Archive for March, 2009

In search of cost-cutting best practices


HR Roundtable expert Bill Pinto discusses a variety of strategies companies are currently using to cut costs in this tough economy:

All across the country, employers are dealing with reducing their costs. Labor costs often are the largest segment of an employer’s costs, so that is the first target. There are a number of areas that could be cut, but after identifying which areas to cut, the more important part is determining how those cuts will be made.

Salary reductions are an alternative to laying off a segment of the workforce. Employers can retain more of their employees – and the knowledge they possess – by cutting salaries instead of letting people go. The simplest way to reduce salaries is to cut them across the board by a certain percentage. Some would argue this is also the fairest way to make these decisions. Others would advocate more of a Pelosian approach of no reductions or smaller reductions for those employees earning less and steeper reductions …

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Ask HR: How do you explain gaps in employment?

We asked a panel of experts from SHRM-Atlanta (Society for Human Resource Management, Atlanta chapter) the following question:

“Q. How should a job applicant explain short-term job stints without appearing to be an unstable job seeker or job hopper?”

Here are the answers from the human resource experts
. The overwhelming advice was to be honest, so don’t try to hide those gaps of unemployment just to make yourself a more attractive candidate on the surface.

Have you faced questions in job interviews about gaps in employment? How did you respond, and did you end up getting the job?

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Job hunting challenges for the older worker

older male executive

HR Roundtable panel member Michael Haberman gives expert advice on how to deal with “ageism” while job hunting:

Let’s face it, being 60 and newly unemployed is not a good position to be in. “Ageism” is alive and well and exercised on a daily basis. Obviously it is not openly stated, but report after report shows it is there. Your resume looks good, but then after showing up for an interview you start getting the cold shoulder. If you also happen to be overweight the problem is compounded. Add to that some other shortcomings, such as lack of computer skills, lack of a college education and an out of date skill set – well let’s be honest you have a problem. So what do you do? Here are some tips:

Part of your age is your state of mind. Just because you have gray hair does not mean you have to act old. Exhibit some energy and vibrancy. That may take some practice.

A second part of you age is how you look. Do you look “frumpy”? If yes, then redo your wardrobe to look …

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President Obama Shows His Cards

HR Roundtable panel member Bill Pinto analyzes recent moves by President Obama that will have an impact upon both the work force and HR professionals:

Recently, President Obama signed three Executive Orders and put to rest any questions about his views on the employee-employer relationship. The Executive Orders apply only to certain federal contractors, but they should also put HR professionals on notice concerning the direction the administration intends to take over the next 4 or 8 years.

Executive Order No. 13494 is called “Economy in Government Contracting” and limits how contractors can spend federal dollars. Specifically, the order prohibits federal contractors from spending monies on any efforts to persuade employees about bargaining collectively or not bargaining collectively. In effect, if a union wanted to organize a group of employees at a federal contractor, the Executive Order prohibits that contractor from using those monies to respond to the unionís …

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