About Paul Falcone

Paul FalconePaul Falcone is a human resources executive in Los Angeles and has held senior-level positions with Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and Time Warner. He is a long-term contributor to HR Magazine and an instructor in the UCLA Extension School of Business and Management as well as a top-rated presenter at the SHRM national conference.

Paul is the author of nine books which address the tough and practical issues that inevitably surface in the workplace and that plague even the strongest organizations and leaders from time to time. Four of Paul's books were ranked on SHRM’s prestigious "Great 8 of 2012" and "Great 8 of 2013" bestseller listings.
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What’s New?

Paul Falcone's books have regularly been among the bestselling titles at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) store.

Performance Management


How Often Should You Give Performance Feedback?

For most companies, the overwhelming answer is annually. But as Paul Falcone pointed out in his book 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals (AMACOM 2012) and Paul and Winston Tan recommended in The Performance Appraisal Tool Kit (AMACOM 2013), reviewing performance and attainment of goals once a year probably isn’t enough for most workers under most circumstances. Too many things change too quickly in business these days, and plans have to be tweaked and rearranged on a fairly regular basis. Please note that this link will take you to AMA Playbook… Read More…


“Stay” Interviews: 6 Practical Questions for Key Employee Retention

The job market is heating up, and many top performers who may feel like they’ve been treading water career-wise since the Great Recession of 2008 began may now sense that the momentum is shifting, and new opportunities are coming back hot and heavy. As such, they may feel naturally curious to see what sorts of “greener pastures” are available in the broader job market. And let’s face it: Your top performers will always be the ones most in demand and with the most opportunities. How do you get ahead of this natural curve in the economy and keep your best and brightest motivated and engaged? Read More…


Correcting for Grade Inflation on an Employee’s Annual Performance Review

It’s performance review season and time to kick off the New Year with formal staff feedback and goal setting for the upcoming calendar year. But what if you find out that a manager on your team assigned the wrong overall grade to one of his employees? Grade inflation tends to be one of the greatest challenges throughout the performance review process because managers shoot themselves in the foot by assigning a passing grade when a failing grade would be more appropriate in light of the corrective action record that was put in place during the review year. Read More…

HR Essentials


Communicating Bad News for the First Time During the Annual Performance Review

Are you having trouble delivering bad news during your employee’s performance review? In this article Paul Falcone shares his thoughts and recommendations as outlined in his  book, coauthored with Winston Tan, The Performance Appraisal Tool Kit: Redesigning Your Performance Review Template to Drive Individual and Organizational Change (AMACOM 2013).

One of the toughest leadership tasks will always involve communicating problematic performance or conduct concerns for the first time during the annual performance review. After all, one of the key rules in issuing performance reviews is that there should be few if any surprises. Note that the following link will take you to AMA Playbook… Read More…


How to Legally Justify Employee Termination

In the world of wrongful termination litigation, there’s a tremendous distinction between an individual’s performance review and any progressive disciplinary or corrective action documents that the worker may have received. Picture this presentation of evidence as if you were a jury member: Table A contains the ex-employee’s past four performance reviews, and Table B contains the corrective action documents that led up to the individual’s termination for cause. Which table contains more relevant information relating to the justification for termination?

Clearly, the answer is both, but you need to understand how a plaintiff attorney (representing the ex-employee) would present the evidence on both tables to a jury. This link will take you to the
AMA Playbook… Read More…

Career Management


Attention Graduates: Tips for Avoiding Pitfalls That May Derail Your (Early) Career!

“I wish someone had told me . . .” isn’t the line you want to use to end your first job out of high school or college. However, many unsuspecting and fairly naive recently-minted graduates have a serious misunderstanding about how companies treat certain policy and conduct infractions in the workplace.  Read More…


5 Critical Job Search Strategies for Executives in Career Transition

Executives in career transition face many challenges in this daunting job market, but there are a number of options that they can actively pursue thanks to their strong track records, technical skills, and education.  The five search strategies below will be a good place to start. Read More…