Archive for April, 2009

Sometimes you have to change course in life


HR Roundtable member Michael Haberman shares his own tale of having to reinvent himself after losing his job many years ago:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced this week, that as a response to the nature of the newspaper business, they were changing the format of the paper. They were doing so to make it more readable, more visually attractive, and easier to handle in order to attract a new generation of readers. They have done so in order to try to be competitive and to keep people employed. I am glad to see they have responded and I wish them success. But what they have done is a good lesson for many of us who have been let go from their jobs. Sometimes you have to make some changes in order to adjust to the world.

I did so some 18 years ago in another downturn age. I was let go in a mass job action. While everyone I knew went scrambling for another job, doing the same thing in another company, I decided to strike out on my own and start my own …

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Mandatory arbitration: HR expert’s take on Pyett decision

supreme court

AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

HR Roundtable member Bill Pinto gives his take on the U.S. Supreme Court ’s opinion to allow unions to waive
employee’s access to a judicial forum for statutory discrimination claims.

For decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has approved the use of arbitration to resolve employment-related disputes. This position rose to prominence from a trilogy of cases in 1960 involving the steelworkers union and the use of arbitration to settle matters collectively bargained in a union contract. Over the years, the Court has expanded its position to cover mandatory arbitration agreements between employers and their individual employees. Such agreements require employees to use arbitration instead of the courts to resolve their employment claims, including individual statutory discrimination claims.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court issued an opinion that permits employers and unions to include a provision in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that …

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Left behind: Those who survive a layoff

candle burning both ends

Here’s a timely topic from HR Roundtable panel member Dionna Keels. While much discussion has surrounded those that are laid off, what about those that survive job cuts and are left behind to pick up the pieces at the company? Keels provides her expert opinion:

So what happens to those that survive the lay off? With all the recent downsizing many employees have been left behind with the responsibility of not only continuing to fulfill their current responsibilities, but typically they are also expected to pick up additional duties. Of course, these lucky souls are still employed, so they should be happy right? Well, that depends on who you asked. Those who have been laid off would say YES but sometimes those left behind might disagree.

Employers must be sensitive to the fact that after downsizing the employees who have been spared also need to be addressed. Typically morale is down, fear increases and employee loyalty decreases. As management decides how the …

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Taking Vacation During Tough Times

water skiing

HR Roundtable panel member Michael Haberman discusses why it’s important for employees to take a vacation, even during these tough economic times:

The other day on television one of the early evening gossip programs showed pictures of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his family vacationing in Hawaii. One of the commentators questioned why the governor of the state was on vacation instead of fixing the stateís economic woes. His implication was that the Governor should be at his desk 16 hours a day 7 days a week working on the state’s business. I on the other hand was happy to see an executive understanding the value of stepping out of the stress and getting refreshed and reloaded.

Americans are already notorious for the little amount of vacation time they take. The U.S. consistently ranks at the bottom of poll after poll. Many employees will go years without taking vacation time or will use it a day at a time rather than in the larger chunks needed to be …

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Ask HR: The follow-up to the job interview

sands of time

While much time is spent by most job seekers in preparing for the interview, don’t forget the all-important post-interview steps. That includes of course sending a thank-you note (or e-mail) to everyone you interviewed with. But let’s say you’ve done that, and now you are playing the waiting game as far as hearing a response back from HR. How long should you wait before inquiring about your job application status?

Human resource experts from SHRM-Atlanta answered just this question for us in their monthly Ask HR column on ajcjobs. Their advice: Make sure you establish follow-up time guidelines at the conclusion of the interview. And if you haven’t heard back within the agreed upon time frame, an inquiry is certainly appropriate, but always be polite and positive in your communication.

Let us know your experiences with the post-job interview process. Do you have tips for other job seekers?

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