December 28, 2010

Director - HR Shared Services (Northern New Jersey)

Posting on behalf of somebody in my network...

My name is Jane Welton. I am currently looking for a Director of Human Resources Shared Services for a medical company located in North Jersey. The idea candidate will have proven leadership experience in managing compensation, benefits design and administration. Effective leadership with respect to Total Rewards management, total cash design and executive compensation. Demonstrated leadership ability, effective presentation and written communication skills and a track record for developing effective partnerships with business and financial leaders. Fundamental understanding of employee benefit design, H R information systems and overall HR administrative practices . Bachelors degree in Business Manage, Finance or equivalent. Compensation range is $140 to $160 with 43% bonus, growth opportunity. If interested, please forward your resume to j-welton@msn or give me a call at 908-927-0998 discuss further. If not, ,please feel free to pass this information along to anyone that you may know.

Look forward to you reply

Jane Welton
JW & Associates

The New VP of Communication - NAAAHR, Tampa Bay Chapter

As of January 1st, 2011 I will be taking over as the new VP of Communication for the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources - Tampa Bay Chapter. This is truly an honor but also has my stomach in knots at the very thought of the expectations and responsibilities involved in this role. It seems almost like a dream the way this all played out...almost in hyper-drive, going from not even being a member of this phenomenal organization to now playing an integral role on their Board of Directors.

I remember when I was first introduced to NAAAHR. It was in September of 2008. A girlfriend of mine told me about a study group that she was had just signed up for to prepare to take her SPHR exam. I had always thought of getting mine certification, since I have been in HR for the past 13 years at this point. I had just never jumped out the window and did it. So, when my friend told me that she was going to this study group, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity and that there was really no time like the present, so I signed up.

The class was 14 weeks long and I was two weeks behind by the time I got started. The study group was long, tenuous but worthwhile and definitely necessary. The biggest thing that I think I took away from the class (besides my certification, which I passed!) was a network of HR professionals who not only understood the demands and pressures of working in HR but also the unique obstacles that african americans may face in the corporate world. This was certainly a group of individuals that I knew I would be connected to for quite a long time. Over two years later, I am happy to report that I am closer to some of these members that I have ever been to anybody else in my career. I have carved friendships that will last a lifetime and networks that intersect my personal and professional lives in ways that I could never imagine.

Being a recent transplant to the Tampa Bay area about a year and a half prior to starting the study group, I knew that I needed to join organizations that would allow me to better network and advance my career. I immediately joined larger, more recognized associations for the HR professions but was extremely hesitant about joining such a small, niche organizations. These associations' fees are not cheap (anywhere from $125 - $250/year) so I analyze the cost/benefits to determine if the expense is worth the reward. Initially, I will be honest, I did not believe that joining such an organization as NAAAHR would net me the reward I was seeking that could possibly justify paying the yearly fee of $125.

But, because the bi-monthly meetings were free, I decided to check some of them out. Over time, I got to know the other members better and built connections with them. I learned more about the organization, their goals and ambitions, and how they planned to help progress the HR profession and I must say, that I eventually became hooked. Their passion and excitement about the organization and the profession was infectious! You couldn't help but want to be involved in this organization after speaking with members and hearing their stories.

So, two years later, at a financial seminar hosted by NAAAHR, I got to talking to some of the members. A discussion ensued surrounding the future plans of the organization and how they were in transition as this was the final year for the current board and they were making plans to nominate new board members. In speaking with this group, we all got to talking about our stories and how we got involved in HR and what we wanted to do with our careers. I explained how I really wanted to give back to the profession and nurture future HR professional coming up in the field. This sparked a conversation about the S/PHR certification classes. I learned that we had a 96% pass rate in our certification class and that the rate stayed steady over the two years since I took my certification exam. But, I also learned that there was nobody to lead the future classes and that the fear was that they would have to do away with the classes. I was mortified! If it was not for NAAAHR and the knowledge that I gained from them during my study group classes, I don't know when I would have received my certification. I told them that we needed to keep the classes going and asked how I could help. That conversation led to me volunteering to the the Chair of the Certification Committee for NAAAHR, which ultimately, led to my membership in the association, which led to my nomination for the VP of Communications position when the old VP stepped down...all in a time span of 3 months!

Now, as I sit here and write this, I am one week out from taking over my post. I am preparing for our Strategic Planning meeting on Wednesday and brainstorming marketing plans for our certification classes. I am excited and honored to be part of such an amazing organization but I am also humbled and anxious about my ability to live up to the needs and expectations of this organization. I know that we can do great things and become a premier HR organization but we are only as good as our leaders. I can not let my profession or this organization. I have a tall order to live up to but I know we can and will be successful. I have the backing of a powerful group of HR professionals behind me. They will not let me fail and I will not allow myself to fail.

To success!

December 16, 2010

Rachel Salley's Resume

Rachel salley, SPHR

Contact No. (609) 851-0370



Accomplished HR professional with proven success and senior-level experience in the areas of HR strategic planning, organizational development and training, HR technology, recruiting and retention, succession planning, benefits and compensation administration, legal compliance, induction, compensation analysis and initiatives, metrics and reporting, and employee relations.

April 2010 – present
Valet Waste
  • Consulted with mid-size Consumer Services company to provide strategic organizational planning, compliance and implementation.
  • Conducted audits of HR documentation to ensure compliance with federal agency rules and regulations; Consulted with management to facilitate understanding of state and federal HR requirements; Provided training and support to organization surrounding on-going compliance efforts.
  • Audited, reviewed, and updated workplace, employee and management policies, handbooks and forms; Provided change management support and implementation of organizational objectives across corporate footprint.
  • Managed and provided guidance in the performance management process. Redeveloped performance management system by designing and implementing 360 degree informational approach.
  • Partnered with CEO and organizational VPs on strategic vision and goals for organization, including civic and community responsibility, social media exposure, organizational structure, team building/motivational efforts, and ongoing plans surrounding future growth.
  • Managed the development and implementation of recruitment processes and work flows, coached and mentored field contacts (HR, business, and/or hiring managers) in designated business unit(s) to ensure compliance with defined processes, personal effectiveness, and alignment of organizational values.
April 2007 – October 2009
Idearc Media (TAC Worldwide)
  • Created and implemented employee incentive and recognition programs, which resulted in 27% average annual retention.
  • Managed efforts to restructure compensation strategy based on benchmarking analysis. Conducted job analysis and evaluation to determine appropriate position competencies and requirements and assign fair market value.
  • Conducted thorough Job Analysis to determine appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) for each position; Revised Job Descriptions based on these findings, ceasing pending EEO audit sanctions.
  • Investigated employee relation issues in a timely manner and provided appropriate resolution in compliance with employment law guidelines; saved company over $1.5m in potential litigation claims.
  • Developed and implemented standard exit interview procedures for purposes of gathering turnover trends; based on resulting information, implemented retention strategies which resulted in additional 12% decrease in retention.
  • Administered benefit programs; communicated benefit information organization-wide; negotiated benefit packages, ensuring cost savings to organization while providing optimal benefits to employees.
  • Managed and provided guidance in the performance management process. Redeveloped performance management system by designing and implementing 360 degree informational approach.
March 2006 – April 2007
  • Served and supported metric driven, multi-site/state locations; and business units from remote and on-site capacities globally. Experienced in servicing start-ups, SME and large corporations.
  • Strategic business partner for organizational planning to ensure that HR services meet objectives; are consistent with market best practices; and comply with legal requirements.
  • Applied fundamental business and HR concepts to a wide range of HR Generalist services; served as an internal consultant to department constituencies regarding application of all aspects of Human Resources to include initial point of advice; problem resolution and facilitation; corrective action and performance improvement plans.
  • Worked with management to evaluate organizational design; work assignments; and staffing levels. Assisted management with appropriate department structure. Supported the development of appropriate job descriptions. Consulted on flexible work arrangements.
  • Developed and gained working knowledge of assigned departments to assist in the initial creation of career paths for employees; and worked with management to develop cross training and temporary special assignment opportunities for employees.
  • Led staffing engagements that align talent/recruitment management objectives with organizational goals and provide positive operational outcomes for all staffing levels. Led client engagements that aligned objectives with goals and provided positive operational outcomes. Managed the development and implementation of strategic processes and procedures; and analyzed procedures to assess their efficiency.
  • Directed key employee identification initiatives; compiled and distributed ATS and HRIS report data; led performance management and staff induction activities; and coordinated reward and recognition programs.
  • Negotiated vendor and contingent labor management agreements; launched employee marketing and corporate branding campaigns (including writing and designing effective promotional materials); managed university and community relations.
  • Provided guidance to staff and managers on performance interventions and other performance related issues.
  • Designed and deployed the work of multiple projects engaged in the establishment and implementation of new strategic processes for Human Resources and assigned departments.
September 2004 – March 2006
IndyMac Bank (AppleOne)
  • Oversaw northeast HR operations within the mortgage and retail banking division.
  • Partnered with operational managers and supervisors regarding staffing budgets, capacity and facility planning and execution, organizational development, employee relations, coaching, team building and communications.
  • Utilized recruiting resources including but not limited to cold calling, internet research, networking, job fair events, professional and industry associations and organizations, college and university career fairs, employee and alumni referrals, and alternative vendor resources.
  • Simplified sales and operations employment process and agreements, eliminating time consuming negotiations to quickly fill critical positions. Modified compensation plans, implementing pay for performance model using incentives and bonus to motivate performance while reducing base pay salaries.
  • Managed the development and implementation of recruitment processes and work flows, coached and mentored field contacts (HR, business, and/or hiring managers) in designated business unit(s) to ensure compliance with defined processes, personal effectiveness, and alignment.
  • Audited and reviewed workplace, employee and management policies, handbooks and forms. Designed, developed, and implemented updated policies, handbooks, and forms.
  • Ensured yearly compliance requirements of Affirmative Action Plan /EEO-1 records. Conducted workforce surveys; and audited recruitment metrics, including employee placement, termination, and transfer activities.
June 2003 – April 2004
Adecco (Recruitment/Operations)
  • Managed on-site contingent labor staffing needs for an average headcount of 230, including but not limited to enhanced recruiting, training, recognition, and retention programs to ensure optimum customer service.
  • Implemented orientation program for temporaries, which incorporated client's policies. Monitored and addressed personnel issues and concerns quickly and effectively included counseling employees to more effectively meet productivity and quality goals.
  • Anticipated needs of client and monitored profitability of clients account. Managed monthly tracking reports based on Quality Performance results or other determined criteria.
  • Managed all elements of ongoing account management and developing excellent relationships across various industries.
  • Outperformed customer expectations. Maintained profitable business operations and implemented promotional & marketing strategies. Managed multiple tactical activities and project time lines within competitive, deadline-driven environments.
  • Used effective communication approaches that included proactively keeping others informed, resolving client issues, and appropriately expressing ideas verbally, in written form, and timeliness.
  • Participated in the development of ongoing creative and cost-effective sourcing strategies. Coordinated and marketed various client/company sponsored events and campaigns.
June 1999 – November 2001
Franklin Templeton Investments
  • Delivered group and individual instruction and training covering a range of technical, operational, and management areas.
  • Developed training curricula and recommended or utilized vendor programs that met instructional goals and objectives.
  • Formulated training outlines and determined instructional methods, utilizing knowledge of specified training needs and effectiveness of such methods as individual training, group instruction, lectures, demonstrations, conferences, meetings, and workshops.
  • Selected training aids, including training handbooks, demonstration models, multimedia visual aids, computer tutorials, and reference works.
  • Coordinated or performed administrative functions necessary to deliver and document training programs.
  • Evaluated effectiveness of training and development programs and utilized relevant evaluation data to revise or recommend changes in instructional objectives and methods.
  • Key player in the analysis and selection of a learning management system (LMS) that resulted in a 60% increase to organizational productivity and efficiency, and a 33% ROI.
Bachelor of Science in Business Management, University of Phoenix
Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet research expertise, Web 2.0, HRIS and ATS experience including ADP, PeopleSoft, ORACLE, SAP, Taleo, First Advantage, Hodes IQ, Peopleclick, OpenHire, Lawson, Fieldglass, and Ceridian.

August 25, 2010

Recruiter Needed for Small Consumer Services Company in Downtown Tampa!!


Looking to join a dedicated, hard-working, fun and loyal team? Do you thrive in a fast-paced and constantly evolving organization? Then Valet Waste has the perfect opportunity for you!

About Us:
Offering unparalleled service since 1995, Valet Waste has revolutionized the way trash is collected at apartment home communities. Valet Waste is the only national provider of 5 night a week doorstep trash and recycling collection in the multi-family housing industry.
We are continuing to build our team and are searching for an aggressive, internet savvy, and street-smart Corporate Human Resource Recruiter who’s hungry to apply creative, innovative, and resourceful recruiting capabilities to help us attract, assess, and build a team of the best staff in the industry.

This position will be based in our Tampa, FL Corporate office and will support multiple locations.

Reporting to the Senior Human Resource Manager, the Corporate Human Resource Recruiter is responsible for delivering all facets of recruiting success throughout the organization. Working with the HR team, the Corporate Human Resources Recruiter manages the company’s recruitment activities; employing traditional sourcing strategies and resources as well as developing new, creative recruiting ideas, resume and applicant screening, candidate interviewing, pre-employment testing, reference checking, and offer presentation. The Corporate Human Resources Recruiter will play a critical role in ensuring Valet Waste is hiring the best possible talent.

• Develop and execute recruitment plans.
• Source, recruit, negotiate with, and close top talent based on opportunity, not compensation.
• Network through industry contacts, association memberships, trade groups, and employees to source the best possible talent.
• Use social and professional networking sites to identify and source candidates.
• Able to consistently identify candidates outside of traditional job board postings.
• Establish and maintain strong partnerships with department leaders to proactively understand current talent needs and anticipate future needs.
• Conduct regular follow-up with managers to determine the effectiveness of recruiting plans and implementation.
• Develop a pool of qualified candidates in advance of need.
• Review applicants to evaluate if they meet the position requirements.
• Conduct prescreening interviews.
• Perform reference and background/drug testing for potential employees.
• Write and forward applicant status letters.
• Assist in preparing and sending offer letters and orientation packets.
• Comply with company policy and EEO/ADA guidelines.
• Miscellaneous special projects as assigned.

• Base salary of $35k - $45k, commensurate with experience
• Comprehensive group medical plans
• Prescription drug coverage
• Dental and vision care programs
• Long and short-term disability coverage
• Company-paid group life insurance
• Medical/dependent care spending plan
• Ability to participate in company’s 401k plan
• Generous paid time off for vacation and sick time
• Company-observed holidays.
• Performance based promotions and career opportunities with an industry leader

• 2 – 4 years experience in full lifecycle recruiting.
• Knowledge of full life-cycle recruiting components including, but not limited to, sourcing, qualifying, networking, assessing, legal, relationship management, and due diligence.
• A.S. in Human Resources, Communications, Marketing, or related discipline preferred.
• Demonstrated ability to recruit on a national, multi-location level.
• Eager to learn the basics of the operations to a level necessary to identify needed talent to fit role and culture.
• Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information appropriately.
• Strong initiative and solid judgment abilities.
• Proficiency with MS Office, including Word, Excel, and Outlook.
• Strong verbal and written communication skills.
• Self motivated with an attention to detail.
• Ability to prioritize and execute tasks in a fast-paced, high pressure environment.

Valet Waste is a drug-free employer. All offers of employment will be contingent on successful background and drug screening.
Local candidates only please.

Valet Waste is an equal opportunity employer.


June 3, 2010

What I Learned From Armando Galarraga

I'm sure by now you've probably seen the horrible call from Jim Joyce that stole a perfect pitch game from Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers. Galarraga pitched a perfect 26 straight outs against the Cleveland Indians. On his 27th pitch, the hit was good to left center field, and was fielded as Galarraga made his way to first base for the catch. The battle for first base then ensued with Galarraga making the catch (and therefore, the out) a whole step before the hitter made it to first base. Unfortunately, for Galarrage, the first base coach, Jim Joyce, called the runner safe and Galarraga's perfect game was history. But this is not where the real story ends. In fact, the real story just begins at this point.

Charles R. Swindoll once said that "
Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitudes toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.” On Wednesday night Galarraga was a living testament towards life and attitude. Where most would have stomped, shouted, argued, cajoled, whined, cursed, or resorted to violence, Galarraga just smiled. Jim Joyce ended up apologizing for the bad call. He was responsible and took accountability. Something that all leaders, for that matter all people, can learn a little more about doing. Galarraga said that Joyce was human and that we all make mistakes. He said he was disappointed but that things happen. He was the epitome of sportsmanship and his attitude made me think of how employees react to certain situations at work and how we can all learn a life lesson from this experience.

I will take Galarraga's attitude with me as a vision of what I would like my attitude to be. In the face of adversity and change, I will wear a smile on my face. When things seem too tough to handle and there is no end in sight, I will wear a smile on my face. When I feel like crying or screaming, I will plaster a smile on my face and keep it moving. Life will present its share of challenges and upheavals but if we can learn to smile (and maybe even laugh) in spite of these things, life may somehow be a little bit better for all of us. And in the end, anything that can make our outlook on life and our view on the future a bit better is a win in my book.


Recruiting Coordinator - Wilmington, DE ($12-$17/hour)

Posting this for a friend:

Our client located in Delaware is looking for a Recruiter coordinator for a contract through the end of the year!

Basic Job description:
This position supports the talent attraction, recruitment and placement for our cleint's Technology and Operations
functions in Wilmington, Delaware. Key focus of the position is to support the recruiter who partners with clients/hiring managers. The ideal candidate will have a high degree of professional maturity, customer service focus and computer skills.

Professional skills include the ability to plan, organize and interface with a high degree of confidence and competency with HR colleagues and managers at all levels of the organization. The ideal candidate will have an excellent phone presence with the ability to conduct
a majority of work through the means of the telephone and internet. A customer service focus is realized by the ability to prioritize competing tasks, escalate issues appropriately and maintain an optimistic / achievement oriented attitude. Necessary computer skills include Outlook to accomplish scheduling tasks and emails; Word and Excel skills to communicate with candidates and internal stakeholders.

Location: Wilmington, Delaware 19809.
Pay: 12-17 per hour
Duration: 6 months

Typically one year experience in Human Resources, Recruiting or other high volume environment demonstrating a high level of attention to detail and strong people skills.
-Proficient with Microsoft Office Applications.
-Excellent verbal and written communication skills

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity please email me your resume at

June 2, 2010

Project Management Scheduler Position in Central NJ!!

A friend of mine has a client that is looking for some candidates that are outside of Hr! If you are interested or know of someone that would fit please let me know asap!

Location: Ewing NJ
Rate: up to 36.00-40.00 per hour
Duration: 3-6 months

The focus of the temporary project management resource would be to organize and update "operate and maintain" project plans in preparation for transition to EPM (Enterprise Project Management Software).

The ideal candidate may also help manage certain aspects of AP, such as the change request pipeline or QMS ramp up.
QMS is the Quality Management System; The collective policies, plans, practices, tools, and other required supporting foundation and infrastructure (structure) which an organization uses to reduce and eventually eliminate nonconformance to documented specifications, standards, and customer requirements and expectations in the most cost effective and efficient manner.
Project plans loaded into EPM that allow all SBU actual hours on AP to be associated with a task in the project plan.
Must be a strong scheduler - more technical to develop and maintain the schedules and the documentation piece as well.

MS Project / Enterprise Project Management Software (an enhanced version of MS Project)
10 + years experience
Education: Prefers Project Management Institute Certificate and/or BA degree

If you are interested in this opening please email

May 21, 2010

Transitioning From Entrepreneur to Employee? What You Need to Know to Ace the Interview.

I get a lot of questions and hand out a LOT of free advice to my friends, strangers in elevators, people I've met at charity events, and just in general. I love HR and never have a problem discussing it, regardless of the venue or context involved. So, when a near and dear friend asked me the best way to explain what he's been doing since his last "real" job, I chomped at the bit to give him my best pieces of advice.

First, let me give you a little friend is a talented, resourceful tech junkie. He has worked for various companies in a myriad of industries and resides in a jobseeker's mecca (NYC) but, like most, he was unfortunately hit hard by the economy, was laid off two years ago and did what a lot of people did during those paltry years when jobs were (and still are) hard to come by...He decided to branch out on his own and start a technology consulting firm. Now, he landed a few gigs here and there, enough to line his pockets a bit but nothing close to what he needed to truly keep him afloat. After two years of consulting, he decided that he wanted to (or more so, needed to) get back out there, pound the pavement, and become a corporate slug once again. His concern? What does he say to the recruiter/headhunter/hiring manager when they ask him what has he been doing for these past two years. He asked me if he should just say he's been unemployed or should he inform them that he had his own consulting firm, and even more important, if he told them about the consulting, what reason could he give for why he was no longer doing it that wouldn't make him appear to be pathetic and a loser.

Here's the advice I gave him and best of all, this is advice that anybody who has every ventured out on their own for a period of time, or decided that they wanted to (or had no choice but to) take temp/contract/consulting jobs and now wants to get back into the "real" workforce can use...

Be honest ~ Tell the potential interview about how you spent your time in between jobs. If you went to school and earned your degree, took some continuing education classes, received certifications, did some volunteer, or consulting work, explain that. Staying active and working on self-improvement shows the interviewer that you are serious about your career and even though you were out of work, you were not just lying on your couch eating bon bons and watching soap operas. That you were out there bettering yourself and acquiring skills that you can bring to the table in your next position.

Introduce the WIIFM Factor ~ What is WIIFM? What's In It For Me? I always tell job seekers that they need to define and learn to communicate their Value Added Proposition. This tells the prospective employer what you bring to the table and how you plan to help that organization achieve its goals. If you haven't determined you VAP, then you need to take a step back and do that now. The goal for introducing the WIIFM Factor is to make a connection with the interviewing on how your time spent out of work can be parlayed into useful and beneficial results and talent for the organization. If you took classes in finance and accounting or marketing, take assessment of what you learned and how you can apply that within the framework of the position and the overall needs of the organization. If you worked on special consulting projects, talk about your accomplishments and what goals you met for the organization. It's all about what you bring to the table and what you can do for them.

Be Real and Be Sincere ~ Most (I will not say all for fear of retaliation) employers know that we are in a bad (do I dare say that "R" word) and that a lot of people have lost their jobs. Not only that, employers also understand that there are approximately six candidates for every one opening. They know the job market is tough and that people are out of work for a lot of reasons. Interviewers are not all bad guys and yes, we do have a heart. But, we want candidates to be upfront and honest, not feed us a line of bull or tell us what they think they want us to hear. Explain to the employer that when you lost your job, you decided to try branching out on your own, finishing your degree, volunteering to write, design, and print your charity's newsletter, or whatever it is that you ended up doing while you were out of work. Explain to the interviewer that business is not what it used to be and that you are looking to get back into the workforce for stability, benefits, etc. But make sure, and I really can't stress this enough, that you always relate it back to them and the WIIFM Factor. Hit home how your experiences relate to what they are looking for and to what they are hoping to accomplish.

In the end remember, and I may get some nastygrams about this, at the end of the day, the organization does not care about you, it's all about what you can do for them. Remember that and you may be one step closer to finding your next job!


May 20, 2010

The Nitty, Gritty About Compliance and Audits

If you follow my tweets or are connected to me through LinkedIn, you will know that I recently began consulting at a small consumer services company. I am thoroughly excited about the company that I am working for; about their concept, their business plan, and even by the corporate culture and dynamics of the team. This is a small, privately-owned company, but one that is profitable ($35 mil in revenue - 2009) and continuously growing. Like most companies in their position, they're going through some growing pains. With just under 100 full-time employees on staff and over 600 independent contractors spread out over 22 states (that's another issue that I'm sure will need to be addressed), there's a lot of room for errors and inconsistency. This is where I come in...

This company has been around for approximately 15 years. It started through very entrepreneurial efforts and took off like a weed. About five years in, the owners decided to partner with a public company in order to be able to have the fiscal capital, credibility and security to continue to grow. It was a bit later that the organization really started taking a long hard look at their organizational processes and realized that they needed to have an HR presence and really need to start to do things the "right" way. Unfortunately for them, they never seemed to find a good fit and there was never any consistency or reliability in their processes. Until now...

About two months ago, the organization made a very wise decision by hiring a good friend of mine and Director of HR for a large (5000+ employees) tech firm. She came into the organization like a bat out of hell, ripping through processes, unearthing the "typical" way things were done and in every essence of the word, creating havoc...true anarchist style (can you tell I love this woman!!). Because she has been a Director for so long, she was very far removed from the tactical side of things and really needed somebody to come in and handle their compliance issues, of which there were many. From inconsistent employee records, to incriminating and unlawful documentation, and incorrect and missing I9s, they had run the gamut of mistakes. Their HR records would have made an EEOC auditor drool! Working with them this past month really got me to thinking about compliance and why, although tedious and a downright snorefest, it's so vital to an organization and their ability to thrive. So, I decided to give some tips and pointers to all those out there that may feel daunted by their own internal compliance audits...

First and foremost...BREATHE! It really is not as bad as you think it is. Yes, the EEOC, OFCCP, OSHA, or other equally scary agency can come in and audit your records at any time (although most must give notice for an audit that is for any other reason than a complaint or potentially harmful situation) but the auditors are not "out to get you" or trap you in a violation. Quite honestly, they simply want to make sure that an organization is following the regulations and are majorly interested in blatant violations. If you do a self audit and realize that you have some serious compliance issues on your hands...

Relax, they can be fixed. Most issues of non-compliance can be fixed. These is where the tediousness comes in. Most government agencies responsible for these audits want to see that the organization is aware of the non-compliance issue and is working to correct past issues and is putting a plan into place to insure against further issues. Let me give you an example...When I started to review the I9 files of the company I am currently with, I came across 54 issues out of the 88 employees on file at the time. That means over 61% of the workforce's I9s were incorrect, or (pause for effect...) missing. Yes! Missing! I immediately got on the phone with an attorney from the USCIS and explained out situation and let me give you the same advice he gave me...

Document everything! The biggest take away from my conversation with him was that we needed to have documentation on everything that we were doing to correct the non-compliance. This meant that for each and every one of the 54 files that needed to be corrected, we had to place a note in their respective file (in this case, the individual I9 file for that employee) documenting how we came across the non-compliance, who the employee was, the date we discovered the non-compliance and an itemized list of what made the document non-compliant.

Consistency is King! We had to be careful, and as HR practitioners this should come as no surprise, that we were not singling anybody out or unfairly putting undue hardship on employees as we worked to correct the situation. This meant that every employee who was affected needed to receive the same information, in the same format and be given the same amount of time to turn in and complete. But honestly, doesn't this go without saying? HR is all about doing for one what you do for all and doing for all what you do for one. But, I guess if this was followed to the letter, there would not be such a need for employment lawyers and EEOC auditors, right?

Start from scratch and make it "Idiot-Proof". For consistencies sake (I mean, this is why we're here, right?) and to make things easier for everybody, we provided each affected employee with a letter requesting what we needed and why we needed it, a new I9 and a sample, pre-filled I9 showing how they should be completed. We wanted to make the process as easy as possible and prevent any potential for mistakes. By starting with a new I9, we could control the process a bit more and have a clean I9 going forward.

Give Ample and Sufficient Notice. The USCIS attorney's recommendation was that we give every employee 30 days from the day we sent notices to send back their information to us. This recommendation was to give each employee the necessary time to provide their documentation to their reviewers (not everybody keeps their driver's license and social security card, or passport in their wallets, you know!) or request any necessary documentation that their need from the appropriate agency, i.e. social security card, updated passport, authorization for employment papers, etc. without creating undue hardship.

USCIS advised that we were doing the smart thing by being proactive and that by doing these self-audits and fixing any errors, omissions, and inconsistencies, that we were on our way to avoiding lengthy and costly audits in the future.

We are twenty days into the process and I am happy to report that, on I9s alone, we have received back over 52% and are on our way to being 100% compliant. I know that doing self audits are not fun and can be a daunting task to overtake, but know that it can be done, you will get through it, and you will be a better organization in the end for having done so. And while I also realize that this post has mainly been about I9 self-audits, realize that these tips and tactics can be applied to almost any audit that you face.


January 9, 2010

Have You Figured Out Your Value Added Proposition? Don't Know What VAP is? You should...

I have been speaking and emailing with quite a few job seekers recently about their luck on their job searches. I keep hearing over and over that they are not having a lot of luck. They are getting interviews, which tells me that they have the requisite skills to do the job and that their resumes are making a fairly decent first impression. The fact that they still do not have an offer leads me to make a few conclusions - 1) They are up against really stiff competition and time and again, the comp is beating them out, or (and the most likely scenario) 2) They are not presenting their Value Added Proposition.

So, I asked a couple of them to take me through a mock interview of sorts. I wanted to hear about some of the questions they were being asked and what their responses were. Without boring you to tears on the meat and potatoes of the questions and answers, I will say that what I was hearing shocked and dismayed me. Most of the candidates responses were all about what they learned from the company and how the organizations that they worked for had helped them to become a better Recruiter, Customer Service Manager, Marketing Director, etc. In not one example did any of these candidates give an example of their Value Added Proposition. What is a VAP, you ask?

Succinctly, the Value Added Proposition is what you bring to an organization that the next person doesn't. What makes you or what you have to offer unique and worthwhile? You should be able to sum up you VAP in as few words as possible...preferably 10 words or less, although some will argue that it should be even fewer words. Your VAP is a personal version of a mission statement. In much the same way that a mission statement should be clear and concise, so should your Value Added Proposition. In effect you are selling yourself to a company in the same way that an organization is selling itself to its customers via its mission statement. For instance, my VAP is to "Provide High Quality Services, Under Time, Under Budget, and Within Scope". As your experience changes, so will your VAP. The more projects you take on and the more time spent in your field, the better your VAP will be. Therefore, consider your VAP to be an evolving statement of what you have to offer...a living, breathing, tag line, so to speak.

The bottom line is that, when you interview, companies are looking to see what you can do for them. It is the age old WIIFM factor..."What's in it for me?". The company wants to know why they should hire you, what you are going to provide to them in terms of cost savings, reduction in time and/or resources, increased sales/revenue, etc. It is when you can provide them with the answer to this need or needs that they didn't even realize that they had, when you will find yourself on the receiving end of the offer. So, I task each and every one of you to sit down and figure out your Value Added Proposition. Go get 'em!

January 3, 2010

What Are You Willing to do to Secure Your Next Position?

Today is Sunday. It is 6:49am and I am gathering the last of my things and putting them into my truck so that I can get on the road. Actually...strike that...I am taking 10 minutes away from doing that to type this. Then, I am going to finishing gathering what needs to be gathered, make a cup of coffee, load my daughter in her car seat and hit the road. See, I am about to make an 18 hour drive to New Jersey for a few days. Why on earth would I make that drive, just to spend a couple of days? Well, there is a perfectly good explanation. I have a job interview. Why would I travel 18 hours for a job interview? Well...why not?

I have been out of work for over 2 months. I was laid of from my position as an HR Manager back at the end of October. When I lost that position, I immediately started looking for a new position. While I love living in sunny Florida and love everything that Tampa has to offer, I also know that without a job, there is little that I can truly enjoy. So, with that in mind, I started putting out feelers. Of course, I am looking where I live but I also know that opportunities do not abound here in Florida. Not that they abound anywhere, for that matter, but I do know that there are more opportunities elsewhere than there are here. With unemployment at 11% in Florida and at over 12% in the Tampa Bay area alone, I had to expand my horizons. What better place to expand to than the place where I was born and raised - New Jersey?

So, with the quickness and the fierceness of a squirrel collecting nuts for winter, I started scouring various job're typical ones that Monster and CareerBuilder, as well as some not so typical ones like Indeed and JobFox. I sent my resume out to a number of organizations seeking anything from a Recruiter to a Generalist to a HR Manager (hey...this girl can not afford to be choosey) for here and afar. With no surprise, but with some scarcity, I started getting hits on my resume. Where were all of these calls and emails coming from? Recruiters and companies in New Jersey and New York. Over the last 3 months, I have traveled back and forth to New Jersey five times for interviews. I have yet to secure a position, so here I am again. On my way to New Jersey for yet again ANOTHER interview! But...I don't mind. Interviewing means that I actually have a shot at a job. I have more possibility than not having an interview.

This brings me back to the point of this post. I am ready and raring to go...ready to move back to the chill and ice and chaos of the northeast. Ready to rejoin the rat race of the big city. I am ready to relocate!! All I need is the job and I am there. My question, though, to all of you job seekers out there. What are you willing to do in order to secure your next position? Think on that...

January 2, 2010

Am I Having an Identity Crisis?

As we begin a new decade and a new year, I have begun to really think a lot more about my future and the future of my brand, CareerAnarchy. I had been thinking about the effectiveness of my brand for a while but it really wasn't until Shauna Moerke, the HR Minion talked about how she questioned the validity and effectiveness of her brand and moniker on the most recent HR Happy Hour, that I actually realized what has been bothering me these past 6 months. I am having an identity crisis! Shauna commented that she sometimes felt as if her brand didn't accurately represent her and that if often made it appear as if she was less qualified that she actually is. While I personally love HR Minion and what Shauna has done with her brand, I can definitely relate to her concerns.

When I started CareerAnarchy and dubbed myself the CareerAnarchist, my goal was to reinvent the way that Human Resources and Job Seekers went about their business. My hope was that CareerAnarchy would be a way for HR professionals, organizations, and job seekers to be more inventive, innovative if you will, in how they decided to conduct their business and their job searchers. I wanted people to break out of their shells and to not follow the status quo. CareerAnarchy was meant to be a guide post for all that is wrong in HR and all that is wrong in the way we seek out our career opportunities, so that we could begin to find new and creative ways to do things.

But, I feel, that in my pursuit of creativity and ingenuity in forming my brand, that I may have alienated some people. I often wonder if the term CareerAnarchy and my personal moniker, CareerAnarchist are too harsh...too volatile. I'm all about love (of HR and career coaching) and not war, but I ponder whether my brand gives people the impression that I am arming for a HR battle, or that I am the adversary to HR. This, my friends, couldn't be further from the truth.

So, as I sit here on the eve of the first night of the new year/decade, I I really a CareerAnarchist or something else entirely? Should I reinvent my brand to be more in sync with mainstream corporate HR, or do I, as my brand currently depicts, be the anarchist and smash the status quo?

You decide. Drop me a line and let me know if the anarchist is here to stay!