Archive for May, 2009

Ask HR: How should convicted felons approach the job search?

This past month’s Ask HR question was a tough one: “If an applicant has a history of being convicted as a felon, what advice can you offer them to help them get back in the work force while being honest about their past?”

You can see all of the responses on the Ask HR page.

Obviously, honesty is the best policy, because background checks are standard these days. But there are ways you can approach this sensitive subject and not eliminate yourself from consideration for a job. Read the advice of our experts and let us know what you think.

If you have been convicted of a felony, how has it impacted your job search? What did you do to get a job?

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Now is the Time to Step-Up Training

HR Roundtable panel member Michael Haberman discusses how important it is for companies to continue to provide training for their employees during tough economic times:

When times are tough and companies are looking to make budgetary cuts often one of the first things to go is the training budget. However, this could actually cost the company more than it will save. “How so?” you ask. First, it is well known that it is much cheaper to keep a good customer than it is to find a new one. Cutting employee training in such things as customer service could end up driving away a good customer while a well-trained employee may turn that “good” customer into a “loyal” customer, thus retaining a revenue stream for the company.

Another effect of training is that it helps retain good employees. People feel more valued when they realize the company is willing to invest money in their skill sets, despite tough times. Yes, I understand that people with a job are probably going to stay put …

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Creating a culture at work

HR Roundtable expert Bill Pinto discusses the importance of creating the right kind of culture in the workplace:

I had lunch recently with a friend of mine who runs a business. In the past, he has had managers on site to handle most of the day-to-day affairs. Because of the current environment, he has taken more of a hands-on role and discovered that the culture that he wanted his business to reflect was not as evident as he intended. So he decided to take the opportunity to re-establish the culture that he wants his employees to espouse. We discussed a number of ways to communicate that culture.

Identify the culture. The first thing that businesses should do is determine what the culture is that they want. Is it a family operation? Is it formal or informal? Is it straight-laced or more laid back? IBM, Microsoft, Dell and Google are all involved in the computer industry in various ways, but if you spent some time in an IBM office and a Google workspace, you would see …

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