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Employment Screening Resources Releases Second Annual Top Ten Trends
Date created: 12/03/2009
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) released its "Second Annual Top Ten Trends in the Pre-Employment Background Screening Industry" for 2009. The 2009 trends reflect increasing concerns over the over the use of Facebook and similar sites, lawsuits looming over inaccurate Background Screening reports, increasing government scrutiny of the screening industry and privacy and security issues. "In the current legal environment, businesses want to make sure they are not only exercising due diligence but are also ahead of the curve on legal issues," said Lester S. Rosen, attorney at law and founder of ESR and author of two books on background screening.. "The quickest way to get sued is to not understand the legal environment and latest trends surrounding background checks and employment." Rosen believes that the federal and state governments will require more background screening in 2009 and that more businesses will make Pre-Employment Background Screening a requirement for the job. The increased use of Applicant Tracking Systems will lead to "one button" clicks for background checks, he says. "The use of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are another minefield for employers," says Rosen. "We have identified 10 Trends to help alert employers on what to expect in 2009." Increased Governmental Mandates: The federal and state governments for 2009 are likely to require more background checks, especially in sensitive industries. Another area will be the verification of the right to work under the E-verify program, Privacy and Accuracy: Privacy advocates in 2009 will be focused on resolving instances of noncompliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act's requirements for accuracy and dispute investigations. A leading cause of inaccuracies comes from matching innocent job applicants to criminal records based upon the same or a similar name in a database, without re-verification of the record at the courthouse. A new organization called Concerned CRA's has taken a stance against utilizing such databases without taking proper measures to ensure accuracy of criminal records. Second Chance for Ex-Offenders: Unless as a society we want to build more prisons than schools or hospitals, something must be done to reduce recidivism and find employment for applicants with criminal records. To deal with this issue directly, for example, the State of New York has passed new "second chance" laws that became effective this year. The laws place a greater emphasis on employers analyzing a past criminal record to determine whether there is a business justification to not hire a person, including providing job applicants with notice of these various new rights. Consumer Protection Litigation: As the screening industry matures, and applicants and their lawyers become much more informed about their consumer rights, it is likely that there will be an increase in litigation in 2009. These lawsuits, including class action lawsuits, will be filed against screening firms, particularly when it comes to various notices required under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and accuracy requirements for background screening repors. Impact of the Recession: As a result of the recession and higher unemployment, it is likely that employers will need to scrutinize applications even more carefully, to be on the watch for fraudulent credentials, such as inflated or fictional employment or education history. Data Security, Data Breaches, and Offshoring Data: Since identity theft continues to be a national and international problem, expect even more emphasis in 2009 on data security and protection. Closely related is the continuing issue of employers and screening firms sending confidential consumer data offshore for processing to places such as India for cost savings. Once data leaves the United States, it is beyond U.S. privacy protections. Concerned CRA's has also taken a stance against offshoring such data without notification to consumers. The use of home-operator networks also presents an unnecessary risk to privacy as well. There is no justification for personal information to be spread across kitchen tables and dorm rooms across America. Accreditation by NAPBS: The non-profit trade organization for the Screening Industry, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) has announced the introduction of an accreditation program. NAPBS has gone through an exhaustive process to develop "Best Practices" for the industry, and it is anticipated that firms will start going through the accreditation process this year. Social Network Sites: The use of social networking sites as a pre-employment screening device will continue to be a hot topic in 2009, as more recruiters and HR professionals go online to satisfy their curiosity about candidates. The problem: contrary to popular belief, just because it is online does not mean that it's a good idea to utilize it without developing policies and procedures. Online material can be inaccurate, discriminatory, and under certain circumstances, its use can be an invasion of privacy. Stay tuned as more courts give their opinions on this issue. Integration of Services: With the advent of "Web 2.0," it is likely that technology will play an even bigger role in the coming year. Seamless integrations with Applicant Tracking Systems allow paperless background screening systems at the click of a mouse. International Background Checks: With mobility of workers across international borders, due diligence is no longer limited to just what an applicant has done in the United States and there will be stronger demand in 2009 for International Criminal, Education, and past Employment checks... read more

India tops in hiring plans, leaves U.S. far behind.
Date created: 12/03/2009
Though India is anticipating a bigger thrust of recession in the coming future, the country tops a list of nations likely to keep a steady pace of hiring in the April-June quarter of 2009. A study by HR consulting firm Manpower also reveals that one in every four Indian companies surveyed said it planned to recruit. The survey`s benchmark net employment outlook (NEO) for India improved to 25 percent in the April-June quarter from 19 percent in the previous quarter, while the U.S. had an NEO of just 1 percent. South Africa had an NEO of 14 percent, while China registered 4 percent. South Africa came second in the 33-country study that featured 3,600 Indian companies and 72,000 employers worldwide. NEO is arrived at by subtracting the percentage of employers expecting to see a decrease in employment from those anticipating an increase in total employment. India had registered a NEO of 42 percent for Q2 2008, which has now dipped to 25 percent, indicating the impact of the global slowdown. "The relatively slow pace of hiring in the second quarter can be attributed to the employers` focus on maintaining their workforce at current levels. Also, hiring intentions across all industry sectors have softened, as organizations review their requirements at the beginning of the fiscal year," said the firm`s India MD Naresh Malhan. Employers in all the seven industry sectors surveyed expected the headcount to grow in the next quarter. The services sector was the most optimistic with a strong net outlook of 29 percent. Sectors such as transportation & utilities, (23 percent) manufacturing (22 percent), public administration & education (22 percent), insurance, finance and real estate (21 percent) are all likely to see increased hiring in the next quarter. Also, employers in all four regions across the country predict a strong labor market for April-June, 2009. "The most optimistic forecast is from the eastern region, where the NEO stands at 27 percent, followed by south, west and north at 24 percent, 23 percent and 22 percent, respectively," the survey said. .. read more

Impressive Resume
Date created: 21/02/2009
The Resume of an experienced professional like you must look professional and well-refined to reflect your capabilities & experience level. Here are a few things you must consider while working on your Resume: Organize content in such a manner so that the recruiter reads the most relevant material first with special emphasis on your key achievement’s Keep content in a clear and crisp manner that does not clutter the page. Maintain a chronological flow of content. Reduce whitespaces as much as possible in your Resume Prepare and have a set of Profile & Industry and / or country specific resumes. Being prepared can make a difference between getting an interview call or not. If it is for a job in a specific country that you are preparing a Resume for, then do study what standards are followed for Resumes in that region. Ex: In India, Resume standards say content is expected to be descriptive and fits in 2-2.5 pages, but in the USA it is to be crisp and fit in 1-1.5 pages. If you keep these pointers in your mind while preparing your Resume you should easily be able to get away with great results. .. read more

Checklist for Hiring Employees
Date created: 18/02/2009
Checklist for Hiring Employees • Determine the need for a new or replacement position. • Think creatively about how to accomplish the work without adding staff (improves processes, eliminate work you don’t need to do, divide work differently, etc.). • Hold a recruiting planning meeting with the recruiter, the HR leader, the hiring manager, and, potentially, a coworker or internal customer. • Develop and prioritize the key requirements needed from the position and the special qualifications, traits, characteristics, and experience you seek in a candidate. (These will assist your Human Resources department to write the classified ad; post the job online and on your Web site; and screen resultant resumes for potential candidate interviews.) • With HR department assistance, develop the job description for the position. • Determine the salary range for the position. • Decide whether the department can afford hiring employees to fill the position. • Post the position internally on the "Job Opportunities” bulletin board for one week. If you anticipate difficulty finding a qualified internal candidate for the position, state in the posting that you are advertising the position externally at the same time. • Send an all-company email to notify staff that a position has been posted and that you are hiring employees. • All staff members encourage talented, qualified, diverse internal candidates to apply for the position. (If you are the hiring supervisor, as a courtesy, let the current supervisor know if you are talking to his or her reporting staff member.) • Interested internal candidates fill out the Internal Position Application. • Schedule an interview, for internal candidates, with the hiring supervisor, the manager of the hiring supervisor or a customer of the position and HR. (In all cases, tell the candidates the timelines you anticipate the interview process will take.) • Hold the interviews with each interviewer clear about their role in the interview process. (Culture fit, technical qualifications, customer responsiveness and knowledge are several of the screening responsibilities you may want your interviewers to assume.) • Interviewers fill out the Job Candidate Evaluation Form. • If no internal candidates are selected for the position, make certain you clearly communicate with the applicants that they were not selected. Whenever possible, provide feedback that will help the employee continue to develop their skill and qualifications. Use this feedback as an opportunity to help the employee continue to grow their career. • If an internal candidate is selected for the position, make a written job offer that includes the new job description and salary. • Agree on a transition timeline with the internal candidate’s current supervisor. • If you've created another internal opening, begin again. • End the search. • If no qualified internal candidates apply, extend the search to external candidates, if you didn't advertise the position simultaneously. Develop your candidate pool of diverse applicants. • Spread word-of-mouth information about the position availability in your industry and to each employee’s network of friends and associates. • Place a classified ad in newspapers with a delivery reach that will create a diverse candidate pool. • Recruit online. Post the classified ad on jobs and newspaper-related websites including the company website. • Post the position on professional association websites. • Talk to university career centers. • Contact temporary help agencies. • Brainstorm other potential ways to locate a well-qualified pool of candidates for each position. • Through your recruiting efforts, you've developed a pool of candidates. People are applying for your open job. Whether you have developed a candidate pool in advance of the job opening or you are searching from scratch, the development of a qualified pool of candidates is crucial. • Send postcards or emails to each applicant to acknowledge receipt of the resume. (State that if the candidate appears to be a good match for the position, relative to your other applicants, you will contact them to schedule an interview. If not, you will keep their application/resume on file for a year in case other opportunities arise.) .. read more

Human Resources Manual
Date created: 12/02/2009
Human Resources Manual Table of Contents 3 Policy & Procedures Manual 3 1. PERSONAL CONDUCT 4 1.1 Dress Code 4 1.2 Personal Communications 5 1.3 Gifts & Gratuities 7 2. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY 8 3. SEXUAL HARASSMENT 9 4. BUSINESS EXPENSES 12 5. INDUCTION 13 6. HEALTH, SAFETY & ENVIRONMENT 14 6.1 Smoking 14 6.2 Alcohol, Drug (& Other Substance Abuse) 15 6.3 Manual Handling 15 6.4 Workers’ Compensation 16 6.5 Total & Permanent Disability 16 7. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM 17 7.1 Introduction 17 7.2 Performance Management Philosophy 17 7.3 Position Descriptions 17 7.4 Probationary Period Reviews 18 7.5 Performance Appraisals 19 7.6 Professional & Personal Development 20 7.7 Superannuation 21 8. LEAVE POLICY: 22 8.1 Annual Leave 22 8.2 Personal Leave 23 8.3 Compassionate/Bereavement Leave 23 8.4 Long Service Leave 23 8.5 Maternity Leave 24 8.6 Paternity Leave 25 8.7 Adoption Leave 25 8.8 Study Leave 26 8.9 Time in Lieu 26 8.10 Leave Without Pay 26 8.11 Blood Donor Leave 27 8.12 Jury Duty 27 8.13 Emergency Services Leave 27 9. TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION 29 9.1 Air Travel 29 9.2 Accommodation 30 9.3 Travel Other Than By Air 30 9.4 Motor Vehicle Rental 31 9.5 Taxi Fares 31 9.6 Parking Charges 31 9.7 Work Events 32 10. EMPLOYEE RELATIONS 33 10.1 Discipline 33 10.2 Disciplinary Appeal 36 10.3 Grievance 37 11. POST TRAUMA COUNSELLING 38 12. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND SECURITY 40 13. CONFLICT OF INTEREST 41 14. PRIVACY 42 Insert some information on your company including: • history: when did your business start and how has it changed over time • market: what is your competition like? • general employment philosophy: what type of employment do you offer (contracting, full-time, part-time etc), what work environment do you encourage Policy & Procedures Manual The Human Resources Policy and Procedures Manual has been developed to facilitate the implementation and clearly define ’s policies on human resource management. The Manual provides guidelines to be followed in the administration of these policies, and assists all employees in defining who is responsible for each human resource management decision, and the correct procedure which is to be followed. The policies specified within are consistent with those of best practice management principles. They have the full support and commitment of management. HR policies must be kept current and relevant. Therefore, from time to time it will be necessary to modify and amend some sections of the policies and procedures, or for new procedures to be added. Any suggestions, recommendations or feedback on the policies and procedures specified in this manual are welcome. This should be provided by email. These policies and procedures apply to all areas of operations within and related entities. 1. PERSONAL CONDUCT Policy Statement expects its employees to achieve and maintain a high standard of ethics, professional conduct and work performance to ensure the Company maintains its reputation with all internal and external stakeholders. Objective To enhance reputation as a quality service provider and an enjoyable, stimulating and challenging place to work. Application The policy will be seen to be successfully applied when all employees are seen to perform their duties professionally with skill, care and diligence. This includes: • observing policies and procedures • treating colleagues with courtesy and with respect for their rights, duties and aspirations • employees who do not conform to this standard of conduct will be subject to disciplinary action as detailed in this manual 1.1 Dress Code Dress choice is a matter of personal discretion, taking into account requirements for any protective clothing, customer/supplier interaction and professional environment. Be aware that work attire will have an impact upon image as well as your work colleagues. As a minimum standard, dress should be clean, neat and professionally appropriate. The following are examples of items that are not acceptable: • ripped or torn clothing • thongs or sports sandals • sportswear or beachwear reserves the right to request a staff member to dress to an appropriate standard as a condition of employment. If you are in a work environment with inappropriate clothing you may be sent home to change, before returning to work. 1.2 Personal Communications (i) Phone Calls [choose one of the following] The making and receiving of personal phone calls must be limited to a maximum of five minutes in duration, unless otherwise approved by your manager. Or It is acknowledged that personal communication is inevitable and sometimes necessary. It is expected this will be kept to appropriate or reasonable levels. (ii) Email Email has legal status as a document and is accepted as evidence in a court of law. Even when it is used for private purposes, can be held responsible for the contents of email messages, including any attachments. Access to emails can be demanded as part of legal action in some circumstances. It is therefore important that email is used within the following guidelines: • email should mainly be used for formal business correspondence and care should be taken to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information. Formal memos, documents and letters for which signatures are important, should be issued on company letterhead regardless of whether a physical or electronic delivery method is used • if electronic messages need to be preserved, they should be printed out and filed • limited private use of email is permitted, provided that such does not interfere with or distract from an employee’s work. However, management has the right to access incoming and outgoing email messages to determine whether staff usage or involvement is excessive or inappropriate • non-essential email, including personal messages, should be deleted regularly from the ‘Sent Items’, ‘Inbox’ and ‘Deleted Items’ folders to avoid congestion • all emails sent should include the approved company disclaimer In order to protect from the potential effects of the misuse and abuse of email, the following instructions are to be observed by all users. 1. No material is to be sent as email that is defamatory, in breach of copyright or business confidentiality, or prejudicial to the good standing of in the community or to its relationship with staff, customers, suppliers and any other person or business with whom it has a relationship. 2. Email is not to contain material that amounts to gossip about colleagues or that could be offensive, demeaning, persistently irritating, threatening, discriminatory, involves the harassment of others or concerns personal relationships. 3. The email records of other persons are not to be accessed except by management (or persons authorised by management) engaged in ensuring compliance with this policy, or by authorised staff who have been requested to attend to a fault, upgrade or similar situation. Access in each case will be limited to the minimum required to complete the task. 4. When using email a person must not pretend to be another person or use another person’s computer without permission. 5. Excessive private use, including mass mailing, “reply to all” etc. that are not part of the person’s duties, is not permitted. Failure to comply with these instructions is a disciplinary offence and will be subject to appropriate investigation. In serious cases, the penalty for an offence, or repetition of an offence, may include dismissal. Staff need to be continually aware some forms of email conduct may also be open to criminal prosecution. (iii) Internet The internet is a facility provided by for business use. Access is authorised by managers on the basis of business needs. Limited private use is permitted provided the private use does not interfere with or distract from a person’s work. Management has the right to access the system to determine whether private use is excessive or inappropriate. The following activities, using ’s internet access are not permitted: • attending to personal activities of a business nature • viewing, other than by accident, sites of incoming emails portraying obscene, violent, defamatory and unlawful material and material that could cause to be in breach of equal opportunity or anti-discrimination legislation, verbally, in writing or pictorially • downloading or printing material as described above • showing to others, or allowing to be seen by others, items as described above • repeated or prolonged use that is not directly relevant to the user’s work • introducing computer viruses by failing to follow company IT procedures • downloading software from the internet or from unauthorised disks and CD ROMs on to the internal network Failure to comply with these instructions is a disciplinary offence and will be subject to appropriate investigation. In serious cases, the penalty for an offence, or repetition of an offence, may include dismissal. Staff need to be continually aware some forms of internet conduct may also be open to criminal prosecution. 1.3 Gifts & Gratuities is committed to ensuring all business relationships with suppliers and clients are legal and based on professional integrity. Managers should be notified when a gratuity has been received. If the gratuity has been received as a thank you for work performed then it should be noted on the employee’s personal file to ensure it is included in the employee’s next appraisal. No employee may give a gratuity to a client without prior approval from management, such gratuities must always be part of an approved program of customer relationship management and specific gifts will be purchased centrally in appropriate quantities with management approval. 2. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY Policy Statement provides equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons without discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, disability, marital status or religion in accordance with applicable local, state and national laws and regulations. will make reasonable job accommodation for persons with disabilities who can perform the essential functions of the position for which they are qualified and selected. All employment and promotion decisions will be based solely upon individuals’ qualifications, experience, prior contribution and demonstrated capacity to perform at higher or improved levels of performance and will be in accordance with the principle of equal employment opportunity. will take whatever affirmative action is necessary to attract and retain qualified persons. Objective The objective of the Equal Opportunity Policy is to support the attraction and retention of employees that contribute most to the development of the business. Application The Equal Employment Opportunity policy will be successfully applied when all roles are filled by the best qualified and experienced candidates available regardless of personal circumstances. Process The Equal Opportunity Employment process is reflected throughout staff recruitment and retention processes. 3. SEXUAL HARASSMENT Policy Statement is committed to ensuring employees are treated fairly and equitably in an environment free of intimidation and sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is an unacceptable form of behaviour which will not be tolerated under any circumstances. It is also unlawful. All complaints of sexual harassment will be treated seriously and promptly, with due regard to confidentiality. Disciplinary action will be taken against any employee who breaches the policy. Sexual harassment is any unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature which makes a person feel humiliated, intimidated or offended. Sexual harassment can take many different forms and may include physical contact, verbal comments, jokes, propositions, the displaying of offensive material or other behaviour which creates a sexually tense or hostile working environment. Sexual harassment can occur between an employee and a co-worker, supervisor, manager, agent, consultant or contractor. Sexual harassment is not just unlawful during working hours or in the workplace itself. The behaviour is unlawful in any work-related context, including conferences, work functions, business or field trips, and interactions with clients. encourages any employee who feels they have been harassed to contact a company manager. The company aims to provide a working environment which is free of workplace harassment or intimidation. recognises comments and behaviour which do not offend one person can offend another. Management accepts individuals may react differently and expects this right to be generally respected. Any complaints or reports of sexual harassment will be treated promptly, seriously and sympathetically. They will be investigated thoroughly, impartially and confidentially. Managers and supervisors must act immediately on any reports of sexual harassment. Employees will not be disadvantaged in their employment conditions or opportunities as a result of lodging a complaint. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against anyone in this company’s employment who is found to have sexually harassed a co-worker. Depending on the severity of the case, consequences can include an apology, counseling, transfer, dismissal, demotion or other forms of disciplinary action. Immediate disciplinary action will also be taken against anyone who victimises or retaliates against a person who has complained of sexual harassment. has a legal responsibility to prevent sexual harassment. Therefore, managers and supervisors have a responsibility to: • monitor the working environment to ensure acceptable standards of conduct are observed at all times • model appropriate behaviour themselves • treat all complaints seriously and take immediate action to investigate and resolve the matter • refer complaints to another manager if they do not feel they are the best person to deal with the case (e.g. if there is a conflict of interest or if the complaint is particularly complex or serious) All employees have a responsibility to: • comply with the organisation’s sexual harassment policy • offer support to anyone who is being harassed and let them know where they can get help and advice (they should not approach the harasser themselves) • maintain complete confidentiality if they provide information during the investigation of a complaint (employees who spread gossip or rumours may expose themselves to defamation action) Objective To foster a professional, open and trusting workplace. Application The sexual harassment policy will be successfully applied when all staff are treated on merit by their managers, by peers, by direct reports and by all other team members. Process Making a Complaint: If you believe you are being, or have been, harassed, follow the procedure below: • inform the offender the behaviour is offensive, unwelcome, and against company policy and should stop (only if you feel comfortable enough to approach them directly) • keep a record of the incident(s) • if the unwelcome behaviour continues, contact your supervisor or manager for support • if this is inappropriate, you feel uncomfortable, or the behaviour still persists, contact your manager Receiving a Complaint: When a manager receives a complaint, he/she should follow the procedure below: • listen to the complaint seriously • treat the complaint confidentially • allow the complainant to bring another person to the interview if he/she chooses to • ask the complainant for the full story, including what happened step by step • take notes, using the complainant’s own words • ask the complainant to check your notes to ensure your record of the conversation is accurate • explain and agree next action with the complainant • if investigation is not requested: o act promptly o maintain confidentiality o pass your notes on to your manager • if investigation is requested, or is appropriate, follow the procedure outlined Investigating a Complaint: When a manager investigates a complaint, he/she should follow the procedure below: • interview all directly concerned, separately • interview witnesses, separately • keep records of interviews and investigation • do not assume guilt • interview the alleged harasser, separately and confidentially • let the alleged harasser know exactly what he/she is being accused of • give him/her a chance to respond to the accusation • listen carefully and record details • make it clear he/she does not have to answer any questions • ensure confidentiality, minimise disclosure • determine appropriate action based on investigation and evidence collected • check to ensure the action meets the needs of the complainant and company If resolution is not immediately possible, the complainant should be referred to more senior management. If the resolution requires the authority of a more senior manager, the complainant should be referred to the appropriate level. Outcomes as they affect the complainant should be discussed with the complainant to ensure that needs are met, where appropriate. Potential Outcomes: If the complaint is found to be justified, the complainant may be entitled to any or all of the following: The complainant may receive: • commitment the behaviour will cease • private apology (verbal or written) • re-credit of any leave taken due to the harassment • payment of medical and counselling expenses • transfer, with no job disadvantage • other compensation 4. BUSINESS EXPENSES Policy Statement will reimburse employees for out of pocket business expenses incurred in the performance of their role, where prior approval has been received from a manager. Tax receipts (showing an ABN if in Australia) must be provided for all expenses to be reimbursed. Cash advances in advance of anticipated expenses can only be approved by senior managers. Objective The objectives of the business expenses policy are to ensure staff are not out of pocket in the course of fulfilling their responsibilities, and expenses can be correctly allocated to optimise the company’s tax position. Application The business expenses policy will be successfully applied when all staff expenses are reported, allocated and reimbursed within 30 days. Process Minor one off expenses ($50 or less) may be reimbursed through petty cash. Where possible this should be in advance for a known requirement and receipts, along with change, should be returned to petty cash. Expenses for more than $50 or for employees with ongoing individual expenses requirements should be submitted to Accounts on an Expenses Claim Form which has been signed off as approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor. All claims must be submitted by the seventh of the month for the previous month in arrears. Only one claim should be made per month. Exceptionally large expense claims may be submitted at the time of incurring them and not wait until the end of the month. Payment of reimbursed expenses will be made directly into your nominated bank account (recorded with Accounts) generally by the 15th of the month but may take up until the end of the month they are submitted. 5. INDUCTION Policy Statement All new employees should complete an induction program upon their commencement. The induction period also refers to the three month probationary period during which it is recognised all staff may need ongoing familiarisation with their role, the business, systems and processes. Objective The objective of the induction policy is to familiarise the employee with the company, their job, the industry, colleagues, company systems, processes and policies with a view to ensuring they can make a contribution to business outcomes as quickly as possible. The induction should be a combination of standard components as well as learning specifically tailored to the role. Application The induction policy will be successfully applied when all new employees meet their probationary period performance targets. Process Complete the induction planning format prior to the employee’s commencement date. Introduce the employee to the induction schedule and dates. Review the progress against the schedule with the employee at the end of each week. 6. HEALTH, SAFETY & ENVIRONMENT Policy Statement is committed to providing and maintaining a safe work environment for the health, safety and welfare of our staff, contractors, visitors and members of the public who may be affected by our work. We undertake to provide resources in terms of personnel, time and financial outlay commensurate with the commitment we place on OHS to achieve these objectives. To do this, will: • develop and maintain safe systems of work, and a safe working environment • provide information and training at all levels in the organisation to enable all employees to support this policy • require all risks to be assessed prior to engaging in new areas of operation, purchasing new equipment, and implementing new work methods, and that these risks continue to be reviewed All persons who are responsible for the work activities of other employees will be held accountable for: • identifying practices and conditions which could injure employees, clients, members of the public or our environment • implementing steps to control such situations • if unable to control such practices and conditions, reporting these to their superiors demands a positive attitude and performance with respect to health, safety and the environment by all employees, irrespective of their position. 6.1 Smoking employs a non smoking policy. Smoking is not permitted on property or offices at any time. Smoking is accepted to be harmful to the health of those who smoke and those around them (passive smokers). Consequently, smoking while on company premises will be considered as gross misconduct and will render an employee liable to instant dismissal. Smokers who need to take breaks should do so during their allotted breaks (no more than two per day in addition to their lunch break). These breaks must be limited to 15 minutes from leaving the workplace to recommencing work. These breaks must not be taken at the entrance to offices. This is a poor representation of the Company and people who may be visiting , visitors do not want to be walking through a cloud of smoke. No special privileges will be afforded to smokers. Any additional breaks (outside of allotted breaks) must be approved by your manager - these must be limited to 10 minutes from leaving the workplace to recommencing work - and the time must be made up at the conclusion of the working day. Excessive smoking breaks will be regarded as absenteeism and disciplinary action may be taken. 6.2 Alcohol, Drugs (& Other Substance Abuse) This policy applies to all levels throughout . The policy is not concerned with social drinking or the taking of prescribed drugs for medical purposes, the concern is directed to instances where alcohol or other drug dependence or abuse affects the job performance and or/safety of any employee(s). is concerned by factors affecting an employee’s ability to safely and effectively perform work to a satisfactory standard. The Company recognises alcohol or other drug abuse will cause short-term or long-term impairment to such work performance. is committed to creating and maintaining a safe, healthy and productive workplace for all employees. has a zero tolerance policy in regards to the use of illicit drugs on their premises or the attending of other business related premises (e.g. clients) while under the influence of illicit drugs. Contravening either of these points may lead to instant dismissal. Attending work under the influence of alcohol will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action or ultimately dismissal. , at times, makes alcohol available to staff over the age of 18. Limiting the consumption of any alcohol made available is the responsibility of the employee. Driving under the influence of alcohol or any other illicit drug is illegal, it is your own responsibility to ensure you comply with this. 6.3 Manual Handling It is the policy of to provide all employees with a safe and healthy working environment by identifying, assessing and controlling manual handling risks within the workplace. While managerial staff are ultimately responsible for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of all staff, all employees are expected to participate by reporting potential and actual manual handling hazards within the workplace. In all circumstances, do not lift or manually handle items larger or heavier than you can easily support. If you are in any doubt, ask for assistance. 6.4 Workers’ Compensation All employees, including part-time, temporary, and probationary employees, are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in the event of an injury arising from, or in the course and scope of, their employment. The process to be followed if an injury occurs is as follows: • the first priority in the event of an injury at work is medical attention • the injured worker or nearest colleague should initially contact one of ’s registered first aid attendants • in the event of any apparently serious injury an ambulance should be called • any employee who sustains an on-the-job injury, experiences a safety incident or near miss must report the incident to their manager • the manager must then complete a report in the Register of Injuries, Incidents and Near Misses • this standard report must include: o employee details o time and location the injury/incident occurred o details of the injury including:  part of body injured  time lost  name of the first aid attendant o details of first aid treatment o details of any investigation of the accident 6.5 Total & Permanent Disability If an employee is injured while away from work, will allow them to exhaust their paid sick leave, accumulated annual leave or long service leave. If the injured employee has used all leave owing, been off work for a lengthy period and is not fit enough to return to work then management will discuss with the employee their expectations of returning to work. If the employee has an incapacity to perform their duties because of the disability, their employment will be terminated in compliance with the termination provisions in their employment contract. will hold an injured worker’s position open for a period of time as stated in the relevant legislation unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so. Employees whose employment is terminated due to an incapacity to perform their duties because of a disability, will be paid all amounts owing to them, including accrued wages, leave entitlements, severance pay and superannuation. 7. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM 7.1 Introduction At we aim to be an employer of choice– one where people want to work. As a business we are committed to giving all members of our team every opportunity to develop their careers, to contribute to our business and to share in its success. The Performance Management System is designed to support the completion of the work of the organisation. It will also define, measure and recognise the contribution of individuals and help the organisation establish achievable goals for all of its people – it is a team based approach. At any stage, if you have any questions or concerns you can raise them with your Manager. 7.2 Performance Management Philosophy We believe everyone who comes to work really does want to realise their potential and develop their relationships with others (managers, colleagues and clients). Work is characterised by feelings of satisfaction, frustration, opportunity, exasperation, stimulation, excitement and even feelings of fairness and dishonesty. To succeed and excel, we recognise people need to know what is expected of them, what authority they have and how they are performing. In addition the approach to managing them needs to be consistent. If our organisation can help its people feel more of the positive emotions and eliminate most of the negative then we will have come a long way to being an employer of choice. The Performance Management System is designed to be the foundation for fulfilling careers at . 7.3 Position Descriptions All employees will have position descriptions, these will only be produced in an agreed format and amendments need to be approved by Management. Objectives The objective of all position descriptions is to provide an accurate picture of the responsibilities required within specific job roles, the authority levels attached to that role and a clear explanation as to how the output of the role is to be measured. Application The policy on position descriptions will be successfully applied when all position descriptions are used as the basis for performance appraisals and when amendments are completed within 14 days of a performance appraisal discussion. Any changes to position descriptions deemed necessary by managers will be communicated as soon as practicable to the employee and this will be implemented by both parties signing a copy. Process Introduction and Amendment of Position Descriptions All employees will receive individual briefings on their position descriptions from their Manager. Position descriptions will always be discussed in detail at job interviews and all new employees are to be given a copy of their position description with their letter of offer. 7.4 Probationary Period Reviews Policy Statement All new employees are appointed with the intention of the placement being permanent unless otherwise stated in the letter of offer. All new employees will serve a three month probationary period to ensure both and the employee are happy with a permanent commitment to the role. Managers should engage new employees in informal performance based feedback regularly and have specific meetings to discuss progress after one and two months respectively. Prior to the completion of the three month probationary period new employees will undergo a performance appraisal to provide feedback on performance, guidance on future direction and to set selected specific objectives for the next performance appraisal period. Objectives The objective of the probationary performance appraisal is to ensure both and the employee are satisfied the role is as agreed and a re-commitment to the permanent nature of the position can be made. Application The policy on probationary performance appraisals will be successfully applied when all probationary appraisals are completed within three months of employment commencing. Process 1. The manager and the employee will agree on the date for a performance appraisal meeting. In the case of all probationary period appraisals, this must be before the completion of three months of service. 2. The manager will prepare a written performance appraisal in the approved and provide this to the employee at least 48 hours before the meeting. 3. The manager and the employee will meet and agree any objectives for the next appraisal period. 7.5 Performance Appraisals Policy Statement All employees will undergo performance appraisals with their immediate managers on timing that is based on the level of their role. All performance appraisals will be timed from the date employment commenced. This is to ensure performance management is a regular, rather than occasional management responsibility. Performance appraisals are completely separate from remuneration reviews. Objectives The objective of the performance appraisal system is to constantly monitor progress of the capabilities and achievements of employees, to facilitate the ongoing development of team members and to identify when an employee has demonstrated readiness for greater responsibility. The objective of individual performance appraisals is to review work performance on the basis of both capabilities and achievement of specific performance objectives. Performance appraisals also provide feedback to on the achievability of objectives and the capability of managers to manage their employees. Application The policy on performance appraisals will be successfully applied when all employees’ appraisals are completed within the required time frames. Process 1. The manager and the employee will agree on the date for a performance appraisal meeting. This must be within the allowable time frame for each role. The frequency of performance appraisals is noted on position descriptions. 2. The manager will prepare a written performance appraisal in the approved format and provide this to the employee at least 48 hours before the meeting. 3. The manager and the employee will meet and agree any objectives for the next appraisal period. 7.6 Professional & Personal Development Policy Statement , in partnership with the employee, will maintain a professional and personal development plan for each employee. role in this is as a supportive facilitator. It will be up to the employee to take a leading role in managing their own development within an approved structure. Funding for professional and personal development will be considered for support by on its merits. may, from time to time, require employees to attend specific training or instruction delivered by internal or external facilitators. This may be on or off-site. Development may take the form of training, education, mentoring, coaching or counselling. Objectives The objective of the professional and personal development policy is to provide a structured environment for learning and development for the individual within and external to the company. Application The policy on professional and personal development will be successfully applied when employees are managing their own development plans. Process 1. During the appraisal process the manager will identify and document which areas the employee’s performance may be enhanced by further training. The manager will identify specific courses where possible. 2. The employee and manager will then work together to complete a professional development plan for the employee. 3. In response to this the employee can source their own solutions instead of, or in addition to, the manager’s suggestions. Requests to attend these should be submitted in writing to the employee’s immediate manager and must include: • suggested dates • costs • anticipated outcomes 7.7 Superannuation Policy policy is to provide superannuation benefits to all employees to assist them to prepare for retirement and provide options for coverage in the event of death or permanent incapacity. will as a minimum, comply with legislation in this area. Process Employees can nominate a super fund of their choice when they commence with the Company. All employees must belong to a superannuation fund whilst employed by . Contributions made by the company and employee will cease when the employee is of an age in accordance with occupational superannuation standards. Employees may make their own contributions in addition to those made by . Procedure On commencement an employee should complete a super choice form. Superannuation contributions will be deducted directly from an employee’s salary. These deductions will terminate when the employee is 65 years of age. 8. LEAVE POLICY: Policy Statement ’s policy is all employees are entitled to leave in accordance with the relevant awards/agreements and statutory provisions. Where the attached practices conflict with employment law for an employee, or group of employees, the law will take precedence. Leave for full time employees will generally be 20 days per annum plus gazetted public holidays in the workplace jurisdiction. 8.1 Annual Leave All employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 days annual leave a year on completion of 12 months of service. Leave entitlements are calculated from date of commencement. It is preferred annual leave is not accrued from year to year. Employees are expected to co-operate in taking annual leave as requested when the business closes for the Christmas break. In the first 12 months of employment, employees can only take annual leave once it has accrued (or at management’s discretion), unless required by management to take annual leave over the Christmas period. In some circumstances, leave in advance of accrual may be approved and each request will be assessed individually by the relevant manager. This may be conditional on the individual agreeing to the Company deducting any advance in the event of termination, or to the employee accepting leave without pay. Applications for annual leave should be lodged four weeks in advance. Leave application forms should be filled out and forwarded to payroll for action. Annual leave will count towards continuous service. Any annual leave requests in excess of two weeks continuous leave must be signed off by management. Employees may request to cash out up to two weeks of their credited annual leave entitlement every 12 months (or the pro-rata equivalent for part-time employees). A request to cash out annual leave must be made in writing and given to your manager for approval. 8.2 Personal Leave As per the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005, personal leave, carer’s leave and sick leave have all been aggregated under the title personal leave. An employee should notify his/her manager as soon as possible if he/she is unable to attend work due to illness or injury. Absences of two or more days in a row require a medical certificate. Employees are entitled to 10 days of personal leave every 12 months. Paid personal leave accrues on a pro-rata basis and is cumulative. Personal leave for illness immediately prior to or following a gazetted public holiday requires a medical certificate. If all personal leave accumulated has been taken, then an employee is entitled to a period of up to two days unpaid personal leave per occasion (e.g. when a member of the employee’s immediate family or household requires care or support). 8.3 Compassionate/Bereavement Leave Compassionate leave is paid leave taken by an employee for the purposes of spending time with a family member/member of employee’s household, who has a personal illness, or injury, that poses a serious threat to his/her life, or after the death of a family member/member of the employee’s household. Each employee is entitled to a period of two days paid compassionate leave for each occasion where a family member has died or the employee needs to spend time with a seriously ill family member Each application for compassionate leave will be assessed individually by management. Compassionate leave will count towards continuous service. 8.4 Long Service Leave You will be entitled to long service leave in line with the provisions of the appropriate legislation in your state. Employees should give reasonable notice of intention to take long service leave and payment will be made at the normal hourly rate of pay. Long Service Leave will count towards continuous service. 8.5 Maternity Leave Female employees with at least 12 months of continuous service are entitled to maternity leave. Maternity leave is unpaid leave which is available for a minimum period of six weeks and for a maximum period of 52 weeks if the employee is the primary carer. Other types of leave can be taken in conjunction with maternity leave providing the total period of absence does not exceed 52 weeks. Any employee taking maternity leave is required to take at least six weeks continuous leave after the date of the birth of her child. The employer may, with 14 days notice, require the employee to commence maternity leave within six weeks of the presumed confinement date. Applications for maternity leave should include personal details, a medical certificate detailing the expected date of confinement or birth, proposed commencement date and duration of leave. Advice as to whether superannuation payments will continue should be given by the employee. Where the pregnancy is terminated other than by birth of a living child and the employee has not commenced maternity leave, her entitlement to such leave ceases to exist. However, an employee may be entitled to special maternity leave, as specified by her doctor, if the pregnancy has extended beyond 28 weeks, and is terminated other than by birth of a living child. Details of return to work date must be given four weeks in advance. The employee is entitled to return to the position held prior to taking maternity leave or to an alternative position of comparable status and pay. Maternity leave will not count towards continuous service. (i) Transfer to a Safe Job If a pregnant employee provides a doctors certificate stating she is fit to work but is unable to continue in her present position she is entitled to be transferred to a safe job. If transferring the employee to a safe job is not reasonably practicable then the employee is entitled to paid leave for the period during which she is unable to continue in her present position (as stated in the medical certificate). A pregnant employee is only eligible to be transferred to a safe job if she is entitled to, and has formally applied for, maternity leave. This entitlement is in addition to any other leave entitlement and does not reduce the period of maternity leave to which an employee is entitled. 8.6 Paternity Leave Permanent male employees with at least 12 months continuous service are entitled to paternity leave. Paternity leave is unpaid leave available for a minimum period of one week at the time of confinement and a maximum period of 52 weeks if the employee is the primary carer. Other types of leave can be taken in conjunction with paternity leave providing the total period of absence does not exceed 52 weeks. Applications for paternity leave should include personal details, a medical certificate detailing the date of confinement or birth, proposed commencement date and duration of leave. Additionally, the employee will need to provide a Statutory Declaration stating he will be the primary carer. Advice as to whether superannuation payments will continue should be given by the employee. Where the pregnancy is terminated other than by the birth of a living child and the employee has not commenced paternity leave, his entitlement to such leave ceases to exist. Details of the return to work date must be given four weeks in advance. The employee is entitled to return to the position he held prior to taking paternity leave or to an alternative position of comparable status and pay. Paternity leave will not count towards continuous service. 8.7 Adoption Leave An employee seeking to adopt a child may take up to two days of unpaid pre-adoption leave to attend any interviews or examinations required to obtain approval for the adoption. Employees adopting a child under the age of five years are entitled to take up to 52 weeks of unpaid adoption leave (shared between both parents). This leave is only available when the adopted child has not previously lived continuously with either parent for at least six months and is not a child or step child of either parent. Parents may take up to three weeks unpaid leave simultaneously when an adopted child is placed with them. Other types of leave can be taken in conjunction with adoption leave providing the total period of absence does not exceed 52 weeks. 8.8 Study Leave Employees are entitled to study leave to undertake further education courses relevant to business and approved by the Company. The maximum amount of study leave that should be approved is four hours per week to attend lectures or 10 full days per year for those who are studying by correspondence and who are required to attend residential courses. Applications should be lodged four weeks in advance by filling out a training course application form and forwarding to payroll. Employees are entitled to paid leave to sit an examination. Days in excess of this entitlement are at the discretion of the manager. Study leave will count towards continuous service. 8.9 Time in Lieu Time-in-lieu will be granted to those employees who are required by their manager to work outside of their normal job function. All time-in-lieu granted will be added to the employee’s annual leave. The will maintain time-in-lieu accounts which will record time-in-lieu credits and debits. This allows management to provide time-in-lieu as a discretionary benefit. Generally, time-in-lieu should be taken within the same financial year within which it is accrued. Time-in-lieu must be pre-approved by the appropriate manager. 8.10 Leave Without Pay Approval of leave without pay is at the discretion of management. An application giving personal details, employment details, the amount of time and the reason for the leave should be submitted by the employee. Other types of appropriate paid leave should be used before approval for leave without pay can proceed. Failure to return to work on the date stipulated may result in loss of continuity or termination. Extension of leave will be considered on an individual basis. An exchange of letters is required setting out all conditions. Leave without pay will not count towards continuous service. 8.11 Blood Donor Leave Employees may donate blood during working hours without loss of pay provided that: • the payment will be for up to two hours, once in each quarter of the year • the time fits in with work requirements • it is with the approval of their immediate supervisor on presentation of an attendance card authorised by the Red Cross Transfusion Service 8.12 Jury Duty Employees are entitled to paid leave to serve on a jury. An employee on jury service should provide official evidence of requirement to attend and attendance at the court. Employees should declare the amount paid to them by the court and will reimburse them the difference between the amount received and their base salary. Jury duty leave will count towards continuous service. 8.13 Emergency Services Leave If an employee needs to take temporary absence from work because of voluntary emergency management activities (e.g. dealing with an emergency/natural disaster on a voluntary basis, as a member of SES, CFA, Army Reserve etc) then they must make a request to management for leave. The total absence for such leave must be reasonable (take into account current work deadlines etc) and must be agreed between the employee and management. may refuse a request by an employee to attend emergencies if they are urgently required at work. If an employee does not accept the decision of the directors and leaves work without permission, they may be subject to disciplinary proceedings including dismissal. Objective The objectives of the leave policy are to ensure all staff have adequate time away from work for family holidays, special events, rest and recreation while avoiding the build up of large amounts of annual leave not taken on the Company balance sheet. Application The leave policy will be successfully applied when staff take appropriate breaks from work and when all annual leave is taken within the calendar year. Process All planned leave will be taken at a mutually agreed time and will take into account workload requirements and an employee’s individual needs. Leave must be approved in advance with the exception of sick leave or special leave where absences cannot be anticipated. A leave form should be completed, signed by the employee’s manager and forwarded to payroll for action. 9. TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION Policy Statement All staff should adhere to the travel and accommodation policy when travelling on Company business. The Company recognises business travel is generally an inconvenience and seeks to make such inconvenience more comfortable at a cost that is appropriate for the Company’s size and cash flows. Objective The objective of the travel and accommodation policy is that the employee can be in the required location to do business and be ready to do business. All travel arrangements are intended to be comfortable, practical and economical ensuring the employee endures no discomfort when they are required to travel or stay away from home. Application The travel and accommodation policy will be successfully applied when travel is completed within budget at no discomfort to the employee. 9.1 Air Travel Policy policy is to use a preferred airline for approved business travel. All our travel, both domestic and international is to be booked at economy class rates or the lower available discount fare, unless otherwise approved by management. Process Booking requests are to be made on the booking/authority form which should be forwarded to the nominated booker. At least three days notice and wherever possible, the maximum period of notice of bookings required, should be given, to allow maximum use of available discounted fares. 9.2 Accommodation Policy has arrangements with various hotel/motel groups. Persons requiring accommodation should enquire from the nominated booker as to the availability of current deals in various locations. Capital city and major provincial city accommodation should be booked wherever practicable through the previously nominated bookers. Accommodation in country areas will be at the discretion of the traveller but should take maximum advantage of available corporate membership plans and lowest available rates. All accommodation and meal charges are to be paid by the user, unless an alternative arrangement has been previously agreed by the relevant manager. Where there is more than one employee present, meal charges should be paid by the most senior employee. The preferred method of payment is by an accepted credit card. Expenditure will be reimbursed on production of a personal expenses claim form. No accounts will be opened in the Company name. No charges are to be invoiced directly to the Company, unless previously authorised by the relevant manager. Under no circumstances are accounts to be opened or operated at restaurants, hotels etc. Process See Expenses Reimbursement. 9.3 Travel Other Than By Air Policy If it is necessary to travel by rail or coach, arrangements and authorisation as for air travel will apply. 9.4 Motor Vehicle Rental Policy Approval must be obtained from the employee’s manager before any vehicle is rented. Car rental may not be the most cost effective form of local transportation, considering rental, insurance, fuel, mileage and parking charges. For short distances in a day, taxis may be the more economical form of transport. does not have accounts with any car rental firms. All rentals are to be paid for by the employee and claimed as personal expenses. Car rental is to be used only when other means are unavailable, more costly or impractical. The class of car should be a small sedan, unless a larger vehicle is absolutely necessary. Insurance for car rental must be incurred on the rental contract and signed for. If an accident occurs, the rental company should be advised promptly. 9.5 Taxi Fares Policy Employees who are travelling on work related business and who require the use of a taxi for travel should pay the fare and then forward an expenses form with receipt to accounts to be reimbursed. 9.6 Parking Charges Policy Unless required for permanent parking of a particular vehicle, no reserved parking places are to be maintained for general use. It is more cost effective to pay casual rates or catch taxis. Parking fees will be reimbursed for business purposes. However, parking infringement penalties or fines will not, in any circumstances, be paid for by the Company. 9.7 Work Events Work social events are optional events for employees. All employees need to organise their own transportation to and from the venue unless previously organised by management. 10. EMPLOYEE RELATIONS 10.1 Discipline Policy Statement has a human resources’ strategy that recognises the value of its people. Part of this strategy is the fair treatment of all employees. This requires a minimum standard of conduct and performance be agreed, set and communicated with all employees. If employees do not meet this standard, appropriate corrective action, such as training, should be undertaken. Discipline should only be engaged with an employee on a performance issue if all other corrective action has failed to achieve the desired result. Where an employee has deliberately breached a Company policy or procedure, or engaged in misconduct, disciplinary procedures should be initiated. Employees should be treated fairly and the proper procedures should be followed. Employees must be made aware of their responsibilities, counselled and given the opportunity to reach the standards expected of them and the chance to defend themselves before action is taken. It is a requirement to have a third party attend a disciplinary meeting, and notes taken be signed as a true record of discussions. The expected standard must be clearly defined and the measurement criteria understood. A reasonable date for achievement of standards must be agreed. This should be shown as a minimum time, e.g. within one month. For serious issues, employees must be advised in writing and such advice should be recorded on the employee’s personnel file. Process a) Poor Performance Wherever possible the Performance Management System should be used to manage employee performance. However, there may be times when performance, conduct or employee attitude need to be immediately addressed. If employees fall below required performance standards and performance management processes have not been adequate to address the issue they must be personally counselled and then given written confirmation of their deficiencies in performance (a written warning). Such written warnings must clearly define the deficiency, the expected standard, by when it should be achieved, how the company will help the employee achieve the improvement required and the consequences of failing to do so. A record of all meetings, training and/or coaching given and a summary of discussions must be kept by the manager concerned and a copy placed on the employee’s personnel file. This should include date, location and time of discussion. If an employee consistently fails to meet agreed standards, he/she has been counselled and appropriate support/training has been offered and/or given, then further action is required. This may lead to the employee being dismissed. If an employee has not been performing as required, and: • all possible corrective action, including training and coaching, has been undertaken • the manager concerned has documentation showing the conversations taken place, agreed action plans, and other communication with the employee • the employee has been informed of the standards required and his/her performance deficiency(ies) with action plans in writing on at least two occasions and the consequences of failing to met the required standards • the employee has been given the opportunity to appeal or respond to the issues highlighted on each occasion • no other suitable option, or other appropriate positions, are available If all these processes have been followed and the employee’s performance still has not improved, then the employee may be dismissed*. b) Misconduct Managers are expected to investigate misconduct and proceed through the following steps: • a verbal warning should be given to an employee for minor misconduct. A record of the warning must be kept by the manager and should be signed by the employee. The employee must be given the opportunity to respond • if the unacceptable behaviour continues, a written warning will be issued, and signed by the employee as being received and understood. The employee must be given the opportunity to respond • a second written warning should be given to an employee if he/she requires further discipline for the same or a related issue, and also signed by the employee as being received and understood. The employee must be given the opportunity to respond • employees who have been disciplined three times are subject to dismissal* • details of disciplinary actions should be recorded on the employee’s personnel file and removed after six months if further disciplinary action is not required If a manager considers the allegation to be serious, and it requires further investigation, an employee should be suspended on base pay for a maximum of two weeks while an investigation takes place. The individual must be informed, in writing, of the details of the allegation and advised he/she is under investigation. The employee must sign this notice as being received and understood. This letter should invite the employee to present his/her version of events to the investigating officer and inform he/she may be accompanied by a representative. The only purpose of the representative’s visit is to observe – they are not participants. Should we consider an employee’s conduct likely to lead to a situation in which we may wish to dismiss without notice, a diary must be kept at all times to record incidents and conversations and associated matters which may be needed in subsequent proceedings. The relevant manager is responsible for keeping this diary. This manager should also issue a written warning that a continuance of such behaviour will lead to instant dismissal. c) Gross or Serious Misconduct Summary (instant) dismissal for gross or very serious misconduct is possible (depending on the facts involved) for the following: insubordination, drunkenness, dishonesty, assault, deliberately endangering the safety of others, commission of a criminal offence on our site, and objectionable language**. Managers must, however, consult with senior management prior to taking this action*. In such cases follow the procedure below: • investigate the alleged offence thoroughly, including talking to witnesses, if any • ask the employee for his/her response to the allegation (taking notes of this discussion) • consult with the next most senior manager regarding possible action • if still appropriate, following a thorough investigation, terminate/dismiss the employee • keep a file on all evidence collected and action taken in these circumstances All procedures must be followed in accordance with employment equal opportunity/anti-discrimination legislation. *Note: In all such cases ‘procedural fairness’ guidelines will apply. This means the warning and dismissal process must allow the employee to offer their view of the events concerned. The employee must have every chance to defend himself/herself and has the right to appeal a decision made. If this process is not followed the dismissal may be overturned by an Industrial Relations authority. **Note: For some offences retains the right to report the matter to the police where charges may be laid. The police will be notified with regard to any criminal act against the Company or another member of staff. Management has a duty of care to shareholders and staff and at all times will be subordinate to legal process. 10.2 Disciplinary Appeal Policy Statement During all stages of the disciplinary process employees have the right to appeal against any disciplinary action taken against them. An employee who believes the disciplinary action taken against them is unfair, is able to appeal the process. An appeal will be treated fairly, dealt with discreetly and actioned promptly. This policy should be read in conjunction with the grievance policy. Process An employee is entitled to lodge a written appeal to their supervisor’s manager detailing his/her objections to the disciplinary action within three working days of notification. Managers should: • acknowledge receipt of the employee’s objection • investigate the matter thoroughly • report back to the employee within seven days If the appeal is disallowed an employee is entitled to appeal to the next most senior manager. The next most senior manager should investigate the matter and report back to the employee within 10 working days. The employee has no further right of appeal under this process if the second appeal is disallowed. All procedures must be followed in accordance with employment equal opportunity/anti-discrimination legislation. 10.3 Grievance Policy Statement supports the right of every employee to lodge a grievance with his/her manager if the individual believes a decision, behaviour or action that affects their employment is unfair. We aim to resolve problems and grievances promptly and as close to the source as possible with graduated steps for further discussions and resolution at higher levels of authority as necessary. Grievances should be actioned discreetly and promptly dealt with in an objective manner. Process The employee should attempt to resolve the complaint as close to the source as possible. This can be at a quite informal and verbal level. If the matter is not resolved then further steps need to be taken. All available attempts to settle a grievance before starting the formal grievance process should be taken. For the formal grievance process to begin, complainants must fully describe their grievance in writing, including dates and locations wherever possible and the remedies sought. The person(s) against whom the grievance/complaint is made should be given the full details of the allegation(s) against them and should have the opportunity and reasonable time to respond before resolution is attempted. The duration of this should not exceed one week. If resolution is still not reached, the matter will be referred to the Managing Director for consideration and final decision. A grievance taken to this level must be in writing from the employee. The employee’s manager will forward to the Managing Director any additional information thought relevant. The Managing Director will provide a written response to the employee and also communicate with any other parties involved. If the matter is still not resolved, the employee will be advised of his/her rights to pursue the matter with external authorities if they wish. In some circumstances, it may not be appropriate for an employee to discuss his/her grievance with the immediate manager. Grievances relating to harassment would fall into this category and an employee should be able to make their approach to a more senior manager. All procedures must be followed in accordance with employment equal opportunity/anti-discrimination legislation. The above procedure takes place for individual employee grievances. Whatever the final outcome, it will affect the attitudes of each party and their long-term relationship. The issues which sparked the grievance should be reviewed by management at executive level so the dispute does not reoccur. 11. POST TRAUMA COUNSELLING Policy Statement ’s policy is to ensure all staff who are faced with a traumatic event in a work environment are provided with immediate support and counselling, by a professional, external provider. Traumatic events can include being the victim of a robbery or assault, witne.. read more

No HR Manager should waste a crisis
Date created: 09/02/2009
No HR Manager should waste a crisis A HR Manager is essentially an employee manager whose primary function is to keep employees informed, motivated, engaged and also involved in business concerns. There is no better opportunity for a Human Resource Manager to showcase his ability when the chips are down. It is downturn, meltdown and an economic recession all over. In this kind of scenario, the employees on rolls are perplexed, confused and lack direction on their role in an organization. These are not taught at any Business Schools curriculum but a HR Head faced by these challenges and compulsions has to take concrete steps. • Besides taking hard decisions on routine and regular matters, the HR also has the task of familiarizing staff with the changed dynamics of the market. • Frugality is the buzzword. The culture of frugality has to be percolated down the line at all levels. In other words, HR needs to engage all employees to drive the culture of frugality across the organization. • Under the existing conditions, the HR necessarily has to play a strategic role in employee communication and talent management. • It is vital and important for the department of HR to share the company’s plans with employees and get their feed back. • Every organization has to adopt cost cutting measures with cost cutting measures operational efficiency has to be ensured amongst all levels. • There is a huge pay-off from talking with and listening to employees. By talking and listening to them the workforce feel that they are wanted and it helps instill faith and motivates them largely. • A slowing global economy is clearly posing unique challenges and the key skill in these times of an HR is being able to steer clear of ambiguity, if the HR does not present things clearly, it creates nervousness and uncertainty amongst employees. • Though communication is important at all times, during a crisis it assumes higher significance given the unsettling impact of uncertainties on everybody-employees, customers and shareholders. The HR with the CEO has to open up new channels of communication, although it is very centralized with the corporate communication team playing a major role. • The HR has to ensure that the CEO’s thoughts are understood, analyzed, interpreted and communicated to employees in such a way exactly the way the CEO would have communicated. It is not just enough communication but the nature of communication that matters. • Concern and credibility are more important than frequency and sophistication of communication. By communicating with the employees across locations and at other internal forums in the organization the HR offers reassurance to all its employees. • By communicating to the employees of the organization regularly they often bring out inefficiencies and wastages in an organization than top executives sitting in their palatial offices. Experts feel that the HR who is connected to organizational personnel on a sustained basis is in a better position to deal with the vagaries of economies and markets, downturns and disasters. These roles are now carried over successfully by the Chief Executive Officer of various organizations. “A good leader engages all employees and helps them understand changes, the impact on its business and the decisions undertaken to deal with the new situation.” By constantly communicating and understanding the pulse of the employees in the current environment and fine tuning communication, the HR will ultimately drive them to effectiveness. Approaching people issues with respect, dignity, concern for the livelihood of individuals and families and working out solutions shall pave unbelievable results. The approach of HR in hard times is more important for brand-building than people-friendly policies and practices in good times. CEO say a downturn is a good time not only to make organizations efficient and hone good practices but also offers a chance to leaders to look at problems squarely in the eye and make the most of t that they have to be translated into action. FOR AN HR THE DOWNTURN, ECONOMIC CRISIS OFFERS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE MOST OF THE WORST. he worst. The said words of CEO have to be understood by the HR in such a way .. read more

10 things about Technology every HR Manager should know
Date created: 09/02/2009
HR Manager should know. 1. The Era of Excel is over, its no more the most Powerful tool. There was a time when Excel Geeks were highly in demand. Everybody will approach them for a solution. However, with the arrival of softwares like SAP, where HR can ask the software team to create personalized reports, Excel has been moved to the corner. With the amount of analysis and metrics that appear today, Excel is just insufficient. Added to it is the cost of acquiring MS Office. Open Office and Google Docs have appeared as the free alternatives to Excel. Sharing Excels sheets is fun with Google Docs. Though none of these serves as an alternate to customized HR software. 2. Locally developed softwares are out of fashion. The technology is growing at such a pace that th small and one-room-run software vendors are unable to infuse the technology and dynamics that world of HR needs. Don't you remember the important updates that you required but your software vendor was unable to do. People are changing, become more tech savvy, blogs are swarming all over – so how can you expect your employees to appreciate your locally developed software. And then there is no need to worry, the latest SaaS technology offers high degree of customization to develop a system meeting your specific needs. 3. Web based Software is the new affordable tool The huge success of Monster.com, Salesforce, EmpXtrack, SuccessFactors, et ecetra is enough to prove that the era of web 2.0 has begun. Most of these, especially, EmpXtrack provides updates to the software at the fly, the price of these softwares is unmatched and no need to keep in-house support staff. So why would anybody keep the old, poorly interfaced software in HR. Would you? Click her if you want to see how a web-based HR software works. 4. Books are not the only resource of knowledge The web 2.0 has changed the way the knowledge was store. Gone are the days when you need to read a complete book to know what you need. There are blogs (like this one), forums, communities where you can interact with people of similar interest and read their articles, opinions and blah blah. The ones that I frequent often are Cite HR, and Recruitment Blogs. 5. Email is not the only communication tool The nightmare of writing e-mails and then waiting impatiently for the response is over, and off course of missing an important e-mail id in your list. Thanks to chat software, blogs, SaaS software, twitter, forums – you can send your message to your employees, juniors, seniors seamlessly. Web-based softwares provide employee portals for easy communication of information like News and Events to employees. Use these to make your life better. Happy 6. Virtual Office is no more merely a 'Good Thought' Its a reality! Employees can work equally well from home using virtual office softwares, where they can share their important files, documents, projects with your team. With the rising cost of travel, why to bother your employee to ask them to travel to office daily, when they can do the same from their home-office. Read 'How Virtual Office Works' at How Stuff Works. 7. There are freelancers exchange forums to get the job done Sometimes your project managers needs an expert to do a urgent job, that is not part of their regular activity. What to do? No matter whatever you did in the past, there are sites that allow freelances and the HR managers to interact. HR managers/ project managers can post their jobs or choose a freelance of their choice to do the job. Like Elance. 8. Job sites are not the only place to find right talent There are social sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Ecademy, communities like Orkut, yahoo groups, and blogs etc. where people post their portfolios. Try using these, they are an alternate to the conventional job sites. They are almost free. 9. New Generation employees are very tech savvy – catch with them The latest generation of employees is very tech savvy. They play with gadgets, iPods, write blogs, create communities and interact in so many ways. HR needs to catch up with them, else they will find a place that suit their tastes. Given them web based softwares, blogs, and forums to be engaged – it will energize them to use their creativity for organization. 10. Technology cannot do magic! It is not a replacement for man. Technology can do wonders but only to the extent of helping people to do their tasks better. It cannot replace the intelligence that man carries with him. Even the best technology cannot replicate the convincing HR manager who can motivate an employee to give his best, understand complex Human problems and provide solutions, show empathy to employee Et cetera. .. read more

Projecting Recruitment Scenario
Date created: 04/02/2009
New Delhi: Dip in India's export by 22 percent in January along with the ongoing financial crunch is likely to take away one crore jobs in labor-intensive industries in the current fiscal ending March, forecasts Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO). Reeling under the downturn, industries like textiles, garments, chemicals and gems and jewellery had cut production by 10-50 percent. As per a recent survey by Commerce Ministry, over one lakh people have already lost jobs upto January 15. "Textile garments and handicraft sectors were the worse affected. Together they are set to lose more than 4 million jobs by April 2009. Other sectors that could lose anywhere between 5 and 10 lakh jobs each include gems and jewellery, chemicals and engineering and auto component sectors," Ajai Sahai, Director General of FIEO told The Economic Times. As measures to beat the slump in export, Foreign Minister Paranab Mukherjee said, "We have to focus on domestic demand by primarily stimulating growth in rural areas and highly labour intensive sectors." "Government would at this point concentrate on implementing the stimulus packages announced earlier and ensuring that the job losses are compensated with new ones. There is no problem of finances. There is enough money to fund companies' working capital as well as future projects," mentioned Arun Ramanathan, Finance secretary. .. read more

Training
Date created: 29/01/2009
Your Clients are; Freezing ‘Growth Plans’. Telling you to “keep the Candidate warm”. Telling you they “would love to meet with you, but….” They; Apologise for the last invoice not being paid yet. ‘Go missing’. Tell you to ‘talk to Personnel’. They say; “we need to see how Q1 goes before we commit to anything”. “no, we are not even replacing the ‘leavers’”. “why should I pay you to find me people, there are plenty of good people who are applying direct”. “you charge how much?!?, others are offering the same for 10% (or one months salary)” “no, we don’t need anyone, do you have any jobs for me?” Final insult; “ha ha ha, you must be kidding me, do you read the newspapers? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Pretty rough out there, isn’t it. Trust me I know, I sell to Recruitment companies who are on the receiving end of all the above. I make between 10 and 12 verbal pitches per PST, I get rejected 8 to 10 times per PST. So, how come I have won 6 new clients in the last 6 weeks? How come I have helped open 5 new Recruitment offices in December and will another in Jan week 2, followed by an office “turn-around” in week 3? Are these people mad? Money to burn? No my friends, it’s because when your back is to the wall, when all the odds are against you, you have two options; 1) Curl up into a ball, cover your head and hope you survive what the downturn is going to throw at you. 2) Fight back with techniques, styles, new offerings, new weapons that will not just help you to survive ~ but help you to win. The year in 52BC, Julius Caesar has surrounded Vercingetorix (the leader of the Gaul army of some 400,000 fighters), in Alesia (near present day Dijon, France). Vercingetorix has 30,000 troops with him defending his fortifications. Caesar has a similar number of Roman troops. Its stalemate, nether side is winning or loosing. Standard military strategy applies and you win some / you loose some. This was the Recruitment world 6 months ago. Caesar gets word that there is a Gaul army of 250,000 troops coming to annihilate him (this is his recession, his downturn!). Outnumbered by more than 9:1 he and his army should have been destroyed. The maths just don’t work, no one could survive those odds. Caesar develops four tactics that ensures, not just that he survives ~ but that he wins. He creates a trench 20 feet wide studded with sharpened tree trunks, in front of them, diagonal rows of traps buried in a three feet deep metal and wooden spikes. He forces the enemy to fight his troops where their training and strength can be best utilised. But must important of all, he puts on his ‘dress uniform’ scarlet cloak and full plume polished helmet and goes to the front rank to engage the enemy. This is how you win at odds of 9:1 against you. If you want to develop your 4 x part survival and win tactics, Such as: - How to Sell Candidates who don’t want jobs, to Companies who don’t know they need them yet. - - How to Control an out of control Client. - - How to make money from your existing inventory. - - How to maximise revenue from your team. Contact mitesh@myjobsindia.com.. read more

200 Questions Job Candidates May Ask Your Company
Date created: 13/01/2009
200 Questions Job Candidates May Ask Your Company Here are some questions that applicants may ask recruiters, managers, HR pros, and others. Some of them you may start hearing more often as the balance of power continues to tilt toward employees. you know the answers to these questions? Some of them you may start hearing more often as the balance of power continues to tilt toward employees. Others, you'll never hear from a candidate's mouth. Still, asking yourself these questions -- and finding out or exploring the answers -- can give you a deeper understanding of your company. Questions for Headhunters and Recruiters Questions for HR Questions for Hiring Managers High-level Probing Questions Questions That Are Defensive Questions Designed to Get Feedback Questions Designed to Close the Deal Questions Stars May Ask Questions for Headhunters and Recruiters How did you find me? Is this a retainer or contingency assignment? Are you dealing with the client's HR people, or do you have direct contact with the hiring manager? How long has the client been with you? How many candidates have you placed with this client? When will I find out the name of the principal or client company? May I have a written job description? Where is the position located? Where is the company headquartered? To whom does the position report? Can you tell me about this executive's management style? Why is the position open? What happened to the person who previously held this position? Is this a new position? How long has the position been open? How long have you been working on the assignment? What does the position pay? Are there any pay or compensation constraints that I should take into consideration? What can you tell me about the person who will be interviewing me? What is his or her position, title, management style? Who will make the final hiring decision? After you present my resume, when can I expect to hear from you regarding the status of this position? Can you describe, specifically, how the company navigates/balances work? and personal-life issues? What might I do that would violate the culture of the company during my interview? Return to Top Questions for HR Why do you enjoy working for this company? What attracted you to this organization? Can you describe the work environment here? How do you describe the philosophy of the company or organization? What do you consider to be the organization's strengths and weaknesses? Can you tell me more about my day-to-day responsibilities? How soon are you looking to fill this position? How do my skills compare with those of the other candidates you have interviewed? I have really enjoyed meeting with you and your team, and I am very interested in the opportunity. I feel my skills and experience would be a good match for this position. What is the next step in your interview process? Before I leave, is there anything else you need to know concerning my ability to do this job? In your opinion, what is the most important contribution that this company expects from its employees? Is there a structured career path at the company? What are my prospects for advancement? If I do a good job, what is a logical next step? Assuming I was hired and performed well for a period of time, what additional opportunities might this job lead to? Do the most successful people in the company tend to come from one area of the company, such as sales or engineering, or do they rise from a cross section of functional areas? I know that for the position for which I am interviewing, the company decided to recruit from outside the organization. How do you decide between recruiting from within and going outside? How does this position relate to the bottom line? What advice would you give to someone in my position? What major problems are we facing right now in this department or position? Can you give me a formal, written description of the position? I'm interested in reviewing in detail the major activities involved and what results are expected. Does this job usually lead to other positions in the company? Which ones? Can you please tell me a little bit about the people with whom I'll be working most closely? As I understand the position, the title as ________, the duties are _______, and the department is called ________. I would report directly to __________. Is that right? Can you talk about the company's commitment to equal opportunity and diversity? Who are the company's stars, and how was their status determined? How are executives addressed by their subordinates? What can you tell me about the prevailing management style? If you hired me, what would be my first assignment? Does the company have a mission statement? May I see it? Return to Top Questions for Hiring Managers Could you explain the company's organizational structure? What is the organization's plan for the next five years, and how does this department or division fit in? What specific skills from the person you hire would make your life easier? Will we be expanding or bringing on new products or new services that I should be aware of? What are some of the problems that keep you up at night? What are some of the skills and abilities you see as necessary for someone to succeed in this job? What would be a surprising but positive thing the new person could do in first 90 days? What challenges might I encounter if I take on this position? How does upper management perceive this part of the organization? What are your major concerns that need to be immediately addressed in this job? What do you see as the most important opportunities for improvement in the area I hope to join? What are the attributes of the job that you'd like to see improved? What are the organization's three most important goals? What is your company's policy on attending seminars, workshops, and other training opportunities? How do you see this position impacting the achievement of those goals? What is the budget this department operates with? What attracted you to working for this organization? What committees and task forces will I be expected to participate in? What have you liked most about working here? How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom? What are the day-to-day responsibilities I'll be assigned? Are there any weaknesses in the department that you are particularly looking to improve? What are the department's goals, and how do they align with the company's mission? What are the company's strengths and weaknesses compared with the competition? (name one or two companies) How does the reporting structure work here? What are the preferred means of communication? What goals or objectives need to be achieved in the next six months? Can you give me an ideal of the typical day and workload and the special demands the job has? This a new position. What are the forces that suggested the need for this position? What areas of the job would you like to see improvement in with regard to the person who was most recently performing these duties? From all I can see, I'd really like to work here, and I believe I can add considerable value to the company. What's the next step in the selection process? How does this position contribute to the company's goals, productivity, or profits? What is currently the most pressing business issue or problem for the company or department? Would you describe for me the actions of a person who previously achieved success in this position? Would you describe for me the action of a person who previously performed poorly in this position? How would you describe your own management style? What are the most important traits you look for in a subordinate? How do you like your subordinates to communicate with you? What personal qualities or characteristics do you most value? Could you describe to me your typical management style and the type of employee who works well with you? Corporate culture is very important, but it's usually hard to define until one violates it. What is one thing an employee might do here that would be perceived as a violation of the company's culture? How would you characterize the organization? What are its principal values? What are its greatest challenges? How would you describe the experience of working here? If I were to be employed here, what one piece of wisdom would you want me to incorporate into my work life? What are a couple of misconceptions people have about the company? Work-life balance is an issue of retention as well as productivity. Can you talk about your own view of how to navigate the tensions between getting work done and encouraging healthy lives outside the office? How does the company support and promote personal and professional growth? What types of people seem to excel here? Every company contends with office politics. It's a fact of life because politics is about people working together. Can you give me some exams of how politics plays out in this company? What have I yet to learn about this company and opportunity that I still need to know? I'm delighted to know that teamwork is highly regarded. But evaluating performance of teams can be difficult. How does the company evaluate team performance? For example, does it employ 360-degree feedback programs? What are the organization's primary financial objectives and performance measures? What operating guidelines or metrics are used to monitor the planning process and the results? To what extent are those objectives uniform across all product lines? How does the company balance short-term performance versus long-term success? What kinds of formal strategic planning systems, if any, are in place? Can you describe the nature of the planning process and how decisions concerning the budgeting process are made? Can you identify the key corporate participants in the planning process? How often and in what form does the company report its results internally to its employees? In the recent past, how has the company acknowledged and rewarded outstanding performance? What are the repercussions of having a significant variance to the operating plan? Are budgeting decisions typically made at corporate headquarters, or are the decisions made in a more decentralized fashion? I'm glad to hear that I will be part of a team. Let me ask about reward structures for teams. Does the company have a formal team-based compensation process? Is the company more of an early adapter of technology, a first mover, or is it content to first let other companies work the bugs out and then implement a more mature version of the technology? How does the company contribute to thought leadership in its market? How advanced is the company's commitment to knowledge management? I was pleased to hear you describe the company's branding strategy. How does branding fit into the overall marketing mix? How does this position contribute to the company's goals, productivity, or profits? According to (name source), your principal competitor, Brand X, is the best-selling product in the space. What does Brand X do better than your product? Business Week magazine ranks the company second (or whatever) in its industry. Does this position represent a change from where it was a few years ago? How accessible is the CEO (name him or her) to people at my level of the organization? Does the CEO (name him or her) publish his or her email address? I understand that the CEO is really approachable. Are there ground rules for approaching him or her? Staff development is mentioned in your annual report as a measure on which executives are evaluated. What kinds of training experiences might I expect? Is the department a profit center? Can you please tell me about the people who will look to me for supervision? Would I encounter any coworker or staff person who's proved to be a problem in the past? What happened to the person who previously held this job? The incumbent was dismissed? How could the problems have been avoided? The incumbent was promoted? I'm delighted to hear it. Would it be possible for me to talk to him or her? What is the company customer-service philosophy? Could you tell me about a time when the team/company went out of its way to provide knock-your-socks-off service? The best companies rely on rich customer data to fuel personalized content and services. How is the company doing in personalizing its offerings? Customers are expecting companies to protect their data. Does the company have a privacy policy for its Web initiatives, and how does the company balance the momentum for ever-increasing personalization with rising concerns for privacy? How empowered are employees? How much of the company's money can your people (including the ones with single-digit pay grades) spend on their own recognizance to satisfy a customer or address a work-process issue? How often would I come into direct contact with real, living, breathing, paying customers? What are the success factors that will tell you if the decision to bring me on board was the right one? To make our working relationship successful -- something we both want -- we'll need to be sure we have good chemistry together. How might we determine this, and then what action would you see us engage in to build that relationship? If you and I were developing some sort of philosophical difference, how would you want to go about resolving it? Return to Top Other Probing Questions -- often for high-level assignments Could you please describe the management team to me? Does the company have a Net-use policy? Will I receive my assignments from IT or from the business unit? Do developers have little contact with the business unit or significant contact? Can you show or sketch me an organizational chart? If for any reason you were unable to function as CEO, how would you like to see the company managed? To whom does the chief information or technology officer report? How would you describe the degree to which you want your heirs to have strategic or operational influence in the company until one of them is ready to assume the role of COO or CEO? What are you hoping to accomplish, and what will be my role in those plans? May I see a job description? What are the most important responsibilities of the job? How much time should be devoted to each area of responsibility? What is my spending/budget authority? What initial projects would I be tackling? What are the biggest technical challenges ahead for this department/ company? Presuming that I'm successful on this assignment, where else might I be of service to the company? Traditionally, companies have used IT to reduce bottom-line costs. But I am excited about the use of IT to advance top-line opportunities such as creating new products and identifying new markets. Can you talk about how IT is used in this company to create top-line value? What structured strategies for software testing have you found effective here? Does the company use an IT steering committee? If you put all the salespeople in a line from your best to the merely acceptable performer, what are the earnings of the 50th percentile? The 25th? The 75th? Can you describe the performance of the sales team? What is the commission structure, and what is my earning potential in 1,3,5, or 10 years? What percentage of salespeople attain objectives? What percentage of the current people are above and below their set goals? Return to Top Questions That Are Defensive -- designed to protect the employee I understand the company has experienced layoffs within the last two years. Can you review the reasons why they were necessary? How were the layoffs handled in terms of notification, severance, outplacement services, etc.? What rewards have you found effective in recognizing and rewarding exceptional work? Are there formal metrics in place for measuring and rewarding performance over time? How effectively has the company communicated its top three business goals? I am a hard worker, and like to be around hard-working people. Am I going to be comfortable with the level of effort I find here? Is the company's training strategy linked to the company's core business objectives? How does your firm handle recognition for a job well done? When was the last time you rewarded a subordinate for his or her efforts? What token of appreciation did you offer? How does the firm recognize and learn from a brave attempt that didn't turn out quite as expected? If I were a spectacular success in this position after six months, what would I have accomplished? How much freedom would I have in determining my objectives and deadlines? How long has this position existed in the organization? Has its scope changed recently? Do you foresee this job involving significant amounts of overtime or work on weekends? What are the greatest challenges I will face in this position in furthering the agenda of the organization? Are my tasks limited to my job description, or will I be performing duties outside the described job scope? Return to Top Questions Designed to Get Feedback How do you like me so far? Do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job and fit in? Is there anything standing in the way of us coming to an agreement? Do you have any concerns about my experience, education, skills? How do I compare with the other candidates you have interviewed? Describe your ideal candidate. What do my qualifications lack compared to those of the theoretical ideal candidate? I'm ready to make a decision based on the information I have. Is there anything else I can elaborate on so that you would have a better understanding of my qualifications and suitability for this position? Are there any areas in which you feel I fall short of your requirements? Can you give me any feedback that would make me more attractive to the company in the future or that I could benefit from next time? Is there anything else you need from me to have a complete picture of my qualifications? Return to Top Questions Designed to Close the Deal Is there anything personally or professionally that you believe would prevent my being a solid contributor in this role? Your search is over. You will not find anyone else more qualified to do this job than I. If I were you, I'd cancel all the other interviews and make me an offer. I'm not going to keep it a secret. I really want this job, and I know I will be fantastic in it. Until I hear from you again, what particular aspects of the job and this interview should I be considering? I know I can meet the demands of the position and would make an outstanding contribution. Can I have the offer? What will be your recommendation to the hiring committee? I'm ready to make a decision based on the information I have. Is there anything else you need to make me an offer? I am very interested in this job, and I know your endorsement is key to my receiving an offer. May I have your endorsement? It sounds to me as if we have a great fit here. What do you think? It has been an interesting and fruitful discussion. l would very much like to take it to the next step. Return to Top Questions Stars May Ask What's the gross profit margin of the division I will be working in? What percentage of the total profit from the company does it generate? Is it increasing or decreasing? What's your company's "killer application"? What percentage of the market share does it have? Will I be working on it? Can you give me some examples of the best and worst aspects of the company's culture? What makes this company a great place to work? What outside evidence (rankings or awards) do you have to prove this is a great place to work? What is the company going to do in the next year to make it better? What would I see if I stood outside the front door at five o'clock? Would people be smiling? Staying late or leaving early? Would everyone be taking work home? Lots of your competitors have great products and people programs. What is the deciding factor that makes this opportunity superior? Are you able to say any things that you will do to make this a great experience for me if I accept the position? Can you show me that the company has a diverse workforce and that it is tolerant of individual differences? Does it have affinity groups or similar programs that I might find beneficial? Is there a dress code? Can you give me an example of any "outrageous conduct" this firm tolerates the competitors would not? Does your company offer any "wow!" benefits? Does it pay for advanced degrees? Does it offer paid sabbaticals? On-site child care? Relocation packages? Mentor programs? How are these superior to those of your competitors? What about job sharing? Flex-time arrangements? Telecommuting? Workout facilities? When top performers leave the company, why do they leave and where do they usually go? When was the last significant layoff? What criteria were used to select those to stay? Does the company have a program to significantly reward individuals who develop patents/great products? Is there a program to help individuals "start" their own firms or subsidiary? Will I be required to fill out noncompete agreements? How many approvals would it take (and how long) to get a new $110,000 project idea of mine approved? What percentage of employee-initiated projects in this job were approved last year? How many days will it take for you (and the company) to make a hiring decision for this position? Who are the "coolest" people on my team? What makes them cool? Can I meet them? Who is the best and worst performer on the team, and what was the difference in their total compensation last year? Sell me on this team and the individuals on it that I get to work with. What makes my closest coworkers fun great people to work with? What is your "learning plan" for me for my first six months? What competencies do you propose I will develop that I don't currently have? Which individual in the department can I learn the most from? What can he or she teach me? Can I meet that person? Does the company have a specific program to advance my career? Could I miss a day without your advance permission? What percentage of the people in this position telecommute? Has anyone in the group been allowed to take a month off (unpaid) to fulfill a personal interest? Give me some examples of the decisions I could make in this job without any approvals. Can you show me the degree of autonomy and control I have in this position? How many hours a week do you expect the average person on your team to work? How many hours does the average person in fact work? Are there work-life programs in place to promote a healthy work-life balance? How will my performance be evaluated? What are the top criteria you use? What percentage of my compensation is based on my performance? Is their a process where the employees get to assess their supervisor? If I do a great/bad job in the first 90 days, how, specifically, will you let me know? What are the steps you would take to help me improve? How do you discipline team members? What is the first assignment you intend to give me? Where does that assignment rank on the departmental priorities? What makes this assignment a great opportunity? How many hours of your time can I expect to get each week for the first six months on the job? How often will we have scheduled meetings? If I were frustrated about my job, what specific steps would you take to help me overcome that frustration? How about if you were frustrated with me? Can you show me examples of what you have done for others in your group in the past year to overcome any frustration? What are the "wows!" of this job? What are the worst parts? And what will you do to maximize the former and minimize the latter? If I asked the incumbent what stinks about the job, what would he or she say? Can I talk to him or her? What will make my physical work environment a fun and stimulating place to spend time? What inputs do employees get in departmental decisions? In hiring and assessing coworkers? Could I get a chance to see the team in action? Can I sit in on a team meeting? Shadow someone for a day? What are the biggest problems facing this department in the next six months and in one year? What key competencies have you identified that I will need to develop in the next six months to be successful? What do you see in me? What are my strongest assets and possible weaknesses? Do you have any concerns that I need to clear up in order to be the top candidate? What is the likelihood -- maybe in percentage terms -- that I'll get an offer? .. read more

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