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Dear Workforce

Networking with your colleagues is a good resource to help solve your HR dilemmas -- networking with the experts is a GREAT resource. Learn from the input of the experts on issues and topics in this complete archive of questions and answers. Do you have an HR question? Just ask by emailing editors@workforce.com.

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How Do We Assess the Advantages and Drawbacks of Outsourcing HR?

October 2, 2014
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We are considering outsourcing our entire staffing process to an outside vendor. How do we assess the advantages and disadvantages of this?

Weighing the Pros and Cons, HRD specialist, government, Washington, D.C.


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Can You Help Us Solve the Turnover-Engagement Conundrum?

October 2, 2014
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How do we evaluate whether coaching can be quantified with lowering our turnover and boosting our overall engagement?

—Metrics-minded OD specialist, hospitality, San Diego


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How Do We Make Sure Onboarding Goes Beyond Day One?

October 2, 2014
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How do we go beyond the onboarding and orientation process and take steps to ensure it remains sustainable?

In it for the Long Haul, HR & admin, Bridgewater, New Jersey


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What Are the Benefits of Ranking to Determine Employee Performance?

September 15, 2014
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Like many companies, we have an annual performance review of employees. At the beginning of the financial year, KPAs, goals, targets are mutually agreed. There is quarterly review of performance followed by annual review. Employees are rated on predefined performance criteria on a scale of 1 to 5. Subsequent to rating, we wanted our line management to rank employees against each other in order to have ranking order. Line management is not inclined to ranking, for obvious reasons. Is there any way to know if ranking is the right approach for our performance management?

— Really Clueless, assistant GM, manufacturing, Hyderabad, India


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What's the Tipping Point for Turnover?

September 15, 2014
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We may have an attrition problem, but I'm not quite sure. Our turnover is between 12 and 15 percent the last three years, but this year is ticking closer to 20 percent. This does not include involuntary terminations due to downsizing/restructuring. We know some turnover is due to market factors, and some due to cultural growing pains (we've doubled in size the last five years). From an analytic view, how could we determine if our turnover might present a future lingering problem?

—Starting to Worry, HR manager, software/services, Minnesota


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How Do We Develop Specialized Competencies?

August 29, 2014
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How do we develop competencies for lenders? We thought about doing it around loan origination, but that seems too volatile. Plus, we don't want people pushing loans just to meet performance objectives. Any hints on how we can tackle specialized competencies such as this?

— Competencies on Loan, Polokane, South Africa


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How Do We Justify Retention Efforts?

August 29, 2014
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How do we craft a compelling argument to justify the need to retain employees? Our agency is short of staff, yet the unit is saddled with the responsibility of keeping people and property safe by enforcing traffic rules and regulations. We are concerned about the impact of not having adequate staff and want to convince higher-ups to ensure we have the staff we need.

— Critical Need, project specialist, government, Nigeria


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How Do We Keep From Developing People Who Leave?

August 25, 2014
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What can employers do when they have invested heavily in their employees’ development and then the employees resign some time later?

— Losing Talent and Money, HR service director, staffing, Barbados


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How Do We Measure Turnover?

August 18, 2014
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Our university is trying to determine the best way to calculate turnover. Is there an industry standard for how turnover is calculated in higher education?

More precisely, we aren't clear whether to base it on total employee count, number of full-time equivalents, and whether adjunct/non-tenure-track faculty should be included in the turnover ratio. We would love to know how other universities are calculating turnover ratios.

— Numbers Game, budget and finance, government, Colorado


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How Do We Get People to Accept Working Apart?

August 18, 2014
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How do I help my managers overcome the idea that people have to work in physical proximity to each other to be productive? They insist that most jobs require close exchange of information and collaboration.

—Trapped in the Past, senior vice president of human resources, nonprofit, Baltimore


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