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I help startups and small businesses design and implement HR solutions at AdjunctLeadership.com → Join my free mini leadership course: bit.ly/307AheB

A cautionary tale from a current employee’s point-of-view

the downside of new hire sign-on bonuses
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The war for talent rages on, and frankly, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

A client recently inquired about sign-on bonuses for new hires as a way to increase their talent pool in an already shallow labor market. They’re not alone in this. Today the TSA announced that they would offer new hires $1,000 sign-on bonuses, and Amazon is tripling that number at a whopping $3,000 for new hires.

But as much as I’d like to throw money at the problem and increase the number of applicants my clients receive for job postings, my role as an HR consultant


The case for hiring a Chief of Staff for your startup or small business

What Does a Chief of Staff Do, and Does Your Company Need One?
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Before getting into consulting, I spent more than a decade leading HR teams in the corporate world. I worked for companies that had anywhere from 500 employees to 25,000 employees, and these organizations operated in industries that ran the gambit from retail to manufacturing.

I’ve helped executives build organizational structures and subsequently tear them down depending on the needs of the business and how they evolved over time. I thought I had seen it all, but I’ve never worked for an organization with a Chief of Staff (COS) before. …


To measure self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

best emotional intelligence interview questions for managers and leaders
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Emerging research in talent management tells us that one of the most important functions of today’s team leaders is to cultivate our team’s collective sense of oneness, and this begins by selecting emotionally intelligent team members.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is defined as “the ability to understand your emotions and those of other people and to behave appropriately in different situations.” Daniel Goleman, the best-selling author and science journalist, popularized the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) with his first book on the topic. Since then, there has been an ongoing debate about whether or not EI is a real thing.

Whether…


Because careers are long and not necessarily linear.

3 Career Planning Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job Offer
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As an HR and talent management professional, I’ve helped hundreds of people make career moves up, down, and across the corporate ladder. When driven by the right motivations, these moves can be revitalizing and challenging, and exponentially increase our overall quality of life.

But it’s important to recognize that the grass is not always greener at a different company or in another job. And if you’re currently in a job you hate, the risk of making a rash emotional decision and finding yourself stuck in yet another role you don’t enjoy is real.

Over the years, I have coached plenty…


Job security is a myth that companies want you to believe in.

Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

Flexibility, job security, and transparent communication are all things that employees have said matter more to them than compensation over the years. But, as someone who’s seen both sides of the coin, having been both a full-time employee and fully self-employed, something’s been weighing on me.

I see friends and family who think about chasing a dream, only to fall back on full-time employment. Why? Because they’re scared of losing the precious ‘job security’ their companies provide them.

I get it — Stability, especially this past year, has been hard to come by. …


Where have all of the minimum wage workers gone?

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

“We used to post a job and get 50 applicants in a day or two,” a client recently shared with me. Ah, yes — the good old days. Those days are long gone. In today’s labor market, I’m lucky to get even a handful of job applicants in a week’s time. I have never seen anything quite like it in all my years of hiring.

Businesses that have fought tooth and nail to survive the pandemic have come out facing yet another unexpected challenge. Now that they’re ready to fully reopen, they can’t hire enough talent to staff their operations.


We’re better off nurturing existing employees than hiring new ones.

3 Reasons Why You Should Increase Wages Before You’re Required To
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

As an HR consultant who works with startups and small businesses, there are certain client interactions that make me beam with pride because I can tell they get it. It’s one of the reasons I’ve chosen to build my business around the ‘little guy.’ They get the importance of the people side of business because they started their companies to escape big corporations who did not.

“Let me be clear, I don’t want any new employee hired with an hourly rate that starts with ‘$7’ from this point forward,” a small business owner and client said to his leadership team…


Focus on outcomes, and the people around you will learn to do the same.

It’s Time to Ban These 3 Words From Your Job Postings
Photo by Armin Rimoldi from Pexels

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t spent a whole lot of time looking at job postings lately. Perhaps that’s because I quit my full-time job during a global pandemic to start building my own thing, but that’s a story for another day.

What I do spend a lot of time looking at is my LinkedIn feed. I can’t help it — “Once a recruiter, always a recruiter,” they say. And just like anyone else on LinkedIn, you never know what the algorithm will feed you on any given day. Today, it happened to be a job posting.

It…


5 considerations for creating a non-management career path

You Need to Offer a Non-Manager Career Path
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I attended a webinar the other day that culminated, like all webinars do, in a Q&A session with the speaker. An early-in-career attendee was looking for advice about how she could make more money. “What you probably want to look for and apply to are management positions because those typically pay more,” the speaker told her.

She wasn’t wrong. Managers do typically get paid more than individuals contributors.

But compensation is far from the only consideration one should take into account when it comes to deciding whether or not to step into team leadership. And yet, the speaker made no…


More than 50% of us are predicted to start new jobs this year.

How to make a great first impression at a new job
Photo: Vlada Karpovich/Pexels

Is it just me, or do you also feel like you’ve put a lot of major life events on hold for the last year? So many things have been sitting in a sort of pandemic-induced purgatory, including our careers. Even if you hated your job pre-pandemic and were planning to leave, you probably felt grateful even to have a job during these last 12 months when so many did not. And when we’re feeling guilted into gratitude, we tend to stay put and stick it out.

But that’s about to change and, with it, the metaphorical flood gates are about…

Jessica Donahue, PHR

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