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HRLitehouse: Human Resource Management

HR in the Media Countdown - #2 Drew Carey of the Drew Carey Show

By Dennis Published: July 31, 2008

A few years ago, SHRM magazine commented that HR professionals had a negative image in the media. Unfortunately, the negative image was not sexy negative, like lawyers, but boring sexy. In honor of this distinction, I have decided to name my top 5 HR people in the media. Number 5 was Frank & Lillian Gilbreth. 4 was Catbert, 3 was Toby Flenderson (The Office).

And at #2 - Drew Carey from the Drew Carey Show. For most of the television show of the same name, Drew Carey worked in the human resources department of Winfred-Louder (the real Winfred-Louder shares a name with a famous actress). Personally, I would have put Drew Carey first on my list, but then I would have been doing that out of my general support for anything linked to Cleveland (making me a real homer). Drew was somewhat unique among our other human resource people as portrayed on television in that he was popular, cool, and hip - of course, he was hip because he was basically a loser. For example, although generally single, he married multiple times on the show, including once to Mr. Wick, his boss. Marrying your boss is a behavior that Toby Flenderson would caution against. One could make a strong argument for Drew Carey as #1, as it is hard to think of another show that had as its lead a human resource manager.

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HR in the Media Countdown - #3 Toby from the Office

By Dennis Published: July 30, 2008

A few years ago, SHRM magazine commented that HR professionals had a negative image in the media. Unfortunately, the negative image was not sexy negative, like lawyers, but boring sexy. In honor of this distinction, I have decided to name my top 5 HR people in the media.

I decided to start with Number 5 and work to Number 1. Number 5 was Frank & Lillian Gilbreth. 4 was Catbert. 

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HR in the Media Countdown - #4 Catbert

By Dennis Published: July 29, 2008

A few years ago, SHRM magazine commented that HR professionals had a negative image in the media. Unfortunately, the negative image was not sexy negative, like lawyers, but boring sexy. In honor of this distinction, I have decided to name my top 5 HR people in the media.

I decided to start with Number 5 and work to Number 1. Number 5 was Frank & Lillian Gilbreth.

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HR in the Media - Countdown #5

By Dennis Published: July 28, 2008

A few years ago, SHRM magazine commented that HR professionals had a negative image in the media. Unfortunately, the negative image was not sexy negative, like lawyers, but boring sexy.

In honor of this distinction, I have decided to name my top 5 HR people in the media.

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Recruiting Volunteers

By Dennisandpamela Published: July 24, 2008

In general, individuals are more likely to volunteer, and continue to volunteer, if an agency has a positive image in the community and is fulfilling its stated mission by making a difference in the community. However, agencies must recruit and retain a diverse group of people with varying interests and reasons for volunteering. The secret to maximizing success in attracting volunteers is to get the right message to the right people at the right times.

Different types of volunteers will respond to different messages. We have previously defined four major types of volunteers:

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Reports on Federal HR and the Challenges of a Presidential Transition

By Dennis Published: July 23, 2008

For those in public sector, and those who like to follow HR in the public sector, an excellent source of free reports and information is offered by the IBM Center for The Business of Government.  An interesting feature of this site is their series of reports on management issues during the Presidential transition, including a blog on magement issues facing the next administration.

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How Do Cities Select Police Officers and Firefighters?

By Dennisandpamela Published: July 23, 2008

Firefighters and police officers put their lives on the line every day for our safety. They perform a very difficult job; one which has become much more complex in recent years due to concerns over issues such as the handling of toxic chemicals and dealing with terrorist threats. So, how do cities and other political jurisdictions recruit and select individuals for such critical jobs? As might be expected, larger cities often have more technically sophisticated and intensive selection programs, but most cities still use a common set of screening methods.

The process starts with recruitment. In the past, it was relatively easy to recruit for police and fire jobs. However, it has become more difficult to attract people willing to serve, especially in rapidly growing geographical areas. As a result, many cities have looked to newer methods of recruitment including job boards and web based recruitment (see for example the Phoenix site, which includes a video and an electronic newsletter).

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The Olympic Trials: A Lesson in the Difference between Public and Private Sector Hiring

By Dennis Published: July 20, 2008

In the recent track and field trial, one of the fastest runners in the world, Tyson Gay, suffered a cramp and fell during the 200 meters. As a result, he will not be able to compete for the United States in the 200 meters, even though he is generally acknowledged as being the fastest US runner in that event. In US track and field, you have to finish in the top 3 in the Olympic trials to compete in the Olympics regardless of your past performances or your ability. In many other events and countries, Gay could have been named to the team despite his fall in the trials.  

This unfortunate event illustrates the difference between public and private sector hiring. Both hire on merit and want to hire the best person. However, by law, the public sector is often required to hire the best person on a particular day on a specific competitive exam. A job candidate can be the best qualified but have a bad day and a bad exam - and that is it, they are out of the running for the job. On the other hand, in the private sector, organizations can select the best person in terms of an overall judgment of their performance. Someone who has a bad day can retake the exam or be hired based on their judged merit.

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Advice to Youth - Never Wear a Stained Shirt to an Interview

By Pamela Published: July 20, 2008

And maybe I should add "Remember to think about where you will be working, before you dress for an interview."

As interviewer's, we all try to concentrate on job related behaviors, but some applicants make that an impossible task. I once had a candidate with a pierced nose for one of my teaching positions. During the interview, I kept thinking, "How does she blow her nose? Why did she choose that nose ring?" The nose ring was so distracting, I could not remember a single thing she said, all I could remember was the nose ring. For all I know her answers were wonderful and she would have been a great teacher, but all I saw was a bad fit, especially for a Catholic school with a strict dress code.

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Is past job performance the best predictor of future job performance?

By Arthur Published: July 17, 2008

A discussion of the notion that "past performance is the best predictor of future performance" needs to acknowledge that it is based on the behavioral consistency philosophy. Although it may not be widely recognized as such, selection tests and other entry-level screening systems are really substitutes for the ideal selection model, where in the presence of unlimited resources, there would be no need to use tests to make inferences or predictions about future job performance. Instead, we would use probationary periods where performance during said period provides the basis for making inferences about future performance. 

Thus in the ideal world, given unlimited resources (and zero liability for risks, injuries, and such), we would not need to use tests to predict or make inferences about future performance; instead, we would let everyone in, have them perform on the job for a specified period time to obtain reliable measures of their performance, and then make subsequent retention and rejection decisions on the basis of this past performance. 

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Are We Experiencing a Generational Earthquake?

By Dennisandpamela Published: July 15, 2008

As we witness radical shifts in the United States and global economy, an obvious question is whether this is one manifestation of the generational earthquake predicted to occur as large numbers of Baby Boomers retired and were replaced in leadership by Generation Xers and in the workplace by Millennials. This shift in generations is an important issue for governments, organizations and for human resources (for example, you may be interested in the recent report on global aging by the AARP Forum on the Future Workplace). However, recent reports suggest that the problem may not be as severe as originally thought. According to Bryan Baldwin, at his excellent blog HR Tests, the Partnership for Public Service has reported that the federal government has reported fewer retirements than originally projected and the government has adjusted future retirement projections downward. 

I suppose this proves that it is always difficult to predict the future, which means organizations should plan for a variety of future contingencies and continue to develop all of their employees regardless of age. While it is important to be aware of generational differences, it is also important that we not stereotype individuals. Within any generational cohort, there are large differences between and among individuals. In addition, a number of studies have found that age and career stage differences are more important than generational differences (i.e., it is logical that Baby Boomers as they approach retirement would be more concerned with Medicare issues than with Pregnancy Coverage).

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About COR at the University of Akron

By Dennis Published: July 14, 2008

COR is a business research and consulting center managed by the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Department at the University of Akron. The Industrial/Organizational Psychology Department at the University of Akron consistently ranks as one of the top ten programs in the nation (according to U.S. News & World Report). The COR's mission is to provide top quality consultation and research-based interventions to the business community. The COR also serves the purpose of providing professional training and research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students.

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RSS Feeds and How to Subscribe

By Dennis Published: July 14, 2008

Ohio.com offers subscriptions through the RSS feed at the bottom of the blog page. If you look at almost the very bottom, but not quite the bottom, of this page you will see it says "HRLitehouse: Human Resource Management is proudly powered by WordPress. Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)." You may subscribe to the entries or the comments. Depending on your browser, this may set up an automatic subscription. You may also post the link into your favorite reader or other program that handles RSS feeds. 

The link for feeds is:

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Welcome to the HRLite House - Philosophy and Purpose

By Dennisandpamela Published: July 13, 2008

Human Resource Management deals with the complexities of human behavior and human relationships in organizations. Managing human resources requires knowledge and skill in a diverse set of fields ranging from psychology to compensation to employment law. As with most professional occupations, the field of human resources is one marked by rapid change, making it difficult to stay current and up-to-date on recent developments.

In deciding to create this blog, our goal was to do our small part to attempt to contribute to the ongoing conversation on the management of people at work. In order to do so, we hope to share our views through short reports and commentary on critical issues and current research in the areas of human resource management, personnel recruitment and testing, and organizational business consulting and coaching.

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