Intern management requires many, many binders.(Shutterstock)

Are Interns Worth It?

Here's what you need to know before bringing one on

Our small company is considering bringing on two or three summer interns. Half of me thinks this is a great way to get some help with projects, tap into the knowledge of a younger generation and give back to our local students. The other half of me thinks this is going to be a management nightmare that will suck my working hours dry. How can we ensure a successful summer for everyone involved?

May 4, 2015 Suzanne Lucas
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The Black Box of Sales Hiring

5 tips for hiring good salespeople who stay

For all its importance to business survival, companies tend to fail miserably at hiring sales staff. A 2011 survey of more than 400 firms by DePaul University researchers found that hiring one seller costs $29,000. But a lot of that money flutters out into the ether; a third of recruits don’t make it through their first year.

Apr 23, 2015 Steven Yoder

More Asking, Less Telling

How you talk to your employees matters

Quality communication goes far beyond organizational structures, clear directives and efficient systems. Time and again, I’ve watched highly effective teams crumble due to a lack of effective dialogue. And that’s because the most successful way to engage and improve your company is not by talking. It’s by listening.

Apr 2, 2015 Tania Fowler
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Mind If I Push You Around?

Poll: Tell us your thoughts on bullying in the workplace

The Workplace Bullying Institute would like to see legislation put in place to protect employees from abusive coworkers or bosses. The California State Council for the Society for Human Resource Management says legislation would leave too much room for subjective analysis. What do you think?

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Mar 31, 2015
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Locking It Down

Relocation is expensive, and it doesn’t pay if the employee doesn’t stay

Last year, I paid someone to relocate for a position with our company. I had the person sign a contract requiring repayment if she left before one year. At one year and two weeks, she quit. Now it’s looking like I need to recruit from out of the area again. Are there any tips you can give me for making sure that the person doesn’t run out the door? 

Mar 4, 2015 Suzanne Lucas
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Social Digging

Where is the legal line when it comes to using social media to evaluate job candidates?

We’re hiring a new office manager and looking for someone trustworthy and friendly. Going through applications, we found that some of the hiring staff were able to view applicants’ Facebook profiles, either due to mutual friends or because of the applicant’s privacy settings. Are there any legal reasons not to do this? Can we raise questions during interviews based on the information we’ve learned via social media?

Feb 24, 2015 Coral Henning
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Social Stalking

How much is too much?

How would you feel if, during an interview, a potential employer questioned you about a recent post you had made on social media? 

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Dress for Success

How can I legally amend my company's dress code?

Since starting my business in 2010, my number of full-time employees has tripled. One thing I wish I’d done in the beginning is establish a dress code. I’m worried that the relaxed atmosphere I’ve allowed does not reflect the professional competency I’m trying to project. How can I implement a dress code, and should I be worried about violating any laws when I do?

Jan 21, 2015 Coral Henning

How to Spot a Liar

9 tips for reading body language when the truth is on the line

Recognizing key signs of dishonesty and deception is a professional skill that can pay off in spades. If you’re keen, you can see people’s body language change when they lie, as they try to manage their anxiety. So unless you’re dealing with a sociopath or a superb actor, you can spot those who try to mislead you by monitoring their nonverbal signals. Here’s how:

Jan 14, 2015 Carol Kinsey Goman

Raise It Up

Our minimum wage should leave no one behind

Improving the minimum wage and making Sacramento a better place to do business are not mutually exclusive goals. Done properly, an increase to the minimum wage targeted at Sacramento’s working poor will strengthen the economy, benefit the entire community and help create the Sacramento that we all want.   

Jan 7, 2015 Jay Schenirer

Extreme Makeover: Work Edition

Does your office need an etiquette expert?

You know That Guy. He wears too much Axe body spray, he makes loud personal calls while you’re trying to work, he chews food with his mouth open. He’s a close-talker with his shirt open one button too far. He’s also really good at his job. If you’re a manager, what do you do with That Guy?

Jan 6, 2015 Jeff Wilser
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Unpolished Problems

How to politely enforce your dresscode

“We have a male employee whose shirt buttons pop open, leaving his skin exposed. We also have a female employee whose tight clothing reveals her undergarments. This is a horribly awkward and uncomfortable situation, but their attire is not appropriate for the office. How should HR address this?”

Jan 5, 2015 Suzanne Lucas
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Missing Moms

Can an employer require employees to return after maternity leave?

I run a small business. Twice in the past two years, I’ve had employees quit directly after taking maternity leave. Prior to their departures, it was understood that they would return to work. This has caused understandable upheaval in the office. What questions, if any, can I ask employees taking maternity or paternity leave? Can I require them to come back to work in order to take the leave? Are there any options for me to avoid this happening in the future?

Dec 8, 2014 Coral Henning