Are you Hiring the Right Employees?

Are you a small to medium-size business that does all of your hiring without the help of a Human Resources professional?   Do you find that you do not know where to start when you need to recruit a new employee?   Let an HR professional take the stress out of hiring and help you minimize liabilities from hiring the wrong people.

Often, small businesses utilize their CFO, office manager or even the owner to hire new employees.   While this may be practical, it is not optimal.  HR professionals know the right recruiting avenues, such as successful recruiting websites, newspapers for the local area, university websites, etc.  Also, HR professionals have been trained and are experienced in screening resumes for things such as spelling errors (it may tell you that the individual does not pay attention to detail), length of term at former jobs (if they are a job-hopper, they may not last long with your organization) and specific qualifications.  Furthermore, a lot can be read from a prospect candidate by phone screens (did they have a respectful demeanor?).  Lastly, the interview is one of the most crucial parts of the process.  Candidates can show you what they are really made of when it comes to the way they are dressed, the way they speak and how they respond to interview questions.

The interview process is challenging, yet insightful. It may be easy to assess if they have the skills to do the job, but will they fit YOUR organization’s culture? Have they worked at large corporations their entire career?  If so, they may not fit your small company culture.  Moreover, have you explained to the candidates how your culture is (i.e., everyone knows everyone, employees work long hours, the owners are “old school.”)? Do you think they can fit in to your overall company culture?

They may fit into your culture, but do their background and reference checks back-up what they have presented to you? Companies need to do their homework and ensure that prospect candidates are who they say they are.  HR professionals know the right questions to ask and can see any potential red flags.

When companies do not perform their due diligence with a thorough screening process, they can wind up spending between $2 to 11K to replace an hourly employee, and upwards of $40K to replace a manager (Gregory P. Smith, businessknowhow.com, 2012). Moreover, your company can face a wrongful termination lawsuit, if you end up terminating an employee who did not fit the mold.  Can your company afford this?   By hiring an HR professional to manage the recruiting process for you, this can alleviate high turnover and help retain your top talent.

Are you ready to take the stress out of hiring and minimize the potential liabilities from hiring the wrong people?   Contact JD Consulting today, so that we can hire the right people to help you move your company forward.

© 2014 JD Consulting. All rights reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized

Paving the Path to Success Your Own Way

How do we get to where we want to be in our career? How can we possibly overcome all of the obstacles that lay in front of us? How can we believe in ourselves? I’ve had many, many obstacles in my life and my career. All of them I have had to overcome with courage, strength and determination. I thought I’d share my background with you, so that maybe you will be inspired to set out and do what you want to do to pave your path in this world.

I grew up in a small town, raised by a single mother. We didn’t have much, and I had to overcome a lot of challenges in my childhood. I didn’t have the typical white picket fence and perfect home life with two stable parents. Money was scarce, and my Mom did her best to make sure we had the basic necessities of life – food, clothing and shelter. I started working odd jobs when I was 11, and I have worked ever since. I was responsible for paying for everything on my own, so I worked as much as I could, while going to school, so that I could pay for those things I needed. When I was in high school, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to afford going to college. I knew that in order to make something of my life, I needed to go to college or a trade school where I could learn a craft, have a stable career and make a good living. I didn’t want to struggle like my Mom did, trying to raise three kids on her own with little income.

I was told by my Guidance Counselor at my high school that I wouldn’t make it at a University, I would need to consider a community college. My grades weren’t good enough and my family certainly didn’t have the resources to pay my way. I wasn’t encouraged much by my teachers as a child, so I honestly thought that I was just an average student with average capabilities.

I was bound and determined to prove my Guidance Counselor wrong. I chose to go to a University away from home, and struggled my first year there. I didn’t struggle for lack of knowledge, I struggled for lack of encouragement and confidence in myself. I didn’t know what I wanted to be – maybe a psychologist, a manager at a retail store or a business owner. After my first year at college, I had no money to continue on into my second year and was not able to get enough in loans. I knew I had to finish college, I just didn’t know how I was going to pay for it. Lucky enough for me at the time, a friend convinced me to join the Air National Guard, which pays for college tuition. I thought I was crazy to join the military and allow someone to boss me around, but I was desperate. I was willing to do whatever I needed to pay for college and finish my degree, so that I could be successful and and have a fulfilling career.

After completing basic training and technical training for the Air Force, I was able to go back to college and complete my undergraduate degree. I had to serve in the Air National Guard part-time, but was able to go to college and work. The Air Force did something for me that I will never forget – it showed me that I can do whatever it is that I set my mind to. It showed me that I am special, intelligent and creative with talents of my own.  It taught me that I could be successful and get straight A’s in college, as long as I was willing to work hard. It motivated me and encouraged me like I had never been motivated before. The people I met and worked with supported me and respected me, regardless of my background and upbringing.

After graduating from college Cum Laude with a degree in Business Management and Leadership, I wanted to start my Master’s Degree. I completed two Master’s, one in Business Management and one in Human Resources Development. After that, my career blossomed. Working in the Air National Guard in Personnel, also know as Human Resources, I started to realize my love for people and HR. I knew I wanted to work in HR, so I set out to start my career in the civilian sector.

I had many great HR opportunities that eventually led me to starting my own HR consulting business. I wanted to use my skills and abilities to help out a wide-range of different employers. I wanted to make a difference for many employers, as compared to working for just one employer. Was it easy? No, it wasn’t. I didn’t always have the greatest boss or the greatest job when I started out in my career, but I learned from them. I learned how to be a great boss, by observing a boss that wasn’t an effective manager or leader. I learned from leaving a job because it was not the right job for me. I learned to push and work harder, even when I wanted to give up.

I am proud of where I am at today in my HR career and military career. Had I listened to so many people who said I couldn’t do it, that I wasn’t smart enough, that it’s too tough to work full-time and complete your Master’s Degree or impossible to build a business, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I never gave up. I learned from my mistakes and grew from my accomplishments. I have been humbled by my experiences and feel that I am the luckiest person in the world to be doing what I am doing – helping out employers with their HR needs and assisting job seekers with their resumes and career coaching.

So the next time someone tells you can’t do something, tell them YOU CAN! Envision the perfect job and work towards it. Make the decision to complete a degree or certification program, so that you can move forward in your career. Believe in yourself, push hard and pave the path to success your own way!

© 2014 JD Consulting. All rights reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized

Employment At-Will – What does it REALLY Mean?

What does employment at-will actually mean? Does it really give the employer the right to terminate an employee at-will, or the employee the right to quit at-will? Of course it does. However, what it DOESN’T state is that an employee can still sue the former employer for being fired and file an unemployment claim.

Employers often forget that firing an employee at-will can produce liability, A LOT of liability. I have seen it frequently in my 15 plus years of HR experience. An employer has an employee who is not performing, not producing and not contributing to their team. So, the employer decides to terminate the employee, thinking that it has the right to terminate. And then, the employee files a lawsuit, stating that the former employer discriminated against him/her, whether it be for race, gender or age. Maybe the employer did not discriminate against the former employee, but the former employee has evidence that backs up his/her claim. For example, suppose the former employee was a female, age 50, who worked in a department predominately composed of males with an age range of 20-25. Guess what? The employer may have let the employee go because she was not performing and was not a great employee, but the department demographics show otherwise. The organization didn’t intentionally let her go because of her age or her gender, but it “appears” that way. Moreover, the former employee could also file for unemployment compensation. You, as the employer, contest the claim, due to the fact that the employee was underperforming and not doing her job. Guess what again? The former employee could actually win, if she states that she “tried her best.” Unemployment officials will more than likely side with the former employee, stating that she was terminated, at no fault of her own. You are then stuck with an increase in your unemployment tax rate and/or paying her unemployment claim.

I won’t get into the unfairness of employment lawsuits that organizations face and unemployment claims that are awarded, but I will caution you, the employer, of a few things you can do to try to mitigate this risk. First – ensure you have a progressive disciplinary process in place. Make sure you have coached the employee of his/her performance issues, provided a verbal warning, first written warning and final written warning, before terminating. This shows that you have given a good faith effort of working with the employee before you made the decision to terminate. Furthermore, document EVERYTHING! Make sure you document every conversation and disciplinary action you have with the employee. The paperwork doesn’t have to be fancy, just make sure it is documented, that it clearly states the conversations you have had with the employee, the expectations you outlined and how he/she was not performing. Also, before you make the decision to terminate, make sure that you have treated the employee equally and given him/her the same opportunity to rectify his/her behavior that you have given others. Being consistent is key.

I can’t promise you will never have to face a lawsuit or unemployment claim, but these tips will most certainly help minimize your employment risk.

© 2014 JD Consulting. All rights reserved.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Terminating Employment

Women Paving the Way in Business Today

Today I had lunch with a business colleague of mine, Jean, that I met through a local business networking group.  We both wanted to meet and get to know more about each other, so that we can help each other promote our business efforts.   She, like I, is a small business owner.  However, she has 30 plus years of experience in her field, compared to the 15 plus years that I have.

I shared with Jean my experience in HR and all that I have accomplished to become a successful HR Consultant today.  It has not been an easy road, and I really had to work hard and work my way up to be where I am at in my career.  However, after hearing Jean’s experience, my hard road seems to pale in comparison with what she had to endure to be where she is at today. 

Jean is a very successful training consultant who has done work for organizations such as Chrysler, AT&T and Amoco.  Her career started in sales, which was once a male-dominated career field.  She shared with me that towards the beginning of her career, she had been hired for a company as their only sales woman among salesmen.   She had endured much discrimination as a female.  She was placed in a territory that had been a very tough and unsuccessful territory, in the hopes that she would not be successful and they would be able to “weed” her out.  On the contrary, Jean displayed tenacity, vigor and determination, turning around the territory and making the highest sales in the territory in the history of the company.   Furthermore, she endured much criticism and was not treated fairly as a working woman in the workplace.  Even still, she never gave up and she showed them that she could perform equally, if not better, than the men in her office. 

When I heard about her background and her climb to the top, I was inspired and moved by her strength of character and grit.  She never gave up and never allowed someone to tell her that she could not accomplish her goals and dreams.  She did it, gracefully and respectfully.  Because of women like Jean paving the way for women like myself in the workplace, we have been able to endure much less heart ache and the climb up the corporate ladder has been much easier.  I know that we don’t have 100% equality yet, but we have much more opportunity than women did 20 plus years ago.  Also, we have protected rights when it comes to workplace discrimination. 

The next time you talk to a woman like Jean, thank her!  Thank her for trailblazing the way to women’s rights in the workplace and to giving you equality in your career field.  We owe these strong, fierce, phenomenal women more than we could every pay.          

© 2013 JD Consulting. All rights reserved.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Hiring, Recruiting, Uncategorized

Let Me Help You Find the Perfect Job!

Put Job Interview on CalendarI am getting ready to expand my Human Resources (HR) consulting services to assist individuals searching for new employment. While my core is HR consulting for small- to medium-size businesses, I started thinking several months back that I need to add on resume and job searching for individuals. Why? Simple, I have interviewed, met, ran in to, been referred to and talked to hundreds of individuals who have either asked for help with their resume and job search or whom have needed my help and I willingly obliged. I have seen resumes that needed a lot of TLC, individuals that had no idea where to look for jobs, people who interviewed saying, and wearing, the wrong things!

Job seekers – look no further – I can help you out! To me, resume creating, editing and updating as well as searching for a job is fun! I know, it sounds silly! But for those of us in the HR field, we dig it! We know what employers are looking for, how most recruiters see resumes, what is missing in resumes, how to network to get the word out that you are looking for a new position, where to look for jobs, how to dress to impress during the interview and how to interview! Whewww, did I get all of that out in one sentence?!

Let me take the guess work out of it for you. I will be offering many different affordable and unique packages for all job hunters (employed and currently out-of-work)! I can create a resume from scratch for you or provide edits for your current resume. Also, I will be providing in-person (or via Skype or Face Time) job hunting and interviewing information as well as numerous websites and resources to look for your perfect job! Allow me to give you sound resume advice, great job hunting tips and professional interviewing guidance.

INFORMATION AND PRICING WILL BE POSTED TO WWW.MYJDCONSULTING.COM IN APRIL – BE ON THE LOOK OUT!!!

© 2013 JD Consulting.  All rights reserved.

Posted in Hiring, Job Hunting, Recruiting

Effective and legal hiring practices – minimizing employment risk

Are you doing everything you can to minimize your employment risk through effective and legal hiring practices?  Are you utilizing an HR Professional to ensure that you are recruiting the right candidates for your organization?  I would like to go over a few areas and explain why it is so important to implement hiring practices that will keep your business safe and secure.

What is minimizing employment risk?

  • Employment risk is being sued by a former or current employee, organization or governmental agency for some type of employment-related matter – maybe a disgruntled employee sues you for age discrimination, the DOL fines you for not classifying or paying an employee correctly or the USCIS (US Citizen & Immigration Services) fines you for not maintaining appropriate employment verification forms.

What are effective and legal hiring practices?

  • Having job descriptions in place, so that if you are faced with a lawsuit, the job description is laid out and expectations are clear.
  • Having an effective recruiting process in place, so that again, if you are sued, there is a consistent and FAIR process in place – documentation that proves that candidate is/is not qualified.
  • Having effective/legal hiring process in place, so that there is no discrimination in sex, race, gender, ethnicity, marital status/family status, age, disability and citizenship status.

Job Descriptions

  • Descriptive, include “all other duties as assigned” as a job task.
  • Salary range is specified (benchmarking – ensure your range is close to similar businesses in your area – AAIMEA.org, cbsalary.com, salary.com).
  • Exemption is specified – exempt/non-exempt, salary/hourly (DOL.gov – can be fined if an employee is misclassified or if there are unfair payment practices).

Recruiting – ensure HR Dept. OR HR Consultant performs full-cycle recruiting

  • Ensure posting is legal – do not say “looking for attractive, young female for secretary position.”
  • Online postings – Craig’s List, local universities/colleges, bnd.com, stlbestjobs.com, stltoday.com, Monster.com, careerbuilder.com.
  • E-mail to all of your friends/networks/internal candidates.
  • Send posting to local Career Centers (Scott Air Force Base Career Center).
  • Resume/application screens – job hopper? Disorganized resume?
  • Phone screens
  • Ask appropriate and legal questions (cannot ask sex, race, gender, ethnicity, marital status/family status, age, disability and citizenship status).
    • Salary requirements
    • Why did they leave their previous jobs, breaks in jobs, what do they want from an organization?
    • Interviews
      • Only involve applicable interviewers (keep it to only a few); try to keep candidate relaxed, so that they open up more to you.
      • Only ask appropriate questions, ask a few of the same questions you asked over the phone to see if there is consistency in answers.
      • Maintain control of interview.
      • Tell candidates you will be making a decision shortly and will be in touch via letter/e-mail shortly – BE PROMPT; hold 2nd interview for prospect candidates.
      • Send rejection letters promptly – ensure it is done by an HR Professional – be careful what you state within the letter and if they call you and ask why you did not hire them.
      • Make verbal offer once you have chosen a candidate, CONTINGENT on background/reference check & any type of pre-employment screening.
      • Background check/reference check
        • Several laws/regulations on background checks (EEOC), especially in State of Illinois – make sure you follow guidelines; make sure you are consistent in decision process.
        • Use professional background check service (AAIMEA check).
        • Ask for at least 3 professional references & 2 personal – if references are gloating and consistent, chances are candidate is a good candidate, if references are ok, candidate may have underlying performance issues.
        • Any other type of legal pre-employment screening (physical, lifting tests, drug tests).
        • If candidate passes all pre-employment screening & accepts verbal offer, formulate official offer letter
          • Make sure that offer letter has been screened by an HR Professional.
          • Do not make any promises that company cannot keep to.
          • Break down salary by week/biweekly.
          • If you made a special offer for vacation – put it in the letter, outline benefits.
          • Orientation period and start date
          • Ensure it is signed by HR & candidate promptly.
          • Ensure ALL paperwork is kept on file – resume, application (covers you if any legal issues), background check, references, e-mail correspondence, etc. – DOCUMENTATION IS CRUCIAL
          • Ensure all necessary paperwork is filled out on the first day (ie, payroll, I-9 forms, etc. – I-9 provides verification of eligibility to work in US – can be audited by USCIS).

IN SUMMARY – put in place an effective, legal & consistent hiring process, so that your organization can minimize its employment risk and ensure its financial success!!!

© 2012 JD Consulting.  All rights reserved.

Posted in Hiring

Are you hiring the right employees?

Are you a small to medium-size business that does all of your hiring without the help of a Human Resources professional?   Do you find that you do not know where to start when you need to recruit a new employee?   Let an HR professional take the stress out of hiring and help you avoid liabilities from hiring the wrong people.

Often, small businesses utilize their CFO, Office Manager or even the Owner to hire new employees.   While this may be practical, it is not optimal.  HR professionals know the right recruiting avenues, such as successful recruiting websites, newspapers for the local area, university websites, etc.  Also, HR professionals have been trained and are experienced in screening resumes for things such as spelling errors (it may tell you that the individual does not pay attention to detail), length of term at former jobs (if they are a job-hopper, they may not last long with your organization) and specific qualifications.  Furthermore, a lot can be read from a prospect candidate by phone screens (did they have a respectful demeanor?).  Lastly, the interview is one of the most crucial parts of the process.  Candidates can show you what they are really made of when it comes to the way they are dressed, the way they speak and how they respond to interview questions.

The interview process is challenging, yet insightful.  It may be easy to assess if they have the skills to do the job, but will they fit YOUR organization’s culture?  Have they worked at large corporations their entire career?  If so, they may not fit your small company culture.  Moreover, have you explained to the candidates how your culture is (i.e., everyone knows everyone, employees work long hours, the owners are “old school.”)?  Do you think they can fit in to your overall company culture?

They may fit into your culture, but do their background and reference checks back-up what they have presented to you?  Companies need to do their homework and ensure that prospect candidates are who they say they are.  HR professionals know the right questions to ask and can see any potential red flags.

When companies do not perform their due diligence with a thorough screening process, they can wind up spending between $2 to 11K to replace an hourly employee, and upwards of $40K to replace a manager (Gregory P. Smith, businessknowhow.com, 2012).  Moreover, your company can face a wrongful termination lawsuit, if you end up terminating an employee who did not fit the mold.  Can your company afford this?   By hiring an HR professional to manage the recruiting process for you, this can alleviate high turnover and help retain your top talent.

Posted in Hiring
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