Tag Archives: human resources

3 Red Flags to Avoid When Hiring

Hiring is tricky. There are as many hiring strategies as there are hiring managers. And while you're not a mind reader, there are red flags to let you know you might be making a disastrous decision.

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3 Ways to Recruit Effectively

Putting together a cohesive team is one of the most important roles of a leader. A misstep in the hiring process can cost in time, money, and morale.

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3 Novels That Will Improve Your Leadership Skills





If you're looking to develop your business skills, don't fall into the trap of thinking that all  knowledge falls within the realm of the bookstore's business aisle. Keep the blood flowing to both sides of your brain by delving deeper into the inner life of characters that may be facing the same obstacles and challenges that you do on a daily basis.

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“I Know What I’m Worth”



Normally I would use any example from the Netflix series House of Cards as a cautionary tale for real life. But then Episode 5 in Season 3 came along and for one tiny moment, Doug Stamper gave us  a lesson in salary negotiations.

Doug Stamper is the former chief of staff of ruthless Frank Underwood. Underwood has lost faith in Stamper, so off he goes to prove he still has an edge. Stamper presents himself to Underwood's rival Heather Dunbar as a potential chief of staff. When he names his number, Dunbar remarks, "I thought this wasn't about the money." Stamper replies, (and I am paraphrasing) "It's not. But I know what I'm worth."

Stamper is desperate for this opportunity, but that's not enough for him to cave during salary negotiations. He knows what he is worth. Do you?

While this post is directed at both genders, statistics show that men are four times more likely to negotiate salary, and when women do negotiate, they ask for 30% less than their male counterparts. This isn't about getting to more money, it's about getting to the right money.

Do you know what you're worth? Do your homework. Use salary websites, speak with a headhunter or a recruiter, ask around the industry. Your situation, like everyone else's, is unique, but you can get an idea of what to expect.

Do you know how to negotiate? Some live for the thrill of negotiations, others... not so much. And you know my favorite saying, "practice makes habit." Start small with low stakes: with friends when deciding where and when  to go for dinner; practice at the farmer's market, at a garage sale. Practice until the difficult becomes the routine.

Do you know how to be creative with numbers? Baseball super-agent Scott Boras made the baseball world's collective jaw drop with Max Scherzer's $210 million deal  with the Washington Nationals this past offseason. By understanding DC tax laws and negotiating an aggressive bonus structure, Scherzer was able to save 7 - 8 figures in tax dollars.

If you're not negotiating because of fear, keep this in mind: if the organization has gotten to the point of an offer, they like you, they really like you. It takes a great deal of time and money to find the right candidate. An organization worth joining will rarely let their investment slip away during the negotiation process. What's the worst that can happen?


Managing a Departure Professionally, Part 2

handling a resignation


Last time, we talked about how to manage a departure professionally when you are the one exiting. Today, let's take a look at that some best practices are when you're on the receiving end of the resignation letter.

1. Be gracious. Maya Angelou once said, "You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangle Christmas Tree lights." Add to that the resignation of an employee. As with anything else in leadership, choosing to be gracious will never cause regret. Getting angry, guilt tripping, or jumping for joy may feel good in the moment, but behavior like that might be exactly why the person is choosing to leave. Remember, the employees who remain will be watching carefully.

2. Consider a counter-offer carefully. Personally, I've never counter-offered a resigning employee. If someone has gone through the work of finding a new job and saying the words, "I quit" -- that's a lot of energy and commitment they've expended on leaving. I have had colleagues who have counter offered, only to have that same employee leave within six months anyway (hint: it's rarely about the money.) In the 20+ years I've been leading people, I've only seen a counter offer be effective twice. Both times the leaders were asleep at the switch and out of touch with the needs of their employees. If you're doing your job well, you'll know that it is time for the person to leave, and then you'll refer to #1.

3. Work on a transition plan immediately. This is will depend on the circumstances surrounding a departure. If it is a disgruntled employee, I would suggest paying him out for his resignation period and calling it a day... and I suspect his co-workers will thank you for it. If, on the other hand, it is an amicable departure, discuss how the message of the resignation will be delivered.  Confirm the departure date and ask the employee to create a transition document with details of projects and status of loose ends. Agree upon the plan and work it.

4. Determine your current needs. Organizations evolve and positions change so the chances are high you do not need a one-for-one replacement of the person that is leaving. Before you start your search, take a strategic look at the talent gaps that exist in your remaining workforce.

5. Continue recruitment efforts. I say "continue" because effective organizations have a culture in which recruitment is a daily and ongoing effort. Leaders should always be on the lookout for new talent so that a resignation does not catch them unprepared. If you don't have a reserve of potential candidates, put together a recruitment strategy immediately. Don't forget to draw out passive candidates as well as search for active ones.

Saying goodbye to a valued colleague is never easy. By managing the departure professionally, you are creating an opportunity to demonstrate generous leadership and also widening your circle of influence.