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    Entries in diversity (15)

    Friday
    Mar162018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 315 - Breaking Through with Diversity & Inclusion

    HR Happy Hour 315 - Breaking Through with Diversity & Inclusion

    Sponsored by Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com.

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guests: Cecile Alper-Leroux, Dr. Jarik Conrad - Ultimate Software

    Recorded Live at Ultimate Connections 2018

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Cecile Alper-Leroux and Dr. Jarik Conrad from Ultimate Software to talk about the challenges organizations are facing with Diversity & Inclusion initiatives and the keys for organizations who want to improve and make progress in these areas. Cecile and Jarik talked about the definitions of diversity and inclusion, the importance of appreciation and acceptance at work of all people from all backgrounds, and what people want from work in the modern era.

    One of the interesting points discusses in the show was the idea that organizations can't jump right from awareness of these issues into solutions - there is an important stage of preparation or 'readiness' that has to be addressed in organizations and especially with leaders and managers before solutions can be developed and implemented. So 'readiness' is the pre-condition before action.

    We also discussed some of the research around the business benefits of Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, and why these benefits do not necessarily resonate equally in all contexts. Finally, we talked about how, where, and when in the HR/Talent lifecycle in organizations that bias, sometimes unconscious bias, can be introduced and how some of the modern HCM technology solutions are helping organizations detect and try to minimize and eliminate these biases.

    Finally, Cecile shared her recent mountaineering adventure and Steve and Jarik bonded over baldness.

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

    Thanks to Cecile, Jarik and the team at Ultimate for having us at the event.

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

    Wednesday
    Feb142018

    Are HR's diversity and inclusion strategies proprietary information?

    Companies suing each other after an employee leaves one company to join another, especially when the companies are competitors, over the details in the employee's non-compete agreement is not all that uncommon. Particularly in the tech industry when many rival companies are chasing many of the same kinds of tech-driven breakthrough projects like AI, self-driving vehicles, robotics, and more - the loss of a key employee or two to a rival can have significant competitive consequences and impact.

    A debate can be had whether or not the entire idea of employee non-compete agreements are beneficial or necessary (or enforceable), but for the purposes of what I wanted to call to your attention today, let's all accept that for the moment such agreements do exist, and from time to time, are actively enforced by companies trying to protect their IP from escaping to a competitor, (along with the employee).

    The story I wanted to highlight is about a big tech company fight over an employee non-compete, but not one of the ones we expect - surrounding some star engineer working on the latest VR or AI tech - it centers around HR, more specifically, around a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer heading to Microsoft from IBM.

    Here are some details and context from coverage in Business Insider - Microsoft just hired a chief diversity officer - and IBM is suing them over it:

    Tech companies have a less than stellar record hiring women and minorities. But these companies will apparently do whatever it takes — including launching a legal fight — to hire one type of person: a Chief Diversity Officer.

    IBM is suing Microsoft for poaching its top diversity officer, Lindsay-Rae McIntyre in a case that could prove just how important diversity, recruitment, and retention has become for tech companies.

    McIntyre, who joined IBM in 2006, was named chief diversity officer of Microsoft on Sunday, after serving in the same role and as VP of human resources at IBM. IBM, in its complaint, argues that McIntyre had access to diversity data, strategies, methodologies and initiatives that are confidential, and that she "will use, rely on or divulge" these strategies in her new role.

    On Monday, IBM was granted a temporary restraining order in New York federal court, which prevents McIntyre from working for Microsoft until the court decides otherwise.

    "McIntyre was at the center of highly confidential and competitively sensitive information that has fueled IBM's success in these areas," a representative for IBM said in a statement. "While we understand Microsoft's need to deal with mounting criticism of its record on diversity, IBM intends to fully enforce Ms. McIntyre's non-compete agreement to protect our competitive information."

    A really interesting case it seems to me. I admit to not following the ebbs and flows and latest cases in employment law all that closely, but I do follow lots of news and I don't recall seeing a major non-compete case with this kind of profile that focuses specifically on an HR executive, and perhaps more interestingly, on specific human capital management strategies. Whatever specific policies, programs, maybe even some technology applications too that IBM, under Ms. McIntyre's leadership were employing to improve diversity, IBM is contending that these combined represent IP that is not just company confidential, but also represents relevant and demonstrable competitive advantage.

    It probably matters that IBM and Microsoft are highly likely to be competing for many of the same kinds of talented people across a wide spectrum of roles. And it also probably matters that (as I have pointed out on the blog for a couple of years on the CHART OF THE DAY series), that labor markets in general are really tight, and for certain 'hard-to-find' roles are incredibly tight. Recruiting and retention ratchets up the CEO's list of priorities when the people the company needs are in high demand and when your competitors are willing to go really far to beat you in the talent game - whether recruiting new grads or poaching your top execs - like Ms. McIntyre.

    The diversity angle here is interesting and timely,  and probably contributed to why this was a story coverred in the general tech press. But what would be more interesting to me is to see a major non-compete battle be launched over say a CHRO or a VP of Talent, or even a Global Leader of Talent Acquisition. I'd like to see a major, Fortune 50 or so company go to battle over an HR/TA leader, contending that their particular insights, and their specific talent strategies are so important, in fact just as important as the knowledge of the latest AI hotshot, that the company is willing to battle in court to keep that HR knowledge in-house.

    This is a really intriguing case, I will keep an eye on it for sure. It would be interesting and validating too, if IBM wins in this case, and HR programs and strategies are shown to be true (at least in the court's view), completive advantage. And it would be pretty cool for HR to have some more over the top recruiting and retention fights go on over HR people for once.

    Have a great day!

    Monday
    Dec182017

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 307 - The Benefits of Hiring Disabled Candidates

    HR Happy Hour 307 - The Benefits of Hiring Disabled Candidates

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest : Dan Peltz

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Dan Peltz, Founder and Director of Shift NJ - an organization that helps candidates of all ability levels to connect with employers and find meaningful work. 

    Shift New Jersey was created to empower individuals. Dan and the team individuals of all ability levels maximize their potential through employment, skills training, counseling, and case management. They assist adults in preparing for college, employment, and independent living by helping them develop the vision, mindset, action steps, skills, and experience necessary to become successful.

    On the show, Dan described how Shift NJ works with candidates and employers to find employment opportunities, help build skills and capabilities of candidates that may have some challenges in finding positions, and how they support both the individuals and the organizations to make these programs and placements work for everyone.

    Additionally, Dan shared examples of how large employers like Amazon are working with agencies like Shift NJ to place more candidates into open roles, and how they are proactively seeking to expand their candidate pools.

    Finally, Dan shared how HR leaders in any location can get started with these programs and how they benefit the organization and community overall.

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

    This was an interesting and important show - thanks to Dan for joining us. Learn more at the Shift NJ site here.

    Thanks to show sponsor Virgin Pulse - learn more at www.virginpulse.com.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts.

    Thursday
    Nov022017

    Celebrating diversity in the organization

    A few years ago a local (Rochester, NY area), wine shop decided to create a holiday season TV advertisement that featured many (possibly all) of the store's employees instead of actors or models or the owner of the store.

    Cool idea, right? Nothing like a local business sharing some holiday season greetings and good vibes with the added bonus of making their own employees happy and excited as well. I mean, how often has an accounting clerk or a cashier or a maintenance person get the chance to be on TV, and in local cable regular rotation no less?

    The ad, as many locally produced cable TV ads are, was pretty basic, and didn't really have much in the way of production values. It was essentially, a rapid fire series of close-ups of the individual members of the staff who each wished the viewers a 'Happy Holidays' or a 'Merry Christmas' or some such. 

    Employee after employee each getting about two seconds of screen time and sending out their best wishes.

    Pretty neat, right?

    Except the only reason I remember this entirely unremarkable local ad is that every single person, every staff member featured in the ad was a white male or a white female. About 20-odd faces flashed across the screen, each one looking more or less the same as the last. And seeing that many faces, in such a short time, and in the context of a local business wishing a 'Happy Holidays from us to you' kind of way left me thinking only one thing. Or perhaps asking one thing.

    Is the wine store for only white people?

    It was so obvious and clear from watching the ad, that I remember not believing that anyone who had looked at it prior to approving it for TV would have green lighted it to run. It was such a weird and awkward and almost off putting spot. I can't believe I still remember it, but I do. 

    What made me think about that weird, 'White people wine store' ad was this short piece I caught on the PSFK site, about cosmetics retailer Sephora's use of some of its own, real, employees in an upcoming ad campaign.

    Over 1,000 Sephora employees submitted video applications to be included in the new campaign called 'Reach Out and Gift', and from that group, 10 Sephora employees were selected. Have the mental image of the parade of 20-something white faces from the wine shop TV ad I described above when you take a look at this pic of the Sephora employees who were selected for the campaign:

    A pretty diverse, interesting, and for Sephora, representative collection of their team, and a reflection of the customers they serve. This image makes you think that everyone is accepted at Sephora, no one is excluded, and more importantly, that everyone is accepted for who they are. It is amazingly cool.

    You can read more about the Sephora employees that are participating in the campaign here.

    For organizations talking about diversity is certainly important. Creating a culture that values diversity is necessary.

    But truly celebrating diversity like the folks at Sephora are? That has to be to goal that the rest of us should shoot for.

    If I had a need to buy some makeup, I know where I'd be shopping.

    Happy Thursday.

    Monday
    Jun192017

    Diversity and Inclusivity Starting with the Job Application

    I'm not a user of Snapchat. Mainly because I am an adult, I was never able to figure it out the two or three times my HR Happy Hour partner Trish McFarlane tried to explain it to me, and also because I am an adult.

    While 'maturing' as a platform, (I bet following the same pattern as Facebook, as the parents of the pre-teens, teens, and young adults who were the primary users of the network are 'forced' to sign up in order to keep and eye on what their kids are up to online), Snapchat is still by and large an app/social network predominantly used by people under 34. And this totally fine. I personally don't get it, and I look a little side-eyed when a 46 year old man asks if I 'Snap', but at the same time I totally understand why a 17 year-old would be on Snap all day long. That same 17 year-old would laugh at LinkedIn the same way I scoff at Snapchat.

    I thought about this after reading a piece on Business Insider about McDonald's plans to use Snapchat, in the form of something they call a 'Snaplication' as a launch point in the recruiting process that has a goal of hiring about 250,000 new employees this summer.

    The basic idea is that an interested candidate would log in to Snapchat, find the McDonald's careers 'page' or account or whatever it is you call such a thing on Snapchat, and view a 10-second video from McDonald's employees. The version of the process in Australia also allows candidates to record their own 10 second 'Snaplication' to send to McDonald's. From there, the app allows the candidates (via a swipe) to launch an actual job application process in the app.

    Sounds really cool and innovative, if a little cheeky. But I do applaud McDonald's for pushing the technology and candidate engagement envelope with this initiative. They (probably rightly), see that users of smart phones, (just about everyone), and who also use Snapchat, (probably lots and lots of people from 16 - 30), line up pretty well with their typical or targeted employee profile.

    But what I worried about when I read the story, (and after I stopped rolling my eyes at the concept of a 'Snaplication'), is that this kind of a 'front door' to the recruiting process would almost certainly screen out a pretty significant cohort of potential applicants who don't use Snapchat, would have no clue how to figure out how to send a 'Snaplication', and rather than try and figure it out, would just walk next door to Chick fil-A to apply there. That cohort would be made up of mostly older people, folks like me for example. 

    And if you were surprised to learn that a 'Snaplication' is a thing, you might also be surprised to learn that on average, fast-food workers are getting older too. There are a few different sources of this kind of data, and the numbers are not all consistent, but this example from the BLS suggests that median age of all food service workers is about 30. And I bet if you hit up a McDonald's for your McMuffin and coffee fix this morning you are likely to finds as many 30+ folks working the counter and grill as you are the more typical Snapchatter.

    Now I know that you don't 'have' to use Snapchat to apply for a job at McDonald's, and the traditional methods that older candidates would be more familiar with are still available, but that is not really the point.

    The point is that every decision an organization makes about how it will find, attract, and engage candidates has an impact on the organization in the long run, particularly its diversity and inclusiveness.

    Pushing 'Snaplications' will drive more applicants from a certain, younger demographic, just like working an on-campus recruiting event at the University of Pick Your State will drive more applicants from that particular school's demographic. Running targeted job ads on any website or social network also (by design), shapes, influences, and limits the candidates you are likely to attract.

    None of this is new thinking, smart HR and recruiting folks know this for sure. But I am not sure candidates do. 

    Or said differently, when I read about the 'Snaplication' program, the first thing I thought of was that there's no way I would ever do that. And that is ok I suppose, as I probably would not be applying to McDonald's anyway.

    But I bet there are at least some, maybe quite a few actually, interested and desirable candidates that McDonald's might be turning off with a program like this. And the real lesson is that we all need to be really careful and considerate about how the places, methods, requirements, and technologies that we use in the candidate attraction and application process can have downstream impacts on the organization overall.

    'Snaplications' sound dumb. But they matter. All the choices we make that impact who we bring in to the organization matter.

    Have a great week!