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HRLitehouse: Human Resource Management

Companies Brace for Federal Feedback

By Dennis Published: September 30, 2008

Once in awhile you find an excellent magazine article that presents a great deal of information in a small amonut of space. The article was from Workforce Management and was titled "Companies Brace for the Office of Federal Contrac Compliance Programs' List of Compliance Evaluations." It was written by Fay Hansen.

From the article:

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Why Did So Many Good Companies Crash?

By Dennis Published: September 27, 2008

One of the jokes that always seems to be in the back of my mind is someone's observation that the reason that they did not believe in astrology was because when an airplane crashes all the passengers had different horoscopes (I googled for the source of this quote and could not find it. However, that same search found a large number of articles claiming that the stars had predicted various accidents).

How is this relevant today? Well, we have had an economic crash of near epic proportions. And, all of those companies had different types of HR systems. No doubt many of the companies (given they were large and wealthy organizations) had mission statements, vision statements, assessment programs, leadership programs, training departments, six sigma, lean processes, modern pay systems, and all sorts of highly paid HR and management consultants. And yet, they crashed.

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Googling for College Applicants

By Dennisandpamela Published: September 23, 2008

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, September 18th, had an article on "College Applicants, Beware: Your Facebook Page is Showing." So obviously this issue goes beyond the selection of employees for jobs, but also applies to high school students applying for college.

The article, by John Hechinger, indicates that "A new survey of 500 top colleges found that 10% of admission officers acknowledged looking at social-networking sites...The vast majority of the colleges surveyed had no policy about when it was appropriate for school officials to look at prospective students' social networking sites."  My guess would be the number is a lot higher than 10%. In some cases, the negative information comes from competing applicants.

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Book Review - Click

By Dennis Published: September 22, 2008

Click is by Bill Tancer, who is engaged in online research. That means, he spends a great deal of time tracking and understanding the trends of how we search and use the Internet and Web2.0. He obviously does this very well and it has led him to various insights on business and life. I am sure those insights are very valuable to a large number of companies.

This book can change your thinking. It did mine. It suggests that for those of us in social science research, we may have to move to very different methods. The quantity of data that can be gleamed from online searches is amazing. In a matter of minutes, data can be generated that challenges long held theories and beliefs.

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Change in US Law - New ADAAA for 2009

By Dennis Published: September 18, 2008

According to IPMA-HR, the House of Representatives passed the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and the President issued a statement saying he will sign the bill. The effective date is January 2009. Changes include:

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Local IPMA-HR Meeting

By Dennis Published: September 16, 2008

The third quarterly meeting for 2008 of the Northern Ohio Chapter of the IPMA-HR is Thursday, September 18, 2008. On Thursday, September 18th, at 11:30 am, they are hosting Attorney Marc Fishel, from Downes, Hurst & Fishel who will be providing a legal update discussing upcoming legislation pertaining to human resources in the public sector. A lunch will be available for $5 for members and $10 non-members who RSVP by Monday, September 15th. Please RSVP to Elayne M. Siegfried, Esq.,

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HRLite and Hurricanes

By Dennis Published: September 16, 2008

Posts to HRLite may be a little delayed while we recover here from remnants of Hurricane Ike. Unbelievably, Hurricane Ike was still packing a pretty good punch when it crossed Ohio and Northeast Ohio. Being a golfer, the first thing I said to myself was -- this crazy thing is a 6 club wind (if you are not a golfer, each club equates to about 10 mph; a strong wind around here is a 2 or 3 club wind, which would be 20-30 miles an hour, so that would be 60 mph). We lost power, internet, phone, and cable tv (including the Steelers-Browns game).

In a bit of irony, I had been calling a friend in Texas to see if he was doing OK. On Sunday, he returned the favor by calling and saying that the media in Texas was saying that over 700,000 people were without power up here in Northeast Ohio.

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Test Security and Authentication II

By Dennis Published: September 15, 2008

Friday I posted an item about cheating on a trooper exam. This item from the Wall Street Journal deals with cheating on the GMAT.

Wall Street Journal on Cheating on the GMAT

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Test Security and Authentication I

By Dennis Published: September 12, 2008

I had indicated we would start a discussion of test security, authentication, and cheating. I found this to be an interesting recent news item, because it demonstrates that probelms with security can offer on all types of tests.

This item is from the Akron Beacon Journal.

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For Students - Public HR Assessment Paper Competition

By Dennis Published: September 10, 2008

IPMAAC runs an annual competition for the best assessment paper by a student. Normally, students submit a version of their thesis or dissertation, but it could be some other type of student research paper. For information go to the latest copy of the IPMAAC ACN News and look for the James C. Johnson Student Paper Competition.

Some additional information:

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Ask HRLite - Promoted to Supervisor

By Dennisandpamela Published: September 9, 2008

Ask HRLite:  My daughter is 19 and was recently promoted to supervisor at the fast food restaurant where she works.  She is very nervous because she will be telling her friends what to do.  I am not sure what advice I should give my daughter.

HRLite's Reply:  First of all, congratulations to your daughter.  This will be a very exciting time for her, and for you, and we encourage you to take the time at the end of each work day to sit down and talk to her about her day at work.  Just having someone to talk to about work can be a real stress reliever and make the whole experience a whole lot more rewarding and enjoyable.  As for her nervousness, it is natural and not without some basis in reality.  We have both been in her situation and being promoted to a situation where you have to supervise your friends is a challenge.

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Coaching - Cincinnati Consortium on Coaching

By Dennis Published: September 9, 2008

The latest trends and developments in executive coaching will be the topic on Oct. 17-18, when the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology's will host its fourth annual Leading Edge Consortium at the Westin Hotel in Cincinnati.  Entitled "Executive Coaching for Effective Performance: Leading Edge Practice and Research," the conference will examine three areas of executive coaching that attendees will find useful in their work: the psychology of coaching, its impact and some examples of best practices in coaching.  

Executive coaches, businesses, and academics alike will have the opportunity to converse with leaders in the field about executive coaching while gaining knowledge and perspectives from both sides of the relationship. The consortium starts with a welcome reception at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 16. The program begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, October 17, and concludes at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 18. More information on the Leading Edge Consortium is available at the SIOP Web site at Registration cost is $425 on or before August 29 and $495 thereafter.   Consortium includes breaks, lunch on Friday and Saturday and receptions on Thursday and Friday evenings.

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Book Review - SQUAWK!

By Dennis Published: September 8, 2008

Squawk! is about leadership, management, pooping, and performance. In this management fable, Travis Bradberry tells the story of Charlie who supervises a flock of seagulls (the birds, not the 80s weird hair band).  Charlie learns the three virtues of great leadership through a series of encounters with sage advisors.

This book follows in the tradition of other animal parables such as Who Moved My Cheese and The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey. Unfortunately, it lacks the simplicity and charm of those other books. For some reason, Charlie and his friends talk more like Harvard MBAs or management consultants than animals (yes, I realize animals do not really talk). What is more amazing than their loquacious nature (as if they were channeling Dr. Phil) is that Charlie and his friends lack any emotion or personality.

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Request for Publications - Fire, Police, & Job Analysis

By Dennis Published: September 5, 2008

Anything New on Police or Fire Selection - Jerry Barrett and I are doing a review chapter for a book on police and fire selection. If you have something new, research, publications, practical projects, please send it to me. We have tight space limits, so cannot promise it will be included but I will try to look at everything.

Anything New or Novel on Job Analysis - Winfred Arthur and I are doing a book chapter on the use of job analysis in developing tests. Again tight space limits. But if you have something new, research, publications, practical projects, please send it to me. We have tight space limits, so cannot promise it will be included but I will try to look at everything.

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AskHRLite - Second Interview

By Dennisandpamela Published: September 4, 2008

Waiting For An Answer: I had an interview with a company that went really well and I was called back for a second interview to take place during the third week of August. Right before the interview, I received a call where I was told that my interview needed to be rescheduled but they did not know when. I was told they would call back with the rescheduled date. Does that sound like they have hired someone else?  Or could it mean something else?

HRLite Responds: Thanks, this is a great question. Not because we are very good at predicting the future, but because this is a question that we are frequently asked.

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Ask HRLite - Perceived Favortism

By Dennisandpamela Published: September 2, 2008

Ask HRLite: I am a supervisor and I feel like I do a pretty good job overall.  Still, some of my employees complain that I play "favorites" and need to try to treat everyone equally.  What should I do?

HRLite's Reply:  This is a difficult problem because in this case the perception is the reality.  It is a problem if your employees see you as playing favorites, even if you think they are wrong.  In order to stop resentment before it starts and festers, go out of your way to show your appreciation to all of your employees.  When your subordinates do something good, reward them.  Even if it as simple as a verbal "thank you" or "good job."  People have a need for recognition and respect.  As their supervisor, make sure that need is met on a daily basis, not just once a month or once a year.  The time it takes to make sure you observe and reward positive behaviors will be worth it, because in return your subordinates will be willing to do extras for you, when you need it.

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