Category Archives: Find Me Elsewhere

Process Improvement, Presenting Naked, and More (Guest Post Blitz)

I went on a blogging spree a few weeks back and wanted to give a heads up if you don’t read these other fabulous blogs. Check out the 5 posts I wrote and let me know if any of them are helpful, interesting, informative, etc.

Why process improvement matters

Omega HR Solutions-Here I talk about the importance of making time to work “on your area” instead of just “in your area.” It’s a problem small business owners face that we could all use a lesson on. Thanks to Mike Haberman for letting me share with his readers!

Hiring is everything

A Leading Solution-In this post I discuss an amazing software company that has a fanatical approach to hiring. They even take the approach that enough time spent hiring can virtually remove the need for managing staff. Neat ideas here. Thanks to Heather Kinzie for letting me share with his readers!

Presenting naked

HR Ringleader-Ever presented naked? It’s liberating and will change how you think about speaking/presenting. Yes, you know you want to click through to this one. Thanks to Trish McFarlane for letting me share with his readers!

Leveraging generations for organizational change

HR Official-In this post I discuss the important role different generations can play in organizational change initiatives. Hint: use those comfortable with change to champion your cause. Thanks to Dave Ryan for letting me share with his readers!

Social responsibility is crap

Tim Sackett Project-In this post I talk about the push for businesses to “give back” and be “socially responsible.” It’s a thought provoking piece where I encourage leaders to focus on the business first before other areas. After all, employing 50 people is better than providing meals for 50 people, right? Makes you think… Thanks to Tim Sackett for letting me share with his readers!

Fun fact: If you count all the articles I’ve written and include the guest posts like these, the running total is over 675! What the heck have I been rambling about all this time? :-)

The Little Things and Unemployed HR Pros-Guest Post Blitz #10

What do focusing on the “little” details and social media for unemployed HR pros have in common? They’re two of the guest posts that I’ve written lately!

Please check them out and leave a comment. I know that Charlie and Robin would definitely appreciate it.

  • Nothing bigger than the little things-I look at how the “little” things are what makes a company successful (or not) in the long term. Here’s a sample: Some people will tell you the “little” things like that don\’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I would counter that those “little” things are what great companies are made of. Click here to read the rest of this post
  • Unemployed HR people: take note-In this post I discuss a reader question and offer some advice to those HR/recruiting pros who are unemployed and looking for work. Here’s a taste: I don\’t think social media is the answer to all problems. I think the majority of people using social media could not get a job offer directly through that method. Click here to read the rest of this post

These guest posts went live (fairly recently) elsewhere that you may have missed. Some of them might be a bit different flavor than the usual upstartHR offerings, so be sure to check them out! If you\’re interested in seeing some of my previous escapades, click here for the Guest Post Blitz archive to see other mildly entertaining posts like these. :-)

Finding the Right Cultural Fit

Tough fitEver play Tetris before? The goal is to line up geometric figures in complete lines to earn points. Making things fit is the name of the game.

The image on the left is a joke, because it’s simply not possible to complete a line with the rounded bottom.

In other words, success is impossible.

As recruiters and HR pros, we do our best to get people into our organizations that fit our culture. Sometimes it’s extremely frustrating when you find someone who looks like an all star but isn’t the right cultural fit for your business.

Trying to force a fit in this situation isn’t going to make things work. And that isn’t necessarily your fault.

Sometimes people just won’t fit.

But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. That’s what separates Zappos from Wal-Mart. Keep that in mind.

Image credit: XKCD

Originally written as a guest post for Chris Ferdinandi over at

Uncovering manager development opportunities

manager trainingManagers need development like any other employee, but sometimes it is difficult to find out just what they want or need to learn. Click the link for part two in the series on how to develop managers.

Recently I've realized that one of the biggest needs we have as an organization is manager training. We have supervisors who have forgotten what it's like to be human, new managers with little or no experience in the role, and ones who keep screwing up even the most basic of leadership tenets.

In other words, we need it bad.

But when I brought up the idea of offering a survey to the managers to help figure out the development holes that need to be filled, I quickly realized the fallacy of that wide open approach.

  • Some managers would say they didn't need any training
  • Some managers would say they needed training in irrelevant/impractical areas
  • Some managers would immediately become defensive

So just saying “What do you want to do better?” isn't an option. But there's a better way to do ask the question and still get a solid response.

The question I usually ask when I am looking for stealth development opportunities is this: “What is your biggest frustration as a manager?”

That opens the door to all kinds of answers, and I've never met a single manager who didn't have a heartfelt response (or a dozen!) to that question. Those answers will help guide the process from there. For instance:

  • My biggest frustration is dealing with apathetic employees. This opens the door to providing some training on leadership skills and ways to motivate and inspire their people.
  • My biggest frustration is hiring poor performers. This is an opportunity to work with them on interviewing techniques to select the best people.
  • My biggest frustration is [insert problem here].

You get the picture. Instead of having to start from scratch, let them tell you what they need in terms of development and training. Then give it to them.

How do you identify manager training needs? More importantly, how do the managers respond?

Illegal interview questions and manager training-Guest Post Blitz #9

What do illegal interview questions, video training for managers, and required reading lists for employees have in common? They are all guest posts I’ve done in the past little while! Looks like I’m a little schizophrenic with the varying topics, but each post has its own merits.

These guest posts went live (fairly recently) elsewhere that you may have missed. Some of them might be a bit different flavor than the usual upstartHR offerings, so be sure to check them out! If you\’re interested in seeing some of my previous escapades, click here for the Guest Post Blitz archive.

Here’s a new hire program I can get behind. Employees are required to read books as a way to introduce them to the culture and encourage them to keep professional development on their radar. Thanks to Matt at Monster Thinking for letting me share!

My friend JT at Careerealism shared this question with me and I just couldn’t pass it up. It sounded like an episode of Jerry Springer and the title is “Can I get fired for this?” The funny thing is I had to read the question ten times and diagram the situation so I could understand and respond.

Ever wondered if those interview questions about when you graduated school are actually legal? I hit on that in this post for Careerealism. (Hint: the question itself isn’t illegal, it’s what you do with it that counts).

This one’s so new it still has the bubble wrap on it. I ran into a snag when I was looking at developing a social recruiting plan for my employer. Apparently social recruiting doesn’t work for everyone. Would love some comments on this one.

Over on RocketHR I posted about creating and distributing video training for managers on an as-needed basis. Having trouble with conflict resolution? Send them the video with some tips and tricks to doing that better. Need some assistance with giving feedback to staff? There’s a video for that one, too.

And finally, I’ve had a lot of comments in person on this post about who is HR’s customer. Is it the employee? The manager? The job candidate? Senior leadership? The garbage man? Yeah, there are a lot of facets to consider and this one isn’t a simple question to answer.

DriveThruHR-remote training, certification value, and more

Whew! As you can tell by the title, we covered a lot of stuff today. Wait, you didn’t hear? I was the guest today on DriveThruHR with Bryan Wempen and William Tincup. We talked about the day job (manager training and selecting a performance management tool), HR certification and its value to employers and professionals, HRevolution, Project:Social, and more. I highly recommend it not because I talk a lot, but because there are some great tips in there for getting involved and making a difference in your own piece of the world.

Click here to listen to the episode