Basic 101 Work Rules for an HRNewbie

As an #HRNewbie there are many new things I figure out day by day. I was recently having a conversation on the Twitter line about having my office door closed. Of course, when I have meetings or important phone calls, I will close my door, but any other time the door is open and my coworkers pop in and out. It’s not so bad because our office is small, however, I still think I need to ask for an investment in Wendy Dailey switch that closes her office door.

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Thankfully I haven’t had to call out of work due to any personals reasons … yet. As HR we are always on, running, trying to fix problems, help people become better, fill out forms, etc. So, can we as HR professionals really get away from the job?

In a previous blog post, I talked about the fact that even at the SHRM17 conference HR Pros were working, and they went back to work exactly after it ended. HR pros are always at work, but what should we do when a day away is needed?

  • Try to give notice when you’re going to be off. Although this isn’t always possible, giving your team notice can calm down the panic phone calls or emails waiting on you when you return.
  • If you do need to call out of work (and you have a boss like I do) make sure you get in direct contact with your boss. Follow the rules you give to your employees, don’t send a text unless they’re not answering after 3 times. Don’t leave a message with anyone else in the office.
  • Be very careful to pick and choose what you’re actually calling out for. It’s supposed to feel like 105 degrees in AL tomorrow, and I’m really looking into working remote, but it’s not going to happen.

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Keeping secrets is an HR trait if you don’t have the ability to be confidential, you should really pick another career. In a small office, it’s easy for information to float around, but some things are meant to be left in your office, locked up tightly. Employees may come to you wanting to find out what’s going on because you’re new, but you need to establish the relationship quickly, that you won’t be divulging any of the company secrets out in the open. It’s important that you’re not only protecting the employees and company, but also you! Just because you’re in HR doesn’t mean you can’t be let go in a heartbeat.

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Your best friends at work are your HRTribe, SHRM, and Google. Especially for Department of Ones (DOOs) there isn’t someone else you can turn to and being a newbie in HR, sometimes it feels exactly like that. I had a problem with asking someone for help because I felt like I should know the answers. I mean what did I spend 5 years in multiple classrooms for? This isn’t true and you will need an HRTribe to turn to with questions, recommendations for services, venting, talking with people that can relate to what you’re going through in HR. SHRM has different templates for resumes and such that you may need to make, but if you can’t find it on their website, Google it! I’ve been able to understand a lot more about a subject because I Googled and read an article about the situation. Learn from me, don’t waste 45 minutes trying to find an answer, hop on Twitter, reach out to the HR Pros, you’ll get multiple responses and ideas quickly!

Here are a few basic tips for the #HR and Young Professional Newbies. I wasn’t going to make this post because I thought so of these things were common knowledge, especially for people just graduating, but I actually had an email asking for quick tips. It’s time to help each other become better. Talk about what we need as HR pros and create the best #HRTribe.

Until Next Time …

I’m going to introduce you to a few different pros and positions in the coming post. Are you ready to find out how many different areas of HR are possible?

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The Break In – Welcoming New HR Young Professionals

Hello everyone, thanks for coming back and reading another post from the HRJazzy Blog. Today I have a special post coming to you, I’m introducing two great young #HR Professionals that are close to graduating with their Bachelors Degree.

I decided to make this blog post because I’m speaking from someone who has entered the HR career and is new to it. These two are trying to break into the field and are looking for advice and guidance. If you all have anything to help these two, please reach out to them or comment on the blog below, this is what HR is about.

Alfred Russell Jr. current senior at Troy University, Human Resource Management Major. My expected graduation date May 2018.                             *Pray *Learn *Achieve

Studying to become the best Human Resource Manager. Pushing to achieve every career goal God has created for me. Dedicated to my dream, hardworking student, and reliable employee, looking to enter and dominate the HR field.

My LinkedIn: Alfred Russell Jr.


Nathaniel (Nate) Dennis II Snapseed

Student at Troy University majoring in Global Business with a concentration in Human Resource Management. In December 2017, I will receive my degree and carry an aspiration of working as an HR Generalist or in Labor Relations.  I believe that Troy University has equipped me with the needed skills to have a successful future in the field of HR. “To truly understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to”. – Kahlil Gibran

LinkedIn: Nathaniel Dennis II

I asked them a few questions about how it has been breaking into the HR career while preparing to graduate. Here are some answers we discussed:

  1. Why did they decide to major in HR?

Alfred became inspired by the HR field after recruiting and referring his friends to a position at a previous company. He would help his friend get prepared for their interview by asking questions and researching information. He also saw multiple employee problems going on in the workplace and wanted to find solutions to the problems.

Nate always thought he would become a business operations specialist, however, after speaking with an advisor, he was inspired to start down the path of the HR field to make a difference.

2. What makes them nervous about this field?

Both are nervous for pursuing a career in HR. They are just entering the field and being knowledgeable about the laws, forms, HR guides can make anyone worried that they won’t have it all figured out. To this, I told them that HR is a learning field, in order to really understand how something is done, a textbook won’t work. Start building their HRTribe and don’t worry about being nervous, there are plenty of Pros to turn to when needed.

3. What area of HR would they like to focus on?

From interviewing them both, I noticed that Alfred is more of the recruiter, while Nate focuses on employee relations and training. Both paths will lead them down multiple roads, but this is where they want to start the journey.

4. Have they started on any internships?

This question really made them pay attention, they informed me that their college doesn’t offer internships for HR, but other majors have multiple internships. There aren’t many internships in their area and it’s hard to

Before closing, Nate asked me what advice I would give. Work your hardest and never stop trying to do what you love. HR is demanding but the payoff of helping your employee advance in their career, finally landing that job, creating and keeping a better culture at work.

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Why Millennials Hate You

Ok I admit, hate is a very strong word, but gosh how about strongly dislike??

A few days ago I saw a post that asked if college degrees are still relevant, I screamed YES extremely loud at my computer screen. It wasn’t pretty. It feels like every time a generation accomplishes something huge, the older generation has this “that’s what they should have done” attitude. Believe me, we’ve read enough think pieces on the Millennial generation we get what you think.

We also get that the older generation refuses to take responsibility for the parts they played in our growth. It’s like an old record that keeps going around and around with nowhere to stop.

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Millennials even get tired of the word “Millennial” because it has such a bad rep.

What exactly do you’ll believe Millennials want so badly from our employers that you didn’t want as well?

Tuition Reimbursement – every since we could talk our parents have been saying how we have to get the best education, for some races it’s the “best option” thrown our way. Now that we’ve racked up $75,000 in school loans asking our employers to help us pay back one of the job requirements they request, we’re cry babies

Vacation Time – my dad worked in a steel mill for 30+ years before retiring, every summer when I was a kid, we would take road trips across the world to explore. I’m pretty certain that was vacation time from his company and I’m also very sure my dad isn’t a Millennial.  With all of the stress that our jobs can come with, employers should want to make sure their employees get away and have some peace time.

Benefits – let’s just skip this one because apparently, even the United States doesn’t believe people deserve basic health care.

Growth – you wonder why Millennials are “job hoppers” but yet giving us an extra $2 to make up for the 60 work week is a STRETCH. Who wants to be in the exact same position for 40 years without growth? Even people who get married want to upgrade their wedding rings after a few years … I’m just saying.

We think we are entitled to everything just because we showed up — *clears throat* YOU GAVE US TROPHIES JUST BECAUSE WE SHOWED UP AND DIDN’T WANT TO HURT YOUR BABY’S FEELINGS FOR NOT MAKING THE GOAL / TEAM.

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This wasn’t really an “HR” post, although I do believe HR can help with keeping Millennials engaged and at work. It was more of a rant of the articles and conversations that are had every day about Millennials. We are not all the same and it’s more annoying because, by “Millennial” standards, I don’t even act like a millennial but because people give it such a bad rep, I felt this article was important.  We’re entitled little cry babies that Baby Boomers and Gen X created … deal!

Until Next Time …

I promise it will be about HR

Dear Applicant 5 & Final – You Got the Job, Now What?

It’s so hard to say goodbye … nope, I’m not going anywhere, but the Dear Applicant Mini Series has reached its last post. Maybe.  Image result for boys to men it's so hard gif

Now that I have the song in your head, let’s get to the topic – You Got the Job! Now what?

It’s been a journey from applying to the job, understanding that you will have a background ran, being ready to interview and ask questions, to realizing that calling back in 24 hours will get your feelings hurt.

In Dear Applicant 4 – Learn How to Take Rejection we talked about rejection from the job of your dreams. Now I want to talk about actually landing that job that you worked so hard to get and how to keep it.

Dear Applicant: You talked a big game, don’t drop the ball here. Come in ready to learn and bring your ideas to the team.

You got the call you’ve been waiting on, the job called and asked if you were ready to sign that dotted line and I-9 documentation, if they ever figure out which form they want us to actually use. Anyway, you’re excited, you announce it on Twitter and Facebook and do your happy dance with your family. The emotions are running high, you pick out that first day of work outfit, pack away those nerves, get a good nights sleep, and think about how those student loans you’ve been collecting will be getting paid now.

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The first day of work comes with a lot, especially if you’re joining the world of #HR. Even though we know how important paperwork is, it’s more important to meet your team. In HR you want people to understand right out the gate, you won’t be in your office, stuck behind the desk. Go out and meet your team, find out what it’s like to work a day in their shoes. I think this is where a lot of executives go wrong when they are hired in their role. People automatically try to come in making changes and “fixing” problems they don’t understand. As an HRNewbie, I remember my boss having a talk with me about the fact that my office door was always closed to when I first started. She said my office peers wanted to get to know me but didn’t know if they could actually come in my office or not. This made them wonder what exactly was the problem, they just hired this new HR girl, she’s never worked at the franchise, and her door is shut. The problem was, they kept the air running really cold, and I had a heater going trying to get warm. I keep my heater running 365 days, it can be 105 degrees outside and when you walk in my office, my heater will be running.

When you had the interview, you told the company what you were all about, and now you have to show proof. You’ve been in school, hopefully being an intern, creating your HRTribe on your social media accounts, attending local meetings, and webinars. Now you’re really about to learn all of the crazy things that HR has to offer.

As HR Pros we are always juggling a lot of different things. On your first day, you never know the type of environment that you will be walking into. It’s always important to get to know your co-workers, but also get to know your role as an official HR Pro. You’re now the safe haven for your employees, you have to gain their trust, get involved in their employee engagement, and never forget that you still need continuous learning too.

Hopefully, your new employer will be able to help pay for you to attend #SHRM18! Image result for let's do this meme

Being an HR Pro isn’t always going to be easy, but this is the career you’ve chosen, and now the perfect job has chosen you!

A Blogs Credibility

I love to read, normally it’s a book, but because of my blog and the HR profession, I’ve started reading a lot of blogs. Blogs are individuals thoughts and opinions, but they are also a great source of knowledge. I’m not sure why I never really thought to research HR blogs before twitter, but I’ll never go back!

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I started a new course in my Master’s program and one thing that really caught my attention this time was a request from the instructor. Now, this may have been a request from others, but because I didn’t have a blog, I probably didn’t pay great attention to it. The request was that we did not cite blogs in our papers. I was taken aback by this request, not because I was going to cite my own blog post, I wouldn’t do that … maybe. More so, because blogs are, to me, a great resource that people need to pay attention to. HR isn’t the only profession that has blog writers, of course, however, I feel like HR is one of the professions that #HRNewbies, #HR Pros, and even #HR Possibles, are able to get a better understanding of what HR is by reading what others write.

I’m learning that a major part of HR is the learned from others. I’ve said it many times, college doesn’t really prepare you for what HR is all about. Maybe it’s the courses I’ve had or the professors, I’m not sure, but there is so much that you can only learn from actually doing the job. Just because you read about mental health, employee engagement, the DOL, unions, etc. it doesn’t mean you will understand how to handle the situations in HR.

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There are, of course, great blogs that are more than just one author. Blogs like Workology or SHRM Blog that deal with pretty much every side of HR and has multiple writers that are in the profession. Citing these types of Blogs shouldn’t cause an issue. Yes, it is still the opinion of the person writing the article, but that person is actually practicing this field. Steve Browne just released his book, HR on Purpose (get it here: SHRM Store) the things he talks about in his book, he has also discussed in his blog. So what makes the book more credible than the blog?

Two AWESOME HR pros you need to reach out to, if you haven’t already, are:

Jessica Miller Merrell (Twitter) – she runs the Workology site and is someone I definitely look up to in the blogging/HR world. She has a lot going on but she always makes it happen and makes sure everything is of great quality.

Steve Browne (Twitter) – if you’ve read my blog before, you know I think Steve is THE HR guy. He is so helpful and you need to read his book, even if you’re not in HR, it helps you understand people so much better. Make sure you have pen and paper or a highlighter near by, you will need it!

Do you think blogs hold enough weight to be a credible source?

Let me know your opinions by commenting below or reaching out on my social media pages! Also, let me know your favorite blogs to read, I’ll make sure to check them out and make a list of blogs to read on here soon.

Until Next Time …

Dear Applicant 4 – Learn How to Take Rejection

Have you’ll seen the endless screaming Twitter account? Check it out, I think it will help.

We apply for jobs everyday, all candidates won’t be the applicant chosen, and you need to know how to deal with that emotion. I’ve had this happen a few times, when I was younger, I pretty much got every job that I applied for. Now that I’m an “adult” (crazy eye roll here) and I’m looking for a 2nd part time job just to make a few extra bucks, I’m overqualified for everything. To be fair, I’m looking for a job that will require the absolute least out of me, but, still.

Dear Applicant: We thank you for your time, unfortunately, we have decided to go in another direction.  No, just because we didn’t hire you, this doesn’t mean we are being discriminatory, and you might not receive a reason.

Story time, I had an applicant call a little over a year ago and said their application wasn’t being handled properly and wanted to speak with the corporate office, i.e. me. I took the proper information from the applicant, informed that person I would look into the matter and call them back later the same day. That afternoon my office phone rings and the applicant is calling back. Their words this time, “I haven’t been hired in a month and I’m being discriminated against” 

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Now there is a part of me that really had to dig deep and ask myself, “Am I judging them because I’ve heard this before or is one of our locations really discriminating against this person?” I don’t want to become this harden HR person that I’ve heard of, but I also don’t want to be naive by any means. That’s another blog post for another time.

Back to the topic – rejection from a job, it is always a tough pill to swallow. When a candidate applies for a position and gives us all of the information we’ve requested, the HR department doesn’t take it lightly. We are trying to fill a position and add another great member to the team. If you had multiple interviews, or even just one, we know our team and you may not fit into the dynamic at this location. Not meshing well with the standing team is a real reason to lose the job that you, on paper, though was a perfect match.

I would love to find out why I was not selected for certain positions, but I know that’s not realistic for every company. As long as they inform me that I did not make the cut, I hate when companies don’t tell the applicant they didn’t get the job. Discrimination is a REAL problem that people are facing every day, just because you didn’t get a job offer, does not mean you’re going through it. Turns out the GM to this store was new and had hired all of the people needed to fill that position, hadn’t hired in a good month and informed the applicant of this when they turned in their application.

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Not being able to fit into a company and its’ culture can happen or someone did have better qualities. It’s the reason for interviews, we are asking questions to find out how you would fit our team. You should take responsibility and think about your interview and or resume. What went wrong and how can you grow to become better for the next one.

Did you show up to the interview on time? No, you were 45 minutes late and had not called to say why.

During your interview, I asked you how long you were planning to stay with the company, you said, “Until something better comes along”. – It cost a lot of money to interview, hire, and train a new hire, just for you to walk out the door a month later.

Your parents joined you at the interview and answered all of your questions – I could write not only a blog post but possibly an entire book on how this 100% guarantees that you aren’t getting a job. – I’m not looking to hire your parent, nor am I looking to hire someone who really doesn’t want a job, but their parents are forcing them to find a job.

You had an awesome resume, but when you came for your interview you only answered with yes or no to my questions – once again, an interview is a conversation, if you’re just sitting there and not engaging, what will you do when the store decides to have 30 minute party to motivate the team?

Rejection is hard, especially when you really wanted to obtain this position. Reach out to people who can help you through the hiring process. Brush up on your interview skills, have your resume checked, do all that you can, to land the next job offer you receive.

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Thanks for sticking around, I know this was a long post, but I hope you were able to take something away from it and come back better. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. These are just my personal opinions and I definitely don’t know it all. I’d be happy to help you get in contact with some great pros that will help you in your search. I am currently working on a list of resources to post.

Until Next Time …

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Local SHRM Chapters 101

We all know SHRM and the great resources they offer, at least I hope you do if you’re in the HR field. But how about those local chapters that are close to your home or work affiliated with SHRM?

My local SHRM chapter is NASHRM, the Northern Alabama Society of Human Resources and this year we have an awesome Chapter President, Kristina Minyard aka HRecruit. I found out about NASHRM once I actually broke into my HR career and now I’m volunteering to help grow our Membership. Whenever I’m approached by someone in HR and they ask me for advice on how to break into the HR field, my #1 answer is always, join SHRM and your local SHRM Chapter.

Ok if you’re not a member of your local chapter, go and join right now, and then come back and finish the article

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Ok great, welcome back …

Yesterday was our monthly meeting and I was able to attend. Normally when I go to the chapter meetings, I’m one of the first people to run out and leave. This time, I had so many great conversations with people, I was actually one of the last members left at the end. I’m always intrigued to find out that HR Pros are not participating in local chapters. I’m sure all chapters are not the same and even I don’t participate ever month if the meeting won’t be beneficial to my field or career, but what’s stopping you?

NASHRM just wrapped up the Mentee/Mentor program and hearing from the group that finished, it sounds exactly like the type of information Young Professionals need to hear. They were able to experience different parts of HR, network with people they could relate to, and meet people who can help them when they have questions. We are about to start the second semester this year and also starting the SHRM Certification Program. All things that the local chapters should be about, getting 1-on-1 help, training, and conversations from other HR pros that are in the same space and dealing with the same dynamic of people in their area.

Maybe it’s because I’m volunteering or maybe it’s because I have a great chapter president that is so young, yet so knowledgeable about our field that I can relate to, I know joining NASHRM has been one of the best HR decisions for me personally. If your local SHRM chapter isn’t currently doing things that can help you in your career, are you willing to discuss this with them? Are you taking advantage of the opportunities available? The job postings, the networking events, just the ability to meet up with someone who maybe going through the same issues your office is having and also being able to support the local businesses in your community.

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I’m going to tweet out a poll on my Twitter account – @HR_Jazzy – and on my Facebook account – HRJazzy – check it out and comment your reasons or you can comment below.

HR, why don’t you participate in your local SHRM chapter?

  • Time
  • Subjects Don’t Partain to My Area of HR
  • Networking Issues
  • The Pro’s In Your Chapter (Let’s be honest, we may be the reason)
  • I do participate
  • Other (Please Comment)

Thank you in advance for giving your reasons, I hope this article helped you research your local chapters and hopefully join to make it better.

Until Next Time …

Part 4 Dear Applicant Coming Friday!