HR Buzz: Employer Branding, Job Hoppers, Drug Test Excuses

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By Martin Berman-Gorvine

What you need to know this week about workplace trends, surveys, and reports.

Brand Your Workplace, Now!

If you’re an HR professional who thought branding was something only cattle had to endure, you might be behind the times.

Job candidates are 40 percent more likely to apply for a job at an organization whose “employer brand” they are familiar with as opposed to one they haven’t heard of, according to a survey of 750 U.S. and U.K. human resources and hiring professionals by Mill Valley, Calif.-based employment website Glassdoor. Six in 10 (60 percent) also said branding is a challenge or an obstacle to their recruitment, and 75 percent said doing it successfully makes hiring the right people easier.

In addition, one-third of the respondents said employer brand is one of the leading factors candidates consider when choosing where to work.

Job Hopping & Stress

It sounds like a paradox: Younger workers who aren’t satisfied with their jobs and keep looking for something better only grow unhappier the more they change jobs.

That’s the hard-to-escape conclusion from an international survey of employees, including 5,142 millennials, by Salt Lake City-based employee recognition services provider O.C. Tanner. While the broader survey looked more generally at “ workplace culture,” the findings on millennials and job hopping showed a strikingly consistent trend. For example, the proportion of millennial workers who “feel their skills are underutilized in their current role” rises steadily from 38 percent of those who have worked for only one employer to 67 percent of those who have had more than 10 employers. The proportion of millennial employees who believe that their job is hurting their physical health rises from 35 percent of those who have worked for only one employer to 60 percent of those who have more than 10 employers.

Changing jobs frequently is more the norm than the exception among millennials, according to the survey: Three in five (60 percent) have worked for two to four employers, and almost one-quarter (24 percent) have worked for five or more employers.

Rocky Mountain High

Did you hear the one about the job candidate who drove through Colorado with the windows down, and therefore tested positive for marijuana?

This was one of the more imaginative excuses for a positive drug screen collected in a survey of almost 6,000 HR professionals by background screening company HireRight. Another person with a positive drug screen claimed to have fallen into a vat of cocaine, while another with a weed-positive sample asked to come back and try again at the end of the month, according to the survey, conducted Aug. 14 to Sept. 9, 2017, with results released April 4.

With 29 states and the District of Columbia now having legalized medical marijuana, employer policies are all over the place, HireRight found. Close to four in 10 (38 percent) don’t accommodate it at all, one-third (33 percent) said they don’t have a medical marijuana policy, 17 percent said they accommodate it on a case-by-case basis in states where they have to, 4 percent universally accommodate it in those states, 2 percent accommodate it in all states, and 6 percent had a different policy.

Check back every Thursday to get your latest HR Buzz.

To contact the reporter on this story: Martin Berman-Gorvine in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at; Martha Mueller Neff at

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