Posts tagged ‘employer’

Dealing with Politics at Work

This election year is jam-packed with topics that are close to our emotions: healthcare reform, education, same-sex marriage… things that will directly affect our everyday lives.  While we want people to actively discuss and participate in the political process, how do we keep things from getting overly distracting in the workplace?

Fisher & Phillips has two articles out this week that give some great guidelines for the workplace.  And, that clarify some points of free speech that I bet you weren’t aware of.

My quick tips are:

  • Understand both employee and employer rights and boundaries
  • Have a clear policy and educate your employees
  • Focus on work at work
  • Err on the side of caution

When in doubt about a specific situation, contact your attorney.

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October 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Recruiting – A Positive Experience, Or Just An “Experience”?

When was the last time you sat down and really considered the candidates’ points of view during your recruiting process?  Are they treated with courtesy and respect?  Is their time valued?  Do the people that DON’T get the job still have a positive opinion of your company?

I asked my recruiting guru/goddess, Aimee Fahey, to give me her perspective on making recruiting a positive experience for everyone.  And how that can really benefit the organization.

PAM:  Define “recruiting experience” from your point of view.

AIMEE: As a recruiter, I take ownership of facilitating the process from start to finish, and therefore I feel it is my responsibility to ensure a positive recruiting experience.  As a recruiter, I am the face of my company, and work with all parties to ensure the right people go into the right jobs at the right time. To me, the recruiting experience assesses satisfaction from three perspectives – that of the candidates, the hiring teams, and yes, the recruiter.  If one or more are dissatisfied, the process needs to be examined.  Everyone needs to be on board and feel good about the hiring process.

PAM:  How can the recruiting experience negatively affect employee retention?

AIMEE: The hiring process is all about (or should be all about) giving both the candidate and the hiring team a realistic preview of not only the job, but the working relationship as well.  If you’re not focusing on the right areas in your questions, not providing good service, you’ve already started off on the wrong foot.  I’ve been in jobs myself where it’s been a complete 180 from how the position was represented in the interview because the hiring manager was too busy selling the employee – it’s a disservice to everyone.  In addition, employees who are part of hiring teams dealing with poor organization, lack of communication, and/or dysfunctional relationships?  Well, they stop wanting to refer good people – and they start looking elsewhere.  Why?  Because hiring has to be an organization’s first priority.  The people make the product who make the company – people always have to (genuinely) come first.

PAM: How can it positively affect retention?
AIMEE:  A former mentor of mine used to say, “our employees are our best recruiters”.  Give them a great experience and they’ll have a greater trust in you as the employer because you were honest with them upfront about the job, the culture and the team, and because from day one they were justifiably excited.  In addition, as you can imagine, happy employees refer more applicants (because they love it there), and “pay it forward” – giving an honest picture of the environment and the job, as you had for them.

PAM: What do you feel are the top 3 success factors in a positive recruiting experience?
AIMEE:
1. Communication – Great communication among all members of the hiring team – everyone’s got to be on the same page not only with what their roles are, but understanding themselves what the job is, what’s expected of them, and a shared belief in how their company takes care of candidates.
2. Customer Service – Great customer service to ALL applicants from start to finish (I say applicants to include those who do not make it to interview status), from giving them the information they need about the job, the team, and the company; to handling the logistics efficiently; to selling the company throughout the process; to making them feel not just welcome, but respected for their time investment.
3. Content – The interviews have to give a realistic portrayal of the job, ask questions that are not only relevant but help interviewers get a stronger picture of their potential to succeed, and involve the people they’ll be interacting with both on their team and in a cross-functional capacity.

PAM: How have you constructed your business to ensure that candidates have a positive experience, and how does that reflect on your clients?

AIMEE:  For me, I’ve been around long enough as a recruiter and human resources professional to know what does and doesn’t work in hiring the right people (rather than “filling requisitions”).  My reputation is based on the candidate experience, and facilitating the hiring process from start to finish.  When I first meet with a client, we discuss our philosophies around hiring, what we each believe the recruiting experience should look like, and – if that’s a fit – then talk about how I can make their lives easier and get them the people they need more effectively and efficiently by allowing me to guide the process and trusting my expertise and experience.  I rely on them as the subject matter experts on the jobs we’re hiring for and the culture they’ve created, and they rely on me for my expertise when it comes to matching the right people with the jobs, where I find them, and how I partner with their team.  I am always clear about expectations from the beginning when it comes to turnaround time, customer service, interviewing dynamics, and other aspects I think are important in hiring.

Thanks, Aimee!  As always, your perspective is fresh and timely.

So everyone, how does your recruiting experience stack up?

August 29, 2012 at 10:00 am 1 comment

Free Tool for Successful Onboarding

How important is a good onboarding plan to your organization’s success?

According to the 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey, it’s critical.

Consider these statistics:

  • 25% of new employees leave in the first year
  •  Only 66% of employers include training in onboarding
  •  Only 41% have new hire workplace meetings
  •  Only 39% include milestones and goal setting

A comprehensive, well-constructed onboarding plan can make a huge impact on the success of your new employees.  That translates to increased productivity and retention.  When you weigh the cost of onboarding with the potential cost of replacing employees, it becomes an easy choice.  Replacing an employee can cost up to twice their annual salary.  Onboarding doesn’t have to be expensive – it just has to be well-planned and well-executed.

Our new Onboarding Worksheet provides you with a template for including all of the critical elements:  training, goal-setting and communication. It’s fully customizable to fit your specific program (but we’ve filled it with examples to get you started).  If you want added depth and strength in your plan, Compass offers Onboarding Services as well.

Additional Information:

Employee Turnover Caused by Bad Onboarding

How a Solid Onboarding Process Can Help You Improve Employee Retention

August 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Compliance Notice – Seattle Paid Leave Law

Employees working in Seattle?  This post is for you.  If you have at least one employee working at least 240 hours in a calendar year, you will have to begin complying with the City of Seattle’s new leave law.  The law takes effect on September 1st.

Here are a few highlights:

  • All employers with Seattle employees – regardless of company location – need to comply
  • Employers with all-inclusive PTO plans don’t have to provide additional leave.  (although plans without carryover options might need to adjust)
  • Employers need to post a notice to employees of their rights under the law (a poster should be available prior to Sept, check the Seattle site)

Here is the accrual rate chart.  If your PTO plan already offers at least this much time, you won’t need to change your accruals.

Employer Size Accrual Rate Based on Hours Worked within Seattle, Beginning on First Day Worked Maximum Hours
5-49 full-time employees 1 hour leave for every 40 hours worked 40
50-249 full-time employees 1 hour leave for every 40 hours worked 56
250+ full-time employees 1 hour leave for every 30 hours worked 72

 

Our Resource page has links to both the Regulations and the FAQ sheets.  The FAQ also includes contact information for questions regarding implementation.

Jackson Lewis LLP wrote an excellent article about the law on their blog here.

 

 

 

 

August 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Learning Opportunities

It’s a busy week at Compass, and one of the things that’s been occupying me is looking over all of the summer learning opportunities.  There are a few that are worth checking out, especially if you’re in the Pacific NW.

  • BOLI (Bureau of Labor and Industries) has their August Event Calendar available.  This is great for HR Managers, or anyone responsible for employment compliance.
  • Oregon OSHA also has summer educational events of various types.  Did you know that organizations with as few as 3 employees need to be OSHA compliant?
  • Idea Learning Group has a fantastic Train The Trainer program open for registration.  If you’re not familiar with them, you should be.  They are fun, dynamic, and very in tune with best practices.
  • Last, but by no means least, is the ASTD-Cascadia annual conference.  The event is back in Portland for the first time in 3 years.  And it’s been re-structured as a one-day event to accommodate all of our busy schedules.  This is going to be one of the best events this year!  Note for HR professionals:  most sessions are eligible for HRCI credit!

That should keep you busy for a little while.  Happy Learning!

August 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

HR Metrics Calculators Available Now

Two of our favorite metrics calculators are now available on the Resources page:

Why do I like these two in particular?  They help HR professionals justify the initiatives that they propose and illustrate bottom-line results in financial terms.

HR professionals should know how much profit is generated per employee.  That’s where Human Capitol ROI comes in.  This metric is necessary when making decisions about adding more employees.  Will a new division be able to make a profit if it employs a particular number of people?  Will laying off part of the workforce really impact the organization’s financial situation?

In order to make the case for employee retention strategies, it’s important to be able to compare those costs against the costs of losing existing employees.  Many leadership teams don’t truly understand all of the costs involved in replacing employees who leave.  Now you can show them!  Use the Turnover Cost Calculator to determine exactly how much it will cost to replace any position in your workforce.

These worksheets are downloadable in Excel format so you can save them on your own computer.  Special thanks to SHRM for making these available to the public.

July 30, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Insider Tip: What I’m Looking for During an Interview

Today I am very happy to introduce you to my colleague Aimee Fahey.  She’s an HR professional specializing in talent acquisition.  She’s here today to give us some insight into what’s going on in her mind during the interview process…

There are soooo many articles out there about interviewing.  And yet there are soooo many people flubbing interviews in ways I think are so often preventable.  So, as someone who’s conducted hundreds and hundreds of interviews both by phone and in person, here are some insider tips on what drives us recruiters nuts, what makes our eyes light up in happiness, along with some other things to think about.

Remember, interviewing is a lot like dating.  You don’t need to be perfect but you do need to put your best foot forward.  Let us see who you are – this is not a trick (eventually we’ll find out who you are!).  Follow up without stalking.

Do your homework.  Hello…this does not mean just a quick scan through our website.  What stands out about our company to you?  Have you read articles about us? Bring your notepad with your prepared questions (oh, you better have questions at the end, folks), and feel free to take notes during the interview.  I love to know someone has paid attention and is interested in retaining what we talk about.

Understand our product/service.  Can you describe the product we are selling or the service we provide (or both)?  I’m amazed at how many people just apply for the job and even with time to prepare for an interview, often can’t tell me what my company’s product is that they’d be expected to sell/develop/operate/market.  If you applied for the job, you better have known what you were applying for.  Speaking of this, also understand the job. Do NOT ask the interviewer to “summarize the position” – you should already have this information!!  Instead, ask for clarification on something about the job – show you were paying attention when you applied, and are curious to know more.

Articulate your interests.  What are you passionate about and how does it tie in to this job, this company?  What in the job posting stood out and why?  Avoid cliches.  Don’t tell the interviewers that you heard we’re a great place to work if you can’t name that person who knows this for a fact, otherwise it actually comes across sounding artificial.

Know your strengths.  Be able to communicate why you think you’d be a good fit for the job (without being cocky).  What have former bosses and coworkers said they like about you?  This is a great precursor to the reference check.  (I’m thinking, is the candidate self aware?  Cool.)  PS – Remember, you can say you’re great without saying you’re the best.  Anyone who says they’re superior kinda freaks me out.

Be genuine.  I’ve got a pretty good BS detector.  Recruiting is matchmaking – I need to understand who you are so I can assess if this is a good fit.  And you’re not doing anyone any favors if you’re artificial in any way.  And guess what?  If you’re real, I’ll be real.  Try to develop a rapport with the recruiter, hiring manager, whoever is interviewing with you.  Be courteous to every single person you encounter during the process.  Be aware of stereotypes – i.e., salespeople, try not to sound too slick.  Techies, show you can talk to more than just technical people.  Don’t be fake, be self-aware.

Understand your own opportunities for growth.  While I’m not sure how many employers still ask the ‘weakness’ question directly, they’ll often try to get at it in a different way, where you know by the question they want to hear where you are not perfect.  So, with this, do NOT do a “negative that is really a positive”.  People, we’ve heard it all before and it’s, well, nauseating to listen to a candidate say “I just work too hard,” “I’m too hard on myself,” or “I’m a bit of a perfectionist.”  Instead, think about a great learning experience where you overcame a weakness – now That is cool.

Don’t waste your time or ours. This is not a Vegas poker game.  If someone asks you your salary requirements, don’t say “negotiable” or ask “what is your range?” Soooo passive aggressive.  Give them a range rather than a minimum, but do give them some numbers.  We all know that, duh, you’d be happy with a million bucks, but in the meantime, give us the range you can live with. If you have questions, ask them.  Express your concerns.  Be honest.

Under no circumstances are you to ask about benefits, paid time off, stock options, parking, etc.  If you are offered the job, you can ask those questions then.  In the meantime, as Archie Bunker would say, stifle it.  We want to know you’re interested in working for OUR company in THIS job, not when you can take your next vacation.  And along this tangent, while it’s OK to ask about the general career path about the job, please don’t ask me how soon you can be promoted. I’m here to fill This Job.

Don’t burn any bridges.  You never know who they know, or how they might cross your path in the future.  Be kind, be respectful, be considerate.  Treat the interviewer as you would like to be treated. Go for the good karma.  Thank them even if you withdraw or don’t get the job.  Ask for feedback if you don’t get the job.  If a candidate is cool, but not a fit for this role, I’ll often either keep them in mind for a different role, or refer them to companies who I think they might be a better culture &/or technical fit for.  A little goes a long way.

Got more questions?  Want to learn more?  I’d love to hear from you!

Aimee Fahey is an HR professional who loves bringing people and companies together through her work in recruiting, human resources management, career coaching and community partnerships.  Connect with her on LinkedIn or check out her “9-to-5” column on her blog, EcoGrrl.

June 13, 2012 at 11:25 am 2 comments

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