Cleanup on Aisle 7: What to do when you inherit a mess at work!

You just got offered a new manager position at your dream organization. You walk in and realize that EVERYONE in the office is somehow related. The CEO’s daughter is the VP of Sales, the COO’s son runs the warehouse department, and the Sales Manager is married to the Credit Manager. Whoa. #whatdidijustwalkinto #HRnightmare

Although some “old boys’ club” organizations will have familial ties throughout the company, it is generally bad for HR business to have an entire company of relatives, friends, ex-spouses and sorority sisters in the mix. Just because you aren’t their friend or husband doesn’t mean they won’t expect similar treatment from you, because after all, you are the newcomer to this dysfunctional scenario.

The best thing to do when entering into this situation is to conduct an authentic evaluation of the employee’s skill set and start training for those pieces that are missing. From there, set up a performance monitoring system and conduct reviews every 30, 60, or 90 days to start off fresh and get a clear picture of the team you have adopted. Making moves to show that you are interested in changing things for the better, but not upsetting or getting rid of the entire department, will go a long way to building relationships with your new team.

Another possible scenario is resistance altogether to a new leader. In this case, you should definitely start by reaching out to the most charismatic, outspoken, strong personalities on your team and partner up with them to bring change and innovation to the department. By making changes with these individuals, you will most likely see a contagious tide of change and acceptance to new ideas throughout your department. Making the right connections from the onset is crucial to your success as the new leader on the block. Good luck!

With Power Comes Pain

Does anyone start out their career NOT wanting to be the boss? Do most people in your organization dream of moving up the corporate ladder and at one point having a business of their own? Or do they want to be in an entry-level sales position for the rest of their working days? I’m pretty sure the answer is “moving on up!” in 99% of those cases…and that 1% you may want to re-evaluate as part of your team! Here are some truths behind how with power as a boss comes pain as a leader. #leadershipgoals

You have to fire people. Sure, there are those people we envision firing on a daily basis. But who REALLY wants to fire someone? Not a whole lot of us. This is one of the more painful aspects of being a boss, because you usually know your employees and you know their family situations and financial hardships all too well at times.

  1. You have to hire people. Have you been a part of the selection and recruitment process from beginning to end? If your answer is yes, then you know how EXHAUSTING this process can be!
  2. You have the final say. Sounds fun, right? I view this aspect of boss-hood similar to parenting. The buck stops here, my friends. There’s a good, bad, and a very ugly side to this. Think tantrums, but on an adult level. It’s not pretty!
  3. Stress. 9 to 5? What’s that? As a manager, boss, leader, CEO, etc. you don’t get to clock in and out. Your job goes home with you in most cases, you worry about the job when you’re at home or on the soccer field cheering for your kids, or at a family BBQ. Work can be all-consuming if you don’t draw lines and have a clear balance between work and life.
  4. The bureaucracy. HR has rules. Finance has paperwork. Sales has reports to file. You, as the boss, have to abide by all of these fun rules and regulations and make sure your team does the same.
  5. The trouble with employees. Oh people. They are so much fun. And can be so exhausting, and aggravating and impossible to deal with at times. But guess what? Now that you got that extra 0 at the end of your paycheck, they’re all yours! Happy managing!

If you or your organization need tips on how to manage your employees effectively, conduct leadership training, or facilitate group training on any level, please feel free to give us a shout. We love making organizations better and stronger from the inside out! #YourHRConsultants @PeoplescapeHC

Head of Talent: Global Advertising


Industry: Global Advertising

Experience: 12 years

Education: 4+ year degree

Contact Information: Peoplescape Recruiting at

Seeking a Head of Talent that will report directly to the President in Los Angeles, as well as the Global Head of Talent in NYC. The position is a key member of the executive leadership team. We seek a leader who shares our core values of optimistic outlook, convergent culture, and disruptive roots. An innovator who lives and breathes talent and embraces our belief that we are in a time when brands live at the speed of culture – directed by cultural trends in music, entertainment, design, art and fashion.

Core Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required
  • Advanced experience of either:
    • (i) Talent Acquisition & Branding
    • (ii) Talent Management
    • (iii) Organization Development (at least 10 years<) required.
    • Experience may include successes in: talent acquisition & onboarding, branding, culture and transformation or learning & development.
  • Passionate and inspiring leader of innovation
  • Leading edge knowledge of Talent Acquisition techniques, Social Media and employer branding
  • Best practice culture change expertise
  • Strategic thinker
  • Excellent influencing skills and polished communicator (verbal and written)
  • Deep understanding and experience from a creative environment (media, entertainment, start-up, marketing, advertising, etc.)
  • California employment law knowledge is required
  • SPHR accreditation preferred

Expectations & Job Responsibilities:

  • A strategic business partner and vital member of the executive team
  • A key contributor and subject matter expert on “people innovation, people inspiration” – strategic staffing, employer branding, leading edge attraction and retention of talent.
  • Innovative leadership both to the organization and the HR team in identifying and inspiring talent externally and inspiring and growing talent internally
  • Lead the HR team of (7) individuals and oversee all aspects of Talent
  • Contagious change maker and innovation driver across the business – The right fit for this role will be passionate, diplomatic yet unafraid to shake things up with regards People & Culture
  • Align creative people strategies with the business to achieve company objectives
  • Be the outward face of the agency, reinforcing the agency’s brand, mission and goals
  • Experience working with multinational locations/offices, including some understanding of immigration law and global business is an advantage
  • Creative problem solver, strategic business partner, and flexible thinker
  • Welcoming, thoughtful, and approachable about everything related to people, culture of the organization, and the business

How to Apply:

Please submit resume and cover letter to The cover letter should specifically answer the following two questions:
1) Why this? Why me? Why now?
2) What is it about a culture transformation that has shaped you?

Global Expansion: Destructing Cultural Barriers

   “Global markets must be balanced by global values such as respect for human rights and international law, democracy, security and sustainable economic and environmental development.” – Anna Lindh

Although we are undeniably part of a global workplace and global economy, there are many obstacles that can hinder an organization’s growth along with the global demands facing business today. Opening new offices in different parts of the world, hiring expatriates to go to another country to head up business ventures, and hiring the local workforce for a satellite office all offer their own unique challenges. When diving into this whole new world, it’s important to remember these three steps to help the transition go as smoothly as possible.

  1. Learning the Language: The decision to hire from outside the organization in a new location, versus promoting from within and sending a U.S. employee to a new branch across the continent, is one that can carry long-term implications. You cannot transfer culture from one location to another, so make sure you research the factors involved, and make the best choice for the organization as a whole – not the best choice for one individual. If you do decide to transfer an existing employee to a new location across the globe, make sure you teach him/her the language, the culture, the customs, the traditions so he/she is equipped to embrace the local surroundings. While many organizations that operate globally do business in English, having a leader who knows the local language is a huge asset to the organization.
  2. Trading Culture & Custom Tips: The new leadership for your global office needs to be well-versed in the culture and customs. If you hire within the region of the new location, but that person is new to YOUR organization, a whole new culture must be learned as they onboard into your company. Trading culture and custom tips will be a critical piece of the transition as well, to make sure the leadership in ALL locations of your organization are on the same page from a business standpoint as well.
  3. Focus on Family: If you transfer employees to a new location, make sure you take into account that their family also needs to get acclimated to the new culture. If an employee’s family isn’t happy, chances are they may not stick it out as long as you hope. It is part of the HR team’s role to do the research about the culture, to provide suggestions to family members of transferring employees for expat support groups, culture and language courses, etc. to show that you are invested in the success and happiness of your employees so that the employee will in turn be invested in the company’s success!

New Recruiting Techniques: Video Interviews are in, Cover Letters are out!

Earlier this year, Peoplescape wrote a blog on the trends coming our way for 2016. One of these trends, as discussed by leader of talent acquisition at Amazon in Seattle, Danielle Monaghan, is clearly a reality now: mobile job application capabilities. From Indeed to Monster to Snagajob, companies are definitely moving in the direction of mobile everything! Here’s another twist…video interviews. Have you done one? Does your company use video interviews? What about cover letters? Are those still in or have you done away with these entirely?

Digital video interviews are an opportunity for candidates to reflect on how they present themselves, but literally giving them a one-way view of their side of the interview using videos, computers, and smartphones to record answers to preset questions. Candidates are usually given a chance to re-record if they are not happy with the way they answer a question, giving them time to process and handle interviews, as well as think about their responses to personality and situational questions. Video interviews also cut back on the lengthy and stressful process of first interviews, allowing for one final in-person interview for qualified candidates who have already been pre-screened digitally.

Cover letters are often a template that candidates use and copy and paste for each job, maybe changing up a word here or there, or inserting the specific job title. The video interview allows for a much more personal touch, face-to-screen interaction, a “read” on the candidate’s personality, presence, and communication skills – all things a cover letter simply cannot do. And let’s be honest; most recruiters are skimming through those cover letters, looking for a key word here or there even they bother to read it at all.

Video interviews arguably leave room for a more creative and meaningful content to emerge – something that the employer is tailoring to their needs, rather than the candidate tailoring a cover letter based on their perception. Savvy recruiters and executive search professionals, such as the ones you’ll always find on our team at Peoplescape, who truly have a knowledge of HR and the way that search works best for the candidate and the company, are always on the cutting edge of recruitment tools, and looking into engaging ways to make the recruitment process better for all parties involved.

Here’s an idea for candidates looking to get a leg up on the competition in today’s mobile world – why not record a short introductory video in place of a cover letter? You might surprise the employers who are really looking for a stand out in the crowd!

Handling Leaves like a Pro: Plan, Prepare, & Conquer

Medical leave is something that we hear a lot about in the business world these days. From articles on how awful the U.S. maternity and paternity leave law is in comparison to developed countries worldwide, to the stress put on the employees left in the office when a colleague goes out on leave, there are so many factors to consider when it comes to leave policies and handling them like a pro. The best way to handle leaves of absence is to take a three step process based on the mantra of “plan, prepare and conquer!” And when all else fails, consider hiring a temp!

Plan – As with any major change in the workplace, handling a leave of absence well is critical to the flow of work and the productivity of the employees left behind. Here are a few steps to having a good plan in place!

    1. Cross-train your employees now so that if a sudden leave request comes up (of course, a pregnancy is something you will probably have advanced warning about but a cancer diagnosis – not always something you can predict!) you have some peace of mind in terms of people in the office knowing what Joe did on a day-to-day basis.
    2. Have at least one designated back-up for every person in your department. Better yet, have a clear plan outlined in writing for your entire team.
  1. Prepare – Planning and preparing go hand in hand. Your plan should be a design of sorts, and the preparation should be the actual put into action.
    1. Ask for advice and suggestions from the employee going out on leave (if you have advanced notice – i.e. maternity or paternity leave).
    2. If the person going out on leave interacts with clients, make sure you assign a shadow for that person before their leave so that the client is familiar with the stand-in while he or she is out on leave.
    3. FMLA regulations do allow for loopholes in terms of contacting employees for passwords and minor things (but do not ask for anything that may cause extra stress to the person out on leave). But it’s best to have these things in place prior to the leave.
  2. Conquer – Divide and conquer! One person’s workload should be divided up amongst the department if at all possible so that you are not overloading one employee over others.
    1. Assign tasks to those that are already proficient in that area. For instance, don’t give the employee benefit database to Jane to maintain while Joe is out if Jane has never worked with a spreadsheet or database in her day-to-day tasks.
    2. Offer training for those individuals being assigned new duties.
    3. Push some stuff to the back burner…not every meeting is necessary, not every email needs to be answered in 5 minutes. Prioritize and breathe!

Privacy & Security Training

Human resources professionals can often be viewed as the gatekeepers, paper-pushers, and killers of creativity and fun in an organization. Instead of viewing the HR function as a critical piece of the business strategy and organizational development, sometimes people can get focused on the administrative functions of HR and not see the bigger picture or value that HR holds. One area that is becomingly increasingly important is privacy regarding recordkeeping, with new regulations by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) and a more comprehensive understanding and interpretation of privacy in the workplace.

Privacy and security training pertains to the requirements of the government on organizations that have access to confidential, medical, and sensitive information. These regulations extend to doctor’s offices, hospitals, and also to the everyday HR office in terms of medical benefits and benefits administration (claims and eligibility for instance). The Department of Rehabilitation requires that entities that receive funding are certified each and every year for compliance with the HIPAA regulations. Digital companies and start-ups that rely on client confidential information being kept in cloud software rather than hard copy files are also going to benefit from the certification in case of any litigation or claims against compliance with these privacy and security regulations.

To self-certify, there are many resources online that Peoplescape can offer to our clients, as well as guides and policy to follow companywide. If you or your team are interested in self-certification, please feel free to contact us at any time or check out the online resources available to you through the Department of Rehabilitation at Not only is it important to protect your company, your managers, and to be in compliance, it is beneficial to promote continued education and to make your team aware of these requirements as part of a regular HR training program.

#train #HR #regulations

Google It! Finding and Hiring the Right People

As is the case with most things in the 21st century, leaders in the technology industry such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft are often the benchmark for what other companies should be doing in terms of innovation and creativity. For instance, Google and Apple have both recently remodeled their Silicon Valley offices to reflect a hippie commune of sorts. So how do we, as “regular” companies and leaders in the business world adopt some of these practices and follow the leader in innovation to have a successful approach to business practices? Let’s start with a piece of the puzzle that is manageable and relevant: hiring practices.

When looking at the methods by which these companies hire, it seems a top notch HR leader at Google has crafted a new plan of action for hiring quality every single time. Instead of allowing interviewers to make snap judgments within the first 10 seconds of the interview and follow up with routine questions that basically solidify that first judgment, Google has developed an interview method that allows for a deeper look into the candidate’s capabilities.

Here’s how to do it!

Bring different players to the game. Invite subordinates and cross-functional employees (outside of the department you are hiring in, nothing to do with the day-to-day functions of the open position) to be a part of the interview panel.

  1. Set a high bar for quality, and don’t compromise. Ever.
  2. Assess candidates objectively. By including new players (see #1 above) and requiring the interview panel to take good notes, you can then revisit the employee post-hire and see how things are going from an objective standpoint that correlates directly to the interview experience to see how valid your interview panel is in assessing a candidate’s job capabilities once hired.
  3. Give candidates a reason to want to be part of your team! Make it clear why you do the work you do, and expose the candidate to a variety of team members so that they can get a peek into the company culture as well.

HR for Franchises: Tackling the HR for New Business Owners

One of the common threads you will see if you check out our team page at, is that our consultants at Peoplescape love working with entrepreneurs and helping new business owners get a strong start. Whether you are opening a franchise such as an insurance agency in your local area, or starting from scratch, the team here at Peoplescape is fully equipped to handle your human resources function while you focus on the business side of things…and bring in the customers and the money! #showmethemoney

Buying a franchise is one option for getting your new business started, because of the success the franchise already has with a proven business model, a pre-established customer base, and professional support on the corporate level. Employees are a necessary component to ensure your success as a franchise owner, and HR support is essential in the hiring process as well as employee relations and compliance throughout the life of your business. The challenges that business owners face range from litigation, harassment claims, wage and hour fines, benefits administration, recruitment, selection, and so much more!

As you’ll see when you take a look at our services, team, and customer testimonials at, you will be in good hands here at Peoplescape. Check out what our clients have to say!

“Our group recently engaged Belinda Morris and her team at Peoplescape Consulting and we are most delighted to recommend their service. Our group’s opinion of Belinda was her presence being the highest caliber and a most professional facilitator who embraced all participants, created results and facilitated our unanimous conclusion.” – Real Estate Brokerage, Palm Springs, CA

“Working with Belinda helped me understand how to get employees behind the company in ways that I had never managed before.  We achieved gains I hadn’t thought possible as a single business owner with only a small staff.  She’s one of those experts who makes the complicated simple!” – President – Financial Executive Search, London, United Kingdom


Curbing Harassment in the Workplace: Six Easy Steps to Take Today!

Harassment claims in the workplace bring up a host of uncomfortable and potentially damaging information about the alleged victim, accused, and the company overall. Curbing harassment in the workplace is such a key component to risk management in terms of protecting your company from potentially catastrophic lawsuits, both from a financial standpoint and a company morale angle.

Over the past year, a special task force set up by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has been looking at ways to improve company’s risk management and safeguarding against harassment in the workplace. In light of this group’s findings, @HRMorning offers a few easy steps that you can take today to make a difference in your workplace!

Hit them where it hurts – in the wallet!

  • Companies such as @McDonalds and @Walmart have implemented buying policies that dictate they only buy tomatoes from companies who have a human rights code of conduct in place.
  1. Empower bystanders to be part of the solution.
  • Create an open door policy for everyone.
  1. Create multiple points of contact for reporting harassment.
  • HR can be a scary office to walk into for some employees. Create an open door HR policy, make sure your HR team interfaces with employees on a regular basis, and also offer upper management and supervisors as a point of contact for any harassment concerns.
  1. Conduct prompt investigations when harassment is reported.
  • Timeliness is key to perception of how harassment is handled in a workplace. Move quickly, cover all your bases, and be efficient and thorough.
  1. Take swift disciplinary action when necessary.
  • Again, move quickly and act efficiently. Be fair and thorough but don’t drag the process out. People will be watching, and they will notice when someone is placed on administrative leave or suspended.
  1. Get strong support from top leaders in the company for anti-harassment.
  • Presenting a united front and having the support of company leaders is critical to this process. Without support from leadership, HR will be hit with obstacles left and right. Make sure your leaders are on board to support these anti-harassment initiatives from the beginning.