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Steve Bates is a former writer and editor for SHRM. He is a freelance news and feature writer and the author of a gardening book and short fiction. His website is

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Steve Bates


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12 years 2 months

Articles by Steve Bates


You're piloting a 37-foot-long boat on a river deep in enemy territory. Your mission: Extract a Navy SEAL team pinned down by gunfire. Your craft can cruise at over 45 miles per hour, but the noise might alert the enemy to your approach. With 360-degree vision, you notice fellow sailors around you tightening grips on weapons. Night begins to fall. And you have less than 10 minutes to save the day.

July 11, 2017


It has come to this: Someone stole more than $100,000 from my mother’s checking account. Someone else stole her purse, including all of her identification. And the federal government has cut off her Social Security payments. The Unites States is no longer a good place to grow old.

July 26, 2016


When the Chicago White Sox told first baseman Adam LaRoche not to bring his son into the clubhouse as often as in the past, team management set off a firestorm in the business world as well as the baseball world. Why would a sports team restrict a 14-year-old boy who is popular among the players? And why would LaRoche quit baseball over the issue, apparently forfeiting his $13 million salary for the year?

March 21, 2016

Is a Four-Day Workweek the Answer?

News Updates
September 25, 2015

'Big Data' Is Shaping Employers' Benefits Strategies

News Updates
September 4, 2015

Connectifier Web-Crawling Software Reduces Time to Hire

News Updates
September 1, 2015

Skills Credentials Proliferate, Causing Headaches for HR

News Updates
July 16, 2015

Apprenticeship Programs Gain Little Traction in U.S.

News Updates
May 14, 2015


It’s time for HR to step up to the plate—and take a few lessons from baseball.

Beyond the obvious—that HR professionals, like baseball players, do best when they work closely as teams—there are additional baseball practices that can HR leaders can emulate:

October 14, 2014


The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is “a wake-up call” for HR professionals to take precautions with employees who travel to or are stationed in areas affected by the epidemic, says one medical expert.

News Updates
September 25, 2014


Staffing experts familiar with Microsoft’s plan to lay off up to 18,000 employees generally agree on one thing: The reduction in force is necessary to make the company more agile and reduce duplication created by the acquisition of phone manufacturer Nokia.

But some experts take issue with the time frame set out by the Redmond, Wash.-based software behemoth: Microsoft will take up to one year to implement the layoffs, leaving many workers in extended professional and emotional limbo.

News Updates
September 2, 2014

Just about everyone agrees that the U.S. job training system has functioned poorly for years, bogged down by red tape and a confusing array of programs. Millions of jobs remain unfilled, while millions of Americans cannot find work. Too often, educators and employers talk past one another when seeking solutions.

But HR and training professionals have a new tool with which to address the skills gap: It’s the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which became law on July 22, 2014. It replaces the antiquated Workforce Investment Act.

August 13, 2014

Many organizations fail to manage talent effectively because they are stuck using outdated practices and narrow ways of thinking, according to a webcast sponsored by global consulting firm Mercer.

The June 26, 2014, webcast “New Frontiers in Talent Management” focused on steps that HR professionals can take to help their organizations compete more effectively in the war for talent.

News Updates
July 24, 2014
Experts warn that many organizations’ job descriptions are so poorly written or out-of-date that they fail to attract top talent, exacerbate skills gaps, curb employee development and reduce retention of high-potential workers.
In crafting job descriptions, staffing professionals historically have focused on legal compliance and on laundry lists of skills and duties. In industries where hundreds of people might apply for every vacant position, some recruiters have found little reason to make job descriptions tight and bright.
April 24, 2014

It’s small, it weighs very little, and it has the potential to disrupt millions of workplaces.

Google Glass is that cool new toy you’ve been hearing about. A lightweight band worn like regular glasses that features a camera and a small display screen, Glass can take videos, display directions and browse the Internet. It can even be operated by voice command.

Possibilities for workplace benefits are beginning to emerge: Surgeons can get real time data while tending to a patient. Businesses can capture even more data about customers and their buying habits.

November 26, 2013

Immigrants in the U.S. and other developed nations need better jobs skills, according to an October 2013 report from the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C.

News Updates
November 21, 2013
Women are running away from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs in droves. According to STEMconnector, a web site that tracks statistics on STEM field training and jobs in the U.S., male students are much more likely than female students to pursue these jobs, and the gap is expanding at an alarming rate.
Female interest in the science category of STEM jobs, which had been rising for years, has apparently peaked. Interest in math-related careers is dropping sharply among young women. 
July 9, 2013
Six in 10 American workers say they’ve found aspects of a new job different from what they expected, indicating they may have felt misled during the interview process.
News Updates
June 14, 2013
Fewer than one in five HR professionals are satisfied with their information systems’ ability to manage talent data, according to a new survey of HR professionals in emerging and established economies. That problem might be contributing to an erosion of HR’s role as a strategic player.
News Updates
May 7, 2013

Having lots of data is good. Having data that can be turned into meaningful information is better. But having information that can be translated into action is what HR and organizations really need, an expert in workforce planning and analytics advised HR professionals in an April 10, 2013, webcast.

News Updates
April 26, 2013