Friday, November 9, 2018

Planning for New Hires Success


30/60/90 Day New Hire Plan


The purpose of crating a 30/60/90 Day Plan for your new employees is to increase employee engagement and retention.

The plan is a strategic outline of the job expectations for the new employee over the first 90 days. The plan clearly communicates training, culture, and planning for the future to the employee allowing them to easily transition from “the new person” to a full-on contributor to the team and company.

The below guidelines are designed to aid you in setting up your new hires for success and what you should consider when setting up goals for each month.

30 - Days


The goals at this stage are to ensure the employee is aware of their responsibilities and expectations and is building relationships.
  • Schedule and conduct regularly occurring one-on-one meetings. 
  • Continue to provide timely, ongoing, meaningful “everyday feedback.” 
  • Elicit feedback from the employee and be available to answer questions. 
  • Discuss performance and professional development goals. Give employee an additional assignment. 
  • Provide an extended roadmap that sets clear goals for the first months, so they will know what to expect. Don’t neglect to sit down with them and discuss their progress frequently. 

60 - Days


The goals at this stage should focus more on collaboration and taking on more responsibilities.
  • Have employee collaborate with other teams while starting to “contribute to the conversation” more often 
  • Ask employee to identify issues or pain points with the roles-develop plans to address and fix the issues 
  • Set up a regular meeting schedule with teams and manager going forward 
  • Get feedback from other managers, co-workers and senior managers on employee’s progress 
  • Continue having regularly occurring one-on-one meetings. 
  • Meet for informal two-month performance check-in. 
  • Continue giving employee assignments that are challenging yet doable. 
  • Ask if needed training is completed. 

90 - Days


The goals at this stage are focused on independence. As the employee starts taking on more responsibilities and working on bigger projects, they need to be more accountable for their work.
  • Assign projects employee can work on independently 
  • Continue to be upfront about expectation and hold employees more accountable for their work 
  • Provide feedback about goals/metrics/KPIs going forward 
  • Celebrate successes and recognition of employee’s contributions. 
  • Have a conversation with employee about his/her experience at the company to date: 
    • Extent to which the employee’s expectations of the role align with reality. 
    • Extent employee’s skills and knowledge are being utilized and ways to better utilize them; what’s working, what they need more of, etc. 
  • Begin discussing the year ahead. 
  • Discuss employee’s professional development goals and identify relevant learning opportunities. 

Lauren Sims is the article’s author and the Director of Human Resources.

Whenever you require professional Human Resources or Payroll guidance to navigate the ever-changing landscape of California and Federal Employment Laws & Regulations, contact us for a no-obligation consultation.

eqHR Solutions provides professional, tactical and strategic human resources support; ADP payroll product implementation/training and payroll processing services for businesses throughout Southern California.





Lessons - Google Fired 48 Employees for Sexual Harassment

Companies need to adopt more comprehensive approaches to preventing sexual harassment. A tone needs to be set from the top down. 


Google recently disclosed that they had fired 48 employees for sexual harassment during the past two years and without providing severance packages. The news came after a report that it had protected some male executives facing sexual misconduct allegations and offered them large financial sums to leave the company. 

The announcement seems to be in response to a New York Times report that the company had dismissed the executive in charge of its Android software for sexual misconduct in 2014 and paid him a large severance package to leave. 

The executive in questions claims that he left on his own accord and has never been informed of any accusations of sexual misconduct. He did, however, acknowledge having consensual sexual relationships with Google employees that didn't report to him, but that it was all within the boundaries drawn by Google policy at that time. 

Google adopted tougher policies in 2015 including requiring all of Google's vice presidents and senior vice presidents to disclose any relationship with an employee, even if they don't work in the same department or have any other potential conflict. 

13 of the 48 workers that Google had fired for violating the company's sexual harassment policies were either senior managers or executives. The Google news provides another example of a Silicon Valley culture that for decades has allowed and encouraged bad behavior from a primarily male workforce. 

Google’s headquarters are in California, meaning that they fall under the requirements of having to provide sexual harassment training for its managers. This news, however calls into question how effective sexual harassment training actually is. Sexual harassment training isn’t necessarily successful in changing attitudes or reducing sexual harassment. 


 Suggested Actions that Companies Should Adopt 


Effective training should be interactive, with multiple training methods, including lectures, videos and role-playing. Follow-up after the initial training should include knowledge assessment tests and annual refresher training courses. 

Workplace culture plays a large role in preventing sexual harassment. Some common risk factors for sexual harassment include workplaces where men outnumber women and most supervisors are male. This dynamic can be seen in the Google situation as well as other recent problems at Uber and other Silicon Valley companies. Hiring more women in leadership positions and creating a civil, respectful culture for all employees can help. 

Companies need to be careful not to dismiss complaints as a "he said, she said" situation. Companies need to have clear policies that sexual harassment won't be tolerated and that perpetrators will be punished, but the process needs to be fair to all parties. 

Bystander intervention training can also help create a culture of awareness in the company. Training employees to be responsible for maintaining a safe office environment, even if it means getting involved in certain situations helps enforce the commitment to harassment prevention. 

However, it may be the shift in cultural attitudes toward sexual harassment that may be the most valuable tool in combating sexual harassment by creating a shared sense of public responsibility and accountability. The #MeToo social media messages revealed how many women have experienced sexual harassment. 

Greater public awareness of sexual harassment and more proactive involvement by companies will hopefully reduce the prevalence of the problem of sexual harassment and we won’t see more stories like Google’s. 

Lauren Sims is the article’s author and the Director of Human Resources. 

Whenever you require professional Human Resources or Payroll guidance to navigate the ever-changing landscape of California and Federal Employment Laws & Regulations, contact us for a no-obligation consultation. 

eqHR Solutions provides professional, tactical and strategic human resources support; ADP payroll product implementation/training and payroll processing services for businesses throughout Southern California. 

Best Practices - Employee Interviewing



The job interview is a critical aspect of the hiring and recruiting process. Here are some best practice interviewer tips that you can use to help find the best candidate for your open position.

A key element in conducting an interview is preparation. Most of the time the candidate comes to the interview prepared. They usually arrive with a list of questions and several statements regarding their past achievements. The interviewer should match the candidate’s efforts by spending time preparing for the meeting. A list of questions should be formulated in advance that key into an exploration of the following traits: attitude, motivation, initiative, reliability, planning, insight, as well as their ability to do the job.
  • If the interviewer plans to interview more than one candidate, then a rating system should be devised (ranked 1-2-3) that will allow for objectivity. 
  • Remember, also, that your job in the interview is not only to assess the candidate’s skillsets, but to sell them on both the opportunity and the agency. 

Define your interview objectives before you start

  • The hiring manager as well as the position peers should agree upon: 
  • The position's duties and the technical knowledge and skills required to do the job. 
  • Success factors: How did previous top performers in this job behave? 
  • Performance expectations: What do you expect this person to accomplish? 
  • Select your questions in advance 
Pre-select questions that evaluate whether a candidate has those skills and behaviors you've identified as essential for the job. Don't rely on a job description and a candidate's resume to structure the interview. Pre-selecting questions also ensures that interview questions are consistent and fair across all candidates.

You might include some or all of these types of interview questions:

  1. Icebreakers: Help to build rapport and set candidates at ease before beginning the formal interview. 
  2. Traditional Questions: To confirm that the applicant’s technical skills meet minimum standards. 
  3. Situational Questions: Ask candidates what they would do in a specific situation relevant to the job at hand. These questions can help you understand a candidate's thought process. 
  4. Behavior-Based Questions: These require candidates to share a specific example from their past experience. Each complete answer from a candidate should be in the form of a SAR response—the complete Situation, Action, and Result. If a candidate skips any of these three elements, prompt them to fill in the blanks. It’s important to really dig into examples and ask questions until you feel you have a good grasp of whether or not the candidate has mastered the skill in question. 
  5. Culture-Fit Questions: These will help you select candidates who are motivated and suited to perform well in the unique environment of your organization. 

How to Interview Candidates: The Interview Process & Beyond


Before the Interview

  • Put candidates at ease -- do your best to help candidates relax. Make sure each candidate is greeted and escorted, if necessary, to the interview location. Start with an icebreaker.
  • Don't judge on first impressions- withhold judgment until you've had the chance to thoroughly evaluate a candidate's capabilities and potential. 


During the Interview

  • Tell the candidate a little about the job- start with a brief summary of the position, including the prime responsibilities, reporting structure, key challenges, and performance criteria. 
  • Don't be afraid to improvise- plan your questions, but don't feel you must ask only those you've chosen in advance. 
  • Listen- a general guideline is to spend 80 percent of your time listening and only 20 percent talking. 
  • Take notes- write down important points, key accomplishments, good examples, and other information that will help you remember and fairly evaluate each candidate. 
  • Invite candidates to ask questions - Why do they want to be here- is it the challenge of the job, advances in the industry, or something specific about your company? Or is the candidate fixated on salary, benefits, and time off? If the candidate has no questions this should be a red flag, especially for senior-level employees. 

After the Interview and the Debrief

  • Let candidates know what they can expect. Be clear about what the next steps will be. 
  • Compare notes and reach consensus. The post-interview evaluation is the time to compare notes and advance the hiring decision. Each interviewer should be prepared to back up remarks and recommendations with specific examples and notes from the interview. 
  • Deepen the questions as you narrow the field: Subsequent interviews with finalists are valuable opportunities to learn more about them. Consider adding "show me" exercises such as a strategic planning exercise or a "walk me through what you'd do" activity involving a real business challenge the individual would be facing. 

Interviewig Dos and Don’ts


Interview questions that imply preferences to race, color, religion, age, sex, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, and disabled status, are violations of federal and state laws. Questions to avoid include the following subject:
  • Age 
  • Arrest Record 
  • Birthplace 
  • Citizenship 
  • Disability 
  • Family 
  • Marital Status 
  • Memberships that would reveal race, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, or disability status 
  • National Origin 
  • Photographs 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Race or Color 
  • Relatives 
  • Religion or Creed 
  • Sex 
  • Sexual Orientation 
  • Workers’ Compensation- any inquiry regarding past claims, injuries, etc. 
  • Carefully planned questions and a structured interview process that is the same for all candidates will ensure equal treatment of all who apply. Keep the focus on what the job requires and how each candidate has performed in the past. Perhaps most importantly, make fair hiring part of your company's mission and value statement, championed from the top down and an integral part of the selection process 

Lauren Sims is the article’s author and the Director of Human Resources.

Whenever you require professional Human Resources or Payroll guidance to navigate the ever-changing landscape of California and Federal Employment Laws & Regulations, contact us for a no-obligation consultation.

eqHR Solutions provides professional, tactical and strategic human resources support; ADP payroll product implementation/training and payroll processing services for businesses throughout Southern California.

Jennifer Cadena - Newest Team Member

Jennifer Cadena
We are excited to announce the on-boarding of Jennifer Cadena, the newest memember of our team

Jennifer has over 10 years of human resources experience working at various financial institutions and a local university. At the height of her career, she served as the Director of Human Resources for a bank and has worked in specialty areas including benefits, retirement plans, worker’s compensation, recruitment, and employee relations. She also has over 5 years of experience working in an administrative capacity supporting both internal and external customers.

Jennifer actively tutors college students in writing. She earned her MBA with a concentration in Human Resources Management from California State University, Long Beach.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Carolina Romero - newest team member


We’re excited to announce the onboarding of Carolina Romero, the newest member to join our team.

Carolina has over 20 years of experience in Administration and Human Resources.   Carolina has experience working in manufacturing, software training, medical management, auditing and loss control, medical DME supply distribution, retail and most recently working with clients in medical imaging industry. 
Carolina has designed and delivered team-development programs, customized for both large- and small-group presentations. She has been successful in effectively educating and delivering guidelines, regulations, and policies and procedures. 

Most recently Carolina’s focus has been on employee relations, compliance and development and implementation of policies & procedures.

Carolina holds her B.A. in Education with a minor English Literature. She is an active member of Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). BIG PLUS…she bilingual in Spanish!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Unlimited PTO - Is it Right for Your Company?



Unlimited paid time off (PTO) is an increasingly popular option for employers to attract and retain key talent. However, unlimited PTO or vacation is not right for every company and employers must understand how it will impact their companies before they implement. 

Unlimited PTO allows employees to decide when to take time off and how much time to take. The only requirement is to make sure everyone is up to date on the employee’s work and that the employee’s absence will not damage the business. The rationale is that employees will manage their own time well because it is in the best interest of their careers to do so. 

Advantages of Unlimited PTO 

  • Frees up staff resources from tracking accrued paid time off 
  • Attractive to candidates during recruitment 
  • Leads to a more engaged workforce because management is trusting employees to manage their own time 
  • PTO is no longer an accrued expense for the organization 
  • No rush at the end of the year to take unused time that does not carry over 
  • Employees feel more in control 

Challenges of Unlimited PTO 

  • Need to ensure that all mandated leaves such as FMLA are tracked and that job remains protected 
  • Determine when the unlimited PTO has been excessive or otherwise abused and apply standard consistently 
  • Can be difficult to manage and administer for non-exempt employees 
  • Some positions may require people to be present 
  • Can create tension if workers in some jobs can take more time than those in other positions 
  • Employees may have the perspective that the policy removed the monetary value of the vacation days that they have accrued 
  • Must pay out all the unused vacation of PTO time they had accrued before the implementation of unlimited PTO—either upon the employee’s departure or on a specific date 
  • California employers must ensure that they are also provided the state or local mandated amount of paid sick leave either as part of this policy or separate from an unlimited PTO policy 
An unlimited vacation policy is best suited to work environments that are project-oriented and don't require employees to perform their duties onsite at fixed hours. Communication and preparation are critical before implementing an unlimited vacation policy. 

Lauren Sims is the article’s author and the Director of Human Resources. 

Whenever you require professional Human Resources or Payroll guidance to navigate the ever-changing landscape of California and Federal Employment Laws & Regulations, contact us for a no-obligation consultation. 

eqHR Solutions provides professional, tactical and strategic human resources support; ADP payroll product implementation/training and payroll processing services for businesses throughout Southern California. 

Should You Conduct Exit Interviews?



When an employee resigns, it’s routine to have one last meeting with the employee. Beyond collecting employer property and materials, such as swipe cards, laptops, company-issued mobile phones and keys, exit interviews can be structured to determine why the employee is leaving and how the employer can improve retention efforts.

Effective exit interview questions should be structured with the goal of gleaning information about their separation from the company, and maybe identify policies that need to change or any problems or issues. 

These interviews are presented as no-pressure meetings, because the employees have already terminated their relationship with the employer, so they may be more open about the issues involved. However, there is a school of thought that these interviews are a waste of time, and the information provided may lack credibility. 

Pros of Exit Interviews: 

  • Provide the company an opportunity to gain information about the reasons behind employee turnover, which may help to reduce turnover in the future if the information is acted upon. 
  • Gather insights into problems in the organization that were not otherwise obvious. For example, they may highlight problems with specific managers. 
  • Ideas for additional workplace training that could be useful. 
  • Structured to for the employee to return employer-owned equipment and for the employer to provide final paperwork, final paycheck, and information about benefit continuation. 
  • Provides a final opportunity to emphasize any obligations the employee may have regarding the confidentiality of trade secrets and employer data. 
  • Obtain information about the employee’s new job—and about the new benefits that were attractive enough to entice someone to leave. It may include new insights about what is on offer with other firms. 

Cons of Exit Interviews: 

  • Employees may be fearful of burning bridges, which may mean they have little incentive to be completely open. 
  • If the situation surrounding the employee’s departure is tense, the exit interview may be tense, too. It could be spreading tension and creating unnecessary difficulty without necessarily having a clear benefit. 
  • Even if actionable information is found, if there’s no process in place to follow up and make changes, the point will be lost. Exit interviews need a formal structure and process to follow for improvements to occur in the coming days, weeks, and months. 
  • An exit interview may be seen as “too little, too late” by an employee who is leaving, and it could engender frustration that it took leaving to be asked for an opinion. 
  • If word gets around that employees who leave are giving input that is never acted upon, that could decrease morale among the employees who stay. 

Sample Exit Interview Questions 

Explain that the purpose of the interview is to help the company improve its processes and retain its valuable employees. Also tell employees that their statements will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible. 
  1. What prompted you to seek alternative employment? 
  2. What ultimately led you to accept the new position? 
  3. Did you feel that you were equipped to do your job well? 
  4. Before making your decision to leave, did you investigate other options that would enable you to stay? 
  5. How did you feel about your salary and the employee benefits? 
  6. How frequently did you have discussions with your manager about your career goals? 
  7. What did you like most about your job and/or this company? 
  8. What did you like least about your job and/or this company? 
  9. What does your new job offer that your job with this company does not? 
  10. Do you have any suggestions for improvement? 
  11. Would you recommend this company to a friend as a place to work? 
  12. Additional comments about your job or this company 
When an employee is leaving, they may be able to open up about problems they were previously afraid to bring up. The employee no longer has a fear of reprisal, so it may be a chance to get more feedback than an employee would normally provide.

Employers must be prepared that exit interviews may uncover major problems, such as harassment or discrimination claims, that will need to be investigated or acted upon immediately. If the employer does not have mechanisms in place to follow up on exit interview findings, they may want to consider not conducting the interviews. 

Lauren Sims is the article’s author and the Director of Human Resources. 

Whenever you require professional Human Resources or Payroll guidance to navigate the ever-changing landscape of California and Federal Employment Laws & Regulations, contact us for a no-obligation consultation. 

eqHR Solutions provides professional, tactical and strategic human resources support; ADP payroll product implementation/training and payroll processing services for businesses throughout Southern California.