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    WEBINAR: Get inside the brain of the mobile job seeker

    You (and everyone else you know) simply CANNOT PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY.

    You can't do it. Admit it. Just try and go 20 minutes disconnected from that little miracle device. 

    After five minutes you will give the phone a furtive glance. After ten minutes your palms will start to get a little clammy and you will be compelled to pick up the phone, (but you will still have it locked). 


    So you break down at minute seventeen only to find the only things you've 'missed' are some forgettable work emails, some strange dude who might be a 'bot followed you on Twitter, and your cousin 'liked' your latest Instagram selfie.

    Disappointed, you turn to one of the few important things your little handheld portal to the Universe has to offer - you start looking around for a better job. C'mon admit it, you have a few job board apps on that little screen, maybe a couple of company career site apps too, and you have definitely clicked on a few job ads that you've seen on the mobile apps for LinkedIn or Twitter.

    It's ok, no shame at all. You are just like the rest of us in that there really isn't much of a difference or distinction between the activities and expectations for information and capability that we want from our iPhones and what we grew up with on our old PCs.

    Whether it's processing work stuff, shopping, and certainly, looking for that next great job opportunity - if it is happening, it is happening more and more on mobile devices.

    So as an HR/Talent pro you need to ensure your talent attraction game is ready for this new playing field. But don't fret, your pals over at Fistful of Talent have you covered with the next installment of the free FOT Webinar series -  Happy Hour Job Search: Driving the Behavior of Mobile Job Seekers, to be held on Tuesday, April 1 at 3:00PM EDT.

    In the webcast, presented by Kris Dunn from FOT, and Ed Newman from iMomentous, the guys will hit you with the following:

    A complete breakdown of the basic demographics and behaviors of mobile job seekers, with strategies on how to use that data to influence candidate behavior.

    Inside information about power users of mobile career sites, including the level of education they’ve achieved, years of work experience and most prevalent zodiac sign (we’re kidding about the last one–but it would be cool if Capricorns were the most mobile savvy, right?).

    What behavior and life patterns surrounding mobile use cause employers to see spikes at particular hours of the day from mobile, and how that impacts your mobile recruiting strategy.

    The impact of mobile friendly career sites and email campaigns to click through rates from mobile candidates.

    Then, we’ll show you how all the factors listed above make providing highly relevant content and calls to action the key to success with mobile candidates.

    A winning recruiting strategy starts with understanding the candidate you’re seeking. Where is your candidate sitting at the moment they choose to hit “apply?” What are they doing 10 seconds before they land on your site?

    Remember how your parents thought the Internet was a fad? Don’t fall into the same trap with mobile recruiting.  Join Kris Dunn and Ed Newman on Tuesday, April 1st from 3-4pm EST for Happy Hour Job Search: Driving the Behavior of Mobile Job Seekers, and they’ll hit you with the best strategies to get the most out your mobile recruiting strategy in 2014 and beyond.

    Have a great weekend!


    CHART OF THE DAY: The Falling US Birth Rate

    For today's chart - take a look at the how the USA birth rate has been declining over the last several years, and after the chart, and for no additional costs, I will drop some comments about what, if anything, this might mean for you, the HR/Talent pro:

    What might this mean, or at least suggest?

    1. Your first reaction is that it means nothing. Who cares if there are relatively fewer kids being born right now? This won't impact labor markets for at least another 15 years or so and by then, who cares? A robot will be doing your job by then anyway, right?

    2. But it is not just the sources of candidates/employees that matter or should matter to you. If your business has anything to do with selling products or services to the baby/youth/teen markets, then this trend is going to impact you. And if you think, 'We make industrial products that go into new home construction so this does not affect us', you might want to think again. The declining birth rate shouldn't be considered in a vacuum - their are related trends in marriage rates and ages of first marriage, household formation, and related spending at play here as well. Long story short, Americans are getting married less, are older when and if they do get married, are having fewer children, and are having them at more advanced ages than in the past.

    3. This combination of a decline in birth rate and rise in the average age for both first marriages and having children will, if it has not already, influence your workforce planning processes in a few ways. You might be able to project a decrease or at least a reduction in the rate of increase in your benefits costs for covered dependents in the next few years, as your employees are covering fewer kids than in the past. Your succession planning processes may need to be re-emphasized if later career employees begin leaving (or simply taking leave) for child care reasons. These later career employees, say in their late 30s and up, are likely to have more senior and important roles in your company. Finally, if you are really and truly thinking long-term, say out 10-15 years, larger and wider demographic trends could effect things like expansion plans and ability of organization to move into new markets.

    Perhaps I am stretching credibility by suggesting that you should really be worried about a probably caused by the 2007-2008 recession down trend in the birth rate when you have much more immediate and pressing concerns.

    But I still find this kind of data fascinating, and even if you can't find an immediate or even medium-term impact of these bigger trends, I think they are worth recognizing. If nothing else you will at least know why the local school board wants to consolidate your elementary schools in the next few years.

    Happy Thursday.


    Call for nominations: HR Executive of the Year #HRExec

    Quick break from the regular content on the blog to share an announcement and an opportunity for you or for the HR leader at your organization.

    Each year over at Human Resource Executive magazine, (where I have a monthly Inside HR Tech column), the publication's editors award the prestigious HR Executive of the Year award to one HR leader that is recognized for making outstanding contributions to their organization and who exemplify the increasingly strategic role of Human Resources in business today. (You can skip the rest of my description and jump straight to the nomination form if you like).

    Past HR Executive of the Year recipients include Google's Laszlo Bock, Mara Swan from Manpower Group, and last year's HR Executive of the Year, Mark James of Honeywell.

    For Human Resources leaders, being recognized as the HR Executive of the Year is probably the most prestigious honor that an HR leader can receive - something akin to HR's version of the Academy Award, or for my sensibilities, the MVP of the NBA.

    The qualifications needed to be considered for HR Executive of the Year are pretty simple - candidates must have overall responsibility for the entire human resource function in their organizations, three or more years of experience in their current positions and five or more years of experience in the field. 

    One individual will be named HR Executive of the Year; up to four individuals will be named to the HR Honor Roll. For the HR Honor Roll, companies will be divided into two categories: those with fewer than 7,500 employees and those with 7,500 or more employees.

    The 2014 HR Executive of the Year Nomination form can be found here and the call for nominations for this prestigious award closes on May 5, 2014.

    I encourage you to submit your HR leader for this fantastic honor, and heck, if you are your HR leader then I encourage you to submit yourself!


    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 178 - Making Talent Data Actionable

    HR Happy Hour 178 - 'Making Talent Data Actionable'

    Recorded Friday March 21, 2014

    On the latest HR Happy Hour Show, hosts Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane sat down with Mark Brandau, Vice President of Solution Marketing at SAP, responsible for Cloud Solutions including SuccessFactors to talk about talent management, Talent Reviews, and how some of the latest developments from SuccessFactors including the new 'Presentations' capability are helping to make workforce and talent data accessible and actionable.

    If you have been in HR or line management long enough you know how tedious, manual, and downright painful traditional Talent Review meetings can be. Lots of paper, lots of manually created PowerPoint decks, lots of people trying to make some of the most important talent management decisions for the organization but spending too much time on executing the process and not enough making the important, strategic decisions that the business demands. Modern technologies for Talent Reviews have come light years from where they were just a few years ago, and the modern HR organization can now have advanced capability to rate, review, align, and develop talent all in one place.

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

    Check Out Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Steve Boese on BlogTalkRadio


    Additionally, you can subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, or for Android device users, from a free app called Stitcher Radio. In both cases just search for 'HR Happy Hour' and add the show to your podcast subscription list. 

    This was a fun and informative show and I would like to thank Mark and the folks at SAP for being a part of the HR Happy Hour Show. 


    Even 'great' places to work never forget who is in charge, (Hint: It's not you)

    By now you've probably heard something about the several year Department of Justice investigation, corresponding civil class action lawsuit, and various reporting surrounding an almost decade-long series of unfair and anti-competitive labor practices alleged to have occurred among Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Pixar.

    To make a (very) long story short, the DOJ, and the claimants, (a group of people that worked for these companies from around 2005 - 2010), hold that these tech industry titans, with their C-level executives full backing, support, and as many, many emails reveal, the knowledge that what they were doing was likely illegal, colluded via a series of 'non-call' agreements to artificially reduce many currently employed staff the ability to seek opportunities at the other firms in the cartel.

    The bare bones of the cartel's structure was pretty simple - Company 'A', say Google, agreed not to cold-call employees from Company 'B', say Apple. Apple, supported from the late Steve Jobs on down, agreed to similar recruiting restrictions in kind. So for many employees at either of the two firms, their ability to fully and freely 'test the market' was constrained by one. If these 'non-call' agreements remained as limited in scope as in the example above, it might not have blown up in the fashion, (DoJ involvement), that is has. But these tech leaders didn't stop at these one-off kinds of reciprocal agreements that we all know are more common than we like to admit.

    No, as the original reporting (and legal documents back up) revealed, what seems to have started with Google getting on Steve Jobs' bad side, then extended to involve a series of other, mostly Silicon Valley tech companies, and as a weekend piece on Pando Daily reports, extended even wider than that - allegedly including companies and employees from dozens of companies all over the world.

    From the Pando Daily piece:

    Confidential internal Google and Apple memos, buried within piles of court dockets and reviewed by PandoDaily, clearly show that what began as a secret cartel agreement between Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google’s Eric Schmidt to illegally fix the labor market for hi-tech workers, expanded within a few years to include companies ranging from Dell, IBM, eBay and Microsoft, to Comcast, Clear Channel, Dreamworks, and London-based public relations behemoth WPP. All told, the combined workforces of the companies involved totals well over a million employees.

    Although the Department ultimately decided to focus its attention on just Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar, the emails and memos clearly name dozens more companies which, at least as far as Google and Apple executives were concerned, formed part of their wage-fixing cartel.

    A closer examination of the paper trail that set up and helped to define and enforce these agreements paints an incredibly unflattering picture of the actions and motivations of the executives involved, particularly revered business leaders and tech rock stars such as Jobs, Google's Eric Schmidt, and the then CEO of Ebay, Meg Whitman. A look at the documents reveals company recruiters being fired on the spot for violating these (likely illegal) deals.

    Back when these probably illegal 'non-call' agreements started, Google was on a expansion tear - snapping up talent from wherever it could, driving salary requirements up across the valley in the process. The other companies, naturally, did not like this, and rather than try to compete with Google on a level playing field, at least in the case of Apple, took to issuing threats of 'war', if the talent poaching continued. Google, probably sensing that the compensation acceleration that they themselves were driving must have figured it made more sense to try and play nice in the Valley, appease some of the other powerful industry companies, and maybe use that artificial constraint to keep some more of their own employees from jumping ship to a competitor for more money.

    You really should take the time to read the Pando Daily reporting on this case here and here, it helps to paint a different picture of what we normally get from those typical darlings of modern, progressive talent management.

    Even these companies, many of them regular winners of various 'Great Places to Work' lists never forget that at some point if employee compensation, (and relative power), shifts too far towards the side of the talent and away from management that they have a problem. Remember that when you read another fawning piece about how miraculous their talent management seem to be.

    They might have been, and still might be, 'Great Places to Work' but they didn't get that way by playing nice all the time. And at least some of the time, it seems, they got that way by illegally colluding to reduce the market for the very talent that makes them such a great place to work.

    Final thought, it might be easy to laugh this off as a first-world problem. Highly paid workers at these kinds of firms are doing just fine, so what that there were a few 'non-call' agreements going on. They are all making six-figure salaries so what is the harm?

    I will give you two reasons:

    1. For many tech workers, their careers are turning out to be not that much different that pro athletes - the length of time when their skills are in demand (and their compensation can be the highest), can be extremely short. Just do a search for 'technology ageism' some time. Tech workers have to maximize earnings over a shorter time horizon than the rest of us. Keeping wages artificially lower for them hurts just as much as the rookie scale hurts talented pro football players.

    2. If relatively well off, educated, talented, smart, and powerful employees like the ones at the firms that were in this cartel can be taken advantage of and have their wages depressed in this manner, then what does that say for the millions of workers that are not so powerful and advantaged? With union membership and influence at an all-time low, one of the few things that can at least try to protect workers is the free market for their services. If high-tech companies like Apple and Google can change that dynamic at the high-end, what would stop a few firms where you live getting together to do the same on the middle and low end for jobs in retail, service, or in back offices? That does not sound any crazier an idea to me than Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt emailing each other angry messages about cold-calling.

    I'm going to stop here, (bless you if you have made it this far), and just say that no matter what accolades that any company receives, we'd all be wise to remember that their are always two kinds of people - people that work in the factory, and people that own the factory.

    Have a great week!