As a final project for this class, students must conduct an interview with a human resources or labor relations professional and write a paper based on the findings. Interviewees may include, for example, HR managers or those with a specialty in HR, corporate attorneys, arbitrators, union leaders, or union stewards. The focus of the paper must be on the application of, or compliance with, labor laws, or on labor (union) relations more generally. Accordingly, students should focus their interviews on the interviewee’s experience in one or more of these areas. Specifically, research should address current and past issues the interviewee has faced, including negotiations, expectations, and challenges that have characterized the interviewee’s experience of the labor‐management relationship. Any other topic needs the approval of the instructor.
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Your paper is due at the end of Week 8 and must:
- Conform to the APA Requirements
- Be 8 to 10 pages in length (excluding title page and references)
- Incorporate at least four academic/scholarly sources.
Following is a list of sample interview questions. Please note that students do not need to ask every question on the list. Also, students will need to develop some questions that are not on the list.
Sample Interview Questions
- How did you get started in employee or labor relations?
- How long have you been in this field?
- Have you had specific training or certifications? What and where? What other relevant experience and/or education do you have?
- What recommendations do you have for someone wanting to pursue a career in this field?
- Provide a brief profile of your company, including the ways HR fits into the organizational structure (and if union, discuss union affiliation/details)
- Explain some of the things you do on a daily or weekly basis.
- What are some of your most challenging responsibilities and what issues must you deal with?
- Discuss a memorable employee or labor relations issue/conflict. Why was it memorable? Was it resolved? If so, how (what was the process and sequence of events)?
- What are some “lessons learned” over the course of your experience in this field?
- What competencies and skills do you use most in this profession?
- Where do you see employee or labor relations going in the future? What trends can you identify, good or bad?
- What would you change or wish to see develop in terms of future employee or labor relations?
Other potential questions for HR practitioners in union environments:
- How have unions made your job easier?
- How have unions made your job more difficult?
For HR practitioners in non‐union environments:
- What types of practices do you bring to bear to keep your organization non‐union?