… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Hiring Differently

This week has been all kinds of hectic and I’m taking a long weekend starting tomorrow so I’m sure you can just imagine how motivated I was to do a blog post today. I’m guessing you’re also tired. We all are. This has kind of been a rough year so far.

So instead of a normal post, I’m going to invite you to stop and take a mental break. Put down that report, grab a cup of coffee and a brownie, and watch a couple of thought provoking TED talks about hiring a little differently. Trust me, your work will still be there when you are done but you should be a bit more refreshed and thinking a little deeper about the important role recruiting can play in a company and society.

Last Call for all HR Superheroes!

Hey there HR Superheroes. I’m glad I caught before you flew off to put out yet another fire and crush another monster of risk. Did you know that today, yes today, is the last day to sign up for the 2016 AL SHRM STATE CONFERENCE?

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As an HR superhero, it is very important that you keep your skills sharp. There are lots of changes, practices, technology, and legal landmines you need to be aware of to make sure that you are successful. If the reasonable cost ($325 for 2 days, $225 for 1 day) doesn’t win you over, the 10.25 credit hours will. That many credit hours goes a long way to maintaining that SHRM/HRCI Certified street creed you have going on.

I’ve already blogged about the conference, Calling All HR Superheroes, and how much I want you to visit me here in lovely Birmingham, AL on May 17th & 18th. Even if you don’t want to hang with me, you are going to want to come on down and enjoy some of this famous Southern hospitality and food. I didn’t understand biscuits until I moved here. I still haven’t figured out the Sweet Tea and Okra yet, but some things just take time.

Need more convincing? Check out the Conference Schedule. Convinced now? Good because you shouldn’t hesitate any longer. This is your last chance to sign up here! Consider this to be your very own HR signal in the sky. Excelsior!!

Giving Back

One of the things I like seeing in companies is when they put an emphasis on giving back. Charitable giving, donation matching, or paid time off for volunteering; I think they can all be an important aspect of a company’s culture.

I have always been blown away by how generous people can be with their time and money. We all care about the communities we live in and I don’t know anyone whose life has not been touched by some type of charitable organization. From your local humane society, to a disease advocacy group, or even a community garden; helping employees at all levels of your company to find new and different ways to contribute benefits us all.

Today we will be having an event at the office to celebrate Take your Sons & Daughters to Work Day. In addition to having a whole lot of kids running around, we are also using this as an opportunity to help raise awareness and money for a local charity that I love, Hand in Paw.

This is Jed and he is adorable.

This is Jed and he is adorable.

Hand in Paw is a great organization comprised of volunteers and their dogs who provide animal assisted therapy. You can find these adorable and hard working dogs (and owners!) in their distinctive yellow bandannas in hospitals encouraging patients well being, in schools combating bullying and promoting literacy, and even in offices such as ours to help reduce stress. The impact they have on the community is wonderful and my goal is to one day be able to volunteer with my dogs. I would encourage you to donate to Hand in Paw if you are able, and if you are local to Birmingham, check out one of their fundraising events as well. Even if you aren’t local, there are a lot of great charities within your community that could use your support so don’t be shy and give back!

A little more understanding

I’ve had a hard time thinking about what to write lately because I’ve had some deep thoughts on my mind. That’s never a good thing. Especially when these thoughts make me feel both indignant and heartbroken. Blogging has often been an outlet for my emotions, but how do I channel these thoughts into anything coherent and useful when I feel this way?

And then I realized, maybe the blogosphere doesn’t need more angry words right now, maybe it needs more understanding. A little humor and a little bit of love to counter all the negativity, closed minds, and closed hearts out there. Maybe a little reminder that we all deserve respect and kindness.

Here we go:

You matter and you are loved. As you are loved, love others. Everyone matters to someone.

You deserve respect and happiness. So does everyone else. Don’t let your opinions or beliefs allow you to forget that.

You are not alone, in feeling alone. There are others who will understand and celebrate you for yourself and you can help by focusing first on the things you share with others as a way to understand and celebrate your differences.

You are beautiful and you are enough. There is no one definition of beauty or success. Don’t let envy or insecurity stop you from seeing it in yourself and others.

Everyone loves cookies. You can solve a lot of problems with cookies.

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After a rough week month year, I think we could all use a little more understanding and love.

10 things every HR Pro needs

It sure is hard out there these days for HR pros. Changing laws, an increasingly diverse workforce, and the sometimes near constant pressure to do more with less. Sure, you love what you do, and you can’t say this isn’t an exciting time to be in HR, but it can be downright exhausting. So it got me thinking, what are the things every HR pro needs to effectively take on the world, all the while keeping their sanity?

Yes, it’s list time people! (Otherwise known as the lazy bloggers answer to the pressure of producing yet another post on schedule)

Here are my top 10 things every HR Pro needs:

1. The best internet cat videos available. Honestly, I think this is a given. What in the world did we do before internet cat videos? It was dark times indeed for those poor brave HR souls. SAIL kitty is my personal favorite right now.

2. A door with a lock. Leaving the necessity of securing confidential documents aside, sometimes you need to have a barrier between you and the rest of the company. You know, for when you need a good cry, a nap, and a chance to watch internet cat videos undisturbed. You get it.

3. An awesome work playlist. Some people like gentle meditative music while they are working, some need angry rock music to get the blood pumping. Whatever your preference, sometimes all you need is to put on your headphones and power through that stack of applications, mindless data entry, or while you prepare for that 401k audit.

4. A chance to let loose. Whether it’s happy hour after work with your team or getting down at an HR conference after party, every HR pro needs to have some time to let loose with the only bunch of people who truly understand them: Other HR pros. Just remember, badges and phones off before you start downing those shots of Patron.

5. A good way to relax. This can be almost anything as long as it lowers your blood pressure and helps you achieve your own moment of zen. Yoga, kickboxing, massages, baking, reading, needlepoint, and even adult coloring books are just some of the many activities I turn to when I need to escape to a happy place. Hobbies are good for your mental well being.

6. A co-worker who likes to bake. Never underestimate the simple joy of a home baked treat. It can turn your whole day around. And it can’t hurt your sense of job security if you happen to be that co-worker who bakes. “We can’t get rid of Mary, she’s the one who makes those delicious apple bars that everyone is addicted to.” That’s totally how these things are decided, right?

7. A candy jar. Continuing the food theme, candy jars are like magic talismans. Have a management team who never talks to HR? Well, everyone loves to come visit the person with the candy. Load up on some peanut butter cups and M&M’s and pretty soon people will be making up reasons to stop by. And as I’ve blogged about before, I’m not opposed to bribery. Sometimes you gotta make it rain Kit Kats to get stuff done.

8. A variety of sources for your professional development. It’s never a good idea to rely on any one resource when it comes to staying on top of your HR game. The more diverse your sources of knowledge, the stronger you will be. That means looking to blogs, books, classes, seminars, mentors, travel and even pop culture if necessary. Well rounded HR people are not afraid to challenge themselves.

9. A Coach bag. Just kidding, I can’t help but trot out random stereotypes about HR ladies every now and then just to see if you’re paying attention. And anyway, I hear Kate Spade has been the hot bag lately. Here’s the latest one I’ve been lusting after.
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10. A sense of humor and a subversive mindset. These are critical traits for sure. I don’t know how you can survive in HR if you aren’t willing to shake things up and aren’t able to find the humor in all the crazy. HR shouldn’t just be about policies and cat sweaters, we occupy too important a place in the world of work to take ourselves too seriously.

Now that you are a properly equipped HR Pro, you should feel ready to take on anything. I’ll be right there with you, I just need to finish watching this video of a cat eating with chopsticks.