November 2014

BTHR Solutions


Thanksgiving For An Improving Job Market

Average retirement balances down at Fidelity

Employers feel middle-skill talent crunch

Pension plan annuity conversions poised to expand

Employers hungry for improved enrollment, communications tools

5 Job Search Mistakes You Could Be Making

There's no two ways about it -- it's tough out there for jobseekers. Far too many people claim they've done everything they can, but really they're just doing the same things over and over again but expecting different results.

 Failing to Monitor & Maintain Your Online Presence - It's the age of technology and your web presence is every bit the calling card your resume is.

 Not Disclosing Personal Commitments - The Internet is filled with hiring manager horror stories involving people who got the job, but then lost it because they disclosed some last minute obligation or commitment after receiving the offer.

 Downplaying Your Qualifications - In several ways, a job interview is like a first date. Project confidence by highlighting your skills and positive attributes.

 Not Doing Your Due Diligence - Simply put, you should already know about the company before your job interview.

 Not Personalizing Your Resume & Cover Letters - No two companies are the same, so why are you sending the same exact resume and cover letter wherever you apply?

See the rest at

Featured Job

Call Center Leader
Metro-South Boston, MA


15 years of Benefits/HR industry experience including 10+ years of managing a call center environment, specifically managing staff concerning HR specific issues

Familiarity with Employee Benefits/HR administration, preferably in an outsourcing enviroment

See the full job description

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Thanksgiving For An Improving Job Market
by Sam Gruenbaum, President, BTHR Solutions

The ongoing impact of the Great Recession on US employment has been with us for quite a while (almost seems like forever) but recently there are promising signs that many areas of the job market are truly improving. From our observation point, the past few months have brought an increase in openings, but perhaps more important, a noticeable increase in the time that it is taking to fill positions, both contract and permanent.

While many economic indicators have been showing improvement for quite a while, unemployment remains an ongoing area of concern. And even when job openings do exist, the process of filling jobs has been frustrating to everyone with hiring managers expecting a plentiful supply of qualified applicants ready to take on new challenges but the reality often being quite different. Candidates seem to be overqualified, not have the right personality or just may be expecting a different level of compensation than is available at this point.

Traditionally many permanent positions are filled with passive candidates (those not actively searching ) but luring them away from their current positions is still a challenge as concern with the state of economy makes starting someplace new feel risky. In a still uncertain employment market, taking a new position means candidates could be first in line for a potential future layoff. Add limited opportunities for increased compensation and the enthusiasm for changing jobs has been very limited.


Average retirement balances down at Fidelity
Average retirement balances in Fidelity Investment accounts in the third quarter declined compared to the second quarter, but they’re up year over year.

Employers feel middle-skill talent crunch 
Right now, it appears that many of the best opportunities may be in lesser-known "middle-skill" jobs. These are the jobs that usually require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree.

Pension plan annuity conversions poised to expand 
Many organizations are recent adopters of the annuity contract approach, but they realize the importance of doing more than only offering a lump-sum benefit to defined contribution plan participants when they retire.

Employers hungry for improved enrollment, communications tools

Just like their consumer counterparts, employers continue to immerse themselves in an ongoing technological revolution. Portable devices and wearable wellness tools, including Google Glass, Fitbit and even the much-anticipated Apple Watch, are being embraced by employers looking to the betterment of their workers, as well as better ways of enrolling employees in benefits offerings.

41% of respondents plan to increase their spending on technology next year, with 45% having already increased their spending from 2013 to 2014. Much of that spending is directed toward new employee portals and front-end systems.

21% of those polled are spending more than $250,000 a year on tech tools

Survey respondents also indicated that their employer’s overall benefits and HR systems aren’t necessarily well integrated... 20% said “partly” and 22% said “not at all”

The items that benefits technology decision-makers are planning to spend money on focus largely on better employee-facing systems: 39% would like new benefits enrollment systems, 32.7% seek better benefits administration tools and 30.9% are planning to spend money on an improved employee benefits portal



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