Issues to Look for During Job Interviews

If you’re a recruiter, hiring manager or even a regular human resource staffer, you most likely interview your fair share of job applicants. You might even recall the most enjoyable and worst interviews you’ve conducted based on the candidates.

At times you can easily spot red flags with a job applicant, but sometimes certain traits won’t be readily apparent. Additionally, what some would consider “warning signs” for a position, others might not.

The following is a list of issues hiring managers should look for when identifying poor candidates for a position:

1. Tardiness
Excluding a natural disaster or a serious issue, such as a death in the family, if an applicant arrives late for a scheduled interview then it should be a warning sign to the hiring manager. Showing up late is especially a red flag for an office that depends on team work, according to Fortune magazine. Tardiness may show that the candidate is lukewarm about the position he or she has applied for or indicate that they may be nonchalant about serious business maters.

Job candidates exhibiting any of these behaviors could be a problem.Interviewers should be wary of job candidates that show any red flags.

2. Treating others poorly
Another issue that should give you pause is if the job seeker exhibits rude or impolite behavior to administrative assistants or other staff members, either over the phone or in person while waiting for the interview process to begin. Being disrespectful or disdainful to staff before they’re even hired should be a red flag, according to It could be an indicator of how he or she will treat you and your employees in the future.

If candidates show arrogant behavior and over-confidence without having any past completed projects to discuss in the interview, these can also be warning signs Fortune noted, adding that such attitudes could conflict with their ability to adapt and change to their work environment. A nice demeanor is much more valuable to an office that works as a team, according to The Society for Human Resource Management.

“If it is a red flag that directly conflicts with the job description, I always acknowledge it and explain how the job description indicates it as a red flag,” Laura Paramoure, president of professional training firm eParamus, told The Society for Human Resource Management. “A good attitude can be more important for a person to succeed; a good culture fit is as important – some say more important – than any required skill.”

Other warning signs may include a job applicant that speaks poorly or negatively about former employers. Even if candidates switched jobs because of a bad supervisor or experience, they need to recount it in a professional manner, according to Fortune. Placing the blame on others should be a red flag.

“You should start to get suspicious and ask some probing questions to get to the bottom of the incongruity,” Kaitlyn Annaert, human resources manager for told SHRM. “Comments about manager disputes or when someone says negative things about a company they previously worked at should be a sign to pause.”

3. Vague and inconsistent answers
The whole purpose of a job interview is to get to know the candidate applying for the job and to see if he or she could be a good fit for your company. A human resource team should be wary if an applicant answers questions in the meeting with vague responses. If you ask questions about the candidate’s resume and his or her answers do not coordinate with what’s written then you and your hiring managers should be cautious.

The applicant might not be articulate, however, so ask he or she for verification of any degrees they received or proof of past employment if you feel the candidate is suspicious.

Human resources should be on the lookout for any red flags candidates display in interviews.Hiring managers need to be on the lookout for any warning signs applicants might display.

4. Arriving unprepared
A good candidate should show up to the job interview prepared with copies of his or her resume and cover letter as well as wearing proper professional attire. Besides applicants’ outward appearances, recruiters may consider eliminating candidates who haven’t researched the company or the position they applied for, according to A good candidate should arrive with knowledge of the business and at least a few questions about the company or role.

Airbnb Looks to Create a New Workplace Culture in the Sharing Economy

The company that revolutionized the hospitality industry in just a few short years, is looking to do the same when it comes to its corporate human resources and employee benefits.

Airbnb, the San Francisco-based business that allows people from all parts of the world to list available rooms for rent, wants to take its mantra of “belong anywhere” and apply it to its office environment. An open-floor plan, glass conference rooms, lounges and free food are just a few of the amenities the company is using to brighten employees’ workdays.

According to Jeanne Meister, a Forbes contributor and partner at Future Workplace, the web-based bed-and-breakfast purveyor wants to create a “workplace of experience.”

So far, the new culture is working as employees new and old give good marks to the business on, a website that allows workers to rate their employers both past and present. The CEO maintains a 97 percent approval rating on the website.

Meanwhile, the welcoming culture is also finding a place in the firm’s human resources department as it implements changes to how it treats potential job candidates.

Airbnb's human resources wants employees to feel more at home during the workday.Airbnb hopes to bring a feeling of hospitality to its office.

Working from home at the office
Much like other Silicon Valley firms, Airbnb’s office is an open-floor plan devoid of any cubicles. However, the company wants to take the office layout further by forming a welcoming culture for its employees and potential job candidates.

“At Airbnb we are focused on bringing to life our mission of creating a world where you can belong anywhere, by creating memorable workplace experiences which span all aspects of how we relate to employees, including how we recruit them, develop them, the work environment we create with them, the type of volunteer experiences we offer them, and the food we share together,” Mark Levy, Airbnb’s global head of employee experience, told Forbes. “While these may sound like common sense, they are not.”

Not only does Levy perform the usual human resources tasks of talent development and hiring, but also implementing a new, more welcoming office culture.

The company wants work to feel more homelike, from the free meals it serves employees, to allowing its staff to work from anywhere in the office including the kitchen and living room areas of the building.

According to Joe Gebbia, Airbnb’s co-founder, the goal is to bring the hospitality it specializes in to its office. The free office meals focus on cuisine from the nearly 200 countries Airbnb operates in while employees are invited to meet and work in one of the office’s lounge rooms.

A welcoming company
Meanwhile, Airbnb also revamped its recruiting and human resource management process to be more in line with these new welcoming attitudes. After taking feedback from existing employees about the hiring process, the answers collected led the department to explore new ways of treating candidates.

According to LinkedIn, the HR department even went as far as applying for job openings with competitors to see how they were treated from initial introductions to interviews. The experience led Airbnb’s HR to rewrite its auto-reply emails to applicants by taking out the bland tone and inserting a friendly and warm personality.

The human resource policies and procedures related to rejecting job applicants also received a major readjustment.

“Now we reject candidates via email and invite them to call for feedback,” Jill Riopelle, Airbnb’s head of recruiting, told LinkedIn. “It’s a win-win: it gives them time to digest, it makes the conversation more productive, and that in turn makes them feel more positive toward Airbnb.”

Therefore, potential candidates will receive a welcome from start to finish with the company.

Abercrombie Halts Contentious On-Call Scheduling

Abercrombie and Fitch, the New Albany, Ohio-based teen clothing retailer announced that it would end its controversial on-call scheduling practices at its New York stores later this year. The store’s decision comes just two months after L Brands said it would stop the last-minute scheduling at its Victoria’s Secret shops as well.

Both brands are two of 13 companies drawing heat from the New York attorney general for the way they schedule employees for their shifts. Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, sent letters to each of the businesses in April notifying them they might be violating the state’s laws by using on-call schedules, Reuters reported.

Full schedule, frustrated employees
Some retailers and restaurants’ human resource departments employ software that can quickly fill in schedule gaps depending on how busy they think they’ll be. The software is able to predict when more workers are needed for shifts based on analyzing sales reports and other data, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While the software helps corporations maximize profits during peak periods it causes frustration for employees by calling them to come in during their off-hours or sending them home early due to slow shifts, CBS MoneyWatch reported.

Schneiderman wrote that the scheduling is both a financial and health strain on minimum wage earners.

“The requirement of being on call also interferes with such employees’ ability to obtain supplemental employment in order to ensure financial security for their families,” he wrote in his April letter.

Abercrombie and Fitch said it will halt its last-minute shift filling practices.Abercrombie and Fitch will stop its on-call employee scheduling.

Abercrombie’s new schedule
According to the New York attorney general’s letter, under the current system, stores’ only give employees one day or even a few hours notice if they are needed for a shift.

In a letter sent to Schneiderman and obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Abercrombie said it would phase out the erratic scheduling and begin sending shift schedules a week in advance to its employees. The retailer employs 65,000 salesclerks, 57,000 of which are part-time, according to CBS MoneyWatch.

The company will also send out email alerts notifying employees if there’s a shift open that needs immediate filling. Employees won’t be required to sign up for the alerts or to fill the vacancies, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Hard on families
On-call scheduling can cause particular problems for working parents who arrange for child care services. Schneiderman said the style of scheduling could break state law since New York requires employers to pay workers at least four hours of minimum wage earnings if they show up for a shift but are later sent home. However, companies don’t compensate employees for canceled shifts, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“One of reasons it is coming to light now is that people are organizing around it,” Tsedeye Gebreselassie, a senior attorney at the National Employment Law Project, told Reuters after the attorney general’s warning earlier this year.

Besides Abercrombie, Schneiderman’s office also sent warning letters to Gap Inc., J. Crew Group Inc., Burlington Coat Factory, Urban Outfitters, TJX Cos., Target Corp., Sears Holdings Corp., Williams-Sonoma Inc., Crocs, Ann Inc. and JCPenney Company Inc.

Representatives for Target, Sears and JCPenney told The Wall Street Journal they do not practice on-call scheduling for their sales employees.

Understanding the Value of HR Automation

Most human resource professionals know that their job requires them to juggle multiple tasks at any given time. From recruiting and retention to payroll and benefits administration, working in HR means that at any given moment, an individual will be donning several hats.

Many HR processes are time-consuming, pulling someone’s attention away from more pressing company matters that need to be addressed. This can often lead to frustration and inefficient HR practices. For this reason, many organizations are looking into the viability of working with a third-party provider specializing in the automation of certain HR functions.

In an article for TLNT, a website dedicated to addressing workforce management issues, Laurie Ruettimann wrote that many HR departments function on a 1 percent/99 percent scale. This means that while 99 percent of HR representatives tackle myriad tasks on a daily basis, only 1 percent of these individuals actually do work considered to be essential to the department and the organization at large.

Because of this, companies have begun exploring ways to streamline HR functions. This highlights the value of an automated human resource management system.

Automation tools can help make corporate HR departments more efficient. Automation can help make corporate HR departments more efficient.

Save time, mitigate hassles
Laserfiche, an enterprise content management firm, describes HR as a process that requires the management of various hard-copy documents to complete departmental tasks. This can be related to benefits management, employee onboarding, payroll and other critical functions. This in true in a number of HR departments that are largely driven by the management of information created and stored in a hard-copy format.

According to, citing data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the average HR professional will spend as much as 25 percent of his or her time managing employee-related paperwork.

It’s not difficult to ascertain how much energy is devoted to the proper handling of these functions in HR departments, no matter how large or small. However, like in most business sectors, technology has created significant operational improvements in a variety of areas and HR is no different.

Lastly, HR management software can effectively streamline both the timekeeping and payroll processes that a large number of professionals are all too familiar with. This is especially in relation to the number of hours it actually takes to ensure accuracy in both areas .In fact, wrote that by using automated tools, companies can greatly improve employee productivity, positively affecting on the bottom line. In addition, HR professionals will be able to complete more tasks using far fewer resources, ultimately making these individuals more efficient in their day-to-day tasks.

Ultimately, the use of HR software can significantly lower the number of administrative tasks the average HR employee deals with by as much as 50 percent, and the overall costs associated with these actionable items by an average of 60 percent, wrote. In short, it makes sense for companies looking for a more streamlined HR department to use software that automates a variety of critical job functions.

As the value of HR software becomes realized on a wider scale, it is likely that many organizations will begin exploring ways to integrate technology into their HR departments. By adopting a solution such as those offered by Payroll Experts, companies will see noticeable improvements in all areas of HR operations.

Utilizing a system that will allow a company’s HR professionals to spend their time and energy on the more critical areas that exist within their professions will lead to a higher rate of satisfaction in the HR department and the company as a whole. This will in turn lead to improved productivity and efficiency.

Trends in Millennial Recruiting

For many who work as human resource professionals, you may have already come to the realization that the workforce demographic has changed dramatically. The Great Recession created a shift in the job market that a number of organizations may not have been adequately prepared to address.

Older and more experienced workers either changed careers or chose to retire during the economic downturn. These individuals were most likely replaced with successors in waiting, however, because many organizations instituted a hiring freeze during the recession, many entry- and mid-level positions were left largely unfilled.

Now that economic recovery is on the rise, organizations find themselves looking to add to their payrolls. However, these same companies are finding that the candidate pool is largely comprised of millennial job seekers who are full of promise, but don’t possess the same level of experience and expertise that a business may be looking for.

Millennial recruitment has become a point of emphasis inside of many companies. Millennial recruitment has become a point of emphasis inside of many companies.

As such, those in HR have had to adjust their recruitment strategies to attract the attention of millennials and bring them on as employees. While this change isn’t something that happened overnight, many companies still found themselves ill prepared once the recession finally came to an end.

For those in HR who are currently dealing with such challenges, here are a number of trends taking place in the area of recruitment that could be helpful in developing solid recruitment strategies to place candidates in a position to be successful:

  • Social media recruiting: Let’s face it, we all have at least one social media account that we engage in faithfully. Millennials are no different. Savvy HR professionals have found that social networks can be a great candidate recruiting tool. The Houston Chronicle, citing research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, wrote that more than 56 percent of those in HR who participated in the SHRM poll, stated that they used social media to recruit candidates. Gone are the days where ads were posted on job boards and candidate resumes flooded in. Now HR professionals must be much more proactive and aggressive in finding the right candidates.
  • The use of big data: As companies become more advanced from a technology aspect, big data has become a buzzword used across a variety of industries. HR is certainly no exception. According to Origin Learning, this robust set of information can be used to help those in HR have a detailed look at everything from the effectiveness of recruiting and hiring practices for millennials, to Gen Y turnover and uncovering the kind of candidate who would potentially do well in a particular role. Big data isn’t going anywhere and those in HR would be wise to learn how to parse such an abundance of information and use it to their advantage.
  • Understanding what millennials want: Those in Gen Y are very unique from their Gen X predecessors. When it comes to working, the latter has starkly different needs from the former. For millennials, a situation that offers a healthy work-life balance is much more appealing than a job that doesn’t offer this. As such, those in HR may have to work with organizational leaders to institute a culture change that the Gen Y candidate will find attractive.

The role of the HR professional is changing. The position has moved beyond simply managing human resources in the area of payroll accounting and benefits administration. Now, the HR department essentially functions as the central nervous system of an organization. Those in HR must be savvy in making an impression with job seekers, be on the front lines when it comes to recruitment, ensure that current employees are retained, and rely heavily on the use of technology to perform at a high level on a consistent basis.

The NLRB’s Assault on Employee Handbooks: Potentially Illegal Workplace Rules and Policies

Article Courtesy of David Farren of Jaburg | Wilk PC

Most employers and their legal counsel take pride in rules and policies that have become standard fare in the workplace. Employee Handbooks almost always contain, and certainly should contain, conspicuous provisions that expressly disavow the existence of any contract of employment or any intent to alter, amend or modify the parties’ at-will employment relationship. Handbooks are also typically stuffed with policies designed to protect an employer’s confidential information, discourage bad behavior and promote courtesy and professionalism in the workplace. These rules and policies make sense most of the time, and are perfectly legal most of the time.
Knowing what is perfectly legal, however, is not always easy. We lawyers don’t always know a rule or policy is suspect until a court or government agency tells us it is. And, although the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not immediately come to mind when thinking about employment relationships outside of the labor union context, it should.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a federal agency that enforces the NLRA, has been actively promoting what it calls employees’ Section 7 rights to engage in “concerted activities.” Section 7 of the NLRA guarantees employees “the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations . . . and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.” These Section 7 rights apply to all employees and prospective employees, regardless of their union status or affiliation.
Employees engage in Section 7 concerted activities when they act in concert with, or on behalf of, their fellow employees for their mutual aid or protection with regard to the terms and conditions of their employment. “Concerted” does not have to be one-handed. Even a single employee can engage in concerted activities by lodging complaints on behalf of all employees. An employer who interferes with, restrains or coerces its employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights commits an unfair labor practice in violation of Section 8 of the NLRA.
So what does that have to do with Employee Handbooks?  Read on!


David N. Farren is an attorney at the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk and works in employment law, antitrust, and commercial litigation. He can be reached at 602-248-1048 or at

Sleep incentives: Napping on the job is good

While there are few regulations for getting a good night’s sleep outside of the trucking or airline industry, its importance is now on corporate America’s radar. A Harvard University study found that the average worker who experiences insomnia and sleepless nights loses 11.3 days of productivity. Translated into human capital terms, that’s $2,280 per employee and $63.2 billion when accounting for the whole nation’s workforce.

Meanwhile, a recent University of Michigan study suggests napping at work can improve worker productivity and increase workplace safety. According to the study, participants who napped for an hour during the day maintained a professional composure and solved assigned tasks at a faster rate compared to their sleep-deprived colleagues. Continue reading

Top 10 Bad Questions to Avoid When Interviewing a Job Applicant

Article Courtesy of David Farren of Jaburg | Wilk PC

When interviewing job applicants, there are good questions and bad questions. A good question seeks relevant and helpful information about the person applying for the job and about the applicant’s job qualifications consistent with a business necessity for asking the question.  A bad question seeks personal information that is irrelevant to the applicant’s job qualifications and lacks any business necessity for asking the question.  A bad question may be used as evidence of an unlawful discriminatory hiring practice.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and similar state laws generally prohibit discrimination against employees and job applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex (gender), ancestry, age, disability or even sexual orientation.  A job applicant need not prove that he or she was not hired because of unlawful discrimination, only that unlawful discrimination was a motivating factor in the decision to not hire the applicant.  Such proof can be direct or circumstantial.  Asking a bad question can be the direct evidence of a discriminatory motivating factor that an unsuccessful applicant needs to file a charge and pursue you in a lawsuit.
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Impact of Young V. UPS and Steps for Employers

Article Courtesy of Gary J. Jaburg  of Jaburg | Wilk

Since 1978, pregnancy and pregnancy related health conditions have been protected conditions under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”).  A recent Supreme Court case, Young v. UPS may increase the ability of pregnant workers to sue their employer for failure to accommodate or disparate accommodation.  Young claimed she had been a victim of both gender and disability based discrimination due to a denial of workplace accommodations available to other employees who had similar health related work restrictions.

Facts of Young v. UPS

Young become pregnant and her medical providers advised her not to lift more than twenty pounds.  UPS’s Employee Handbook requires that their employees (at least in the department where Young was working) be able to lift up to seventy pounds.  Young was unable to meet this work requirement.  She used all available leave, including her FMLA leave.   UPS required Young to take an extended, unpaid leave of absence during which time she lost her medical coverage. Young returned to work at UPS.  Subsequently she sued them claiming that she had been the victim of gender and disability based discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act based on disparate treatment.

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Government Agencies Are Out To Bust You For Misclassifying Your Employees As Independent Contractors

Government Agencies Are Out To Bust You For Misclassifying Your Employees As Independent Contractors

Article Courtesy of David N. Farren, Attorney at Jaburg | Wilk PC

Both federal and state labor authorities are hot on the trail of companies who hire employees and call them “independent contractors.”  The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with a number of states, including Arizona, mandating the enforcement of laws pertaining to properly classifying employees as employees.  The DOL and these states have made this issue an enforcement priority and may soon be asking questions at your place of business.

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Time and Attendance Software Can Significantly Reduce Overtime

Although the economy has shown strong signs of recovery, this does not mean that companies are looking to spend money frivolously or in a reckless fashion. Certainly organizations are looking to retain their current staffing levels and add to their talent pool with qualified individuals who can help them achieve their goals, but neither is a sign of fiscal irresponsibility.

Even though there are large number of businesses looking to add to their payrolls, they would prefer not to let this particular business expense get out of hand. Overtime, while necessary in many instances, can become costly for companies. These extra monetary payouts on top of an individual’s hourly wage can add up pretty quickly.
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HR Software Can Help Maintain OFCCP Compliance

Whether a company is hiring one employee or 100, the onboarding process is multi-layered and calls for great attention to detail. This is because at some point, any company that holds federal contracts will be audited as a part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. According to America’s Job Exchange, the purpose of these audits is to ensure that companies are operating within established affirmative action and discrimination guidelines.
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HR Consulting Services Can Help Maintain OFCCP Compliance

Whether a company is hiring one employee or 100, the onboarding process is multi-layered and calls for great attention to detail. This is because at some point, any company that holds federal contracts will be audited as a part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. According to America’s Job Exchange, the purpose of these audits is to ensure that companies are operating within established affirmative action and discrimination guidelines.

OFCCP audits are necessary for companies that hold government contracts. OFCCP audits are necessary for companies that hold government contracts.

OFCCP compliance requires businesses to maintain transparency throughout the hiring process and ensure that no discrimination of any kind is taking place. When job openings become available, they must be reported to state employment agencies and be open to any applicant, regardless of his or her gender, ethnicity, disability or veteran status.

Working with a third-party organization that can manage every step of the hiring process using an automated applicant tracking and on-boarding system can help companies ensure OFCCP compliance in the following areas:

  • Collection of voluntary self-identification data: When a job seeker applies for a position with a company, he or she will be asked to complete a brief affirmative action questionnaire. Companies must have this information on-file at all times. This data must be collected and maintained for both hired employees and those who were not selected during the screening process, Business Legal Resources wrote.
  • Proper job posting distribution: In addition to updating job boards, companies must also be sure to notify state agencies of their openings. A third-party service bureau will ensure that all postings are routed and tracked appropriately.
  • Manage candidate elimination: Every job applicant who meets the requirements of the open position must be promptly notified. Typically, this involves some sort of communication to be sent, most commonly via email. However, companies must also have clear guidelines on why a candidate may not be considered. Working with an outside vendor is the most efficient way to maintain the integrity of this critical process should an OFCCP audit take place.

Being in compliance with OFCCP regulations is critical for organizations looking to remain in good standing and keep their government contracts. Working with a vendor to help with this process is a wise investment and makes good business sense. Organizations should conduct thorough research on the human resources management platforms that will help remain compliant and prepared in the event of an audit.

Why it is Crucial to Designate a HSA Beneficiary?

As high deductible health insurance plans are becoming more popular, an important component is health savings accounts (HSA).  In addition to having current tax advantages, there is specific tax treatment of HSA accounts upon the death of the account holder.  While not a requirement for HR departments, here is a quick tip that employees may find valuable.

All participants in a qualified health savings account should designate a beneficiary for their HSA account.  Upon the death of the HSA account holder, the favorable tax treatment allows the HSA account to transfer to the surviving spouse (but only the surviving spouse) as if it was their HSA account. There are no tax consequences and the account becomes the surviving spouse’s account.

The beneficiary designations are not held by the employer, rather they are held by the servicing financial institution or HSA trustee, which may be a bank, an insurance company, or anyone already approved by the IRS to hold the HSA accounts.

If the spouse is not the designated beneficiary, the account is no longer an HSA and the fair market value of the HSA becomes taxable to the beneficiary in the year in which the account holder passes. There is an exception for qualified medical expenses of the account holder paid within a year after the account holder’s death. If an estate is the beneficiary, the value is included on the decedent’s final income tax return.

If the employee does not elect a beneficiary, the HSA does not automatically transfer to the spouse, but rather it receives the unfavorable non-spouse tax treatment. Therefore, it is good practice to remind employees to review their beneficiary designations at least annually, including their HSA account.


About the author:  Gary J. Jaburg is the managing partner of the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk. He assists clients with employment and business matters, workouts of financial issues and business divorce. Gary can be reached at 602.248.1020 or

This article is not intended to provide legal advice. Always consult an attorney for legal advice for your particular situation.


3 Tips to Improve Human Resources Management Skills

Human resources management involves the development of a wide range of skills for one to be successful in this profession. Every organization has an established set of HR policies and procedures that must be followed to establish structure within the company and the people who work there. However, many businesses are made up of staff members of different backgrounds and cultures whose individual needs must be catered to in order to ensure both their personal and professional growth.

This is one of the unenviable tasks of any HR professional. Making sure that established rules and regulations are followed, while also accommodating the personal preferences of each employee, can be difficult. However, this job is not an impossible one if the requisite skills for success in dealing with human capital have been adequately developed.

Here are a number of useful suggestions that will help make people stronger in their HR management activities:

  1. Relationship building: The HR department is essentially the central nervous system of an organization. Those in HR must interact with employees, managers and other high-level decision-makers. As such, it is critical to form relationships with each group of people. For example, The Employee Engagement Group, citing an HR engagement survey conducted by, wrote that 58 percent of workers have concerns about their benefits. In addition, 84 percent of managers are unsure of how to adequately measure the performance of their team members. Those in HR can be a valuable resource for both parties and must make themselves available in the event that questions or concerns arise.
  2. Develop multitasking skills: On any given day, an HR professional may feel that he or she is putting out multiple fires at the same time. This is why HR Daily Advisor wrote that adequately prioritizing tasks from least to greatest importance is a critical component of HR management. HR professionals will routinely wear multiple hats. However, the trick is to figure out which one to wear first.
  3. Create an employee engagement strategy: Most companies find that the more invested workers are in their roles, the better they perform. This also contributes to greater business growth as well. The PeopleFluent Blog wrote as much as 70 percent of the U.S. workforce is actively disengaged at work. Fifty percent go to their jobs, but find their tasks uninspiring, and 20 percent are actively disengaged, meaning they simply go through the motions. As a result, these kinds of feelings exhibited by employees can cost an organization between $450 billion and $550 billion annually. Many of these costs are directly related to training new workers to replace ones who have either quit or been terminated. HR professionals must carefully monitor workers, either directly or through their immediate superiors, to assess engagement levels and either help them improve their focus during their period of employment or take alternative measures to address the issue.


Attracting Talent: Stop Settling and Get the Best

Attracting Talent: Stop Settling and Get the Best

A company will only be successful if it hires the right people. As the economy continues to show signs of improvement and organizations increase their payrolls and bring on new staff members, the competition for these individuals is fierce. Now that the Great Recession has come to an end, the market has shifted into the hands of the job seeker. Many of those looking for work have their pick of opportunities to choose from.

Given that businesses are currently operating inside of an employee’s market when it comes to staffing, effectively managing human resources, particularly recruitment, is a priority. This means that strategies will be needed that work to funnel only the best and brightest candidates into an organization. According to a report from CNN Money, citing a survey conducted by Dice Holdings,60 percent of companiesplan to increase their hiring efforts in 2015.

Human resources professionals need to make sourcing and recruiting quality candidates a priority in 2015.

This means that those in corporate human resources must begin developing a plan to ensure that their company is staffed with the most talented individuals available, as this will become a key recruitment focus this year.

Companies to make quality of hires a priority
According to LinkedIn’s “2015 Global Recruiting Trends” report, quality of hire will be an important focus for organizations this year.

The survey revealed that 52 percent of companies will measure employee quality based on performance evaluation, 51 percent will track turnover and 40 percent will measure how satisfied hiring managers are with new workers.

The HR department must not only create a screening process that evaluates a candidate’s skill level, but they must also work to hire individuals who exhibit a willingness to grow within the organization and not look for outside opportunities. This means that human resources professionals must be diligent in their candidate screening and sourcing activities to ensure that everyone brought into the organization will provide value from the first day of employment and beyond.

Tips for Creating Strong Human Resources Policies and Procedures

Tips for Creating Strong Human Resources Policies and Procedures

The foundation of success for any company is the rules and regulations it establishes for its workers to follow. Without these guidelines in place, it’s difficult for staffers to advance personally and professionally. In addition, a company may find it challenging to achieve growth if its workforce doesn’t abide by procedural obligations expected of them. Both are critical components of an organization that flourishes and thrives in the marketplace.

Creating human resources policies and procedures isn’t a difficult task. However, it does require a considerable amount of discussion. A company will want to treat its workers fairly and give them a sense of autonomy that allows them to gain confidence in their assigned duties and flourish as professionals. The organization will still need to create certain ground rules that all must follow to maintain a sense of stability within the business.

According to, HR policies are put in place to govern the many and not the few. This means that every employee must abide by these rules or face penalties for committing infractions. These reprimands can be relatively minor in nature, such as a verbal warning or write-up, to something more severe, such as termination.

A number of components make up a strong HR policy. Here are some helpful suggestions for creating policies that should never be overlooked:

  1. Time and attendance: For any company to operate smoothly, rules need to be established that highlight the number of hours staffers are required to work in a given day and disciplinary protocols in the event these guidelines aren’t followed, Silicon India wrote. There may be some departmental exceptions established with respect to manpower and the staffing needs of the business, but as a general rule, attendance policies should apply to everyone.
  2. Code of conduct: Whether on- or off-site, when employees have clocked in and are ready for work, they should be expected to represent the company in the most favorable and professional way possible. listed this policy as arguably the most important. Staffers should be expected to carry themselves in a manner that will represent the company positively at all times.
  3. Salary and compensation: To maintain a competitive standing in the marketplace, all companies should have a clear understanding of what people need to be paid to encourage them to grow within the organization and not look for outside opportunities. This is one of the most important components of an HR strategy that will make both employee recruitment and retention easier.
  4. Vacation and leave: At some point, workers will need to be given time off and step away from their day-to-day tasks to recharge. Organizations should create fair policies in this area that allow people to take personal time away from their job duties and responsibilities and come back refreshed and ready to once again perform at a high level. There are a number of ways to create these guidelines, but it’s important to make sure that everyone earns time at the same rate to ensure fairness. 

Understanding Millennials from the HR Perspective

Understanding Millennials from the HR Perspective

A number of human resources management articles out there focus on how to handle the influx of millennials entering the workforce. Those in Gen Y have a vastly different approach to their careers and what they expect from either a current or potential employees than their predecessors. For HR representatives tasked with delivering the best quality candidates to an organization, it’s critical to have a deep understanding of millennials.

This knowledge is necessary for recruiting purposes, but also in developing a company culture that will not only be attractive to millennials, but encourage them to stay and grow professionally within the organization as well. HR management can be difficult if the generational differences aren’t understood, especially as it relates to being knowledgeable of what the members of this group feel they need in order to both successful and productive in their job roles and responsibilities.

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9 Tips to Help Employers Avoid Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act

9 Tips to Help Employers Avoid Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act

Courtesy of Gary J. Jaburg of Jaburg|Wilk Attorneys at Law 

Wage and hour law is complex.  Compliance is challenging, and although a company may have systems and policies in place, a manager or supervisor can put the company at risk for unpaid wages if they are not familiar with all of the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). There can be ambiguity as to what time is compensable.  For example, when does a work day begin and end?  Does an employee need to be paid for traveling to work?  Determining when an employee is “off the clock” is not as straight forward as many employers may think.  Applying common sense and doing what “seems right” often leads to wage and hour violations.

In 2015, many workers are digitally connected to their workplace 24/7, which has created enormous potential for wage and hour violations.  If an employer requires or allows employees to work, the employee must be paid for all of that time.  This means that even if the employer did not ask the employee to work, the employer may still be required to compensate the employee, so long as (1) the employer knows or has reason to believe that the employee is continuing to work, and (2) the employer is benefiting from the work being done.  This is true regardless of where the work is performed.  

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4 Best Practices When Terminating Employees

4 Best Practices When Terminating Employees

Terminating the employment of a staff member is never an easy process. It can be difficult to communicate to someone that his or her services are no longer needed. In many cases, this will be an emotional time for the employee. Gauging their reaction can be difficult.

Terminating an employee can be a difficult situation and needs to be handled properly.

“As a decision-maker, it may be wise to put yourself in the person’s shoes and show empathy when having the conversation.”

However, terminations are a part of business and they have to be handled with the highest degree of professionalism. As such, here are some helpful tips that can make the process of firing run smoothly:

1.  Team up: Predicting how someone will react to being terminated is nearly impossible. The hope is that all parties involved can maintain a sense of professional behavior during a difficult conversation such as this. However, to make things easier, the Employers Resource Council blog suggests that any person making the decision to terminate a worker should meet with the employee face-to-face, along with another member of the management team. This second individual can serve as a witness to ensure that the situation is handled in accordance with company guidelines, while also acting as a buffer to ensure that order is maintained while the termination conversation takes place.

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