Your employees are happy, right? Turnover is low. The parking lot is full by 8:30 a.m. You’ve gotten almost everyone’s RSVP for the upcoming holiday party! So, whew! A great employee experience all around.

We all hope this is true, and it should be in some companies, but it’s more likely that you’re somewhere in the middle of the pack as far as the employee experience is concerned.

In our recent Employee Experience Survey, HR Acuity surveyed more than 1,300 employees and found out what employees think.

And for HR, the most critical aspect is how your company tackles problems and how you handle the workplace investigation process.

Can Your Employees Speak up about Problems?

You want your employees to be whistleblowers — not to the press or Congressional committees — but to you, so you know what is happening. You can’t solve problems that you don’t know about. But, do your employees feel comfortable speaking to you, and do they know where to go when reporting an incident or reporting misconduct?

To keep reading, click here: Do Your Employees Trust Your Company’s Workplace Investigation Process?

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What Is it Like to Be an HR Freelancer?

by Evil HR Lady on January 16, 2020

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a freelancer in HR? HR Lancers asked me to describe my experience as an independent HR pro, and I said sure! I love sharing information.

So here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly about life as a freelancer in the HR sphere. 

The Good

Freedom, variety, and independence are all grand. I can work around my schedule. If someone offers me an intensely dull project, I can evaluate whether I need the money badly enough to say yes. If the lack of paycheck won’t break me, I can say no. That is amazing.

I have met amazing people. Because most of what I do is write, I’ve made such fun connections in the world of journalism. Because I go to conferences and every vendor is fighting for a chance to talk to the HR writer, I’ve had amazing conversations that most people don’t get to have. 

I’ve coached people through difficult situations and have the chance to see them blossom. It’s incredible and rewarding from the hard work we do together.

Part of my job entails reading Facebook (fun!) and reading Twitter (horrifying!). I try to stay out of politics online, but somehow it all ends up in my feed.

When an article goes viral, it’s super exciting. I wish I knew the key to make that happen. Sometimes as I hit publish, I say, “this article will be awesome!” and only my mother reads it. Sometimes I say, “well, this is mediocre but gotta hit publish!” and it goes viral. It’s a mystery to me.

My regular clients are fantastic. Because I have freedom, I can always end a contract if I don’t like working with someone. So, that means I love all the people I work with regularly. 

The Bad

I don’t particularly appreciate marketing myself, and freelance work involves a ton of self-marketing. While I have repeat clients, I also do a bunch of one-offs. The one-offs can be fun because often the work is different, but once it’s done, it’s done, and I have to find another client.

Being independent and working from home means there’s no one to take the tedious tasks or share the load for the complicated stuff. I do miss teamwork (although I do team-based projects from time to time.)

The Ugly

The ugliest part of freelancing is the money. Not the total income–that’s reasonable. (Although if anyone wants to send me more money, I will happily take it!) No, it’s dealing with invoicing and reminding people to pay their bills.

For instance, in December, a whole bunch of clients didn’t pay, and it was a bit stressful. They’ll all pay up in January, but December is an especially bad time to have to say “nope, can’t afford that.”

I also am my own IT department, and, frankly, I should put myself on a PIP for my skills there. (I do have an expert who builds my website and fixes any significant problems. She’s amazing.)

Overall, though, I love freelancing. The good far outweighs the bad and the ugly. I adore being Evil HR Lady. And if you want to hire me, send me an email at EvilHRLady@gmail.com. Or if you want to send me a question, send it there as well. 

This post was sponsored by HR Lancers–a new site that allows you to find an HR expert for your project work.

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A mom in Edina, Minnesota, posted an ad on Craigslist advertising for a nanny. It’s since been taken down, and the writer has taken all her social media private after the internet went wild. Fortunately, the internet is forever, and you can read the entire job posting at Archive.today.

Plenty of managers want this type of detailed specific employee, but don’t say so. Here’s why you hate the job description and how many managers do the same.

Declare how awesome you are

“We are definitely the coolest family ever and we live in Edina.” Okay, if that was the only bad thing in this ad, it would be cute. But it’s not. It’s also demonstrative of many companies that think they are fantastic but lack self-awareness. 

Including phrases like “We are hilarious” and “I’m a Name in my vertical” focus not on the duties of the job but the greatness of the boss. Yes, in a job interview, you want to know as much about the hiring manager as the hiring manager wants to know about you, but a job description should focus on the job–not how amazing the boss is.

To keep reading, click here: What Is Wrong in the Nightmare Nanny Craigslist Post (and How You’re Making the Same Mistakes in Your Business)

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Artificial Intelligence is supposed to free the hiring process from prejudices and biases. We can have a totally neutral system that evaluates candidates and selects the best possible candidate, regardless of race, gender, or any other characteristic.

It sounds fantastic, but it’s been an abysmal failure in that matter. Artificial intelligence is only as good as the programmers, who, of course, are actual humans with flaws. Amazon, which of course, has gobs of money to pour into development, had to scrap it’s AI recruiting process because the bot didn’t like women

HireVue faces pressure from rights groups over their hiring systems, which according to the Washington Post,

use video interviews to analyze hundreds of thousands of data points related to a person’s speaking voice, word selection and facial movements. The system then creates a computer-generated estimate of the candidates’ skills and behaviors, including their “willingness to learn” and “personal stability.”

It’s these types of programs that have consultants in South Korea creating new business models–teaching people how to beat the bots

To keep reading, click here: Companies Use Artificial Intelligence to Help with Hiring. Korean Consultants Teach You How to Beat It

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More Women Are Working than Men

by Evil HR Lady on January 14, 2020

50.04 percent of the workforce in the United States is now female, surpassing men for the first time since the Great Recession, ten years ago. That recession was led by the male-heavy industries of construction and manufacturing. 

This is also payroll growth and doesn’t account for the people (men and women) who work as independent contractors or who are self-employed or who work on farms. This means that more women than men–albeit slightly more–are employees. Men still dominate in the other groups, but for regular W2 employees, women take the lead.

Unemployment figures look great for all groups, which is excellent news as well, but it’s interesting to look at the change in the labor market for women. 

To keep reading, click here: More Women Are Working than Men

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Why Is a New Employee Looking to Transfer?

by Evil HR Lady on January 13, 2020

An employee who has been here only three months just quit. In his exit interview, he said there wasn’t enough work to do within his department, and he was bored, so he looked to move on. I asked why he hadn’t applied for any number of open positions we have. He said he didn’t because his manager said he couldn’t change jobs when he’d been here less than a year. This is true. Is this a policy we should keep?

To read my answer, click here: Why Is a New Employee Looking to Transfer?

Leave your own answer in the comments!

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Taco Bell Hiring $100k Jobs

by Evil HR Lady on January 11, 2020

I’ve never worked at a Taco Bell, but I have worked fast food. The manager job seems, to me, to be a mix of business management, scheduling, HR, food preparation, job training, and babysitting. After all, fast food restaurants are often staffed by first-time jobholders who need a bit more hand-holding than people in other industries.

It’s not an easy job. In light of that, Taco Bell just announced that they will start paying some managers $100,000 a year to run their restaurants. While they haven’t given a date or specified precisely which stores will have these new highly paid managers, they have said it will be focused on the Northeast and Midwest. Current salaries range from $50,000 to $80,000 according to MarketWatch.

To keep reading, click here: Taco Bell Hiring $100k Jobs

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If you call me and get my voicemail, it tells you the fastest way to reach me is to hang up and text.

I’m not alone in my hatred of phone calls–messaging is the number one usage of smartphones. People love messaging apps of all sorts and hate phone calls. So, it makes sense that texting should start to take over recruiting.

It’s not the solution to hiring Millennials and Gen Z (as if there is any one-size-fit-all solution to any generation), but it does have a certain appeal to those who grew up with a phone in their hands and yet never talk on one.

Well, you say, we don’t need to text– that’s what email is for. And that is also true–but email isn’t the preferred communication method of today. Some businesses have even gotten rid of email in favor of other tools. For a good reason–text responses come 60 times faster than email responses.

But, texting can also be informal, and the language you may use with your friends is probably not the language you want to use in business communications with someone you’re trying to impress. (Remember, recruiters need to impress candidates just as much as candidates need to impress recruiters.) So, here are some guidelines for using texting for recruiting.

Write like a grownup

By grownup, I don’t mean someone who is 18. I mean, like your high school English teacher. Or your mother, if she were a high school English teacher. Sentences start with a capital letter and end with a period, a question mark, or (very rarely) an exclamation point. When referring to oneself, it is a capital I. Words do not have letters in them. Every word gets a vowel. Am I making myself clear?

Texting may be convenient, but it shouldn’t be sloppy. You want clear communication, and you’re often speaking to people from different backgrounds. Use standard English, even if it comes via text.

Allow people time to respond

Just because texting is fast doesn’t mean you should expect an instant answer. People are busy, or they may want to think about their answers. A read message doesn’t mean a response needs to come in the next 30 seconds. Unless you made an appointment for texting time, allow 24 hours to respond–especially if it’s an in-depth question.

Give people options

While my teenagers can use their thumbs faster than I can type (or so it seems), a lot of people are better with a keyboard. Use a texting function that can also be used on a computer if you’re going to do more than schedule meetings via text. If someone says they prefer email or “can we just jump on a call,” consider doing that. Remember, recruiting is a two-way street, and sometimes the old fashioned ways are better and more efficient.

This is not the place for an in-depth interview

I’m a writer and would love to do a whole job interview in written form. I can think and edit before I hit send. (But I’ll still miss the autocorrect–my phone believes I want to say “gave” instead of “have” every time.) Not everyone is like me. (Thankfully!) 

Texting can be a part of your recruiting process, but it shouldn’t be your entire process. It’s just like the phone screen, the background check, or the formal interview–a piece of the process. It can be a handy piece but don’t rely on it entirely.

This post is sponsored by Emissary, an app that helps with text-based recruiting.

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Employee Expenses 101: What Should Your Business Cover?

by Evil HR Lady on January 9, 2020

Creating a budget for your business involves a delicate balance. You want to keep employee expenses down, but have your finances on too tight a leash and you could end up with unhappy employees — and maybe even a broken law or two.

Here’s your guide to creating a small business finance plan that keeps your money working for you.

Typical Employee Expenses

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat — businesses should pay for everything directly when possible, from office rent to the monthly staff birthday cake. Those are examples of consistent costs, and even if they don’t always incur exactly the same dollar amounts from month to month, it’s usually easy to predict how they’ll fit into your budget.

To keep reading, click here: Employee Expenses 101: What Should Your Business Cover?

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Radical Transparency” is the mission of clothing company, Everlane. They want customers to know everything about how they make and price their clothing. Their about section of their website includes descriptions like this:

We believe our customers have a right to know how much their clothes cost to make. We reveal the true costs behind all of our products–from materials to labor to transportation–then offer them to you, minus the traditional retail markup.

It sounds fantastic, but some of their employees say that transparency is only for customers and not for employees, and, as such, they are forming a union. Citing poor pay and that while Everlane wants its clothes to last forever, they treat employees as disposable. It’s not a pretty picture.

Everlane, of course, counters that there are downsides to unionization and Vice reports that Kelly McLaughlin, head of the People division at Everlane, sent emails regarding the union drive, pointing out these downsides, including lack of individual communication. (Vice points out, correctly, that all this can depend on the union contract.)

To keep reading, click here: The Radically Transparent Fashion Startup Everlane Is Finding Out Why That Idea Should Extend to Employees, Too

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