Guest Blogger - Joanne Conrad, Sr. HR Business Partner
All too often I hear the following from hiring managers; "I need this job filled in four weeks", "Let’s try her for 90 days, we can just fire her if she doesn’t work out" or "I have to fill this job now, so let’s just hire Joe, even if he’s not the perfect candidate."
I call this the “warm body syndrome". In my experience, these short-sighted hiring decisions often don’t work. And, despite what many people think, it’s not always so easy to terminate someone who isn’t working out, even within the first 90 days of employment. And that's not to mention the lost cost in recruiting, onboarding and training a new hire.
Avoid a Bad Hire:
Don’t rush the process.
Don’t go it alone. In other words, use HR or a recruiter wisely to help weed out unqualified or bad fit candidates. Have other people meet your final candidate(s) and give input.
Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole. Avoid “he’s good enough" and "he has experience, even though it’s not in our industry.”
Don’t make a hiring decision based on only one interview, especially for key professional positions.
Avoid asking a final candidate to take a cut in pay. This inevitably results in the new hire starting the job with resentment.
Hire the Right Person the First Time:
As you’re staffing your department, remember the saying: “you’re only as good as the people you have working for you.”
Do your homework to identify what you need. Determine necessary knowledge and experience, skills and abilities, and competencies. Complete a job description and include the softer competencies for the best fit, such as a service-minded orientation, sales driven or well organized.
It's helpful to interact with the candidate over different mediums. For example, talking on the phone gives a valuable added dimension to the candidates’ suitability and communication skills via the phone. Communicating via email allows you to evaluate written communication skills.
Work collaboratively with one or more managers to help you make the right hiring decision. One-over-one interviews where the hiring manager's manager interviews the candidate are a great way to collectively evaluate a candidate and get more people involved. Have the final two candidates (or more) meet key people s/he will be working with. Help everyone prepare for interviews ahead of time. What behavioral interview questions should be asked? What would you like your colleagues to look for? Ask the same questions of all candidates. If you aren’t comfortable with behavioral interviewing, get some training, ask for help, or talk to your HR business partner.
Do your due diligence. Talk to references. Ask final candidates to request their references take your call (it may not always work, but often it does). Do background checks. Keep the final candidate warm by staying in touch and then stay in contact after the offer has been accepted and before the start date. Prepare for their first day and beyond to ensure the new hire’s first experiences working for you and your company are positive.
Written by Guest Blogger Bob Merriam, Senior HR Business Partner
How much value do you place in your organization’s social media policy? Enough to go toe-to-toe with the National Labor Relations Board? Is the benefit to having such a HR policy now outweighed by the difficulty of meeting the NLRB’s lofty standards on this subject? Is compliance just too hard? Increasingly, employers are asking themselves these questions.
For several years now, the NLRB has found legal fault with a number of companies’ social media policies – even Costco’s couldn’t pass muster; overly broad and unlawful was the finding. The NLRB’s general counsel has asserted that these policies violate employees’ collective bargaining rights ("concerted activity") to discuss, even complain about, their working conditions with co-workers. Crafting a social media policy acceptable to the NLRB has become so hard, at least one expert argues it may be time to ditch these policies and pursue other methods to achieve the same goals.
David Rubin, a partner in the Boston law firm of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, argues in the February 2013 issue of HR Magazine that it’s reached the point where " . . . social networking policies may be more likely to create problems than prevent them . . . ", and that there are better ways to achieve the same aims. Rubin suggests that a well-drafted and carefully-enforced anti-harassment and confidentiality/non-disclosure policies will protect a company’s interests while avoiding the extreme scrutiny now directed by the NLRB to social media rules.
Is deserting an organization’s social media policy altogether the only way to go? Is there no hope? Don’t give up says Walmart. Its social media policy has been blessed by the NLRB. It can be done after all!
According to lawyer Brian Wassom, Chair of the Social, Mobile and Emerging Media Practice Group of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, Walmart’s* success turned on its providing sufficient context (i. e., specific examples) so that employees could easily differentiate unacceptable behavior from permissible concerted activities. Costco, on the other hand, prohibited "defamation" in such a broad way that it could be read as restricting employees’ collective bargaining rights. "Context makes all the difference", said Wassom.
Yes, there is a way – actually two, as we can see – to respect employees’ rights and protect an organization’s interests.