Tuesday, July 9, 2013

This is it!

I knew I wasn't the first to come up with this analogy, but here is probably the best article I've read about it!
What I Learned About Interviewing From Dating

From the outset, whether it’s a first date or an interview, there’s a mix of euphoria, anxiety and a thousand “what ifs.” And keeping all those things in check can be the difference between success and failure.
Great, great article! Couldn't have said it all better myself!

Friday, June 28, 2013

LinkedIn for Dating

So, if LinkedIn is pretty successful for finding jobs, are online dating sites successful for finding dates (or more)?

Since I successfully found my current job via LinkedIn, and I've given the Speed Dating a try, I've decided to venture into the Online Dating world.

LinkedIn is great. You can connect with people in similar fields, similar education, similar interests. It's all professional. You can see their work accomplishments and recommendations from others. And passing on someone is completely harmless. No one has to know that you're seeing their information and thinking "NO WAY!"

So, thanks to a deal from Groupon, I signed up for Match.com for a month. Why not? (Don't worry, family, I'm being completely safe with it!) So far, it's pretty cool. And it's really easy to sort out the 'dud' guys since you share so much information from the beginning. You list your information (but only as much as you want and no identifying information, don't worry family!), then what you're looking for in a match as well (ie: No Smokers...dealbreaker!). So, if you're searching and are completely not interested, no harm!

We'll see how this little experiment goes. I never thought I'd be 'desperate enough' to do this. And I'm not desperate. Here's my reasoning:

  • The negative view of online dating have changed
  • I've met a number of couples who met each other online
  • Being in a bigger city, there's just no good way to meet guys. 
  • You know all the Online Dating horror stories? You know...the "they lied about who they were", "they had a secret kid", etc? Well, I've already experienced those through traditional dating!
  • If it's good enough for Martha, it's good enough for me!
So why not try this out?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

HR Advice From My Dad and Grandfather

When I was little and friends would ask what my dad did, since I didn't really know what HR was, I would say "He's the one who hires and fires people!" 

Being the 3rd generation to go into HR has provided me with all kinds of advice growing up. Of course, my dad tried to talk me out of going into HR, but apparently it was in my blood.

Once I started to become interested in HR, I learned some more tips from my dad. One of his biggest suggestions to anyone wanting to go into HR was "If you think you like HR because you're a 'people person', you're going to be disappointed". That was one of the first things I learned. HR people have to fire people, discipline employees, and give bad news just as much as any good news. Being a "people person" makes it sound like you're only in it for the good news or to socialize. There's much more to it than that!

Along those lines, Dad always said, as much as he didn't like having to fire people, he would rather do it himself and do it the right way. He wanted them to still respect him and the company after it was all said and done. I haven't had to experience that situation yet, but I hope when I do, I can use my dad's "method".

My friends all know that I love my analogies. Usually it's to a scene in a favorite tv show or movie. But when I find that perfect analogy to any situation, I take it and run with it. Dad provided me with the greatest one yet, which I've adapted to this blog: HR/Job Searching/Recruiting is like Dating. I love that. What better comparison for a single, hopeless romantic girl in her 20s?!

Even though I'm new to the field, so far it's been fun to be able to share HR with my dad. Some Dads share sports, or hobbies like hunting or fishing with their daughters. I'm lucky to be able to share, among many things, our profession and interest in HR!

One of my favorite stories to tell is when my dad found out he was following in his late father's footsteps. When Dad was in college and decided to study HR, he called home to his mom to tell her the good news. Her response was "Did you know that's what your dad did?" He didn't know.

Lastly, to share something very special:
Going through some old family momentos a couple years ago before my last year in college, we found this letter that my grandfather wrote to his sister as she was getting ready to graduate from college in 1949. In it is all kinds of job searching advice from her older brother, in personnel. Having never met my grandfather, it was so special to read these words, which were really so timeless. I felt like he could have been writing these tips to me, his granddaughter:

March 17, 1949
Dear Joann,

First of all, congratulations to the new Phi Beta Kappa member. That certainly is an honor which your hard work, and only you know how hard, has earned. We all are certainly proud of you.

Ed Smith and Wayne LaPoe told me of their short visit with you. They were both quite impressed and received some very good comments from members of the faculty concerning your ability and personality. I’m glad you got a chance to talk a bit with them, for you probably learned a few things from them and also got to see the type of people I have the good fortune to work with at Armstrong.
After talking with Ed Smith and from my own observations, I’ll try to outline a few things which may be of help to you.

First of all, in seeking a position remember that you are selling a service to your potential employer – that service is your ability, both present and future after experience and training. With all of your excellent qualifications, you really have something to sell. Go about it in a thorough way, being both modest (as opposed to the cocky attitude a few college students unfortunately have when seeking employment) and aggressive (alert and friendly). Find out all you can about each company with whose representatives you may have an interview, both before the interview and during it.

On the other side, knowing your own ability, don’t ever become discouraged should you not land a job as a result of your first try. You see, there has to be a job open before you have a chance to do any selling. Then it’s a matter of convincing them that you are the person for the job providing it is the one you want the people are the type you want to work with.

Now for the type of work to look for – I’d say that your best chances lie in the three fields of personnel work. First I would put secretarial work in a personnel department, for in such a position you stand a better chance of learning more and proving your ability for a promotion to employment, counseling work, etc. Being a secretary to a personnel executive would give you this opportunity.

The next two are about equal – personnel work in a fairly large retail store, such as Marshall Field or Carson, Piere, Scott, for women have a better chance of advancing in retail personnel that in industrial personnel; or, if you want to get into industrial personnel, I’d suggest (other than the secretarial work) trying for something like test technician, providing you like statistical work.

You will probably be able to get some help from the Grinnell placement bureau (I think Mr. G. L. Duke is the man to see). Even if they don’t have specific openings on their lists, they will be able to give you advice concerning the best person to contact in various organizations and how to go about applying.

Also, I’d find out which are the best employment agencies in Chicago, Peoria, Des Moines, Davenport, Bloomington, or Indianapolis. These agencies, if they are good ones, often have contacts for better jobs. As their fee for obtaining a job they usually receive a part of your first few month’s salary. So, if you got a better job through them, the extra salary might more than pay for their services. Your Grinnell placement people can probably give you the names of these agencies. One good one which we use is A. J. McCoy & Associates, Inc. in Chicago.

The usual procedure in seeking a job is to write a letter which will attract interest enough to warrant an interview. Many companies, if they are interested, will pay for your travel expense to and from the place of the interview. In your letter, which should be short and to the point, you should include the following:
1. Why you want to work for that company.
2. What you have to offer that company that is out of the ordinary.
3. What type of position you are interested in.
4. Definite request for an application blank and a personal interview at a time and place convenient to them (as a clincher in the last paragraph).

Attaching a persona data sheet, such as the one I’m attaching, is better than trying to cover all of your qualifications in the letter itself. Furthermore, most companies have a standard application blank which they will request you to complete if they are interested; but the personal data sheet will attract their immediate attention when accompanying your first letter so that they will send the application blank for further data and give you an interview.

Jody, there isn’t much else I can tell you, Remember to dress neatly (you’d do that anyway) for the interviews and also remember that an employment interviewer is your friend. They have the duty of getting as much information about you as possible before they do any hiring, so be as helpful and courteous as possible. Their questions won’t be the type to trick you, but to get that needed information. And, if they should not happen to give you the impression that they do not represent the type of employer you are seeking, you don’t have to go along with them, for there are plenty of fish in the sea for a person with your qualifications.

Oh yes, one more thing. Frequently they will ask you what salary you expect to start. Sometimes I’ve thought that a rather unfair question to ask an applicant, for most jobs have a starting salary or a starting salary range. Should they ask you this question before an interview, tell them “at the Company’s discretion.” Then when you have the interview and they tell you the rate of the job, you can decide whether it is sufficient. Off hand I should say that you should get $175 to $200 at the very minimum to start, but get them to quote the figure first. You see, should they ask you how much you want, and you should say $200 when the starting rate is $190, they might drop you from consideration; or on the other side, if you should say $200 and the starting rate is $225 you might lose the extra $25.

So, happy hunting. Use plenty of arrows, don’t get discouraged if you miss the target once in a while, take careful aim each time, and should you hit the target, give plenty of consideration before marking up the score.

With Frances’ operation and my sinus trouble and colds, we have had quite a time of it these past few weeks. Frances is pretty well back on her feet again; this being her second week back at work. She will resign her position May 1 so that she can go back to Knoxville to prepare for the wedding. As June 11 approaches, we find ourselves busier and busier. Tomorrow we start the task of locating a place to live. In Lancaster such places as we would like are scarcer than hen’s teeth, so we know we have a struggle ahead of us.

Hope you enjoy your last few weeks at Grinnell and that you find they type of position which you bring you happiness and satisfaction.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Office Romance

To quote a recent article I read (and is posted on my Articles page):
"If you were an alien whose only ideas of earth were gleaned through television programs, you'd assume that the workplace is populated by two types of people: the hilarious and the promiscuous. (And sometimes, those people are one and the same.) Also, you'd assume that no one ever does any actual work."
It's so true. I just finished watching The Mindy Project (which I LOVE) and it backs up this statement so much. I mean, look at The Office, after all! It's the entire premises of the show! Yes, the shows are hilarious and somewhat true to life, even if a bit over dramatized.

One factor of attraction is proximity. That's why we're sometimes attracted to people in our classes, people we spend a lot of time with....or even co-workers.

As a single girl, but also an HR Professional, this adds another level of complexity to the job. On one hand, yes, it'd be great to date someone I'd see the majority of the day. I mean, you often see your coworkers more than those you live with after all! Plus, I'm a total hopeless romantic and how cute would it be to actually recruit/hire my boyfriend?! AND with all the information I handle in the HR department, I'd have all those answers I'd want to know...how much money do you make, how good are your job prospects, do you have some sexy coworker I should be jealous of? (kidding...) But seriously, company policies aside, I know it would be extremely inappropriate for me to date a coworker BECAUSE OF all the confidential information I handle in the HR department. My best friend at work has asked me a couple times if there is anyone at work I'm interested in. Sure, there are some nice, good looking, straight guys around my age at my organization, but there's a subconscious wall I put up between me and them because I work with them.

So, I guess that's the nature of HR. Maybe I should utilize them for company & dating referrals...

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Many recruitment books and articles explain that one of the best ways to find great employees is through an employee referral program. We have one and employees utilize it. It makes sense: who better to find great people to work for us than great people who already work for us? They know our values, the team members they'd work with, the type of work (basically) they'd be doing...it can be an excellent pre-assessment of fit.

This is why I have a standing "request" with the guys I work with at the rink to find me a boyfriend. (The guys I work with at the rink are either too young for me or already in serious relationships, hence the friend referral...) I still have yet to see how this works out, but I have hope in it. I trust them and know they'll look out for me. (ie: One of the guys suggested a friend on their hockey team and one of the others said "aw, no, don't do that to her!" "You don't think that'd work out?" "I can't stand him...you think she could?!")

So, I'll keep you posted how this referral 'program' work out!