/blog > archive > January 2012

evilhrlady

 Glenn Reynolds has been doing a series of blog posts speculating as to whether we are living in “crazy years.” I thought I had a scored a big one last week when I came upon a a story about a woman who was fired for working through lunch. Well, maybe not. Our guest this week is here to explain why firing an employee for working through lunch is a perfectly rational course of action to take. About Our Guest: Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate Human Resources. She’s hired, fired, and analyzed the numbers for several major companies. She founded the Carnival of HR, a bi-weekly gathering of HR blogs, and her writings have been used in HR certification and management training courses across the country.She dispenses her evil wisdom at cbsnews.com,evilhrlady.org, and via Twitter: @realevilhrlady. Listen to internet radio with PhilBowermaster on Blog Talk Radio Join us live…

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applelogo

Okay, so word is that Apple puts some of its new engineers to work on fake products until they’re sure they can trust them. This is after going through up to nine months of interviews to get the job. This raises some questions for me.  How long do you work on fake products before they give you a real one? Do you know you’re working on a fake product? I wouldn’t expect that they would tell you, but surely other people in the company know that it’s fake, or at least might let it slip that some products are fake. How would  it feel to spend (just guessing here) six months working your butt off on something that you later learned didn’t really exist? Of course, a lot of people in a lot of settings spend years grinding along on projects that never amount to anything. But at least on…

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mortar-board

The X-ification of higher education is proceeding as planned. Now testing giant ETS (the Education testing Service), who administer the SAT, GRE, and other standardized tests,  is getting in on the action, partnering with CAE (the council on Aid to Education) to provide online competency testing which may provide an alternative form of certification to traditional college degrees. Higher education is about to be altered beyond recognition. There are now many competing providers of education, and new potential methods of certification continue to emerge. Traditional higher ed has been the only game in town for a long time. No more. The old monopoly on contacts and credentials is being permanently broken up. Has that got people worried? Well, the story about ETS and CAE that I linked above comes from the Chronicle of Higher Education. The headline for the story reads as follows: Beware: Alternative Certification Is Coming “Beware” is…

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tweetsperday

Does the future belong to happiest language? Right now, a very happy one is in the lead. But we need more data points.Read More…

lifechart9

From a recent Wall Street Journal article: No More Résumés, Say Some Firms Instead of asking for résumés, the New York venture-capital firm—which has invested in Twitter, Foursquare, Zynga and other technology companies—asked applicants to send links representing their “Web presence,” such as a Twitter account or Tumblr blog. Applicants also had to submit short videos demonstrating their interest in the position. Union Square says its process nets better-quality candidates —especially for a venture-capital operation that invests heavily in the Internet and social-media—and the firm plans to use it going forward to fill analyst positions and other jobs. So what replaces the resume? Summarizing one’s social media presence is an interesting idea, as is having people do a short video. These can be quite good and, er, not so good. (Got to love the guy who held up the complete works of Shakespeare to demonstrate how imminently employable he is.)…

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lunchtme

The headline says it all. She was fired for working through lunch. (Take the words “through lunch” out of the equation and the absurdity comes into even sharper focus.) Okay, sure. there’s the issue of rules that govern exempt versus non-exempt employees, and companies have to be careful about staying in compliance –or facing the consequences. But come on. Fired? For working. She did extra work and was fired for it. Just let that sink in. The happy ending is that she won her unemployment claim and has since landed a new job. Here’s hoping that the original employer lucked out this time with somebody who isn’t willing to put in that little extra effort… UPDATE: Thanks for the link, Glenn! Before I get more variations on the same comment: yes, the employee was in violation of the law and yes, the company faces penalties for such violations. I would…

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schoolcommute2

While we debate about the “right” to a free college education for everyone — which I think is emerging as a reality whether it’s a “right” or not — it may be constructive to remember that, in the past, people have endured significant hardships in pursuit of a better life via education. Some people still do. For the children of Pili, a village high in the foothills between China, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, getting to school isn’t just difficult…it’s life-threatening. We talk about student loan debt metaphorically “killing” us, but come on. I’m far from being a fan of the current student loan setup, but this video reminds us what people have traditionally been willing to put on the line in pursuit of gaining needed skills and knowledge. Would you be willing to do what these kids do? (Not sure I would.)Read More…

college

Glenn Reynolds directs us to a Forbes piece by Daniel Jelski arguing that a free college education will be available to all in the near future.I think that future is already here. There are plenty of online materials available with which an ambitious student can piece together an excellent education. See here. Also here. Plus lots of other places. Right now there’s no good-way to get a college degree for free , unless you happen to be a whiz kid or star athlete who lands a full scholarship somewhere. But that difficulty is going to go away. For one thing, traditional degrees are going to get a lot of pressure from new competing certification schemes. One or more of these schemes is likely ultimately to provide viable alternatives to four-year degrees. And by viable I mean of equal or greater value to potential employers. As I noted recently, colleges and…

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moneyballmetric

In Moneyball, Brad Pitt discovers that the key to building a winning baseball team is to assess player talent differently than anyone has ever done it before. Turns out that the principles he discovers have value far beyond the baseball diamond. About Our Guest: Cathy Missildine-Martin is the co-founder of Intellectual Capital Consulting, a firm specializing in profitability through human capital.  She works closely with executives in the areas of performance, productivity, organizational metrics, training, employee and customer engagement, workforce planning, organizational design and strategic implementation.  Her experience in operations and sales management in the technical, insurance and hospitality industries has given her a broad understanding of business issues and a solid foundation for building performance enhancing systems that support the business. Her client list includes such names as the Intercontinental Hotels Group, IBM, Hampton Inns, and the United Way. Cathy is currently serving as President-Elect for the Society for…

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Pointy-Haired_Boss

“What we found in our research surprised us,” the authors write. “Only about 10 percent of the managers took purposeful action.” The remainder were busy, just not very effective: 40 percent were energetic but unfocused; 30 percent had low energy, little focus and tended to procrastinate; and 10% were focused, but not very energetic.Read More…