All Articles Tagged "HR"
Have you ever been in this situation? You go to work on your very first day, eager and mentally ready to finally conquer Excel. You get signed in by security and enter the elevator, maybe meeting a smiling face or two. You walk through the doors of your new job, greet the receptionist, get ushered in and quickly notice that mostly everyone around you is of the same racial or ethnic makeup.
It can be disheartening to work in a corporation that offers amazing benefits, but very little of diversity within. But we shouldn’t be too hard on HR; some businesses just may not understand the various ways in which diversity would truly benefit them beyond gaining Multicultural Excellence Awards for their advertising campaigns. Here are the top nine ways that diversity benefits businesses:
These days, the first step towards getting your foot in the door is making it past the “applicant tracking system,” or ATS, that HR pros are using to flush out the best resumes from a mountain of candidates. Notice how we said the best “resumes” rather than the best “candidates.” These computer systems are using a number of scanning tricks to pick and choose people who move on to the next round. On paper, at least, they’re the most qualified of the bunch.
AOL Jobs has pulled together a few tips to help you get past this first digital stage of the application process. At the top of the list, they suggest using appropriate keywords. How do you determine the right keywords? They’re in the job description. If you’re applying for a managerial position at an insurance company, be sure to include the words “manager” and “insurance” in your resume. They don’t necessarily have to be at the same company, but your resume should reflect that you have the desired experience somewhere in your background.
As a matter of fact, you should include those most important words in your cover letter as well. ICYMI, here are a few tips to make that portion of the application even better.
Another piece of good advice: “Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability.” AOL makes the point that experienced employees sometimes have a hard time convincing potential employers that they’re capable of learning new tricks. Also worth keeping in mind is the fact that, unfortunately, more companies are working with fewer employees these days. It’s possible, if not probable, that you’ll be asked to step in when a colleague is out of the office on vacation or maternity leave. Or called upon to step in if there’s an abrupt job vacancy. Using your resume to demonstrate that you can roll with the punches is a positive.
Finally, the article advises that candidates “highlight results.”
“When you create bullet points that draw direct connections between what you did and what the employer wants you to do, it will be easier for the reader to envision you in the job,” the article says. Another way of putting it, and a great tip that we once heard from a college employment center specialist, is to use “action words.” Verbs describe what you did and what you’re doing; the work that you’re accomplishing. Someone who gets things done is someone that employers want around.
Separately but related, AOL Jobs also has a story outlining the things that a modern resume does and doesn’t need. We’d like to call special attention to the “Objective,” something that no resume should have. Every “objective” says the same thing and says it poorly: You want a good job that will help you build the career of your dreams. That’s obvious and there’s no need to re-state the obvious. We have never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever read a worthwhile “objective” so just avoid it altogether.
Contrary to common belief, companies generally don’t like to conduct layoffs. In fact, many managers recoil at the thought of having to call an employee into their office and hand them a pink slip. Nevertheless, layoffs occur for a variety of reasons, regardless of the size of the firm. Just yesterday, Google announced that it was slashing its payroll by 4,000 jobs, three short months after it bought Motorola Mobility. News of the layoffs sent Google’s stock up to $660.01 by the close of trading on Monday, a 2.8 percent increase. What the announcement won’t do is make the process of conducting layoffs easier for managers or staffers.
After handling layoffs for more than a decade as a human resource specialist, I have learned that there are steps you — as a business owner, manager, or HR specialist — can take to help your employees navigate the rugged terrain of company downsizing. It doesn’t take the sting out of having to fire people, but you and your employees benefit when you include the steps you will take during company downsizing in written company termination policies. As an employee, knowing what questions to ask about these policies if they’re not presented to you in writing is a good skill to have. Types of information to include in termination policies are:
- Severance pay. Some companies pay employees a certain number of weeks for each year they worked at the firm. For example, you could pay employees three weeks of severance for each year they worked at your firm.
- Bonus and stock information. Depending on the economy and the financial health of your company, these payment calculations can change. Collaboration between the finance, compensation and benefits managers will bring about a fair and manageable calculation.
- Vacation and Unused Time Off. State how paid and unpaid time off, including vacation and personal leave, will be handled should an employee be laid off.
- Communication procedures. Identify who will communicate layoffs to impacted employees, such as a human resource manager or an employee’s supervisor. Regardless of who informs an employee, it should be communicated early enough to comply with state notification laws in jurisdictions where your business operates.
- Outplacement services. If your company offers outplacement services (resume writing, job search tools, etc.), decide on the duration.
- Most importantly, treat employees equitably and with respect. Managers should be trained by HR professionals on how to communicate the message and respond to employee inquiries.
Vision, focus, self-confidence and a positive attitude can help employees to navigate the changes that a layoff can bring into their lives. If it happens to you, you may even respond to a layoff by starting your own business.
Should you start your own business and hire other workers, you may find yourself on the other side of the table during economic downshifts. When this occurs, remember what it was like for you when you were an employee being cut. After all, the way you treat workers may be reflected in the way you treat customers. Treat employees with the respect you’d desire and you can keep top talent from walking out the door, allowing your company to rebound and grow over the coming months and years.
Rhonda Campbell, an East Coast journalist, is the owner of Off The Shelf radio and publisher of Long Walk Up and Love Pour Over Me.