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Job Seeker Strategies
Are you hunting for your dream job the wrong way?
For most, seeking a new career takes a lot of time and patience. Job hunting has turned into a science. Avoid wasting your time and patience by using the right resources to find your next career. San Diego HR Roundtable is the best channel to find open positions in our industry. Recruiters posting on San Diego HR Roundtable are looking for quality candidates that stand out from the rest. Be sure to upload your resume and start searching the open positions posted on San Diego HR Roundtable today.
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When doing so, keep in mind the below tips and tricks from leading professionals for job searching, from mastering the search itself all the way to acing the interview.

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Taking advantage of these helpful tips and San Diego HR Roundtable is sure to increase your chances of landing your dream job.
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San Diego HR Roundtable, 815 S Rose Street, Escondido, CA 92027

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I used to think I was invincible.  I handled stress better than most people I knew – or at least, that’s what I thought.  I worked out, I meditated and I forced balance into my life whenever possible.  I thought these stress-relieving techniques were helping, and they were – up to a point.  However, these self-help techniques often fell by the wayside when I became too busy with working as an attorney, trying to meet my billable hour quotas.  This was even more the case when I found myself struggling to take care of myself following the birth of my second daughter, while at the same time I was working as a full-time trial attorney. 

As a bit of background, I graduated from law school in 2006.  While awaiting bar results, I worked in a Human Resources department for a government agency.  This was my first “real” job, since all of my prior work experience consisted of internships that concluded at the end of a school semester or summer break.  

I was eager to learn.  However, during the months that I worked in HR, I learned lessons that I didn’t expect to learn.  Being the complete newbie that I was to the full-time, non-internship work force, I had an extremely idealistic perspective.  

At first glance, it seemed like the morale of the HR department had the potential to be pretty good.  However, as the months went by, I realized that the heavy workload prevented people from making the extra effort to do more than organize the occasional baby shower or birthday party.  There was often talk in the office about a previous leader who had made the environment a “fun” place to work.  People recalled this former manager’s genuine appreciation for the staff, and applauded her efforts to make everyone feel included.  Yet, upon her departure, the morale had steadily decreased and the remaining employees were left feeling unappreciated and unmotivated. 

It was at this HR job where I learned how an office job could take a physical toll on employees.  For example, I first learned about sciatic pain while working in HR – which was explained to me by one of my co-workers, who needed to sit in a modified work station due to her work-induced sciatica pain.  The fact that someone could get injured by sitting too much blew my mind.  

My surprise about physical workplace related ailments stemmed from the fact that up until that point, my days had typically consisted of varied class schedules that involved climbing up and down stairs to get to different classrooms and long walks between school and my parked car. 

My prior internship experience also contributed to my surprise at the low morale and physical ailments that I observed while working in HR.  For example, during my last semester of law school, I worked for the U.S. Navy JAG office in Japan, where my days were spent attending trials on and off base, interviewing and coordinating witnesses, and reviewing documents such as police reports and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  

It was also during my JAG internship where I first learned about the concept of team building as it applied to the workplace.  My internship was with the the trial services office (similar to a district attorney’s office), which regularly interacted with the equivalent of the public defenders’ office.  

It was truly eye opening experience when I joined the team of prosecutors and staff for their regularly scheduled Physical Training (PT) at the crack of dawn, before starting each workday at 7:30 a.m.  We swam laps at the pool, played flag football against the defenders’ office, ate long lunches together and the attorneys regularly interacted with each other outside of the office.  The military judge was often seen walking the halls and attending work lunches with both the prosecution and defense team members.  

The legal system on base operated like its own ecosystem – which, when coupled with the fact that most of the people who worked on base were servicemembers who were stationed away from their hometowns – formed a unique example of what a workplace could look like. 

So, having experienced how a team could work together, exercise together and genuinely enjoy each other’s company – it was a bit odd for me to enter the workforce back in the U.S. where people seemed to be so isolated from each other.  

Sure – the actual work should always be prioritized.  And in Japan, the work always did come first, as we were working on very high level criminal cases.  But – at least from my own personal experience – it was extremely useful to start the day by exercising with my co-workers.  Full disclosure, I am not a morning person, although I try to be, so these morning workouts showed me that engaging in physical activity made me more alert during early morning trials.  It was also equally helpful to go to lunch or dinner with my co-workers, where we would decompress from an otherwise stressful workday. 

Although military protocol prevents off-duty fraternization between officers and non-officers, the trial team’s early morning exercise routine created an even playing ground among all team members.  Characteristics like rank, age, and race didn’t matter on the field – all that mattered was whether someone could run or catch a ball during a flag football game.    

Japan also changed my perspective on health as it relates to outdoor activities and dietary choices.  

During my time there I lived off-base, which meant that I walked to and from my internship every weekday (minus a few exceptions where I splurged on a taxi).  In the mornings, I walked by large buildings that had rows and rows of bicycles out front, ridden by workers each day to their jobs.  I also saw those same workers stretching in one large group before starting their work day.  

On my walk home each night, I climbed a huge flight of stairs that led to my apartment building.  Now mind you – I’ve played sports and have been relatively active throughout my life.  But I’ve never been in better shape than when I lived in Japan.  During the weekends, I often went snowboarding at various ski resorts, followed by some major relaxation in outdoor hot springs.  When I decided to rock climb for the first time while in Japan, I noticed that I was being passed by locals who were my grandparents’ age. 

I visited Shinto shrines, where I learned about the belief of the interrelatedness between nature and humans.  I began to meditate while walking and riding the train.  I also noticed that my dietary choices were changing.  I drank strong green tea, with no sugar or milk, I ate at ramen shops and I noticed that my typical (huge) appetite had decreased. 

Simply put, by working on a military base and living in Japan – I began to understand the fundamental basics of team building and healthy living.  

Fast-forwarding to the present, after working in HR and spending a decade in business and employment litigation, I am trying to get back to the healthy habits I witnessed in Japan.  The question I now have is - how can the simple concepts of team building and health-drive initiatives be incorporated into the workplace, in a legally compliant way?  

I pose this question to myself, as I move to the next phase of my career, which consists of starting my own law firm and raising two daughters.  I pose this question to the HR professionals out there, who are tasked with the great responsibility of risk management and personnel decisions for their company.  And perhaps most importantly, I pose this question to the CEO’s and corporate leaders of our country – because without their support, team building and health-driven initiatives will never successfully take place. 

In conclusion, I feel that I am once again the blindly ambitious and optimistic person who first entered the workplace.  I envision a workplace for us all, where employees are actually excited to come to work and spend time with their co-workers and managers.  I believe that this excitement can lead to innovation and increased productivity, which in turn can lead to increased profits for U.S. companies.  I am excited for this next phase of my own personal career, and I am excited for the progress that I believe we can make towards improving the lives of U.S. employees. 

Nicole C. Baldwin, Esq. is a SDHR Roundtable Board Member and an owner/attorney for ncb law, apc.  Nicole can be reached by email at nicolecbaldwin@gmail.com or by phone at 619-512-6341. 

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ANOTHER SOURCE:  Your Results-Oriented Recruiting Partner

At Another Source, we work alongside HR teams to streamline the recruiting process. We help you stay competitive by building a great candidate pool at the right price, and we guarantee our results. Benefits of working with us include:

  • A flat project fee of $3,000-$6,500, with no hidden or ongoing costs.
  • A time-based 21-day project cycle that keeps you on track with hiring.
  • Proprietary recruiting strategies that allow us to build vetted candidate pools with excellent choice.
  • A deep understanding of the San Diego market.

Want to read about how we approached a recent client challenge? Here's how we helped MindTouch, a San Diego company.

We specialize in mid-level to director-level roles across all industries, in areas such as: 

  • Accounting/Finance
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Customer support
  • Human resources
  • Business support/Operations
  • Legal
  • Supply chain/Procurement 
  • Engineering/Facilities

We'd love to talk with you about how we can offer value to your organization. For more information, contact us or browse our web site.

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What each of these companies has in common is a failure of their leadership culture. Specifically, each has a culture of close-mindedness, and in most cases, they don’t even know it. While it may be discouraging that it takes a spate of scandals to come to this realization, it’s probably a good lesson for companies to wrestle with in 2017.

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic ... We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

President John F. Kennedy

Closed-Mindedness

Over the last fifty years, psychologists and other researchers have developed a much better understanding of how and why the decisions of otherwise intelligent and reasonable people too often go awry. They’ve identified the underlying cause as cognitive bias: the inclination to present or hold a partial perspective, often accompanied by a refusal to consider alternative points of view.

Closed-mindedness is so hard to address because it’s:

  • Unconscious – difficult to bring to awareness
  • Pervasive – a common human tendency
  • Dispositional – ingrained in one’s personality
  • Often mistaken for confidence/charisma
  • Exacerbated by intelligence/knowledge
  • Difficult to assess

“Increasingly, we become so secure in our bubbles that we accept only information, whether true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that’s out there.”

President Barack Obama

A combined Columbia and Duke University study found that an emphasis on results over people can encourage unethical behavior - a finding that should surprise no one. Their research provides systematic evidence that effective cultures are less likely to be associated with short-term thinking, unethical behavior, or earnings management to pad quarterly earnings.

Can HR Leaders influence this dynamic and help prevent these kinds of decisions from happening?

HR leaders have been talking more regularly in recent years about the importance of  a healthy leadership culture. But what’s also clear is that creating an effective leadership culture requires thoughtful and persistent attention. HR Leaders can start by finding ways to have conversations with company leaders about the effect of cognitive bias.

SDHR has been following the research on this topic and we have discovered an assessment tool to measure a person’s tendency to let bias affect their decisions. Participating in this assessment exercise could be a great way to start the conversation with your leadership team. If you are interested in learning more about this free assessment tool, please contact me at: michael@sdhrroundtable.com. There is an accompanying 360 tool to use as well to identify the gap between self perception and demonstrated bias.

“True open-mindedness is an entirely different mind-set ... It demands that you get over your ego-driven desire to have whatever answer you happen to have in your head be right.”

Raymond Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates (world’s largest hedge fund)

While a discussion of this topic might be challenging to facilitate, I can’t think of a better way to exercise your influence and potentially make a huge difference in the performance of your company’s leadership dynamic.

 

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San Diego HR Roundtable Hiring Hints
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San Diego HR Roundtable
Hiring Hints
 
San Diego HR Roundtable is the go-to channel for recruitment!
 
San Diego HR Roundtable is the best resource to recruit high-quality professionals in our industry. Posting your open jobs on San Diego HR Roundtable will ensure you're getting exposure to the right candidates.
 
Not only would posting your open jobs on San Diego HR Roundtable get them in front of top professionals, but you could also see your posted jobs on Google for Jobs, Google’s most recent feature placing quality jobs from niche job boards on the first page of a user’s job search results! Google for Jobs prioritizes postings based on relevance, providing San Diego HR Roundtable more opportunity to have their postings rise to the top of search results compared to postings on job aggregator sites. If pulled, this will give you the opportunity for added exposure and a greater visibility to potential candidates outside of the users on the career center. We have already seen an increase in traffic from Google!
 
Find your next great employee.
 
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San Diego HR Roundtable, 815 S Rose Street, Escondido, CA 92027

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Like searching for a partner in life, recruiting is all about finding the best person for the job: one who has the right character, qualifications, and experience... And, like personal relationships, it’s impossible to find the "perfect fit."

Hiring Managers invest extensive time and effort developing the most successful hiring strategy. Including stakeholders in the decision making and job description processes, as well as building a solid assessment and screening program, go a long way toward ensuring that a role draws top talent. These same Hiring Managers are also working under the strain of limited time to fill the role, a fixed budget, and a laundry list of candidate “must haves.”

The pressure to find the “perfect” candidate inadvertently leads to creating and looking for a candidate that simply doesn’t exist. In the recruiting world, we call this the "Purple Squirrel."

Over the years, we’ve identified what works (and what doesn’t). We’re far from finding a one-size-fits-all formula but we do know how to significantly reduce recruiting costs and “time to fill” metrics, while simultaneously increasing your offer acceptance rate.

Click here to discover our Seven Rules to Finding and Hiring the ElusivePurple Squirrel.”

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San Diego HR Roundtable Hiring Hints
My Account  |  Job Search  |  Manage Resumes  |  Job Alerts
San Diego HR Roundtable
Job Seeker Strategies
 
Here are 3 resume tips from San Diego HR Roundtable to help you land an interview:
 
  1. Focus. Your resume must target a specific job function and include only your most relevant work experience.
  2. Show results. Just listing tasks you’ve performed doesn’t answer “So what?” Make sure employers understand the results you’ve achieved.
  3. Be concise. Highlight your accomplishments but also leave the reader wanting to learn more about you. A recruiter will be intrigued to reach out for an interview.
 
 
Remember to proofread your resume and upload it to San Diego HR Roundtable so that employers can find and contact you about your next job.
 
GET STARTED NOW
 
Did you know?
You can also have your resume evaluated for FREE. Upload your resume to San Diego HR Roundtable and find out how!
 
San Diego HR Roundtable, 815 S Rose Street, Escondido, CA 92027

Your email address has not been given to any third parties. You are receiving this email because you have an existing business relationship with San Diego HR Roundtable. To unsubscribe from future job board emails, click here.

Whether or not the name sticks, we are currently calling the population between the ages 6-20 years old Generation Z. I’m sure this group’s stereotypes will continue to change and evolve but right now, what are the experts saying about this next Generation? 

Unlike the Millennials who experienced the Great Recession while they were in the workforce, Generation Z experienced it during their formative years, watching their parents, siblings and neighbors lose their jobs and struggle to find stability again. Due to this, they are grounded, practical and frugal. In a survey taken of teenagers between the ages of 15-19, their top three priorities are getting a job, finishing school and safeguarding their money. 66% of the teens rate their number one concern is college debt and 75% say there are ways of getting a good education besides going to college. With the rise of free online educational resources, organizations may be forced to rethink education minimums if this generation follows through with their current belief system and pursues alternative forms of education. 

Another side effect of the downward economy is their “survival” instincts have kicked in and they have learned to be entrepreneurial by necessity. Harvard Business Review called them “Side-Gig Gangsters” because 70% of teens are working non-traditional jobs like teaching piano or selling items on eBay and anticipate they will carry these side-gigs into their professional lives. As organizations, we will need to think about how we embrace this generation's desire to have other forms of employment even while they are working full-time. 

This generation will also be facing a challenge not many of us GenXers or BabyBoomers understand well. Personal Brand Management – we have all heard about having a “personal brand” at work and have probably attended a workshop or two to give us tips on how to build, sustain or improve it, but this generation has been living it since they can remember. Choosing what to share and on what platform.  An interesting quality is that they seem to more discerning than earlier generations, choosing only to share certain types of information or information that represents their “brand.” They are moving away from the practice of TMI or “oversharing.” How will this affect organizations? We may need to build in time allowances for these types of activities and help them balance their personal and professional brands. 

And since we are on the topic of brands, they may or may not think much of your company’s. As a whole, they are distrusting of brands and value the odd, unique and non-traditional things in life. They are likely to turn to a trusted source rather than advertising or information produced by the company. Transparency, honesty and the ability to admit when the company has mis-stepped is going to be critical to a company’s success in attracting customers and employees. 

Whether you are ready for the changes this new generation will bring or not, we may see a more drastic change than usual simply due to demographics. In ten years, the Millennials and Gen Z will make up 75% of the workforce.  

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San Diego HR Roundtable Hiring Hints
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San Diego HR Roundtable
Job Seeker Strategies
 
Are you having trouble finding the time to search through all of the available positions on San Diego HR Roundtable? Make sure the perfect opportunity doesn't pass you by. Create a personal job alert on San Diego HR Roundtable and new jobs that match your search criteria will be emailed directly to you.
  • Receive newly-posted jobs matching your specified criteria
  • Set how often you would like to receive these alerts
  • Focus your time elsewhere and let your next job come to you
 
Sign up for job alerts today on San Diego HR Roundtable to be notified as soon as the job you're looking for is posted!
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Did you know?
You can also have your resume evaluated for FREE. Upload your resume to San Diego HR Roundtable and find out how!
San Diego HR Roundtable, 815 S Rose Street, Escondido, CA 92027
San Diego HR Roundtable Hiring Hints
 
Post a Job  |  My Account  |  Search Resumes  |  Products & Pricing
San Diego HR Roundtable
Hiring Hints
 
Have you uploaded your logo to your company profile on San Diego HR Roundtable?
 
If not, you're missing out on a key branding opportunity.
 
Showcasing your logo on your company profile is a great way to exhibit your company's identity. Job seekers are more likely to look further into working for your company if you utilize proper branding. After all, your brand provides the very first impression a user will have of your company. Make it count!
 
Upload your logo in 3 easy steps:
  1. Log in to your employer account on San Diego HR Roundtable
  2. Create a company profile if you haven't already done so
  3. Upload your logo - .jpg or .gif format and no larger than 180x200 pixels
 
 
Add your logo to your company profile on San Diego HR Roundtable today to ensure your company receives maximum exposure.
 
LOG ON NOW
 
San Diego HR Roundtable, 815 S Rose Street, Escondido, CA 92027

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Your resume made the cut. Now it’s time for The Interview. The success or failure of the interview now rests solidly on the job seeker’s shoulders: … or does it?

As recruiters, we work hard to prepare our candidates for an interview, helping them develop strong answers to the questions they can expect. (We may even throw in a prayer to the traffic gods for them.) Then we anxiously wait for the post-interview call, only to find out that the interview was a complete disaster to no fault of their own.

The burden of responsibility for a successful interview lies equally on the shoulders of the interviewer and the interviewee. Ideally, during the process of developing the job description, employers will have done their homework and created a picture of the ideal candidate. Before a search is even launched, employers should have already defined what the best possible candidate will possess in regard skills, experience, seniority, strengths, weaknesses, and education, to name a few. Ultimately, these requirements should drive the interview.

  1. Never ask a candidate questions about their race, religion, family life, or sexual orientation. Any question that asks a candidate to reveal information about such topics without the question having a job related basis will violate various state and federal discrimination laws. There is nothing wrong with getting to know a potential hire. In fact, understanding what makes him or her tick will provide insight regarding work ethic, commitment, leadership skills, etc.
  2. Never ask a candidate to describe his or her greatest strength or weakness. These questions have been overused and any candidate can produce a canned answer he or she has used in every interview before yours. Additionally, knowing that someone is “loyal” or that he or she “works too hard” is not an indicator that he or she will thrive in your company. A good interviewer will have specific questions that will allow the candidate to highlight his or her successes and experiences and this will show his or her strengths and even some weaknesses.
  3. Never ask a candidate where she sees herself in five years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of time people stay with a company or in a job is 4.6 years. Given this information, it still surprises us that employers ask this question. Obviously you are looking to hire someone who wants to make a commitment to your company, making your hiring and onboarding dollars worthwhile. You know it. The candidate knows it. What the interviewer really wants to know and should ask is, “How does this position align with your broader professional goals?”

Always ask a candidate well-thought out questions which provide them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have done, vs. what they "might" do.  Questions that address issues such as teamwork, handling conflict, and career path, set in a "what if" scenario, are ok. However, in order to truly uncover the personality, decision making ability, critical thinking skills, and intellectual curiosity, you need to walk your candidates through actual situations that occurred in their previous positions. Excellent examples include:

  • Walk me through your last 3 sales/projects/marketing campaigns/month end close, etc.

The key is to ask about the components of their situation including decisions, motivations, results, lessons learned and people involved. Questions such as:

  • Where did the initial idea/project/process stem from?
  • Who was involved in the sale/project/campaign?
  • What was the initial directive/goal and what was the final result?
  • What tools did you leverage to complete the project?
  • What was the initial timeline, and did it take more or less time than anticipated?
  • What went right with the sale?
  • What would you do different, if you could do it all over?
  • What challenges did you encounter along the way and how were they resolved?

To hire the best people, you have to ask the right questions about real life, actual situations they experienced. Using an interview to discuss information that is clearly available on the candidate’s resume, only allows for yes or no answers, or elicits canned answers that can be found simply by Googling “Best interview answers”, is a waste of everyone’s time. From the moment an employer sits down to create a job spec, she should be developing quality interview questions which will allow candidates to demonstrate why their skillset, experience, and passion will meet your needs.

Check out our website for more interview discussions and tips.

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Being the glue that holds the organization together can be a very thankless job, but also very rewarding if you put the people first.

Our San Diego Human Resource professionals have been put in the spotlight over the last two years as the economy grows and the amount of work on the average HR professional desk is growing faster than the economy!  

HR has to work to execute strategies and make changes across various business functions to come up with innovative solutions to offset business cost pressures internally and externally. Throughout the economic growth, many HR professionals have become more prominent members of the management team, needing to demonstrate objectivity and ask difficult questions in a bid to ensure organizational success.

The ability to act as a business partner and cement relationships with senior professionals across the organization is a critical step in Human Resource’s role within the company. The business needs a senior HR professional to act as adviserto the company and therefore it's really important to invest time in building strong working relationships with the employees of the company.

HR plays a key step in meeting the organization needs, employee’s needs and the executive team’s vision.  This can be done by focusing on the people. People create value & people create efficiency - remember you wouldn’t even have a company if it wasn’t for the people.

Building a company has never been easy, but it's more challenging today than ever before. Getting the right people on the bus and keeping them is like playing a game with rules that are constantly changing and with endlessly increasing competition. The Resourceful Human is the person, or person(s), that keeps the ship sailing, balancing the employees and executive team to drive the company forward.

Focus on people: Innovation doesn't make us unique anymore, or at least not for very long. What makes us unique are the people we hire and the culture they work in. Invest in your people and your culture, to be simple – it’s just the right thing to do. People can create more value quickly because they're more invested in your success as a company. Those HR professionals looking to provide value to their organization must understand how they impact the people as the Resourceful Human.

Those HR professionals that focus on people not only win with senior management – but will win in their careers!

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San Diego HR Roundtable
Is The Key to Improved Recruiting ROI!

 

In this challenging economy, it's important to evaluate your recruiting programs in light of tightened budgets.

Problem:
Many Recruiters and HR Professionals are finding it difficult to fill jobs because there are so many unqualified people applying for the few jobs that are open. They get lots of resumes but only a few really good candidates.

Solution:
Shift your recruiting dollars to more targeted types of job boards like
San Diego HR Roundtable.

The key to improving your recruiting ROI is to post your jobs to a recruiting site that targets your hiring audience.

Make the most of your recruiting dollars by targeting your efforts for
maximum exposure and improved performance.

Post your job today at
San Diego HR Roundtable.

Your email address has not been given to any third parties. You are receiving this email because you have an existing business relationship with San Diego HR Roundtable. To unsubscribe from future job board emails, click here.

San Diego HR Roundtable, 815 S Rose Street, Escondido, CA 92027

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THE POINT empowers productive offices to embrace healthy corporate culture.

The Point is a California Style off-site location, thoughtfully designed for organizations to come together and find their biggest breakthroughs. With a mix of a hi-tech and environmentally conscious framework, The Point aims to provide a turnkey solution for any organization looking for a non-traditional place to bring their team outside of the office.

We want to provide an inspiring and environmentally diverse space that companies consider the go-to place for team bonding, team building, and team training. With our board room and flexible collaboration space steps away from Mission Bay, it makes for a seamless transition between indoor work and outdoor activities.  We are designed to be whatever it is our corporate partners need to have a productive day away from the office.

Corporate Memberships: We offer different levels of Corporate Memberships that provide multi-meeting discounts depending on the yearly requirements. This option is perfect for organizations that find value in developing their corporate culture long term and will go offsite multiple times a year.

Capacities:

  • Conference Room: Long cedar table and grass roots floor with seating for 14.
  • Bay Room: Large open room with tall windows facing Mission Bay. Locally and sustainably sourced wood tables with a variety of modular set ups: Classroom for 60, Theatre for 100, Cocktail for 150, but these numbers can each be expanded if needed.
  • Breakout Garden: Private outdoor garden space with options for breakouts, catering set up and lounge.

Activity Coordination: The Point experience coordinators can manage your day beginning to end, including catering, bar, team building, leadership training, and water sports. Complimentary ping pong and blankets for front yard picnics. We have a flexible open catering and bar process for convenience and are willing to work with anyone the client prefers.

Meeting Technology: Full A/V with options for electronic branding and display of schedule. White boards available as well.

Set Up: All table arrangements are modular and can be customized to meet the needs of each event.

For more information call 858-336-7083, email casey@gettothepoint.io, consult www.gettothepoint.io.

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‘Accuracy and Efficiency’ is the Main Advantage of Outsourcing Background Checks

Performing background checks lead to better results for the employer.  Hiring the wrong candidate can be a costly and time-consuming process, so employers from start-up companies to large corporations are now outsourcing their background checks to a third party with expertise in federal and state law compliance. For staffing companies that hire laborers for contingent workforce, or contractors who hire for projects in multiple cities and jurisdictions, it is highly recommended that they outsource the background check process to a third party company with expertise in specific jurisdictional laws.

A major area of concern for the employer is identifying prospective candidates who might have a criminal history. This is an extremely sensitive area in the job interview process and one that must be approached carefully by the employer.  If the employer elects to perform their own background checks, they should address the following to ensure they are complying with FCRA, FTC, and EEOC rules.

  • Are we receiving a criminal history that is outside of the seven year scope?
  • Are we using the most up-to-date Disclosure and Authorization forms?
  • Are we following up with the candidate when reporting adverse information on the report?

It is ultimately the responsibility of the employer to have a thorough knowledge of all applicable laws with regard to criminal history and to comply with them. On December 9, 2016, the City of Los Angeles enacted the Fair Chance Initiative Ordinance, a "ban the box" law that significantly restricts employers when conducting a criminal background check or taking adverse employment action merely because of an applicant's criminal history. Los Angeles joins the growing list of states and cities throughout the country implementing "ban the box" laws. The Los Angeles City ordinance takes effect on January 22, 2017.  As more jurisdictions adopt policies to remove barriers to employment, employers need to ensure that their company is incorporating updated fair-chance employment laws into their company policy.  EEOC provides guidelines on Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions.

Since the employer bears the burden of proving that consideration of an applicant’s criminal history is justifiable because it is job-related and consistent with business necessities, it becomes most important that their approach to this subject is conforming to the jurisdictional requirements.  In most cases it has been proven that the best method of ensuring accuracy and efficiency in the background check process is to outsource the process to a third party.  This will greatly decrease the chance for future disputes and factual inaccuracies. For more information on guidelines, please contact Securecheck360.

Marijuana Legalization in California Affecting Employers

Since the legalization of recreational use marijuana, the most common question we have received is “Can we still run a drug test to keep a drug-free workplace?”  The answer is “Yes!”  You are still allowed to run a drug test on potential candidates and reject the candidate based on the test result. Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance under federal law; however, Proposition 64 left the decision up to the employer on how they enforce the workplace policy pertaining to marijuana use. This also includes employees who hold a marijuana prescription.  Employers should consult with their legal counsel on how to implement any policy changes with respect to the new proposition, making sure their drug policy meets state expectations regarding possession and use of marijuana at work. And it should be emphasized that whatever policy the company ultimately decides upon, it must be clearly outlined in the policy manual and be unconditional to all existing employees and new hires.

About our company: Securecheck360 provides national and global background screening solutions to offer flexible and tailored employment verifications. We assist clients with background screening challenges, work place safety, and hiring risks to empower them to hire and retain the best talents. Our screening verifiers are certified through National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) to comply with EEOC, FTC and FCRA laws.

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Ask professionals at any level how they feel about annual performance reviews and you’ll probably hear words like: pointless, ineffective, demoralizing, biased, antiquated, restrictive, and a few more words we won’t print.

Throughout the last century, the performance management pendulum has swung between employee accountability and employee development to assess engagement, accomplishment and overall contribution. Both have proven to have merit but are also riddled with faults. What’s leadership to do?

The Powers That Be are listening. In fact, one-third of U.S. companies are abandoning the traditional appraisal process completely.  According to Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli, “[I]t’s a fundamental change in the way to manage your employees and the relationship with them.”  How will companies assess performance?  The jury is still out.  Meanwhile companies’ need a system that will engage, empower and nurture their employees so that they can not only be success now, but also reach their full potential.

5 Things That Should Be Included in An Effective Performance Review

1. Increased Frequency of Reviews: One of the largest drawbacks of the traditional performance review is that it no longer follows the natural cycle of work. Most employees’ workload consists of a larger number of smaller projects, rather than year-long assignments. Conducting a cumulative year-end review is challenging for managers. Quarterly or project reviews allow for a more accurate assessment of performance and growth and provides the environment for course-correcting coaching throughout the year. Which leads us to the next important component of an effective performance review…

2. Focus on the future, not the past. Current end-of-the-year annual reviews focus primarily on past behavior and sacrifice the opportunity to improve current performance and advise employees for the future. More consistent meetings give managers the opportunity to offer resources and encouragement for future growth – both of which employees can implement immediately.

3. Self- Review: Often viewed as a chore, rather than an opportunity, self-assessment must be part of the equation. Employees should take advantage of this chance to be proud (but honest). By asking themselves two simple questions, employees can share details of completed projects, highlight their leadership roles, identify areas of growth, and give examples of collaboration. “What am I doing that I should keep doing?” and “What am I doing that I should change?” provide the perfect platform for self-review. It also gives managers insight into performance that was not overtly obvious. Employees should also think about career- development, using their self-evaluations as a time to think about what they want out of this relationship.

4. Clearly defined and communicated objectives. Goals and objectives must be assessed and realigned frequently. While some roles may not change between reviews, other will change from project to project. It is imperative that management and their team are in communication to ensure goals and objectives are still pertinent. It’s impossible to meet or exceed a goal that is clearly no longer relevant.  Employees need to proactively engage with management to clarify points of concerns.

5. Real-time feedback. Subjectivity and bias are two of the largest complaints we hear regarding the review process. But eliminating bias and increasing authenticity is not an easy task when reviewers and reviewees have innate biases that they may not be aware of. Using real-time feedback through apps and logs allows managers to create a record more reliable than memories after the fact, give workers quick access on how to navigate certain situations, and fast effective communication and coaching.

A solid review processes strikes a balance between accountability and development. It is comprehensive enough to give management the power to objectively and accurately assess their employees’ performance, highlight development, and set future goals on a consistent basis. On the employee side, the review process should include an authentic self-assessment of contribution, success, and growth, while empowering them to create future goals and a plan to achieve them.

What would YOU like to see included in YOUR next Performance Review?

*Click here for an interesting and comprehensive look at the tug-of-war between accountability and development over the decades.

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Spring is here! This season feels like a new beginning, and many people will do some spring cleaning on their careers by seeking new jobs. Are you ready to dazzle them with your stellar onboarding process?

Onboarding is a crucial piece of both talent acquisition and employee retention, yet is often overlooked. An employee’s first 6-12 months in a new role is a critical time, when that employee assesses whether or not to stay with the organization and how fully to engage in the work. Research indicates that employees who participate in structured orientation programs are 69% more likely to be with the organization three years later than employees who do not.i]

No matter where you’re starting from today, you can make small changes that will improve the onboarding experience for your new hires. I’ll never forget when IT informed me they didn’t have a computer for my new hire starting in 3 days. I hadn’t given them enough notice, and they didn’t have any extra machines. That was the day I decided to ensure nothing would ever fall through the cracks again.

There are all kinds of sophisticated tools out there to help you manage the onboarding process, but most of us have limited resources. Fortunately, we can get pretty far with a good checklist. Let’s start with the simple stuff. 

Be prepared 

Organize yourself: First and foremost, you can’t manage an effective onboarding process without being organized. A comprehensive checklist is a great way to ensure that you never miss a step. All you need is a word processing program, like Microsoft Word, with a table function. Once you set up the checklist, you can add to it each time you think of something else you don’t want to forget. 

The next step is to establish the systems and procedures that make the checklist work. What is the trigger that prompts you to use the checklist? Do you create a separate checklist for hiring managers—and put an item on your own checklist reminding you to send that to them? You need both the checklist and the reminders to use the checklist. 

Appear prepared: The purpose of being organized is to ensure a consistent, positive experience for all new hires. As an employee, nothing is worse than showing up for your first day on a new job, all excited and nervous, only to feel like no one knows—or cares—who you are. 

Avoid major sins like not having the new hire’s work space set up, not having a computer for them (oops!), having them start on a day their supervisor is out, or not making plans for their first lunch. Try to put yourself in their shoes: what would be a turn-off? Come up with that list, and make sure you don’t make those mistakes. 

Cover the basics – immediately 

As quickly as possible, show the new hire how to navigate the physical, social, and cultural spaces of your organization. This crucial orientation will give the new hire a solid base from which to understand the job-specific tasks they will learn over the following months and years. 

Physical space: You’ll want to make sure the new hire knows basic information about how to navigate the workspace, such as where they sit, how to get to the restrooms and kitchen, and where to park. They also need to know where the first aid kit and fire extinguisher are, and what to do in case of an emergency. Don’t forget to point out other important locations such as meeting rooms, office supplies, HR, and the hiring manager’s office. 

Social space: It’s critical to ensure the new hire feels comfortable navigating the social space. Introduce the new hire to their colleagues and workspace neighbors as soon as possible. If feasible, arrange to take out the new hire for lunch on their first day; at minimum, the hiring manager can eat with them in the kitchen. Do what you can to make them feel welcome, and avoid them feeling out-of-place or forgotten. 

Cultural space: To be effective in their new role, the new hire must know how things are done in your organization. This is an area that often gets overlooked because organizational culture is like water to the fish—so obvious that you don’t think to point it out. 

How information is shared, how work gets done, how people address one another, how meetings are handled, how people dress—these are all subtle elements of culture. This area also includes items such as organizational mission, vision, and values; team goals, challenges, and timelines; and individual goals and performance expectations. The hiring manager should be clear about their expectations, including how they like to communicate. 

It’s worth noting that the cultural information takes a long time to fully convey, and should be spread out over a longer period of time so as not to overwhelm the new hire. Information on how to navigate the physical and social spaces should be immediate, but for the cultural space it should be gradual. Think of it as a slow drip rather than a deluge. 

Look past the first few weeks 

Most people think of “onboarding” as the first week or two, but it takes months for someone to become oriented and comfortable in their new role. A common gap is planning a structured onboarding program for the first few weeks but having nothing planned after that. 

A simple way to extend the onboarding experience is to schedule check-ins for later in the year. These conversations could be conducted by HR, the hiring manager, or even the department VP; the important thing is that someone cares enough to ask how things are going and listen to the responses. You could also include check-ins as part of your performance management process. 

Once the new employee has been there a few months, the challenge is no longer to orient them to the basics of working there—it’s to engage their energies as fully as possible, motivate them to do their best work, and retain them. The challenge shifts from effective onboarding to effective employee engagement. 

Summary 

To properly onboard a new hire and lay the groundwork for an engaged employee: 

  1. Use simple tools such as a checklist in order to be organized and prepared for the new hire’s arrival, and to ensure a consistent experience for all employees.
  2. Once they arrive, provide critical information as quickly as possible. Include information on navigating the physical, social, and cultural spaces.
  3. Finally, plan ways to engage them beyond the first weeks

Follow these guidelines to make sure your new employees know that not only are you prepared for their arrival, but the whole organization is super excited to have them there.

Elisabeth G. Waltz is an employee engagement expert who specializes in creating win-win HR solutions: building company cultures where employees are empowered to do their best work, while developing employees who produce amazing results for the organization. Still a New Englander at heart, you can find her sampling all the cheese and cider available in her new home, San Diego. Say hi on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/elisabethgwaltz.

[i] Robinson, Amy Hirsh, “New Hire Onboarding: Guidelines for Boosting Employee Performance & Retention,” 2012.

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