Sue Bailey Joins ERC’s HR Consulting Practice

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ERC is pleased to announce that Sue Bailey has joined ERC’s HR Consulting Practice as a Senior Consultant, Compensation & Benefits. In this role, Sue will be assisting organizations with compensation, benefits and other Human Resource projects including:

  • Executive compensation & benefits strategy development, solution design & implementation
  • Total Rewards strategy, gap analysis, prioritization, solution design and implementation
  • Sales and management incentive plan design that drives business plan objectives
  • Health care and retirement plan analysis and consulting
  • Benefit plan outsourcing solutions
  • Equity plan design (stock options, restricted shares, etc.)
  • Compensation committee presentations, solution design, board studies
  • HR systems and shared services analysis and design

Prior to joining ERC, Sue was the Founder and President of HR Works, LLC, a compensation, benefits and HR consulting firm specializing in all areas of total rewards. Sue also held senior level Compensation and Benefits positions at Education Management Corporation, American Greetings, Agilysys, KeyCorp and Sherwin Williams.

Sue has a deep foundation and working knowledge in compensation, benefits and human resources developed from over 25 years of HR experience and her leadership roles in a number of large corporations in the consumer products, e-commerce, education, distribution, financial service, manufacturing and retail industries. She gained her experience through hands-on-work conducting analysis and program design, and providing project management leadership and implementation expertise.

Sue earned her Masters Degree in Human Resources from State University of New York at Buffalo, and a BA in Business Administration, Sociology and Labor Relations from State University of New York at Fredonia.

To contact Sue, please email sbailey@yourERC.com or call 440-947-1293.

Behavioral Interviewing: 7 Tips for Hiring Superstars

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Behavioral Interviewing: 7 Tips for Hiring Superstars

Does your organization want to hire superstars and top performers? Behavioral-based interviewing is one of the most effective interviewing techniques and is the chosen form of interviewing by most employers to hire and select top performers. Time and time again, employers tell us that behavioral interviewing practices help them select top people for the job.

Behavioral interviewing involves evaluating how a candidate acted in specific situations in the past. The underlying assumption of behavioral interviewing is that past performance and behavior predicts future performance and behavior. Unlike other types of interviews, behavioral interviewing is generally more successful in evaluating a candidate and predicting how they might perform in the role for which they are applying.
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50 Sample Interviewing Questions for Employers

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50 Sample Interview Questions for Employers examples of behavioral interview questions interviewing questions for employers

When conducting interviews, it's helpful to not only develop standard interview questions unique and specific to each position's requirements, but also to compile a bank of questions for critical competencies common to many jobs that you can choose from for your interviews.

Such competencies include a number of soft and analytical skills including critical thinking, judgment, decision-making, initiative, risk taking, creativity, diligence, resilience, communication, conflict management, time management, supervision, among others. Many of these are relevant to a number of jobs.

We've compiled a list of 50 common interview questions, mostly behavioral in nature, which you can use to interview your job candidates.

  1. Tell me about a time when you were creative in solving a problem.
  2. Give me an example of a time when you found an innovative or a new and better way of doing something on the job.
  3. Describe an idea that came to fruition because of your efforts. What was your role? What was the outcome?
  4. What is the biggest risk you've ever taken at work? What happened?
  5. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
  6. Give me an example of a time when you used good judgment when solving a problem.
  7. Give me an example of a difficult decision you had to make at work in the last year.
  8. Give an example of a time when you had to make a decision or come to consensus in collaboration with others.
  9. Tell me about a time when you had to make an unpopular decision. What was the outcome?
  10. Describe a problem at work that you were unable to solve. Why couldn’t you solve it?
  11. Explain a situation in which you needed to successfully convince or influence someone to accept your viewpoint.
  12. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a coworker.
  13. Discuss a situation in which you had to work with a frustrating coworker and how you worked with them.
  14. Tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult team member on a project or task.
  15. Describe a negotiation you were involved with. What did you do and what were the results for you and the other party?
  16. Explain a time when you had to motivate others to achieve certain results. What did you do?
  17. Give me an example of a time when you had to change your behavior or work style to effectively work with others.
  18. Describe a situation when you had to change your style or actions to respond to someone else's needs.
  19. Tell me about a crisis that you had to handle at work. How did you respond to the crisis?
  20. Describe a time when you had to communicate sensitive information to others. How did you communicate this information?
  21. Explain a time when you had to adjust to a change over which you did not have control.
  22. Discuss a time when you encountered a difficult obstacle that you had to overcome on the job. What steps did you take? What was the result?
  23. Tell me about a project that did not go as planned.
  24. Tell me about a work-related decision you made or a situation you handled where, if you could do it again, would do something different.
  25. Tell me about a time when you felt like giving up on a certain job or task.
  26. Describe a time when you encountered a stressful situation at work.
  27. Give me an example of when you made an unusually positive impression on a customer.
  28. Describe a time when you had to deal with an upset customer.
  29. Tell me about a specific project or task that you were involved with that resulted in improving something in your department and/or organization.
  30. Tell me about a time when you had to analyze information, identify issues, and develop a plan to solve a business problem.
  31. Describe a time when you had to present a plan or proposal to an authority figure and did it successfully.
  32. Tell me about a time when you compiled and/or wrote a report that was well-received. What attributes of the report led to the positive outcome?
  33. Give an example of a time when you had to analyze information and make a recommendation. How did you go about this? What were the results?
  34. Explain a time when you needed to step into a situation, create support, and achieve results.
  35. Tell me about task you did at work in which you had no experience. How did you address your inexperience?
  36. Describe a situation where you had to learn something new. What steps did you take?
  37. Describe how you have developed others in the past.
  38. Explain a time when you had to instruct or train someone on how to do a task. How did you go about this?
  39. Explain a situation when someone asked you for help outside of your job.
  40. Describe a situation when you had to coordinate or manage a project. What steps did you take to ensure that the project met its goals?
  41. Describe a task that you had to accomplish without any direction.
  42. Tell me about a time when you delegated a project or task effectively.
  43. Give me an example of a goal you set that you reached successfully.
  44. Tell me about a time when you exceeded your manager’s expectations.
  45. Give me an example of a time when you had to go above and beyond your usual duties to accomplish a task.
  46. Describe a time when you had to balance multiple conflicting priorities and did so effectively.
  47. Provide an example of a situation when you prioritized elements of a large project or initiative.
  48. Tell me about a time when you faced an unreasonable deadline and how you handled it.
  49. What work accomplishment are you most proud of?
  50. If I was to contact your previous manager, what would they say about you?

These sample interview questions can help you identify how a candidate would act in real life work situations based on how they have acted in the past on many general competencies. But be sure to supplement these with questions that evaluate specific competencies you are looking for and the essential skills you would like your ideal candidate to have. 

Behavioral Interviewing Training

Behavioral Interviewing Training

Participants will learn the importance of proper preparation for an behavioral interview.

Train Your Employees

The 20 Craziest Interview Questions We've Heard

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Some employers are taking interviewing to an entirely different level by asking job candidates creative, outside of the box, seemingly absurd, but effective and unique interview questions during the hiring process. The following are 20 of the craziest questions we’ve heard of that are asked in interviews at companies like Google, Marriott, Bain & Co., and Mastercard.

  1. If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why? (Forrester Research)
  2. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus? (Google)
  3. Why are manhole covers round? (Google)
  4. How many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State building? (JetBlue)
  5. What do you think about when you are alone in your car? (Gallup)
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3 Approaches to Pre-Screening Job Candidates

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With cost-per-hire averaging just over $4,500 and the average time to fill ranging anywhere from 25 days (production positions) up to 88 days (executive positions) effective pre-screening job candidates can be one option to help streamline the recruitment and hiring process, ultimately reduce costs and help find the best talent for the organization.

Phone interviews

According to the 2013 ERC Hiring Trends & Practices Survey the majority of organizations use pre-screening phone interviews as part of their process. Specifically, 74% of employers report using pre-screening phone interviews when attempting to fill their exempt positions and 55% report using them for non-exempt positions. In addition, pre-screening phone interviews tend to be used most often by larger, for-profit, non-manufacturing organizations.
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Hiring Felons: 6 Rules Employers Need to Know

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Hiring Felons: 6 Rules Employers Need to Know

Does your organization have a policy against not hiring felons or people convicted of a crime? Do you automatically exclude applicants on the basis of having a criminal record? Lawsuits are on the rise when it comes to not hiring applicants with criminal records, and yet it’s a fairly common practice among employers. Here's what you need to know to stay compliant.

Hiring Felons: Two Areas of Risk for Employers

On one hand, when hiring employees with criminal records, employers are at risk of negligent hiring if they fail to do their due diligence in investigating the employee’s background insofar as it relates to the job for which they are applying.
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An Introduction to Background Checks for Employers

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For the new HR professional, and perhaps even for more seasoned HR managers, the process of conducting background checks can be a difficult one to manage. Corporate Screening, one of ERC's Preferred Partners, has provided us with some background knowledge to help us answer our key questions.

What is a background check? Why should my company conduct them?

Background checks help employers minimize risk for their company and their employees. They provide varying levels of information, depending on the type of position and job duties. Job applicants, current employees, and volunteers may all be asked to submit background checks... and for some positions, screening is required by federal or state law.
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4 Guidelines for Managing Pregnancy & Maternity in the Workplace

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Before your organization doesn't hire, promote, or accommodate your next pregnant employee—beware—because pregnancy-related lawsuits are increasing and you could be putting yourself at risk.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), pregnancy discrimination claims have been steadily rising over the past 15 years. In addition, the EEOC has said that one of its six national priorities is to address issues involving pregnancy-related limitations. In light of these trends, here are 4 essential guidelines employers must follow when managing pregnancy and maternity in the workplace.

Managing Pregnancy and Maternity in the Workplace

1. Don't let pregnancy affect employment decisions.

If you are considering not hiring, promoting, or providing certain job assignments to a pregnant employee or job candidate, or someone you think is trying to get pregnant, watch your steps closely.
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Hiring Practices: Checking Up on Job Candidates

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With an average “cost-per-hire” of just over $4,500 reported by Northeast Ohio organizations in 2013, making sure you are making the right hire on the first try is key. Admittedly, the selection process at each organization can incorporate any number and combinations of methods and should in fact be designed to reflect your organizational culture. Having a complete understanding of each potential new hire is a bit unrealistic, but by implementing a few basic practices during the hiring process, organizations can avoid awkward or potentially even legally complicated situations after-the-fact that could have been mitigated better up-front. We highlight a few of the more traditional methods reported in the recently published 2013 ERC Hiring Trends & Practices Survey below.

Background checks

2013 ERC Hiring Trends & Practices Survey found a strong majority very much in line with the 2011 results at well over 80%. As might be expected, background checks/screenings were conducted slightly less commonly among both non-profit organizations as well as smaller sized organizations with 1-50 employees.
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Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate Delayed Until 2015

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The Treasury Department announced this Tuesday that it will be delaying the employer "pay or play" mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which requires that employers with 50 or more employees offer health insurance to full-time employees working 30 or more hours per week or pay a penalty. The mandate was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2014, but will be delayed until 2015.

In a publicly released statement, the Treasury Department and the White House said that the decision to delay the mandate was based on feedback from employers that the system for reporting coverage was too complicated.
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