It’s seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…
1. How can we implement a fair PTO system?
My work is not competitive at all when it comes to sick, vacation, or personal days off. They have acknowledged this is something they need to improve and change. Currently, employees do not receive any days until they have been here for 2 years, then the employee receives one week. Employees do accrue time off with hours worked, but it is extremely minimal.
However, now it is a question of how we will implement additional sick, vacation, personal days for brand new employees and be fair to employees whom have been here for a length of time. Any suggestions?
Sure. Decide how many days people will earn per year (you can increase it with years of service or have it remain the same for everyone; just make it competitive with what other employers provide), and have it accrue per pay period. And since you’re correcting a serious company shortcoming, implement it retroactively. So if you get X days per year, and someone has been there three years, put 3X in their PTO accounts right now. If someone is new and has been there for three months (a quarter of the year), put 1/4 of X in their PTO account right now. Then keep it accruing moving forward.
And start this immediately. Giving people no time off until two years is horrible.
2. My manager wants me to lie to the state unemployment agency
I am an HR rep and I have a ridiculous situation I must deal with. My manager is asking me to lie about the reason a previous employee was fired, in order to ensure they get unemployment benefits. Long story short, a coworker was fired for repeated poor job performance. This is as legit of a firing as I can imagine and this employee was absolutely horrible at their job. I will not lie and really need advice on how to handle this discussion with my manager. This employee would get unemployment after a penalty period and has already received plenty by way of severance (company was not required but did because of longevity) and vacation payout. I’m actually pretty furious that this has even been brought to me. I really wanted to paint a whole picture.
It’s pretty reasonable to say to your manager, “I’m not comfortable lying on a government form. All we can do is present the truth and let the state unemployment agency make their own determination.” (And actually, you might point out that this person is likely to receive unemployment benefits anyway; people usually do, unless they were fired for misconduct — as opposed to incompetence, as sounds like the case here.) If your manager pushes you to lie anyway, then I’d suggest telling her that you don’t think you can ethically do that and if she requires the form to be filled out that way, you need to recuse yourself from being involved in it. Keep using the words “lying on a government form,” because that’s what she’s asking you to do, and you might need to make sure she realizes it.
3. Should I mention the nastiness I overheard from a new coworker?
Earlier this morning, I heard one coworker talking to another. The second coworker’s desk is right next to mine, and I’m pretty sure others could hear this conversation as well. She referenced an interview she had for an internal promotion, and at first I was happy for her. She’s always very nice and while she hasn’t been here very long (three months), she seems to fit in well with the culture. I have no idea if she’s qualified for this promotion. We work in very separate departments, so I only see her in passing. Anyway, she went on to say that she really didn’t care about the work she was doing currently, which is concerning because she works directly with our customers. I think this may be explained by the fact that she said she wasn’t feeling well and therefore maybe she just didn’t care today, which I understand. However, she then went on to say something nasty about another coworker with whom she works closely. It wasn’t terribly offensive, but definitely inappropriate.
Should I say something to someone, considering her promotion consideration? My first thought was that it’s Not My Business, and I should stay out of it. I thought I’d ask anyway.
I would, particularly if you have a good relationship with her manager or the hiring manager for the new position, but then I have made a career of nosiness. But if I were either of those managers, I’d genuinely appreciate hearing a discreet “Hey, I was taken aback when I overheard this and since she mentioned she’s being considered for Promotion X, I thought I’d mention it to you. Now that I’ve done that, I’m going to wipe it from my mind.” But I suspect 99% of people out there will tell you not to say anything, on the grounds that it’s not your business or that you might have just caught her in a bad but uncharacteristic moment. (Which is possible, but in my experience, someone making comments like that after only three months on the job is nearly always capital-T Trouble.)
4. Was this role really put on hold?
I applied for a senior administrator/office manager role recently and happily the recruiters contacted me to say that I have a very strong CV and they would like to call me to discuss the role further. I spoke to a really nice lady from the recruitment company who asked me some very detailed questions to establish that I had the relevant experience and to explain the role fully. Following our conversation, she emailed me the same list of questions that she had asked me in our telephone conversation. I replied to the questions as requested – she then asked me to tailor my CV more specifically to the role and asked if she could send it on to her client. I sent the revised CV to the recruiter, and she emailed me to say it was perfect and that she had sent it on to her client and was hoping to hear back within a couple of days regarding interviews.
A week later, I still hadn’t heard anything back so I emailed the recruiter and received a reply a few hours later apologising for the delay in getting back to me – she had apparently been trying to contact her client and had only received a response by email to say that the role is on hold and that they wouldn’t be proceeding with any of her candidates. The recruiter thinks that they probably went with an internal candidate – but that doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would they bother using an agency and wasting their time if they had a great internal candidate? I would really appreciate your take on this .
I don’t know why your recruiter is assuming that “the role is on hold” is a lie; if they went with an internal candidate, the employer would have likely just said so. But in answer to your question, people often use recruiters when they have a strong internal candidate, for the same reason they do job postings in that case too: because they want to see the full pool of candidates before making a decision (or because they have internal policies that require them to).
(Also, I suspect that recruiter is … not the cream of the crop. Asking you questions over the phone and then emailing you those exact same questions for you to answer again? No.)
5. Can an employer make you fill in for a higher-paid position without raising your pay rate?
A few coworkers and i would like to know if and employer can make you fill in for someone in a position that has a higher pay yet reman at your current pay? If so how long? A year? A month? A day? Or even an hour?
Yes — an hour, a day, a month, a year, or even a decade! There is no law requiring employers to increase your pay, ever (aside from minimum wage laws). If you would like more pay, however, you can certainly try to negotiate that, by making a case based on the value of your work.
6. Should I mention that I know the CEO personally?
I applied for a position that requires a little bit more experience than I have (I’m a recent college grad) but using your tips on cover letters, I was able to score an interview. I am confident that I can excel in this job but I am still afraid that I will lose out to someone with more experience.
This particular company interested me because I know the CEO personally. It is a large institution and I think it’s virtually impossible that my interviewers will be aware that I know him. Is it completely out of bounds to bring up my connection to him if I am asked why I applied to the job? I’m not sure how an interviewer would react to this and I don’t want to come off as thinking that I can use him to get the job. However, I want to give myself the best possible chance of getting the position.
If you’re directly asked why you applied and a part of that reason is that you know the CEO, it’s absolutely fine to say that — but be careful not to sound like you think that connection will help you. (It’s certainly possible that it will, but it might not, and either way if you sound like you expect it to, you will turn off your interviewer.) But something like this would be fine: “I’ve known Fitzwilliam Darcy for a while and always thought the way he talked about the work here was fascinating, so I was excited when I saw this opening.”
7. Should I have two separate LinkedIn profiles?
I have two careers, so to speak. My day job is finance and professional. My LinkedIn profile reflects that.
Evenings and weekends (and early mornings!), I am a fitness instructor/personal trainer. I would like to start connecting with more people in the fitness industry. Do you think I should have a separate Linkedin profile to reflect my fitness career? Or should I use one profile for both?
You should have one profile for both. First, LinkedIn’s rules prohibit multiple profiles for one person. Second, the profile isn’t for your job; it’s for you. You do two things. They’re both part of who you are. Include them both. (And to many people in both fields, it will make you more interesting.)