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Conducting An Interview To Avoid The Dud Hire

Today we’re looking at the art of conducting an interview to avoid hiring the wrong person.

Regular HRwisdom contributor Weng Chio Fan is sharing an extract from an interesting article on this issue.

Over to Weng . . .

Conducting An Interview To Avoid The Dud Hire

Hiring the right people is the first HR priority for all business.  

Not only is bringing in the wrong person costly, the negative energy that they can bring will probably spread across your team and can affect internal and external customers.

So, taking the wrong person on board is probably the last thing you want to do.

Conducting an Interview

Although we can never be error free, there are ways to avoid repeated hiring mistakes.

Here are some key hiring mistakes to avoid as seen by industry commentator Jeff Haden:

1. You ignore the total package.

Every employee has to follow company rules and guidelines, whether formal or unwritten. Still, some people can’t… or just won’t.

The skilled engineer with an incredible track record of designing new products while berating support and admin staff won’t immediately turn over a new interpersonal leaf just because you hired him.

Instead: Decide whether you’ll accept the total package. If you desperately need engineering skills you might decide to live with the proven engineering superstar’s diva behaviour.

Always assume that if compromises need to be made then you will need to be the one who makes them. If you aren’t willing to accommodate or compromise, pass.

2. You hire for skills and ignore attitude.

Skills and knowledge are worthless when they aren’t put to use. Experience, no matter how vast, is useless when it is not shared with others.

Think of it this way: The smaller your business the more likely you are to be an expert in your field; transferring those skills to others is relatively easy. But you can’t train enthusiasm, a solid work ethic, and great interpersonal skills–and those traits can matter a lot more than any skills a candidate brings.

Instead: When in doubt, hire for attitude. You can train almost any skill, but it’s nearly impossible to train attitude. See the candidate who lacks certain hard skills as a cause for concern, but see the candidate who lacks interpersonal skills and enthusiasm as a giant red flag.

3. You sell your business too hard.

You absolutely need employees who want to work for you. But never try too hard to sell a candidate on your company.

Good candidates have done their homework. They know whether your company is a good fit for them.

Plus, selling too hard skews the employee/employer relationship from the start. An employee grateful for an opportunity approaches her first days at work much differently than an employee who feels she is doing you a favour by joining your team.

Instead: Describe the position, describe your company, answer questions, be factual and forthright, let your natural enthusiasm show through, and let the candidate make an informed decision. Never sell too hard, even if you’re desperate. Trust that the right candidate will recognize the right opportunity.

Conclusion

By avoiding these mistakes, you can definitely increase your chances of hiring the right person for your organisation. To see more hiring mistakes, click to see the full article by Jeff.

HRwisdom

Legal Responsibilities of Employers [Checklist]

The Australian Government regularly makes changes to the legal responsibilities of employers, particularly in the area of wage rates.

Today we are sharing a government checklist of the legal responsibilities of employers.

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Legal Responsibilities of Employers – A Checklist

1. Are you providing the National Employment Standards (NES) that are relevant to your employees?

  • 38 hour standard week Legal Responsibilities of Employers
  • Unpaid parental leave 
  • 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave 
  • Notice of termination and redundancy 
  • Long service leave 
  • Flexible working arrangements 
  • 4 weeks paid annual leave 
  • Community service leave 
  • Public holidays 
  • Fair Work Information Statement

2. Do you know the award(s) or agreement (if any) that covers your business?

3. Do you know how to find the rates of pay from your award or agreement?

4. Do you know the correct:

  • penalty rates? 
  • casual loadings (if any)? 
  • overtime payments? 
  • meal breaks? 
  • allowances (e.g. uniform, travel)?

5. Are you providing accurate time and wage records for you employees?

Do you:

  • record start and finish times? 
  • keep time and wage records for seven (7) years?
  • provide pay slips within one (1) 
  • working day of employees being paid? 
  • know what to include on a pay slip? 
  • maintain a record of leave entitlements?

6. Do you know about your responsibilities when dismissing staff including:

  • unfair dismissal laws? 
  • what to do if a position becomes redundant? 
  • minimum notice periods? 
  • final payment requirements?

7. Do you know what an Individual Flexibility Arrangement is?

8. Are you aware of your options for making an enterprise agreement with employees?

9. Are you aware that the Fair Work Act 2009 provides General Protections including the right to be free from unlawful discrimination, undue influence, coercion and misrepresentation?

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How To Get Help?

If you have questions you need answering, you have two main options:

Remember, be proactive to minimise the risks.

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Conflict and Resolution At Work – Some Government Advice

Today we are looking at the issue of conflict and resolution at work and we are sharing some handy government advice.

Thanks to regular HRwisdom contributor Wendy Takasch for sharing this very useful information.

Over to Wendy . . .

Conflict and Resolution At Work

The challenge of running a business successfully can be very intense for anyone, no matter the person.

Conflict and Resolution at WorkThere is a substantial amount of work that goes into running a business and it can take its toll. In some cases it can all become a bit much, especially when it comes to areas such as employment and staff management.

So how do we manage our employees? Is there a correct way?

We can talk all day long about all the ‘right’ way to manage employees but in reality there is no one definite answer to offer.

The reason being is that every business is different and what works for you may not necessarily work for another company.

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There are of course certain jurisdictional and industry guidelines and obligations that each and every employer must abide by in respect to employees and their entitlements (if you don’t know them, maybe you should go check them out). These obligations are vast and it is important to not cut corners when it comes to employees or you may find yourself with more disputes then you can poke a stick at! Excuses won’t cut it, so we encourage you to do the right thing by your business and your employees.

The following tips, presented by Nicholas Wilson of the Australian Fairwork Ombudsman (and a little help from us) are excellent starting points to managing employees and keeping a positive and conflict free workplace;

  • Always abide by state and federal legislation and obligations
  • Keep all records regarding every employee 
  • Make sure there is open communication in the workplace (make sure nobody feels discouraged or that they are talking to a brick wall!)
  • Lead. Have a good leadership program in place that motivates and engages employees and keeps them happy and productive.
  • Encourage expressions of opinions. Other people hold opinions that might not match your own. 
  • Focus on the interests of people rather than personalities and job positions 
  • Make all instructions and procedures, such as grievance and harassment, clear and easily accessible
  • Look out for people’s emotions. It doesn’t mean you have to be their counsellor, or best friend, but make a conscious effort to try and understand someone else’s point of view and feelings

As always, be proactive when it comes to conflict and resolution at work and managing your workforce will always be just that little bit easier.

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How To Involve Your Staff In Business Marketing To Increase Revenue & Decrease Cost

The world has gone online.

Every business can grow with online marketing methods such as: company blog, social media, email, video, web apps and more.

However, many employers don’t know where to start, they focus on the wrong things, or they get put off by social media horror stories.

HRwisdom is offering a free online employer briefing on how to involve your staff in business marketing for increased revenue & decreased cost.

Attend this online briefing from the comfort of your own desk to discover:

  • Why businesses shouldn’t be distracted by social media horror stories in the workplace.
  • How powerful online marketing can be in helping you to decrease costs and increase sales:
  • How clever online marketing can get you 48% more visitors to your business website.
  • How clever online marketing can get you a 55% increase in business leads.
  • How clever online marketing can get you a 60% lower cost per lead for your business.

To register for one of the free online briefings: Click Here

Even better, by having staff involved in online marketing, your business results can be improved even further by having better quality marketing material and by the power of employee engagement and motivation.

We’ll only be running a few sessions so don’t miss out.

This fast-paced information session will run for around 20 minutes and is free to attend.

You do not need any special software or a phone line.

The briefing will be streamed through your normal internet browser and sound will play through your computer.

You will be able to ask questions via your keyboard.

Finally, HRwisdom helps businesses in this area and we’ll tell you how to get in touch if you need help

 To register for one of the free online briefings: Click Here

Employment Restraint of Trade – Advice From A Lawyer

Writing an employment contract? In this special article, a guest expert takes a look at the concept of employment restraint of trade.

George Haros is a highly experienced workplace lawyer and today he is answering some tricky employment contract questions:

  • What is a restraint of trade clause?
  • What should we make of the Emeco v O’Shea case?
  • Will your restraint of trade clause be enforced?
  • What you can do to get it right?

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Over to George . . .

What is an employment restraint of trade clause?

An employment restraint of trade clause is commonly found in an employment agreement and used by employers in an attempt to protect the employer’s business interests.

Employment Restraint of TradeWhy is a restraint of trade clause important?

A restraint of trade clause attempts to regulate an employee’s conduct while still engaged in the employment relationship or a former employee’s conduct once the employment relationship has ended.

However, employers must also take extreme care when considering the inclusion of such restraint clauses.

Where the clauses are ambiguous or too broad, a court may find the restraint unenforceable.

The main principle is that the restraint can only be upheld if it protects the legitimate interests of the employer, and the clause is not wider than is reasonably necessary to protect those interests.

Although there is no precise rule as to what restraint terms are considered reasonable; what is required in each case is an evaluative judgement taking into account the specific circumstances of each party and their relationship.

The Emeco v O’Shea Case

The recent case of Emeco v O’Shea [2012] WASC 348 demonstrates how the Courts of Western Australia have considered restraint clauses.

Emeco v O’Shea [2012] WASC 348 Facts: Emeco operated in the highly competitive industry of dry hiring mobile mining equipment in Australia and internationally.

Mr O’Shea was employed by Emeco as a business development manager for 21 months.

As a senior employee, he built up close relationships with important clients of Emeco and was entrusted with confidential information.

After Mr O’Shea resigned from Emeco, he immediately took up employment with one of Emeco’s major competitors, National Plant and Equipment (NPE). Emeco sought an injunction to enforce the restraints in Mr O’Shea’s employment contract, amongst which he would be prevented from working for Emeco’s competitors, soliciting any of its clients, or providing services to any of its clients within Western Australia, for a period of 6 months after the termination of employment.

The Decision: Endelman J accepted that Emeco’s legitimate interests included its customer connections and confidential information, and Emeco was entitled to restrain its employees to the extent necessary to protect its legitimate interests.

The Court found that in Mr O’Shea’s role as a business development manager at Emeco, he retained confidential information about the business and its individual clients, which could be used to the detriment of Emeco.  

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On that basis, the Court held that it was reasonable for Emeco to restrain Mr O’Shea from undertaking employment with any competitor, including NPE, for a period of 6 months. However, the non-solicitation and client restraints were found to be unenforceable due mainly to the broad definition of “client”, which covered both actual and potential customers of Emeco, and were not limited to those with whom Mr O’Shea had personal contact.

The Court was therefore of the opinion that these restraints could go further than was reasonable to protect the legitimate interests of Emeco in protecting those customer connections developed by the employee. As a part of its judgment, the Court also considered the fact that the restraint clauses were subject to the express qualification that Mr O’Shea will not engage in the restrained activities “without the prior written consent of Emeco”.

This qualification implies that Emeco would not unreasonably withhold consent, and was a factor that played some part in the Court’s determination that the competitor restraint was reasonable. However, the Court also noted that such qualification could not operate to make a very wide restraint clause enforceable.

Will your restraint of trade clause be enforced?

Based on the case law in this area it is clear that whether or not your clause will be enforceable will depend on the construction of the restraint clause and of course, the circumstances.

The onus is on the employer to prove that the restraint clause is valid and enforceable where a business can demonstrate that it has a legitimate interest to protect and that the clause is reasonable.

What you can do to get it right?

Consider:

  1. Is there a genuine and legitimate interest that needs protecting?
  2. Is your restraint clause for a time period that is longer than necessary to protect that interest?
  3. Does the restraint clause cover a geographical area that is larger than necessary to protect that interest?
  4. Take particular care to ensure that the restraint is not so broad as to prevent the employee from working at all; and For Employers, seek advice on the construction of your clause.

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Thanks to George for this excellent information.

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How To Motivate Staff [Excellent Video Presentation]

This excellent video presentation will help you answer the question:

How To Motivate Staff?

How To Motivate StaffDan Pink gave this insightful talk on TED on the topic of work motivation.

By the way, in case you don’t know, TED is an inspiring ongoing conference which allows the world’s top thinkers and doers of all stripes such as Bill Gates, Bill Clinton and Jamie Oliver to share their ideas and experiences with the rest of the world.

This one TED video clip has reached more than 5 million views. It provides a very refreshing perspective on how to understand the role of incentives in work motivation.

Have you accessed your free employer resources yet? Use the form over to the right-hand side now.

Here’s the official introduction to the talk:

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories – and maybe, a way forward. Bidding adieu to his last “real job” as Al Gore’s speechwriter, Dan Pink went freelance to spark a right-brain revolution in the career marketplace.’

How To Motivate Staff

Take a look at the presentation now.

If you think there are some interesting ideas raised in the talk, Like It or share it with friends and colleagues by using the social media sharing buttons below.

Feel free to Like or share this presentation with friends and colleagues (just use the social media sharing buttons below).

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Human Resource Strategy For Greater Business Influence

In today’s HRwisdom Blog post, we look at an issue that faces many HR professionals: How to have a bigger impact on the business?

In order to come up with a Human Resources strategy for greater business influence, we have turned to an expert HR practicioner, Deb Graham (more about Deb at the end of this article).

Human Resource Strategy For Greater Business Influence

Let’s hand it over to Deb . . .

Want To Be More Influential?

Ever felt like no one cares what you think? Human Resource Strategy

We all do from time to time.

Over the years, I’ve worked with all kinds of HR leaders. Those who are influential have this in common: they understand the business, speak the language of business leaders and are skilled at sharing their opinions and insights. This makes them credible and business leaders seek their opinions.

So how do they do it?

1. They know the business. And because they understand how the business works, they can talk about the things that matter to business leaders. Business leaders don’t get excited because it’s ‘time to do our succession plan’. They are interested when ‘succession planning’ means they have the people they need to lead the latest strategic change.

Do you know your business?

Ask yourself:

  • How does my business make money?
  • What metrics does my organization use to determine success and what do these metrics and acronyms mean?
  • What challenges does my organization face in the short-term and long-term?
  • What do customers love about us?
  • And of course, Who are the people we can not afford to lose?

2. They build strong relationships with the business leaders they support. As a true partner and not a ‘rule enforcer’, these HR leaders discuss how business problems can be solved. But neither does the HR leader simply do what the business leader requests. The business leader might insist that a new hire be paid more than others already doing the job. The HR leader’s role is to help him or her understand how this will be viewed when it is discovered by current employees (and of course, it always is). In the zeal to get the job done, the business leader may forget to consider the future implications of his or her decisions.

Are you a strong business partner? Ask yourself:

  • Do the leaders I support believe that I desire and am actively working to make them successful?
  • Do I go along with the opinions of the crowd or do I speak up when my opinion differs?
  • Do I provide feedback and coaching so that the leader can understand how s/he is viewed and thus is able to increase his or her effectiveness?
  • Do I help leaders to understand the implications of their actions?

You may be wondering how to build these skills.

I’ve had good results by simply asking questions.

For example, I worked in an organization where EBITDA was the most watched metric. Uncertain what it meant, I asked the CFO, who walked me through the steps to calculate it. Turns out it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I expected.

Books can also be useful. Two I highly recommend are:

  • What the CEO Wants You to Know by Ram Charan
  • Flawless Consulting by Peter Block

Learn the business, build relationships, add insight and value and you’ll find yourself included in important business discussions.

Deb Graham is the founder of ACTstrategic.com, a place where HR leaders from across the globe can connect, ask questions and find practical solutions to manage business change.

We’d love it if you shared this article with you colleagues.

Click the Bookmark & Share button below.

Change In Organisational Culture – Here’s Where It’s Needed Most

Today, HRwisdom is sharing an interesting article on a place that is in desperate need of change in organisational culture.

This place has the ability to drive us all a little crazy at times.

The article is from one of the most influential business thinkers of this era, Seth Godin.

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Seth shares powerful observations of the modern airport which he suggests is an organisation we should try to avoid when it comes to developing our own company culture.

Change In Organisational Culture

Change In Organisational CultureHere are some of Seth Godin’s observations of an airport and how these blunders can positively help your organisation when you apply the lessons:

  • You never see the CEO or whoever is the person in charge of the airport. If the person at the top seems not to care, it will reflect down to the lowest level of the organization and it will definitely show on the service.
  • Problems persist because organizations defend their territories instead of finding ways to solve the problem. Someone blames someone and the blaming goes on and on. Things change only when the user’s problem is the driver of behavior.
  • Airports see customers as fleeting people. They are here today and gone tomorrow. New customers will come everyday.
  • An anxiety-filled system is what airports create. They assume customers care more of their money than their anxiety. They try to make as many flights as they can to increase profit thereby spares, downtime, or resilience are neglected.
  • There are mostly bad surprises, never heard of any good one yet.
  • There seems to be no connections whatever in airports. No one feels particularly welcome.
  • Airport system seems to be so industrialized that personal expression seems to be taboo.”

By carefully considering these observations, you will surely find a way to improve your company culture.

To read the full article by Seth Godin and see more of his interesting observations, go to: Eleven Things Organisations Can Learn From Airports

Remember, you can always share this article to your colleagues.

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Staff Turnover Strategy – Top 100 Employers Part 1

Staff Turnover Strategy – Top 100 Employers Part 1

Avoiding unnecessary staff turnover is a deliberate strategy used by the top companies in the world. They do this to keep their skills, knowledge and expertise in-house without having to constantly slow down to bring new people up to speed.

Staff Turnover StrategyThe Fortune Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies To Work For In America makes for very interesting reading.

NOTE: You’ll pick up many great ideas to help you become on of the Best Companies To Work For in the new HRwisdom Community Employee Attraction & Retention Guide. The Guide has sixteen employee management expert practitioners from all areas of the human resources field offering their best employee attraction & retention advice.

For instant download of the comprehensive free “HRwisdom Community Employee Attraction & Retention Guide,” click on Reduce Staff Turnover now.

 In this HRwisdom post we’re bringing you the rankings 91 – 100 of the Fortune Magazine 100 Best Companies to Work in America.

  • 91 DONNELLY Holland, Mich. The glass company, not the printing company. Celebrated for Scanlon Plan, which rewards employees for productivity gains. Also has unique equity structure, which has employees electing representatives to equity committees with the power to address issues of policy and practice–even pay.
  • 92 W.W. GRAINGER Lincolnshire, Ill. Sells hardware supplies through a network of 350 retail stores and a huge catalogue operation. Their 1.3 million business customers range from small building contractors to General Motors. Boasts of a “Cadillac profit-sharing plan,” in which company puts into your account the equivalent of 15% to 20% of your annual pay.
  • 93 ALAGASCO Birmingham, Ala. Only utility on our list–largest unit of publicly traded Energen Corp.– supplies natural gas to more than 400,000 homes and businesses in central and northern Alabama. Company recently offered $500 prize to employees for an idea to address a diversity problem in their area. Turnover less than 5%. No layoffs in 25 years.
  • 94 APOGEE Minneapolis They make windows, replace windshields, and put up curtain walls for buildings. It’s a company populated, as one employee put it, by “good, small-town, Midwestern people.” Employees get profit-sharing checks every quarter. Great feeling of camaraderie. Employees encouraged to think of new ways to do things.
  • 95 SHELL OIL Houston U.S. wing of world’s largest oil company initiated in the mid-1990s a process it called transformation. Goal: Move responsibility down to lower levels. Shell has rich benefits capped by company-paid pensions, plus a pretax savings plan under which company kicks in 10% of your pay annually no matter what you contribute.
  • 96 ALLIEDSIGNAL Morristown, N.J. Since taking helm in 1991, Lawrence A. Bossidy has infused a sense of purpose. Mandated 40 hours of training a year for every employee. Headquarters has on-site child care, fitness center, and other amenities. One of best 401(k) plans around: After five years company matches employee contributions 100% up to 8% of pay.
  • 97 TENNANT Minneapolis Biggest U.S. maker of industrial floor sweepers and scrubbers believes in the old-fashioned pat on the back. That-a-way stickers plastered on everybody’s work station. Strong support network for women managers has paid off: No. 2 in the company is a woman, a rarity in manufacturing.
  • 98 MERRILL LYNCH New York Wall Street’s biggest employer added 6,000 jobs in the past two years. Great training programs; tuition reimbursement up to $8,000 a year. Merrill is a Boy Scout company, scandal-free. One employee put it this way: “When times are good, Merrill Lynch is a great place to work; when times are bad, it is the only place to work.”
  • 99 ACIPCO Birmingham, Ala. Makes cast-iron pipe for water and sewer systems. Founder willed company to workers when he died in 1924, and it still operates as an employee trust with four of 12 members of board of directors elected by employees. Superb, fully accredited, on-site medical clinic with eight full-time doctors and five full-time dentists.
  • 100 GLAXO WELLCOME Research Triangle Park, N.C. British drug company–ranked No. 1 in world, based on sales–lures talent to its North Carolina facilities with glittering array of benefits: two on-site child-care centers plus support for five other centers, seven on-site fitness centers, six medical clinics, 13 paid holidays, 100% match up to 6% of pay in 401(k) plan.

Want More Ideas?

 

Remember, you’ll pick up many great ideas to help you become on of the Best Companies To Work For in the new HRwisdom Community Employee Attraction & Retention Guide. The Guide has sixteen employee management expert practitioners from all areas of the human resources field offering their best employee attraction & retention advice.

 

For instant download of the comprehensive free “HRwisdom Community Employee Attraction & Retention Guide,” click on Reduce Staff Turnover now.

 

HRwisdom

Workplace Law Explained (For Free)

Did you know these workplace law facts . . . ?

  • Last year there were over 14,000 claims of unfair dismissal.
  • On average, unfair dismissal claims take over 150 days to resolve.
  • Compensation for an employee who suffers from ‘Adverse Action’ is uncapped.
  • In Adverse Action, the onus of proof is against you, the employer.
  • The process of making employees redundant is always a challenging one.

Attend a free ‘Workplace Law Explained’ online briefing with leading Australian employment lawyers.

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Workplace Law

Instead, click here: employment law advice.

Workplace Law Explained

The highly experienced Australian workplace lawyers will talk you through:

  • Unfair Dismissal: What are the risks and what you should do.
  • Adverse Action: What are the risks and what you should do.
  • Redundancies: What are the risks and what you should do.

HRwisdom

 

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