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These articles were published in U.S. 1
Newspaper on April 21, 1999. All rights reserved.
When To Hire Help; How To Interview
By carefully delegating your responsibilities you do
not compromise on your work, you only enhance it, says Marcia Guberman,
president of Business Builders, a management consulting company, and
Maid Daily Services/M.D.S. Cleaning, a full service residential and
commercial janitorial company.
Named "Business Woman of the Year" by the Mercer County Chapter
of New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO), Guberman
will conduct the workshop, "When to Expand Your Staff and How
to Do It" at the NJAWBO State Convention on Thursday, April 29,
at Trump Plaza, Atlantic City. The conference continues to May 1 and
focuses on "A New Attitude for the New Millennium." Package
registration for the whole conference is $475. Registration for April
29 only is $200. Call 732-560-9607.
Guberman will help employers, especially small business owners, determine
the job description needed, the type of employee to add, and how to
go about finding that person and interviewing.
"Entrepreneurs are very possessive and have a hard time delegating
responsibilities," says Guberman. "If your company is growing
you can no longer do everything that you did last year. If you are,
the quality of your work and services will suffer. When you’re not
providing the services you were hired to provide, when you’re not
meeting your deadlines, when you’re working so hard that you’re no
longer having a life, it’s time to hire more people," says Guberman.
A small business owner for over a decade, Guberman bought her janitorial
company in 1986 and grew it over 300 percent. She has 28 employees
and knows how difficult and important it is to have the right people
work for you. "I do business counseling, and often times people
need to add staff and don’t know when they need to do it," says
Guberman. An adjunct business counselor for the Mercer County Community
College’s Small Business Center, Guberman is also the vice chair-person
of the Trenton Business Assistance Corporation (TBAC), a micro lending
agency that helps start-ups and small businesses.
Small business owners do not often make an accurate job description
that answers the needs of their businesses, says Guberman. When your
accountant is over burdened, for instance, you might make the mistake
of hiring another accountant, when what you really need could be support
staff. The accountant who is hired usually ends up leaving because
the job is not what he thought he was hired to do.
"Small business owners often do not know how to conduct an interview,"
says Guberman. The very human propensity to overlook the faults of
a person you like could be a disadvantage during the hiring process.
Guberman offers some tips for employers to follow while interviewing
it. It is easy to fall in love with a candidate’s personality. But
you have to stay focused on the job description and the candidate’s
qualifications. Often employers hire people they were impressed with
at the interview and realize they are not suited for the job.
at interviews and talk a lot. By just chatting with them you can glean
a lot about their work ethics, whether they are similar to yours,
if this job is going to be a significant part of their life or just
a 9 to 5 job they could not care less about.
are not comparing apples to apples and you do not get a true reading
of every candidate.
and disliked about it. If they did not get along with their boss in
their last job, chances are they will not get along with you.
you an understanding of what you can and cannot ask at an interview.
but should also fit into the workplace, says Guberman. "If you
have a philosophy in your workplace that everybody does everything
that is necessary to get the job done and you hire someone who is
not a team player, it will create tension and ill-will among your
other employees and that can cause a lot of harm."
It is very difficult to find good employees, and employers should
know the right sources to approach, says Guberman. "For my janitorial
business, I go to outreach programs. They have lists of people. WorkFirst
New Jersey is a good source for employees." You have to be aware
of newspapers and who they serve. You also have to be creative about
the advertising dollars you spend. "In the long run a display
advertisement could work out to be more profitable than a classified
advertisement," says Guberman. "You should also network and
let others know that you are looking for a specific kind of employee."
Employment agencies can be invaluable resources. Small businesses
do not have the time to interview 20 to 30 people, says Guberman.
Employment agencies do the pre-screening, and if you are not happy
with the employee they will replace them. They also provide temps
you can test out before you hire them. The down-side of employment
agencies, says Guberman, is that they can be expensive.
"Being a small business owner can be a very isolating experience,"
says Guberman. The strongest support for a small business owner comes
from other small business owners. "They are not proprietary and
are willing to share their knowledge with one another." Organizations
like the NJAWBO help small business owners in that regard, says Guberman.
"It is very important for them to align themselves with other
business owners and learn from them."
— Teena Chandy
Still on a Learning Curve
Why does the typical employer still hesitate to hire
people with disabilities? Scott Elliott thinks he knows the
reason and has the solution.
Elliott is the executive director of the Progressive Center for Independent
Living, a Ewing-based non-profit specializing in assistance to individuals
with disabilities who live in Mercer or Hunterdon counties. Having
lived with a crippling form of muscular dystrophy, Elliott has an
intimate knowledge of the experience of those with disabilities, from
his own personal life as well as professionally.
The biggest obstacle to hiring people with disabilities, Scott believes,
is employers’ uncertainty as to what the ADA requirements are, and
how the needs of people with various types of disabilities can be
accommodated. For this reason, his organization is co-sponsoring a
series of workshops on the ADA requirements for businesses and local
governments. The workshops, partially funded by the government, are
co-sponsored by the Northeast Disabilities Business and Technical
Assistance Center (800-949-4232 or http://www.disabilityact.com).
The first workshop — "The Americans with Disabilities Act
Employment Update: Highlights from the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission Guidances" — will be Friday, April 23, from 8:30
a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the offices of Stark & Stark, 993 Lenox Drive,
Building 2. Presentations will be made by experts from Cornell University
and the Northeast Disabilities Business and Technical Assistance Center.
The second workshop, on Friday, June 4, will address the ADA laws
as they affect state and local governments. The third, on Friday,
September 24, will focus on requirements for access to businesses
by people with disabilities, including discussion of tax credits available
for making access-related improvements. To register call PCIL at 609-530-0006
or write to 831 Parkway Avenue, B-2, Ewing 08618. Cost: $20 registration
including lunch and materials.
Diagnosed at the age of eight with spinal muscular atrophy, a type
of muscular dystrophy which becomes more debilitating with age, Elliott
himself never experienced discrimination: "I was lucky — I
was employed at companies owned by good people who appreciated my
skills and commitment."
His employers were supportive as the disease progressed. A few years
back, his employer offered to purchase a scooter for him when he began
to have difficulty moving around — Elliott decided by then he
was making enough money to buy it himself.
But others with disabilities are not always so lucky. The Progressive
Center for Independent Living is doing what it can to improve the
employment prospects of its clients. Elliott is eager to raise awareness
in the business community of the benefits of hiring individuals with
The workshop is designed to provide human resource managers, supervisors,
small business owners, and union leaders with an in-depth understanding
of the Americans with Disabilities Act as it applies to employment.
The workshop will cover in detail guidances developed by the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the last four years, and
examine case studies that provide a practical understanding of how
the ADA is applied. It will focus on the newly released EEOC guidance
relating to "reasonable accommodation."
Examples of reasonable accommodation include modifying existing facilities,
modifying work schedules, and providing specialized equipment. However,
employers are not required to make accommodations that would pose
a undue hardship. A guidance document on reasonable accommodation
was posted last month at http://www.www.eeoc.gov.
The Department of Justice ADA website at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/ada.html
offers these guidelines:
you have 15 or more employees.
under the ADA? "A physical or mental impairment that substantially
limits one or more major life activities, such as seeing, hearing,
walking, learning, performing manual tasks. The ADA also protects
from discrimination those who have a record of such impairments, are
regarded as having such an impairment, or who have a known association
with a person who has such impairments."
No. An employer is free to select the most qualified individual without
regard to disability. However, if an individual with a disability
can perform the essential functions of the job with "reasonable
accommodation," that person must be considered a valid candidate
for the job.
with disabilities? "You cannot ask about the disability itself.
You can, however, ask about their ability to perform specific job
an applicant with disabilities? "You can require this after a
conditional job offer has been made. However, the examination or questionnaire
must be required of all entering employees in the same job category,
not just those who have disabilities. Also, if a disability is found
in the examination, the job offer can only be withdrawn for reasons
relating to performance of the specific job, and if no reasonable
accommodation could be made to the disability."
of his 25 years in the quality assurance field, Elliott is keenly
aware of the special contributions people with disabilities bring
to the workplace, from a manager’s perspective. "They bring in
a high level of dedication and motivation that is often an inspiration
to other employees. It helps create a stronger, more positive corporate
culture," he says.
"In addition," says Elliott, "especially in this time
of low unemployment, the disabled are a huge pool of skilled, knowledgeable
people eager to work and contribute. There’s every reason for employers
to seek them out."
— Judith Morgan
Everybody’s hiring," says Betsy Shimberg,
the policy analyst at Mercer Street Friends. "Drive up Route 1
and you can see the jobs are there. But can someone just off welfare
keep that job, and can they advance at it?"
Her organization and several dozen others have been chosen to be one
of five groups statewide to do a welfare-to-work demonstration project
that could help both employers and the prospective employees. The
collaborating agencies (the Trenton 21st Century Cities Community
Partnership Demonstration Collaborative) will try to help 300 individuals
get a job, keep it, and advance in the job.
"We are going to be working like a revved up hands-on employment
agency, and as partners we will be working together as a team,"
says Shimberg, a 1990 graduate of Wellesley who came to the Trenton-based
agency last year.
If, as an employer, you have had difficulty retaining WorkFirst New
Jersey employees, monies from this grant would be available to provide
your new hire with more intensive services. The services could range
from better assessment (to fit the right person to the right job)
to job coaching (to communicate to the new hire exactly what he or
she needs to do) to "barrier resolution." Barrier resolution
is the bureaucratic way of referring to transportation problems, day
care difficulties, substance or alcohol abuse, homelessness, or domestic
Cooperation among three dozen agencies is not easy, and it was hashed
out last year as part of a $30,000 planning grant. Anticipating potential
turf wars (those who do social service work can be as competitive
as those who make widgets), the planners decided to make the funding
process as open as possible. "They had to show in the planning
grant that these agencies would not be into turf wars."
The result: Any agency that wants to provide any service must submit
a bid, a request for proposal or RFP, and the RFP decisions will be
made by an executive director (yet to be named) plus some agency partners
who did not bid on that RFP. This process increases the paperwork
but decreases unproductive rivalry.
Current collaborating members range from private firms such as Caliper,
to social service agencies such as HomeFront and the YWCA of Trenton,
to government agencies, such as the Mercer and Princeton chambers.
Opportunity: Even if your for-profit or non-profit human resources
organization did not participate in the planning for this effort,
you will still be able to bid on contracts for support services.
Are you a counselor? Bid on the job coaching opportunity. "Many
of these people need constant feedback, and the employer can’t do
it. Intensive case management is necessary," says Shimberg.
Do you work for an employment agency? You could bid on assessment.
"We have worked very hard to get people involved with employment
services into the collaboration. People will be performing services
based on the RFP process which is as open as we can possibly make
it," she says.
A director for the two-year project has not been appointed. For information
call Reginald Dickerson, chair of the demonstration project,
Embezzlers are at work. Employees are diverting and
stealing assets from their employers. Occupational fraud and abuse
in the United States amounts to $500 billion, says Robert J. DiPasquale
of Gikow Bierman and Talesnick in Roseland. "Employers must take
an active role in instituting good business ethics and good compliance
programs for their employees," he says. "The business, culture,
and ethical climate starts at the top."
DiPasquale, a former chairman of the national and state associations
of Certified Fraud Examiners, works in the area of occupational fraud
and fraud detection, deterrence, and business disputes. He will moderate
a New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education seminar on "Locating
Hidden Assets" on Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
at the New Jersey Law Center on Ryders Lane off Route 1. The session
repeats on Saturday, May 22, at the Cherry Hill Holiday Inn. Cost:
$119. For information call 732-214-8500. Also on the panel are Frederick
W. Alworth of Gibbons Del Deo; Anthony R. Calscibetta CPA
of Kahn Consulting; and John E. Finnerty of Finnerty & LaRocca.
The first step in any investigation is to be able to recognize whether
or not assets have been stolen, hidden, or diverted. Then you need
them. Some techniques: using public records, obtaining frequent flyer
miles from airlines to track where people have traveled, and tracing
techniques to help family lawyers reveal hidden assets.
no records. Private investigators Richard Childs and Kitty
Hailey will go online at the workshop to show what records can
be achieved from various databases.
profits were so low and believed his partner was stealing: "I
did various inquiries and investigative techniques that led me to
question an insurance expense. I asked to look at all of the insurance
bills that were paid, and when I spread them on the table, I noticed
that one invoice was not folded. It was strange that it had not been
put in the mail, so I made an inquiry with the insurance company to
determine if the invoice came from them — and found it was a bogus
"The partner was forging invoices and paying an insurance broker,
who in turn invested in annuities for him."
Another of DiPasquale’s clients was a woman whose husband, a successful
doctor, claimed he made only $200,000 a year. "The accountant
for the doctor kept on telling how cheap his client was, how he didn’t
like paying his accounting bill, and that the doctor did his own accounting
and was really cheap," says the fraud examiner.
"I went through records and wondered why the accountant kept on
saying his client is cheap — but at the same time, why did he
pay the accountant the amount of $200,000 over three years if he is
"When I interviewed the accountant alone, he told me that the
doctor was writing checks to him. He deposited those checks to a bank
account and used a lot of that money to buy other businesses that
the doctor was investing in. We then analyzed the books and records
and found that the income level of the doctor was $400,000. My client
was very happy — and she got a lot of money."
— Ernie Johnston
As a small, overpopulated island, Japan needs to take
extra care to preserve its environment for generations to come. Even
more than in American companies, Japanese firms have an intense concern
for keeping their country’s air pure and its water pristine. Japan
has, therefore, taken the lead in upgrading the international certification
process, known as ISO 9000, to add the environmental component. ISO
14000 is the environmental management system and ISO 14001 gives actual
specifications on how to comply.
Japan leads the world with 1,392 companies certified for ISO 14001,
and Britain is second with 950 companies. The United States ranks
ninth. Just 275 companies in the United States have attained ISO 14001,
and only a dozen companies in New Jersey, ranging from electronics
to pharmaceutical to cosmetics firms, are so certified.
"By becoming certified for ISO 14001 you are validating your environmental
management system," says Dan Franzen, facilities manager
of the new Shiseido America cosmetics manufacturing plant on Princeton-Hightstown
Road. "It is an international recognition that you have done everything
you can to manage yourself in the most environmentally friendly fashion.
We know of no other company registered for this certification in Mercer
Shiseido highlights its certification efforts as part of an Earth
Day celebration, and it encourages other corporations to upgrade their
environmental standards. On Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, it will
stage contests designed to raise employee awareness and give rewards
for environmental suggestions. John Mulligan, representing Clifton
Zozzaro (one of Shiseido’s recycling contractors, along with BFI)
will speak to the workers. Call Franzen at 609-371-3048 for information.
Last April Shiseido opened its new cosmetics filling and packaging
facility in East Windsor; the manufacturing is done in Shiseido’s
other facility in Oakland (in Bergen County) and at Davlyn Industries,
Shiseido’s affiliate based at 7 Fitzgerald Avenue in Cranbury. At
10 filling lines, the raw product (creams, lotions, emulsions, fragrances,
and free samples) is bottled, capped, tested, and packaged before
being shipped. At this facility there is also an analytical lab, a
skin care lab, a makeup lab, a microbiology lab with seven incubators,
and a room where product stability is tested.
On its 86 acre-site Shiseido has upgraded the former 162,000-foot
Carter Wallace plant and has 75 full-time employees and from 50 to
100 temporary line assemblers. From 2000 to 2005 there may be some
new construction — up to 800,000 square feet is allowed.
Founded as a western style pharmacy in 1872, Shiseido has a name that
means "praise the virtues of the earth, which nurtures new life
and brings forth new values." It issued its global "eco-policy"
in 1992. "It embodies our desire as a corporation to participate
in the protection of the global environment," says Franzen, who
majored in business management at Thiel College in Pennsylvania, Class
of 1983. As a recreational scuba diver has seen the extent of pollution
in the Atlantic.
"The ISO 14001 certification enables you to demonstrate that you
have done an environmental management system," says Franzen. "It
encourages you to conserve and monitor your usage of natural resources."
Franzen notes that in East Windsor "60 percent of what you throw
away must be recycled." He points out that in his office, one
trash can is blue, for office paper, and the other is grey, for garbage.
"We would like to see the blue can grow bigger and the grey grow
Shiseido uses an innovative process for it 175,000 square-foot plant
in Kakegawa, Japan. It turns its sludge into solid fertilizer and
liquid effluent. Then the effluent is cleaned and sent back into the
factory’s pipes to be used in the sanitary system (separate from the
"The ISO 14001 certification is not an end in itself. Once a company
receives certification, the system must be maintained and improved
where possible," says Franzen. "Many companies already have
environmental standards, but the certification is a measure —
an objective validation — of your performance."
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