Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘Employer’

Judge the Job

Posted by sweens on January 20, 2010

I came across this interesting website today while I was playing catch up on some of my networking and wanted to pass it on.  Judge the Job is an interesting site where employees leave anonymous comments/reviews/feedback on their employer both past and present.  I guess the idea behind the website is for individuals to make informed hiring decisions based on the reviews of current of previous employees. 

The website clearly displays a lot of information on its privacy settings which should protect any individual from being personally revealed.    One of the things I like is the satisfaction rating given to each employer.  Most of them seem to be positive so I’d hope all the reviews you would read on this site would not be all negative.

Check it out using the link above or the following URL – http://www.judgethejob.com/index.php

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Addressing the concerns of your employees…

Posted by sweens on August 28, 2009

I blogged earlier in the week about losing a top performer and I got a few comments on the article which has lead me to write this blog. I would like to discuss how important I feel it is that an employer address the day to day concerns of its’ employees.

This can mean many things so let us look at a few examples. When a key member of your team leaves, I think it would be appropriate for management to hold a team meeting and discuss what the organization is going to do in order to replace the former employee (if they are or are not) and how their absence will affect the remaining team members.

Another example is a concern addressed from the comments on my previous posting about employees who are looking to advance within a company and are not getting that opportunity. Employers should recognize this trait within their employees and address it accordingly. As it was pointed out yesterday, employees often seek to leave their current employer if they are not getting moved up the corporate latter as their career may seem stagnant. The inability to move someone up within the company can be seen as “you’re not good enough to move up” which is generally a good motivation to start shopping your skill set around.

Employees are not always going to be satisfied with the answers they may get from their employer but at least they know where they or the organization stands. I would personally rather know that there is no room for me to move up in my company rather then not addressing my advancement at all.

At least at that point, I, or anyone else, can be honest with their employer and make an informed career decision moving forward.

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How many hours is enough…

Posted by sweens on May 28, 2009

I was reading a blog the other day which dealt with how many hours an employee had to work on a daily basis to satisfy their employer.  I thought this was a really good question to be asking.  I have been in situations where staying late was ‘strongly’ encouraged by my employer.

To which I say – I have no problem staying late.  If there is a reason to stay late!  Often times I have seen employees staying late just to satisfy their employer but they are not really doing anything constructive.  Is there anything wrong with putting in a phenomenal effort for the 9 – 5 traditional work day, and then calling it a day?  I do not think so.

At what point is an employer satisfied with the work day an employee puts in?  Personally I have always enjoyed working for people who let me be as long as I was doing my job.  Take my position for example.  I send out a lot of emails on a daily basis.  People are normally getting back to me after I have gone home for the day.  I fire up my email remotely and respond to some of them.  I call people once they are home from work.  I do not want a pat on the back for this, but I do expect my employer to recognize that while I may leave work at 5pm some days, the work day has not come to end.

Perhaps this is a difference between consultants and employees.  If I work 70 hours in a week (god help me) I do not get paid extra.  But working those hours gives me the opportunity to close some business which in turn is like being paid overtime.  Some consultants for example can work 70 hours in a week and then bill out 70 hours per week.  It is in their interest to do so for the monetary compensation associated with the overtime hours.

I personally want to work for an organization that values the work I do for the company and not how many phone calls or emails I make per day. 

** This post was inspired by Tina Wagener @ http://recruitingblogs.ning.com/profiles/blogs/how-long-can-you-last

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References Checks: Decreasing in value…

Posted by sweens on May 19, 2009

I would argue that reference checks are becoming decreasingly valuable in the current hiring practices of the labour market and can often be expendable. Having done many of them in my short time in the recruiting industry, I have found them to be more of a formality then anything – and they offer little insight into my candidates that I did not already know through speaking to them.

Reference checks are an immeasurable way to measure the qualities or achievements of any given individual. Reference checks are subject to interpretation and manipulation more times then not. Everyone is able to find someone in their past who can provide them with a positive reference – so can that information really be seen as accurate?

We now work in an environment where it is not socially acceptable to provide negative references on former employees or co-workers. However most of the time, the negative information is really what you are digging for from a reference. Most candidates will be happy to tell you all the good things about themselves – but it is the negative things you need to unearth. But if you can not get that information out of your references, why bother?

Some companies will not even give a reference these days. It is a policy some HR departments make on behalf of their company and everyone else must abide by the policy. Not so great for employees coming out of that company.

But the problem does not sit solely with the person providing the reference or the candidate who names the references. The problem also lies with the person checking the reference. Many times, recruiters can ask questions that walk the reference down the road you want your reference to go. Tailoring questions to your candidate and having your reference legitimize your candidate.

 Is this good?

Yes it is – for you – but it defeats the purpose of the reference check. This system of checking a reference is no different then interviewing a candidate and asking those questions you want answered which serve only to screen your candidate in to your job. This method simply ends up matching your candidate to the job you have rather then evaluating your candidates experience and their needs to the needs of your client.

Ultimately, I feel that reference checks are becoming a less effective measure of someone’s ability, or as any of kind of metric, as was perceived in the past. Companies and recruiters should strive to find a better approach to measuring the completeness of someone’s previous work history, rather then conducting some ‘old school’ reference check.

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