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    Sending a Themed Thank-You Note?

    A reader writes: I recently applied for a job at an animal care facility, and I made sure to note in my cover letter than I'm a compassionate animal (and people) person in hopes that this will show my personality and also put my resume at the top of the pile. If (hopefully when) I land an interview with this company, ...
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    Taking on a "Risky" Hire

    Taking on a "Risky" Hire
    A reader writes: I recently received a job offer from the HR person of the company that I interviewed with. She said "they are taking a risk in hiring me and offering me the job." I thought it was a strange statement. When the managers in that company discuss me, they can say "OK, let's take a risk and hire this ...
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    Strip-Search Before a Job Interview?

    Strip-Search Before a Job Interview?
    A reader writes: After filling out an online application, I received an email from the (large and well-known) employer asking that I return to their career website to provide my date of birth, social security number, and driver's license number. They added that they will only use the information to begin a background check if I were to receive and accept ...
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    Does HR Have to Keep it Confidential?

    Does HR Have to Keep it Confidential?
    A reader writes: I had a conversation with the HR Director about something happening in my department. She went to my boss with the issue, citing me as the source. This was not an official complaint by me, as we were not in her office but in the lunchroom. However, I considered conversations with HR professionals to be in confidence. Was ...
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    When Is It Time To Fire?

    When Is It Time To Fire?
    A reader writes: We have a Receptionist/HR Asst/Office Asst for our front desk. She does new hire packages, runs errands etc. Pros: very efficient, proactive, creative, works well under pressure Cons: horrible time management, ignores feedback Facts of life: she's currently heavily pregnant, she has a very long commute and she's pretty young ( It's her first full-time position) Issue: her ...
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    Explain Depression to Prospective Employers

    Explain Depression to Prospective Employers
    A reader writes: I have bipolar depression, and I am starting to interview for jobs. I recently graduated college but my grades suffered toward the end of my education because of bipolar depression. It affected me for one year before I was diagnosed. I am now starting the job interview process and wondering what to say about my GPA dip, and ...
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    Hiring and Orienting a New Employee

    Hiring and Orienting a New Employee
    This article was excerpted from Managing a Small Business Made Easy, which is a guide to the essential elements - including human resources, customer service, advertising, finances and advisors - you need to be successful. I was working late one night to complete an important project for our company, a medium-sized manufacturer of agricultural and industrial equipment. It happened to be ...
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    Top Five Lies Told by Job Candidates

    Top Five Lies Told by Job Candidates
    It pays to know about the five most common (and costly) lies that job applicants are likely to include on their resume. In the business world, every employee has the potential to impact your company’s performance, culture and bottom line. That makes it crucial to avoid hiring the wrong candidate, which could result in a costly and even critical mistake. A ...
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    Re-Listing a Job Posting

    Re-Listing a Job Posting
    A reader writes: I applied for a job with an organization, passed the phone screen, and was given a second interview less than a week later. I interviewed with a panel of people and was told at the time there were several candidates interviewing for this position. In my opinion, the interview went well. After the interview, the recruiter also let ...
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    6 Outrageous Hiring Practices

    From the downright crazy, to the just plain fun, hiring practices sure are getting interesting. Some companies turned to virtual reality to recruit new employees, while others weeded out weaklings by raising the stakes – literally. But do some of these new hiring methods cross the line? Are HR departments taking advantage of a sour economy and desperate job seekers? ...
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    How Do You Replace an Employee Who Doesn't Know She's Being Fired?

    How Do You Replace an Employee Who Doesn't Know She's Being Fired?
    A reader writes: I’ve been going through your archives to see if you had any advice on replacing a current employee before they know they are being replaced…when that employee is HR. In a small company with one HR person we certainly can’t place an ad – and they want to have viable candidates before this person is let go. This ...
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    Downsizing 101

    Downsizing 101
    Charged with giving the bad news? Here are your ethical responsibilities Most discussions about downsizing focus on the legal, economic, or psychological issues raised by this practice. These are essential concerns, but we rarely consider how or why downsizing is also an ethical issue. The next two columns are an attempt to redress that problem. Here, we'll consider your ethical responsibilities ...
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    Interview Strategies for Successful Hiring

    Interview Strategies for Successful Hiring
    A well-conducted interview can provide a wealth of information about the job candidate. Use these simple rules as a guide. Your company can increase hiring success by applying the right tools to the job, including effective interviewing techniques, thoughtful questions and well-orchestrated candidate meetings. Here are some basics to get you started. Prep Questions in Advance Create a list of questions ...
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    No-Reference Policy

    No-Reference Policy
    A reader writes: The company I work for has a no-reference policy. From what I can gather, it's because the managers I work for aren't permitted to speak about my performance on behalf of their area managers. I have worked for the company for 2.5 yrs and have performed well, risen to supervisor, and have received prizes for doing so. However, ...
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    Which Employee Should Be Let Go?

    Which Employee Should Be Let Go?
    A reader writes: I supervise a staff of 5 people as part of a team that was just created within the organization since the beginning of the year. Two of them are constantly bickering between themselves and each runs to me with complaints about the other. I have tried coaching and mediating with the two of them. But this has been ...
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    Fine Tuning Benefits: Developing New Offerings to Attract Workers

    Fine Tuning Benefits: Developing New Offerings to Attract Workers
    The tight labor market, particularly for skilled workers, has forced employers to fine tune their compensation packages to attract workers with different expectations of work and benefits. Presented by Monster Intelligence and Mercer Health & Benefits, the webinar provided key insights into: * Standard and non-standard benefit offerings. * Understanding the roll benefits play in today’s competitive labor market. * Strategies ...
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    Interview Questions to Ask When Hiring a Manager

    Interview Questions to Ask When Hiring a Manager
    I recently put this together for someone, and I'm recycling it here: interview questions to ask if you're hiring a manager of a department, organization, whatever. As you'll see, the idea of most of these to give you a good feel for whether this is someone who gets things done, is a strong manager who's focused on results, etc. Please add ...
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    Two Weeks Notice Not Enough?

    Two Weeks Notice Not Enough?
    A reader writes: I have been working at the same company (my first post-school job) for about 2 years now, and I've been moderately to very unhappy for most of my time here for a variety of factors (different working style from my boss which has lead to clashes in the past, public belittlement if something goes wrong, a team that ...
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    Complaining About Work on Twitter

    Complaining About Work on Twitter
    A reader writes: I'm a fan of twitter and have recently started a departmental twitter feed for my branch library. I'm encouraging my student staff to come up with ideas for posts, and they've been very enthusiastic. However, one of them sent a tweet from his personal twitter account, while he was at work, which talked in a disparaging way about ...
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    The Truth About Reference Requests

    The Truth About Reference Requests
    A reader writes: I know you've answered a plethora of questions regarding references.... but. I had a phone interview last week with the person who would be my hiring manager (VP of Marketing). It went very well, and she invited me into the office for an on-site interview. The on-site interview entailed interviewing with first the Marketing Director, followed by the ...
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