Security

Symantec Inc. has launched a new communication and training service called the Symantec Security Awareness Program. The program offers a comprehensive set of training and communication resources designed to help employers raise employee awareness about workplace security and thereby create a safer and more secure workplace. The training program addresses a broad range of today’s key security issues such as e-mail, instant messaging, password protection, telecommuting and Internet access.

TravelMonitor is a new travel management service offered by MedAire Inc. This new service helps employers keep track and know the exact location of traveling employees. The new service taps directly into airline reservation data to give companies real-time tracking and reporting tools, including the ability to send instant communications to employees who face complex travel problems anywhere in the world. This new tool can provide organizations with a real-time map of where employees traveling by air are located at any given time and enables employers to immediately notify travelers of changing situations that could alter their travel plans.

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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