• Why you really, really need HR

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    An HR professional for nearly 17 years, I've been as critical of the function as anyone. And the reason is—this job is teeming with potential that far too often goes untapped.

    And while I have fantasies that a push could come from the bottom up, as has been noted, until CEOs/COOs/CFOs (or, in other words, those who tend to manage the HR function) get on board with the importance of it, not a whole lot will change.

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  • 5 things you should know before engaging a recruiter

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    No matter how much of an employers' market it may be, at some point, most employers will opt to use the services of a recruiter.

    A good recruiter can save time (and therefore money) and help you source applicants you wouldn’t have found on your own. An excellent recruiter can even bring clarity where confusion existed by say, helping you think through the job that needs doing and who’s best to do it. 

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  • Why did my employee quit without notice?

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    You thought you had a good relationship with this employee. As far as you’re concerned, you were a decent boss. You treated the employee fairly, were supportive of his work, addressed him respectfully, and said “please” and “thank you.” You may even have gone out of your way to provide this employee meaningful development opportunities or a bigger salary.

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  • Have a new hire? How to guarantee the least amount of loyalty in no time flat

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    With all that’s been written about the importance of employee engagement, you’d think our workplaces would be brimming over with programs, policies, and procedures to entice employees to stay put forever and a day while doing their best work ever.

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  • 3 ways to use workforce analytics to forecast your next hire

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs 

    Forecasting your organization’s hiring needs is one of the most difficult things to do. To really have a good idea of your hiring forecast, you’d have to have an incredible sense of your workforce’s attitudes, expectations, workloads and even personal lives. In fact, it would require almost daily follow up to keep a constant read on the situation. This is just one of the reasons that it’s difficult to anticipate which business areas will have positions to fill and when. However, there is a way to proactively gauge hiring needs without all but asking employees when they plan to quit. The answer lies within your workforce analytics.

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  • Big ego, small ego: Google’s Laszlo Bock talks humility in the workplace

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Just about anyone who writes about the workplace can agree that American companies are facing a serious leadership void.

    In a recent survey, nearly 70 percent of employees reported not liking their jobs.

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  • PTO policy - what are your obligations as an employer?

    PTO policies

    Nearly every workplace has a paid time off (PTO) or earned time off policy to compensate employees who must take time off for personal reasons. This can sometimes be a complex benefit to manage, leaving human resource professionals wondering if they should even offer it in the first place. After all, what does a company have to gain by paying employees for time not worked?

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  • Why ask why? The importance of asking questions

    Ask more quetionsCrystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Did you know that the great inventor Thomas Edison was yanked out of school by his mom after a teacher complained that Edison asked too many questions? Silly teacher! How can someone ask too many questions?

    Curiosity makes the world go ‘round. Problems can’t be resolved without asking questions, and even if something fantastic is discovered by accident (like penicillin) the process would have never started without someone asking a question.

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  • Dealing with the emotional employee

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    What would you do if you criticized an employee’s performance, and she cried? What about if she got angry and raised her voice or became sarcastic and hostile?

    How would you handle a complaint about a manager who screams or throws things?

    (Yes, it happens. I once knew a manager who’d get disgusted about work—and granted, he had a crappy job and a crappy employer—and then throw large stacks of book galleys on the floor with a loud thud to show it.)

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  • Young love is wonderful. Young management? Not so much.

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    A few weeks ago, I interviewed for a writing assignment with a young and growing company, and for a while there things looked promising.

    But by the end of the conversation, I knew I wasn’t going to be pursuing this work.

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  • When your employees don't respect you

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    Oh, for a return to the good old days, when employees knew their place and didn’t expect to be heard. Not like today, when a worker with an opinion may have the nerve to share it. Why, he might even have the audacity to tell you that your management skills could stand some improvement! Outrageous. 

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  • Botox or die: ageism in the workplace

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    Apparently, it’s the survival of the youngest in Silicon Valley. According to a recent New Republic article, by writer Noam Scheiber, that details the desperate measures that professionals in their early 40s are doing to stay employable, these efforts that include getting regular Botox injections and hitting the gym for hours a day to stay youthful are on the rise. No longer are seasoned employees looked at as valuable to the success of the technology firms they work for. Instead, a growing disdain for anyone born before the 1980s has reared its ugly head.

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  • How to stop nitpicking and lead your team to better performance

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR

    NIT-PICK (v.) to be excessively concerned with or critical of inconsequential details (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nitpick)

    The problem with the nitpicking manager is that he often lacks self-insight. In other words, the nitpicking manager doesn’t view his behavior as unhelpful. And that makes perfect sense, because if this manager viewed his behavior as unhelpful, one can only imagine that he wouldn’t be acting this way, right?

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  • 5 truths about pay your employees don’t want you to know

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    Crystal Spraggins, SPHR 

    Quick—what’s the one topic many job seekers are advised to avoid during the interview process?

    You guessed it. Money. When job seekers are focused on money during the interview stage, it shows a lack of real interest and commitment to the work—or so the thinking goes.

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  • Is it time to ban bossy?

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    Evan Rodd, PayScale

    Are women called Bossy more often than men? If so, what impact does that have on the overall picture of gender equality in leadership positions? The gender wage gap and women’s roles in leadership are popular, and sadly sometimes polarizing topics of conversation. Recently there has been a lot of buzz regarding Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy campaign, which is “a public service campaign to encourage leadership and achievement in girls.”

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  • 7 steps to managing pay for your remote workforce

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    Managing all the unique responsibilities of a remote workforce is challenging enough. Staying on top of compensation is an entirely different matter. With some 30-45 percent of the adult global workforce working from home at least part of the time, employers must be able to find ways to handle the demands of compensation administration in a modern world. (Source: Forbes) Companies are increasingly turning to outsourced labor pools too, using above average compensation strategies and attractive benefit programs to reel in the best talent.

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  • Seven signs your compensation strategy needs a do-over

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    Perhaps no area of human resources is as uncomfortable to talk about as the annual compensation update with the executive team. It seems as if every HR manager is tasked with proving that an improved compensation offering is good for business.

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  • The ROI of HR Technology

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Investing in HR technology is something that is typically done with great consideration. After all, it’s expensive, creates downtime and requires system training. Additionally, investments can be a hard sell for those outside of your department as others may not see why the technology is necessary or beneficial. While frustrating, it’s understandable when others don’t understand why HR technology is a vital part of how you do your jobs. If you’re considering new technology or pitching the idea, it can be difficult to put a number to the difference it will make, or validate your purchase by showing its return on investment. There’s no exchange of funds in your department, no sales numbers and no revenue or losses (in the traditional sense), so how do you calculate the ROI it will provide?

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  • How Transparent are You About Your Total Compensation?

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    In the last few years, employers have begun to see the value of reporting total compensation to their workforce. For many, this is a strong retention tool that helps employees understand how much the company is vested in their success. Total compensation statements can give employees a clearer picture of how much the company has spent on health and wellness benefits, retirement savings, educational costs, and all the other perks of employment in addition to regular salaries. This effort is an important part of corporate communications that gives employees a greater insight into their contribution to the success of the company.

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  • Timing your HR Technologies: when is it appropriate to invest?

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    Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

    Technology is one of the most expensive aspects of business, yet is constantly changing. Because of its expensive nature, it can be difficult to keep up with not just the technology you’d like but in fact what could make a significant difference in your department, it’s hard to know when and how to invest. Invest too soon or in the wrong technology and you’ll waste a significant amount of money, but rest on past-its-prime technology and you could lose productivity and eventually, money.

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