Important Notice:
This site has moved to, please update your bookmarks. If you were looking for a specific post, you can use the site search option or archives at the new domain to find it. Thank you!

Friday, September 30, 2011

You Have Years of Experience: Should You Go Back and Get That Degree?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

What would your advice be to someone who has an associate’s degree, but has risen through the ranks to executive positions and then laid off due to the economy? He has a problem in applying for positions because the ones he is otherwise qualified for require a bachelor’s degree. His plan was to complete an online bachelor’s through a for-profit university that advertises heavily in this area. Would that degree be considered a plus, minus or neutral by HR?

To read the answer click here: You Have Years of Experience: Should You Go Back and Get That Degree?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Secret to Focusing in Meetings

If you could retain more information, you'd do it right? Here's an easy way to increase retention by 29 percent.

To find out how, click here: The Secret to Focusing in Meetings

Monday, September 26, 2011

Age Discrimination Isn’t About Dates

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I am 60 years old. I recently applied for a job and there were numerous places on the application as well as several other pieces of paperwork that I had to fill out where I had to list my DOB or just tell someone involved in the process what my age was (the drug test lady just said plainly “how old are you?”).

Older workers always hear that a prospective employer cannot inquire as to your age. When it happens, the candidate dares not refuse to answer certain questions or the process is over. The candidate doesn’t dare say something like “you’re not allowed to ask me that” because it seems like he or she is suggesting they know more than the HR person in regards to what is and is not allowed. But if the company is asking how old you are and you’re over 60, it’s the kiss of death (or we assume it to be).

How does one deal with these age related questions when one is a senior citizen who still need employment? In this day and age when all kinds of info can be gleaned from the internet, a person’s age is one of the easiest things you can find out. Questions like “when did you graduate from high school” dates you immediately. So when someone is asked this question, do we simply excuse ourselves and thank the HR person for seeing us? Do we go through the process even though we assume it’s not going to end well? Or do we assume that the HR person has already found our age on the internet and knows that piece before we even reach the door?

Do we assume that part of the evaluation process is to see how well we have endured the aging process? Are we walking in with a cane and oxygen bottle and look like Phyllis Diller or are we strutting in like a young pup? So if we were given an interview do we go in with the understanding that the HR person likely knows our age and with the belief that they are going to judge us on something more important than age? And by the way…I got the job. Yet for every one like me who succeeded in getting a job, there may 100 sixty-year-olds who didn’t even get an interview despite great credentials.

To read the answer click here: Age Discrimination Isn’t About Dates

Friday, September 23, 2011

Are “Years of Experience” Requirements Fair to Younger Workers?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I’m about six years into my IT career and like any business person I am always keeping my eye on the market.

I’ve noticed a trend where employers post minimum experience requirements, which is not unusual. However the requirements are a bit overstated. For example, a former employer has posted a minimum requirement of eight years experience for the position I held and excelled at for several years (with only two years experience when I started). Truth be told, a second year undergrad could do that job without difficulty.

This is just one example and it is not uncommon in my observation.

The practice smacks of discrimination against the young and I can only imagine the frustration my newly graduated peers must be experiencing. Do you have any suggestions on how to get a resume in front of a hiring manager or will the “kids” just need to pray for a lucky break?

To read the answer click here: Are “Years of Experience” Requirements Fair to Younger Workers?

What To Do When Your Boss Hates You

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I don’t think I’ve seen this topic covered since I started subscribing to you. I’m curious what should I do when I realize that my manager is trying to use old information, and solicit my co-workers’ opinions about me to use it against me? Luckily, I’ve done my job well, and have earned awards for my office. On top of that, my coworkers are fair and all expressed that while we all run into disagreement, they all know that I am a good worker and do my job right.

On top of that, he loves his assistant even though she’s useless, helpless, and just a total waste of oxygen. She will stroke his ego and go along with his crude jokes at work. He will take her out shopping for alcohol and made sure everyone knows. He is a name dropper, and talk about himself a lot; she caters to his ego more than his wife would.

So, am I doomed here? Is there anything I can do to protect myself?

To read the answer click here: What To Do When Your Boss Hates You

Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why It Doesn't Matter That Your Coworker Makes More Money Than You Do

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I have worked for my employer for 6 years, have a relevant industry degree, 18 years industry experience and work remotely only seeing my boss three times a year. We have just had salary reviews. My colleague told me that she is earning more money than me $1000 a year, I didn’t ask for this she just told me and I really wish she hadn’t as it is now eating me up! My colleague has worked for the organization for 3 years, no relevant qualification, no industry experience and we do exactly the same job just in difference locations. I need to email my boss about this as he is too hard to talk to on the phone and I need to give feedback in the next couple of days. Can you help me find the right words to use to get across how hurt and angry I am about this without dropping my colleague in it.

To read the answer click here: Why It Doesn't Matter That Your Coworker Makes More Money Than You Do

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Should You Rehire Someone?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

What are the pros and cons of rehiring an employee? Is it worth it, or should I avoid it?

To read the answer click here: Should You Rehire Someone?

Notice Anything Different?

If you're reading this on an RSS feed, you won't notice anything, but if you are actually at the webpage, look up! Finally, after 5 years, I finally bit the bullet and paid money for my very own URL.

The .com is taken and they want way too much money for it, so I say, have fun with that!

I'm also in the process of transferring over to wordpress, with the help of Laura at Smallest Decisions. She's the same person who did Ask a Manager so I have full confidence.

In the meantime, I am trying to come up with a new logo or picture or something that reflects this blog. Flames, witch hats, a little devil in high heels and a briefcase? This is not where my talent lies.

So, stand by for even more changes!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Are Personality Tests Required For the Job You Want?

It’s hard enough to get someone to look twice at your resume and now, more and more, you need not only the right resume, but the right personality.

To read more click here: Are Personality Tests Required for the Job You Want?

Can Your Boss Force You To Donate To Charity?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

Our company is sponsoring a charity event. It is a formal event. Tickets are $125 each. In conversation the boss told me that I was expected to sell 6 tickets. He then changed it and said well actually 4 since you and your husband will be there. I told him immediately that I didn’t mind donating my time but that I could not afford to pay for myself much less myself and my husband to come to the event. He tried to make excuses saying it was a dinner out for us. I told him again that I couldn’t afford it and wouldn’t consider it a dinner out because I don’t spend that kind of money on a dinner. He then said that he thought he had told me it was mandatory for staff.

Mind you that he was smiling when he said this. He makes regular attempts to invoke emotional responses from people by saying outrageous things. So at this time I really don’t know if he was trolling me for a reaction or serious in his expectations. Usually I do not respond to his attempts to troll me but this one offended me.

Between the tickets, renting a tux and buying a formal dress it would cost approximately $400 to go. That is almost my full pay for week of work after taxes. That is a car payment. That is a months worth of groceries for my family. I have been actively seeking other employment since last October but as you know it’s a really hard job market and finding a job that meets my minimum needs are hard to come by.

I have gone from a loyal employee that watched out for the owner of the company to someone with extremely low morale due to the poor management of the owner. I do my job exceptionally, I just do not put any more effort than what I expect for myself.

To read the answer click here: Can Your Boss Force You To Donate To Charity

Friday, September 09, 2011

Guns at Work: Should You Be Able To Defend Yourself?

If a gunman appeared where you work, would your company policy allow you to fight back? Should it?

To read more click here: Guns at Work: Should You Be Able To Defend Yourself?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Hate Your Annual Performance Appraisal? What About Weekly Reviews?

Guess what? Your employees want regular feedback. You don't need a formal performance appraisal to give it, either. Here's why you should speak up.

To read more click here: Hate Your Annual Performance Appraisal? What About Weekly Reviews?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

California: Killing Jobs One at a Time. Happy Labor Day!

Want to make a job go away? Then make it so complicated and regulated that no one can afford to hire someone to do that job and just like magic, that job will go away.

The California Legislature is poised to pass a law giving all sorts of new rights to domestic workers. Guaranteed breaks, detailed pay stubs, workers comp. All of it sounds great, until you get to the part where it is utterly ridiculous and results in either the jobs going away entirely or going completely underground.

To read more click here: California: Killing Jobs One at a Time. Happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Why I Got Someone In Trouble for Plagiarizing

I know I go by the name Evil HR Lady, but that’s more tongue-in-check and a reflection on the negative attitude people have towards HR people in general. Plus, who would read a column written by the Warm and Fuzzy HR Lady? Not you, I’m sure.

But, honestly, I’m a nice person and I help people out. I answer far more questions than I publish and genuinely hope that my readers get jobs, keep jobs, get promoted, and get along with their strange coworkers. But, niceness has it’s limits, and that’s why when I found a company blog that consisted largely of poorly plagiarized Evil HR Lady columns, I had to act.

To read more click here: Why I got Someone in Trouble for Plagiarizing