Management Skills

They say people don’t leave companies; they leave managers. It stands to reason, then, that the better-prepared and better-equipped managers are, the better they will be at hanging on to valuable and productive employees. With employee engagement at all-time lows, and with millennial employees less likely than their predecessors to stick with difficult bosses, it’s more important than ever that managers seek to improve both their soft skills and their managerial prowess.

In pursuit of goals such as these, these blogs help junior and middle managers hone and refine their talents, so they can more effectively encourage their employees to give their best. Anyone looking to know how to address performance issues, how to use technology for recruiting and onboarding, or how to talk to their manager (or mediate as one) need look no further.

Logo for Management Issues Website publishes articles for the fast-paced, constantly changing world of management. From addressing performance issues to automation to email etiquette, Management Issues has been a resource for modern managers since 2001. It now boasts an international following and is primarily read by junior to middle managers climbing the corporate ladder.

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Talent Circles focuses on employee recruitment. The blog explores topics from the importance of diversity and inclusivity to improving job descriptions. It also tackles topics like recruiting and integrating workers from different generations and the role of media and tech in recruitment.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your hiring process, tips for attracting the top talent, or for more information on resources like staffing agencies, you’ll be able to find useful information in Talent Circle’s posts.

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The People Equation: Jennifer V. Miller has centered her career on the people elements of business and excels at breaking down people and their workplace interactions on The People Equation. Miller’s mission is to help readers improve their interactions with other people in their office, and she offers specific advice on everything from navigating office politics to delivering valuable training to avoiding hiring mistakes.

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Ask a Manager: Are you curious about the proper way to ask for a raise, whether you might be in danger of getting fired, or how to act in a second interview? Ask a Manager is here to help. It’s a wealth of crowdsourced knowledge and fun.

Ebook: 7 Drivers of Employee Engagement

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Employment Law

Employment law—like all business law—is inherently complicated. Can an employee be fired for things they say on social media? How should parental leave be handled? The list of questions goes on, and managers are bound to need answers on topics ranging from unions to immigration, to discrimination and harassment.

Since we can’t expect every employee or manager to be experts in employment law, it’s useful to have some experts on hand to consult when questions like this come up. For some, that may come in the form of their cousin Tony, who’s a lawyer. For the rest of us, we can rely on these reputable blogs.

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Today’s Workplace helps you stay up-to-date on workplace rights and employment law. Paula Brantner, the Executive Director of Workplace Fairness, writes about timely worker’s rights topics such as unions, sexual harassment, health care, first amendment issues in the workplace, and more. The site also breaks down changes in laws and what it means for employers and workers in easy-to-understand language.

Logo for HR Hero Blog provides HR managers with legal information for both state and federal law. Readers can find useful information for anything from worker’s compensation to immigration matters to employee engagement. The “Hot Topic” section of the site provides an alphabetized list of some of the most common HR issues readers might need to know.

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The Employer Handbook: Eric B. Meyer, a partner in Dilworth Paxson LLP’s Labor & Employment Department, focuses on employment law on this blog. Meyer is an accomplished writer, trainer, and lawyer. His blog addresses topics such as parental leave, discrimination in the workplace, the balance of at-will employment and off-the-job free speech, and more. Posts cover everything from case studies from today’s news to topical analysis of existing law.

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Hiring & Recruiting

Recruiting these days is both easier and more difficult. Technology makes getting your organization’s name out there quicker than ever before. Internet job boards and social networks like LinkedIn help reach thousands of potential candidates for open positions. But just as your organization can reach more prospective employees, those prospects can also see more job listings. You’re fishing in a bigger pond, but you’re also competing with more fishers.

What’s more, onboarding represents a significant challenge—one that doesn’t always come with intuitive answers. So those who want to make their hiring efforts more effective, and their onboarding smoother, need to look at what the experts in the field are doing.

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The Undercover Recruiter offers a blended perspective of the current employer/employee market with tips for recruiters and hiring managers as well as job seekers. The content on this blog is diverse and provides varied perspectives to provide insight into each role involved in the recruiting and hiring process. Check out The Undercover Recruiter for access to current industry trends, interview techniques, best practices and recruiting technology—just to name a few.

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Workology (formerly known as Blogging for Jobs) features a collection of posts from more than 100 published writers. The blog aims to advise HR workers on every level from intern to executive. Whether you’re trying to land your first HR job or you are revamping benefits for a large company, Workology offers timely advice for navigating the field and improving your skills in the industry.

Ebook: 13 Tips for Small Businesses to Recruit and Retain Great Talent

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Back to HR Basics

Like any department or even any industry, HR teams can sometimes get bogged down in new technology, new trends, and new ideas. Not all innovation is good, and not all ideas are worth trying, but there will undoubtedly be some HR department who lose their way in the process.

The blogs below are all centered around bringing HR back to its core purposes and helping HR professionals do what they were meant to: ensure the smooth operation of the organization. Focusing on key values and techniques that are critical to the industry helps keep the ship on course, and these blogs serve as compasses in this process.

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HR Schoolhouse, run by HR Executive & Strategist Robin Schooling, aims to make HR better through cultivating important conversations about the role of HR within an organization. And she’s not afraid to ruffle any corporate feathers in the process.

The blog addresses topics such as entitlement in the workplace, tips for job seekers, the importance of word choice, employee discipline, and more with Schooling’s signature wit and writing style.

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HR Minion: Shauna is a self-described “HR Minion” with a variety of experience in HR and opinions to show for it. The blog focuses on the life and thoughts of an average HR worker.

You’ll find posts that offer advice on getting the most out of a conference, handling negative perceptions of the industry within your organization, and when to use the word no. From study guides for certification exams to conferences worth attending to everyday HR challenges, this blog provides a relatable look into the day-to-day dealings of an HR manager.

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No Excuses HR aims for the core of what it means to be a good leader and HR manager. Jay Kuhns, Human Resources Executive at Kinetix, approaches topics like vulnerability in leadership, handling employee mistakes, and arrogance. The blog, as its name implies, seeks to strip away the excuses that keep leaders within HR and other leadership positions from helping employees excel.

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HR Leadership

There’s a difference between managers and leaders. Leaders aren’t just administrators; they’re exemplars. They don’t just manage their employees; they inspire them. They don’t just do their jobs; they take care of their organization, their employees, and the customer. They mentor those who need help and those who have potential. They’re the kind of people we look up to.

Becoming a person like that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and humility to become the kind of person who’s trustworthy, respectable, and admirable. Speaking of humility, getting some tips from the pros doesn’t hurt, either.

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Great Leadership discusses ways you can turn yourself into an effective and respected leader. The blog, run by Dan McCarthy, an experienced leader and manager, offers easily applicable advice for those looking to improve their leadership skills.

Great Leadership approaches topics like building a healthy work culture, garnering useful feedback, crisis management, and more. Learn from the experiences of McCarthy and various professionals who contribute to the blog as guest writers.

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HR Ringleader: Trish McFarlane, whose blog this is, has a resume that speaks for itself. And she is an HR woman through and through, which means she offers a rich perspective on matters that resonate with HR pros. Both McFarlane's blog posts and podcasts are useful without being overly-complicated.

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Talent Management & Recognition

Keeping employees engaged is quite the balancing act, and more than ever employees want to be valued and invested in. Furthering an employee’s development and training helps them feel that the organization cares about their career goals and assures them they’re more than a grunt on the bottom rung. Recognition helps employees feel validated for the effort, energy, and time they’ve invested in the organization.

Knowing how to do both well is incredibly difficult, but it is possible. To help make it a little easier, here are two blogs that educate HR on how to show employees that the organization is as committed to them as they are to it.

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TLNT is a goldmine of informational wealth about anything related to HR or talent management. You can visit TLNT daily for cutting-edge research, news, HR thought leadership, and actionable insights. And with a seemingly endless supply of contributors and resources, every HR pro should probably subscribe to their newsletter and make TLNT a part of their normal routine.

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Baudville: Focused on recognition, this blog looks and feels like a Pinterest board specially designed for the thoughtful HR rep. Whether you're looking for recipes for a Cinco de Mayo office party or looking to give your wellness program a boost, Baudville has you covered.

Ebook: Making Performance Management a Positive Part of Your Company Culture

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HR Technology

Technology has been rapidly shifting the dynamic in every sector, and HR is no exception. Staying ahead of the game requires keeping an eye on the latest trends, and knowing what tools are available to HR professionals—a task made all the more difficult if you’re not a techie.

These blogs discuss technology, but from the HR perspective. So, whether you know terms like “API,” “Goto command,” and “recursive function” or not, you’ll learn what new technologies mean for you and your line of work.

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Talent Culture is an invaluable resource with an extensive catalog of useful posts. With six different categories of blogs (Workplace Culture & Innovation, Career Strategy, Talent Management, HR Technology, Social Learning, and Leadership), an HR pro could spend hours on this site without getting bored. If only you had that kind of time.

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The HR Examiner offers high-level blog posts and podcasts that focus on technology and people in Human Resources. For any HR pro working in a highly competitive market, this blog (founded by John Sumner) is a must-read to gain next-level strategic insights that may be hard to find elsewhere.

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HR Advice & Opinion

Sometimes, you just need a healthy dose of HR advice. That’s what these blogs provide. Ranging from professional to funny to really out there, these blogs provide insights on problems you have on a daily basis in the office. And maybe a little bit of personal advice on the side.

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Laurie Ruettimann: Formerly of The Cynical Girl, this is Ruettimann's new website. And just like in her previous site, she is full of personality, opinion, and charm. In fact, each of Ruettimann's posts oozes with personality. So, you're not just gaining valuable HR gems when you come to this blog, but you feel like you're gaining a friend. A very candid friend.

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HR Bartender: Founded and run by Sharlyn Lauby, HR Bartender covers a wide variety of topics in a friendly-yet-detailed way HR professionals will understand and be able to apply. Just like the namesake, spending time on this blog feels like a casual conversation with a friendly bartender who is always there and always full of practical advice.

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Fistful of Talent: This blog is products of the mind of Kris Dunn. FOT reads like a Bill Simmons-run site filled with fun and "sexy" (their words, not ours) HR-related goodness written by both Dunn and various other highly-respected industry thought leaders.

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The Evil HR Lady (Suzanne Lucas) has been doing this for at least a decade, and you can find her on just about any business-related website. But her blog is the best place to find all her articles in an easy-to-consume format—which is good because it’s almost impossible to think of an HR-related subject she hasn’t covered before. Multiple times. In depth.