Archive for January, 2009

Sometimes you have to pay to keep your “players”

shirley franklin

HR Roundtable panel member Michael Haberman had this to say about the City of Atlanta’s controversial move to give some employees hefty raises, while laying off others over the past year:

It has been no secret that the City of Atlanta is in a monetary crisis. Budgets have been slashed, fire stations closed, positions eliminated and lay-off notices given. Yet the city still gave some employees raises this past year. This caused a major brouhaha, with some members of the City Council asking the question “How can you give raises while you are in a budget crunch?”

Well the answer to that question is that it is necessary to give some employees increases during just that type of downturn. There are some employees who are critical to the city, or any organization, for being able to continue to function during the hard times. These are your “players”, the critical employees who provide the glue to the organization and the leadership needed to navigate these hard times. These are the …

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How does one begin a human resources career in Atlanta?

Sonjia wrote to HR Roundtable:

“I’ve been trying to get a position within Human Resources for some time now.I have three years working in Human Resources as a temp (in payroll and doing administrative tasks like setting up interviews,admin. testing, entering new applicant info.), and my other experience includes roughly seven years of admin. work and customer service. I graduate in Feb. 09 with my Bachelor’s degree, my major being Human Resources Management.I’m just wondering how in the world can I “get my foot in the door” because every where I look the employer wants more experience than I have. I really would love to work in the areas of training and development or recruiting. I appreciate any advice you can give me.”

Here’s the advice that HR Roundtable blog panelist Dionna Keels provided:

Hi Sonja,

You are facing what many, who are interested in pursuing a career in Human Resources, encounter before they have had a chance to gain extensive experience. Finding an entry …

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Maintaining employee morale in a down market


Bill Pinto talks about the importance of maintaining employee morale, even with the dark clouds looming over many companies right now:

Almost daily, we hear about another round of layoffs. We read about large corporations reporting large quarterly losses. But the current business environment affects the small and mid-size companies just as hard, if not harder. Some companies can be tempted to think that the employees who remain after a layoff should simply be happy to still have a job. Although those employees likely do feel lucky to survive, those employees also need to feel valued. When companies cut back on staff, that usually means that the same amount of work needs to be accomplished by fewer employees. This only heightens the need to value the ones who take up the slack. How can companies maintain employee morale in a down market?

Obviously, in a tight business environment, companies have less money to throw around on employee perks. However, some …

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Getting back into the job market after a long absence?

Last week, Phil, an HR Roundtable reader, submitted a question to our panel of human resource experts, asking for advice about how to get back into the job market after being self-employed for 25 years while facing a difficult personal situation. Feel free to read his question in its entirety, it’s the first response to last week’s blog post. For Phil and anyone else who may be in a similar situation, here’s Bill Pinto’s advice:

Phil – I sympathize with your situation. There are a number of things that you can do, however, to enhance your chances of landing the position that you want. First, you need to determine what you want to do. Be sure that you are seeking positions that interest you and that will motivate you. If you are not truly interested in the position, that will come across in any interviews that you have and will not benefit you.

Next, as best you can, try not to focus on the things that you view as limitations. Focus on your skills and experiences that make …

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Ask an Atlanta human resource expert for career advice!

careers sign

Welcome to the debut of HR Roundtable, a blog featuring commentary by human resource experts from SHRM-Atlanta (Society for Human Resources Management). Dionna Keels, Michael Haberman and Bill Pinto will discuss a wide variety of issues pertaining to the world of human resources, from hiring and firing to workplace lawsuits. The topics will be of interest to both employers and job seekers.

So here is your chance to ask human resource professionals a question about what really goes on in the world of HR, and use it to your advantage when you are job searching or looking for workplace and staffing solutions. Submit your questions in the blog comment section below. All submissions will be reviewed and those selected will be answered by one of the HR Roundtable panel members in a future HR Roundtable blog entry.

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