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    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 358 - HR Technology for Diversity & Inclusion

    HR Happy Hour 358 - HR Technology for Diversity & Inclusion

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guests: Stacia Sherman Garr, RedThread Research; Carole Jackson, Mercer

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve was joined by Stacia Sherman Garr of RedThread Research and Carole Jackson of Mercer to share their insights on the HR technology market and ecosystem for solutions and capabilities that support organizational Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, on your favorite podcast app, or by using the widget player below:

    Their recent report, Diversity & Inclusion Technology: The Rise of a Transformative Market is the first deep dive into how HR technology solutions are developing and evolving to help support programs linked to making organizations more diverse and inclusive. From talent acquisition, to development and learning, to employee engagement and retention, and to reporting and analytics - D&I programs are increasingly reaching more HR and talent processes, and a wide-ranging set of HR technologies is emerging to help HR leaders meet their objectives.

    Stacia and Carole shared key findings from their research, talked about the HR tech landscape for D&I tech, and offered advice for HR and business leaders who are thinking about these solutions for the first time.

    This was a really interesting show - thanks to Stacia and Carole for joining us.

    Here's the HR Happy Hour Show with GoodHire that Steve mentioned on the show.

    Download Diversity & Inclusion Technology: The Rise of a Transformative Market here.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show wherever you get your podcasts.


    CHART OF THE DAY: Another all-time record number of open jobs in the US

    The most essential state of the labor market report, the JOLTS report, was issued a few days ago by our pals over at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I won't bury the lead, the chart below shows most all of what you need to know from the Dec 2018 JOLTS data - namely, there were over 7.3 million open jobs in the US, an all-time high, at the end of December 2018.

    For those keeping score at home, the number of open jobs cratered in July 2009 at about 2.2 million and for just about a decade has steadily climbed to the 7.3 million number the BLS has just reported.

    And one more data point from the JOLTS, for the last nine months or so, there have been more open jobs in the US than officially unemployed persons to fill them. Said differently, even if we could magically place every current unemployed person in one of the open jobs, there would still be hundreds of thousands of jobs unfilled.

    There is good (lots of open jobs means lots of opportunity and optimistic companies looking to grow), and bad (why can't we get better at hiring, training, and expanding opportunity) in this kind of number. All things being equal, the state of the labor market in Dec 2018 is much, much more preferable to the nightmare of July 2009. But here's the funny thing - it might seem like a lifetime ago, but it really wasn't. 

    That's it from me - have a great weekend!


    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 357 - Employee Financial Wellness and How Employers Can Help

    HR Happy Hour 357 - Employee Financial Wellness and How Employers Can Help

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Jamie Kalamarides, President, Prudential Group Insurance

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve was joined by Jamie Kalamarides, President of Prudential Group Insurance to discuss the increasingly important topic of employee financial wellness, and what employers can do to help their employees with these challenges.

    On the show, Jamie shared the most common life events that can lead to employee financial stress or financial insecurity, offered recommendations and tips for employees to reduce financial stress, and talked about some programs and opportunities that employers can offer their employees to help and support them. 

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, on your favorite podcast app, or by using the widget player below:

    The recent US government shutdown brought the issue of financial insecurity to the forefront, and was an important reminder that a large percentge of the workforce is only one or two missed paychecks or an unforeseen financial emergency away from severe challenges in their lives - which has a follow-on impact at work.

    Thanks to Jamie for coming on the show to share his insights. Learn more about Prudential's programs at https://www.prudential.com/employers/financial-wellness.

    Find the Prosperity Now scorecard at https://prosperitynow.org/


    1. Employer matches are not permitted for “after-tax” 401(k) contributions, only for pre-tax and Roth contributions.

    2. 401(k) contribution limits for 2019 have increased to $19,000 for before-tax and Roth contributions. Contribution limits across pre-tax, after-tax and Roth increased to $56,000 in 2019.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show wherever you get your podcasts.


    From the NBA: A reminder that people build culture, not the other way around

    It's been too long since I dipped back into the 'Sports and HR' space, (probably not long enough for some readers), but over the weekend I caught an excellent piece on my new favorite NBA team, the Brooklyn Nets, by Harvey Araton at the New York Times, and knew it was time to break out a sports and HR take, as well as a re-sent on one of my other favorite themes - the intersection of talent, strategy, and culture in organizations.

    First, let me get something out of the way. I mentioned the Brooklyn Nets are now my new favorite NBA team and I feel like, for the one or two readers that care, the need to explain why I am dropping my life-long team, the New York Knicks, down on the pecking order. In short, their recent trade of Kristaps Porzingis, the franchise's best player in decades, and for the last three seasons, the only player who made the terrible Knicks worth watching, was the final straw for me, and I imagine many other frustrated Knicks fans. The Knicks are awful at playing basketball. But that can be tolerated if the players are giving their best effort, seem to care about improving, and are at some level fun and likable to watch. But when the team ownership and management is so inept, it makes any efforts the players put forth mean almost nothing, then that's when I just have no tolerance and no more patience. The clueless Knicks management created such a toxic mess that even their marquee star, Porzingis, wanted out. And I don't blame him. Ok, enough about that, and back to the Nets and culture and talent.

    In the Times piece, "Behind the Nets’ Success Is a Carefully Crafted Culture and, Finally, a Clue", Araton profiles Nets executive Sean Marks, one of the main architects behind the Nets slow climb from the depths of the league, to their current position as a contender for a playoff appearance. I won't bore you any more with the basketball reasons why the Nets are performing better, but I did want to highlight what is probably the most important line in the Times piece - an observation of Mark's skills as a leader provided by legendary NBA executive R.C. Buford, under whom Marks worked for a time when he was with the San Antonio Spurs - an organization also legendary for their 20+ years of high performance. Of Marks, Buford observed - “In every role he’s had, he’s been a culture builder".

    I like that line because it illustrates and in fact emphasizes that organizational culture, either with a sports team, or in any of our organizations, is something that exists and is informed through people, and the explicit actions they take, the behaviors they demonstrate, and the actions and behaviors, (and the kinds of people) who are not accepted, (at least not for long). Culture, such that it is, has to be a by product of people, and often, as wee seen in the Nets' case, of leadership of people like Marks. This may seem like a really obvious point to make, but I still feel like too much of what we say, think, and discuss about organizational culture makes culture something that exists somehow outside of specific decisions and actions of people. And, none of it ultimately works without adding to people like Marks with more of the kind of people that can help build culture. Some other time I will expand on how the Nets young core of talented players are doing their part to help.

    Culture can't exist without people. People buld culture. And leaders create strategies that can succeed in that context and be executed by those people.

    Let's go Nets.

    Have a great week!


    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 356 - The Mom Project: Connecting Moms with Great Opportunities

    HR Happy Hour 356 - The Mom Project: Connecting Moms with Great Opportunities

    Hosts: Trish McFarlaneSteve Boese

    Guest: Colleen Curtis, Head of Community and Marketing, The Mom Project

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and Trish were joined by Colleen Curtis of The Mom Project, who works to connect returning to work Moms with great opportunities in the workplace. The Mom Project helps Moms who have fantastic skills and experiences match with organizations that are in need of experienced professionals and who care about culture, work/life balance, and the overall wellbeing of their employees. Returning to work Moms are an untapped and under-recognized talent community that every organization should be reaching out to in this challenging labor marker.

    Colleen shared how organizations and Moms work with The Mom Project, some of the success stories that have resulted from this matching of companies with this great talent pool, and how The Mom Project works with both sides to help ensure success.

    You can listen to the show HERE, on your favorite podcast app, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a really fun and interesting conversation about a topic that is really important to organizations and to the community as well. Thanks so much to Colleen for joining us. Learn more at www.themomproject.com.

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.