Yes, Employers, Words Really Do Matter

It's easy to underestimate the power of words. Many supervisors fail to appreciate the importance of the words used in a performance review or evaluation, corrective action, termination letter, or other employment-related document. But it can go beyond the obvious instances.

In an age-discrimination case, a supervisor had attended a presentation by a contractor who was trying to bid work with the employer. The supervisor wrote in his notes that the type of work would be perfect for "young engineers." What the supervisor meant was that the work being bid was well suited for entry-level engineers, who could gain valuable...


A Holistic Measure for Holistic Talent Acquisition

Last week, I mentioned that I’ve begun work on a new framework for high-performance talent acquisition. In many ways, it’s the culmination of all of the work I’ve done in my role here at Brandon Hall Group – and beyond, as I’m drawing on years of experience in operations. The reason being, a framework captures all of the myriad pieces that comprise a mature and effective process and incorporates them into single, holistic model that drives desired outcomes.

I use the word holistic deliberately, as our research shows that high-performance people processes – from talent acquisition to performance management to...


Talent without Leadership doesn’t count for Diddly-Squat

Every company wants TALENT. But not every company is bestowed with the LEADERSHIP that unleashes talent’s power. Talent without leadership is as good as spitting into a gale-force wind.  

I learned that lesson growing up in a working-class district of Toronto in the 1950s. Back then, every public primary school fed into one large junior high school after the sixth grade. For me, there was a special feature about junior high beyond a burgeoning interest in the opposite sex and the temptations of juvenile delinquency. The attraction was this: One of the junior high’s nine grade...

Respecting Others’ Religious Beliefs in the Workplace

For the uninitiated, yesterday was Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you), so I, like so many other Star Wars fans, spent part of my day watching Star Wars, specifically Episode IV: "A New Hope."  I even managed to convert my 2 year-old daughter into a brand-new Star Wars fan.  

During this particular episode, one of the Imperial officers, Admiral Motti, mocks Darth Vader’s belief in the force.  In fact, he goes as far to call Vader’s beliefs “sorcerer’s ways,” and a “sad devotion to that ancient religion.”  Of course, Vader achieves the upper hand...


What HR Students Need to Know

Last week I sat down at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and spoke with some of the students about what they need to know as they prepare to leave school and enter the real world.

I talked about some of the career aspects: negotiating salary, establishing credibility, networking, etc. I also talked about some of the things I learned very quickly after I left school (namely, the degree isn’t as helpful as most schools would lead you to assume). Many of the topics I discussed are a part of the ...


#Nextchat RECAP: The Super-Social Edition - Is That Legal?

On May 7, SHRM @weknownext chatted with Eric B. Meyer (@Eric_B_Meyer) and Jonathan Segal (@Jonathan_HR_Law) about social media in the workplace -- "Super-Social Edition - Is that Legal?"

In case you missed it, here are all the great tweets from the chat:





Millennials: The Misunderstood Generation

Lazy, entitled, demanding and disloyal. These are stereotypes commonly used to describe the millennial generation.

As a millennial myself, I was interested in attending the two concurrent sessions about the maligned generation at last week’s Talent Management Conference in Nashville, Tenn. During these sessions, I was curious to learn: What are employers’ biggest pain points with millennials? And what do people think millennials want?

Brad Karsh, president of Chicago-based JB Training Solutions, led and spoke at both millennial sessions. Karsh emphasized that the way millennials were raised has shaped their behaviors and perceptions of a...


Can We DO That?!

'Tis the season. No, not that season, but the time of year when employers ask, "Can we still use unpaid interns?" The answer is a qualified, "Yes!"  The key is ensuring you and the intern meet certain criteria (what else is new?). 
First, let's bust a few myths and misconceptions.
  1.  If I use a student as part of a local college or university's internship program it's OK if it is unpaid. Not necessarily. The source of the intern is not a factor in determining whether an intern must be paid or may be properly unpaid.
  2. If the student
  3. ...

Prevalence of Low-Wage Jobs Could Be Economy’s Next Problem

The argument can be made that, in a period of heightened unemployment, any work is good work. But a new government report on the labor market shows a post-recession prevalence of low-wage, low-skill jobs, and it could present trouble in the future for the U.S. economy. 
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) annual report on occupational employment and wages showed that most of the 10 biggest U.S. occupations are on the low end of the wage scale. The list includes the two largest professions in the labor force—retail salespersons and cashiers—as well as food prep workers,...

SHRM Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE®): May 2014

Hiring activity in May will reach a four-year high in manufacturing and a three- year high in the service sector, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s monthly Leading Indicators of National Employment® (LINE) Report, released today.

A net of 52.9 percent of manufacturers and 38.9 percent of service-sector companies will add jobs in the month of May. The SHRM LINE Report, based on a survey of human resource professionals, predicts employment activity for the coming month, about 30 days before statistics on employment for the same time frame are available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics....