So far, projections are upbeat regarding economic health and organizational growth for 2018. Yet, a prominent fear many organizations are facing is the lack of suitable talent out there. Recruitment of top talent is definitely at a peak, often times having to utilize recruiters or outsourcing to find that talent where current internal methods of finding the right people just isn’t cutting it.

What is an organization to do?

Here are a few tips to consider:

Get more referrals . . . Why?

  • The candidate will likely call you back.
  • The conversations are typically more natural as you have already made the initial connection (the person who gave you the referral).
  • They have already been prequalified.
  • You will likely know what you will need to pay them, and
  • Hopefully you trust the judgement of the individual who referred them.

Position a career move as career GROWTH

  • A career move needs to explicitly illustrate growth opportunities, a defined career ladder, improved satisfaction and flexibility.

Use various types of media to get your posting out there

  • Quality talent may not be looking, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make that move if the right opportunity came along.

Consider using behavioral assessments

  • Behavioral assessments allow you to get to know more about a person than just what they bring to the table in terms of education and experience.
  • Assessments like ©The Predictive Index allow you to develop an actual job assessment so you know the attributes of the person who will work well in your position.

Recruiting and attracting top talent significantly impacts the success of an organization. This is true for all levels within the organization from first line workers to top level executives. Getting the right people in the right jobs help to structure a thriving and prosperous organization, so ensuring you are making the most of your recruitment efforts will really pay off in the long run.



Defend DACA

Early this month, the Trump Administration announced it was going to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program established by the Obama Administration in 2012. DACA authorizes young adults who were brought to the US as children illegally by their parents to live and work legally in the United States. The Administration set a rescission date of March 5, 2018 in order to allow Congress time to address this issue through legislation such as the DREAM Act of 2017.

For employers, the impact could be significant with approximately 800,000 individuals (commonly referred to as Dreamers) participating this program, the majority of which are legally employed. If their work permits expire they could face deportation leaving a gaping hole for many employers.

The Latino Community Association provided a few important things for DACA recipients and employers to know:

  • No current DACA recipients are affected until March 5, 2018 – at the earliest. One exception is someone holding a permit that expires before March 5, 2018.
  • October 5, 2017 is the deadline to renew DACA for anyone whose permit expires between now and March 5, 2018.
  • DACA permits will be honored until their expiration date, which could be as late as March 5, 2020.

The Department of Homeland Security’s FAQ on DACA is also a great resource for both DACA participants and employers.

While it is important for employers to be looking at and planning for the potential impact, it’s also important to not overreact. For example, while employers face many legal consequences for employing unauthorized workers, employers should not take any employment actions now against current employees or applicants based on their temporary work authorizations. As long as their authorizations have not expired, they are eligible to continue working. Taking an action now, such as terminating them due to the possible expiration of their work authorization at a later date, could result in significant legal liability. However, if the DACA rescission goes ahead as planned and no other legislation is passed, employers should review work authorizations to ensure current employees have unexpired authorizations and are legally authorized to continue to work.

Cascade will continue to keep employers updated about this important issue. Of course, do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you have.



image of four mushrooms on a table

As one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide, shiitakes are prized for their rich, savory taste and diverse health benefits. This family-owned employer has been growing these specialty mushrooms for over 26 years. Did you know…

  1. Top Hat Mushrooms, Inc. was founded by current owner and CEO, Robin Gillette in 1991. Prior to that, John Gillette Sr., Robin’s father, owned the 200+ acre farm located outside of the small town of Scio, Oregon, situated on the western foothills of the Cascade Mountains. From the early 1970’s until 1991 the farm was used to raise hogs. Due to the diminishing hog market conditions in the US, Robin’s father struggled to make ends-meet on the farm and Robin wanted to help and try his hand doing something different with the land and buildings. So, he sold his previous business, an electrical company, to his brother-in-law and purchased the farm from his father. Robin did not have mushroom growing experience, but he had a vision to transform the farm from supplying meat to growing healthy fungi. Through some guidance and mentorship from Dr. Royse at Penn State University, he converted the initial buildings into growing rooms prime for the development of fungi and began learning how to grow shiitake mushrooms.

  2. As the largest organic shiitake grower west of the Mississippi, Top Hat’s growing facilities are continually expanding and now include computer controlled environments to take advantage of the natural outdoor conditions. They are relentless in their drive to improve efficiency while never wavering on their commitment to produce top quality mushrooms 365 days a year for wholesale distribution. Robin’s vision to grow and supply the best mushroom value (fresh, tasty, organic, audited food safety program) to fresh market customers, is steadfast. Through on-going testing, they are constantly striving to learn and then apply that knowledge. They utilize a teamwork model that has developed the business into its current enterprise which provides healthy sustenance to people while improving our planet and ecosystem.

  3. This company is committed to sustainable agriculture by using natural resources wisely. They’ve installed an 88-panel solar grid at their Scio farm and use spent mushroom blocks to produce worms, worm castings and plant-based compost, all of which are used to naturally enrich the Earth. Over time there have been numerous updates on the 200 plus acre farm through internal research, development, and sheer determination and ingenuity. During those early years, the original buildings were constructed from lumber that was logged from the farm itself. To date, there are now three generations living and working on the farm in Scio. Top Hat Mushrooms has expanded to a second farm in Salem, OR that is strategically located nearby the Interstate 5 freeway for quick and convenient distribution of their shiitake product. This allows the company to quickly deliver fresh mushrooms along the West Coast while also sending their product via air freight through Portland International Airport three days a week.

  4. In addition to living and working on the farm the Gillette’s also have fun on the farm. The farm has its own 2900’ grass-strip runway and private airfield registered as Gillette Field. Robin and his son Casey can sometimes be seen flying over the farm in their Cessna airplane. The local community hosts an annual fly-in and dine-in where hundreds of small aircraft utilize the airfield to have a big celebration and eat some of the best chicken around. During hot summer days friends and family often head to the farm because it contains one of the best watering holes for cooling off and swimming in the pristine Thomas Creek.

  5. Developing Top Hat Mushrooms to its current enterprise has been a family affair. Robin’s wife, Carrie, manages the company’s finances and spends a day each week with the packaging team, ensuring quality control of mushrooms prior to distribution. Their son, Casey, has been a huge contributor to the success of the farm since he graduated from college and started working full-time on the farm. Casey is now the Chief Operating Officer and spends much of his time overseeing production, constantly refining their spawn line that is developed in-house. Their daughter, Katie, also works on the farm doing bookkeeping and office administration. She always amazes her co-workers with her ability to juggle raising two beautiful girls and keeping the company straight!

Cascade is pleased to showcase Top Hat Mushrooms, an employer determined to help each other advance through team work.



Starting Salary

You have heard about it. Stressed about it. Maybe even cried about it. Let’s put it all in perspective and for the sake of time and, let’s be honest, sanity, I present the Cliffs Notes version:

The quick and dirty:

It is unlawful for Oregon employers to:

  • discriminate between employees based on a protected class in the payment of wages or other compensation for work of a comparable character
  • pay wages or other compensation to any employee at a rate greater than that at which the employer pays wages or other compensation to employees of a protected class for work of comparable character
  • screen applicants based on current or past compensation
  • determine compensation for a position based on current or past compensation of a prospective employee
  • discriminate in the payment of wages or other compensation because an employee for filing a claim under this law

What you need to KNOW now:

  • Important Dates (in a nutshell):
    • October 2017: Don’t ask prospective employees about salary history . . . remove question from applications, don’t ask during interviews, make sure supervisors and managers understand the new law and don’t ask the question.
    • January 2019: The majority of the Act takes effect; and private right of action and some BOLI claims can be made
    • January 2024: Civil claims may be filed against employers that seek salary history

What you need to DO now:

  • Talk with us and make sure you are preparing to comply with this law. You may want to watch our webinar for a thorough understanding based on what we know now.
  • Meet with management to make sure they know how this will impact them and some of their processes
  • Discuss and address concerns; there will be many
  • IMPORTANT: Ensure job descriptions are up-to-date and ACCURATE (detail what employees do and identify an amount of time spent performing essential duties and functions)
  • Develop a formal compensation (pay) structure
  • Begin to formalize (and document) processes
  • Consider having a pay equity analysis conducted to see where issues may be. Even if you choose not to do a formal equal pay analysis it is important to look for any differentials in pay for work of a comparable nature. If you identify ANY difference you must be able to account for and justify ALL of the difference through a seniority system, merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity/quality of production, workplace locations, travel (if necessary and regular), education, training, experience or a combination of these factors. Based on the statute other factors you may consider such as intangibles like leadership qualities, cannot be included to explain differentials. Only those listed above may be used to justify differentials.

Right now, this is all we know. We hope to know more once the administrative rules have been published, which likely won’t be well into 2018. If you would like some assistance with where to begin with the process, let us know. We definitely can help! We understand your frustration and can be a sounding board while helping you navigate through this, so give us a call! We will keep you informed as we know more and will continue with open lines of communication.

Sincerely . . . Your Partner with all things HR,


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