February 4, 2012
A half day event
"Letís Get Hired in 2012"

Sponsored by Nova University

Bob McKenzie will be facilitating a seminar to help job seekers get the upper hand in their search

Cynthia Farmer at cbell@nova.edu
or call (904) 245-892
for more information

Protect the

The Mission of this event
is to Prevent the Sexual Abuse of Children
Before it Happens.

Friday, February 3, 2012 University Center at the University of North Florida

Sponsored By

An all day event
For registration information click here.

Certified in
Human Resources

PHR/SPHR Prep Classes starts on February 7. Just a few seats remain.

We still have an 80% pass rate.

For more information
Click Here

Need Employees
Try the Worksource
Virtual Job Fair
Starting January 23, 2012

Please contact
Elizabeth Cochran-Brown at ecochran@worksourcefl.com
or 904-798-9229 x2212
NOW to register!

Our Services Include:

  • Full HR Outsourcing
  • Customized handbooks
  • Resolution of harassment and discrimination complaints
  • Unemployment hearings
  • Outplacement services
  • HR audits
  • Compliant recordkeeping
  • New employee orientation
  • Safety programs
  • Training and development
  • Implementation of Human Resources Information Systems
  • Mergers and acquisitions due diligence
  • Benefits administration
  • Recruitment assistance
  • Compensation administration
  • Discipline and termination
  • Coaching and counseling
  • Performance management
  • Employee surveys

Contact Bob McKenzie or
go to www.mckenziehr.com
for more information


For no charge you have the opportunity to ask human resources related questions of Bob McKenzie, President of McKenzieHR

To ASK Bob click here


Contact Information

4237 Salisbury Rd, Bld 1, Suite 112
Jacksonville, FL 32216

Phone: (904) 861-2903
Toll-Free: (888) 861-2903

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Optimism is Flowing

Itís baaaack. And it is spelled O-P-T-I-M-I-S-M!!!! It is definitely in the air. Business people are talking about having a good year is 2012. This is a big change from the last four years when all we heard was doom and gloom. More companies are planning to hire and as a result the unemployment numbers are going down.

It is great to finally see enthusiasm and confidence. This often happens when a New Year starts, but whether this is just idle hopefulness because business people are just sick of being pessimistic, remains to be seen.

If you are seeing your business increase, this means you may be hiring soon. Whenever you hire someone you also risk the possibility of making a mistake. There is nothing worse than hiring someone and later finding out it was a mistake. Some of our clients have had some trouble recently by hiring people who range from being downright toxic to being just plain lazy.

So here are a few tips that should help you with your hiring.

Make Sure Employees Complete a Professionally Prepared Application
An employment application is a legal document in which the prospective employee completes information and then signs a statement avowing that all of the information is true and correct and giving the company permission to check to be sure all is correct.

Never Hire Someone out of Desperation
Desperation causes bad hires that have to be fired soon (or they fire themselves). Then you are back in desperation mode again and make another bad hire. The insanity continues and you get nowhere fast. Planning is the key. As business starts improving, start thinking about at what level of business you will need to hire more people. Start an informal search now. Advertise on Craigís List or do a candidate search on www.employflorida.com or your stateís employment board. They are free, so there is no advertising costs associated with just taking a look at who is available. Hold on to a few resumes that look good so you are ready to bring people in when the time comes.

Talk Less and Listen More During Interviews
There are so many rules regarding what you can ask and not ask man applicant that it paralyzes many interviewers. We find that most interviewers spend more time talking than the applicant than having the applicant speak. You cannot find out anything about an applicant if you do all the talking. Be sure to ask questions that make the interviewer speak.

Instead of asking, "Can you drive a forklift?" Ask, "What types of fork lifts have you driven in the past?" Then ask about what they did to ensure the fork lift was safe to operate. In this way, you see if the applicant paid attention and has some basic safety knowledge. Ask about close calls, dangerous habits and accidents. Ask about accomplishments, customer service experience, etc. Open up the questioning and spend some time with applicants. It is important to get to know the people you are talking to.

Donít ask, "What is your philosophy regarding customer service?" Instead ask about a specific event form a previous job that went above expectations in delivering service to a customer. Or ask about a specific time when they calmed an angry customer down. Why was the customer upset and what did the applicant do to smooth things out?

If you are undecided between two candidates, bring each back for a second interview. Listen to the questions they ask which can be a good indication of their knowledge and interest. Be leery of those who do not ask questions.

Make sure you get to know the applicant well before hiring. I speak to potential employees at least three times before making a job offer.

Check References
This is one of the most important steps in the hiring process and one that is often ignored. Many prospective employers avoid this part by saying it is either too time consuming or former employers do not give out any information anyway. The first rule of checking references is to avoid speaking to anyone in the human resources department of the previous employer. HR people are very well trained to not give out information on former employees. Speak to the former supervisor directly or co-workers. During the interview, ask the applicant if their former supervisor is still employed with the company and what would he or she say about the applicant. If the supervisor is no longer employed with the company, ask if there is someone else you can speak with.

The bottom line on checking references is if you are having a problem obtaining reference information on the prospective employee, you do not have to hire this person. If the applicant has half a brain, they would make sure to give you references of people who will talk about them. It is not you job as the hiring authority to go on a search and destroy effort to try to obtain references.

Conduct a Criminal Background Investigation and Drug Test
Last, but not least, spend about $35 each for a drug test and a criminal background investigation. There are many cases of negligent hiring out there and one way to avoid this is by conducting a criminal background investigation. If the applicant states they have no history of criminal activity on the application and you find that there is such history, the applicant is disqualified from consideration for falsifying information. If employees drive for company business, make sure their driving record is also checked.

Regarding drug testing, applicants who use drugs will more than likely not get a drug test, so they will disqualify themselves from consideration. If the applicant does drugs, especially cocaine or heroin, they would be more likely to steal from you.

We cannot say how many times we have found applicants lie on their applications regarding criminal history. In many of these cases, the crime they were convicted of would not have barred them from employment.

Do your due diligence when hiring a new employee. Think of it this way, if you are going to spend $20 to $30 thousand dollars on a new piece of equipment, would you check with others using it to see how well it works? You will be investing in the same amount of money or more with an employee. You should know who you are hiring. Oh, and if you use a third party to background investigations, be sure that you are in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Happy 2012 to all of you and best wishes for good luck and success in the upcoming year. I know we are excited about our prospects.




We are very pleased to welcome Juanita Walker to McKenzieHR. Juanita joined us in early December as a Client Services Specialist. In her position, she will be working directly with our clients to ensure payroll and recordkeeping and compliant and in good order. She comes to us with 15 years of prior human resources experience. So far the comments from clients are wonderful. Thanks, Juanita and we are looking forward to more wonderful things in the future.

Welcome her to our fold at juanitaw@mckenziehr.com

We would also like to welcome Andee Sparrow back to TeamMcKenzie. Andee will be taking over many of the business development and event planning activities. So you may be hearing from Andee very soon. Welcome her back at andees@mckenziehr.com

Members of TeamMcKenzie
Chuck Petruska – Senior Advisor
Peggie Leitereg – Senior Advisor
Terrie McDonald – Client Services Specialist
Juanita Walker – Client Services Specialist
Andee Sparrow – Director of Business Development



Thank you for reading The McKenzie Mailer.

Let us know if there is anything we can do to help and have a great New Year.


Bob McKenzie, President



October 2011
UH OH!! Turnover is Starting to Rear Its Ugly Head Again.
May 2011
Small Business Week and Government Agencies are Being a Grinch
April 2011
I Want it All and I Want it Now!!
March 2011
Leadership Essentials
February 2011
Where's the Leadership Fad?
January 2011
Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Diversity. Where does it end???
December 2010
It is That Time of The Year
November 2010
The Department of Labor is on a Mission You have to be Careful Out There
September 2010
Following the Crowd is a Good Way to get Lost in it
August 2010
Customer Service Is Your Competitive Advantage
June 2010
Social Networking Ė Be Careful out There
April 2010
Is That a Light in The Tunnel?
January 2010
What's Your Theme Song?
December 2009
2009 Was Definitely a Murphy Year
August 2009
Swine Flu Preparations - Knowledge of Risk is the Best Course of Action
July 2009
Are Rising Healthcare Costs Making You Sick?
June 2009
Diversity Ė Who Cares?
May 2009
Why the Huge Increase in Discrimination Charges?
April 2009
EEOC Charges at a Record High
March 2009
Eaten Any Brains Lately??
February 2009
Just Trying to Keep Up with All of the Changes
January 2009
Compliance Update Handbooks Need Updating Too
December 2008
Employee Free Choice Act – Not a Free Choice at All
November 2008
The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act Clarified
October 2008
Effective Handbooks Save Time and Money
September 2008
Negating the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism
August 2008
What's Your People Plan
July 2008
Human Resources Strange But True People Stories
June 2008
HR Compliance Issues at the Forefront
May 2008
Performance Management Never Stops
April 2008
Don’t Make Tough Times Tougher
March 2008
What Ever Happened to the Personal Touch?
December 2007
It's That Time of Year Again
November 2007
HR Hot Topic #3 - Immigration
September 2007 -
HR Hot Topic #2 - Controlling the Cost of Medical Benefits
August 2007 -
HR Hot Topic #1 Recruitment and Retention
June 2007 -
Strategic Human Resources is Not an Oxymoron
May 2007 -
Is It Really a Hostile Work Environment?
April 2007 -
What happens after a new employee is hired?
March 2007 -
February 2007 -
January 2007 -
Discrimination & Harassment
December 2006 -
October 2006 -
The Why Label Generation Y?
September 2006 -
The World of Recruitment Has Changed
August 2006 -
Keep Your "A" Players
July 2006 -
Traits of a High Performance Workplace
June 2006 -
Is a Mediocre Employee Better Than No Employee?
May 2006 -
The Compliance Vultures are Circling – Are You Prepared?
April 2006 -
Is Administrivia Keeping HR from Getting a Seat at the Table?
March 2006 -
Agreeing to Disagree or Avoiding the Subject
February 2006 -
Happy Valentine's Day
January 2006 -
Be a Talent Magnet and a Talent Utilizer