For my interview of a HR manager or specialist I chose to interview someone from a popular company who has a plant local to where I live in Oxford, PA. I interviewed Eric Maholmes the Human resource director for Tastycake which is now Flowers Baking Company of Oxford, Inc. I asked Eric a variety of questions from his educational background, to his duties as director, and what the hardest parts of his job are.
Mr. Maholmes is a middle aged man with a clean shaved face. He was wearing a button down shirt along with a tie and dress shoes. His appearance was very professional. He graduated from Friends University in Kansas with a Bachelor degree in Human Resources and is currently half way through his Masters Program.
I asked Mr. Maholmes to explain to me his system for prioritizing his human resource projects and what drives the departments focus. His response was that he tends to do things the “old fashion way” by writing everything is his calendar and day planner. He checks his email very frequently and puts each of the projects in order from highest priority to lowest priority and uses his best desecration to do so. Regarding innovations in the work area Mr. Malhomes is in the process of making a computerizing hiring process where everything can be done online. I thought this was very interesting considering we just read in the book about the selection of employees and being able to have applications online.
I thought it was important to ask a few questions that pertain to having to make difficult decisions and the sexual harassment training in the work place. When asked about a time where Eric had to make a difficult decision that involved disciplinary action or termination and how he handled it, he responded that most terminations are self inflicted. He explained this to me by saying that most of the terminations have to deal with insubordination and the employee knows what they have done wrong. He always has a meeting with the employee and the president and allows them to explain their case. Not each termination is an easy one though, sometimes he has personal relationships, or genuinely likes an employee but you must realize that when it comes down to it he has to make not only the right decision for the company but also the fair decision.
Eric makes sure to keep his employees motivated by always keeping open lines of communication. They make sure to have frequent meetings where they all share new information and ideas. Everything is done with the attitude that they are a team and everything that is legally aloud to be shared with the team is. He also informed me that his employees go through harassment and diversity training at least once a year.
When it comes to the positive and negative aspects of Mr. Maholmes job there are quite a few. The things that he finds the most challenging and frustrating is that sometimes the employees will act childish. He finds his job to be very rewarding, he loves to help people find jobs, and believes that there are good people that want to work and that they deserve a chance. When asked what type of advice he would offer to someone who is entering HR, he responded with; for starters they must like people and dealing with them! He also mentioned that there is an extreme amount of paperwork that not all the job requires is working with people, you must be prepared to go through process procedures as well.
I learned quite a lot of useful information from Mr. Maholes. Having this interview really gave me an insight into what it might be like to have a job in human resource. I found it interesting that he was really able to connect with everything that we have learned over the past few weeks. I appreciated the fact that he was willing to meet with me and encourage my education in Human Resource Management. I also enjoyed that when I asked him what type of efforts he was making in order to exceed customers expectations and he replied with “everyone who walks through the door is a customer and I will help them to the best of my ability with any problem that they have”. This made me realize that he truly enjoys his career and personally after what I have learned I think he does a fantastic job!
Questions to ask Eric Muholmes: Director of HR of Tastycake What is your exact title?
Educational Background: Where did you attend college? What is your degree in?
Can you describe the system you use for prioritizing human resource projects and what human resource discipline do you believe drives the department focus?
Explain how you motivate your human resource department employees, and how you assist them with reaching their professional development goals.
Can you recall a time when you had to make a difficult decision that involved either a disciplinary action or a termination? If so how did you handle the matter, and were there any follow-up issues?
Could you describe the sexual harassment training you deliver to employees, including how you capture the attention of employees who do not understand the seriousness of sexual harassment or other unfair employment practices.
What are some of the things you are doing to ensure the effectiveness of the team you are leading?
What types of efforts are you making to serve your customers and to exceed customer expectations?
Can you explain any innovation that you’ve introduced in your work area or have you done anything to introduce change or redefine the way work gets done in your area?
What three areas does he/she find the most challenging? Why?
What three areas does he/she find the most frustrating? Why?
What does he/she find the most rewarding aspects about his/her current
What type of advice would he/she offer to someone who is entering HR?