Author archives: Acumen

New Oregon Law on Equal Compensation

12.06.2017 Acumen Uncategorized

June 12, 2017- A recent article written by Barran Liebman associates Anthony D. Kuchulis and Andrew M. Narus discusses the implications of the Equal Pay Act (see full article here). This law was unanimously passed by the Oregon Senate in May and signed by Governor Brown on June 1. The law’s title, “Equal Pay Act”, is slightly misleading, as this law is technically an Equal Compensation Act. It is intended to address differences in compensation among minorities, women, and other protected classes (race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability age). It prohibits employers from compensating certain classes at a rate less than other classes for work that requires the same skills, knowledge, effort, and working conditions. It states that differences in compensation are only lawful if based on merit, seniority, or other conditions measuring the quantity or quality of work. Employees who believe they have been discriminated against in violation of this law will have a private right of action starting January 1, 2019.

This act also impacts recruiters and others involved in hiring practices, as it prohibits employers from obtaining information about a job candidate’s past or current compensation. This section of the act will take effect on September 9, 2017, when the Bureau of Labor and Industries will have the authority to enforce it and issue fines. Starting on January 1, 2024, job candidates will have a right of private action against prospective employers if asked about their compensation history.

While this law is a great step toward achieving pay equality among all classes, it introduces several new challenges for employers involved in the hiring process. Not only does this law prohibit employers from asking applicants their past or current compensation, it also prohibits screening them based on past or current compensation. However, on the other hand, this law gives employers the ability to ask applicants what their desired salary would be and allows pay equity to be measured solely based on character.

In preparation for this law, it is important for business owners and recruiters to be fully informed and know how they will need to alter their hiring policy, application form, interview questions, and compensation policies accordingly. Oregon employers must act now to ensure compliance and protect their businesses from lawsuits, fines, and class action claims.

Attracting Great Talent: Podcast with Tracy Vicario

7.06.2017 Acumen Uncategorized

June 7, 2017- Acumen Executive & Talent Search owner and founder, Suzanne Hanifin, was recently featured as a special guest in a Business Wellbeing podcast hosted by Nick Krajl, Tracy Vicario, and Roberto Flores. (Listen to full podcast here).

Tracy Vicario, Suzanne’s interviewer, asks several interesting questions concerning topics like company culture and employee retention. Both women agree that it is getting harder and harder to find and keep great talent in today’s world. It is important to understand what new employees are looking for in a job and how employers can make them feel valued.

One of Tracy’s first questions for Suzanne is how Acumen screens for a culture fit while recruiting. Suzanne replies that this is one of the most important things Acumen looks at. She says that at the executive level, she has never seen an employee leave because of money. The most common reason for leaving is that there is no longer a proper cultural fit. To ensure that her candidates align correctly with the goals and strategies of the company, Hanifin says that she does two main things. Firstly, she looks at similar companies and industries to learn their cultures. Secondly, she learns what the candidates themselves want in an employer and what their goals and passions are. By knowing their clients well and knowing what the candidates are looking for, Acumen ensures that the two cultures fit together perfectly.

Another main topic covered in this podcast surrounds the popular idea that you need to know someone to get a job. Although Suzanne agrees that networking is essential, she also gives new tips for getting a job. She tells Tracy that volunteering is a great way to get your name out into the world and show that you care about something greater than yourself. Employers love to see job candidates who set aside their time to serve others.

In addition to highlighting the importance of company culture and providing tips for getting a job, Suzanne also gives several insights to new industry trends. One of the recent trends Hanifin explains is the desire for people to make a difference and tangibly see how their day-to-day actions affect the bigger picture. The key to employee retention, she says, is making their voices heard, giving them opportunities to affect change, and making sure their goals and passions align with those of your organization. Another industry trend she has seen more recently is the increased ability to work from home. Although it seems like this would be a concept that takes away from culture, she says it does not. Even the freedom to work from home occasionally (not 100% of the time) provides the flexibility employees desire.

Suzanne and her team at Acumen Executive & Talent Search are optimistic and enthusiastic about the recruitment industry’s future and are looking forward to what lies ahead.

To contact Acumen for your recruitment needs, click here.

Lexi Goebel – Summer Intern – 503-430-0294

What is employer branding?

7.06.2017 Acumen Uncategorized

June 7, 2017- Sid Smith, with Predictable Traction, recently wrote an article breaking down the phrase “Employer Branding” and discerning how it can be done properly. (See full article here).

Smith does a great job stating the fact that while it is important for employers to brand their company, promoting the company culture is even more vital. In other words, as Smith says, “the quality of your culture is at the heart of your Employer brand”. By promoting a healthy and successful culture, the right employees will be attracted to your company.

So, what does a successful company culture look like? In my opinion, a successful company culture enables employees to flourish. This means challenging employees to grow, encouraging them to be productive and efficient, and creating an environment conducive to honest and open communication. If employees find that your company pushes them to develop as an individual, expects them to be productive, and provides a safe space for them to share their thoughts and opinions, your culture is successful and prosperous.

Using terminology in your advertisements that accurately describes your desired culture ensures that the right candidates are attracted to your company. By hiring employees that share the desire to grow, be productive, and communicate, your company culture will solidify. As Smith himself said, “Great employees flock to great cultures.” Once employees hear about how great your culture is, they’ll come knocking on your door just to ask if they can work for you.

Lexi Goebel – Summer Intern – 503-430-0294

Summer Intern at Acumen

17.05.2017 Acumen Uncategorized

Portland, Ore.- May 17, 2017

Acumen Executive Search ( announced today that Lexi Goebel has joined the firm as a Summer Intern.

Lexi was born and raised in Oregon and just completed her sophomore year at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. She is studying Business and Economics and looks forward to the opportunity to get more experience in and exposure to the world of recruitment by joining Acumen’s team.

Her main interests lie in anything with numbers and people. Her favorite classes at Wheaton so far have been Accounting and Statistics, but she also enjoys getting involved in extra-curricular activities outside of the classroom. Last school year she served as a Campus Tour Guide/Host for perspective students and families, where she had the opportunity to share her Wheaton experiences with them.