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Week of Nov. 25, 2019

Mental health stigmas at work persist, why you should stop doing active shooter drills, and more top HR news

63% of U.S. workers haven’t disclosed mental health issues to their employer. Despite costing businesses billions every year, new data shows that workers are hesitant to bring up mental health issues (like depression) to their employer. Even worse, the stigma around mental health is causing 80% of sufferers to avoid seeking help. What have you done to help employees with their mental health issues, or create a safer environment for them to open up?

New bill would give full FMLA leave to each spouse under the same employer. Currently, spouses working for the same employer are forced to share the 12 weeks allotted for FMLA leave following the birth or adoption of a new baby or to care for an ill parent. But under the Fair Access for Individuals to Receive Leave Act (FAIR Leave Act) introduced by Iowa Senator Joni Ernst last week, such couples would be entitled to 12 weeks each. Though it’s not as enticing as paid leave, this change could encourage spouses to take more time off for their families.

Is CHRO a path to CEO? As attracting and retaining top talent has become a bigger priority for organizations, and HR has played a more prominent, strategic role in that mission, chief human resource officers (CHROs) are becoming a popular successor choice to take over companies. According to Hanold Associates CEO Jason Hanold, CHROs “drive innovation and have a strong understanding of the business,” which makes them ideal CEO candidates. What do you think? Is HR ready to take the helm?

Researchers say active shooter drills are “ineffective.” Two researchers say that active shooter drills (which teach employees best practices and protocols in the event of a workplace shooter) are ineffective because “the great majority of the perpetrators are current or former employees who have access to the buildings, know how to move around them quickly, and are familiar with security drills.” Instead, researchers suggest companies invest in mental health services and crisis intervention training to identify threat indicators in advance.

Employees desire better working relationships. A new survey from Globant found that 62% of employees wish they knew their coworkers better, and 83% believe that doing so would make them a more engaged team member. Furthermore, 51% say their peers are the top group that inspires them to stay with a company. These results show that social activities at work are important for building relationships that aid employee engagement and retention.

Week of Nov. 18, 2019

Why job boards are still a thing, Cornerstone and Kronos announce a new partnership, and more top HR news

Why job boards continue to not only survive, but thrive. As applicant tracking systems (ATSs) emerged and social media players like Facebook entered the recruiting market, the traditional job board looked like a goner. But new revenue streams, niche industry focuses, and smart technologies have made job boards like Indeed and Dice as critical to sourcing and hiring as ever. This is a great read on the current state of job boards.

2020 will be the beginning of a “culture-first” decade, says Glassdoor. The career site’s annual job and hiring trends report highlights eight trends they expect to impact HR and recruiting in the coming year, including the rise of mobile recruiting, and a need to cater to Baby Boomers 65 and older—the fastest-growing workforce segment. There’s also the small matter of the 2020 election cycle, which will surely bring companies’ political affiliations to the forefront.

The problems HR tech will (hopefully) solve in 2020. A new decade, a new set of challenges ahead for the HR technology sphere. In this article for Inc., several HR technology vendors talk about how they plan to tackle problems as varied as employee turnover, learning and development, and those pesky notification emails.

Cornerstone and Kronos partner on initiative to deliver training in the flow of work. Partners since 2015, Cornerstone OnDemand and Kronos announced a plan last week to integrate Cornerstone Learning courses and training content into the dashboards of Kronos Workforce Dimensions—the vendor’s human capital management (HCM) suite. The intention is to put more training in front of workers at the time they need it in their normal flow of work (a growing trend in e-learning).

The history and future of the gig economy. More than one in three U.S. workers have now engaged in some form of “gig” work, making it safe to say that the gig economy isn’t going away anytime soon. But what forms will the gig economy take in the near-future? And how can companies prepare? This infographic from HR Daily Advisor provides a few answers.

Week of Nov. 11, 2019

Positive signs for the four-day work week, men discount workplace gender inequality, and more top HR news

New report reveals employers are mishandling veteran applicants. Veterans are 34% more likely to be underemployed compared to their non-veteran counterparts. What gives? A new LinkedIn report may have the answer, finding that employers are “unintentionally funneling” veterans into specific industries and jobs that differ from their career ambitions. Moreover, veteran applicants are less likely to land jobs despite having four or more years of experience—on average—than civilian applicants.

The four-day work week gains public and private support. Over the summer, Microsoft Japan experimented with a four-day work week without a reduction in pay. The result: Productivity increased 40%. Meanwhile, Britain’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, announced that the British Labour Party would reduce the workweek to 32 hours without loss of pay within 10 years of winning office. With the four-day work week gaining traction, are you on board?

Have cover letters become obsolete? With many companies no longer requiring them, HR Dive reached out to experts to discuss the merits of the cover letter in the modern age. While some say they’re too time-consuming to review, others think a stellar cover letter can make a difference between two close candidates. What do you think?

Men are more likely to view gender inequality as a myth. When asked if it was harder for female leaders to recover from mistakes than men or if male leaders were more comfortable promoting other men over women, male workers were far more likely to say the statement was a “myth” compared to women workers. This poll from Morning Consult and ASCEND highlights how men and women have different views of the challenges women face at work.

HR experts discuss the state of HR tech entering 2020. On the heels of their annual HR Technology Conference, HR Executive reached out to experts to discuss how HR technology has evolved over time, how HR leaders can make the business case for new technology, and how businesses can get employees to welcome new technology with open arms. It’s a great read if you’re in the market for new HR software.

Week of Nov. 4, 2019

Employee experiences disappoint, making your careers page disability-friendly and more top HR news

Nearly half of all workers dissatisfied with employee experience. A new survey by Gartner reveals that 46% of employees are largely dissatisfied with their overall experience at their current organization. Furthermore, organizations will have to increase spending by 82% over the next two years to improve employee experience satisfaction at the same rate they’re achieving today. Gartner analysts discussed these findings at last week’s Gartner ReimagineHR conference.

Supporting neurodiversity in the workplace. One in six children are diagnosed with neurodevelopmental differences in the U.S., and when those children grow up and enter the workforce, many struggle due to a lack of accommodations. This article offers tips on how managers and HR can be more supportive of neurodiverse workers to help them succeed.

Is your career page disability-friendly? Probably not. A new study by Phenom People found that just 11 Fortune 100 companies have career pages that meet the six criteria established by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, which sets standards for website accessibility for the disabled. Without the right color contrast standards or the ability to resize text, for example, you could be missing out on quality applicants.

An unlikely source of employee burnout: Student loans. Once a flashy perk to attract workers fresh out of school, student loan forgiveness programs have taken on new life as a way to relieve a major stressor for an increasingly debt-ridden workforce. A PwC survey cited in this Quartz article found that money is the leading cause of stress in employees’ lives, and a SHRM survey adds that student loan benefits are an increasingly sought-after perk for young workers.

Demand for recruiters is on the rise. According to a new LinkedIn report, the demand for recruiters has increased 63% since 2016 due to tightening labor markets and recruiters taking on a more advisory role in their organization. The report also says recruiters will increasingly need to rely on new skills to succeed, such as the ability to engage passive candidates and analyze talent data.

Week of Oct. 28, 2019

The “motherhood penalty,” Halloween party tips, and more top HR news

How workplaces are adapting to changing gender norms. Employers are beginning to make accommodations to an increasing number of workers identifying as gender nonbinary. Retirement company TIAA has instructed employees to introduce themselves with their preferred pronouns, while law firm Baker McKenzie has actually set hiring targets for “flexible” gendered workers. How have you adapted to changing gender norms in your org?

The “motherhood penalty” is both real and devastating. According to an analysis of U.S. census data by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), full-time working mothers make $0.69 for every dollar a full-time working father makes. Though some of the “motherhood penalty” can be attributed to men working in higher-paying fields, a major factor is women taking time off to raise children and never fully recovering, wage- or career-wise. This penalty is greater in some states than others, and is particularly detrimental to women of color. Not good!

SoftBank takes control of WeWork. The board of the troubled coworking space startup approved SoftBank’s deal last week, which gives them control of the company and gives co-founder Adam Neumann nearly $1.7 billion to walk away. After a failed IPO, WeWork’s valuation has nose-dived to $8 billion as the company flirts with insolvency.

How to avoid spooking HR with your office Halloween party. It’s Halloween this week, and you know what that means: team “theme” arguments, costumes that reveal a little too much, forgetting food allergies, and other HR disasters just waiting to happen. This article from Payscale offers tips on how to successfully navigate this tricky minefield.

Highlights from Monster’s 2019 “State of the Recruiter” survey. The latest edition of Monster’s annual survey reveals that 95% of recruiters say they are confident they can find the right candidate for open positions. However, 85% believe candidates exaggerate skills and competencies on their resume, and only a third believe candidates are “very honest” about their proficiencies.

Week of Oct. 21, 2019

Workday announces new blockchain system, reflecting on the two-year anniversary of #MeToo, and more top HR news

Workday introduces Workday Credentials. At its annual Workday Rising conference last week, Workday introduced a new system for worker verification called Workday Credentials. Powered by decentralized blockchain technology similar to what’s used for cryptocurrencies, Workday Credentials gives employers a secure, immutable method to confirm job history, performance ratings, and more. Hyped as the next big thing, only time will tell if more major vendors adopt blockchain for HR applications.

Miss this year’s HR Tech Conference? Analyst Madeline Laurano has a great summary of the big HR technology trends from this year’s event that you need to know about, along with write-ups detailing what major HR vendors like Cornerstone OnDemand, Ultimate Software, and IBM are up to these days.

HR leaders anticipate radical change in the next decade. Per a new study by Sage, 82% of HR leaders anticipate that their role will be “unrecognizable” in 10 years’ time, and nearly half (43%) believe their organization won’t be able to keep up with technological changes during this span, either. Fueling this anticipation of disruption is the transformation of HR from a back-office compliance role to a front-office “people” function.

How HR fails those with sexual harassment claims. On the second anniversary of the global #MeToo movement, HR thought leader Laurie Ruettimann reflects on how HR investigations into sexual harassment should work in theory, and the reasons they (often) continue to fail in practice. Her advice for HR departments is to respond to allegations quickly, practice empathy, and give a concrete investigation timeline to the employee(s) who filed the complaint(s).

Would you trust a robot more than your manager? According to a new study by Oracle, you just might: Nearly two in three workers (64%) say they would trust a robot more than their manager, and 50% have actually turned to a robot instead of their manager for advice. The study also found that a majority of workers (65%) are “optimistic, excited, and grateful” about working with robots.

Week of Oct. 14, 2019

Unemployment hits 50-year low, Uber launches a gig employment app, and more top HR news

Unemployment rate drops to 3.5% in September. The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that the unemployment rate in the United States fell to 3.5% in September. The last time unemployment was this low was in December 1969. Despite this, experts say worker wage growth continues to disappoint.

The true cost of toxic workplaces. A new study commissioned by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that nearly 20% of all employees have left a job in the past five years because of a toxic workplace culture, leading to over $223 billion in turnover costs during that span. Seventy-six percent of respondents say managers are to blame for perpetuating such cultures.

More workers consider freelancing a long-term career. Upwork’s annual “Freelancing in America” study found that, for the first time, freelancers are just as likely to say they view freelancing as a long-term career choice as they are to see it as a temporary way to make money. Freelancers—who now make up 35% of the U.S. workforce—also tend to skew young: This year, 53% of Gen Z workers freelanced.

Uber launches new employment app. Branded “Works,” Uber’s new app is designed to connect gig workers with employers looking to temporarily fill shifts and get help on projects. Uber says the new app will provide users with info about pay, skill needs, and even attire, while also tracking their hours. Though Works is only available in Chicago for now, Uber says it’ll announce expansion plans soon.

Kronos acquires Optimum. Kronos Incorporated announced its acquisition of human capital management (HCM) solution provider Optimum Solutions, Inc. As part of the acquisition, Optimum customers will be given the option to transfer their HR needs to one of Kronos’ HCM solutions, such as Workforce Ready or Workforce Dimensions HCM.

Week of Oct. 7, 2019

Remote workers excel, a new overtime rule passes, and more top HR news

Remote workers are happier and stay at jobs longer. If you’re thinking about calling remote employees back to the office, you may want to reconsider. Owl Labs’ “State of Remote Work 2019” report found that, compared to employees who never work remotely, full-time remote workers tend to be happier, work longer hours, and stay at the same company longer. Remote workers also reported better work-life balance, more focus, and less stress.

Vimeo debuts tool to find and hire video talent. Video platform Vimeo has launched a new marketplace where companies looking for video talent can post job openings, and video professionals can apply for jobs and find paid projects. The new tool is available globally in seven languages.

More employees staying put amid recession concerns. In Q2 2019, 53% of U.S. workers said they intend to stay at their current employer, according to Gartner research. That represents a 10% jump from Q1, and a growing gap vs. the global average of 40%. A dampened enthusiasm for job opportunities elsewhere and recession concerns are cited as the primary causes.

Salary cutoff for overtime increases to $35,568 in 2020. After years of discussion and putting it on hold, the Department of Labor has finally approved a new overtime rule. Under the new rule, the annual salary threshold below which salaried employees must be paid overtime for hours worked over 40 in a given week will go from $23,660 to $35,568. In order to cut costs but still comply, HR departments will need to reclassify workers or raise salaries under the new threshold.

How HR can turn worker regrets into opportunities. A new survey by Zety found that 98% of workers have regrets when it comes to their career, with “not taking more initiative” cited as the top regret. By asking for feedback and guiding workers to desired career paths, HR departments have an opportunity to turn these regrets into positive actions.

Week of Sept. 30, 2019

Gig worker bill becomes law in California, layoff anxiety grows, and more top HR news

California passes AB-5, potentially disrupting the gig economy. Signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom and taking effect Jan. 1, AB-5 raises the bar to be considered an independent contractor rather than an employee in California, and gives the state and cities the right to file suit against employers regarding misclassification. The move is expected to reclassify thousands of gig workers, granting them protections such as minimum wage and workers’ comp, and shake up the structure of major gig employers such as Lyft and Uber.

Business leaders have major talent concerns. According to a new Gartner survey, only 29% of functional leaders believe they have the talent they need to meet current performance requirements. Making matters worse, only 24% believe they can quickly hire the talent they need, and only 31% believe they can quickly develop the talent they need in-house. Is your company hitting the panic button on its talent needs?

Are you ready for corporate colleges? Frustrated with the lack of skills of recent graduates, more and more companies have begun partnering with higher ed organizations to shape their own “corporate college” program. Intel, Boeing, Apple, Facebook, and more are reviewing curriculums, lending experts for guest instruction, and even creating whole new degrees to give students the skills they need to thrive in their organization.

Being laid off is a growing worker concern. A new study by CareerArc reveals that nearly half of all U.S. workers (48%) suffer from layoff anxiety, and a similar amount (47%) say they do not feel prepared for the possibility of being laid off. Fueling this layoff anxiety are fears of a recession, office rumors, and recent layoffs already taking place at the company—reasons that likely won’t go anywhere anytime soon.

How to harmonize HR tech into a singular experience. Overwhelmed by the number of employee-facing systems in your organization? In this column for Workforce, Mark Feffer offers advice on how to tie various platforms together to create a more seamless experience for employees and reduce administration headaches for HR departments.

Week of Sept. 23, 2019

Payroll company steals millions, LinkedIn tests job seekers’ skills, and more top HR news

FBI investigating MyPayrollHR for diverting client funds. Payroll software vendor MyPayrollHR has ceased operations after clients notified the FBI that employees had paycheck amounts withdrawn from their bank accounts, rather than deposited in. In total, 4,000 businesses were affected, and as much as $26 million dollars in employee paychecks was diverted to one of MyPayrollHR’s bank accounts.

Employee skills gap grows by double digits. In a new survey, 64% of HR leaders say there is a skills gap in their company, compared to only 52% when this survey was administered last year. 44% say it’s more difficult to fill their skills gap than it was last year, and 42% say the skills gap is making their company less efficient. Do you think the skills gap is getting worse in your organization? What are you doing about it?

Indeed debuts platform dedicated to tech recruiting. Indeed’s new tool, Seen, leverages algorithms to better connect technology workers with relevant job opportunities. Along with career coaches for job seekers, Seen also has a feature called “FastMatch” intended to cut down the time between when a job is posted and when it gets sent to prospective candidates. The platform is free for job seekers, and starts at $500 per year for employers.

Companies are revamping PTO policies to attract talent. Creating and maintaining a competitive but consistent PTO policy is a top concern, according to a new survey of HR leaders at small and midsize businesses. In order to attract job seekers, more than a third of employers are considering increasing the number of PTO days they offer to workers in 2020. Are you upping your PTO allotments next year?

LinkedIn launches skills assessments. LinkedIn has begun rolling out a feature called Skills Assessments: short, multiple-choice tests that job seekers can take to prove their knowledge in areas such as programming languages and popular software systems. Once they pass a test, users can add it as a badge to their profile for recruiters to find during sourcing. Only time will tell if both recruiters and job seekers take a shine to this method of verifying skills.

Week of Sept. 16, 2019

HR manager is a top career choice, profanity as protected speech, and more top HR news

HR managers have it pretty good. A new Wall Street Journal report ranks HR manager as the 35th most promising career of the next decade out of 800 different occupations in the U.S. Along with a high median salary, the report highlights that HR managers will also continue to be in high demand by organizations over the next ten years. High five!

When it comes to wellness, employees want the basics. Think that stir-fry stations and yoga classes are what workers want in wellness? Think again. A new survey of 1,600 workers reveals that many prefer good air quality (58%) and comfortable lighting (50%) to things such as healthy food options (26%) and fitness facilities (16%). In other words, you may want to renovate that cramped, poorly-lit office space first.

Workers make the migration to smaller cities. As workers gain more flexibility with their jobs, expensive urban centers such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City are increasingly losing workers to smaller cities such as Boise, Denver, and Austin. Employees that work from home, do freelance work, or travel constantly for their jobs are seeking out places where their dollar goes further, which could have huge ramifications on recruiting and hiring.

U.S. adds 130,000 jobs in August. The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates job growth in 2019 is holding steady, though it is pacing far below the red-hot pace set last year. The unemployment rate remains at 3.7%, but fears still loom of an incoming recession. Are you prepared?

Is profanity protected speech? The NLRB has second thoughts. In recent years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that employee use of profanity and slurs at work didn’t disqualify them from National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protection. But now the NLRB is rethinking that decision, especially the use of racial slurs, amidst employer backlash. What do you think—should profanity at work be protected or not?

Week of Sept. 9, 2019

Using VR to combat workplace sexism, applicant ‘ghosting,’ and more top HR news

How VR can empower female workers. Organizations are struggling to create safe and supportive spaces for women, but virtual reality could be the solution. This Entrepreneur column argues that new VR applications can help “nourish supportive mentorship groups, educate on and prevent sexual harassment, and foster the empathy that safeguards against workplace sexism.” What do you think of this?

With an impending recession, HR shifts to cost cutting. According to a new Gartner survey, because of economic uncertainty, 92% of HR leaders are prioritizing budgeting and cost-optimization initiatives. However, only 20% are considering how HR cost-optimization efforts can contribute to overall organization savings. Gartner recommends that HR and business leaders get together now to evaluate organization-wide cost-optimization solutions before the economy takes a downturn.

Former Uber employee crowdsources the job search. After Uber laid off hundreds of people in late July, one employee created a spreadsheet to help connect former Uber workers with new opportunities. Today, that spreadsheet has more than 300 candidates and 800 job openings and shows the promise of a unique solution to a common frustration. As the head of HR, would you crowdsource job opportunities for workers that got laid off from your organization?

Workers put a high price tag on getting rid of casual dress codes. One in three workers would prefer an informal dress code to an extra $5,000 in salary, according to a new Randstad poll. An additional 33% say they’d quit their job or turn down a job offer if they were required to adhere to a conservative dress code. These results show that leaving the suit and tie at home can be a major retention booster.

Applicant “ghosting” is on the rise. A new Indeed survey reveals that 83% of employers have been “ghosted” by a job applicant, meaning an applicant didn’t show up to a scheduled interview, didn’t respond to outreach from the company, or accepted a job offer but didn’t show up for their first day. Nearly 70% say this phenomenon has started only in the last two years, and experts say a lack of etiquette and a poor candidate experience are to blame. Have you been ghosted?

Week of Sept. 3, 2019

Employees aren’t prepared for the future, Google Hire shuts down, and more top HR news

Employees say companies aren’t preparing them for the future. A new study from Axonify found that only 41% of workers believe their employer is training them in preparation for the future. That’s bad news, especially given that more than half of the world’s workforce will need significant re-skilling by 2023, according to the World Economic Forum. Are you preparing your workforce for the future?

How internships are shaping the future of work. More and more companies are experimenting with “micro-internships” (whereby students connect with companies for short-term, project-based assignments) and “minternships” (mid-career internships) to better re-skill workers and create a more sustainable, long-term workforce. Have you taken another look at internships at your organization? What did you change?

Group of U.S. CEOs redefine the purpose of a business. The Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs from nearly 200 major U.S. companies, issued a statement last week challenging the notion that the function of a business is to serve shareholders and maximize profit. The group argues that investing in employees, delivering value to customers, and being environmentally conscious should be the primary functions instead. The statement is largely a symbolic gesture, but do you agree?

Google Hire is no more. Google announced last week that their applicant tracking system, Google Hire, will shut down on Sept. 1, 2020. The platform was born out of Google’s 2015 acquisition of Bebop. The writing was on the wall for Hire’s demise when Bebop founder and head of Google Cloud Diane Green left the company earlier this year. As a consolation, Google will not charge Hire customers through the shutdown date.

Entelo acquires ConveyIQ. Entelo, a sourcing and recruiting automation system, announced last week that it’s acquired candidate engagement platform ConveyIQ. Together, the vendors currently have over 600 clients, including Target, Amazon, and Charles Schwab. Entelo says the acquisition will make it the first in the industry to offer “end-to-end management of all candidate interactions from source-to-hire.”

Week of Aug. 26, 2019

Workers are crying, WeWork files for an IPO, and more top HR news

Reddit co-founder advocates for paid paternity leave. Alexis Ohanian says paternity leave was vital in allowing him to care for his new daughter and his wife, tennis player Serena Williams, while she struggled with life-threatening complications from the birth. Ohanian cites stats that show only 9% of U.S. employers offer paid paternity leave to all employees and 76% of new fathers come back to work within a week after the birth or adoption of their child.

Most employees have cried at work at least once. A new Monster survey of 3,000+ workers reveals that 50% have cried a few times in the office, 8% cry weekly, and 5% cry every day. Causes for the tears include bullying, workload stress, and personal matters, but most often, a boss or colleague was the source of the strife. What are you doing to support employee mental health in your organization?

The five most likely causes of poor workplace productivity. A survey of HR professionals says that bad systems (cited by 42%), office politics (34%), a lack of flexible working conditions (32%), absences and sickness (30%), and micromanagement (28%) are the most common causes of low workplace productivity. Do you agree? What other causes do you experience at your company?

How to build the perfect HR team. Who recruits the recruiter? HR does, of course, which is why you should check out this article in Personnel Today that offers advice on how to recruit and hire a top-tier HR department. Besides leveraging technology, social media, and good old-fashioned networking, it’s important to talk to an outside consultant or even a line manager in another department to mitigate bias and hear a different perspective.

WeWork files for an IPO to raise $1 billion. The popular coworking-space company is expected to raise three times that amount, but many are skeptical of the organization’s long-term viability. WeWork reported a $904 million net loss in the first half of 2019. What has your company’s experience with WeWork been like?

Week of Aug. 19, 2019

Ageism starts at 45, Absorb acquires eLogic Learning, and more top HR news

A new survey of 1,000 workers over 40 reveals ageism insights. Commissioned by Fairygodboss, the survey found that only 28% of respondents feel they have experienced ageism at work. Of those that had experienced ageism, though, men and women had similar experiences: Most started experiencing ageism at 45 and were often stereotyped as less tech-savvy or less interested in change and learning.

Are your managers acting on performance feedback? A new survey by Appraisd reveals that one out of three managers aren’t following up on performance check-ins with their employees. When asked how they could improve, 26% of employees said their managers should more effectively follow up on concerns, and 24% said their managers need to be better prepared for check-ins. How are you ensuring your managers act on feedback?

U.S. Federal Reserve to launch a real-time payroll system. The payroll system, dubbed FedNow and expected to launch in 2023 or 2024, will aim to provide near-instantaneous transfer of funds 24 hours a day to public sector workers. FedNow will compete with a private system established by a group of large banks in 2017.

The growing market for contingent workforce management software. As the gig economy continues to take off, companies are looking for technological means to more easily recruit, onboard, and manage contingent workers. This article from SHRM offers some guidance on the different types of contingent workforce management software options out there and the kind of support they can offer.

Absorb acquires eLogic Learning. In learning management system (LMS) news, Absorb, makers of Absorb LMS, announced earlier this month that they have acquired eLogic Learning. Both major vendors in the space, the acquisition appears to be growth motivated on Absorb’s part, as they “anticipate additional acquisitions in the coming quarters.”

Week of Aug. 12, 2019

Job growth begins to slow, how to handle employee data with care, and more top HR news

U.S. job growth slows to 164,000 jobs in July. The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, average monthly job growth has been lower this year compared to the first seven months of 2018. Some believe this slowed growth, combined with a possible trade war with China, could be the first sign of an economic slowdown that will lead to the next recession.

What HR leaders need to know about deepfakes. Deepfakes, which leverage a mix of AI and machine learning to manipulate media such as photos and videos in realistic ways, have already been used to target politicians and celebrities. HR Dive argues that employers could be next and offers tips on how HR leaders can better identify fake information and protect their organizations.

Minor EEOC changes could have a major impact. Risk Management magazine has a rundown of regulatory changes proposed by the EEOC this year that could affect how workers and HR departments handle discrimination charges in the future. The article warns that, “If the changes are enacted, employers should be prepared for a potential increase in discrimination charge filings.”

The do’s and don’ts of employee data. Companies are collecting more employee data than ever before, be it from surveys, job applications, or social media. What are you doing with your employee data? Gartner offers four tips on how you can practice digital ethics with this data to ensure you don’t get in trouble with your workers (or the law).

Happier employees really do lead to happier customers. New research from Glassdoor found that companies with happy employees (measured by Glassdoor reviews) are more likely to have higher customer satisfaction scores than their counterparts. Researchers discovered that each 1-star improvement in an employer’s Glassdoor rating is associated with a 1.3-point increase in customer satisfaction.

Week of Aug. 5, 2019

Google settles age discrimination suit, employers continue to ramp up benefits offerings, and more top HR news

Workers split on whether their current role is a career or “just a job.” A new survey by CareerBuilder finds that 50% of workers feel they have a career, while the remaining 50% feel they have just a job. In addition, 32% say they plan to change jobs this year, and 78% would be open to a new role if the right opportunity came along. What are you doing to ensure your workers feel they have a career at your organization?

Google settles for $11 million in age discrimination suit. A class-action lawsuit involving 227 people who accused Google of discriminating against job applicants over the age of 40 has ended with Google agreeing to pay the plaintiffs $11 million. Under the settlement, Google must also train employees and managers on age bias and discrimination. This is a strong warning to companies that use principles such as “cultural fit” for hiring, which can subtly hinder older candidates.

Job switchers are outgaining job holders. New data from ADP shows that people who switched jobs saw their wages go up 5.3% in June year-over-year, compared to a 4% gain for private employees. Switchers in IT (9.7%), construction (8.7%), and professional services (8.3%) saw the biggest raises. This data indicates companies are having to pay out to attract top candidates from an increasingly shallow talent pool, putting a strain on retention efforts.

Employers are offering more and more benefits to workers. SHRM’s 2019 Employee Benefits Survey found that more employers are offering benefits such as telecommuting, paternity leave, student loan repayment, standing desks, and telemedicine to their workers. In fact, only 3% of organizations decreased the number of benefits they offered since 2018. What unique perks or benefits are you offering workers to aid in retention?

New survey makes the case for strategic onboarding. A SilkRoad survey of 203 HR decision-makers found that 78% agree that onboarding is not just for new employees. Furthermore, 65% of decision-makers say their company’s onboarding program helps existing employees prepare for the next step in their career. This “strategic onboarding”—a process that continues throughout the employee life cycle to support ongoing learning and upskilling—is gaining traction among organizations to better support current workers.

Week of July 29, 2019

Employees prefer learning about benefits from humans, sales organizations face a major talent exit, and more top HR news

Explaining insurance benefits still requires a human touch. According to a new survey by Colonial Life, 76% of employees prefer to talk to a person (an HR rep, a coworker, a family member, etc.) to learn about their company’s insurance benefits. Just 11% say they find the internet helpful in answering their benefits enrollment questions—a finding consistent across all age groups. In the age of automation, what are you doing to keep your benefits process human?

Employers have spent millions to resolve background check lawsuits. In the past decade alone, employers have paid out $174 million to resolve class-action lawsuits related to their intrusive use of background checks on job applicants, according to a compilation of court records by Good Jobs First. The background check companies themselves have paid out $152 million when sued directly. Is your background check process as compliant as you think it is?

Oregon passes the most generous paid family leave law in the country. Beginning in 2023, nearly every worker in the state will get 12 weeks of paid leave when they have a child, a serious health condition, or need to care care for an ill family member. The law also provides paid leave for victims of domestic violence, harassment, stalking, or sexual assault—and is only the second in the nation to do so. Funding will come from a new payroll tax paid by workers and businesses with 25 or more employees.

Inside sales organizations risk losing a quarter of their workforce this year. New Gartner research has found that 24% of inside sellers are actively looking for a new job. The top three factors behind this stat are “dissatisfaction with the competitiveness of the compensation package, manager quality, and the degree of respect the organization shows employees.” Inside sales leaders: What are you doing to improve retention in your company?

Week of July 22, 2019

A new overtime rule may be imminent, temp hires on the rise, and more top HR news

Is a new overtime rule on its way? New Acting Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella is expected to issue a final overtime rule by the end of the year. The rule would raise the salary threshold for overtime from $23,660 to an amount yet to be determined (though the Department of Labor has proposed a level of $35,308). Any salaried workers making less than this threshold must be paid overtime.

Amazon to train 100,000 employees over the next six years. In an effort to upskill their workforce, Amazon will spend more than $700 million to offer training programs to workers ranging from learning new skills for other Amazon jobs to earning certifications that can be used at other companies. This news comes one month after Walmart, a major competitor, announced it will pay for college test preparation for its high school employees.

Employers are more open to hiring temp workers. A survey by Accounttemps found that 53% of employers are more open to hiring temp workers to bridge gaps while looking for a full-time employee than they were two years ago. In addition, 71% of hiring managers consider a long period of consistent temporary work comparable to a full-time job when evaluating candidates. Have you considered temp workers to fill long-standing job vacancies?

Women twice as likely to be automated out of their job than men. A new study by the Institute for Public Policy Research found that twice as many women work in jobs with a high potential for automation compared with men (9% versus 4%). Migrant women and single parents especially were found to be in jobs with high automation potential. This is bringing up questions on how HR can guarantee better equality in the digital age.

Indeed set to acquire ClickIQ. Job listings site Indeed announced on July 15 that it has signed an agreement to acquire recruiting technology platform ClickIQ. ClickIQ, an AI-powered system built to optimize job advertising spend, will be leveraged by Indeed to “deliver qualified applications—and ultimately hires—to employers quickly and cost-effectively.” The deal is expected to close later this month.

Week of July 15, 2019

Why orgs are paying premium for tech talent, the 9 company culture values that matter the most, and more top HR news

Does diversity training actually change behavior? This study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science tracked 10,000 employees to see how diversity training affected their daily work. The training positively affected attitudes, but how about behavior? The findings—and what to do about them—may surprise you.

Organizations are paying bigger bucks for top tech talent. The 12th annual IT Skills and Salary Report is out. On average, IT professionals with critical skills earned $5,000 more this year than in 2018. Click through to find out what drove this significant salary bump in just one year.

This massive study used AI to analyze data from 1.2 million employee reviews on Glassdoor. In a three-year long study of Glassdoor reviews, researchers unlocked nine key cultural values that matter most to employees and leaders of the world’s top organizations. Agility, diversity, and innovation are among the nine that have the greatest impact on results. Click through to find out more about the other six.

Job openings outnumber job seekers for the 12th month in a row. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of hires decreased to 5.7 million in May—a drop of 260,000 from April—while the number of job openings was at 7.3 million. Though the number of job openings outnumbered job seekers during this period, the labor market still experienced an employment gain of 2.6 million over the last 12 months.

Week of July 8, 2019

Slow job growth in June, DOL releases opinion letters on wage and hour compliance, and more top HR news

DOL releases opinion letters on wage and hour compliance. On July 1, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released three opinion letters about complying with laws on fair wages and work hours. The letters discuss the ways to calculate overtime pay for non-discretionary bonuses and concerns on rounding-up hours worked to calculate pay. One letter specifically addressed legal firms and noted that paralegals with an annual pay of more than $100,000 are exempt from overtime wage laws.

U.S. businesses are overspending on hiring. A Gartner survey found that U.S. businesses are grossly overpaying to hire new talent. Employers are offering average pay increases of 15% even though new hires would be content with just 10%. This could be the result of a better workplace environment: 43% of employees in the United States intend to stay with their current employers compared with 33% globally. Though the market is favoring new hires, employers should keep current employees engaged by rewarding good performance.

Slow SMB job growth in June.The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch Index reports that the jobs index fell by about 0.45% from May to June, though hourly earnings increased by 2.65%. This anomaly could be the result of a challenging hiring environment, in which job vacancies are high but there’s a shortage of skilled candidates. Because of these market conditions, candidates are able to demand higher pay, which has increased hourly wages, especially for small-business employees.

ADP acquires Irish payroll provider Softcom, expanding global presence. In June, ADP acquired Softcom Limited, a payroll management service in Ireland. Softcom had been an ADP partner and managed third-party payroll services on ADP’s behalf in Ireland. This acquisition expands ADP’s global payroll functionality.

Oregon passes new policy mandating 12-week paid family leave. On July 3, Oregon governor Katy Brown signed a paid family leave policy that mandates a 12-week leave for workers earning at least $1,000 per annum. Oregon is now the first state in the United States to provide complete wage replacement for low-income workers who take leave for family, medical, and security reasons. While the law will apply immediately to midsize and large businesses, small businesses have until January 2023 to comply with the regulation.

Week of July 1, 2019

iCIMS acquires Jibe, Trump announces healthcare expansion, and more top HR news

iCIMS acquires Jibe, adding career sites, machine learning, and end-to-end analytics to solution. The acquisition aims to strengthen employer branding, candidate engagement, and tracking return on recruiting investments, as well as powering iCIMS’ recruiting marketing solution, Attract. This quickly follows its 2018 acquisition of mobile recruiting platform TextRecruit, in a bid to position itself as an end-to-end recruiting platform for enterprise and mid-market businesses.

President Trump announces plans to expand Health Reimbursement Arrangements. Set to go into effect in 2020, the rule will expand Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). This will allow employers to offer their workers HRAs to select and buy individual market coverage for themselves according to their own preferences. The move will allow employees to access healthcare coverage both in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces and elsewhere.

Companies are struggling to manage global teams. According to a survey of HR professionals, collaborating across time zones and constraints because of cultural differences are the main reasons why their companies are struggling to manage globally distributed teams. Some 40% of respondents also say they find the sourcing of global candidates challenging. Do you have a global team? If so, how do you manage them effectively?

1 in 3 women have been sexually harassed at work, but are not reporting it. The study, “What #MeToo Means for Corporate America,” also finds that millennials are more likely to become victims of sexual harassment than baby boomers or Gen Xers, women are more than likely to be harassed by a colleague senior to them, and that more than 1 in 10 men have been harassed in the workplace. What is your HR department doing to address workplace sexual harassment?

Only half of senior managers view employee recognition as an investment. Though a majority of companies engage in employee recognition activities, there’s also been a rise in companies who have no recognition policy or strategy whatsoever. While the average company uses eight separate recognition programs, only 52% of senior management views employee recognition as an investment. What employee recognition initiatives is your company planning?

Week of June 24, 2019

Hot-desking falls out of favor, SHRM19 is underway, and more top HR news

Workers are cooling off on hot-desking. Hot-desking—a practice in which employees take any available desk at work every day instead of having one dedicated to them—has become a trend to save money. But a new survey finds workers aren’t on board with it; 60% of employees dislike sharing workstations, and 45% say hot-desking decreases their productivity. What’s your opinion on hot-desking?

L&D experts urge companies to integrate learning into the job. It’s estimated that 54% of the global workforce will need to be reskilled by 2022. Technology will play a key role in this reskilling, but learning and development (L&D) experts argue that if workers have to be in front of a computer to train, they’re missing out on important hands-on experience. Experiential learning on the job will be critical to employee development moving forward.

Which department should own internal communications? A new study cited in this Workforce article found that not all companies handle internal comms the same way: 38% have an internal comms division, 16% manage things through HR, 16% through marketing, and 21% through someone else. Some argue a decentralized approach is best. Who handles internal communications at your company?

SHRM19 begins this week. The annual conference and expo, which runs from June 23 to 26 in Las Vegas, will feature hundreds of seminars, workshops, and software demonstrations for HR professionals, not to mention keynote presentations from Brené Brown and Martha Stewart. If you’re attending, what are you most excited to see? If you’re not, follow along on Twitter through the hashtag #SHRM19.

Your job listings are a mess. If you’re writing job listings looking for “coding ninjas” or “customer service rock stars,” this article from The Atlantic says you need to stop. Not only does this hyperbolic language make little sense to job seekers and fail to explain what the job actually entails, it also means your listings are going to get buried in a world where Google and the keywords people use to look for jobs matter most.

Week of June 17, 2019

Hires hit record highs, ‘Summer Fridays,’ and more top HR news

Record number of hirings can’t close gap between unemployed and job openings. The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) reports that 5.9 million people were hired in the month of April—the highest one-month number ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, the gap between the number of unemployed workers and job openings continues to widen as there were 1.63 million more vacancies than people able to fill them.

80% of North American workers are stressed about money. That’s according to a new study by Ceridian, which also found that only 30% of workers are completely satisfied with their company’s pay transparency. A separate study by Willis Towers Watson found that 53% of companies are planning to increase the level of transparency around pay decisions to alleviate some of this stress. Is your organization planning to be more transparent about pay?

How to balance tech enablement vs. tech overload. This Forbes column from Jim Link (CHRO at Randstad) dives into how HR departments can enable workers to be fully productive with the right technology, but still allow them to check out and maintain a healthy relationship with this tech at the same time. It’s useful advice for any company worried they’re overwhelming their employees with tools.

“Summer Fridays” are on the rise. According to a Gartner survey, 55% of North American companies plan to offer “Summer Fridays” this year—days that give employees the option to leave early or take the entire day off. This represents a 9% increase from 2018, and a 43% increase from 2012. Companies are increasingly offering this perk to attract and retain top talent. Are you?

Nevada institutes first ban on employers who refuse to hire applicants who fail marijuana tests. The law, the first of its kind at the state level, allows workers a second chance to take a drug test at the employer’s expense should they fail one within the first 30 days of their hiring date. Going into effect in 2020, some exceptions to this new law include firefighters, EMTs, roles that require operating a vehicle, and any jobs supported by federal funding.

Week of June 10, 2019

LGBTQ employees harassed at work, how companies can fight measles outbreaks, and more top HR news

New study finds LGBTQ employees face pervasive workplace harassment. According to Glassdoor, 53% of LGBTQ employees say that they have experienced or witnessed anti-LGBTQ comments by co-workers. As a result, 47% of LGBTQ workers say that they believe being out at work could hurt their career. What is your HR department doing to offer a more inclusive work environment for LGBTQ workers?

IRS announces modest raises on 2020 HSA limits.. According to the new limits, individuals will be able to contribute up to $3,550 annually to their employer-sponsored health savings account (HSA), while families will be able to contribute up to $7,100—both amounting to roughly 1.5% increases from 2019. HR departments should communicate this information to workers now, in preparation for open enrollment season later this year.

What HR can and can’t do about measles. Since the start of 2019, measles has been confirmed in 26 U.S. states, putting millions of workers at risk. This guide from HR Dive offers helpful tips on how you can protect your office from exposure, and answers the all-important question: “Can I require my employees to be vaccinated?”

How to navigate the emerging “talent experience” technology market. This latest article from Josh Bersin details how the HR software market is scrambling to pivot from HR-centric to employee-centric platforms. While HR-driven talent management isn’t going away, Bersin argues these new “talent experience” tools will produce the biggest ROI moving forward by disrupting the day-to-day work experience for employees. What talent experience systems do you have in the technology pipeline?

More and more Americans are working into their 70s. In the past 20 years, the number of Americans working in their 70s has risen from less than 10% of the total workforce to nearly 15%. Economists say a combination of longer life expectancy, stagnant wage growth, and an increase in less labor-intensive occupations are all contributing to this trend. Companies need to adapt to be more inclusive of their septuagenarians.

Week of June 3, 2019

Employee burnout gets a medical diagnosis, reducing the work week to save the planet, and more top HR news

The World Health Organization (WHO) now recognizes “burnout” as a disease. According to the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases, burnout results from “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Under the new guidelines, doctors may diagnose patients with burnout if they experience exhaustion, have feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, and exhibit poor work performance. Once a blurry concept, HR may now be able to better diagnose specific cases of employee burnout.

Bills to ease 401(k) administration and increase retirement savings move forward in Congress. The bills—the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act in the House and the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA) in the Senate—would eliminate the maximum age for IRA contributions, make long-term, part-time workers eligible for retirement benefits, and incentivize more small businesses to offer retirement plans. The Senate will either vote on the SECURE Act or choose to reconcile the two bills in a joint committee soon.

Why HR is lagging in data analytics adoption. Despite 95% of HR departments collecting employee data on things like absence and performance, only a quarter actually analyze this data. This column from Professor of HR Dirk Buyens posits a few reasons why, including a lack of HR workers with technical backgrounds, a lack of data analytics funding, and a lack of time for data analytics to provide a positive ROI. Buyens also offers tips on how to successfully implement HR analytics.

Could a four-day work week help combat climate change? While the usual business case for a shorter workweek centers around employee well-being, this shift could also benefit the planet. Studies cited in this Fast Company article indicate that for every 1% decrease in working hours, emissions could also decrease 0.8%—which adds up to a 16% emission reduction by cutting out a full day. What do you think? Would this persuade you to adopt a shorter work week at your company?

Who should own strategic workforce planning—HR or finance? The debate rages on thanks to new research from OrgVue, which found that 55% of finance leaders believe it should be their responsibility while 76% of HR leaders say it should be theirs. Greater collaboration is needed between these two departments, but only 28% of HR and finance departments have shared reporting systems and processes. Who handles workforce planning in your organization?

Week of May 28, 2019

The hidden power of teams, LinkedIn Recruiter adds new features, and more top HR news

A new ADP Research Institute study reveals the hidden power of teams. The study found that employees who did most of their work with a team were more than twice as likely to be engaged than those who mostly work alone. That likelihood doubled again when team members had deep trust in their team leader. These results indicate that HR departments should make time to better understand the underlying team structures in their organization.

Ex-Microsoft employees raise $6M for new recruiting system, SeekOut. Founded by former technical assistant to Bill Gates Anoop Gupta and former Microsoft partner engineering manager Aravind Bala, SeekOut is an AI-powered sourcing platform that leverages online data to create a “360-degree profile” of potential job applicants. SeekOut is an evolution of Gupta and Bala’s former platform, Nextio, a professional messaging service.

Digital talent may be more willing to relocate than we think. That’s according to a new study by Boston Consulting Group, which found that two-thirds of “digital experts” would change countries for work, compared to only half of nonexperts. Recruiters suffering from digital talent droughts in their area should broaden their reach to woo workers from around the world.

LinkedIn announces integration of recruiting and hiring systems, new features. LinkedIn Jobs, Recruiter, and Pipeline Builder are now integrated into one platform, allowing for more seamless job posting, candidate sourcing, and applicant tracking. The company also announced new skills assessment tools for recruiters, and features including instant job alerts, a new homepage design, and additional salary insights for job seekers.

Talking coworkers top latest poll of office distractions. Ninety-eight percent of employees who work a minimum of three days per week in an office say they get distracted. Co-workers talking on the phone, co-workers talking with each other, and phone rings/alerts were cited as the most disruptive distractions. Three out of four employees said they would work in the office more if their employer worked to reduce workplace distractions, revealing a clear opportunity for HR to improve workforce productivity.

Week of May 13, 2019

Employers must report pay data to EEOC, Google’s Hire expands to enterprises, and more top HR news

The EEOC has announced that employers must report 2017 and 2018 pay data, broken down by race, sex, and ethnicity, by Sept. 30. The ruling, which follows months of litigation between the EEOC and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), affects every business with at least 100 employees. Look for a data collection portal to launch in mid-July; the EEOC plans to offer employer training before then.

Hire by Google—the tech giant’s recruiting software platform—now supports enterprises with thousands of employees. In a blog post, Google highlighted some of Hire’s new enterprise-focused features, including automated job requisition workflows, an employee referral portal, and pre-built integrations with major core HR systems like Namely, Sapling, and Zenefits. Debuting in July 2017, Hire by Google has quickly amassed market share in the crowded applicant tracking system (ATS) place.

Are we in the midst of a major HR technology disruption? Thought leader Josh Bersin argues that we are, because of factors like the rise of the “employee experience” and comprehensive HR suites (designed to do everything) losing favor among businesses to best-of-breed tools (that do one thing really well.) You can read Bersin’s full thoughts on this trend here.

Coworker “tipping” is on the rise. The BBC reports that more and more businesses are empowering their employees to hand out small cash rewards to their colleagues for good work. Proponents of “peer-to-peer micro-bonuses” say the practice encourages more instantaneous feedback and recognition, but some say the end result is a popularity contest in which the most beloved employees end up with all the money. What do you think?

More job openings than job seekers for 13th straight month. The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLT) summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 7.5 million job openings at the end of March, marking over a year in the United States with more total job openings than active job seekers. With unemployment at historic lows, businesses are continuing to struggle with attracting and hiring skilled workers.

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