You can call me the HR Headmaster

Personally, people like David Blaine and Chris Angel scare the living daylights out of me.  The last thing I would want is to work under someone whose title was “Corporate Magician”, let alone have any clue what they actually do for the company. In recent years job titles have gone from the tried and true to “fun” titles that are suppose to show off corporate culture and spice things up.

Some of these spicy titles include:

  • Corporate Magician
  • Happiness Advocate
  • Problem Wrangler

So what’s in a title?  Should you keep with traditional one or is it best to have something that sticks out but leaves people confused and unsure of what you actually do?

Click here to see what TLNT has to say about it and feel free to comment on what you would want your title to be if given the choice.

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want

Recently a Gallup study found that 71% of American workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work. I’ll tell you what would improve my engagement at work (and it’s not what the Spice Girls want): just reward me with a Snickers bar every time I complete a task.

Although a Snickers may not work for everyone, there are other ways you can improve engagement at work. Here is what employees are looking for:

1. Meaningful work

2. A sense of progress

3. Recognition

So put down the oversized bag of leftover Halloween candy and check out the rest of the article at TLNT.

Will Work For Facebook Access

One more example of how Facebook is no longer just a social media site but is taking over the world (like that is a revelation): it has turned into a requirement during the job search.

Cisco conducted a study of 2,800 college students and young professionals found that an overwhelming amount believe that being able to use Facebook at work and use their choice of device was more important to them than their salary. In fact, 40% of them would take less money as long as they were able to use social media while at work.

The study also found:

  • Over half of college students globally (56%) said that if they were offered a job at a company that banned access to social media, they would either turn it down, or ignore it.
  • Two-thirds said they will ask about social media usage policies during job interviews.

I guess all that mumble jumble that’s been going around about it being a tough time to find a job was completely false. And really, who needs a corner office or a holiday bonus as long as I can post about what I had for lunch today.

Click here to read the rest of the study.  And click here to see what I had for lunch the other day.

Out of sight, out of mind, but not really

If you have an employee who lives out-of-state, especially if you are in Massachusetts, read on. If not, click here.

This out-of-sight employee conducts business just as she would if she were in your office – all orders come to the home office, the contact info on her business card lists the home office, and once a month or so she comes back for some company meetings and to meet some clients. When she is done, she goes back to her out-of-state home (which I am assuming is someplace warm, has unlimited tropical drinks and has no geese – they are loud and leave deposits on the golf course). So which state wage and hour laws apply?

If your home office is in Massachusetts, a judge says the Massachusetts laws apply, as long as the out-of-stater has sufficient contacts with the Commonwealth. Click here to see more from our partners at Ogletree Deakins.

“Good Catholic, young, divorced father of two seeks work”

With unemployment hovering around 9%, good, hardworking people are turning to Craigslist to find work. That means more qualified ready-to-work applicants, right?

Well yes, but . . .

Sometimes that effort to convince you that they need and deserve your job and will work hard to keep it can reveal more than you should know, including age, marital status, religion and even disabilities.

Check out some Craigslist thoughts and some hiring tips from our partners at Fisher & Phillips. Their advice – stick to the tried and true.

Cavete quae hominum facultates – human resources beware (at least that is as close as I could get with Google Translate).

Numbers Game: Employers Scrooging upward

Welcome to another edition of the HR Update‘s Numbers Game, where percentages are listed in bulleted form – most likely in the third paragraph.

This week’s topic: paid holidays.

Few things are better than Thanksgiving in America. (And I realize this is an odd statement, seeing as it is a solely American holiday, at least with American pilgrims. But I’m pretty sure that even if they tried something similar in other countries it wouldn’t work out. Just look at Euro Disney.) Sadly, however, fewer and fewer companies are designating the day after Thanksgiving – a holiday unto itself (meant to be observed in line at Wal-Mart at 3:45 am with the other “smart shoppers”) – as a paid holiday for their employees.

Here are the numbers:

  • In 2009, 79% of employers designated both Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays.
  • In 2010, 74% of employees were allotted both days as paid days off.
  • In 2011, only 72% of employers will give both days as paid holidays.
  • It is projected that in 2012, only two pieces of coal will be used to heat the office furnace, compared with 6 pieces in 2010.

It is possible, though, that last bullet may be completely unfounded.

Click here to read more statistics from the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA). Click here to see a different Scrooge.

IM not email

Raise your hand if you remember the office before email, when you had to pick up a phone or write a memo or actually get up and walk to someone else’s office to communicate. Instant messaging may make email the next floppy disc.

A new survey of more than 1,400 chief information officers says extinction may soon be calling for the once-revolutionary mode of communication.More than half (54 percent) believe real-time workplace communications tools – such as instant messaging, Sharepoint and Yammer – will be “much” or “somewhat” more popular than email in the next five years, according to the survey by Robert Half Technology.

Find out more at Human Resource Executive Online.

You can put your hands down now.