Best HR Junior Blog 2012 - Selection Criteria

Dear all,

Please find below the selection criteria for Best HR Junior Blog 2012. Criteria applies mostly to new blogs as this is what we are selecting here. We can't ask for hundreds of posts or for an amazing social media presence. Criteria below applies to a new blog being live for a few months only, but having great potential for the future.

The column Details and Total are filled in only as example for you to see how the total score is calculated.

So, please start sending nominations to georgianaflorina@gmail.com
Looking forward to receiving as many nominations as possible.

Take care,

Criteria Comments % Details Total
Total number of posts Shows commitment to the readers 15% 65 9.75
Google Page rank Shows level of SEO effort put into the website 10% 2 0.2
Total number of comments from readers Shows that they have managed to attract readers 15% 16 2.4
Blogger's HR relevant profile Number of years of actual HR experience that the author/s has in the field of HR (showing that they know what they talk about from real practice, not quoting from books); if blog has multiple contributors, an average of all years will be used; 20% 5 1
Number of posts with advice that can be actually applied practically Shows how useful the blog actually is to readers, we are seeking for practical advice, not personal opinions 25% 60 15
Number of months the blog has been live Shows consistency and commitment 5% 11 0.55
Consistency Shows number of active months (10 - no months missing from blog start date; 7 - maximum 3 months missing; 4 - maximum 6 months missing) 10% 10 1
100% 29.9


HR FAQ Carnival - First Edition - December 25th, 2012

Hello everybody,

Merry Christmas and all the best to you and your loved ones - A Wonderful and Happy New Year.


The very first edition of the HR FAQ Carnival is now live.

We are happy to introduce the first articles published.

First, it's Jennifer with a sensitive and hot topic - the use of software that monitors employees at work. Is it good, is it bad? Find all about it here on the "Do More With Software" Blog.

Then we have Bill who recommends an article about "Innovative Technologies For Employee Training". Always handy nowadays, right? Must keep up with our fast changing times.

And last but not least Nick offers us valuable advice about how to improve our online presence as future employees - how to remove all unprofessional pictures and information and how to become desirable to all those recruiters out there searching our internet profiles. Read it all here: "Carefully Cultivate Your Online Profile".

Until next edition,  thank you very much for your submissions and take care,


Resume Advice: I Worked as a Taxi Driver - Do I Write That in My Resume?

Recently I have been taken to work by a taxi driver who started asking me questions about the company I work for when hearing about my destination. I didn't mind and I replied and when he heard that I work in the Human Resources Department he was so happy and asked for advice about building his resume.

His question was - if I apply for the position of Help-desk Analyst should I mention that I was a taxi driver in the UK for a few months or it affects me in a negative manner? My reply was - write in your resume relevant information for the position you are applying for.

In his case, he was applying for a position requiring fluent English. I told him to mention the taxi driver position, but the emphasis should be on "UK", not on "taxi driver". We hire people speaking great English and if he mentions that he has been working in the UK, this obviously shows that he knows some English, the level needs to be determined later on, but this information will at least convince us to call him for an interview.

So, write in your resume all the information relevant for the position. If the position is that of Gardener, you have never worked before as professional gardener, but are passionate about gardening and your own garden, mention that and put less emphasis on your other positions as bartender, flight attendant or whatever. Mention those to avoid questions like "What did you do during these two years that don't appear in your resume?", but don't offer too many details.

Focus on the position requirements and offer as many details as you can on those.
For example, if you are Computer Science Graduate, work currently in Finance, but hope for a position of Software Tester, mention your studies, offer some details relevant to the position you want, and also mention all the extra training that you have done by yourself or the books you read, anything relevant showing that you are preparing for the position you want. Mention your current position only by name, time frame and compress your current responsibilities if not relevant in 1, maximum 2 lines, just to show that you are working, but that's it. They will ask if they want more information.

The purpose of the resume is to buy you an interview. If you give too much irrelevant information, chances are they won't even bother to read it. Don't lie in your resume (NEVER!!), because information can be verified, but limit the volume of irrelevant information.

Good luck and take care,


Best HR Junior Blog 2012

Hi everybody,

We are launching now the first edition of the "Best HR Junior Blog" Awards - Best HR Junior blog of 2012.

I got the idea while browsing through the web in search of lists with best HR blogs. I was disappointed to see that most of them include only old blogs with years of posts and tradition. No chance for a new ambitious blogger to be in there. It's a pity so we decided to start such a series to offer new HR bloggers the chance to shine.

So, here are the rules for 2012:
- you can nominate yourself if you think you deserve a spot or you can nominate a blog you follow for a while and like; nominations are received at: georgianaflorina@gmail.com (for Geo Mihalache);
- nominations are accepted until January 31st, 18.00 EEST (GMT +2);
- nominated blogs will be registered and shown here as they come;
- results will be shown here on February 18th 2012;
- we will select one "Best HR Junior Blog 2012" and add the next 9 positions to be displayed here as finalists;
- blogs can't be older than January 2012 and younger than July 2012 (meaning that all blogs started between January and July 2012 - included - can be nominated);
- blog must be HR related only - we don't accept blogs that write about everything (HR, IT, food, travel, etc.) - all posts must have some connection to HR;
- consistent blogs only are accepted - meaning that you must have at least one post each month (minimum 6 posts); however, the more, the better as it will give us a chance to see how good you are;
- original posts only are accepted - no copy - paste from other blogs;
- practical advice that people can actually use earns more points;
- location of blogger is not important as long as the blog is good and useful.

Criteria of selection:
- number of posts - the more, the better;
- practical usage of information in posts - ideas than can actually be put into practice from your posts earn you more points;
- number of valid comments - this means that people are interested in your posts;
- clean design - posts are easy to navigate, you have a clear menu and the user can easily find what he wants, you don't suffocate the user with commercial ads;
- willingness to actually help people - a blog that aims at people not at money.

I will come back during the following days with more details concerning the criteria - I will publish a clear list of criteria with percentages so that rating is transparent for everybody.

So, please start your nominations.

Kind Regards,


How To Create an Effective Employee Engagement Survey

Employee Surveys are used in a lot of large and small companies. Their objective is to evaluate employee engagement, motivation, company strengths, weaknesses and to offer the employees a simple (and most of the times anonymous) tool to express their opinion and suggest improvement ideas.

The effectiveness of any survey you may decide to apply in your company depends on a series of simple factors:
- proper communication: tell the employees that a survey will be conducted (offer details concerning purpose, length, expectations), tell the employees that the purpose is to offer them the possibility to speak their mind and that it will NOT be used against them;
- sharing the results - always share results and keep employees updated - otherwise, the second survey you send will be ignored;
- sharing the action plan - tell the employees that you have prepared an action plan and keep them updated on the way it is being implemented; involve some of them in the implementation plan where possible;
- employee involvement in decision making - involve employees where possible in the creation of the action plan; if they receive the action plan already made, chances are they will not embrace it; if they come with some of the ideas, for sure they will help implement them;
- time frames - try not to organize surveys every month - everybody will get bored and eventually stop opening your emails; a large survey once a year is more than enough; also, give the people plenty of time to open the survey and reply - depending on the number of questions, try to give them 2-3 weeks for 20-30 questions and up to one month and a half for over 60-70 questions; also, remember to consider people on vacation, business trips or sick leave - give them a chance to speak their mind too.
- reminders - people tend to forget all about tasks that are not urgent; reminders once a week or once in 2 weeks help.

In terms of questions, please find below a few ideas. You can use them as they are, delete some or add more.

Engagement Profile All in all, I am satisfied with [Company name] as a company.
Engagement Profile I am proud to work for [Company name].
Engagement Profile I plan to continue my career with [Company name].
Engagement Profile I would recommend [Company name] as a place to work to a friend or colleague.
Attitude Towards Client/Company Client problems are dealt with quickly.
Attitude Towards Client/Company I believe that our professional excellence differentiates us from our competitors.
Attitude Towards Client/Company I feel personally responsible for my clients' satisfaction.
Attitude Towards Client/Company We convert our clients' suggestions and complaints into improved services and/or deliverables.
Communication I am well informed about what is happening in [Company name].
Communication I have a good understanding of the overall strategy and objectives of my business area. 
Communication I have been adequately informed about the results of the past employee survey and actions have been taken in response to the survey findings.
Communication I see a clear link between my objectives and the objectives of my business area. 
Communication In my day to day job, everyone is encouraged to openly express his/her opinions.
Communication The leadership of my business area has communicated a vision of the future that motivates me. 
Communication There is open and honest two-way communication in my business area. 
Communication I can easily get the information I need to do a good job.
Compensation & Benefits My compensation is in line with my role and the market.
CSR I feel [Company name] is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen (e.g. working with communities and charities like Naandi/Planet Finance, reducing our environmental impact, working with our clients on sustainability issues, e.g. Green IT).
Ethical Business [Company name] shows a commitment to ethical business decisions and conduct.
Ethical Business I feel that [Company name] encourages diversity.
Ethical Business I feel that [Company name] gives opportunities to everyone.
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Average time spent at work
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Bonus and rewards system for holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.)
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Bonus system for results recognition
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Budget for travelling
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Company headquarters
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Conditions for physichal recreation
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Conditions of periodical recreation (trips, parties, etc.)
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Conditions of serving lunch
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Degree of information upon company results
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Degree of responsibility on the job
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Feedback from direct manager
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Good initial training (Induction)
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Internal opportunities to develop your career
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... IT support
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Meeting efficiency
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Opportunites to develop technical/specialist skills
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Other material benefits (car, bonuses, etc.)
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Overtime compensation system
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Promotions system within the company
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Quality of collaborating with HR
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Quality of collaborating with IT
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Quality of collaborating with other departments
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Quality of collaborating with top management
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Recognition of my results
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Recreation spaces
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Respect the employee is treated with
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Safety of position
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Salary increase system
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Salary level
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Support offered during the activity
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... The Office
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... The way knowledge is transmitted within the company
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Training system offered periodically
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Transportation facilities
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Work atmosphere
Main Motivators I am motivated a lot by ... Work itself
Management  All in all, I am satisfied with my manager.
Management  I am encouraged to be creative and innovative in my work.
Management  I am sufficiently involved in decisions that affect my work.
Management  I get the necessary support from my manager to be able to carry out my assignments.
Management  I trust my manager.
Management  I trust the senior leadership of [Company name].
Management  My manager clearly communicates what is expected of me.
Management  My manager deals appropriately with poor performance.
Management  My manager encourages me to contribute, re-use and share knowledge.
Management  My manager is an effective leader.
Management  My manager is committed to providing high quality services to our clients.
Management  My manager supports and practices high standards of ethical conduct.
Management  My manager supports my professional and personal development.
Management  My manager treats me with respect.
Performance Evaluation and Recognition I understand how my performance is measured and evaluated.
Performance Evaluation and Recognition In my business area, poor performance is dealt with appropriately. 
Performance Evaluation and Recognition My last performance review was conducted in a fair and reasonable way.
Performance Evaluation and Recognition Outstanding performance is recognized appropriately.
Performance Evaluation and Recognition Throughout the year my manager gives me useful feedback on how I can improve my performance.
Professional Development All in all, I am satisfied with my opportunities for professional development in [Company name].
Professional Development I have the training I need to do my job effectively.
Professional Development New employees receive the training necessary to perform their jobs effectively.
Professional Development The training I receive in [Company name] allows me to develop my competencies for my current and future roles.
Team work There is good collaboration and teamwork within [Company name]. 
Team work I feel that I am part of a team.
Tools I have the tools, equipment and support I need to do a good job (technology, equipment, knowledge database, templates, methodologies, quality processes, helpdesk).
Work-Life Balance I am able to balance the needs of work and personal life.

In terms of statistics, try to use the Likert scale for answers. It looks like this:
1- I stronlgy agree
2 - I agree
3 - Neutral
4 - I disagree
5 - I strongly disagree

If you have only a small number of employees and a small number of questions, processing the data internally is simple and you can do it even on paper with paper surveys and then insert the data in a small spreadsheet. However, a large number of employees (let's say 100+) requires a huge amount of time and effort to process all surveys. A dedicated software or even an external company can help you. Just for your information - I work in a company with 120 000 + employees throughout the world and our survey has over 80 questions - imagine the amount of data there! We use an external provider.

In terms of interpreting the results, add the positive answers on each question (or area).
I.e. Calculation of Engagement profile in your company - see how many employees answered with 1 (Strongly agree) and 2 (Agree) to questions 1 up to 4 above. The highest the score, the better.

Your action plan should focus on the questions/areas with lowest results. Try to ask people what's wrong and why did they give low ratings - maybe they didn't understand the questions or maybe there's a problem in your company that you don't know about.

All in all, I strongly recommend employee surveys. If you need my help with anything, please feel free to ask. I am going right now through my third yearly survey and we do it seriously.

Take care,


Motivating Your Employees - Opening the Johari Window

A good manager is the one that people know and trust, the one that people are not afraid to share ideas, thoughts and fears with, the one that shows not only strengths but also weaknesses. Good communication is a critical key in a team. Only when your teams knows you, they will trust your decisions even when you are not allowed to share all the details with them.

A good tool to build engagement and motivate your employees is opening the Johari window.
What on Earth is that you may ask?

Well, you can find a lot of great details about it on Wikipedia if you want to go in further detail. It's a concept developed by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in the US, in the 50s. I will not detail it too much - I will just tell you that from the table below which represents the Johari window, you need to start opening the Hidden area, the area which includes all the items you know about yourself and that others don't and would be useful to know for the well-being of your team.

The Johari Window
The Johari Window
All nice so far, but what to do exactly to open this area?
I will tell you what I did. I created a set of open questions, some work-related and some personal that we all answer during our weekly meetings.

At the end of each regular weekly HR meeting where we discuss important items for our department, I bring out a set of 5 questions that each of us has to answer (refusal is of course an option - nobody is forced to do it, but answering allows us to know each other better and allows the ladies in the team to know me better and understand my decisions).

5 questions in a session are enough because answering them (we are 4 people) takes us around 15-20 minutes, so that's enough for one session. You can use our ideas or create your own questions - the idea is to start communicating with each other and share thoughts and ideas, know each other better, know what you like or dislike and understand your fears and reasons for being proud - the purpose of the exercise is to bring the team together and create stronger bonds.

Ideas of questions to use:
1. What I like most in this company is that...
2. What I would improve in the way our team works is.....
3. What I like about you best is ... (here each member of the team tells each of the others what they like best)
4. The positive items that I bring to this team are...
5. What I would improve about myself is.......
6. I find it difficult to work with people that...
7. I would like you to support me when...
8. The most difficult thing about my work is...
9. During week-ends I love to...
10. I find balance in life doing.....

The list is practically endless - you can put in it whatever you can think of. Just make sure to insert personal details as well not only work-related; the team is stronger if the members have personal connections as well, not only work-related. And use it as often as you can. You will be surprised to see how many new things you discover about each other.

Take care,


Recruitment ABCs - All in One File

Dear all,

For all of you who think about becoming a recruiter but don't know what lies ahead, I have put together one file that will help you decide - you will find out details about what tasks you will be performing as a recruiter, what oportunities you have, what threats, what abilities you need and what kind of companies can employ you.

You can download the file here:

Enjoy and Take care,