Interview

Next!

Another update from the Jungle….

Pam owns a small company and she’s preparing for her next round of job interviews. She feels like she spends a lot of time hiring new employees because she has a revolving door as employees bail out for bigger companies that offer more fringe benefits or higher pay.

She approaches the interviewing and hiring process with a mixture of dread and anticipation. She gets excited when she thinks she may actually find that perfect match of personality and skill set to fit her company. But more often her anticipation evaporates into dread or even fascinated horror.

One recent job applicant, Stuart, earnestly explained that he would not be able to provide identification if he’s hired because the CIA might find him and then his life would be in danger. Sam listed his probation officer as a character reference since that was the only person who saw him on a regular basis. Tamara said her mother was forcing her to look for a job and how long would the interview take anyway.

Pam went home that night to pour a stiff triple shot of single malt scotch. As she sipped her scotch, she thought that finding a good employee is as difficult as finding Prince Charming. No one ever looks as good in person as they do on paper.

The next day, Pam is back in the office shuffling through a new stack of resumes. She weeds out the ones with typos and scary details. Then she sets up a new batch of interviews. The first interviewee, Kim, has a nose ring but says “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am” when responding to questions. Annie, the next contestant is covered in neck and arm tattoos and wears a metal-studded dog collar. Sam sits bolt upright and barely utters a complete sentence.

Pam is getting desperate. She needs employees to keep her business afloat.

What are Pam’s options?

  1. She can accept the fact that her employees won’t stay long and adapt her business model to reflect the reality of the revolving door.
  2. She can outsource much of the hiring process which will save her time. Of course, a staffing agency may not have any better luck than her at finding appropriate job applicants for her company.
  3. She can close her business and go work for a distillery since her single malt scotch is the only thing bringing her happiness at the moment.

The above examples of job applicants are taken from actual interviews, although names have been changed to protect the innocent, the scary, and the downright weird.

If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.

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Up There! It’s Helicopter Mom!

Another update from the Jungle….

Winston is a new employee, and he’s got a big problem with his boss, Roger, but doesn’t realize it. Roger is sick of hearing from Winston’s mom.  Back in the day, Roger would have called Winston a “momma’s boy.” Now, Roger reflects bitterly, Winston’s just a typical millennial.

It all started when Roger called Winston to set up a job interview. First, Winston asked if he could call back after checking his calendar. A week later, Winston called Roger to set up the interview. Winston admitted he needed time to call his mom, and now he has a special request. Can he bring his mom along to the job interview?

Why, asks Roger, pardonably puzzled, she’s not applying for the job is she? No, replies Winston; she just wants to check out the company to make sure it’s the “right fit” for him. Roger is so stunned, he agrees. Besides, he wants to meet the woman who has convinced her college-educated, adult son that he needs her approval for a job.

It’s the strangest job interview Roger has ever conducted in his long managerial career. He asks Winston a question, and mom prompts Winston on his responses and invariably explains his answers to Roger. Winston seems happy to let his mom control the interview.

Roger decides to test the limits of the interviewing process. He poses increasingly bizarre hypothetical workplace scenarios, asks Winston how he would respond, and listens to mom’s explanations. Roger reflects privately that it’s a good thing the HR rep is home sick so that she can’t “coach” Roger later on how to conduct a proper interview.

In spite of mom, Roger sees something in Winston that encourages him to ask for a follow up interview without mom.  Based on the second interview, Roger hires Winston, a decision he regrets almost immediately. Mom calls every week to complain when she hears that Roger has criticized some aspect of Winston’s performance. Roger loses patience after a month of phone calls.

What are Roger’s options?

  1. He can refuse to ever again allow a parent to attend a job interview.
  2. He can fire Winston because he’s tired of dealing with Winston’s helicopter mom. After all, it’s an at-will employment state.
  3. He can heroically suppress the urge to call Winston a “momma’s boy” and hope Winston learns to stand on his own two feet.

If your company faces a helicopter parent, most experts suggest setting up a separate meeting with the parent.  At that meeting, the employer can set expectations and limits on the parent’s ability to intervene in the employment relationship.

If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.

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Did He Really Say That?

Another update from the Jungle….

unnamed (13)Erica is interviewing for a job as the HR manager for a small privately held company.  Erica heard about the job opening from a friend. She is looking for a change after growing bored with her current employer.

Erica is capped on pay and promotions with her current employer unless her boss dies or retires, neither of which seems likely.  Months ago, Erica suggested a special project working with IT to upgrade some of the creaking systems that slow down productivity and offered to lead the project task force. Her offer was rejected by her boss and her boss’s boss, leaving Erica with the impression that they weren’t serious about productivity gains or keeping her engaged as an employee.

So Erica decided to move on. She applied for the HR manager opening and was invited in for an interview. At the interview,
she waits in the shabby lobby for 20 minutes past the time her interview is scheduled to start. Finally,a man in his late 60’s steps in to the lobby to invite her to the conference room for the interview.

In the conference room, Erica blinks as she gets a closer look at her interviewer. He looks like an
image045extra from the Godfather movies with chunky gold rings on both hands and a large gold watch.  His shirt is open half-way down his chest displaying gold chain necklaces.  In a voice roughened by cigarettes and cheap whiskey, the man explains that he’s looking for an HR manager to keep the “government off his back”.

Erica asks if his company’s employment practices were audited by a government regulator but he brushes aside the question. He says that companies like his would be a lot more successful if the government would stop interfering and telling him how to run it.  Then he explains that he’s had trouble in the past hiring women because “they start with single coverage on the medical plan but next thing you know, they’re on the family plan”.

What should Erica do next?

  1. She can call him a dinosaur, list all the federal and state employment laws he’s violated during the interview and storm out of the room.
  2. She can expend a lot of effort trying to get the job since the company obviously needs all the HR help it can get.
  3. She can send the owner a bottle of cheap scotch after the interview to thank him for his time and pray that he doesn’t offer her the job.

In the actual situation, the interviewer never made a job offer. The interviewee continues to congratulate herself on one of the narrowest escapes of her professional career.

If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.

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