9 Great Resources for Human Resources Professionals
By LaTonia McCane, SHRM-CP, PHR, GBA
If you are a human resource professional, then you probably have a lot of work on your plate. If you find yourself in need of a second opinion, advice on a touchy subject, a community of other HR professionals to chat with, or simply the latest news in your industry, then be sure to check out the following HR and personnel management resources.
HR.com – HR.com is the largest online community for human resources professionals. They not only have a social network with hundreds of new members signing up daily, but they also have current articles, news, webcasts, events, white papers, templates, forms, and best practices. You can also contribute by creating your own member blog to share your advice, thoughts, and experiences in the HR world.
Evil HR Lady – Suzanne spent 10 years in human resources for a Fortune 500 corporation. Her goal is to demystify human resources, one question at a time. She also has a huge list of HR blogs and resources on her website.
Entrepreneur’s Human Resources – An online HR guide for business owners on how to train, manage, and hire employees. You’ll also find great info on compensation and benefits, employment law, and much more.
SHRM – The Society for Human Resource Management is the largest association in the world devoted to human resource management with more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries. Almost half of the members of this society work in organizations with more than 500 employees. The SHRM website offers templates, tools, publications, conferences, and education for human resources professionals as well as local chapters that individuals can join to develop your leadership, managerial, public speaking, and decision making skills.
HR Magazine – Not quite ready to join the SHRM or one of its local chapters? You can still get great information from the most widely read and respected HR publication by subscribing to their monthly publication of HR Magazine.
LinkedIn Groups – LinkedIn, the top social network for professionals, has several groups dedicated to Human Resources. Linked: HR is the top Human Resources Group on LinkedIn with over 697,000 members and hundreds of active discussions monthly. Human Resources Professionals Worldwide is the second most popular with over 45,000 members. The benefit of joining LinkedIn groups other than the discussion is that you will be able to directly connect with other human resources professionals, thus expanding your network.
HR Job Boards – If you’re looking for a position in human resources, but you’re not having luck on major sites like Monster or CareerBuilder, then give HR-specific job boards a try. A few to start with are HR Crossing, SHRM’s HR Jobs and the HR.com Job Board.
Human Resources on Twitter – If following tweets is your thing, then check out the hundreds of Twitter users in the WeFollow directory who have listed themselves under Human Resources. If you’re on Twitter, be sure to add yourself to the directory and tag yourself under Humanresources.
Human Resource Books – Want to do some light (or not so light) reading? Amazon has an entire section of paperbacks, hardcovers, Kindle, and audiobooks on human resources and personnel management. Sort them by popularity, relevance, price, or publication date to find just the book you need!
Check out these exciting Human Resources job opportunities:
Check out these exciting Human Resources job opportunities:
Total Rewards Specialist (Compensation) – Dayton Children’s Hospital
Training Manager (Call Center) – Red Roof Inns
Substitute Coordinator – Springfield City School District
Human Resources Generalist – Ohio Living Dorothy Love
Recruitment and Retention Specialist – Alternate Solutions Home Care
Human Resources Generalist/Recruiter – ADVICS Manufacturing, Inc.
THIS MONTH'S ARTICLES
Member Spotlight: Matthew Bakota, J.D., PHR
Matthew Bakota is the Chair of the MVHRA Newsletter Committee and works as an attorney in the labor and employment group of downtown Dayton law firm Auman Mahan & Furry.
Matthew maintains his PHR certification through HRCI, to keep current on issues and challenges that HR professionals are facing in the workplace and to be able to counsel them accordingly on labor and employment matters. At Auman Mahan & Furry, Matthew’s practice also involves representing employers in the defense of unemployment compensation claims and federal and state OSHA citations, and in general contract and business disputes in court and arbitration proceedings. Matthew recently obtained the “Civil Rights Investigator” certification from ATIXA, which he will use to assist employers in conducting legally-compliant and risk-minimizing investigations of allegations of discrimination, harassment, and other workplace misconduct. Matthew is licensed to practice in Ohio, Kentucky, and several federal courts.
Matthew attended law school at the University of Akron, the hometown in which he grew up. Before law school, he attended the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in sociology. At Ohio University, Matthew met his wife, Kim. They have three children and live in Centerville. This fall Matthew is enjoying watching his two oldest children play soccer, and continues to watch and root for all of the Cleveland professional sports teams that he followed while growing up in northeast Ohio – even the Browns.
MVHRA Announces Scholarship Recipient
The 2017 Summer/Fall HR Certification Prep Course Scholarship has been awarded to Simone Stone. Simone, who is a Workforce Career Advisor/Consultant with Montgomery County Development Services, believes that achieving professional certification is a stepping stone to career advancement within the Human Resources profession. Applying for the MVHRA scholarship was her first step toward her goal of obtaining certification. “This scholarship is definitely a blessing for anyone looking to advance their HR career,” shared Simone upon learning she had been selected. She plans to sit for the SHRM-CP certification shortly after completing the prep course. We wish Simone all the best as she pursues certification!
The current Wright State University prep course began in early September with on-campus sessions taking place for four hours each Saturday morning for ten sessions. Course participants not only receive in-class instruction on exam topics but also have access to online resources, which enables them to continue preparing for the certification exam until their scheduled exam date.
MVHRA is pleased to partner with Wright State University and Sinclair Community College in making certification prep course scholarships available to MVHRA members twice each year. The 2018 Winter/Spring HR Certification Prep Course scholarship offerings will take place the end of this year for prep courses beginning in late January/early February. Details will be made available in upcoming MVHRA newsletters and on the MVHRA website. Specific questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When A “Last Chance” Agreement Should Be An Employer’s First Choice
Jeffrey A. Mullins, Esq.
Rachel M. Pappenfus, Esq.
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Disciplining an employee for poor performance or bad behavior is never an easy task. Hopefully with most employees it is a rare occurrence. When that is not the case, though, a supervisor should always try to ensure that the employee: (1) receives a clear message about why his or her behavior was wrong and (2) understands fully the consequences of such behavior in the future. In some unique circumstances the best tool for accomplishing these goals is a document commonly referred to as a “last chance” agreement. As the name suggests an employer typically only uses this tool for egregious misconduct or situations where there are chronic performance problems and progressive discipline has not been successful.
If you don’t already have a template for such an agreement, the points below will serve as a good starting point. If you do, they can serve as a checklist to make sure your agreement is complete. In order to be most effective, a last chance agreement should contain all of the following:
1. Admission—The agreement should contain an explicit admission by the employee that he or she violated company policy and would have been terminated for such conduct—but for the last chance agreement. This statement should describe the specific behavior that occurred and how this type of conduct could damage the company or hurt other employees. Some employers are reluctant to push for such an admission for fear that the employee won’t sign the agreement if it contains one. This is the whole purpose of the agreement—to get the employee to feel uncomfortable about what has happened so that he or she has a clear picture that things need to change in the future. Under these circumstances, it is better to be honest with an employee rather than worry about hurting his or her feelings.
2. Corrective Action—A provision should be included in the agreement that specifies the kind of corrective action that the employee must take in order to preserve the employment relationship. For example, if the employee tested positive for drugs, the agreement might contain a requirement that the employee contact the company’s EAP program, attend counseling sessions and undergo a certain number of random drug tests per month. When attendance is an issue, the agreement might specifically describe how many additional unauthorized absences can occur before termination. It is important to be as specific as possible here and to develop a plan that you really think will help to change the employee’s behavior.
3. Timeframe—When an employee has committed a serious but isolated infraction of company rules, the agreement will often state that the employee can never engage in such conduct again in the future. Examples of this type of conduct would include sleeping on the job, leaving work early without prior approval or reporting to work under the influence of alcohol. Normally these behaviors warrant immediate termination, but in the real world there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that leave an employer looking for options. In other situations, the conduct might involve a chronic problem, like tardiness, that has worsened over time and for which other types of coaching and discipline have been ineffective. Here the employer will typically include some type of provision placing a timeframe on how long the employee will be subject to the terms of the agreement. Common timelines would be anywhere from 6-12 months, but you really have to look at the facts and circumstances of the situation. If you include a timeframe, you should also note that nothing in the agreement changes the employee’s at-will status and that the employee can be terminated for other reasons during this timeframe as well.
4. Acknowledgment—The employee’s admission that he or she engaged in egregious conduct is not enough. The employee should also acknowledge that if he or she engages in such conduct again in the future, his or her employment will be terminated--no questions asked. One issue to be addressed in this provision is what type of conduct in the future will warrant termination? The exact same conduct? Similar or substantially similar conduct? Or any other violation of a company policy? There is no right or wrong answer. The correct approach always turns on the specific circumstances under which the agreement is being utilized and what you, the employer, hope to accomplish.
5. Release—The employee should expressly agree that he or she is releasing the employer from any and all claims that the employee has or might have prior to the date of signing the agreement. This means the employer is starting with a clean slate with respect to any prior claims the employee might have had against the employer. This release should include but not be limited to claims involving discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation. While this release cannot waive any future claims the employee might have after signing the agreement, it can be effective as to any claims that arose before the employee signed the agreement.
6. Signatures—The employee and the employer should both sign the document. If the employee is represented by a union, the union should sign the agreement as well. This brings home the seriousness of the situation to all parties involved. If the employee refuses to sign the agreement, the employer has to be prepared to move forward with termination. However, even if that happens and the employer never gets a signed agreement, it is still helpful for the employer to be able to show that it made an attempt to preserve the employment relationship and that the employee was unwilling to take reasonable steps to preserve his or her employment.
In the event an employee signs a last chance agreement containing the provisions described above and then violates the terms of that agreement, the employer will always be in a stronger position should it have to defend the basis for the termination. This has proven to be true in a variety of situations including discipline arbitrations, discrimination lawsuits, unfair labor practice charges, unemployment compensation claims and complaints of wrongful termination. Perhaps more importantly, last chance agreements can impact the employee’s behavior, allowing the employee to successfully address his or her performance issues. When faced with a difficult employee or situation and you’re not sure termination is the immediate answer, then despite its name, the last chance agreement should be the first tool you consider when deciding how to proceed.
MVHRA Workforce Readiness Committee Forges New Partnership With Miami Valley Works, Creating MVHRA Chapter Member Volunteer Opportunities To Conduct Mock Interviews
The MVHRA Workforce Readiness Committee met recently with the program supervisor of Miami Valley Works, the community-wide workforce development program managed and operated through Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley, to discuss potential ways the Workforce Readiness committee and chapter members could provide volunteer support to their program.
When asked where they could most use volunteers, MVW described the need for volunteer interviewers for the mock interview sessions that occur near the end of the one-week job readiness program that is held every month at the new Goodwill facility on Main Street near downtown Dayton.
Following those discussions, the committee voted to move forward with a commitment to support Miami Valley Works with volunteer interviewers.
What more can you say about Miami Valley Works?
Established in 2016, the mission of Miami Valley Works is to empower people in poverty to achieve self - sufficiency through long term employment and career development. That feeds into their vision of eliminating chronic generational poverty in Dayton and the Miami Valley.
Nearly 300 individuals from the community have benefitted from participating in the job-readiness program since the program’s inception. The week-long job readiness class ends with mock interviews set up where students experience a simulated real world setting that tests newly gained interview skills and behaviors. Interviews last about 10 minutes, followed by feedback provided by the students’ job coach and fellow students. Volunteers are provided interview questions ahead of time by the program supervisor.
What is the time commitment for serving as a volunteer interviewer?
The time commitment for a volunteer interviewer ranges from 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the class. Also, the arrangement is very flexible - a volunteer can assist with one class or multiple times over a period of several weeks. That is entirely up to the volunteer.
Who do I contact for more information and to sign up?
At Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley, contact Michelle Ann Feltz, Miami Valley Works Program Supervisor, at 937 528-6496 / email@example.com. Also, for more information, visit the web site at www.miamivalleyworks.org.
You may also contact committee chair Joanie Krein for additional information at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can reach out to any of the committee members: Theresa Dulaney, Sandy Mudry or Stan Adams.
UPCOMING MVHRA MEETINGS AND EVENTS
Wine Cork Pull Fundraiser!
MVHRA and the SHRM Foundation Committee are gearing up for another exciting Wine Cork Pull fund raiser! All proceeds from the Wine Cork Pull will go directly to the SHRM Foundation! Tickets are $5.00 a piece or 6 for $20.00. Ticket sales will be conducted during the Luncheon in October, and November with the Corks being sold and pulled at the December Luncheon. This is a great opportunity for you to easily give to the SHRM Foundation and possibly winning one of 5 bottles of wine valued at $25.00 or more!
Join MVHRA for Breakfast
Thursday, October 26, 2017 from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM
Topic: “Beyond Compensation and Benefits: Using Total Rewards”
Network with other Human Resource Professionals and earn SHRM and HRCI re-certification credits.
Limited Seats available - Registration is easy!
While You're at The Event, We Hope You Will Stop by Our Headshot Lounge Available With a Donation of $10 to The SHRM Foundation!
Bio: Mary Sacksteder currently works as the Compensation and HRIS Manager for Kettering Health Network. She has worked with Kettering Human Resources for 18 years in a variety of roles, including the areas of Recruitment, Comp & Benefits, HR/IS and Training. She serves on the MVHRA Board. Mary has received both a Bachelor of Architecture and a Masters in Non-profit Administration from the University of Notre Dame.
MVHRA Professional Development Workshops and Luncheons
Workshop: Legal Update - Workplace Issues In Changing Times
by Matthew Bakota, Amy Mitchell, and Steve Watring of Auman Mahan & Furry, who will address topics including:
The Latest Employment Law Updates;
Best Practices Related to Non-Compete and Other Restrictive Covenants;
Best Practices for Workplace Investigations;
Tricks of the Trade in Dealing with Problem Employees;