Saturday March 8, 2014
Reader Question: "I was recently terminated from a banker position in New York. The real reason was personal / family difficulties that caused problems with time management within the branch.
"For the past 5 months, I have used Position Eliminated as the reason. I really do not think the interviewer believes me. Why did they let you go and not the other branch bankers? I answered: seniority!" I would appreciate your thoughts.
My Response: The most important thing to do is to contact your prior employer and ask how they will characterize your leave taking when they are called for a reference check. You need to know so you can prepare the potential new employer for what they will hear.
Then, I suggest that you honestly tell the potential employer why you and your prior employer agreed to part ways. Be prepared to say why the problems no longer exist because the potential employer will want to know.
Then, spend the interview time emphasizing how much you can contribute to the new organization.
Any untruthfulness regularly comes back to haunt people and, even if you've checked with your former employer, the potential employer may get the real story from a friend, an acquaintance, or a chatty HR person.
Even in organizations that have a no reference policy, an astute HR person or manager can provide a lot of information in a phone call. There is a big difference between, "I'm sorry, our organization's policy precludes me from providing references," and, "How is Mary? I hope she is doing well. Please give her my best when you see her again." I'm sure you get it.
More importantly, telling the truth is the right thing to do and you'll sleep better at night.
And, yes, given the number of applicants who lie, exaggerate, or leave out information, on their application materials, resumes, and cover letters, and during the interview, the potential employers may not trust what you're telling them. If you've been doing interviews for awhile, you develop good radar for when an applicant may be trying to deceive you - the B.S. factor, so to say.
Do you have additional thoughts for this reader?
You know you're in HR when...
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Friday March 7, 2014
Need sample HR letters? These sample Human Resources letters give you examples that you can use to develop the letters that you use in your workplace.
You can use these sample HR letters to resign from your job, make job offers, document disciplinary action, reject applicants who were not selected for an interview, welcome new employees, and more. Currently, I offer over 100 sample HR letters on the site to provide guidance as you write your own - and that number climbs every week.
Find sample human resources letters. Are there more samples you'd like to see? These sample human resources letters were developed as the result of reader requests.
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Friday March 7, 2014
Today is Employee Appreciation Day. For employee appreciation day, let's take a look at some of the criteria for successful employee appreciation and recognition.
A reader, working in a successful business, wrote to ask how to make his monthly employee recognition program more effective. The recognition program essentially asked coworkers to nominate each other for a monthly recognition that only one person received. And, no employees nominated anyone for the recognition program.
I responded that I am not a fan of a monthly recognition program, because I have only rarely found that such a recognition program works. Employers are attempting to provide the motivation and recognition that employees need and want, but recognizing one employee a month, with no criteria established, doesn't work well. Even if the criteria have been established, for an appropriate, appreciated recognition program, every employee who meets the criteria should then be recognized.
Whether employees will nominate each other in a recognition program is also dependent on the company culture that has been established over time. If recognition has only rarely occurred and if criteria for recognition are not communicated and understood, employees will resist getting involved in a recognition program.
Here are the criteria that a recognition program needs to meet for success. For a successful recognition program, you are best going with regular, even daily, recognition that rewards people for specific contributions, and that rewards all employees who accomplish what you specify.
In an environment in which recognition is common and widespread, it is much easier to involve employees in a recognition program or process. You may also want to ask employees how they'd like to be involved. Their answers may surprise you.
Image Copyright Lisa Gagne
More About a Recognition Program
Thursday March 6, 2014
Are you using social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to source, screen, and background check potential employees? If you are avoiding social media sites, you are missing a rich opportunity to mine the Web for talent.
But, the jury's still out on using social media for screening and background checks. My suspicion is that more employers use social media for the checks than are willing to go on record saying so. It's only human for interview team members to search for their candidate's name in Google and other search engines.
Job search experts tell working adults to be careful about what they post publicly on social media sites. They recognize that, on the record - or not, a hiring decision can be influenced by social media posts. You wouldn't want to miss out on your dream job because you commented on a colleague's blog post that you had to be carried out of the party Saturday night. (Of course, people do amazing things at company events - just don't talk about them online in a public forum.)
I interviewed Rob Pickell (pictured), senior vice president of customer solutions at HireRight, Inc. in Irvine, California, a provider of employment background and drug screening solutions.
He says that most employers, out of concern for potential discrimination or negligent hiring charges, are not officially using social media sites for significant screening and background checks, on the record.
Sourcing potential employees is a different story. Most employers use social media to locate qualified candidates if only by tapping into their employees' social networks. But, the number of companies recruiting online grows every day as evidenced by the rapid rise of corporate pages on Facebook and Google+ stated intention to introduce them.
Interested? Take a look at our interview to learn more about sourcing, screening and background checks in social media.
Image Copyright Rob Pickell
More About Social Media Recruitment