HR according to the stars

So I’m a Scorpio. 

If you have done any kind of reading on astrology then you know that by virtue of my sign, I am a sexy bitch. 

For those of you who know me personally…you can stop laughing any time now.

Every time I read a description of my astrological sign, I laugh.  Oh sure, there’s definitely things that resonate with me – I am not an open-book and I like to keep my personal life personal…that air of mystery and secrecy, well perhaps that explains my why my first blog was written under a pseudonym. 

However, I love this description:

“The Scorpio woman should never be taken lightly. They aren’t flaky, fluffy, or helpless creatures by any stretch of the imagination. Direct, and brilliantly sharp, Scorpio women only focus on the fundamental essence of any issue and disregard the superfluous. They like clear endings and beginnings, with no grey areas in between. A Scorpio woman wants her certainties to remain just so – absolutely rock steady and assured. She wants to understand everything and knows how to craft just the right question to obtain the answers she seeks.”  (

I’m seriously thinking of adding that to my CV. 

What I will leave off is that apparently I think about sex 24/7.  Ummm….yeah, that’s where I invoke my secrecy clause. 

I will also try to counter the well-known fact that we (collective Scorpios) will take you down if we are crossed.  I mean it..Down.

Is it so ridiculous for me to consider listing my sign and all that it comes with it on my CV?  Yes? 

What about my 4-letter Meyers-Briggs key-to-everything-I-am  code? 

What about my colour? 

My generation?  I mean, I am a proud card-carying member of GenX.

I’ve previously blogged about the dangers of relying on labels here so I won’t go off on another rant, but I do want to draw attention to labels and how you might be reading too much into candidates’ CVs.

I’ve sat across the table from many a manager who has provided me with a dead serious analysis and rationale for why they want to or don’t want to meet a candidate based on the nuances of their CV.  You know the spaces between the lines. 

In some cases, they have invested the level of “investigatory” skills typically seen only by people on an episode of CSI or jealous spouses.

Honestly. Trying to predict what a candidate’s predisposition and personality will be like based on the program they studied or the fact that they played team sports, or the fact that they have held multiple jobs over the past few years is a joke.  

If you want to consider something you see as a “warning sign” or an area to inquire into…then I get it, but if you want to rule someone out because you don’t like the fact that they used the word coordinate instead of administer, well then get over yourself.

The reality is that you will have to meet the person. 

I know it takes time.  I know there will be a lot of misses, but if you truly want to determine compatibility, then you are going to have to talk to the person. 

Otherwise, you might as well consult a “Work Sign compatibility Chart” and ensure you add that all future candidates must be a water sign.


When being nice isn’t good enough

There was a time and place when a handshake and a man’s word were enough to seal a deal and ensure commitment.  This was also a time when a good haircut and a clean-pressed shirt were all the recommendations that you needed to get your foot in the door.

For better and for worse, things have changed drastically.

Now, it’s not enough that you should already be able to do the job at a high level (although you will get lower-level pay), but you also need to be professional, likable, malleable, infallible, and all sorts of other “ble”s.

In short, recruiters are screening based on meeting technical requirements, but short-listing and hiring based on organizational fit.

Some argue that this is not much better than a reality game show judge panel.  Subjective. Personal. And potentially irrational.

I’m not going to write about whether I think that hiring for organizational is a good idea (although I think it is), but what I want to touch on is what organizational fit is not.

Some people feel that this means you are adaptable, flexible, and tolerant of any and all environments.  That you are able to morph into whatever your employer needs you to be.  That you get along with everyone.

No so.

If your work environment is fast-paced, cut-throat, antagonistic, and stressful,  you shouldn’t have to morph.  You have to already be built to work in a place like this. Being nice isn’t going to cut it.

Allow me to digress.  My daughter recently ended a relationship with a really nice guy.  Nothing happened.  No drama.  And I really felt for this guy.  I didn’t really know him well, but he seemed decent, polite, amenable…did and said all the right things.  He was a nice guy, but his biggest flaw was liking my daughter more than she liked him.

And I’ve been in this boat with employees.  They are good, decent, hard-working, flexible, employees.  They are nice people, but they aren’t living up to what is expected of them.  It’s sad to see personal collide with business, but we know where this generally ends up.  And invariably an employee will come up after the dust settles and say, “but he/ she was such a nice guy…”

But sometimes being nice isn’t enough.

Sure it might get you in the door, but it won’t always keep you in the seat.

Girl Power: Can I get a hell yeah….

Okay,  here’s the dealio…I’m a sucker for homework, so I’ve signed myself up for yet another course.  This one deals with the Management of Leadership within the Organization.  It’s not what I thought it would be. At all.

That being said, there have been some interesting topics and moments.  Right now, I’m doing a unit on Women in Leadership.  The information is so cliché that it hurts my ovaries.  I know that the course is for both men and women, so maybe for the guys it might be enlightening that women need to amp up the assertiveness (“sometimes they have to be a bitch”), but for most women…this is same ole same ole.

So, bitchiness…I mean assertiveness aside, I have to do an assignment that includes interviewing a few women who are in a leadership position.  Nowhere in the assignment guide did it say that the interviews had to be done in person or that I had to know these women personally.  So I would like to reach out and conduct my interviews online and with women that I don’t know personally.

Refer to the following checklist and let me know if you qualify and are interested:

1. Must be female.

2. Must be in some type of supervisory/managerial/ or leadership position

3. Must occupy a position in a corporation, education, health services, government, the arts, the professions, or be an entrepreneur. If, she is an entrepreneur she must have people who work for her.

What I’m going to ask you about are things like:

• Your career path and how you got to where you are today

• What you do in you leadership position

• How you handle some of the challenges that are faced by women leaders

So far in my course I have a 98%.  Do you want to know what happened to the 2%…it’s really pathetic.

I was given clear instructions on the required content of each of my assignments.  I was also told they my assignment is to be not more than 5 pages double spaced using Time Roman 12 point font.

On my last assignment, despite doing a good job at covering all the required topics – I lost 2 points because apparently my font changed from Time Roman 12 points to something else mid-way through the essay.  Now, I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t anything drastic like Comic Sans serif…I’m thinking it was so minimal that I didn’t freaking notice it, but then I was busy re-reading content and proofreading for spelling and grammar.  So I’m really pissed off that my 100% average has been blown by a stupid font.

My plan is to get 102% on my next assignment.

Who’s up for helping me.

Please either respond in the comment section or send me a tweet at @jawaddell.  Please fee free to share this with anyone who you think might be interested.  Deadline for responses: Wednesday, August 14th.



Hit by a bus?!

Okay, just to clear the air…I have not been hit by a bus.

Okay, that said…let’s move on.

Very soon I will get back on track with HR-related posts.  I will talk about succession planning, about how every day people can do good HR, and well, all sorts of goodies.  Until that time, the closest this post is to being HR-related is the fact that I wrote it…and I work in HR.

Today we are going to chat about catch-phrases that bug me and worse, the associated actions.

First catch-phrase.  “Best in class”.  I have nothing else to say other than do you remember what used to happen to the “best in class” growing up?  The teacher would hold them up as a beacon of inspiration to the rest of the class and the result was that everyone resented that person.  Actually, back in the day, resented would have been the nicest thing that would have happened….but fortunately we have matured to passive aggressive adults who smile and nod at the idea, but mock it behind senior management’s back.

Next up…”let’s pretend so-and-so got hit by a bus…”  This little gem usually comes out when we are talking about training or even succession planning. Seriously people…what is wrong with you…”hit by a bus’?!  I generally counter with “why can’t we pretend they won the lottery” and some wise-ass will say, “Because, if they won the lottery, would could still contact them and ask questions.”  To this I say… “If I win the lottery…good f-in luck getting in contact with me”. No lie.

So, here’s the scoop.  I’m on vacation.   It’s not a stay-cation…I’m gone, I’m with my family and enjoying all sorts of fun things.  Or at least I’m trying to.

Before I left I was pretty clear that I would not be checking my emails.  This is reasonable since my role does not require me to be in contact outside of work…but I like my job and I like to do a good job, so I do sometimes check.  And answer. And work.

Except when I’m on vacation.

The problem is that I have a good enough relationship with my colleagues that some of us exchange texts on our personal phone.  This is the beauty of always being connected.  We can develop and maintain relationships that transcend the boundaries of work and personal.

Except when I’m on vacation.

So when I get a personal text asking me work-related stuff, I get it, but at the same time I don’t.  I answered the text but then indicated I would be offline.  I felt really bad saying that because I don’t want to be a shit.  I want to be a team-player.  But most of all, I want to be on vacation and not thinking about work.

So, let’s pretend that I’ve won the lottery…and don’t be insulted when you get my answering machine.