Filed under: — Doug Contreras @ 2:05 am on

So here’s the scenario:

You show your boss a detailed report analyzing the productivity trend for the last three years. It clearly shows that her new approach to training, staffing and operation has not improved performance as she expected it would. In fact it demonstrates that things have gotten worse. Her correct response should be:

(1) Issue a scathing five page memo challenging your data and analysis and questioning your loyalty to her and the company.

(2) Ignore the report.

(3) Set up a meeting with you to review the validity of your report and discuss your ideas for changes that can be made to get things back on track.

Shooting the messenger NEVER improves performance!

Visit my profile on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dougcontreras
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Filed under: — Doug Contreras @ 1:49 am on

In smaller companies, the HR function is often split. Typically payroll, benefit administration and personnel records are managed by accounting while the interview and hiring process is handled by the responsible manager. I offer this entry to those managers who do not have the benefit of an HR department.

First impressions are lasting. How well or how badly you conducted the interview will remain with the candidate as long as he or she works for you. Here is what has worked for me:

Dress is as important for the interviewer as it is for the interviewee - sloppy or inappropriate dress sets a poor example and creates a negative image of your company.

Be on time - lateness on your part tells the applicant that tardiness is a tolerated practice.

Be prepared - read the applicant’s resume before the interview and make notes.

Avoid interruptions - unless the building is on fire, let the call go to voicemail. Aside from being a matter of common courtesy, distractions make it difficult to maintain your line of thought.

Consider a chair to chair vs. desk to chair setting - doing so will make the candidate more comfortable and encourage dialogue. It will also give you a better chance to observe the candidate’s body language.

Start with a brief presentation on your company - include history, product or services offered, place in the market, requirements of the position and the reason for the opening.

Avoid questions and application forms that are discriminatory - a good reference on this subject entitled CONDUCTING A LAWFUL EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW authored by the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor can be found at http://labor.idaho.gov/lawintvw3.pdf

Ask questions that will provide specific answers - doing so will conserve time. Also if the same questions are asked of each applicant, you will have an easier time comparing the applicants to each other.

Allow the applicant to ask questions - sometimes the questions asked by the applicant tell more about the applicant than questions you ask.

Listen carefully to the comments and responses of the candidate - true communication requires the ability to present one’s thoughts as well as the ability to listen.

Keep detailed notes - but recognize they can be used for or against you in the event of a discrimination case.

In closing the interview, promise the candidate a response date - and make sure you follow through!

Visit my profile on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dougcontreras
I welcome your invite to connect!

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