The Everything HR Kit: A Complete Guide to Attracting, Retaining, and Motivating High-Performance Employees [NOOK Book]


Whether or not an organization has a Human Resources department, chances are it could benefit from some informed, practical and cutting edge HR know-how. The Everything HR Kit paves the way for any company-large or small-to reduce employee turnover, improve the quality of its people, and successfully manage their performance. This user-friendly guide takes readers step-by-step through all the best practices of recruiting, interviewing, screening, selecting, and managing employee performance. The accompanying CD ...
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The Everything HR Kit: A Complete Guide to Attracting, Retaining, and Motivating High-Performance Employees

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Whether or not an organization has a Human Resources department, chances are it could benefit from some informed, practical and cutting edge HR know-how. The Everything HR Kit paves the way for any company-large or small-to reduce employee turnover, improve the quality of its people, and successfully manage their performance. This user-friendly guide takes readers step-by-step through all the best practices of recruiting, interviewing, screening, selecting, and managing employee performance. The accompanying CD features a plethora of forms, assessments, and other key documents a well-run HR department needs, including sample: Recruitment brochures
• Job descriptions
• Interview worksheets
• Candidate assessment forms
• Orientation checklists
• Employee handbooks
• Performance evaluation and training matrices
• Employee perception surveys
• Exit checklists, letters, and worksheets
• Action plans Filled with customizable tools and practical guidance, this is a handy and essential toolkit that will improve the HR-related processes in any organization.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814416105
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 8/30/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,219,365
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

JOHN PUTZIER (Prospect, PA) is president of FirStep, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in workplace performance. A prolific and popular speaker, he is the author of Get Weird! (978-0-8144-7114-2) and Weirdos in the Workplace.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Making the Case....................1
Part 1. Preemployment/Recruitment....................13
Chapter 1: Preliminary Tools....................15
Chapter 2: Recruitment....................27
Chapter 3: The Interview Process....................50
Chapter 4: Conducting the Interview....................67
Chapter 5: Assessment....................89
Chapter 6: Reference Checking....................97
Chapter 7: Drug Testing....................102
Chapter 8: Immigration....................107
Chapter 9: Benefits....................117
Chapter 10: New-Employee Orientation (aka On-Boarding)....................142
Chapter 11: Employee Handbooks....................153
Chapter 12: Federal Labor Laws....................162
Chapter 13: Performance Management....................172
Chapter 14: Discipline, Termination, Reductions in Force, and Exit Procedures....................196
Chapter 15: Transforming Your Management Team Into a Leadership Team....................230
About the Authors....................251
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First Chapter


A Complete Guide to Attracting, Retaining, and Motivating High-Performance Employees
By John Putzier David J. Baker


Copyright © 2011 John Putzier and David J. Baker
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8144-1610-5

Chapter One

Preliminary Tools


Most successful organizations can tell a prospective customer why that customer should buy from them, that is, their "Why Buy Here?" statement. Some call this a "UVP," or unique value proposition. This is what converts a product from a commodity (I can buy the same car anywhere from anybody at the same price) to a value-added, emotion-filled experience (I want to buy it from you). This is what creates both brand and company loyalty.

What most organizations fail to do, however, is to identify and define their "Why Work Here?" statement, which is what ultimately contributes the most to "Why Buy Here?". (See Figure I-1, "The Cycle of Satisfaction.")

Every shoe store has shoes. Every fast-food joint has burgers. Every airline has airplanes. It's the people who sell those shoes, who serve those burgers, and who work on those planes that create the unique experience, or UVP.

So, without the best and the brightest employees, performing at their peak, we are merely order takers offering a commodity, and we are dependent on luck rather than on a loyal, lucrative customer base. That's why we end up giving our products and services away, instead of selling value and improving our margins.

Recruitment is sales. Recruitment is PR. Every time you interview someone, you are sending a message about your organization, whether you hire that person or not. Why not make that message work for you?

The first step in accomplishing this is to have a well-defined "Why Work Here?" statement that rolls off the tongue of anyone in the organization who is asked. It's your mantra. Here is how you can go about developing such a statement.

1. Survey your long-term employees (if you have any). Ask them the primary reason that they have been loyal to your organization. Ask them, "What's the best thing about working here?" (It may be a family atmosphere, great working conditions, recognition, fun, flexibility, and so on.)

2. Document your history, culture, values, and any other characteristics that make your organization different from, better than, or unique compared to your competition.

3. Conduct a brainstorming session with your leadership team to refine this information into a one- to two-sentence summation that anyone would be able to understand, and that would impress anyone who heard it. Try to boil it down to no more than three or four key concepts; otherwise, the intended message gets watered down.

Having worked with many organizations on this activity, we can tell you that it doesn't take months to accomplish this. Usually, if you ask enough people to define why someone would want to work for your company, you will start to see common themes and threads. That's exactly what you want to have happen, because then you know that the information you are getting is valid and pervasive.

For example, when we worked with a large chain of family restaurants, we surveyed the management team at its annual conference. In less than an hour, there were two things that came up over and over:

1. "Your opinion matters here."

2. "We have fun!"

Obviously that's not a lot of words, but it is certainly a great foundation on which to build. You can get quotes from employees, customers, and others to reinforce these key values and principles, which brings us to the next step in the Total HR process: the recruitment brochure. You will see some great "Why Work Here?" statements in the sample brochures in Figure 1-1 and on the CD.


Once you have your "Why Work Here?" statement, you are ready to expand it to a recruitment brochure. Generally, these don't need to be anything more than a nice color trifold (and web page). But what goes into one?

Not that you need all of this, but here are some examples of what works well in a recruitment brochure:

* "Why Work Here?" statement

* Bird-dog referral bonus policy

* Employee photos and testimonials

* Key benefits

* Awards and accolades

* Pictures of your facility

* Web site address—directions to application form

* E-mail address for more information

* Map with directions to facility

* Name and phone number of primary contact for employment

* Equal opportunity statement

Since few, if any, organizations excel at this, you will be miles ahead of the competition if you have such a brochure. Figure 1-1 is an example of a very effective recruitment brochure. No matter what industry you are in, the principles are the same.

Notice that in Figure 1-1, the brochure from TrenchSafety and Supply, the company has five "Why Work Here?" statements:

1. "You'll Have a 'Say' in How We Do Things."

2. "You'll Make a Difference in the Community."

3. "You'll Enjoy Our Relaxed, Results-Oriented Atmosphere."

4. "You'll Appreciate Our 'Open-Book' Management."

5. "You'll Receive Excellent Compensation and Benefits."

For organizations that do not produce or sell a product, the "Why Work Here?" statement is different. For example, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality's statement is "Be a Part of Something Big"—specifically, "working for a clean and healthful environment" (see recruitment brochure on the CD).

Also on the CD is the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's brochure, which emphasizes more tangible reasons, such as their benefits package, flexible work schedules, and so on. And its mission is also a great "Why Work Here?" statement: "Saving Lives and Keeping Families Safe."

As mentioned, this kit is supposed to be a step-by-step building process. Once you have perfected your recruitment brochure, it's a snap to post it on your organization's web site as a recruitment tool. We will talk more about that in "Creative Sourcing Strategies" in Chapter 2.


Why have job descriptions? Some things may be obvious, but let us count the ways:

1. They force you to focus and come to a consensus about what the job is.

2. They help you identify the skills, traits, and other requirements for the job.

3. They help you keep your objectivity and consistency when assessing candidates.

4. They clarify for job candidates whether the job is something that they can or want to do.

5. They are the basis for orientation and performance management.

6. They provide the foundation for career paths and succession planning.

7. They can protect you from certain legal claims, such as disability charges.

8. They can be used to determine the competitiveness of your compensation.

What follows are a couple of different examples of job descriptions. The components are the same no matter what the job may be, so you can go to the CD, select the template that best suits your needs, and fill in the blanks for your own positions. If a particular section is not applicable for some reason, just delete it or insert N/A. This way, one form fits all.

Please be sure to clearly communicate the good, the bad, and the ugly of the job, as this is a form of insurance to prevent problems later on. It is better to have someone realize that he is not a good fit for the job before you hire him rather than after. This is called self-selection or self-screening. In HR terms, it is called a realistic job preview.

In our experience with clients over the years, there are always some who are fearful of having job descriptions because they do not want an employee saying, "That's not in my job description." This is easily overcome, as you can see in the "Duties and Responsibilities" section, by adding the phrase "Other duties may be assigned."

It is better to have job descriptions that provide some guidance and expectations than to have nothing, and have to manage by default. It is not expected that you will include every single detail of the job in every job description, but it is also unrealistic to think that you can manage someone's performance if everyone is not operating from a common understanding of what the job requires. By providing this, you're already helping the employee pave her personal road to success with your company.

Thus, a job description should be viewed as much more than just a description of the job—it's a definition of what it will take to be successful in that role for your company. That's why we prefer to call them "success profiles" instead of "job descriptions." Words matter! Here is a comparison. You choose!

Chapter Two



We do not recommend that you embark on a lot of these creative recruitment strategies until you have implemented some of the other key initiatives in the kit (the "Why Work Here?" statement, the recruitment brochure, the web site, success profiles, and so on). However, you should be thinking about which ones you will use when you are ready to improve the quality and quantity of your candidates.

Remember the recruitment funnel? (See Figure I-3.) Even if we have better candidates coming into the top of the funnel, it would be in vain if we didn't do a better job of screening, selection, on-boarding, and so on, so that we have the best candidates coming out of the bottom of the funnel. And then we have to keep them on board and keep them performing. We don't want to open the floodgates before we're ready to handle the flow.

Before we get into the more creative and productive sourcing methods, it is important to understand two key principles about recruiting, and how the best organizations approach it.

Active versus Passive Candidates

People who are responding to job postings or ads to look for a job are what we call active candidates; that is, they are actively looking for work. There is nothing wrong with that, but you are missing out on the rest of the population, especially those who are already gainfully and successfully employed. Just because they are employed doesn't mean that they are happy where they are or that they wouldn't be interested in working for you (especially if you are doing everything we are recommending in this kit!).

Superstars generally are not studying employment ads and job boards. Nor are they listed on Internet job boards. They don't need to be. If you want to hire the best of the best of your industry, you have to go to them, which means that you must identify and search for passive candidates.

And the best way to do that, besides just calling people and asking them if they would like to come to work for you, is to understand the next principle.

Intensive versus Continuous Recruitment

The other shift in thinking that is necessary is to change when you recruit. If you wait until you have a vacancy to start looking for candidates, you are engaged in intensive recruiting. In other words, you have to scurry and blitz to get candidates into the pipeline, and then you are forced to settle for whomever you can find at the moment. Time is not on your side.

A better and actually easier approach is to be recruiting every day, everywhere you are. Whether you are at church, a restaurant, the grocery store, or somewhere else, your antennae should always be up and running. It's called the Law of Attraction. What you think about becomes more visible to you.

Have you ever been thinking about a new car? Have you noticed that when you are thinking about a particular model, you suddenly start seeing more and more cars of that model on the road? It's an awareness that creates a new focus. The same principle works for recruitment.

This leads us to the concept of transferable skills. Quit looking where everyone else looks. Just because a guy sold widgets in the past doesn't mean that he's the best and brightest candidate to sell widgets for you, or for anyone else, for that matter.

You may find a great waiter who really understands customer satisfaction and handling skills, long and tough hours and conditions, and so on, which makes him a perfect candidate who has the style and the skills to succeed in your industry or environment. The concept here is to hire candidates based on what they can be, as opposed to what they have been.

Cards for Everyone!

Get business cards for your entire staff. Not only are they an ego booster and motivator (especially for those who have never had a business card), but they turn everyone in your organization into an ambassador. What's one of the first questions people ask each other when they meet? It's "What do you do?" And in our society, that means "Where do you work?" What a powerful "Why Work Here?" statement it is for everyone to be able to say, "I work at __________" and then hand over a business card.

And on the back, put a statement to the effect that "we are always looking for great people!" and advertise your bird-dog incentive (see the next idea).

Bird Dogs for Everyone!

One of the highest-quality and lowest-cost sources of great people is referrals. Many organizations pay an incentive (aka bird-dog bonus) if an employee refers someone who buys its product or service. That's smart. But, here's something even smarter: Pay people who refer someone who becomes an employee!

Advertise wherever you can that you will pay for great people. That's why we said to put it on the back of all the business cards you are going to get printed. But tell your vendors, suppliers, service providers, and anyone else you trust who could refer good people.

This doesn't mean that you are going to hire everyone. It only means that you are going to have a larger pool of higher-quality candidates from which to choose coming into the top of the funnel. Most people will not refer someone who is going to make them look bad, so there is an automatic upgrade in the quality of the pool of candidates from this source.

One last suggestion: Pay half of the bonus on the date of hire, and the other half six months down the road. This way, you don't pay the whole thing if the person doesn't stay long enough to return your investment. You are rewarding both recruitment and retention. That's return on investment (ROI)!

A complete sample Employee Referral Program follows at the end of this section, and can also be found on the enclosed CD.


The two most lucrative sources of candidates are bird dogs (referrals) and boomerangs (returnees). Ironically, one of the sources that companies overlook the most is their own alumni. Because of the power and importance of this source, it deserves a lot more detail and strategy. You can pick and choose which of the following strategies will work best for you.

It is amazing that there are still employers out there who would never consider "letting" someone who had left "the organization" come back. Who are you punishing? If that same person applied for a job with your organization, but had not worked for you before, would you hire her? If so, that means that it is better not to have a track record with your organization. Duuh?

Face it, if you hire the best and the brightest, it stands to reason that those people will be the hardest to hold onto. Anyone can hold onto a loser. If you have very low turnover, before you break your arm patting yourself on the back, be sure that it isn't because you have people that no one else wants or people who have no other options.

If you know for a fact that you would rehire a particular ex-employee (for example, if he has a rare talent, you know it, and you'll always need it), give him a "Get Out of Jail Free" card that entitles him to immediate reemployment without having to go through Human Resources or any other bureaucratic process requirements.

"You want a job? You got it!" This is a powerful symbolic gesture that reinforces an employee's value to you and leaves him with a very positive last (and lasting) impression of what he is leaving. He can escape the jail of your competition at any time.

Human Resources people often bristle at such an idea, and are quick to ask, "What about references and background checks, and all the other preliminary work that has to be done?" Why do you need to check references or complete any other preemployment requirements for such people? You've already hired them once, and they obviously proved themselves or you wouldn't want them back, right? You've already got something better than references or credentials; you've got past performance.


Excerpted from THE EVERYTHING HRKit by John Putzier David J. Baker Copyright © 2011 by John Putzier and David J. Baker. Excerpted by permission of AMACOM. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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