SHRM Connect: Manager Wants to Hire His Girlfriend...What Could Go Wrong!?



When employees have questions, they go to HR.

When HR professionals have questions, where can they turn?   

SHRM Connect is an online forum where SHRM members can post questions and get answers from peers within the SHRM community. It’s a great place to network with other HR professionals while sharing solutions and advice on a wide range of HR topics.  

Jump into a discussion or watch from the sidelines. There's something for everyone.

Check out a few of the latest conversations below:

Manager Wants to Hire His Girlfriend...What Could Go Wrong!?

One of our managers presented us with the resume of his live-in girlfriend of 12 years this week. The director of this department was uncomfortable with this scenario and came to me to discuss. We do not have a policy on this, but do have an unspoken rule that managers may not hire and manager family or spouses.  We have no family or spouses of management working with us to date. We let the manager know that we felt it would be inappropriate for him to manage his girlfriend, for many reasons but mainly for the perception it could have to the rest of the team.  He was much more upset that we anticipated and stated that he is rethinking his role with us now. (This reaction alone tells me we made the right call!)

To my surprise, the director now wants to rethink this decision. He says he can't afford to lose the manager. This has giant, glowing red flags all over it to me. Part of me wants to dig my heels in, the other part wants to let things cool down a bit and suggest we wait a few days to think this over and circle back Monday...WWYD?

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Who Do You Report To? Help!?

A month ago, I started working for a small company (around 100 employees) as their first-ever "official" HR position. They hired me as their HR Manager, sole HR entity. I'm running into some issues because they have me reporting to the Director of Accounting and Administration. ​​He is completely financial focused and has very little grasp of US Employment Law (this is his first job in the US) One of my tasks is to create an employee handbook. This is all fine and I have previous experience with it. What I don't have is experience in reporting to someone who has no HR knowledge and wants to create illegal policies such as refusing to give a final paycheck to someone who doesn't give 2 weeks notice. It's also difficult because there are concerns regarding his behavior which I have a hard time addressing because he is my direct boss. He also gets incredibly angry if any other department requests me to assist them with something. He has exclaimed over and over again that HE and only HE is the one who sets my priorities. It seems highly inappropriate for HR to be reporting to him. Who do you report to, particularly if you are an HR department of one!

I welcome and any all advice and thoughts on this!

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Words for Deescalating an Employee Meeting

I am new to HR. Looking for a few phrases or key words to use in a meeting I will be sitting in for a performance review that I do not expect to be well received by the employee. Everything in the review is documented but I suspect the employee is going to shut down 10 minutes into it and become upset when their impression of their performance is different from managements' evaluation of their performance.  I want to make sure that I stay in control of the situation and do not let the employee control the meeting but I also want to let the employee voice their opinion.

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Body Odor Issue

Good afternoon my fellow SHRM buddies!

Please note that I have an employee who has a body odor issue going on and complaints are coming in about it.  We have a warehouse setting and it can get hot.

Does anyone have any recommendations for me on how to go about informing the employee?

I was thinking I would meet with the employee alone so that they wouldn't be as embarrassed as with a manager present.  And I'm thinking I'll do this at the end of the day.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this matter they would like to share?

Thank you for your time!

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