June 2007

Evil HR Lady, PHR

by Evil HR Lady on June 30, 2007

I promise this blog isn’t just about me. (Yes it is! Me, me, me!!!!!)

But, I have to announce. This morning I dragged myself out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and headed to the closest Thomson Prometric Testing Center and took the PHR exam.

Preliminary result? Pass!

Yeah!

I’m very pleased as I have been studying diligently for the past two months. Of course, if the official results come back as a fail I will delete this post and deny ever having taken the exam.

I’ve been dying to express my opinion of the whole endeavor, but have refrained because of the impending exam. But now it is over and you should expect to learn my opinion very soon.

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Carnival of HR #10

by Evil HR Lady on June 29, 2007

Is up at The HR Capitalist. Appropriately it is a top 10 list of the reasons to be in HR.

Hop on over and take a look at the list.

The July 11th Carnival will be hosted by Lisa Rosendahl at HR Thoughts.

The July 25th Carnival will be hosted by the Manager at Ask a Manager.

The August 8th Carnival will by hosted by Ann Bares at Compensation Force.

The August 22nd Carnival will be hosted by Wally Bock at Three Star Leadership.

The September 5th Carnival will be hosted by Rowan Manahan at Fortify Your Oasis.

The September 19th Carnival will be hosted by Evil HR Lady at, well, Evil HR Lady.

The October 3rd Carnival will be hosted by Natalie Cooper at Personnel Today.

Let me know if any of the rest of you wish to host. Think of the fame and glory that will come your way! You can even put it on your resume: Hosted Carnival of Human Resources. Think of the number of job offers you can get with that! If you’ve previously hosted and would like to host again, let me know.

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Lunch

by Evil HR Lady on June 28, 2007

Evil HRLady,

1)Can my company be held liable if an employee decides to leave the building during a paid break or lunch?
2)Can I tell my employees that they must clock out when leaving the building grounds?

We currently allow our employees to leave the building for lunch or breaks as long as they do not leave the office complex and surrounding buildings (Subway, Convenient Store, Restaurant…). We have a new employee that lives across the street from our complex goes home during lunch. Can I tell them that they can not do this? We also have other managers that leave the complex when they want to go to other places for lunch….Is is OK to say that it is not all right for one person and all right for the other (all are paid hourly).

Thanks for your input on this matter.

I’m trying to wrap my brain around this–a company that forbids employees to leave the campus during lunch. It sounds like Jr. High.

I am not a lawyer and have no idea about liability (and for what? Are your employees prone to injuring others or breaking laws?). However, I can tell you right now I wouldn’t work for you if you didn’t allow me to leave during lunch.

Granted, I only leave the office for lunch about once every other month, but that’s beside the point.

If they are hourly employees, why are you paying them for breaks anyway? Of course they should clock out. You shouldn’t be controlling what they do on breaks. If they are exempt you probably shouldn’t be focused on breaks anyway.

Let people go where they want to for lunch. You can limit the amount of time they have for lunch. (There are laws that vary from state to state on how much time people should get for a “lunch” break.) This limitation on time will probably keep them on the campus.

However, you aren’t required to let them leave. From the Department of Labor:

Where no permission to leave premises. It is not necessary that an employee be permitted to leave the premises if he is otherwise completely freed from duties during the meal period.

But, I’d really like to know why you want to prohibit them from leaving in the first place.

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Whew!

by Evil HR Lady on June 27, 2007

Online Dating

Mingle2Online Dating

hat tip Home Education

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Exit Interview

by Evil HR Lady on June 27, 2007

Hi Evil HR Lady

I came across your blog and found it very informative. I was wondering if you can help answer my HR related question.

Due to a management realignment in my group (hostile take over), my new manager has less technical and mananagerial experience. She was recently hired to perform the role of an ex-collegue. She also is older (mid 40’s) and have been with my company significantly longer than I have.

I feel discrimminated because of my age (I’m 31) and am unhappy with upper management’s decision to have me report to her. She announced at our weekly group meeting that she looked through my code without having the courtesy to inform me (i.e. she was snooping around). I know we loose certain privacy rights at work but it shows her lack of respect.

My question is, when I quit, should I tell HR my main reasons for quitting? I am afraid to “speak my mind” because I want to have good future references. I am well liked in the company and a high achiviever. In my two and a half years with the company, I have received two promotions.

Your input would be greatly appreciated.

I am so torn on how to answer this question. The HR side of me (that would be the evil side) says, “tell truth at the exit interview. Lay out why you are leaving. We can’t fix the problem if we don’t know about it. We’ll keep everything you say a secret! Only report it in the aggregate.”

Yes, this is the HR answer. But, let me tell you, when I leave a job, you would think I was only leaving because wild, rabid wolves were forcibly dragging me out the door. I hated to leave. I love everything about this place! Everything, do you understand?

Why? Because I needed references and in at least one case, I knew I wanted to come back to that company. (I quit after the offspring was born with the full knowledge that I wanted to come back part time later–which I did.) But, I also know what aggregate means.

Sure, aggregate responses mean that we group everything together and (theoretically) your manager would never know what departing employee said what about her. However, unless you have an extremely flat organization, managers rarely have more than 1 or 2 people quit in a year (with 5-10 people reporting into them), so everything “aggregated” means absolutely nothing. They know it was you.

So, then HR departments are smart and they don’t share that information with the direct supervisor, it goes farther up the food chain, but too far up and your info does little good.

It’s really a frustrating thing–I want to know what managers are doing so I can fix the problem, (ha! Like I have that power.)–yet I know that bad managers tend to take constructive criticism the wrong way.

So, find your new job and put a big smile on your face and be quite positive about the whole thing. No need to burn bridges–at least not officially. If you have received a great deal of positive feedback and promotions you might express your concerns to a former boss. If you really don’t want to leave the company, start looking to post outside the department, but don’t complain about your current boss when you do so.

And, as a little hint, referring to a boss in her mid 40s as “older” may be true when compared to you, but 40 will creep up on you faster than you might think.

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Oops! I Lied

by Evil HR Lady on June 27, 2007

I have worked in pharmaceutical sales for the last 24 years 22 with the same company and was downsized. I have interviewed with a company and the have sent me a pre-employment consent form. On my resume I said I have a bachelors degree . But I have only completed 3 years of university. I do have a year dipolma from a business school as well. Usallly I am up front in an interview but was not asked any question about my University. I looked at the job requirements again and it says a university degree is required. My question to you is should I phone the H R person and tell the my situation. If yes should i tell him i will finish my degree at night or online to meet the requirements?

Why, oh, why did you state on your resume that you had a degree when you didn’t? What good can possibly come of that?

Honestly, I think you’ve probably blown your chance at this job–most everyone does background checks and verifying degrees is pretty standard. By all means, call and confess and offer to finish, but I doubt it will do any good.

Sorry to be so pessimistic, it’s just that having a big lie like that on your resume isn’t accidental, so now I can’t trust anything you’ve said.

With that much experience in pharmaceutical sales finding a new job shouldn’t be difficult. Most require a degree, but I bet a lot of companies would be willing to waive that requirement since you have so much experience.

And if you can go back to school and finish the degree, do that.

And update your resume and put that you attended school not that you graduated. You don’t have to worry about things when you stick to the truth.

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Temp to Perm

by Evil HR Lady on June 26, 2007

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I was just offered a permanent position at a company that I have been temping at for the past 14 months. I am earning $20 per hour as a temp and I do get overtime pay.

The salary I was offered is $40,000 per year—which is less per hour than I am making as a temp. The position is non-exempt so I would get overtime pay but I feel disappointed (to say the least) that $40,000 is all they are offering. I was told by the recruiter that I interviewed with that $40,000 is as high as they will go. Is this type of this a common practice when going from temp to perm?

Yes and no. How come you don’t get overtime as a temp? If you are doing the same job as a temp that you will be doing as a regular (note I didn’t say permanent–you are undoubtedly still an at will employee and can be terminated at any time) employee, you should have been overtime eligible as a temp as well.

But, that is neither here nor there. As a regular employee you will probably be eligible for benefits that you would not be eligible for as a temp. Health insurance is a big item. This is worth more than the small amount ($1600 a year for 40 hrs/week) you would drop in salary. Plus your new salary ($19.23) means that instead of the $800 you get now, you’ll get $769. With one hour of overtime a week ($19.23×1.5)you’ll be up to $797, hardly worth quibbling over.

If you aren’t getting any benefits, then it’s probably not worth it. But if you are–it’s a great deal. And health insurance isn’t the only benefit.

Evil Marketing Man’s company sends out a statement of total compensation ever year. We just got his yesterday. In addition to salary, they give the value of health insurance, life insurance, 401k matching, disability insurance, etc so that you know how much you really benefit from working for them. I think it’s a brilliant thing to do. Plus, now I know that his benefits are over $30,000 a year. (Although some of which we’ll be unlikely to use, but they are there for us if we want them.)

Benefits are a wonderful thing. Hopefully, you are being offered some fabulous one. Congratulations on the job offer.

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Gossip

by Evil HR Lady on June 26, 2007

I hope you can help

I’m thinking of applying for a job- It is a competitor for my current employer

How do I make sure the prospect employer keeps my info confidential. All the Docs in that community talk

They are still going to talk–you just have to make sure you don’t give them anything to talk about.

This means you don’t go to a job interview and when asked why you are looking for a new job say, “Doctor X is such a jerk. Plus, did you know his office manager is having an affair with one of the nurses! It’s just like working in a soap opera over there, so I’m looking for something a little less dramatic.”

That response will get you talked about. Guarenteed.

The response that won’t get you talked about? “I’ve been working for Doctor X for 3 years and I really enjoy working there. However, when I saw this job opportunity open up I was delighted because I’ve always wanted to learn more about orthopaedics. I would be sad to leave, but excited to learn new things.” Now you have said nothing interesting so you won’t be talked about.

Hopefully. You can’t guarentee no discussion, but also keep in mind that you switching jobs is not as interesting to anybody else as it is to you. You may mention that you would appreciate it if the fact that you were interviewing was kept confidential. However, some interviewers might find the implication that you think they’ll gossip insulting.

Who are you going to direct people to for references? Something to think about.

Good luck on your job search.

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Carnival Reminder!

by Evil HR Lady on June 25, 2007

The 10th Carnival of HR will be posted at The HR Capitalist on Thursday, so get your submissions to hrcapitalist at gmail dot com to be considered for this fabulous ride.

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Everybody Wants to be an Evil One

by Evil HR Lady on June 25, 2007

Hello Evil HR Lady!

From your name alone, I can tell you have quite a sense of humor. Which gives me high hopes already. I am a rising college senior, pursuing a B.S. in Psych with a minor/concentration in Business. I am currently floundering around for a career path, and HR has fallen in my lap. I currently work at an area theme park in the ticket office, and I am starting as an HR assistant in a few weeks.

I’ve been toying around with the idea of HR for awhile, but I’m afraid I’m not really sure what I’m getting myself into. I’m also somewhat terrified of getting into the stereotypical, day in-day out monotony of the working world.

Okay, I’m basically curious as to what you would do if you were in my shoes. How did you feel when you were my age? What education level do you think I should further pursue? (MBA?) Or does “real world” experience hold greater weight in the long run? What other knowledge would you like to bestow on a youngin’ as myself?

What do you mean when I was your age? I’m only 22. Oh wait, no, I’m not. I am much, much older. (Although still convinced that I look 22, although I think 22 year olds look 12.)

The working world does have a degree of monotony–that’s why it’s called work. Here is one my favorite quotes from Jenkin Lloyd Jones:

Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .

Of course, this doesn’t mean that your life has to be miserable, but if you are constantly looking for exciting, HR may not be the place for you.

However, the advantage of HR is that you get to know all the company gossip–in fact, it could even be your job to not only know but investigate all such rumors. Fun!

I’m a huge fan of real world experience. Some people are huge fans of MBAs. It depends on whether you want to work for me or for someone else. Typically, I believe it’s easier to rise in large companies with advanced degrees.

If I had to do it over again, I would have my master’s degree in Organizational Development rather than Political Science. I love OD work and I find it very difficult to get into that realm because I lack the degree.

But here is also reality, you don’t have to stay in the same job forever. You don’t even have to stay in the same field forever. One of my favorite HR colleagues spent 15 years in manufacturing, working his way up to a manufacturing manager. He then jumped into HR. People jump out as well–another colleague spent 5 years in HR (her master’s degree is in HR as well) and is now in IS. You’re not stuck.

Yes, you have to go to work every day. (Unless you are me–since I job share. Ha!) Yes, this is no fun. You no longer get breaks like you did in school. But, such is real life.

Don’t worry about having your first job define your career. Just make sure you are the one to define it. I would recommend that if you decide you want an MBA that you get 3-5 years of work under your belt before going into a program. It makes you much more marketable and much more likely to get into a good program.

You’re a senior in college and starting a job as an HR assistant. Excellent. Lap up all the knowledge you can while you are there. By the time you graduate you’ll be well situated to get a professional HR job or to decide you don’t like HR after all. Lots of psych majors in HR. You’ll need it to deal with your future colleagues.

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