Research reports suggest companies are finding it hard to hire externally. Has this led to an increased rate of internal promotions on average? How are companies filling jobs that become available if there truly is a skills shortage? Our small firm wants to figure out the best strategy to fill jobs that may become vacant in the near future.
— Sizing Up the Future, manager, services, Amherst, Massachusetts
With dynamic change coming to the health care industry, we are looking at redesigning our training road map. How do we keep pace with the changes to make sure our career development programs are touching on the most vital things?
— Staggered, human resource executive, health care consulting, Illinois
I’m working on a project team to boost how we design, deliver and administer performance-based learning. There doesn’t seem to be an out-of-the-box way to do this for our services organization of 600 people. Strategically speaking, how do we achieve our goal?
— Map But No Direction, Health Care, Jacksonville, Florida
What is the protocol when our executive team requests salaried employees to perform work outside their job description? It is a situation that has occurred before, resulting in some salaried workers having to work weekends/off days to keep up with their regularly described duties. Job duties of a salaried employee often are fluid, but would it be better for us simply to abandon job descriptions? I wonder about things like employee burnout, turnover, stress levels and engagement.
— Concerned VP, energy/utilities, Newfoundland
How far in advance should we be forecasting our skills needs?
— Soothsayer, Health care, Atlanta
A firm has been on the brink of closure twice in the past 10 years. With a workforce that has been reduced from more than 10,000 to just below 3,000, there have been virtually no new hires in a decade. Today, through ingenious transition planning, the organization finds itself in a position to hire. This has been a challenge for IT where the old guard is now faced with a new breed of IT people current in all the latest trends and eager to make change happen. Any ideas on building the team?
— Old Guard, New Tricks, consulting, Ontario, Canada
What are the key components to successful orientation of new employees, from both the employer and employee perspective? Once the offer letter has been extended, signed and returned, what should be included in the process to give a good and lasting impression?
— Appearances Matter, human resources consultant, finance/insurance/real estate, Philadelphia
I am an HR generalist at a nonprofit social services agency that deals with domestic violence. Due to the nature of the work, we have always experienced a turnover rate between 30 and 40 percent. Is our turnover rate at or near average benchmarks for this line of work? And knowing we can’t change the stressful nature of the work, how do we keep our best people from burning out?
— Stress is Killing Us, HR/facilities manager, nonprofit, Phoenix, Arizona
How could we get managers to influence employees?
— Not Influential Enough, director of human resources, manufacturing, Kerala, India
We are a big retail organization that is just starting to launch job evaluations for all our positions. Our ultimate goal is to make sure people have an opportunity to grow and are in jobs that best suit their interests/goals. We realize no system is perfect, but what are some solid methods or approaches to sort out the most relevant data to use when making our assessments?
— Shed Some Light, HR Manager, retailing, Illinois