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Dear Workforce

Why Don't Our Managers Identify High-Potential Workers?

January 25, 2013
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With the start of a new year, I am trying to assemble a brief guideline to help our supervisors and managers identify key employees within their department. What suggestions do you have as we begin this list? Would you suggest some criteria we could use? — New Year, New Practices, HR analyst, manufacturing, Farmington Hills, Michigan
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How Many People Fail Background Checks?

January 16, 2013
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Where can I find information on the average number of applicants who do not pass background checks? About 3 percent of our applicants fail, and I want to see how we compare to other large employers. —Screen Test, recruitment manager, hospitality, Atlanta
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What Are the Chances We Could Get Ex-Employees to Repay Us for Their Training?

January 16, 2013
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We are paying to train and develop our employees, but many are leaving for other opportunities shortly after their training is complete. I know this is not uncommon, but it makes us wonder if we can force them to repay the money we've invested in them. Seeing them leave makes us wonder if training really is a retention tool. What should we do? —Doubts About Training, assistant manager, human resources, construction, New Delhi, India
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What Is the Best Way to Benchmark First-Year Turnover?

December 6, 2012
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How do we know if our first-year attrition rate is healthy? We have sources to compare overall attrition, but have not found a benchmark for attrition during the first year of employment. —Turnover Tension, manufacturing/production, Manassas, Virginia
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We Are Beset by Shoddy Attendance. Should We Fire Everyone and Recruit New Workers?

December 6, 2012
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In the last year we have had an influx of new hires who are either unable to come to work on time or call in to report that they won't be coming to work. We have a firm policy on attendance and timeliness and terminate after several warnings. How should we address this issue in a way that reinforces the importance of timeliness? Are other companies having this problem? Should we just begin firing people and start the recruitment process all over again? —Fed Up, business services, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
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How Do We Elicit Cultural Insights From Job Candidates?

December 6, 2012
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We are trying to screen for culture and need to develop interview questions that tell us whether a job candidate will embrace teamwork and altruism, possess a self-depreciating demeanor and yet take their work seriously. If interview questions aren't the best way, please suggest an alternative. —In Need of “People” People, retailing, Santa Fe, New Mexico
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How Do We Form an Advisory Board?

December 4, 2012
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We want to form an advisory board to be separate from our board of directors. Primarily we are seeking educators, researchers and technologists in the HR field. How do we (A) start such a process, (B) approach and entice professors and (C) keep them interested in participating? —Advisory Advice, director of human capital technologies, technology services, Beaverton, Oregon
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How Do We Determine Employees Who Exceed Expectations? (Revised January 15, 2013)

December 3, 2012
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What are ways that we can determine who our company's top performers are? —Taking Stock, wholesale trade, Seattle
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What Is the Difference Between Career Growth and Career Development?

December 3, 2012
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Is there a distinction between career growth and career development? And why should we care? Our organization has a number of professional employees working in a career field, which makes us wonder if providing training and development really is as important as experts say. —Growth or No, HR consultant, finance/insurance/real estate, Lagos, Nigeria
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How Do We Change the Culture of Our Not-for-Profit?

November 14, 2012
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How could we apply the principles of human resources management to behave and operate just like a for-profit business? —Battling Uphill, HR manager, education, Karlstad, Sweden
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