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A Client's Perspective: CloudNine

Based in Houston, Texas, CloudNine is a data and legal discovery technology company with proven expertise in simplifying and automating the discovery of data for audits, investigations and litigation. CloudNine empowers legal and business professionals with eDiscovery automation software and professional services that simplify litigation, investigations, and audits for law firms and corporations.“We began working with Achilles Group earlier this year, after acquiring the eDiscovery suite from Le...

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Updated FMLA Forms 

An updated set of Family and Medical Leave Act (FLMA) forms for employers has been released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division. The only revision to these forms is an updated expiration date. The previous forms expired on August 31 of this year, but now, the updated forms will be valid through August 31, 2021.DOL forms are critical when it comes to ensuring that the FMLA's requirements are met. It is important to stay up-to-date on these forms.If you have any question...

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People Make or Break the Company

We’ve all heard it before: “A company’s most important asset is its people.” Because of this sentiment, it’s a tricky balancing act for a growing business to add more people to the team while simultaneously preserving their culture. In the past year, I’ve worked with many clients in this exact same position, but we’ve partnered with them to come up with recruiting strategies that turn this potentially scary proposition into an exciting one!It all comes down to People Performance. Simply put, Peo...

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The #MeToo Movement

At Achilles Group, we are dedicated to designing and building a best in class HR Infrastructure both as your foundation for growth and as a firewall to mitigate employment related risks and protect against loss.  With the rise of the #MeToo Movement late last year, we watched as sexual misconduct allegations against several high-profile men like Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, and former “Today” anchor, Matt Lauer were brought to light. Revelations were not unique to the entertainment industry, ...

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Changes coming to the EEO-1 Report

As announced on August 29th, 2017 by the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (or OIRA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (or EEOC) is implementing an immediate stay and reviewing of the effectiveness of the pay data collection components of the revised Equal Employer Information Report (as known as the EEO-1 report).Last year, the commission amended the EEO-1 report to require federal contractors and private employers with at least 100 employees to include pay and h...

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Controversial Overtime Rule Struck Down by District Court

A federal court judge in Texas has struck down a controversial overtime change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (or FLSA) put in place by the Department of Labor (DOL) during the Obama Administration. The rule, which was originally scheduled to go into effect last December, was designed to extend overtime pay eligibility for over 4 million workers, lifted the overtime salary exemption threshold from $455 per week to $913 per week. Any exemptions to this law are based on both workers’ salaries and...

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How Does Payroll Work in Times of Natural Disaster?

As a result of Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding throughout Southeast Texas, many businesses that were forced to closed may be wondering how to handle payroll and PTO issues. Here are a few tips and guidelines to help clear up the confusion:Payroll: Exempt (or salaried) employees: the employer is required by law to pay full salaries for any week in which the employee worked at least a portion of the workweek. Therefore, you cannot dock exempt employees’ pay for days not worked due to ...

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5 Tips for Virtual Workforce Engagement

Two of the hot topics in business today—employee engagement and workplace flexibility—can often seem at odds in terms of the virtual workforce. As working from home, at client sites, or second locations has increased, this has led to a decrease in employee engagement; however, there’s more to it than mere distance. The number-one reason virtual employees are disengaged is the same reason why employees quit: their relationship with their supervisor.At Achilles Group, we understand that the value ...

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Recruiting Effectiveness at First Presbyterian

Recruiting the right candidate for your organization doesn’t always mean filling the position with someone similar to the person who you had in the role before. Instead, it should depend on the future direction of the company, so always remember to keep the big picture in mind. Character and experience are just as important as the required job skills in order to ensure you get the best fit to align with the company’s goals and vision.When I started working with First Presbyterian Church of Houst...

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Clear, Timely, Focused, Respectful, Feedback

 “But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good/Oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” The lyrics to that old blues song perfectly illustrate the importance of communicating your feedback in a clear, timely, focused and respectful manner. The goal is not to tear down your employees but to give them the gift of clarity and to help build them up into something greater. To do so, you must make sure the feedback covers something the employee can actually control and address directly. Be sur...

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Success Story: Houston Zoo

"We reached out to the Achilles Group to assist us when we found ourselves down one person on the HR team with the absence of a Vice President of Human Resources. Because we were in the middle of working on several major projects and did not have enough time or manpower to take care of it all, we contacted Achilles Group for assistance.It was an awesome experience. We told them what we needed and they jumped right in and hit the ground running. And since we had not performed an extensive I-9 aud...

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Ready for your business to move forward in 2018?

“Don’t look back—you’re not going that way!”We like that phrase; it serves as a reminder to grow from and move past hard times and to keep focused on the path ahead. At Achilles Group we believe Houston is, in fact, moving forward, and a key indicator for us is how much our clients recruiting activities have increased!Many of the companies we serve have shifted their focus to emerging revenue streams, while -others are just rebuilding their capacity to match their upward-trending sales. Either w...

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How We Back Up Your Front Line

Achilles Group is committed to producing a great market response to your recruiting ads by implementing a well-structured process, a commitment to hire at targeted salary levels, and effective job postings. However, that means our clients must be well-equipped to manage the response pool, conduct interviews, identify top candidates, approve finalist offers, and close the deal, all while their hiring managers continue to run their daily operations! In most cases, we find that, though well-intenti...

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Don’t Do HR for HR’s Sake

This month’s focus has been on HR Infrastructure, which is the very foundation of an HR program. One of the first things that comes to mind when people think of HR Infrastructure is policy: the mutually agreed-upon playbook and the guidelines that shape the employer/employee relationship. However, at Achilles Group this goes beyond mere policies and guidelines to create a stable platform for employees to contribute, grow, and interact with people in a profitable, respectful, and productive envir...

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Employee Handbooks: A Solid Foundation for Business Growth

An Employee Reflection on the Crest Management Success StoryEarlier this month we shared a Success Story from Crest Management, one of our recent clients. Specifically, we focused on the work that we did to help improve their HR Infrastructure by updating their employee handbook. Now that you’ve heard the client’s perspective, we’d like to share an Employee’s Reflection on why this improvement was key to allowing them to grow more efficiently.Olivia Williams, an HR Coordinator here at Achilles G...

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Compliance Update - I-9 Breaking News!

USCIS released the latest I-9 form (Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification) today, July 17, 2017. The changes are summarized below: Name update: “Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices” changed to “Immigrant and Employee Rights Section”. Deleted “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment.” List C addition of “Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240)” Selection C#2 in List C now contains all certifications of report of birth issued...

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Why Employee Feedback is Essential to Business Growth

While rapid business growth is always an exciting prospect, it’s not without its challenges. In the case of South Hampton Resources, they were a smaller company with a family-style business whose growth quickly exceeded their management capacity. They had many tenured employees, so as the management personnel transformed it took some getting used to.However, Achilles Group was happy to step in and facilitate a smoother transition. If the management style of your business isn’t adequately adaptin...

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How to Prepare Your Company for Inclement Weather

When bad storms occur, your business should be prepared and adapt accordingly. Below are a few tips to help you get ready: 1. Have a plan. What’s your evacuation procedure? How will your employees be informed of office closings? Who’s in charge of shutting everything down? Make sure that everyone receives clear and concise communication regarding your company’s policies so that they know what to do. Ensure that you have all of your employees’ contact information in easy to get to place so you ca...

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Guidance and Support to 2H Offshore, Inc.

"When we first began working with Achilles Group in 2009, we had 38 employees.  We reached over 120 before spinning off a small group to create a new company. Achilles has helped us navigate this exciting time by reducing some growing pains via thoughtful counsel, offering timely guidance as we hit different periods in our growth, and providing much needed insight into organizing our larger team.Our ‘small company feel’ culture is very important to us.  We strive to ensure that our employees fee...

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A Partner, Not Just a Vendor

“Achilles Group was recommended to us when our HR functions started to become bigger than our skill set and a major HR issue arose that nobody could have foreseen. We were looking for a partner, not just a vendor, and that was something we have found with the Achilles Group.Since then, Achilles Group helped us in a variety of situations. At one point, we wanted to provide different FMLA options to our employees who were going out for long periods of time and Achilles was able to help us understa...

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