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It’s Moving Day for the HR Ringleader

October 25, 2009

Well, today is a big day for the HR Ringleader blog.  It’s moving day.

I started this blog earlier in 2009 not with any expectation other than I wanted to have an outlet for my ideas about Human Resources.  I have been reading HR blogs for years and finally decided I had more to say than what would be appropriate in the comment section of another HR blog.  With that, I set  out to create my own blog.

It took a bit to come up with my brand.  I wanted something that would describe how I felt about HR: that it is fun, carefree, risky, mesmerizing, captivating, and unique.  There are many characters that an HR professional interacts with.  The closest comparison I could make was that it was like a circus.  A circus with all the wonderful performers each one independent, but working together to make the show.  And, I would be the ringleader….the HR Ringleader.

I slowly gained readers, and I am forever grateful for each one of you.  You have made me stretch my ideas and my writing skills.  My only wish is to keep providing thought-provoking and fun posts that will keep your interest and gain the interest of others.

I hope you’ll all join me on my new site: There I will have more freedom with my writing and design.

I ask you to click on the RSS feed there if you’re not already subscribed.  If you have me on your blogroll, please update that as well.

Thank you my friends!

Trish- the HR Ringleader


HR- This Isn’t A Fairy Tale

October 23, 2009

Scary TalesOnce upon a time there was a recruiter, Scarlet Riding-Hood Recruiter.  This recruiter was the best, most knowledgeable in all the land of IdealCompany.  Every day she would make call after call to find the fairest candidate to come be a part of IdealCompany.  Then, one magical morning, she found what she thought was the perfect candidate.  So, she hired him. His name was Joe Pinocchio.

It wasn’t long until the evil sorcerer, “Competitor”, cast a spell on the employee.  Joe Pinocchio began doing terrible  things.  He made inappropriate comments to his colleagues.  He stole office supplies.  He even tried to falsify his time sheet.  After several eons of bad behavior, HR Prince Charming rode in on his horse and banished the evil employee away.  All was perfect again in IdealCompany and everyone worked happily ever after.

Wasn’t that a nice story?  Ok, so if you haven’t figured it out, working in HR is not like working in “IdealCompany”.  It doesn’t take long working in human resources before you start to accumulate your share of HR horror stories.  Some are worse than others, but each one helps you grow into a stronger, more well equipped HR leader.  For those of you who are new to the field- hang on to your hats- it’s a wild ride.  For those of you who have been in HR for many years, I’m sure you have many stories to tell.

If you want to hear some real HR horror stories, check out episode 15 of the HR Happy Hour.  It’s certainly not a show for for the kids- more of a PG13 episode, but well worth your time.  Steve Boese and Shauna Moerke led a lively discussion of some of the worst work stories of all time.  There were rude ones, crude ones, and downright scary ones.

If  you don’t want to hear HR Happy Hour, then I hope you work happily ever after.

I’m thinking of writing more HR Fairy Tales.  Hit me in the comments if you have a great HR spin on a childhood story.


HR: The Importance Of Understanding Finance

October 21, 2009

This morning, I’m excited to be contributing over at Creative Chaos Consultant’s blog.  He is putting together a great series about what HR pros really need to know in order to be successful.  His posts will explore each area in depth.  First up, finance.

Finance should not be the dreaded topic for those of us in human resources. Understanding it is the way to have the ability to contribute more in your HR role.

So, head over to check out his post ‘HR 101- Finance‘, Part One.

The Changing Future of HR- Unleash Your Creativity

October 20, 2009

Today’s post is especially dedicated to the HR professionals who are just getting into social media.  I know there are some of you out there that read my blog.  I want to spend today highlighting some great work by other HR pros that falls into the realm of unleashing creativity to drive the future of HR.  Please check out the links below to learn more about some of the great events that are going on now or coming up that demonstrate how we are evolving as a profession.  Even better, try to attend at least one event. 

The first is TalentCamp.  TalentCamp is the brainchild of Susan Burns of Talent Synchronicity.  It is going on right now on the beautiful Oregon coast.  Susan brought together many great HR minds to ponder the idea of  “what if the HR function didn’t exist today, BUT a business need was identified that recognized there was a synergistic relationship to be leveraged with talent in a way that would drive adaptive business practices.”  I am anxiously awaiting the outcomes of TalentCamp.  I’m also looking forward to learning from the HR pros attending the event.

Next up is Fail Spectacularly on November 4th!  This is a night of fun hosted by Laurie Ruettimann and Jason Seiden in Chicago during the Kennedy Information’s Onrec 2009 Conference and Expo.  Laurie and Jason are bringing people together to give them the opportunity to jump on stage and talk about how business is failing spectacularly.  Chicago is central to almost everyone, so I encourage you to attend.  Click here for the registration information.  Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE?  Yes, in this day and age you can get quality time with outstanding HR/leadership pros for gratis!

A MUST attend for HR pros is the upcoming HRevolution in beautiful and exotic Louisville, KY on November 6- 7, 2009.  We’re bringing some of the top HR bloggers and HR pros to talk about the future of HR, how blogging plays a role, social media, recruiting, and more.  It’s your chance to be part of the discussion and it’s only $50!  There are only a few remaining spots open, so sign up today via the registration link.

Ok, two more REALLY important plugs:  First, if you haven’t heard the HR Happy Hour and you work in human resources, you need to listen in.  Hosts Steve Boese and Shauna Moerke will be broadcasting live from Fail Spectacularly and HRevolution.  Check them out at for the full show line-up.  The second plug is for anyone who will be in the D.C. area (or can get to it) on November 19th.  Jason Seiden will be signing copies of his new book ‘Super Staying Power’ at a happy hour event with JobAngels and SmartBrief.  Check out the details here.  It is a great way to get out and support our colleagues who are really making a difference.

Ethical Behavior At Work: What Are Employees Willing To Do?

October 19, 2009

Spend your career in human resources and you will certainly come across your share of employees who will do whatever they think it takes to get ahead at work.   They take one wrong step and dont’ get caught, so they take another.  And another.  Before you know it, they are climbing the hill of lies to the top and trying not to fall off the edge. Cliffhanger 1

Lying?  Check. 

Stealing?  Check. 

Cheating, belittling, bullying, and avoiding?  Check, check, check, check.

What is it about human nature that makes some people follow all the rules and others believe it is alright to break them?  We may never have that answer.  It may be because the opportunity is there.  It may be that they feel dissatisfied with their role so they lie or cheat to get ahead in the company or department.  There are a whole host of other reasons.  The important thing is to help your employees by recognizing and rewarding the positive behavior they demonstrate in order to move the company forward.

Ethical behavior is the cornerstone of good business.  In times of economic instability are there higher incidents of unethical behavior in the workplace?  I wonder. 

What do you think?  Are you finding this to be an issue, or do you think employees are even more “buttoned up” and walking the straight and narrow in order to keep their jobs?

What Would You Do With “The Rationalizer”?

October 16, 2009

Some Friday fun…

There are so many technologies that HR departments can use to track, measure, monitor, survey, and assist in the employee life cycle.  I read about a new technology that isn’t being targeted at employees, but maybe it could be. 

RationalizerPhillips Electronics is making an electronic bracelet called “The Rationalizer“.  It’s a bracelet that supposedly measures the emotions of the person wearing it by analyzing their skin responses (sweat).  The intent is to have people who buy and sell stock online to wear the bracelet and when they become too emotional, it will let them know so that they do not buy or sell when they are too upset.

I wonder how that would work for employees.  Maybe we could hand them out to managers when they were going to have a performance conversation with an employee on their team.  They could be given to a group of executives who are going to a budgeting meeting with the CFO.  The possibilities are endless.

If you had these bracelets, who would you give them to and why? The funnier, the better…..

Don’t Buy The Datsun B210- Plan For The Future

October 14, 2009

Datsun B210

I read an article recently that said that the Datsun B-210 was voted one of the ugliest cars of all time.  Now, just looking at the picture, it would be hard to argue that it is not one of the ugliest cars.  I’m not sure why they have it pictured with a train, because it certainly was not faster than a train- not even close.  And the color choice?  That 1978 burn orange is really attractive, if you’re into pumpkins.

I know it wasn’t the most attractive car of all time.  But, it certainly had its good points.  My dad actually owned a car just like the one pictured.  It was small and had no frills.  No air, no power anything.  It did come with an AM radio, but that was all.  I’m sure he bought it just to get to and from work.  He was a plant manager at a zinc refinery so it was definitely not a place you would want to take a nice car.  The chemicals from the plant ruined the paint on every car in the lot.  The reason I had the pleasure of riding in the car was that my dad thought it would be the perfect fuel-efficient mode of transportation one summer to travel from St. Louis to St. Petersburg Beach, FL.  That had to be about the longest, hottest, 21 hours in a car I can say I have ever had.  But, it got us to our destination and back home again.

We only kept that car for about two years.  Sure, it was practical at the time, but with a growing family it just didn’t make sense.  And based on the amount of time spent in the car, my parents realized that they needed a few perks and upgrades.

Really, the car is symbolic of choices each of us make every day.  In human resources, are we no different.  The economy is bad.  Is your company in the market for new HR technology?  A new recruiting tool?  Do you need help from a consultant?  I know the tendency is to shy away from spending.  But, that is only good in the short term.  If you buy the “practical but cheap” technology, you can bet you’ll be sorry in a year or two.  The economy will rebound.  Your business will grow.  Then, you’ll be back at square one and having to pay much more than if you negotiate today.

Some people will disagree, but I feel strongly about this.  Invest NOW in your company.  The time is right, the pricing is right.  Think about your next five to ten years, not just about today. 

What do you think?  Is your company keeping spending on hold?  Are they spending but buying the practical or cheaper technology?  Or, are they visionaries who are taking a little risk and investing in the company’s future?  I’d love to hear in the comments.