Welcome to the Winter 2007 edition of our e-newsletter, RESOURCES. We are excited to produce this exciting forum for the communication of issues pertinent and relevent to HR Professionals.


We hope you enjoy the newsletter. It can only get better with your input and comments. If you have any articles for inclusion, comments or requests, please email them to Jim Guynup:




We still have numerous volunteer opportunities for Nevada, Arizona and Utah residents at the SHRM conference in Las Vegas in June. This is a big event that looks to be the largest EVER conference for HR Professionals.

Come be an exciting part of it from the INSIDE...Share your team spirit, your community spirit and your love of HR with the thousands of attendees from all over the country (and world!).


And, besides the great feeling you'll get for volunteering, you will receive one free day of conference registration for every 6 hour shift worked.


Work the maximum of 3 shifts, and receive the conference FREE!


Visit our volunteer website for more information and to apply.




Starting with this issue and continuing, we will focus on updating you on the SHRM conference in June...

Our first piece of news: We will be entertained by the talented entertainer Michael McDonald on Tuesday night following a busy day at the conference. Mr. McDonald is an artist and a prominent part of the soundtrack of our times.


A five-time Grammy winner, McDonald has triumphed with a remarkable voice and a body of well-crafted songs. With a career that has seen innumerable chart successes and sales feats while maintaining consistent popularity in both personal and professional arenas, McDonald remains an enduring presence in popular music. That will certainly make for a very special Tuesday night.


See you there!




Pam Hollister, Author of "The People Process", shares with us how we can understand people better to improve business communication and relationships. © Copyright 2006 Pamela Hollister. Please ask permission to reproduce this article by emailing

Communication is central to our life - we communicate with others every day, throughout the day. Understanding, appreciating and accommodating personality differences in communication style can bring major success to our effectiveness as a friend, spouse, employee, supervisor, trainer, leader and team member.  People have different preferences in the way they take in and evaluate information and their orientation to the world around them.  As we develop our awareness, understanding and appreciation of communication differences, we will reap the benefit in our relationship with others.
Extraverts are energized by lively and enthusiastic discussions, with rapid-paced conversation and often interrupt as they elaborate on and process thoughts.  Introverts are energized by quiet conversations with space for reflection and conversation pace is slower, taking time as they build thoughts and ideas internally.  Extraverts’ communication approach doesn’t allow time for Introverts to reflect and then give their opinions.  Extraverts like to “think out loud” and don’t realize that Introverts feel unable to respond quickly in a conversation, preferring to internalize the information first.  Thus, the Extraverts’ reaction sometimes is that the Introvert is not providing input that energizes the Extravert.
When Introverts share information, it has been carefully thought through and evaluated.  When an Extravert is in the “thinking out loud” mode they may not give the input the full evaluation it merits.  Similarly, Introverts may put too much emphasis on what is said by Extraverts, not realizing they are “hearing themselves think” and need to process information this way.  This can cause difficulties for both preferences as Extraverts may miss valuable contributions by Introverts, and Introverts may take what Extraverts say too seriously and make decisions based on the input.
These communication differences can be especially dangerous in conflict situations, as Extraverts want to handle a situation immediately and Introverts require time to think things through before giving their ideas on possible solutions.  Because each preference is requiring something the other type does not prefer, tension can increase.  Extraverts can become impatient, wanting to move forward and make a decision not giving time to the Introverts’ need to process the information internally and, then, make a decision.


EXTRAVERTS in communication


INTROVERTS in communication


  • Energetic & enthusiastic
  • Think out loud
  • Give a lot of information
  • Network well

    Communication Approach
  • Speak out freely in groups
  • Think out loud
  • Like to discuss lots of topics
  • Interrupt often during discussion

    When Communicating with Extraverts
  • Listen attentively
  • Be actively responsive
  • Be energetic & enthusiastic
  • Support their need to communicate
  • Quiet, reflective presence
  • Respond carefully and thoughtfully
  • Know a few people well
  • Listen without interrupting

    Communication Approach
  • Listen more than talk
  • Talk one on one
  • Need time to reflect before responding
  • Process information internally

    When Communicating with Introverts
  • Value their need for privacy
  • Allow them time to change focus
  • Ask questions to draw them out
  • Don’t pressure for an instant response


Thank you Pam Hollister of The People Process!




President Considers Proposal to Tax High-End Health Benefits

President Bush is considering a proposal that "likely would cap some taxpayers' ability to exclude employer-provided health care from their income, as part of an effort to broaden availability of health care insurance," according to Medical News Today, citing a Wall Street Journal report.

The federal government currently provides tax exemptions for all employer-sponsored health benefits, a policy that will cost an estimated $900 billion between 2006 and 2010 along with other health-related tax provisions.

According to the Journal, the proposal would tax "gold-plated" executive  health plans and could affect "some rank-and-file union members with  particularly generous benefits."

(Editor's Note:  For our next newsletter, I would like to hear from you for your opinion on this development...Please respond back to me quickly as  possible at


I also would like your opinion on the possible Federal wage change and the non-smoking issue in regards to how it affects your business, especially if you are in the hospitality arena.)




Patrick Hicks and Mat Laflin of Littler Mendelson discuss one of the most misunderstoon processes in human resources:. How to properly (and legally!) conduct a proper reference check...


Conducting Proper Reference Checks

Reference checks are invaluable tools to employers in making important decisions regarding prospective and current employees such as hiring, retention and promotion.  However, there are limits to these checks that employers must follow, which are meant to both protect individual privacy and prevent discrimination in the hiring process.


The Fair Credit Reporting Act(FRCA), is the federal law that governs the acquisition and use of most background information on applicants and employees.


Although it is lawful for employers to obtain and use background information on applicants and employees, they must follow several important procedures when obtaining and using these materials.  Under the terms of the FRCA almost any communication of information concerning an applicant or employee from a consumer reporting agency to an employer would potentially be a “consumer report,”including so-called “investigative consumer reports,” which include employment verifications and interviews with former employers and co-workers, where these are performed by a consumer reporting agency.

Before requesting
reference checks from a consumer reporting agency, an employer must:

1. Provide to the applicant a clear and conspicuous disclosure that a consumer report or investigative consumer report, may be requested and notify employees or applicants of the extent to which they will receive copies of reports.  This must be provided in a “separate document” that does not refer to other subjects; and

2. Obtain prospective written authorization from applicants

3. Certify to the background check or investigation company that you will comply with federal and state laws by signing a form that they typically provide to you.

4. Provide a copy of the report to the person investigated, along with a letter referring to the report and a summary of federal rights.  

If employers conduct their own reference checks, they should take the following steps:

1. In conducting an investigation, such as confirming prior employment and educational history, or contacting references, use standardized forms, which allow the person conducting the investigation to fill in the appropriate information and keep a record from which information for the applicant may be summarized

2. Train personnel conducting reference checks to avoid unlawful pre-employment inquiries.  Questions that would be unlawful to ask applicants or employees are likewise unlawful to ask references or third parties.

3. At the time of the meeting or interview with the applicant or employee, or within seven (7) days of obtaining the information, whichever is earlier, send a standardized letter that summarizes the information obtained during the investigation or background check.  This summary need not reveal the sources of the information.

4. Protect the confidentiality of the comprehensive reference check contained in personnel files.

This overview is designed to help employers proceed with reference checks and comply with the FCRA in the simplest manner possible.  However, no such overview can anticipate all individual situations and questions that may arise.  If you have questions concerning your legal rights and obligations under the FCRA  or any local laws or regulations governing the acquisition and use of applicant and employee information, always consult experienced employment law counsel.  




(Thanks to

To help all of you write the ad to get that person you want, we offer you the following jargon:


We remain competitive by paying less than our competitors.


Work 55 hours; get paid for 37.5.


Management communicates, you listen, figure out what they want you to do.


You whine, you're fired.


We expect that you will want to flip hamburgers until you are 70.


Management won't answer questions


Some time each night and some time each weekend


Anyone in the office can boss you around.


We have a lot of turnover.


We're not going to supply you with leads; there's no base salary; you'll wait 30 days for your first commission check.


We don't pay enough to expect that you'll dress up; well, a couple of the real daring guys wear earrings.


If we're in trouble, you'll go on TV and get us out of it.


You'll need it to replace three people who just left.


You're walking into a company in perpetual chaos.



Note from the Editor:
I hope that you all enjoy and find the articles contained within useful for your HR enviroment. Many thanks to all of you who so quickly responded to my requests for this newsletter. If you have anything you wish to contribute to the next issue, please do not hesitate to email me at In the meantime enjoy all the great things of this great holiday season!





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Newsletter: February 2007