Mar 13 , 2012


If you are a manager, you've probably questioned some of your own behavior with your employees. "Should I have said that?" Or maybe you honestly believe that the way you are handling paperwork for an employee is correct, but in reality it could get you and your company into legal trouble.

"Essentials of HR Management," which starts March 30, is a quick course that covers basic issues of human resources:

  • Employment law in the workplace
  • Effective recruiting and selection techniques
  • Basics of compensation
  • Employee orientation and training
  • Ensuring quality performance

The course also serves as a good introduction for those interested in pursuing HR as a profession.

Kathleen M. Fenninger, SPHR, GPHR, has more than 25 years of experience in human resources both as a generalist and an employment specialist. She spoke to us about her experience teaching this class over the past several years:

What types of professionals do you typically see in the “Essentials of HR” class?
Typically, small business managers experiencing a need to grow employees, line managers or others who suddenly acquired human resources responsibilities, lawyers looking for a quick overview of human resources from the company standpoint, and those thinking about moving into HR as a new profession. Many students in this class are shocked to find they are close to getting their companies into trouble. This is a rewarding class for me to teach since so much is completely new to the students and they are able to immediately return to their offices and make practical and legal changes.

What HR-related issues seem to be the most misunderstood among your students?
Classifications…exempt/non-exempt…Many have been using “independent” consultants who actually fit the definition of “employee”… For many, I-9 forms are a nightmare and perceived as far more complicated than they are. Where to find information when questions come up…

Why do you believe it is essential for more people to know about basic HR knowledge and skills?
All managers are actually in charge of human resources to varying degrees and can make costly mistakes. Even well-meaning comments can backfire.

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