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Work Rules! Series Post #2: Hiring (Ch. 3 & 4)

Chapters 3 and 4 of Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock discuss the methods Google employs not only in their hiring practices, but in their recruiting practices. Bock focuses on the idea that companies must spend more money upfront on recruiting and spend less in training. The idea is that the company will obtain better employees by hiring the best from the start, rather than hiring the average and attempting to make them into “stars.”

Read below for summaries of Bock’s Work Rules for Hiring and Work Rules for Finding Exceptional Candidates, along with questions to facilitate discussion about the topic of hiring and recruiting.

Below this post, you’ll find input from Marie Pelcin, Senior Administrative Assistant of HRD, discussing her thoughts on whether it is better for a business to invest more money in recruiting or training.

Laszlo Bock’s Work Rules for Hiring & Finding Exceptional Talent

1. Given limited resources, invest your HR dollars first in recruiting (Bock 68).

  • Discussion Question: Do you think it is more important for a business to invest money on recruiting and hiring the best employees or is the money better spent on training and development?

2. Hire only the best by taking your time, hiring only people who are better than you in some meaningful way, and not letting managers make hiring ecisions for their own teams (Bock 68).

  • Discussion Question: What if a company needs a position filled more quickly? How can a company still hire the best, but take less time to do so?

3. Get the best referrals by being excruciatingly specific in describing what you're looking for (Bock 86).

  • Discussion Question: What could be a pro and a con of an employer being extremely specific in what they are looking for in an employee?

4. Make recruiting a part of everyone's job (Bock 86).

  • Discussion Question: How might a company encourage its employees to refer qualified applicants and make recruiting an expectation for everyone's job?

5. Don't be afraid to try crazy things to get the attention of the best people (Bock 86).

  • Discussion Question: Do you think unorthodox recruiting methods, like the Google Billboard, might have a reverse effect and limit the number of applicants who actually apply?



Should companies ensure that women are part of the board of directors?

The Forum of Executive Women looked at the number of women on the boards of the region's 100 largest public companies and found that 35 of them have no women at all. Does it matter to you if a company doesn’t have any female directors?


Company Profile: In a Big Move, Accenture will get rid of Annual Performance Reviews and Rankings

As of September, one of the largest companies in the world will do all of its employees and managers an enormous favor: It will get rid of the annual performance review.

Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme told The Washington Post that the professional services firm, which employs hundreds of thousands of workers in cities around the globe, has been quietly preparing for this “massive revolution” in its internal operations.

To read more, please click HERE.




Holidays: Thanksgiving Recipe

What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?  Share your recipes.


When I cooked for the family at Thanksgiving we had many of the traditional dishes, however I would always experiment on them with one new dish. 

This was a big hit.  While it took a little prep, it was worth it.  The mixture of flavors was amazing.  Even the picky eaters raved about it.  Check out the pictures below from the Good Cook series by Time/Life books.  


If you have a recipe to share, post it in the comment section.  If we get enough, we may even start the HRD cookbook.   

Lawrence Cozzens



HR News: When Terrorism Fears Reach the Workplace

A congressional hearing into the alleged “radicalization” of American Muslims resulted in widespread media attention and public debate. So what should HR professionals do when conversations about such an event reach the workplace? 

The hearing held March 10, 2011, began with arguments about whether it’s fair to examine only Muslims when seeking to identify the sources of American-caused terrorism.

Click to read more ...


ANR Presentation at GVFHRA - Save the Date!

On Tuesday evening, VU SHRM officers presented the 2016 Villanova HRD Annual Networking Reception event for the first time to the GVFHRA community. Through their colorful posters, they each shared their predictions for The Future of Work, and GVFHRA members shared some of their predictions as well! 

"In the future workplace, the unemployment rate will steadily decline as there will be more opportunity for freelance work, flexibility, and collaboration thus creating a vast array of new jobs." -Nick Kruger

"The future of work will include more flexibility as to better accommodate those with disabilities." -Samantha Khan

"I think the future of work will revolve around vast social networks and global collaboration." -Hallie Thompson

"In the future of work there will be fewer physical barriers that separate the boundaries of work and life." -Alex Miller

"I know the future of work will have the right technology for increased flexibility, which will have positive and negative effects on Work-Life Balance." -Rebeca Pareja Hecimovich

"I hope the future of work will mean an investment in people's well-being to encourage high quality of work." -Rita Snell

"In the future, cities will be less populated due to the opportunity to work in collaboration with others or independently from any physical location." -Patty van Kleef


2016 Villanova HRD Annual Networking Reception

Tuesday, April 5 from 5:30-9pm

Comment below to share your prediction for something that will change or something that you hope will change in "The Future of Work!"


Work Rules! Series Post #1: Compensation (Ch. 10)

Chapter 10 of Work Rules! by Laszlo Bock discusses the principles of compensation that Google has utilized in the past, and those they utilize in the present. Bock makes it clear that this has been trial and error for Google; they did not get it right the first time! Below you'll find summaries of Bock's four principles of compensation, along with discussion questions to get the conversation moving!

Below this post, you'll find input from Bethany Adams, Assistant Director of HRD, discussing her thoughts on the principle "reward thoughtful failure."

Laszlo Bock’s 4 Principles of Compensation

1. Pay unfairly: Bock argues that the compensation models used by most businesses actually encourage their best employees to leave. Bock believes that “fairness is when pay is commensurate with contribution.” Those who contribute more should earn more; those who contribute less should earn less.

  • Discussion Question: How can the business account for employees who feel unmotivated to contribute because their pay is low?
  • Discussion Question: How can the business account for jealousy that may breed amongst employees who feel they are not paid as well for their contributions?

2. Celebrate accomplishment, not compensation: Bock explains that money should not be used as a reward, because the work becomes focused on money rather than the process or outcome. He urges companies to consider experiential rewards (such as sending a team who was successful on a project to a nice dinner) in addition to cash rewards, so that people can “celebrate success with actions, not dollars.”

  • Discussion Question: What types of rewards could businesses put into place if they are unable to provide rewards that have high monetary value?
  • Discussion Question: What models could a business use to determine how to distribute rewards?

3. Make it easy to spread the love: Bock explains the importance of recognition not only from management toward employees, but recognition between and amongst employees themselves. Google implements a system that allows employees to send virtual “kudos” for a job well done, in addition to monetary “peer bonuses” that employees can distribute at their own discretion, and at no cost to themselves. Bock states that this facilitates a culture of recognition and service.

  • Discussion Question: How might a business implement an employee recognition system that is meaningful?
  • Discussion Question: What kind of system(s) could a business put into place if monetary peer bonuses are not an option?

4. Reward thoughtful failure: Bock describes the importance of rewarding failure in order to support a culture of risk-taking. Bock explains that without risk-taking, a company can never move forward; instilling a fear of failure in employees will stunt their ability to move the company forward, and will stunt their growth and learning. Companies must “ease the pain of failure to leave room for learning.”

  • Discussion Question: How could a business encourage safe risk-taking amongst its employees?
  • Discussion Question: How could you justify the importance of failure to a company who fears risk-taking will lead to a loss?



Student Spotlight: Emilie Laga

Emilie Laga is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies – Leadership, at Villanova University. She is completing her final four courses, some of which are graduate level courses, and is set to earn her degree in May 2016. She will pursue her Master’s degree in Human Resource Development from Villanova University. Emilie is a member of the National Honor Society - Mu Chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda.

Emilie lived in Europe for several years before relocating to Connecticut in 1998 and moved to Pennsylvania, in 2001. She has fifteen years of human resources experience working for worldwide companies of various sizes and industries, including manufacturing, distribution, and retail.

Emilie is English-French bilingual and speaks Italian. She is also a member of SHRM and of the Chester County Human Resources Association (CCHRA).

 1. Why are you interested in the field of HR and how did that interest come about?

Early in my career, I had two mentors who were fantastic human resource professionals. Working closely with them made me realize that I wanted to pursue a career in human resources.

I am interested in HR because it offers the opportunity to care about the well-being and development of employees and play an active role in strategic business decisions.

Click to read more ...


HR News: 2015: Social HR Becomes A Reality (

by Jeanne Meister

In 2014, we saw organizations use social technologies for recruitment, development and engagement practices. The year to come will bring even more transformation to human resources.

The year 2015 will see the advent of what I call “the consumerization of HR,” where employees expect an “intelligent mobile user experience” to guide their access to HR resources. Employees will increasingly expect their employer to have the same user experience as when they reserve a taxi on Uber or Lyft, pay their bills on the Bank of America mobile app, or order food on Seamless or GrubHub. The mobile interface will be the employee’s primary conduit to a host of personal and business applications; putting pressure on HR to increase mobile adoption for recruitment, time and attendance, learning, goal setting and internal company newsletters.

Click to read more ...


VU SHRM Interview Skills Workshop

On Tuesday, November 10th, VU SHRM teamed up with six HR professionals with years of recruiting and interviewing experience to develop Villanova HRD students interview skills! The workshop was held in the Villanova Career Center. Students were able to participate in three interviews with three different interviews who utilized different interviewing techniques. The interviews were behavioral, situational, and case study based to give students a foundation of what they can expect when interviewing for a internship or full-time opportunity. The interviewers utilized their own experience to craft an interview that was unique to each student!

If you missed the VU SHRM Interview Skills Workshop, visit Villanova's Career Center Website for more tips on how to "Nail the Interview" by clicking here!


All About Nova: 2015 VU Special Olympics Fall Fest Recap

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s (SOPA) Fall Festival returned to Villanova University for the 27th consecutive year this past weekend, and welcomed approximately 1,600 coaches, athletes and Unified Partners representing 39 Pennsylvania local Programs. Participants competed in bocce, long distance running/walking, powerlifting, roller skating, soccer (5v5, 7v7, 11v11), and volleyball.  Villanova’s campus, was transformed to feature Opening Ceremonies with live entertainment including Villanova Basketball Coach Jay Wright. In addition, the weekend featured Healthy Athletes® programs, an “Olympic Town” festival offering athlete activities in-between sporting events, and a Victory Dance and Closing Ceremonies.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Fall Festival is regarded as the largest university student-run Special Olympics event in the world led by Villanova University's Special Olympics Committee that assists SOPA in the event organization. The University also donates all of its facilities and serves as the event’s principle volunteer base under the leadership of Bobby Reiff, a senior who heads the 90-person student committee. Over 2,000 volunteers were onsite to assist in the execution of the massive sports competition event.



Company Profile: Nestle Purina PetCare

Being allowed to bring your pet to work is just one of the pros of working at Nestle Purina PetCare, according to and the popular site, Wondering what else is unique about Nestle Purina PetCare in terms of workplace culture and work/life balance? Check out this article by Angela Mueller of the St. Louis Business Journal and find out why Nestle Purina PetCare is consistently a best place to work!


Student Spotlight: Valoria Armstrong 

Mrs. Valoria V. Armstrong is currently a Human Resources Director with American Water Works Service Company, Inc.  She is responsible for leading a team of HR Professionals over a geographic area of 7 states.  In her role she is responsible for Employee and Labor Relations, Workforce Planning and Staffing, Performance Management as well as Organizational Development.  She serves as a Strategic Partner to Divisional Leadership teams as well as leading a team of Human Resource personnel to provide advice and counsel on human resource matters as well as operational impacts to the workforce.  She works with divisional management, attorneys and consultants to ensure legal compliance with local, state, federal and company regulations.  Previously, Mrs. Armstrong was employed at Food Lion, LLC, which is based in Salisbury, North Carolina.  She was employed there for eleven years and has held positions as Human Resources Manager, Customer Service Training Coordinator, Divisional Diversity Coordinator and Divisional Diversity Manager. 

Mrs. Armstrong possesses her certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR).  Mrs. Armstrong is a member at-large of the National Society for Human Resource Management.  She also holds a membership with the Chattanooga and Bluegrass Chapters of SHRM.  She continues her commitment to SHRM by serving as a member of the Chattanooga SHRM Chapter Diversity Committee.


Click to read more ...


VU SHRM: Special Olympics Fall Festival

Join VU SHRM in cheering on the athletes!

Saturday, November 7th 11am-1pm

Register HERE

Volunteer Type: "Group- Club/Organization"

Group Name: VU SHRM

Volunteer Position: Competition

select "Cheering"

Click on 11AM & 12PM time slots

Fill out attached waivers and e-mail to with CC:




Happy Halloween!


Faculty Spotlight: Suzann Boylan, Professor in Workforce Planning and Expert Principle in the Human Capital Management Practice

Suzann Boylan is currently an adjunct professor in Villanova's HR Master's Degree program where she teaches Workforce Planning. Suzann also works as an Expert Principal in the Human Capital Management Practice at SuccessFactors where she is responsible for providing a range of consulting expertise, from aligning business and HR strategy, to the utilization of optimal HR systems, she helps organizations meet their needs. Before her role as an adjunct professor at Villanova and HCM Principle at SuccessFactors, Suzann has held many positions serving in key HR leadership roles including Vice President of HR for American Water, Chief Human Resource Officer at Radian, and Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at State Street. Suzann holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Montclair State University, and a Master's degree in Human Resource Development from Villanova University. 


Click to read more ...


Professional Spotlight: Jessie Ruane, Regional Talent Management Leader for the Americas at BDP International

Jessie Ruane currently works as the Regional Talent Management Leader for the Americas at BDP International. BDP International is a global logistics company that specializes in freight forwarding and is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Before joining BDP International, Jessie was an Organizational Development Consultant for Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PA. Jessie began her career with Lehigh Valley Health Network as one of their Research Scholar Interns in the Organizational Development department.

Jessie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Muhlenberg College and a Master’s Degree in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from West Chester University.

Click to read more ...


Re-Introduction: Think 'n Write Thursdays

Hello and Welcome to “Think ‘N Write Thursdays”, the HRD Corner blog on writing!

My name is Nancy Margolis.  Some of you may know me, as I am the Villanova Writing Specialist who works with the HRD Online students.  I also tutor in the Writing Center located in Falvey Library, where I am happy to meet with on-campus students to discuss their writing projects.  You can always reach with me your writing questions or concerns at

In my monthly posts, I will be discussing various aspects of writing, with the goal of helping you tackle the complex writing tasks you face both in your studies and in the workplace.  For example, what are the basics of APA style?  What is the difference between and an abstract and an introduction?  What are some strategies for organizing a long research paper?   I’d love to know if you have any suggestions: what do you think would be a useful topic to explore?

For this month, I invite you to look through the archives of the Think ‘N Write blog to catch up on previous entries, including:  how to locate scholarly sources; how to incorporate sources into your writing; and steps in revising a paper, to name just a few.

Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned for my next blog on Thursday, November 19th.

- Nancy


Fall 2015 VU SHRM Newsletter

Check out our latest issue of the VU SHRM Newsletter! Inside you will meet our graduate assistants and VU SHRM officers, find out more about some of the events we have held so far, what’s coming up later in the year, how to get more involved and more! Feel free to leave comments about what you would like to see featured in our next issue!

To see the issue click HERE.