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How to write the perfect offer letter

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How to write the perfect offer letter

After rounds and rounds of interviews, you’ve finally found the perfect candidate to fill the role. But don’t start celebration just yet – you still have an offer letter to write.
While many managers may think that writing an offer letter can’t really go wrong – basically it’s repeating what was agreed during the interview with the candidate – it’s always the small detail that makes or breaks, according to a Glassdoor post by Nikki Larchar, co-founder/human resource business partner at simplyHR LLC.
“Since the offer letter is a legal docu“Since the offer letter is a legal document, it can be difficult to make changes after it has been signed… Wanting to make changes to the offer letter after this point causes a huge traffic jam, and creates additional work for others,” she said.
Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s may be harder than it sounds. Here are the details which need to be confirmed before the letters goes out according to Larchar.  Use it as a guide to ensure an error-free offer letter.
1. Dates and times
Nothing ruins the work plan more than a worker who doesn’t show up on the first day, but it’s not them to blame if the employer is the one who mixes up the dates, or times, or both. Also, pay attention to whether the new hire’s first day is the day when their immediate supervisor is on leave, or a holiday. If the probationary period  is stated in the letter, check that as well.
2. Job duties
Make sure the job duties listed in the letter agree to what was discussed with the candidate during the interview. All responsibilities should be clearly outlined. Keep an eye on the wordings and try to avoid any potential misrepresentations.
3. Salary and benefits
The compensation package should have already been discussed at this point, and should be stated accurately in the letter.
If there is a need to present salary information in a different way from what as previous discussed, monthly vs. yearly for example, make sure everything adds up to what was agreed. Double check the information, salary and also any guaranteed bonuses, with the interviewer when necessary.
Some companies state the entitled days of leave and insurance in the employee handbook. If the organisation doesn’t have one, such details needs to be listed clearly and explicitly in the offer letter.
Even there is an employee handbook or other documentation that spells out the standard benefits, the letter should contain anything special that has been negotiated with the new hire, from extra vacation time to a paid cell phone.
4. Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements
Having a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement is a typical way to avoid employees, especially the ones who have just joined the team, to spill the beans about the financial status, latest product design or highly sensitive communications of the company. Consequences of breaching the agreement should be clearly stated.
5. Non-compete clause
A non-compete clause can be defined as “a contract between two parties, where one party agrees not to compete with the other for a period of time” This clause prevents employees from exposing proprietary information of the company, leaving for a competitor, or starting a competing business.
According to Andrew Horowitz from Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP “These agreements can severely limit the employee’s ability to seek other employment down the road. For example, the employee can be prevented from working in his or her industry for some period of time within the geographic region where he/she is working. Therefore, to seek new employment, the employee would then have to wait for the agreement to lapse, move to another geographic area, or change industries.”
6. Non-solicit agreements
Working in a similar fashion as the non-compete clause, non-solicit agreement is a contract that guards against employees soliciting their employer’s customers for a certain period after leaving the company. It is one way to keep your existing clients or customers even when your employees start their own business. But again, this should not be put in place without careful consideration.
This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found at https://www.humanresourcesonline.net/how-to-write-the-perfect-offer-letter/

The most unpopular colleagues in the office

23/07/2018 Mon 10:11 in All markets by Tracy Chan

The most unpopular colleagues in the office

Though you might spend more time with the people at work than with your family, it doesn’t mean that you necessarily have a good relationship with everyone in the office. In fact, some colleagues can be toxins in the workplace who will not only destroy office harmony but also affect employee morale and productivity. In the worst case, they might be the reasons that push the best employees away.
As building a cohesive team is one of the imperative tasks for HR professionals, use this list by CTgoodjobs to spot the office black sheep to avoid losing the best talent.
1. Braggers
They like to brag about everything. They take credit for all achievements (big or small) in order to get people’s attention.
2. Apple-polishers
It is hard to judge their working abilities, but they are absolutely good at flattering and building a good relationship with the boss. Be careful when you work with these types of individuals as they often blame someone else instead of taking responsibility for their own actions. Beware of getting into a he said/she said argument as they tend to have a good relationship with the boss you never know who management would believe.
3. Making weird sounds frequently
These employees have a bad habit that they might not be aware of– making strange sounds frequently like; turning a pen, snorting and sniffing, clearing one’s throat, talking on the phone loudly or noisy eating. Be mindful of whether you have inadvertently made such a repetitive annoying sound.
4. Forceful friends
Colleagues that are overly friendly and want to take their offices relationships from professional to social. However, one cannot force a friendship that the other person may not be interested in.
5. Emotional
These workmates overtly express their emotions, whether happiness or sorrow. Workplace conflicts are sometimes inevitable but these individuals cannot control their tempers when disputes really do happen. Be wary of sudden outbursts at work or making a fuss about nothing. Such behaviour will have a harmful impact on team spirit and cooperation. Colleagues will easily become exasperated at babysitting and nurturing emotions than accomplishing their work.
6. Gossiping
These types of people smile in front of you but talk behind your back. They like to share colleagues’ gossips with others, whether it is a business or a private matter. Therefore, be careful of what you say in the workplace, it might eventually become an open secret to the whole company.
 
Lead photo / StockUnlimited
This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found at http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/the-most-unpopular-colleagues-in-the-office/

Why Hongkongers find performance reviews frustrating

18/07/2018 Wed 09:43 in All markets by Bridgette Hall

Why Hongkongers find performance reviews frustrating

Are your employees satisfied with the performance review process? According to the latest research by global professional services recruiter, Morgan McKinley found that employees in Hong Kong are not satisfied with the traditional, annual performance review adopted by their companies.
In fact, findings show that there is a disconnect between what employees need and what organisations are providing. The white paper showed that;
  • 78% of employees feel that they are not reviewed accurately
  • 66% disagree with their managers’ feedback during the annual review.
  • 72% of managers also admit that they experience disagreement regarding feedback and scores that are given.
Some feedback from employees regarding this practice includes; “relying on the annual review doesn’t allow us to solve problems timely”, “it needs to be more frequent”, “this is based on recent performance rather than overall performance”.
Employees prefer continuous performance management over annual review as they feel the latter limits collaboration and communication with their managers.
65% of employees said the annual review was not motivating to them while 55% were unhappy with the amount of daily feedback they receive from their managers.
In contrast, 44% of employees said continuous review improves collaboration with their managers and allows them to solve problems quickly. Also, 62% of managers stated that this practice allows them to have a two-way communication with their team members and coach them so they could improve throughout the year. However, the biggest challenge for managers is to the time taken to conduct this practice which can be even more difficult when managing bigger teams.
“The purpose of performance management is to promote and improve employee effectiveness,” said Reina Cheng, managing director, Hong Kong, Morgan McKinley. “Through this process, managers can provide feedback, acknowledge achievement and provide recognition. However, regardless of performance review style, clear goals must be set and performance reviewed against metrics. Managers need to be trained or they would fail to meet team members’ expectations on running the process.”
“Our survey revealed that one of the biggest issues faced within performance review was defining clear metrics and measuring performance against those. Employees feedback include “Goal alignment is not clear”, “Direction and requirements change quarterly”, “Certain performance index does not relate to performance”.
Ultimately the performance review process must be approached from the perspective of building engagement. Managers must be trained on communication, review process and defining clear goals. HR managers are also advised to drive this process and guide both managers and employees to ensure employees are kept engaged and motivated.”
Lead photo / StockUnlimited
This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found at  http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/why-hongkongers-find-performance-reviews-frustrating/

7 types of companies that drive job seekers away

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7 types of companies that drive job seekers away

Are you having a hard time finding a decent candidate to fill a post? Or you have found some perfectly competent workers to join the team but somehow they flee for another job in a month or two? If your answer is yes to these questions, then your company might have at least one of these qualities that applicants try to stay away from. A recent post on Glassdoor shared 7 characteristics of companies that may scare potential candidates away, and here is a summary.
1. High turnover
Rapid hire and fire, especially in management or leadership, signals that either the leadership cannot decide what specific qualities they are looking for in a candidate or the company culture is despicable that people just won’t stay. Candidates may consider the job a waste of time even if they get it, as they know they may sooner or later be the next victim.
2. Bad reputation
In an age where the younger generation values company culture more than ever, a bad reputation may hurt your company like never before. If your recruitment effort so far has gone nowhere, chances are your employees, current or those who have left, speak negatively about your company. Also, don’t ever try evading candidates’ questions about company culture during interviews. Candidates are smart enough to smell out the truth.
3. False publicity
Companies spend handsome amounts of money on marketing and branding. They may have a stunning website, roll out top-notch campaigns and get featured in top publications. However, none of these really matter to candidates if they are going to spend more than a third of the day in the office but the day-to-day operation doesn’t live up to the expectations that these companies try to set up. Are you still using computers from 10 years ago? Do the leaders get an ocean view room while the rest of the team has to cram into small cubicles? Start making your office a better place for your employees if you want to keep your most talented staff.
4. Top heavy structure
While brilliant leadership is crucial, overly centralised management may not be the most effective structure to have in a company. Employees trust in senior leadership, but at the same time, they want to be trusted. Also, potential employees will read reviews of your company, so make sure your company reviews and hiring process reflect that you care about all team members, and more importantly, recognise their effort. If you place too much emphasis on the rank and file employees and neglect others’ effort too often, employee satisfaction may flop, leading to low retention.
5. Not keeping promises
Over-promising doesn’t make you look good. As a matter of fact, it does the exact opposite. As the talent war wages on, many companies are guilty of making more promises than they can actually deliver around the job, from compensation packages to company culture and branding. Trust is an asset of any company. Once your employees lose trust in you, your company is doomed to fail.
6. The “stagnator”
A stagnant company is one that places little emphasis on growth and development of its employee. This kind of company usually lacks learning opportunities, fails to promote mentorship, and doesn’t offer much room for career or personal growth of its staff in general. While it could be ideal for a certain type of job seeker, many of the best talents find the life in a stagnant company extremely unsatisfying.
7. Lack of a clear direction
It’s understandable to not have a clear direction at some point. Just like our personal lives, sometimes we are blindsided by situations beyond our control. We need time to reconsider our choices and explore new possibilities. That said, if your company doesn’t have a clear plan or any long-term goals for the future, it is definitely a red flag in a candidate’s eyes. Also, the hiring team should be ready to talk openly about what direction the company is hoping to go in and any major challenges.
Lead photo / StockUnlimited
This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found athttp://www.humanresourcesonline.net/7-types-of-companies-that-drive-job-seekers-away/  

Behind the façade of cold jobseekers

20/07/2018 Fri 09:49 in All markets by Anthony Wong

Behind the façade of cold jobseekers

In a job interview, more often than not you see a candidate who is calm and restrained from showing excitement or enthusiasm about a position. Rather than them being an emotionless robot, a recent Stanford study tries to explain why Hong Kong job seekers appear to be cold and distant during interviews.
Published on Emotion, a research paper co-written by Stanford researchers and scholars from the City University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Northwestern University and the Environmental Defense Fund has revealed that the icy exterior of Hong Kong job seekers may be a result of culture. It also looked at how the difference in cultural backgrounds of both hiring managers and job seekers may play a crucial part in the hiring process.
As the workforce is getting more diverse, the research team examined how cultural differences affect how job seekers display their emotions during an interview, and how these emotions may be perceived by their future bosses of different cultural backgrounds, hence influencing the chances of them landing a job.
A total of 1,041 participants, including European Americans, Asian Americans and Hong Kong Chinese, were given five different workplace scenarios in the experiment.
In an experiment that asked participants to film a self-introduction video for a competitive internship programme, 86% of the European Americans and 72% of Asian Americans expressed excitement rather than calm, while only 48% of Hong Kong Chinese showed excitement.
According to the researchers, the difference could be a cultural one rather than merely a personal choice. Jeanne Tsai, one of the researchers, explained, “How we want to feel and what our culture tells us is the right way to be, influences how we present ourselves when we are applying for a job.”
Now that we understand how cultural background affects the way candidates present themselves, this begs the question, how might these differences influence hiring managers at job interviews?
In another experiment, the research team showed the video applications from three candidates to 300 U.S. employers. All three candidates from the videos had the same level of qualifications, but showed different levels of excitement – one was animated and excited, another calm and a third neutral.
It is found that 47% favoured the excited applicant, 29.3% chose the neutral one, and only 23.7% liked the calm candidate. The reason, as researcher Lucy Zhang Bencharit explained, is that U.S. applicants are often advised to be excited and enthusiastic when applying for jobs. She, however, said, “it is important to recognise that this message is shaped by our culture, and it may not be right or feel natural for everyone.”
While more and more hiring managers select employees based on their “cultural fit” to the company, the researchers warned that these preferences of emotion could lead to hiring biases as managers tend to give the job to candidates who share the values of the company’s existing workforce, resulting in less diverse workplaces.
“One problem with hiring for cultural fit is that employers assume that is the only way to thrive at their organisation,” Bencharit said. “However, in work settings, there are many tasks in which a calm and level-headed employee may out-perform an excited and passionate one.”
“If we really want to benefit from diverse workplaces, then we have to broaden our views of what emotional qualities we look for in the ideal applicant,” said Tsai.
Lead photo / StockUnlimited
This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found at  http://www.humanresourcesonline.net/behind-the-facade-of-cold-jobseekers/