Friday, February 4, 2011

What do you do?

The new job I have seems to bring out this question often. It happens a LOT at the actual place I work coupled with friends and even in some cases family.

I've had someone very close to me tell me that Human Resources is essentially useless. (That totally didn't hurt my feelings MICAH)

And I get it. Most people think Human Resources is benefits. Health stuff right? So what do you do the other 99% of your time since there are only 36 employees at the company?

So let me share with everyone else what a person working for a small business in HR actually DOES with her time.

I actually do VERY little with benefits if you must know. But I am responsible for negotiating with the broker to get affordable yet good benefits for our employees. Having a good benefits package makes us competitive and we need to be competitive to get the best employees. I am also responsible for knowing the plans inside and out so that when an employee comes to me with a question I can answer it or tell them where to go for better information. So I need to know 3 different medical plans, 2 different dental plans and life insurance pricing (for us and the employees) and I need to pull the information out at a moments notice.

I hire people. A job which, until 4 weeks ago I'd never done. Hiring itself isn't too difficult but the interviews are BRUTAL. I hate them. You'd never know that if you were sitting in a room with me during an interview but goodness I loathe them. I think the biggest problem is that I'm hiring for entry level positions in a crappy economy. The whole economy thing SEEMS like it would help but it doesn't. Because the economy sucks (recovery is slow) unemployment was extended so now I have to try and compete with unemployment in terms of pay and let me tell you that there are a LOT of people out there who would rather sit at home and make slightly less with unemployment that work, at least at this job.

So I page through literally HUNDREDS of resumes (Over 300 on the last ad I placed. Which I rewrote. Another thing that I "do".) and maybe I get 10 that I like. Because people need only send their resume to show to overwhelmed unemployment that they are looking for work I get TONS where they aren't qualified or are WAY over qualified. I send those 10 to the manager of the department I'm hiring for. She says yes, bring them in for an interview. I call all 10 people. On average I speak with 8 of them, 2 don't bother to answer the phone or call me back. I do at LEAST a 10 minute phone interview with them explaining the job, the hours we are open and asking them questions. Assuming that goes well I ask them in for an interview. Let's say I ask all 8 because pickings are slim. Fully HALF won't show up. That's an average and this last posting went MUCH better in terms of applicants showing up but this has been my overall average. Half of them don't show.

So now I have to interview in person 4 people. Which means more/new questions and I interview in tandem, usually with the manager of the department but sometimes the Vice President of the company if she's not available. While they are busy asking questions such as "Can you work on Saturday?" I'm busy asking "What motivates you as an employee?". Interviews on average go 30 minutes. HOPEFULLY the manager likes one enough to offer a position to, which I will do for her either later that day or the next day. Then I have to call my other 3 interviewees and tell them thanks but no thanks.

Then I have to process their background check information, walk them through the new hire paperwork and facilitate their new hire orientation and training. Which doesn't exist. Well, it does, kind of. I've been busy creating it for the last couple of weeks. And by creating it, I mean I wrote a training program called "First Impressions Matter" for both the dispatch folks and the plumbers. I've also taken a TON of new hire training online that they now have to complete. Things like safety but also things like sexual harassment and customer service skills. I've developed a 2 day on boarding program that never existed before.

I've rewritten the company's employee manual. I've made us ready to be in compliance with laws that aren't applicable to us. Yet. They will be if we hire another 15 people. Which is a goal we have.

Oh, I'm working on creating goals for employees. They've never had them. Their interview process has been about what they've done but there has never been a planning or expectation process for the employees. That's the focus for February.

I file. I type. I spend 3 hours on the phone and Internet trying to secure a government contract.

And let's be honest, I'm not really even talking about the human part of Human Resources yet.



Wow - that's really impressive. Keep up the good work!
Aunt Connie

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