Quarter One RWHRMA President’s Blog

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2013 by RWHRMA Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be the catalyst for driving innovative leadership around the globe. As the RWHRMA 2013 President, my goal is to continue this vision which was initiated in 2012. As we begin the year with challenges expected, I know that RWHRMA will meet this goal.
Ongoing initiatives include supporting the Raleigh Rescue Mission and The Healing Place as well as our interactive Members in Transition committee. Our members rally to support The Healing Place, an organization that provides substance abuse rehabilitation for men and women who are also homeless. Their goal is an individual who is fully integrated back into the community, including employment. RWHRMA volunteers conduct Mock Interviews for their clients, providing interview and resume building experience and guidance. Our member in transition committee meets monthly to network and receive valuable insight on job searching from community professionals. We are continuing or Compensation & Benefits Forums focused on compensation, benefits and wellness updates and initiatives. Our Master Series continues as well, providing half day sessions focused on strategic HR initiatives designed to support our members that thrive on continued education. We are continuing to engage our executive-level members via the Executive Think Tank.
New and exciting initiatives are many! We hosted our very first Strategic HR Summit in February 2013. The event was quite the success with over 80 attendees, which provided for an intimate and interactive atmosphere of learning.
With the beginning of 2013 we also launched Get Fit for the Foundation, monthly fitness initiatives hosted throughout the community to promote health & wellness while also raising funds for the SHRM Foundation. January marked the introduction of Crossfit to our members, while February welcomed Step Aerobics and March will stretch us via Yoga Foundations. April 20, 2013, will mark our very first annual 5K fun run event, Human Resources Being Community Resources. After our target fundraising goal is met for the SHRM Foundation, all proceeds will be split evenly between Raleigh Rescue Mission and The Healing Place.
By offering advanced programming and extraordinary community service, I am sure our chapter will execute its vision!

Shontera Gillespie-Coleman
RWHRMA Chapter President


Thoughts on the 2012 SHRM National Conference

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2012 by RWHRMA Tagged: , , , ,

I left the SHRM National Conference in Atlanta with 15 pages of notes.  Don’t worry…my blog isn’t that long.  I want to share some of the highlights that I took away from three of the keynote speakers, focusing on three core areas: engagement, leadership and culture.


When I think of engagement, I think of highly motivated individuals.  I think of dynamic teams.  I think of success.  According to Patrick Lencioni, by understanding dysfunction, you will understand how one can be engaged by:

  1. being trustworthy;
  2. proposing healthy conflict;
  3. being committed;
  4. being accountable; and
  5. being results oriented.

All companies want to increase their level of engagement today.  What does that mean?  You have two pools of employees.  Those that are engaged and those that are not.  I guess you can create a third and say that there are those employees who are “sorta” engaged.

Regardless, I like this outline because we can all encourage our employees to specifically work on one or all of these areas to improve our level of engagement.  My favorite quote from Lencioni:

“Consensus is a four letter word.”


In all of the research that Jim Collins and his team conducted, they found that the number one “x” factor in all great leaders was humility.  If you’ve read any of his books, you know that he talks about the role of luck in good leaders and how great leaders make their own luck.  Call them ‘humble, luck makers’ if you will.  This was the second time I got to see Collins speak.  Every time I hear him, I remind myself that I never have to buy another leadership book again because I believe in what he says.  If you get the right people together to accomplish a common goal and you allow them to meet their maximum potential, great things are achieved.  My favorite quote from Collins:

“Spend less time trying to be interesting and be more interested.”


I also had the pleasure to see Malcolm Gladwell speak.  What a brilliant mind.  He can take complex issues, like how to understand the generational differences in our work place, and break it down by tying historical facts to current, relevant situations.   Gladwell spoke about Martin Luther King Jr. and how he strategically planned “Project C”.  He talked about Steve Jobs and how Apple built a hierarchy out of a network (and that it only worked because it was led by a dictator!).  He talked about the Millennials and how they push the social paradigm, which not only impacts corporate culture, but our society as a whole.

How companies strategize to define their identity impacts their culture.  The difference in generations adds to this culture shift. The unique background of each individual in your organization influences how each employee interprets your company’s culture and in turn impacts the fabric of your organization. One of my favorite quotes from the entire conference was from Gladwell:

“Networks can start revolutions, but you need hierarchies to finish them.”

If you want more information about the SHRM National Conference, please feel free to email me at

Teri Harrell, PHR
RWHRMA President


How much are the “New Job Blues” costing your organization?

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2012 by RWHRMA

The phone rings, and I can see from the Caller ID that it’s a candidate I helped find a new position within the last few weeks.  I can tell you how the conversation will go before I even pick up the phone.   The candidate will beat around the bush a bit and then confide that they’re not sure if they made the right move by leaving their old job.  However, with a few probing questions and a little reading between the lines it always becomes clear that the issue is not the new job, which we both know made sense for their career.   They have a case of what we have come to refer to around our office as “the new job blues” and it will typically clear up within a few weeks.

The “new job blues” doesn’t refer to regrets stemming from legitimate poor career change decisions, but rather to the period of discomfort that occurs when acclimating to a new workplace.  It’s an awkward feeling similar to that of the kid in the lunch room of a new school that is trying to figure out where to sit.  It’s the stiffness of a new pair of shoes.  It’s the pregnant pauses that occur when forced to make small talk with a stranger.  It’s newness and change and most of us don’t like it.  The first few weeks of being the new employee can often feel like a drawn out version of our first meeting with our in-laws.  You’re trying to make a good first impression with everyone you meet while not knowing any of the unwritten rules of the office or getting any of the inside jokes.

Most employees navigate through the two to three weeks of awkwardness and put “the new job blues” in the rearview mirror.  However, what about the ones that don’t make it through?  What is the cost of this churn that happens in the first few weeks, not only in terms of dollars, but in terms of damage to morale?  How much does productivity suffer during this time?  How much more likely is a happy new hire to refer a peer than one that is eating lunch alone in their car?

New hire on-boarding is not a new concept to most of us, but typically this focuses much more on professional orientation then addressing our human need to feel like we fit in.  Having walked many candidates through this adjustment process, I have found the most successful advice I can give is to validate the new hire’s feelings and let them know what they are feeling is normal.  A realtor who sold new luxury homes once told me they had a 10% back out rate due to “buyer’s remorse”, but they were able to bring that down to almost zero by letting the buyers know up front that they were going to wake up the next morning with feelings of doubt and second guessing as a result of making such a major purchase decision.  The realtors gave it a name and began inoculating themselves against the issue with a little preventative education. Perhaps, the adverse effects of “the new job blues” could be lightened by simply letting new employees know the name of the companion they would be sharing their cubicle with for the first few weeks on the job.

Have you dealt with the effects of “the new job blues” in your career?  How have you overcome it?  What are your thoughts on how to make the adjustment easier for others?


Jon Harol, CPC, SPHR

Laboratory Recruiter, Lighthouse Recruiting


Congratulations RWHRMA: Named 2011 Membership Superstar Chapter

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2012 by RWHRMA Tagged:

We are excited to announce RWHRMA’s achievement of attaining Membership Superstar status for 2011!   Our chapter attained over 3% growth in SHRM members for 2011.  Considering the challenges faced due to the economy, this is an outstanding accomplishment.   RWHRMA focused on innovative resources, like a New Member Social to attract and retain local HR talent, direct mail pieces to HR professionals at large and small companies in the Raleigh and RTP areas, as well as a Linked In campaign to promote membership!

The Membership Services Committee is committed to growing and maintaining an engaged and enthusiastic human resource professional membership!  Our involvement in the community attracts professionals whose passion is supporting the community and giving back.  We are extremely proud of this accomplishment, and the recognition it brings! 

Shontera Gillespie-Coleman 

Membership Services Committee



In Uncategorized on April 12, 2012 by RWHRMA Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Award Winning Brand Messaging Tips from Titanic in 3D

True Story: When Titanic was released in 1997, I was part of the theater audience not once, not twice, but SIX times. And, every single time I saw the movie, both in theaters and later on my VHS, and then DVD set, I cried when Rose promised she would “never let go.” Now, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, James Cameron has released the 3D version of this movie. Fifteen years later, fans are still enamored by this story of history, action and romance.

As you steer the course of your branding strategy, what lessons can you learn from the launch of Titanic in 3D?

1)      A good story, well told, will always appeal to your audience. Over a dozen movies have been released in the past 100 years telling the story of the sinking of the Titanic. To this day people continue to be fascinated by the unsinkable ship that sunk. On top of that, a good love story always appeals to audiences. Think about the elements of your employment brand that are a consistent factor in attracting your target audience. Does your company offer exceptional opportunities for growth and advancement? Have excellent perks and benefits? Support a rewarding mission that gives back to the community? Make sure the anchor of your story shines through in your recruitment message.

2)      Your brand may need a refresh to keep people talking. The new Titanic 3D movie will contain the same plot and actors as the original film, yet the visual experience will be enhanced. This change gives fans of the movie a reason to revisit a beloved story and experience it in a new and exciting way. It may not be necessary to start from scratch and build a new employment brand to attract a new audience. You may benefit from a refresh that adds a new element or carries out your current theme in a different way. This will allow jobseekers that previously considered employment with your organization to revisit the reasons why your opportunities may be the right fit for them today.

3)      So you have brand recognition, but awareness is relevant. There has been a buzz surrounding Titanic 3D for quite some time, and the news coverage of the anniversary of the historical event will only add to the film’s publicity. Yet with all this coverage, the studio still sought out creative and innovative ways to promote their film, such as utilizing Facebook log-out page advertisements. Why make that extra investment? Because it is important to keep your message in front of your target audience to keep a pipeline of interested movie goers, and of interested candidates. You may have strong name recognition in your community, but you should continue to take advantage of opportunities to remind jobseekers why your organization is an employer of choice.

4)      Keep your testimonials realistic. Kate Winslet has been on press tours lately promoting Titanic 3D, but that doesn’t mean everything she has revealed has been glowing. A lot of news and celebrity gossip sites have been buzzing with headlines that Kate hates “My Heart Will Go On,” Celine Dion’s famous theme song from the original Titanic movie, in fact going so far as to say the song makes her want to throw up. This might appear to be a sound bite that would make a PR department cringe, but it has actually caused a lot of people to be talking about the song, the film, and, of course, the new release. While I am not suggesting that you frame a recruitment message around negative comments from your employees, the reality is that employee stories should be honest and reflect the true picture of what it is like to work for your organization. The more realistic testimonials are, the better job they can do in attracting the right type of talent for your positions.

5)      Use events and anniversaries to remind internal and external candidates about your brand messaging. The 100 year anniversary of the Titanic’s tragic voyage is an exceptional time to release a new version of Titanic, both from the human element of honoring this important historical occurrence and from the business aspect of capitalizing upon the renewed interest in this event. Is your company celebrating an important milestone? Is something happening in the news now that is relevant to your mission? Take advantage of events that are already occurring to remind your current employees about your employment value proposition and to let potential employees know about your workplace.

I encourage you to join me in the theater for the 3D viewing of Titanic, and I do suggest that you bring your own tissues. I will also challenge you to target your audience, refresh your brand as needed, keep your message relevant, use realistic employee stories and celebrate milestones.

That’s a wrap.

By Kendra Pearson

Director, Business Development  NAS Recruitment Communications

**This post originally appeared on NAS Talent Talk.


10 Women Ready for the World

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2012 by RWHRMA Tagged: , ,

For the first time, Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Powerful Women is dominated by women who control the bottom line.  In short, the top 10 women in 2012 rival the top 10 men. 

Gone from this high ground are the women who snag headlines and dominate the world stage based on an ability to turn heads, initiate fashion frenzies or inspire awe based on their use of inherited wealth. This top 10 is so solid that I had no desire to look at the bottom 90.  Gaga, Oprah and British royalty fans will need to retreat to the pages of People Magazine and Vanity Fair to find out what they’ve been up to. 

Most important, the list is rich in diversity of ethnicity, race, social economic origins, professional career paths and education.  Get to know these women, they’re here to stay as the decisions they make will influence world peace, economic stability, human health and growth for decades to come!


By Arlene Roane


President & Founder Redhouse Performance Consulting, LLC







1    Image


Angela Merkel





2    Image


Hillary Clinton

Secretary of State


United States


3    Image


Dilma Rousseff





4    Image


Indra Nooyi

Chief Executive, PepsiCo


United States


5    Image


Sheryl Sandberg

COO, Facebook


United States


6    Image


Melinda Gates

Cofounder, Cochair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


United States


7    Image


Sonia Gandhi





8    Image


Michelle Obama

First Lady


United States


9    Image


Christine Lagarde

Managing Director, International Monetary Fund




10   Image 


Irene Rosenfeld

CEO, Kraft Foods


United States




President’s Message

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2012 by RWHRMA

Hello everyone:

I had the pleasure of listening to Hank Jackson, CPA, SHRM’s CEO, speak at the SHRM
Leadership Conference last November. He said something that really resonated with me:
“HR is the heart and soul of every organization.”
For me, being the “heart and soul” of an organization means that you directly impact the
culture of the organization. In our profession, every policy, every program and every
decision we make defines whether people like to work at our places of employment.
I think we all consider it a dream job when HR reports directly to the CEO and has a ‘seat
at the table’. But what if this is not the case for you? I’ve had positions in the past where
I felt that I had no autonomy to make the kind of impact that I thought I could make.
Guess what? I was wrong. I may have been limited in certain things that I could do, but
I controlled all of the things that I did do, which did impact the culture.
My all time favorite quote is from Ghandi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
So for me – if I want to be part of the “heart and soul” of my organization, my actions
better support that. My challenge is to remind myself of this with every decision I make
and every interaction I have with colleagues.
I do believe HR is the heart and soul of every organization. I think that some of us have
been fortunate to work for organizations that believe this too.
Do you believe this? Does your organization believe this? Do the answers to these two
questions differ? I look forward to your thoughts.
Teri Harrell, PHR
RWHRMA President



In Uncategorized on March 22, 2012 by RWHRMA

Hello and welcome to the premier post of the RWHRMA blog.

As we are all aware, Human Resources is increasingly embracing Social Media in the workplace.  The benefits of Social Media are numerous – disseminating vital information to and strengthening the engagement level of current members of an organization, attracting new members to the group, enhancing the value of messaging for all media consumers; the list could go on for pages.

Our blog is designed to keep our members informed of current events, both within our organization and in Human Resources as a whole.  It is a forum for us to share our accomplishments, give our members a place to share their unique perspectives on their areas of expertise, and to keep all of us connected with what is happening from week to week.

Over the next few months, we will have posts from our RWHRMA committees, information from special speakers at our monthly meetings, and open space for postings from our members.  We invite everyone to make suggestions for future posts and encourage you each to volunteer to write a post as well.

This blog belongs to each of us, and with each of our input it will be a fantastic resource for information, insight, and, hopefully, a little humor, too.  Thank you for your support of RWHRMA and we look forward to growing our Social Media presence with you.

RWHRMA Communications Committee