Wednesday, June 13, 2007

025.1 School Library Adminstrators: Always Learning, Part 3

The afternoon began with Dr. Julie Todaro, Dean of Library Services, Austin Community College, on Recruitment and Retention
An audience member asked: Do you have to ask the same question of each interviewee?

Her answer dealt with Consistency and Documentation
Check them against EEOC guidelines--don't ask an inappropriate question.
Yes, all should be asked and phrased the same way to each applicant and a set time for each.
Yes, you can ask a clarification question and a clarification question about their documentation.

An interview vs a courtesy interview--the audience agreed they knew what that was! You need signals for the team when this happens. You know the person is not going to get hired. Scoring sheets are needed as well. You can weight your scores...if one question is important to you that is ok.

On a phone reference what info can you receive? The person called must only verify dates of employment and verify title and salary at point of leaving. That is all they have to say. You can ask would you rehire, but they can decline to answer. Anymore is up to the other person and that should tell you volumes if they do not say anything else!

From Dr. Todaro's hand-out, in preparing new employees, an administrator should:
1. begin with your own organization's/ umbrella group's policies and procedures
2. stay current
3. proactively interpret content in writing
4. push HR information to employees and other appropriate groups--the employees need to get the info together and be in the know.

She suggested using the HR Guide as a starting point.

She considers HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) her biggest problem right now in trying to stay compliant with the legal ramifications. Things like requiring personal health information is a no-no and it can't be shared. You can't forward email that has anything about health--that portion needs to be removed before the rest of the request is forwarded. You can require a doctor's confirmation to be specific. hen asking for sick leave, employees should simply ask for the time and give no details as to why. Three places an administrator can SUGGEST health info be placed--medical alert bracelet, card in wallet, or in a desk drawer/under a blotter.

Law & Legal
For those kinds of questions is available --you can get all kinds of legal information and there is a blog available as well.

Email--it is a written or oral notice? The organization has to decide. In her organization, it has been determined that an oral communication is a phone call with follow-up if face-to-face is not possible. will provide guidelines for diversity hiring wording.
If you want HR law by state, you can go to the US Dept. of Labor in the 21st Century

Important vocabulary word--do not use the word "accommodation"in asking about an employee's health concern...that moves them automatically into an accommodation mode with all of its implications.
Well, we had one of our famous breaks...cookies and milk this time and a few raffle drawings for vendor gifts...and now back to business.
Based on a question from the audience, such things as lifting heavy boxes, or using stairs should appear in your job description because you can not discuss their physical limitations during the interview. Then you ask "is there anything we need to know that might limit your abilities based on the job description?" You can verbally state the limitations as described on the job description...i.e. "can you lift the 65 lb. boxes as listed in the job description?"

Dr. Todaro spent quality time explaining all the ramifications of her document called "reasonable expectations of adult behavior." This can include style of communication, timelines and timeliness...i.e "you are expected to respond to email in a timely manner; you are expected to be at work by 8:00 every day."

Employee Behavior Problems
Age, color, ethnicity, alternative lifestyle are part of the prevention of harassment policy. Hate and sexual harassment are a part of this as well. There should be equality for all. Drug and alcohol, criminal background checks are set up by the organization based on the law.

Workplace Violence
You can require them to visit Employee Assistance Program person.
Do not fire on Fridays. It could leave them helpless over the weekend when support services are not available.
Always ask about final paperwork--do not assume sending it to the home address is ok--it may not be! there could be issues in their personal life.

As an administrator, you have to find the comfort level that works for all...there has to be a common denominator that will be good for all. You have t o let them know what are your expectations. It is their responsibility to let you know what makes them uncomfortable so that you can set the appropriate level.

Did you know about the safety kit for people who work in your library? Face masks for working the stacks, latex and non-latex gloves.

An audience member asked: "How do you handle HR themselves?" Her response included never just asking them to do something but giving them your take on the situation and asking them if it is correct info. (And it is because you have gone to the websites with the correct info!) Use compensation language for money is another way--use their language.

If you get asked: "What can I do to have a better chance with your district the next time?"
Let me tell you what are the most important interview questions are...give them a generic interpretation of the most weighted questions.

She recommended looking at the work of Richard Sweeney with regards to the workforce for millenials and genXers.

In more time with the audience, DH from District 8 said that is an initiative for this year's district conference--recruitment!

On a little lighter side, Dr. Todaro shared this and it has become my favorite new phrase of the day: We all know people who never have "an unexpressed thought." Think about it--you know what it means!

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