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Friday, November 10, 2017

How Emergency Management Can Fit into Businesses While Taking the Burden off HR

Guest Post By Kendall Herbert, Emergency Management Specialist

Accidents, Emergencies, and Natural Disasters happen every day, and their repercussions can affect everyone. Emergency managers are the experts who assist work centers and businesses to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a wide range of emergencies that could happen. Some insight they offer are:
·       Preparedness: Informing and preparing employees for any type of hazard they could encounter, such as natural or man-made disasters. As the saying goes “Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail” via Benjamin Franklin.
·       Planning: Many plans and procedures can be created to lessen the impact from disasters. Some typical plans include:
o   Business Continuity Plan: This will be a guideline for how business will be conducted when an incident or accident occurs.
o   Evacuation Plans: When there is a fire or other emergency, employees need to know how to evacuate the work center and rendezvous in the designated safe meeting place.
o   Evaluating Risks: Every location is different and so are the risks. These variables can factor in potential vulnerabilities that could affect a business. Some examples are earthquakes, hurricanes, or railyard accidents.
o   Mutual Aid Agreements (MAA) / Mutual Understanding Agreements (MUA): MAAs and MUAs are used between different organizations to assist one another throughout the entire incident.
·       Recovery: After an incident occurs, everything will not magically fix itself. Emergency mangers create plans and understand how to get the ball rolling during the recovery operations.
·       Mitigation: This is used to limit the effects or losses during incidents and makes it easier to recover.

Emergency managers are an asset to all organizations all shapes or sizes. Nobody has the ability to stop disasters from happening, but emergency managers will utilize their knowledge to help businesses prepare for the inevitable, and have a smoother recovery process. Businesses can have emergency managers in place to prepare, plan, and recover from these emergencies, and in return would allow everyone to get back to work sooner. Who wants to say no to more time working, quicker recovery processes, and less damages?

How prepared is your organization?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Is the Good Ole' Boy Network a Myth or Reality?

The following was originally written in 2011 and posted on the Women of HR site here:

As I prepare for a program on harassment and discrimination to be delivered at the Danville Community College later this month, I was reminded of this post and thought I would share again here. From the archives:

From Women of HR
By Donna Rogers, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
The following are a few hypothetical (not really) life stories related to human resources, being a woman in what is still in some circles ‘a man’s world’ and organizational behavior.

At the end of each story, I challenge you to put yourself in the position of anyone in this story and comment on whether or not you think the “good ol’ boy” network is a myth or has a touch of reality. There are no right or wrong answers. Have fun!

Myth or reality?

A fully qualified female non-commissioned officer applies for a commissioned officer position within a department for which she is the only female. The department sits just outside the main office area of the control tower for a huge contingency of male pilots who currently fly with other male co-pilots due to the aircraft type. Women are not allowed to fly this type of aircraft. The department is made up of 2 long term male non-commissioned officers, 1 male commissioned officer, and 1 female non-commissioned officer who works as an administrative assistant – and also happens to be the applicant.

In the building, friendships are strong, male dominated communications with a tint of sexual harassment are common place, and a layoff of the co-pilots is pending due to the base switching to more modern solo piloted aircraft. The position is filled with a male co-pilot who would have lost his job had this position not been available due to the aircraft switch.

Myth or reality?

A fully qualified female civilian employee has an idea to promote HR related services to members of the organization that will improve efficiency and effectiveness of their operations while generating revenue for her own department. She has the support of her boss and together they pitch the idea to the company attorney to minimize organizational risk and ask for professional advice.

The attorney has been long time college buddies with the CEO and other members of the organization including those on the board of directors. This attorney also has the qualifications to offer the same services for a fee from his company. The idea is not approved by the CEO but later shows up as a service outreach of the company who employees the attorney.

Myth or reality?

A small independent contract offers HR related services to a governmental entity that is managed by a former small town business man who had previously served in a political position before his long tenured private career. The independent contractor develops an idea to cut costs for the client who had previously mentioned not having a budget at all for the services sought. The idea is shut down and the independent contractor is told they are moving in a different direction and a formal proposal would not be necessary. Later, the client announces a contract to be approved that is over twice what the independent contractor was going to charge for the same services they were previously told were moving a different direction.

The winning contract has had many past dealings with the decision makers as well as those around closest to him and in other positions across the state. Come to find out there were several other big players in the bidding process that were much larger and had connections both within that organization as well as within the larger organization.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Engaged Bride to Be = Discouraged Employee

The following was originally written in 2011 and posted on the Women of HR site here:

As I prepare for a program on harassment and discrimination to be delivered at the Danville Community College later this month, I was reminded of this post and thought I would share again here.  From the archives (although updated slightly with number of years married, etc.

By Donna Rogers, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Last week (in 2011), I was teaching a two-day Certified Public Manager session for a group of association members.  The session was called Human Resources: Productivity and Quality.  During one of our discussions regarding compliance related issues we covered the process of an HR Audit which included as one of many tasks, a review of posters that need to be posted at work sites.  One participant mentioned a poster that drew quite a stir when it first came out, which I personally was not aware of, pictured to the left here.  I asked her to send it to me and we later got into a discussion that this situation reminded me of during my early working years before my HR career.

At 23 years old, just after graduating from ISU with my undergrad in public relations, I obtained my first marketing director position officially after having been doing the job during my internship when two of our marketing directors moved on (all during one semester).  Of course at that age, I was all gung ho about moving up the ladder in the mall management business.  So I worked very hard for another two years and was pleasantly surprised with the prospect of promotion.  Life was really going well because my boyfriend of 5 years (now my husband of 27 years) had just proposed and I accepted.  Unfortunately, life took an unexpected turn for the worse when I went to work to share the news with the office.

Much to my surprise my boss (a female mall manager) suggested that I do not share the news with anyone else in the office and especially not her boss, the regional mall manager.  Still a bit naive of the ways of work for women, I asked why.  She proceeded to tell me that she thought it would hurt my chances of a promotion within the industry because Marketing Directors were expected to travel around the country moving from small to larger malls.  The idea of a female Marketing Director being married and possibly planning a family would not go well.  So I basically had to hide my engagement (and put the ring in a drawer when I went to work) for six months.  I was then promoted to a mall two levels above normal.  There were four levels of malls based on square footage and sales.  As a new Marketing Director, I would have been expected to start at a level one mall first. 

However, the promotion offer was for a level two mall.  I turned it down because that was not the company I wished to work for any longer.  The point is I had no idea I was being discriminated against (at least not from the same lens I look at the situation now).  The bottom line is harassment& discrimination comes in all shapes & sizes.  Be aware and try not to get discouraged.  Engagement is a time to celebrate! 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

55 Active Job Search Sites (Updated 7/19)

I had a company encouraging me to update this list over the last couple of months.  Since they focus on veteran hiring and I am a veteran supporting other veterans I am happy to add the following to this original posting from 2017.

Silent Professionals is a free veteran recruitment service. Their differentiating factor is that they focus on a very specific subset of veteran employment which is the combat arms veteran.

Their site is much more than just a job board because they actually provide a service behind it which is all free to the veteran. As combat veterans themselves, with a vast amount of experience in the private security sector, they are able to use that experience and influence within the industry to act as trusted advocates for the veteran candidate.

They boast an incredible 84% job placement success rate for candidates that they recommend to employers.

One of the reasons they're able to do that is because of their focus on jobs for combat veterans who are seeking a career in private security which leverages the skills and experiences gained during combat. They also provide these types of veterans a seamless transition from battlefield skills to corporate security skills.
Original 9/27/17 Post:

I spent a couple hours today research job sites because my students are going to search them tonight in class and I was using an extremely outdated list.  While I could probably spend a few more hours, I need to move on to other course prep as today's topic is on Recruiting and Selection.  Unfortunately, a discussion about job sites is only a portion of the first topic Recruiting.  I searched a number of lists using google articles, etc. but made sure they were published either this year or last.  I also personally checked every link so I know they are active as of today for sure! I'd like to expand on the job search app list because I know that is definitely lacking.  If you know of any, please feel free to comment below, so I can add to the list next time and readers can use them immediately.  Anyway, I thought this list might come in handy for current talent management professionals as well as job seekers and career management professionals.  Enjoy!

Internet Recruiting Sites

Employment Hubs

Career Builder          
Career One Stop      
My Next Move           
National Job Network
Robert Half                
Simply Hired              
The Ladders                                     
USA Jobs                   

College Grads

Branch Out                  
Campus Pride             
College Central          
Internships (Jobs too)
Way up                        

Targeted Groups

Dice (Tech Jobs)      
FairyGodBoss (for Women)
Freelancer (gig jobs)
Idealist (Nonprofit Jobs)
Media bistro (Media Jobs)
PowertoFly (for Women)
Snagajob (Hourly Jobs)
TaskRabbit (Gig Jobs)
Upwork (gig jobs)     

Job Search Apps


Protected Class Job Sites

70 Million Jobs (Incarcerated)
AARP Job Board (50+)
Diversity Jobs            
Professional Diversity Network
Recruit Disability        
Recruit Military           
Vet Jobs                     
Women for Hire          

Others to look for

Employment Agency Sites
Newspaper Sites

Friday, September 22, 2017

What HR should know about Evacuation and Re-entry Post Disaster

To continue our focus on Disaster Preparedness this month, I would like to introduce guest author, Kendall Herbert who specializes in Emergency Management and will be in the job market next Spring after graduating with his Bachelors degree in Emergency Management.  Look for other topics along these lines to come.

Evacuation and re-entry are important parts of keeping organizations prepared for disasters. It can be the different between a long drawn out process leaving everyone confused, or quicker one which would allow more time to work. Being prepared and taking time in advance can save organizations time and money in the long run.

For example, when there is a gas leak within a building what steps are people immediately going to do?

·         Evacuate the building,
·         meet up in the designated location, and
·         wait until told to can re-enter the building.

The evacuation part is easy: just pack up and go. The re-entry is more complex, because there are several questions to be answered such as:

·         is the hazard gone?
·         is it safe to enter?
·         is everyone still here or did they go home?

Those questions if not answered can impact business operations. A gas leak can be a minor incident, like a small fender bender blocking roads, but what about larger and more devastating gas leaks that cause explosions or other more serious disaster.

What happens when a larger incident occurs that requires people to stay away for an extended period? For example, a hurricane rips through a town damaging businesses. The building is unsafe to enter; however, once the storm clears, most employees are unsure if they are supposed to return to work. How are these employees going to be informed with up to date information? Without a plan set in place, some options may be trying to contact people on social media or going door to door if that information is even available. Those plans may not make it very far because not everyone is up-to-date with social media, be time consuming, or be considered unprofessional.

Planning is the way to smoothly and quickly recover from a disaster. When a disaster strikes, that is not the time to try and figure out what to do. Those questions should be answered well in advance to limit confusion during an already hectic and potentially dangerous time. There should be some procedure in place to notify all employees with updates and information to keep them in the loop. Organizations have already taken a massive blow that may take some time to recover from, the last thing that owners need to do is worry about if their employees are going to show up to work when repairs are made. Notifying them that the damage done will take three weeks to repair, and giving updates when they arise will keep the employees up-to-date on the situation rather than feeling they are forgotten.

Understanding the hazards within the local area and the impact they could have is a great starting point when creating any type of plan. Also consider how employees and customers receive information, this will make everyone’s life just a little bit easier. Evacuation is the easy part, just pack up the important things and get out of the area. Re-entry is on another level, knowing when it is safe to enter the building, coordinating when employees show back up, and starting up work operations, that is entirely different.

By SrA Kendall Herbert, Emergency Management, Operations Section, USAF

Sunday, September 17, 2017

September is Disaster Preparedness Month!

The following is from our local SHRM Chapter.  I thought I would share it as a member to help others who are working on Disaster Plans this month:

While we thankfully do not have hurricanes in Illinois, the events along the coast reminds us of the importance of emergency preparation.  This is true of our companies as much as for our employees.  Just as businesses have developed disaster plans to limit down time and loss of productivity, we can help our employees be better prepared as well.  By encouraging their preparation, you are reinforcing that they are a valued employee. Listed below are links for you to share with your employees including GO Bag instructions.    
Also listed are links for businesses to begin or evaluate business disaster plans. 
Make - Be Ready!  A part of your company discussions. 
For employees
For Businesses

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Recent Speaking Gig Topics

I am often contacted about what I speak on and since I rewrite a new paragraph or two every time, I thought I would document it here for those who have interest.

I cover any topic related to management and especially as it relates to employees via human resources management.  You can see some topics listed  on my website at or blogsite  The most recent topics include:

Reasonable Suspicion
Empathy in the Workplace
Conducting a Workplace Investigation
The Bermuda Triangle of HR: FMLA, WC, & ADA
Harassment & Discrimination

I am working on preparing one on Bereavement Leave that I will deliver in February at the 2nd annual OHSHRM HR Cruise.  I have spoken recently for Women Entrepreneurs,  General Federation for Women’s Club and Women in Communications linked above.  I tailor all speaking gigs to the audience.  I have been speaking publicly for my entire career.

I hope that helps and I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

21 Prezi's Last Year + 25 Clients

Wow! Now you can see part of why I have not been blogging as much as in the past. The Running an HR Department of One (aka Doing More with Less) was with my speaking partner Mr. Dave Ryan the HRCzar. In addition to the speaking list below, I did HR consulting work for 25 different companies in Springfield, Gibson City, Winchester, Perry, Campaign, Bloomington, Danville, Chicago, Bradley, Henderson, Pontiac, Litchfield, and O'Fallon IL as well as one company with offices in Tennessee, Mississippi, Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, and Illinois.  Whew! Remember, referrals are always welcome! HR is my passion!
  1. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, January). Annual HR Policy Review. Company Confidential. Riggston & Perry, Illinois.
  2. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, February). Conducting Your HR Study (aka HR Audit). Recorded for Online Webinar Deployment for Workology. Springfield, Illinois.
  3. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, March). HR Training: The Current Laws & Best Practices in Eight Critical Areas of Human Resources Responsibility. Counties of Illinois Risk Management Association – CIRMA. Springfield, Illinois.
  4. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, June). Running an HR Department of One. Kankakee Area Human Resource Managers Association - KAHRMA, Kankakee, Illinois. 
  5.  Skowronski, D. R. (2016, July). Running an HR Department of One.   Rockford Area SHRM, Rockford, Illinois. 
  6. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, August). HR Basics: Laying the Groundwork for a Successful HR Professional. Danville Area Community College - DACC. Danville, IL.
  7. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, August). What’s Hot in HR Now? Women Entrepreneurs of Central Illinois. Springfield, Illinois.
  8. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, September). Running an HR Department of One.   Metro East Illinois – MEI SHRM, Collinsville, Illinois.
  9. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, September). How to Deal with Difficult People and Conflict Management, Company Confidential, Litchfield, Illinois.
  10. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, September). Understanding the New Overtime Exemptions Rule and All Aspects of Determining Exemptions Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Counties of Illinois Risk Management Association – CIRMA. Springfield, Illinois.
  11. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, September). Running an HR Department of One. Ohio SHRM 44th Annual State Conference, Sandusky, Ohio.
  12. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, September). HR Metrics & Workforce Analytics: No Balance No ROI – The Rise of BIG Data. Illinois SHRM Annual State Conference, Oakbrooke Terrace, Illinois.
  13.  Skowronski, D. R. (2016, October). Running an HR Department of One. Decatur SHRM Annual Conference, Decatur, Illinois.
  14. Skowronski, D. R. Introduction to the Targeted Selection Interviewing Process. Company Confidential. Springfield, Illinois.
  15. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, October). How to Recognize and Manage Family Medical Leave Act -FMLA Time Off, Counties of Illinois Risk Management Association – CIRMA. Springfield, Illinois.
  16. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, October). Understanding the New Overtime Exemptions Rule and All Aspects of Determining Exemptions Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Illinois Regional Association of Counties – IRAC. Springfield, Illinois.
  17. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, October). Doing More with Less in HR, Acadiana SHRM and Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil & Energy -LAGCOE, Lafayette, Louisiana.
  18. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, October). How to Recognize and Manage Family Medical Leave Act -FMLA Time Off. Company Confidential. Pontiac Illinois.
  19. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, November). Harassment & Discrimination: Employment Compliance with Policy and The Law. Company Confidential. Springfield, Illinois.
  20. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, November). Workers Compensation Management. Counties of Illinois Risk Management Association – CIRMA. Springfield, Illinois.
  21. Skowronski, D. R. (2016, December). How to Recognize and Manage Family Medical Leave Act -FMLA Time Off. Danville Area Community College - DACC. Danville, Illinois.

Annual Review of Blogging Here & Elsewhere

This year was one of the slowest blogging years I have had due to growing consulting business, Rogers HR Consulting, on the side while maintaining my full time job.  I appreciate the independent consultants I work with to keep the consulting work going while I teach.  Of course, I review everything that goes out the door which is why my blogging time has reduced significantly over the last few years.

So to help the blog stay alive and to educate others I had a couple guest posts by Kevin Epley who shared a great topic called Profanity in the Workplace in November.

I wrote a summary of a presentation I did for the Women Entrepreneurs called What's Hot in HR? in September.  I did a post after having several personal conflict related issues in my own family post my mother's passing and did some training on the topic for a client called 10 Tips for Managing Conflict at Work or Home in May.  Also, in May, I posted a quick link to the DOL site related to Overtime Rule Published. Of course, we all know now that it got overturned or at least put on hold by a judge in Texas.  We will see what happens with it this year.  I know SHRM has been testifying on behalf of our profession lately on the topic.

I took my conflict post and shared as a regular author/blogger on Women of HR: Life's Too Short to Live With Conflict and author/blogger on Talent Culture using a similar name: 10 Quick Tips For Conflict Management.

And that is literally it except for last years summary: Highlights from 2015.  So if any of my friends would like to guest post this coming year, just let me know.  I hope to get more blogging out this year now that my brothers drunk driver has been put away for leaving the scene of an incident where a death occurred.  The family finally has some closure in the case which is about to be two years old in just a few days.  

God Bless & Thanks for the follows!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Three Platforms for Learning in Blended Classroom


I’d like to start out with a site that is not on the list SCOOP.IT but would be along the lines of Delicious and Diigo as a social bookmarking site.  I use it for all of my classes and have a link to the appropriate scoop in the appropriate class.  For example, this summer I am teaching Strategic HRM and you can see a scoop for that topic in the picture.  Click on the picture for a link to the site.
·         Describe the primary purposes or functions of the technology and how it is used. Students have to review practitioner posts as part of their blog assignment.  This is a great place to go to find good articles that I have reviewed and deemed appropriate.  They have another list of approved sites as well.  For example, in my HRM course students have to write a sample employee handbook.  As I review the articles posted, I may tag a new article related to the topic in the HRM scoop.
·         Identify strengths and/or benefits of using this technology in a blended course.  It can be used in any type of course but specifically for blended you can have students review before you meet in person to cover the main points of their findings in a particular scoop.
·         Identify weaknesses and/or liabilities of using this technology in a blended course. The weakness would be that you really can’t tell if the student went to the site and read an article. 
·         Is it no cost, commercial, subscription, shareware, or something else? Is it open source or proprietary? I would consider it an open source since its bookmarking articles from all types of sources.
·         Why is this technology significant? It’s a place I can store topics publically for students, clients, and peers for free.
·         What are people saying about it? Do some research, summarize what people are saying in your post, and Include the links to important comments about the technology. I think this is a good summary to start with:  However, this is better where it compares to several others.  Some I have heard of and use and some I don’t:  Specifically, it caters to the type of professions related to the topics I teach like business, non-profits and corporations.


The second technology I have been using in blended and other courses since 2011 is twitter.  I have used this to build student/instructor relationships, share pertinent content, encourage pre-graduation networking with professionals in the field, and to follow related twitter chats and live blog talk radio streaming. Click picture to go to our class site.
·         Describe the primary purposes or functions of the technology and how it is used. See assignment in visual.
·         Identify strengths and/or benefits of using this technology in a blended course.  The strength is they can build relationships immediately with recruiters in the area they plan to work in advance of graduation.
·         Identify weaknesses and/or liabilities of using this technology in a blended course. Students don’t get the 140-character limit and all the abbreviations similar to texting.  The learning curve is much higher than a account for example. 
·         Is it no cost, commercial, subscription, shareware, or something else? Is it open source or proprietary? Free and open source.
·         Why is this technology significant? It’s a place I can store topics publically for students, clients, and peers for free.
·         What are people saying about it? Do some research, summarize what people are saying in your post, and Include the links to important comments about the technology. Since we study recruiting in HR this is a great chat to understand and participate in which is run by full-time recruiters every week at 9pm cst. Here is another weekly chat using hashtag #worktrends that also coincides with a blog talk radio show  All related to the topic the student is working in learning from the practitioners in addition to the academic learning provided in the textbooks.


LinkedIn is also used in all of my classrooms regardless of type (blended, f2f, and online) to help students learn how the recruiting professionals use the site as well as to build a professional site for their own career advancement and begin networking with those in the field. For example, they can learn specifically how the recruiters screen potential candidates using the technology via
o    Describe the primary purposes or functions of the technology and how it is used.  The students are assigned the following to accomplish this goal.  See visual of assignment.
o    Identify strengths and/or benefits of using this technology in a blended course. It gives students and upper hand on job seeking before graduation as well as understanding how the HR field uses the technology to get their job done.  Again, a practical approach to learning.
o    Identify weaknesses and/or liabilities of using this technology in a blended course. Like twitter students don’t always want to “be out there on the internet publically”.  I do give them an option to create a fake account and lock it down.
o    Is it no cost, commercial, subscription, shareware, or something else? Is it open source or proprietary? No cost and open source because people create their own accounts.
o    Why is this technology significant? One of the top 4 social accounts and the most professional site used now.
o    What are people saying about it? Do some research, summarize what people are saying in your post, and Include the links to important comments about the technology.  The following shows LinkedIn among other sites like Young Professionals:  Also, see this gif showing linked in atop of all the best job board sites out there.

Friday, January 27, 2017


Here is another awesome research paper a student has written specific to the HR needs of small business owners (SBO).  SBO's make up a majority of my clientel because they don't have the budget or the demand for a full time HR professional most of the time.  Owners don't have time to keep up with the changes in HR which is why I am often called in as an HR consultant.  The following is printed by permission by guest author Taylor N. David:

Why Human Resources Training Matters to the Small Business Industry by Taylor N. David

This paper explores eleven sources that elaborate on the importance of Human Resources training and education in the small business industry. This paper will examine why small business owners should participate in frequent HR (Human Resources) training and how HR training can benefit their business in the long term. A brief overview on what HR departments do including why HR training is necessary for small business owners will be discussed in this paper. This paper will focus on detailed HR related issues effecting the small business industry, such as common HR mistakes small business make and showcase the importance of effectively handling employee relations. This paper will also examine creative strategies for small businesses to recruit the best possible talent, as well as several retention methods small businesses should implement in order to retain skilled and talented employees. The importance of motivation and employee-supervisor relationships will also be briefly discussed in this paper, as it is an essential component for retaining talent.
Why Human Resources Training Matters to the Small Business Industry
            Human Resources is a critical department of any organization, regardless of the size. HR departments are responsible for a vast majority of tasks including analysis and design of work, recruitment and selection, employee training and development, compensation and benefits, employee relations, HR policies, employee data, legal compliance, and support for business strategies (Gerhart et al., 2015, p. 6). Since many small businesses lack dedicated HR departments, the responsibility of Human Resources falls on the business owners’ shoulders. It is estimated that 50% of United States workers work in a small business, with small businesses accredited for creating 63% of new jobs from mid-2009 to 2012 (Marino, 2014). Small business owners can benefit from HR training in numerous ways. Frequent training can prevent small businesses from making common HR mistakes and ensure they are in compliance with national laws and regulations. Since HR work consumes 25%-35% of a small business owners’ time, frequent HR training and education can provide small business owners with information like how to effectively handle employee relations (Marino, 2014). Likewise, HR training will help small businesses develop strategies to recruit the best possible talent while also developing employee retention strategies.
Common HR mistakes
            Regular HR training can prevent common HR mistakes within the small business industry, such as wrong hires, lacking job descriptions, no record of performance documentation, not having an employee handbook, and not abiding by federal employment laws. HR training can assist small business owners in making sure they are hiring the right employee(s) for their business, as well as improving their hiring process. The hiring process is very time consuming, and it is essential that business owners do not settle for less-than-qualified employees because the cost of a bad hire can have a detrimental impact on business. Small business owners spend around $1,900 on average to hire a new employee and over 60% of small business owners have admitted to making the mistake of a bad hire, as conducted by a recent Monster study (Brooks, 2016). Hiring the wrong employee can also negatively impact how the business operates and tarnish the businesses’ image. A recent study on Monster shows that out of the 639 small businesses surveyed, more than half said that hiring the wrong employee has resulted in product errors, while 24% said they lost customers because of it (Brooks, 2016). The cost of a bad hire is likely to impact small businesses much more than large businesses. Senior Vice President of small business solutions at Monster supports this; two wrong hires can cost an average small business 3.8% of their yearly revenue, while a typical Fortune 500 company is only expected to waste 0.02% of its revenue as a result of two wrong hires (Brooks, 2016). 
HR training can also help small business owners with writing correct job descriptions. Since many small businesses do not have dedicated departments, employees perform a wide variety of tasks. It is crucial that employees know their role in the business and that starts with accurate job descriptions. On another note, a company’s job description can discourage qualified employees from applying for the position. For example, in a recent study from the Wall Street Journal, researchers rewrote 56 job advertisements to distinguish between two different approaches. The Needs-Supplies approach focused on what the company can do for the candidate, while the Demands-Abilities approach focused on what the company expects from the candidate. Out of the 991 responses, applicants who responded to the Needs-Supplies approach were rated higher than those who responded to the Demands-Abilities approach (Martin, 2016). A significant takeaway from this study shows the importance of showing room for growth and promising opportunities within job descriptions in order to attract both talented and qualified candidates.
Many small businesses make the mistake of not keeping a detailed record of employee performance. Since keeping employee records is a vital element of Human Resources, HR Training can help small business owners recognize the need for keeping performance documentation of their employees. Performance documentation records will aid small business owners in promotional decisions, as well as recognizing when an employee is causing problems within the businesses. For example, should a business owner ever have to terminate an employee, they will need to have detailed records to avoid or prepare for legal issues (Lee, 2013). Many small businesses also make the mistake of not having an employee handbook. Human Resources departments are primarily involved with constructing employee handbooks; well-written handbooks are necessary in order to protect the business as well as encouraging employees to follow the vision of the company. Employee handbooks are responsible for making sure employees understand and meet employers’ expectations and behave and perform in a satisfactory manner, while also protecting the business by treating employees consistently and to help win unemployment lawsuits and claims (Brannen). Frequent HR training also allows small business owners to review national laws they must abide by, such as non-discrimination laws, wage and labor laws, leave of absence laws (FMLA), Safety laws (OSHA), and immigration laws.
Employee Relations
            Employee relations are an imperative element to HR success; small business owners need to understand how to deal with employee complaints and assist employees with any questions or concerns they may have. An effective employee relations strategy will help build communication between the employer and employees while also validating confidentiality. Small business owners need to know how to manage complaints such as dealing with difficult employees, minimizing bullying, and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. Strong employee relation strategies will help business owners create a trusting and positive work environment to combat such issues (Muller).  Bullying and sexual harassment claims impact even the smallest of businesses. It is important that business owners follow the EEOC’s recommendations of establishing internal grievance procedures, providing harassment training, and taking immediate action when complaints arise (Walsh, 2016). Since small businesses typically do not have dedicated HR departments, the business owner must know how to assist employees with information regarding raises and compensation and employee benefits such as vacation, time off, health insurance plans, and retirement plans.
As stated earlier, hiring the wrong employee(s) can impact small businesses in devastating ways. It is not only tremendously costly, but 30% of small business failures are blamed on poor hiring decisions (Marino, 2014). Regular HR training will help small business owners recruit the best possible talent by adopting established HR recruitment strategies. When recruiting talent, small business owners have the advantage to showcase their flexibility. Small businesses typically have fewer obstacles to face, which allows sooner opportunities for employee advancement and growth (Evans, 2014). Three fundamental recruitment strategies  small business owners should be implementing are posting on job boards, encouraging employee referrals, and using social media. A downside to using job boards like Monster or Indeed is the cost and a tremendous amount of unqualified applicants, so implementing an incentive employee referral program could be of value to small businesses. Top performing employees are most likely to surround themselves with talented, skilled people just like themselves (Evans, 2014). Small business owners should also use social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn in order to recruit top talent. Companies must find a way to adapt to the changing market and social media recruiting plays an important part in the recent shift from selection to development. This shift means that companies have to look at different areas for current employees while also finding contributing members to team (Smith, 2015). Social media sites are a great way for small businesses to look for local talent while also broadening their recruiting horizons.  
Many people wish to work for companies who establish an online presence and keep up with recent trends. In fact, a current survey conducted by MIT and Deloitte found that the majority of respondents, ages 22 to 60, desire to work for organizations who keep up with digital trends (Martin, 2016). Social media recruiting is becoming a popular trend in HR recruiting and is relatively cost effective. Social media recruitment is beneficial because both job seekers and people that know people who are looking for jobs are on social media; one can easily share a job post with their friends on social media sites at the click of a button (Evans, 2014). The recruitment side of HR training can also help small businesses improve their own interview process, such as asking open-ended questions and facilitating background checks to avoid hiring bad employees. Asking the right questions is an important part of the interview process. Employers should ask questions involving candidates’ long-term goals and questions regarding their motivation and drive in order to find the best-fit candidate for their business (Martin, 2016).
Retaining talent
            Traditional HR training and education can help small business owners develop strategies to retain valuable employees. Retaining employees is the most overlooked HR function within small businesses simply because HR departments are not established in the majority of small businesses (Newman, 2014). The cost of replacing an employee is excessively high and since it is difficult to find worthy employee talent, small business owners need reputable and proven retention methods. The estimated cost of employee turnover is 75%-150% of the employee’s salary, which helps shed a light on why retaining employee talent is so important for businesses (Marino, 2014). Small business owners are constantly competing with large businesses and do not want to lose employees to larger competition. Small businesses can develop retention strategies by paying employees above the labor market, providing more incentive and bonus opportunities, letting key employees know they’re essential to the business, creating flextime/telecommuting opportunities, and discuss future opportunities with employees (Schappel, 2012).
An important component to keeping employees satisfied and motivated is to have a respectable employer-supervisor relationship (Walsh, 2016). Since small businesses hire less employees, small business owners are likely able to develop closer and more personable relationships between their employees. Small business owners should communicate effectively to their employees and listen to their goals and interests. Employees want to feel valued, so it is important to give constructive feedback and recognition when it is deserved. Likewise, small  businesses should conduct yearly satisfaction surveys and assessments in order to make necessary changes to retain employees. This may help with job burnout and assist in developing job rotation or job enrichment strategies. By implementing these retention strategies, employees will feel valued and feel like their employer is looking for their best interest, which will likely reduce employee turnover statistics.
            Although small businesses typically lack dedicated HR departments, HR training can benefit the small business industry in remarkable ways. Some would say the HR department is the supporting structure of a company; a successful business cannot ignore HR tasks and responsibilities. Small business owners should participate in frequent HR training or classes in order to keep up-to-date with current issues and to get the most out of their business. Overlooking HR duties can financially burden an organization and negatively affect company performance. Since HR work consumes nearly one fourth of a small business owners’ time, there is absolutely no reason to not partake in HR training and education (Marino, 2014). Frequent HR training will give small business owners’ peace of mind by assuring them they are not making common HR mistakes and to confirm they are complying with federal and state laws, while also providing small business owners with creative employee relations, recruitment, and retention strategies.

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Slides. Lecture presented in IL, Springfield.