Posted by . In topics: Your Business

Synopsis: It’s found in every large business, but when should your growing company actually create an HR department? We give some thoughts on the debate.

It’s sort of surprising when you research Human Resource Departments, and see what experts think is the right time to put together a dedicated area of the business focused on the employees. What’s surprising about it is just how specific the experts are because they say that at 50 employees you should then create a HR department. That’s about as straightforward answer as I’ve ever seen, when discussing small business issues.

But is that really right? After all, I’ve worked in organizations of about 15 employees that had HR. And the department of one stayed busy. I’ve also spent time in large organizations, where the HR department seemed non-existent. So what’s the right situation?

First, you need to ask yourself ‘why would you want HR?’

It’s a more difficult question to answer than you might expect. After all, HR can take the lead in hiring or they can handle employee morale, training or instead deal with payroll. It really depends on where you think they’re needed the most.

But in growing companies, like yours, the idea of putting the act of hiring into someone else’s hands may seem risky. Since every employee you hire is so important to the overall organization, do you really want to put the act of picking talent in the employees that don’t handle mission-critical responsibilities within the company? Meaning, they’re not there to manage those that bring in the revenue, so do they have the best knowledge about who and what expertise your next hire should have? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s risky. Read more »


Posted by . In topics: Your Business

Synopsis: Do you have a test that weeds out potential future employees from the rest of the pack? Maybe you should. Here’s why.

If you’re looking for a sign of a productive employee, where do you focus? Is it their past? Their school? Their references? According to a new report by the data analytics firm Evolv, you should peer towards the candidates’ social media use, that’s if you work in a call center.

In the study, Evolv sent a survey to all of its clients that have employees at call centers. Based on the responses, the company found that if an employee was on five or more social media networks, then s/he had 1.6% higher sales conversion than the rest of the organization and 2.8% average shorter call time.

That’s strange. But Evolv couldn’t come up with an causation for the results, according to Inc.com. And that’s okay, because what this shows is a way to test future employees. For some reason, more productive call center employees often have at least five social networks. If I ran a business that used call centers, then I would look for employees that had that characteristic.

There’s an old story about Van Halen, and how they would always put in their contracts with venues that they wanted M&Ms included in their backstage buffet, but the bowl could not contain any brown ones. If it contained a single brown M&M, then good-bye, no show that night. People heard this and jumped on the band for being spoiled rocks stars. But, it wasn’t the case. Read more »

Posted by . In topics: Advertising · Radio · The Economy

Anyone who’s had an opening or two recently has probably seen hundreds of resumes.  More than a few from folks who have enough experience to run the place.  And we certainly can’t complain about salary needs: recruits are demanding much less than they were several years ago.

So what’s the problem?

There’s a funny thing about our 10%+ unemployment economy:  it hasn’t gotten that much easier to find great employees.

If you’ve been in business for a while, you know that hiring now is tricky for two reasons.  First, most of the overqualified applicants aren’t going to stick around when the job market turns this year or next.  And second, the true cost of labor includes 1) the training that goes into replacing them and 2) the lost productivity that comes from having unfilled positions and/or a less-than-perfect fit.  When you consider these costs, our current ability to pick through the low-hanging fruit isn’t as compelling as it seems. Read more »