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    Monday
    Sep122016

    PODCAST - Steve on the Infor Reinventing Retail Show

    Wanted to share the information for a guest appearance I did recently with the really fun and interesting crew at the Infor Reinventing Retail podcast.

    On the show, we talked about some of the trends, challenges, and opportunities that modern HCM technologies offer to retail organizations. From tools to better improve recruiting, scheduling, and making sure every HR and workplace technology is optimized for mobile today’s leading retailers know that investments in workforce management solutions that take advantage of these technologies are key when it comes to modernizing their businesses.

    In this episode of the Reinventing Retail podcast, I talked about what role modern technologies are playing in today’s retail landscape, and how they’re set to change the global retail landscape moving forward.

    You can listen to the show on the Infor Reinventing Retail Podcast show page here, or using the widget player below, (email and RSS subscribers will need to click through)

    And you can learn more about Infor's modern workforce management solutions for modern retailers here.

    Thanks to the Infor Reinventing Retail Podcast for having me on the show!

    Have a great week!

    Friday
    Sep092016

    CHART OF THE DAY: There's almost no one left to fill your open jobs

    I am an absolute mark for big picture labor market data. And the best, most interesting regular look at labor market data os the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report, better known as the JOLTS report.

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has stated that the JOLTS report is one of the most important data sets she relies on when pondering the Fed's decisions on monetary policy, and if the JOLTS is good enough for J-Yell then you had better believe the rest of us should be paying attention to it as well.

    For today's Chart of the Day, take a look at what's happening with the ratio of unemployed persons to current job openings - a fixture of the JOLTS data. First the chart, then some comments from me after the data.

    Some quick thoughts on the data:

    1. When the most recent recession began (December 2007), the number of unemployed persons per job opening was 1.9. The ratio peaked at 6.6 unemployed persons per job opening in July 2009 and has trended downward since. The ratio at the end of July was 1.3 unemployed persons per job opening. This represents the all-time low in the ratio since it has been calculated by the BLS.

    2. In addition, the very same JOLTS report shows that the denominator of the ratio, the number of current job openings in the US is also at a record level, hitting 5.9 million at the end of July. 

    3. This data reminds us that it is both a great and terrible time to be in recruiting/talent acquisition. Let's start with the terrible part. For lots of jobs and locations there simply are not enough (qualified for sure), candidates to form an adequate pipeline for the roles you need to fill. There are fewer unemployed persons overall, workforce participation rates remain really low by historical standards, (a subject to its own), and lots of people with desirable skills are coming to terms with their power and negotiating leverage in the market. When you have to pry someone away from the job they already have, that gives a little bit of power to the person that in worse economic times they would not enjoy.

    The good news is that the same JOLTS report that shows the ratio of unemployed persons per job opening is at an all-time low, also shows that the 'Quits' rate, i.e., the percentage of workers who are voluntarily leaving their jobs continues to trend upward - hitting 2.0% in July, which equates to about 2 million quits. In other words, workers continue to express confidence in the labor market and willingness, (almost at a pre-recession rate), to quit the job they have now, to (in theory), take the job you are trying to fill. If you can make a compelling offer, chances are at least decent you can pry someone out of where they are now to take it. And you may have to as the unemployed/jobs ratio continues to fall, and nothing seems to be significantly moving the needle to entice more people back into the workforce who are currently on the sidelines.

    There is plenty more in the report, but I think you get the idea and I will leave it to you to dig in more. The JOLTS report should be your monthly must-read if you are interested at all in what is happening at a macro-level in the US labor market. Bookmark this page and thank me later.

    Have a great weekend!

    Wednesday
    Sep072016

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 257- Innovative Approaches to Diversity and Inclusion

    HR Happy Hour 257 - Shocking and Innovative Approaches to Diversity and Inclusion

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Guest: Anka Wittenberg, SAP

    LISTEN HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and Trish talked with Anka Wittenberg, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer (CDIO) at SAP.  We had the good fortune of recording live from SAP/ Successfactors “SuccessConnect 2016” event.  Anka is leading the global People Sustainability Department encompassing Diversity & Inclusion, People Principles and Health. She is the pivotal change agent on how to design and implement work relationship at SAP – all together in an inclusive environment based on mutual respect, care and trust.

    Anka talked with us about developing and implementing SAP’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy globally, and the steps they take to ensure sustainable business success. She shared her thoughts on why diversity and inclusion still really matter.  She also talked about some of the programs and policies that have been implemented at SAP to promote and support diversity and inclusion in the organization.

    You can listen to the show on the show page here, or using the widget player below:

    This was a fun and interesting show, and we hope you check it out. Many thanks to Anka for joining the conversation and to SAP/ Successfactors for inviting us to record live at Success Connect!  For more information, be sure to check out their site and download their paper on Diversity and Inclusion.

    Give this lively episode a listen, and be sure to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or your favorite podcast app.

    Tuesday
    Sep062016

    The tyranny of connectivity

    I am slightly ashamed to admit to having done a fair bit of 'real' work over the long Labor Day weekend, (including yesterday, Labor Day itself). 

    Of course I didn't really want to work on Labor Day, or perhaps said differently, I did not want involve other people in said work, mainly by sending out email messages to them on a holiday. But, sadly, I indeed did send a few email notes out, interspersed with the other work that I was doing that did not need to involve communicating to others in order to complete.

    And I as wind up the holiday, (I am writing this on Monday night, pretty late), I have three quick observations from my Labor Day spent, (at least partly), working.

    1. LOTS of other people were working too. As I mentioned, I did, against almost everything I hold dear, send a few work-related emails on Labor Day. I received replies from almost everyone I contacted. And three or four people replied to me within 10 minutes of my original message. If Labor Day is meant to be a celebration of the working person, lots of working persons I know were also, actually, working.

    2. NO ONE I corresponded with over email or chat on Labor Day did not mention the fact that it was, in fact, a holiday. No one questioned why I was messaging them. No one replied, 'hey, it is a holiday, I will get back to you tomorrow', and almost no one failed to get back to me by about 8PM ET, (as I am writing this). 

    3. Aside from the aforementioned email exchanges, I spent most of my 'working' time on tasks that did not require outside collaboration, input, or communication. They were just things I needed to do, and were fairly important, but for some reason had not been done. I noticed my ability to get these tasks completed on a holiday, where I was not being peppered every 2 minutes with a new incoming email or chat message was incredibly enhanced. Quite simply, I was probably twice as productive working on these items on a holiday as I would have been on a normal Monday, when I am, like everyone else, almost constantly being barraged by incoming messages and requests. If I changed my working hours to say, 7PM - 3AM I swear I would be two or three times more productive than I am now. The technology and the need to stay 'connected' all the time during the normal workday is killing our ability to get things done.

    I am not about to change my official work schedule to 'off hours', but I can't say that I am not tempted. there is something to be said for working when no one, (or most anyway), are not working, and you can be, despite our state of constant connectivity, be more or less alone with your thoughts.

    There are thousands of productivity advice pieces that advocate that you consciously disconnect from email and work chat and Slack, etc. during the work day in order to get more work done. But realistically, how many people actually take that advice and feel comfortable and empowered enough to actually not be accessible to work colleagues for large stretches of the workday?

    Most organizations, and teams, expect if not demand almost real-time access and response.

    It is not until you spend a day, or even a few hours, working when that expectation simply does not matter until you realize how our constant connectivity damages our ability to get anything done.

    Having said that, maybe I should not have been surprised so many other folks seemed to be working on Labor Day. They too must have realized that a holiday is the best day to get anything done.

    Have a great week!

    Friday
    Sep022016

    VIDEO: Steve on DisrupTV talking HR Tech, Disruption, and the NBA

    Quick spot for a long holiday weekend getaway Friday. Wanted to share some video from Ray Wang and Vala Afshars' DisrupTV show, where I made an appearance I did last week.

    On the show, Ray, Vala, (and with a special late in the show appearance by Holger Mueller, talk about HR Technology, digital disruption and transformation, and I even make a VERY bold prediction for the upcoming NBA season.

    You can catch DisrupTV on the show's Vimeo page here, my appearance, (about 20 minutes), is here, and also embedded below, (email and RSS subscribers will need to click through).

    DisrupTV Featuring Steve Boese, HR Technology Conference 8.26.16 from Constellation Research on Vimeo.

    Hope you found the topics interesting and maybe, just maybe, you will agree with me on my NBA dark horse pick!

    This was a really fun conversation - thanks to Ray and Vala for having me on the show!

    Have a great, long weekend!