Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So HR IS the Police after all???

So after YEARS of me trying to convince the world that HR's value lies in being a partner to help the business do what it needs to do, people really just want us to be the office police force and handle all those unpleasant conversations about personal scent, food aroma's, lecherous behavior and the proper position for toilet seats in co-ed restrooms.

But seriously, it turns out that if we play the role of the "Good Cop", they will like us after all!
Read the whole diatribe at The real job of HR

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hijacking a tragedy is a travesty

Just 100 years ago this week, the worst industrial loss of life in American History occurred;  The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.   This tragic fire took the lives of 146 workers, almost all of whom died because of a series of horribly bad and dangerous decisions about how that facility should be run.  In it's wake, the labor movement of the day rallied for safer facilities and many more protections for workers.

Now, a century later, the labor movement of the day is trying to convince workers that we still need THEM to protect us in the workplace.  Yes, labor played a big role in getting workplace safety laws implemented, but they are now the law of the land.  No less than 5 governmental agencies oversee the safety of workers (OSHA, NLRB, State Fire Marshals, Municipal Fire & Safety Inspectors, and State labor standards officials), yet Unions would have you believe that if not for their interaction, tragedies like the Triangle Shirtwaist fire would be commonplace.  

We can all appreciate the role unions played in establishing the laws, but let's be clear here - ALL employees benefit from these protections WITH or WITHOUT being members of a union.  Dont let a union organizer try to claim your workplace safety as the sole domain of a union.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Unionizing the TSA???

File this under the heading of "nothing good can come of this!" So since the TSA cant seem to steer clear of trouble and have a horrendous track record with talent, now POTUS wants to let TSA workers unionize.  

Let's see... our track record with allowing critical transit safety folks has gotten us such memorable moments as the Air Traffic Controllers strike debacle.  Who are we kidding with this move?  These people don't need a union to protect them, they need decent management, supervision and training.  In a Presidency which is heavily beholden to organized labor, this is just another move aimed to placate the Unions who counted on Obama to ring in a new era of Union power, when union membership is fading.  I guess his stacking the deck at the NLRB with pro-labor appointees wasn't enough to satisfy them when they could not get the hallucinogenically named "Employee Free Choice Act past even the super majority honeymoon of the first part of his administration.

I could (and have already) climb up my stump and vent for hours about this, but let's take a more pragmatic, historical perspective - because "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it"

Let's look at how well most "big union" industries have done so far:

Big Steel -  rusted and barely breathing
Automotive - saved only be massive concessions and billions of our tax dollars 
Textiles - crushed by cheaper imports....

The list goes on and on.  I am NOT anti-union, but I am pro-business and when you don't have a truly compelling reason to bring a union in to protect workers and ensure a reasonable wage, you are just adding complication and cost to the equation.  Leave the TSA off the labor unions menu and let them get on with their jobs!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Does your resume stink?

Perhaps I should start off with a different question like "when is the last time you even looked at your resume?"

I look at resumes ... way too many....every day, and I just have to ask, what are people thinking???

Your resume is your professional introduction to the world, it's the herald that announces you. You want to have it scream "capable, experienced professional", not "out of touch, illiterate egotist"

I could go on for DAYS with a list of things you should / should not put in your resume, but here are a couple of quick pointers:

1. Only put in things you have actually done. If you lie, we will find out, then your name is MUD.

2. Put relevant things in your resume; if you are going for a job as an astronaut, it's not a good idea to talk about your time as a lion tamer...

3. Put measures and metrics in your resume; Don't just say "improved sales results" , say "improved sales results by x%"

4. Put specific stuff in your resume; following from the prior point, say how you improved sales results - what specific actions you took (eg, "by following up on all sales calls with points to address identified customer needs")

5. Make sure your resume and / or cover letter (YES, you DO need one of those), specifically illustrates how your qualifications match the requirements of the role.

Now those are just five quick pointers that will help... for a deeper look, I will now turn you over to an older, but ever-so-relevant post by the wizards over at Manager-Tools which gives this topic a much deeper look. Note that I don't buy into Mark's views on the one-page resume, but you should consider the following rule-of-thumb; the number of DECADES of experience you have is the maximum number of pages your resume should contain.

Happy hunting!