Category Archives: Treat employees with respect

8 Ways to Eliminate Hiring Bias During Interviews

Finding the perfect candidate has always been a challenge. Hiring bias, by emotionally and subjectively judging candidates, does not make these complex hiring decisions any easier.

hiring bias during job interviewIn a competitive marketplace, the best way for business to thrive is by hiring the right people. A candidate that is not a good fit can have a negative effect that ripples throughout the entire company.

Not only can poor hiring be responsible for things like lost sales, revenues or profits, they can also potentially affect the efficiency of the whole workplace.

Hiring Bias Is a Major Problem

Hiring bias is a problem that hamstrings the process. In the end, prejudice in hiring hurts everyone—the company, its employees and reputation.

Prejudice in hiring is nothing new. However, prevalence of hiring bias—a hiring manager allowing emotion to influence the outcome of an interview—has turned into a substantial problem for companies of every size. Businesses are clearly at risk when they continue noncompliant hiring and interview procedures.

Hiring Bias on the Rise

In the 12-month period from October 2011 to September 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received nearly 100,000 claims of prejudice in hiring. One can only imagine the number of incidents that go unreported. With more charges making way to the EEOC, and millions of dollars in fines assessed to irresponsible companies, hiring bias has arrived in the federal spotlight.

Benchmarking Helps Curb Prejudices

One way to help reduce bias in hiring is by benchmarking. Companies use benchmarking to define job descriptions clearly as a way to rank each candidate objectively—eliminating the majority of subjective judgment that leads to charges of prejudice. This modern benchmarking process identifies competencies, behaviors, and motivators required for each one of the jobs a company looks to fill.

Benchmarking is a powerful tool which ensures your business will hire the best candidates—fairly and objectively. Here are 8 tangible ways you can combat hiring bias in your organization.

Eight Ways to Eliminate Bias in Interviews:

1.  Be crystal-clear on the jobs you need to fill.

It is necessary to start with a complete, clearly written job description, knowing exactly why the job exists and how the company measures success in the jobs. Hiring managers should also know the history of the position and how each of the jobs fit into the company’s overall business strategy.

2.  Start with an extensive phone interview.

After benchmarking a job description, and establishing a ranking system using objective qualifications, begin the process with a 30-minute phone interview prior to an in-person meeting. Not only will this support the rankings, but also it will help reduce anxiety when the candidate actually comes in for a face-to-face interview.

3.  Wait at least 30 minutes in the interview before deciding.

Before you make any decision during an interview, wait about 30 minutes after the interview starts. This delay will help reduce the impact of first impressions. This will allow time to discover that the good may not be as impressive as you first thought, and the bad is not so terrible.

4.  Do not do-it-yourself; have a hiring team.

A second interviewer—or group of interviewers—removes a lot of emotion from the process, with fewer opportunities for bias in filling jobs.

5.  No one person on the hiring team gets a full “Yea” or “Nay.”

Both benchmarking and candidate ranking make hiring less subjective. In the interview, use a similar procedure. If using two interviewers (or more), each should be responsible for ranking two or three different factors. After the interview, team members use evidence and facts to support their rankings.

6.  Be harder on the people you love.

Often, when an interviewer likes a candidate, they relax, ignore negatives and start asking “softball” questions. Do not be afraid to ask well-liked candidates questions that are more difficult. Dig a little deeper into their experience and qualifications.

7.  Stick with the facts.

Stop using emotionally-charged words to describe the interview—words like “think,” “feel,” “good” (or “bad”) personality and “soft skills.” These, and other words, hint at emotion and prejudice—a path leading to charges of favoritism. If hiring managers uses those words frequently, it is a hint they are not applying the right filters during the interview. When employers stick with facts and concrete evidence, they remain objective and avoid claims of prejudice.

8.  Take time in the interview.

Hiring and interview tools, such as Ovation’s candidate ranking feature, can speed up the overall process considerably. That does not say an employer can shorten interviews. Each member of the hiring team should individually spend 30-40 minutes with the candidate, or organize a group interview lasting at least an hour. To arrive at a fair hiring decision, simply add up the rankings from each interviewer.

Bias Begins With Human Nature

We are all human, and we naturally seek out evidence supporting our initial reactions to a candidate. They also filter out contradictory information, sometimes unconsciously. Reducing bias in hiring begins by recognizing that bias is a part of human nature.

Technology Removes Bias In Hiring

Ovation Technologies’ innovative hiring tool takes the guesswork out of the hiring process. Benchmarking transforms a standard description of jobs into a set of key accountabilities within the organization. Ovation prioritizes and weighs key accountabilities, using them as the focal point for an interview.

Ovation grades candidates, providing reference points to define the appropriate candidates for the selection, interview and coaching process.

Using technology to rank candidates objectively, taking the time in making a hiring decision and requiring interviewers to justify assessments with evidence allow every company to take one more step toward eliminating hiring bias.

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Searching For the Perfect Driving Job

Ask anyone in the trucking industry to describe the perfect driving job; you might not hear the same things twice.

The trucking industry is a fast growing one with a high turnover level. Keeping drivers happy by listening to their needs lowers turnover and makes for better working conditions and more productivity.

A happy trucker is a productive one

What is the perfect driving job? Is there such a thing?

Asking people in the trucking industry to describe the best driving job, and you will probably get a different answer every time.

For some truckers, the perfect gig is a good seat behind the wheel of a rig with plenty of power, enough clearance, a good set of chains, nice CB, good radio and a cab that cleans up easy. Other drivers look for things like benefits, expected mileage and operation area.

After deciding to be a driver, there are a number of puzzles to solve. What may be the perfect opportunity for one trucker might not suit someone else. There is a wide variety of positions available in the trucking market, so the best driving job for you depends on a combination of your skill, knowledge and experience.

Start by thinking of what type of truck driving job you want. Simply getting behind the wheel is not enough. You want to be happy with long or short hauls and know which one is more preferable for you.

Will you be involved in the pickup and unloading process for loads you carry? Perhaps you will be an owner-operator. Will you want to move up, becoming a manager in the future? Knowing what equipment you will use, as well as pay, expected mileage, home time and operation area.

The answer to all these questions will help you find a company that suits your requirements.

In the eyes of some drivers, the perfect driving job is all about pay. Even if a job pays well, other drivers think a fantastic job should also include health benefits. Many drivers in the trucking industry see driver training as a “meat grinder,” where the only drivers to succeed are those who are better at it and enjoy driving the most. Others see training as an indispensable part of a career.

The most popular features of the “perfect” driving job:

  • Pay and benefits
  • Home time
  • Management to employee relations (and vice versa)
  • Customer relations
  • Equipment maintenance and upkeep
  • Mobility (how a driver spends his or her time—spending time driving or just sitting around)

It is not about how terrific a job sounds on paper. It is about the way a company treats employees. With driving in the trucking industry, a perfect job is about the amount of money earned, compared to sitting around waiting. The value in a trucking job is the actual work required, time spent away from home, benefits, equipment and maintenance.

As in virtually every industry, the worst jobs, ones with the highest failure and turnover, are with companies where owners look like they have no idea what they are doing.

What makes a perfect trucking job? When management understands what it is like to be on a work floor, warehouse or on the road. Passing judgment is much more effective when supervisors understand how a decision affects the rank-and-file.

Even in the cases of managers promoted from warehouse operations, there are many with utterly no idea of the transportation end of the business.  Frequently, new rules and regulations come down to a driver, making it much harder for them to do the job. Solving many of these problems could only be a matter of dispatching more efficiently to reduce (or eliminate) wait time at warehouses. Just a small increase in efficiency for the consignee or consignor could make an inferior trucking job considerably better.

If there is one thing many drivers will agree on, you do not choose a career as a trucker. The career chooses you. The majority of truckers simply drive for the passion of driving.

Think Employee Lawsuits Can’t Happen to You?

Think again.

Discrimination in hiring can be costly when employees sue.When dealing with hiring issues, “I didn’t know” and “I didn’t mean to do that” are excuses that don’t get too much sympathy in court. Discrimination in hiring and firing are serious issues that can be very costly for your business. When cases go to trial awards can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because punitive awards are often tacked onto actual damage amounts. Fortunately, most cases are settled out of court somewhere in the middle of what a claimant asks for and what and employer believes is fair. The real winners are, you guessed it, the lawyers.

 So…what kinds of discrimination are common?

 Discrimination comes in many forms.
  • Age discrimination laws are designed to protect workers over the age of 40.
  • Race and ethnicity discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act requires reasonable accommodation in the workplace of disabled workers if the disability is known to the employer.
  • Several States have passed legislation that prohibits practice of excluding unemployed individuals in advertisements for job vacancies.
  • According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), A blanket refusal to hire workers based on criminal records or credit problems can be illegal if it has a undue impact on racial minorities,

 OK….How do I protect my company from discrimination actions?

Avoiding lawsuits, penalties and fines in employment related matters requires a framework of compliance measures put in place at your business and constant monitoring of your company’s compliance. That is one of the key benefits provided by human resource (HR) professionals.

You can employee in-house HR professionals or you can outsource that function. Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) provide the HR functions on an “as needed” basis. PEOs can help establish the proper framework including employee handbooks, sensitivity training as well as procedures to deal with discrimination issues as they may develop.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is an excellent resource for HR professionals to stay abreast of the laws and regulations surrounding the employer/employee relationship. They also have HR certification programs that result in Professional Human Resource (PHR) and Senior Professional Human Resource (SPHR) certificates.

Hiring Professional Truckers: Seven Ways to Get the Best!

It’s not fuel costs that are a problem with the trucking industry. It is the lack of qualified big rig operators.

Job seekers for the trucking industry come from several sources. Transportation job boards and trucking schools provide job candidates.

Seven best practices to get the right drivers for your trucking jobs.

One of the most critical issues recently facing the trucking sector has been, oddly enough, not fuel costs or rising insurance rates.

The biggest problem is a lack of drivers.

Even for businesses not directly related to the trucking industry, the shortage of qualified operators is distressing news. At the very least, it means a company has to be even more aggressive in recruitment efforts. That is if they want any chance of hiring the right people.

For jobs in the trucking industry, the cloud has come to the rescue.  Cloud-based technologies have risen to meet the challenge of driver shortages for both the trucking and related industries.  Software-as-a-Service has developed programs specifically engineered to assist companies in solving their trucker talent crunch.

The cloud has made recruitment, screening and hiring on-the-road talent both quick and convenient; some websites even have “employer” tabs, which allow a recruiter to fine-tune hiring to meet specific needs.

On these specialty websites, you—the employer—can be able to post relevant listings and openings. The convenience of cloud-based hiring keeps budget-conscious businesses from over spending on recruitment—in time, energy and money—all the while getting only the best candidates for all levels of job openings.

There are three basic realities you should know about hiring drivers:

  • You should focus your efforts on hiring a specific type of driver you want or class of trailer you want them to drive.
  • All drivers must be thoroughly vetted, to have the proper licenses or are otherwise certified: CDL’s (Commercial Driver’s Licenses) are required for all kinds of CDL jobs.
  • You need to recruit drivers through various sources—local, regional or national. Never put all your hiring eggs in one basket.

Seven best practices for hiring short- or long-haul drivers, as well as heavy equipment operators:

1     Always screen and perform background checks for any jobs requiring  driving.

Truck drivers do a lot more than transport your product. They are specialists that will maneuver massive, potentially dangerous machines over hundreds or thousands of miles of road. When choosing recruiting companies, they must require candidates go through rigorous background checks and testing.

2     Always have a large pool of candidates.

The best truck drivers for your job opening begins with certified candidates. The right recruiting websites can provide a pool of applicants, from which you can choose the best for all your truck driving job openings.

3     Advertise CDL jobs in industry-specific publications.

For  Commercial Drivers License (CDL) jobs, openings should be listed in leading print and online trucking magazines. Online job sites must also be used to bring in quality candidates for truck driving jobs. Lists of influential trucking publications are an ideal place to start; post job openings in national, regional, or local publications or upload to industry-specific websites.

4     Recruit through big-rig trucking schools.

Trucking schools an excellent source for drivers, they are filled with students who are determined and ready for further experience. Students are there with a genuine effort toward beginning a career in trucking. The majority of schools will also provide job placement in national or local trucking companies, as well as various other positions operating heavy equipment.

Start with directories of different truck driving schools and training programs. This is ideal for employers to get certified truck drivers and other heavy equipment operators.

5       Attend industry events.

Another suggestion for filling CDL jobs is attending trucking industry events.  Presence at national, regional and state events will give a great deal of recruiting possibilities. Check with online listings for dates and times conferences. For example, there is an annual Mid-America Trucking Program, compete with a Recruitment Facility. This provides event-specific support for candidates considering trucking jobs.

When attending these events, don’t forget a pile of specialized company brochures. All data should clearly list the benefits of pursuing a truck-driving job with your organization. Put your promotional items in truck-stop kiosks, as well. Don’t forget, you have to go where the people are.

Successful hiring for truck operator jobs is a combination of finding the right applicant, someone with a variety of formal licensing, a safe driving record and experience driving the type of vehicle that you need him/her to operate.

6       Be competitive, more than just pay.

Two common grievances from long-haul truck drivers—lack of income and too much time away from family. If you cannot be competitive on wages, certainly look for creative compensation. One outstanding advantage would be to ensure drivers can make it home on most weekends.

7       Remember laws on driving times.

There are state and federal laws that restrict consecutive hours truckers can drive in a 24 hour period.  They were established for a significant reason—safety! Long-haul drivers get tired and less alert after several hours of driving. Pushing the limits will put themselves and others in danger. Make sure all candidates are aware of the various Department of Transportation rules, and that they follow them closely. Your business cannot afford the liability for weary truckers.

The need for trucking employees is growing and is very competitive  To hire the best, simple hiring practices can increase your chances your trucks on the road with reliable, well-trained drivers.

Tips on How to Treat Your Employees

Happy employees are good employees. Treat them nice and reap the rewards.Here are some real tips to use in your relationships with your employees. They are from a blog by James Altucher who is an investor, programmer, author, and entrepreneur. He is Managing Director of Formula Capital and has written 6 books on investing. His latest book is I Was Blind But Now I See. You can follow him on Twitter @jaltucher

Here are James’s rules for employees:

A) Treat them as if they are eventually going to be better than you. You can learn from every one of them before you have to fire them or before they abandon you.

B) Picture that all of them will eventually start their own businesses and you are just training them. This doesn’t mean be nice to them all the time. It means train them to start their own businesses. In my first business a bunch of employees broke free, stole some clients, and started their own business. Now they are doing very well. My partners hated them. I love them. It’s good to have many friends who look back and appreciate what you did for them.

C) If an employee gets the “disease” (all they want is more money and they don’t care about anything else and they start to have an attitude) then instantly fire them. There is no cure for the disease and it’s highly contagious.

D) No employee is allowed to say a bad thing about any client. Everyone has to love the client’s products. No gossip. No jokes. Worst situation: One time we had a proposal to send to the U.S. Post Office. Everyone worked very hard on it and we got it done just in time. The project manager FedExed the proposal to the Post Office. Fed. Ex. He was tired because his wife had just had a baby in the prior month. We had to fire him that very night. Nor did we win the job.

E) No gossip about anyone. I was guilty of this as a VC. I would talk badly ab0ut one of the CEOs we invested in. One of my partners told him everything I said. The CEO eventually went bankrupt anyway but he has since written a novel where I am the evil character. Gossip is a seed that gets twisted into history.

F) I picture every employee calling home at night to their mother. The mother asks, “how was your day at work?” I picture the employee saying, “Mom, it was the best.” I picture the mother crying tears of happiness because the baby that once came out of her is so happy to be working with me. I try to make that happen every day.

G) Teach the employee how to exploit you for their own gains. You certainly exploit them. Not in a bad way. You have to exploit them. You charge more for their services than you pay them and than you pay for all of your fixed expenses. That’s how you get rich so it’s worth it. But ultimately they have to exploit you to feel good about the relationship. When you both die there should be no bad feelings that linger among the maggots you share between your graves.

H) How can they exploit you? By building a rolodex off of yours. By learning your skill set. By learning how you deal with your failures. By learning not to repeat your mistakes. By eventually stealing some of your clients and employees and breaking off to start a business or take a higher position at a competitor. None of these things are bad things. You want them to do this. If you train them how to do this then it all becomes a good thing for you in the long run even though you might not see that. If you act with abundance in these situations then abundance will come to you. Too many bosses act with fear and scarcity and ultimately scarcity will come to them.

I) Teach them how to sell. Even if they are programmers. Programmers are often introverted and think they can’t sell. I’m a programmer. Because of their introversion, programmers are often seen as more trustworthy by the clients. Bring programmers or introverts to your meetings. They listen the best and they are the best sales people but they don’t know it.

J) Surprise them. Employees are like “reverse clients.” You have to please them just like you please a client. It doesn’t cost much to reward an employee who gets a job done. Gift certificates, dinners, get a masseuse to come in every Friday, write employees personal notes about what you liked about their work, and so on. Employees, like clients, are the gift that keep giving. They are all there to make you wealthy so you need to be infinitely grateful to them and, ultimately, help them get wealthy.

Read James complete post on TechCrunch