By Fiona Moran
Last year proved to be a tumultuous year for businesses across the country. The beginning of 2022 saw unprecedented growth as companies recovered from the pandemic. Meanwhile, the latter half of the year saw major tech companies issuing rounds of layoffs. On top of this unpredictable environment, employees also began feeling stressed, which resulted in an increased turnover rate and burnout.
To be successful in today’s business world, Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), Administrative Services Organizations (ASOs) and their small and medium-size business (SMB) clients as well as staffing companies need to create a positive employee experience centered around growth and workplace happiness. But getting there isn’t always easy. In this blog, we’ll walk through what HR outsourcers and staffing companies can expect this year—from how to manage employment fluctuations to tips on improving the overall employee experience.
Managing Unemployment Claims
With skyrocketing inflation and an unpredictable environment, many organizations, big and small, have to make hard decisions that impact their workforce, such as layoffs. As the economy ebbs and flows, fluctuations in employment become inevitable, with increased hiring during times of growth and hiring freezes, reduced hours and layoffs in times of decline. As an HRO or staffing company , knowing how to help your clients manage these types of fluctuations is essential.
The state of the economy can significantly impact a wide range of businesses. For example, during the 2008 housing crisis, industries like real estate, construction, financial services and manufacturing were hit hard. Many companies in these industries had to reduce their workforce or close their doors for good. The pandemic on the other hand hit industries like travel, hospitality, entertainment, retail, health care and education the hardest. These industries had to make hard decisions regarding their workforce to protect their bottom line.
A high unemployment rate can affect businesses in every industry. That’s because consumers have less incentive to spend, which can further slow down the economy’s recovery. For HR outsourcers and staffing companies, when SMBs struggle, the effects can trickle down.
Businesses must learn how to manage large fluctuations in employment. If an organization has to make the hard decision to lay off employees or reduce their hours, it will lead to an influx of unemployment claims. For SMBs in particular, those extra costs can be cumbersome at best.
If your clients find themselves in this position, several steps, such as working with a third-party administrator, can help their company and employees during challenging times. Workforce management solutions like Experian Employer Services offer unemployment claims management solutions that can receive claims electronically through the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) on their behalf. From there, SMBs can quickly respond to unemployment claims filed by laid-off employees.
Simplifying the Unemployment Claims Process
If you’re an HR outsourcer or staffing company, your clients can easily provide data to your unemployment services partner to provide the necessary information to the applicable state unemployment agency. With the ability to expedite accurate responses, you can ensure your displaced workers receive their unemployment benefits quickly without delay to improve the overall experience.
In addition to working with an unemployment claims management solution, PEOs and their SMB clients as well as staffing companies can take several additional steps to stay proactive in the event of an influx of unemployment claims. Processes and steps businesses can take include:
- Staying informed: Unemployment regulations and requirements often change and vary state by state. Employers must stay informed on unemployment law changes and guidelines to ensure they’re meeting filing deadlines and providing the necessary documentation to ensure unemployment claims are processed and received.
- Accurate record-keeping: Another proactive approach to handling an influx of unemployment claims is continuously maintaining accurate records. This way, companies will have access to the necessary documents when they need them. This includes maintaining accurate records on employee pay history, hours worked and compensation received to reduce errors and unemployment claim disputes. Accurate reporting of any remuneration paid out at the time of separation, such as salary continuation, severance, pay in lieu of notice, etc., is critical to determining correct payment of unemployment benefits.
- Claim activity monitoring: If you receive an influx of unemployment claims, losing track of each case can be easy. However, careful monitoring of claim activity is essential to help prevent overpayments. As your clients monitor activity, software can help them look for patterns or trends that can be indicative of an issue and use that data to create remedies.
- Clear communication: Displacing workers loyal to your company is extremely difficult. However, one way to improve the overall employee experience is by having clear lines of communication. If your clients find themselves having to lay off staff, advise them to communicate the process for filing claims and be readily available to answer any questions.
Staying one step ahead of unemployment claims is essential to ensuring a smooth and easy unemployment claims process for your employees. With these tips, you can improve your overall employee experience even during times of hardship.
Wrapping Up: Employee Experience 2023
It’s hard to say how 2023 will pan out. However, trends show that the first quarter may have experienced an economic downturn from the last quarter of 2022. With that said, companies have had to make hard decisions affecting their employees and, as a result, may have to manage an influx of unemployment claims.
Companies need to go into 2023 looking to improve the overall employee experience, and HR outsourcers and staffing companies can help. By having a fine-tuned unemployment claims process in place, as well as implementing other practices like compliance, professional development opportunities, and creating a positive company culture, employers can build a strong foundation that gets them through the rest of the year.
Learn more about how Experian Employer Services can help.
Fiona Moran is an unemployment compensation expert who has been helping clients maximize success and minimize unemployment costs for 35-plus years. Her extensive knowledge and experience allows her to assess unemployment management procedures and workflows to improve quality and efficiency. As vice president of service and delivery at Experian Employer Services, Moran analyzes needs to install the correct service team and develop customized partnerships, providing quality work and superior customer service. Moran has improved unemployment operations for clients during her time with several employer solution providers