Why aren’t you making more money?

Why aren’t you making more money?

 

Trade war, weaker economy are among reasons

Source: USA Today

more money

By all rights, U.S. wage growth should be kicking into a higher gear amid falling unemployment and intensifying worker shortages…“Wage growth has hit a wall,” Joseph Song, senior economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote in a report. Economists blame myriad factors, including President Donald Trump’s trade war with China and a slowing U.S. economy, weak productivity growth and meager inflation.

 

Nick’s take

I love this topic. Washington crows about low unemployment, but nobody in government seems to worry that your wage growth sucks. “Explanations” get tossed around like dry leaves whipped up by a forest fire: It’s the trade war, productivity, low inflation. I’ve got a simpler answer: Successful companies don’t share the wealth with their employees because it just feels better to keep the money. Job candidates need to push back harder. Can’t negotiate a higher salary? Ask for more money.

What do  you say?

  • Why are wages not going up meaningfully?
  • How can you get more money for your work?

 

 

 

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Do you want a job, or higher pay?

Do you want a job, or higher pay?

pay

 

No sign of a recession, but wage growth is flatlining.

Source: The New York Times

pay

The first story: Jobs are plentiful and unemployment low. Most everyone who wants a job can find one…The second story: Wage growth is flatlining. For most of the last few years, pay to American workers has been rising at steadily increasing rates…But that rate of increase now seems to have leveled off or decreased. The year-over-year rate of growth in wages peaked at 3.4 percent in February and has receded to 3 percent in October, according to the latest numbers…

So most people can find a job and more people are working, but employers are not having to increase compensation much to recruit and retain people. This isn’t what economic models suggest should happen.

 

Nick’s take

Do you want a job, or higher pay? Because the U.S. Department of Labor says you can’t have both. News articles focus on big growth in new jobs but then can’t explain essentially flat pay in a market with high demand for labor. Meanwhile, companies are spending less and pocketing more: “compensation in private industry rose 3 percent in 2018, and only 2.7 percent in the 12 months ended in September.” Nothing’s changed. (See B.S. on the jobs numbers.)

What’s your take?

  • Are you making more money?
  • How much does your CEO make as a ratio compared to you?
  • Why don’t the Department of Labor numbers make sense?
  • When will job applicants wise up?

 

 

 

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HireVue: Selling AI snake oil to gullible HR

HireVue: Selling AI snake oil to gullible HR

AI

 

A face-scanning algorithm increasingly decides whether you deserve the job

HireVue claims it uses artificial intelligence to decide who’s best for a job. Outside experts call it ‘profoundly disturbing.’

Source: The Washington Post

AI

An artificial intelligence [AI] hiring system has become a powerful gatekeeper for some of America’s most prominent employers. Designed by the recruiting-technology firm HireVue, the system uses candidates’ computer or cellphone cameras to analyze their facial movements, word choice and speaking voice before ranking them against other applicants.

More than 100 employers now use the system, including Hilton, Unilever and Goldman Sachs, and more than a million job seekers have been analyzed. But some AI researchers argue the system is digital snake oil — an unfounded blend of superficial measurements and arbitrary number-crunching that is not rooted in scientific fact.

 

Nick’s take

Human Resources executives have always been suckers for HR technology. “It’s AI”! But real AI experts say now HR has jumped the shark. Er, snake. Ever willing to swallow the venture-funded concoctions of database jockeys masquerading as recruiting experts, HR doesn’t give a hoot about science — or common sense when hiring. So bring in those candidates, scrub ’em up and get ’em ready! The venture investors behind HireVue are delivering digital snake oil, and HR is holding the funnel. Are you ready to swallow it? We’ve covered this before, but the story keeps, uh, coming up.

What’s your take?

  • What do you think of AI in the recruiting and hiring process?
  • Have you ever sat for a cognitive facial scan with a straight face?
  • If you’re an employer, would you feed this stuff to your job applicants?

 

 

 

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Want a signing bonus?

Want a signing bonus?

 

How a Signing Bonus Can Take Your Recruitment Efforts to the Next Level

Source: Anthem: The Benefits Guide

signing bonus

The majority of companies — 74 percent, to be exact — give bonuses to at least some of their new hires, but amounts vary widely depending on the field. Signing bonuses usually come in the form of a lump sum given at the start of a new job. Unlike a relocation payment, there are no strings attached to how the employee may use the money. A bonus isn’t a magic recruitment wand, and it’s not meant for every circumstance.

Here are three situations, however, where a well-placed bonus can help bring in a new hire.

 

Nick’s take

My good buddy Suzanne Lucas (the infamous TheEvilHRLady) offers a good primer about signing bonuses. Written for employers — it’s an insider’s view! — this article explains what a signing bonus is, what it isn’t, and why companies grant them to job candidates. Signing bonuses aren’t just for executive-level jobs. Don’t try to negotiate your next job offer without understanding how you might score a lump-sum signing bonus!

What’s your take?

  • Have you ever gotten a signing bonus in your job offer? How much?
  • Did you ever have to return a signing bonus because you quit too soon?
  • If you’re an employer, when and why do you give signing bonuses?

 

 

 

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What brilliant interview questions should you ask employers?

What brilliant interview questions should you ask employers?

Impress a Potential Employer In an Interview With These 3 Unexpected Yet Brilliant Questions

Source: inc.com

Although most candidates fear off-beat interview questions… they help interviewers better understand how candidates think and help assess for cultural fit… Here are three nontraditional questions that you should ask before signing on the dotted line:

1. How important is the company mission statement?

interview questionsWhen we don’t understand our company’s greater purpose, we view work as an item on a to-do list–a means to an end — and don’t feel motivated.

2. What are the best-run meetings here?

If your interviewer is able to describe meetings that have a clear sense of purpose… it’s a sign of a healthy meeting culture and that meetings serve a greater purpose than as a time sink.

3. Can you describe your relationship with the custodial staff here?

Asking your interview to describe his/her relationship with custodial staff can be a powerful and subtle means by which to assess overall levels of organizational justice.

 

Nick’s take

The problem with these “brilliant” interview questions is that they are indirect and too clever. They don’t get to the truth you need to judge an employer. I like Inc.’s #2 question, but I think the best questions you can ask in job interviews are about the work, the people, and the money.

  1. What’s the problem or challenge you’d like me to tackle if you hire me? I’ll show you how I’ll do it.
  2. Can I meet people upstream and downstream from this job, so I can see the quality of their work and cooperation?
  3. So, what’s the pay like? (Ask early. Save time.)

I like questions that prove you can do the work and help you decide whether you want the job — or further discussions.

What’s your take?

  • How do you rate the Inc. interview questions?
  • What are the dumbest questions that have been recommended to you?
  • What are the best questions you ask employers during your interviews?

 

 

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Will new CA law kill your job and Gig Economy?

Will new CA law kill your job and Gig Economy?

A controversial new law in California is widely referred to as protection for Uber and Lyft drivers in the “Gig Economy,” but it makes no references to ride-sharing services — and certainly isn’t limited to one industry.

 

California’s controversial labor bill has passed. Experts forecast more worker rights, higher prices for services

Source: usatoday.com

Gig Economy

A controversial piece of legislation passed the California Legislature late Tuesday evening, codifying and clarify a landmark state Supreme Court decision that limits whether companies can classify their workers as independent contractors.

Expected to have wide-reaching implications that resonate across the country — including posing an existential crisis for businesses built with independent, on-demand labor — the bill is now on its way to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

“This is one of the few times in recent history when so many people will be impacted by a single decision,” said Ryan Vet, an entrepreneur, and gig-economy expert who founded Boon, an on-demand health care platform. He said he sees positives and negatives in the new law, that is “good for the workers, but will also implode the gig economy as we know it today” with increased costs.

 

California Assembly Bill AB-5 will certainly trigger similar laws nationwide. The emphasis seems to be on the ride-sharing industry, but it affects everyone working as an “independent contractor” in any part of our economy.

What’s your take?

  • What jobs will AB-5 really affect?
  • How will it affect employers and consumers?
  • Is AB-5 a gift to third-party “contracting firms” that hire and rent Gig Economy workers to employers?
  • If this law is cloned in your state, how will it affect you?

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Tell A.I. robo-interviewer where to stick it

Tell A.I. robo-interviewer where to stick it

robo-interviewerDoes an employer’s chat-bot want you to do a video interview with an AI-based robo-interviewer that will interpret the results with “intelligent” facial recognition and predictive analytics — so an algorithm can “decide” whether you qualify for a real interview with a personnel jockey who knows nothing about the work you do?

Gizmodo’s Brian Merchant reports that Applying for Your Next Job May Be an Automated Nightmare. And he gives you everything you need to tell that employer where to stick it and why.

News I want you to use

Companies like Citibank, l’Oreal, Danone, and PricewaterhouseCoopers are using VCV, a digital recruiting AI bot, to abuse job applicants without the overhead of a personnel jockey’s time. Urban Outfitters, Intel, Honeywell, and Unilever use another bot: HireVue. Those two “AI” firms have $1.7 million and $93 million in venture backing. Another recruiting bot vendor, AllyO, has $19 million in backing.

And they’re all ready to interview you in absentia. And you should consider whether it’s worth wasting your time.

HR explains robo-interviewer hiring

Wonder why HR departments are so screwed up? Because HR consultants tell them they’re in business to save money. Gizmodo reports why HR managers want you to talk to a robo-interviewer:

“’AI in human resources is cost-effective and better for business overall,’ Barbara Van Pay, the CEO of SmartHR Consultancy, writes in Entrepreneur Magazine. Van Pay points to a 2016 Society of Human Resource Management survey that found the average cost-per-hire was $4,129. AI, she reasons, could whittle that figure away. ‘With many of the AI recruitment and Human Resources programs available offering tailor-made packages on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly subscription basis, it’s not hard to see that you can save a pretty hefty penny by transitioning to AI technology solutions.’

The article gives no indication that Van Pay is human.

“Shitty automation”

Gizmodo explains why HR really uses that robo-interviewer, quoting Aaron Rieke, Managing Director of Upturn, a Washington, DC think tank that promotes equity and justice in the design, governance, and use of digital technology:

“But these startups [HireVue, VCV, AllyO, among others] risk offering a prime example of shitty automation—an automated product adopted in the name of saving money, that risks, in the end, just making everybody’s lives worse. In this case, the automation is designed to benefit one side of the equation almost exclusively: the employer.”

This seems to be the latest explanation about Why cattle-call interviewing doesn’t work.

How you can use this news

If an employer suggests you should subject yourself to abuse by its AI HR bots, you can cite Reike — when you tell the employer where to stick it. Just send over a link to Rieke’s stunning expose of automated, AI-based hiring.

He shared some of his concerns with Gizmodo:

“Human biases have long plagued hiring, and any claim that machine learning algorithms alone can fix that is bogus… It has been reported that VCV uses facial recognition to identify candidates’ ‘mood’ and ‘behavior patterns’ to help recruiters assess ‘cultural fit.’ This raises all kind of red flags… Facial recognition technology is often less accurate for women and darker-skinned people. Even assuming companies like VCV can evaluate ‘mood’ or ‘behavior,’ it’s not clear how that should help a recruiter assess candidates… We need a lot more information about how systems like these are designed and tested. Until that happens, I’m extremely skeptical. The hype is way ahead of the facts.”

Just because a top VC firm like Sequoia funds it, and just because HR saves a “hefty penny” using it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell an employer where to stick it.

Read more in Gizmodo. To see how the robo-interview shoe might fit on the other foot, see Interview ON: How to interview for 1,500 jobs.

Have you been subjected to robo-interviews? How’d it go?

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Unemployment 3.7%, slow-down in hiring up 84%

Unemployment 3.7%, slow-down in hiring up 84%

hiring

For a flat fee, an employer that’s hiring can get over 9 million resumes from ZipRecruiter. That’s great news, because with unemployment in the U.S. at record lows (3.7% in July 2019), employers need more job applicants!

Not. Actually, employers are drowning in resumes and job applicants.

News I want you to use

The HCM Technology Report says Indecisive Hiring Managers Cause Employers to Lose Talent. Do ya think???

“In 2018, hiring managers took 33 days to make an offer after interviewing a candidate. That’s an 84 percent increase compared to 2010. The extended timeframe led to a 16 percent reduction in accepted offers.”

What changed in 8 years? An employer can get over 9 million resumes for a few bucks.

And you wonder why hiring managers take forever to decide whether to hire you? More jobs stay vacant longer because HR and hiring managers are so overwhelmed with wrong job applicants that they can’t decide who are the good ones.

What hiring slow-down means to job seekers

  • You need to account for poor management when you interview for a job.
  • You should avoid the cattle call of the job boards.

What this means to employers

HCM says:

“Companies that encourage decisive behavior by hiring managers reduce time-to-fill by 17 percent.”

“Hiring managers should spend more time engaging with candidates. This is critical… because candidates trust hiring managers four times as much as they trust recruiters.”

Maybe HR departments should turn off the fire hose of resumes and teach hiring managers how to hire.

There’s lots more news you can use in the HCM Technology Report.

How long did it take to get hired or rejected by the last employer that interviewed you? Did the hiring manager seem to know what they were doing?

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At last: HR gets an upgrade!

At last: HR gets an upgrade!

HROur good buddies across the pond at BBC News have revealed HR’s newest weapon against to help job candidates get hired. (Oops.)  Yep — HR has gotten an upgrade! Recruiting robots!

News I want you to use

Read it on BBC News: Meet Tengai, the job interview robot who won’t judge you

If this seems far-fetched, some employers in the U.S. are already using robots to interview you on your mobile-device camera — and then other robots (algorithms) watch your interview video to decide whether you will “proceed to the next step.”

Look, Ma! No hands!

A couple of years ago, we covered a U.S. company the BBC references — “HireVue, a US-based video platform that enables candidates to be interviewed at any time of day and uses algorithms to evaluate their answers and facial expressions.”

Look, Ma! No hands! human HR managers! Or you could just Tell HR you don’t talk to the hand.

Heads up! Like it or not, you’re going to encounter recruiter bots. Maybe you already have. 

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Dirty little (HUGE) salary secrets revealed

Dirty little (HUGE) salary secrets revealed
  • How do you decide whether an employer is going to give you a fair — or better than average — salary shake in the coming years, if you accept a job there?
  • How do you judge whether that employer is still going to be in business a few years down the road, before you accept its job offer?
  • Should you take that job?

News I want you to use

salaryHere’s an inside look at how investors judge companies on how they pay their people — in particular, their CEOs and, for our purposes, how CEO pay compares to the median pay of all a company’s employees.

The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs:
Are fund managers asleep at the wheel?

In March 2019  As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy group, revealed some dirty little (HUGE) salary secrets that job candidates can use.

As You Sow monitors, among other things, CEO pay and evaluates its impact on investors. It turns out big institutional investors really do give a rat’s patootie about how much CEOs are paid — because it seems to correlate with a company’s performance and success.

Thanks to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, shareholders gained access to new information this year. Companies must now disclose the ratio of pay between the CEO and the company’s median employee, shining a brighter light on how high CEO pay has become. This new information can also be used in other ways.

Yep! It’s news we can use!

What this means to you

Digest as much of this report as you can, and let’s discuss what it means to you as you pick your next employer.

Will a company give you a fair salary shake? Skip to the appendices in the report (pp. 19-25).

  • Pick a company.
  • Take a look at how much it pays its CEO.
  • Then look at the median pay of all its employees.
  • Before you accept a job offer, follow the money!

Some good bits

As You Sow reports that:

The companies with overpaid CEOs we identified in our first report have markedly underperformed the S&P 500. Two years ago, we analyzed how these firms’ stock price performed since we originally identified their CEOs as overpaid. We found then that the 10 companies we identified as having the most overpaid CEOs, in aggregate, underperformed the S&P 500 index by an incredible 10.5 percentage points and actually destroyed shareholder value, with a negative 5.7 percent financial return… Last year, these 10 firms again, in aggregate, dramatically underperformed the S&P 500 index, this time by an embarrassing 15.6 percentage points.

Sheesh! Gotta wonder how the HR departments at these companies explain to job candidates how CEO pay reflects company performance. Do the candidates know to ask?

When shareholders were evaluating compensation packages in spring 2018, they had a new piece of information: the ratio of the pay of the CEO to the pay of the corporation’s median worker… The average of these CEO pay to median worker pay ratios as of Sep. 5, 2018 was approximately 273:1.

Betcha didn’t know the CEO of CSX Corp. makes over $150 million — 1,531 times more than the median employee. The ratio of Oracle Corp.’s CEO compensation to the median at the company is 907:1. Comcast’s CEO gets 458 times more than the company’s median employee salary.

Remember: The benchmark average ratio is 273:1.

Sheesh! Gotta wonder how the HR departments at these companies explain such dirty little (HUGE) salary secrets to incoming job candidates. Do the candidates know to ask?

Shareholders freak out

As Bloomberg columnist Nir Kaissar noted in a recent editorial, “As the grim pay disclosures pile up year after year, the backlash against the corporate elite will intensify. If corporate boards can’t find a better balance in their pay structure, outside forces will, and at a potentially far greater cost to companies and their shareholders.”

Opposition to high CEO pay has risen, and more companies have seen their CEO pay packages receive less and less support from their shareholders.

And we’re talking big shareholders:

California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)… voted against 45.4 percent of pay packages of the S&P 500 companies; it voted against 73 percent of the 100 most overpaid CEO pay packages.

New York State Common Retirement Fund… voted against 26 percent of pay packages of the S&P 500; it voted against 53 percent of the 100 most overpaid CEO pay packages.

But what about the rank and file?

Big institutional investors are not voting against big pay packages for top executives — but they are voting against huge pay disparities that seem to reveal underlying problems.

Are employees at these companies freaking out? If you’re applying for a job at a company with a huge CEO-to-median-pay ratio — well, would you apply for a job in such a company?

What do you think it would mean for your compensation over time?

Should you take that job?

How to use it

When HR asks if you have any questions, try this one, courtesy of the good folks at As You Sow: What’s the ratio of your CEO’s pay to the median employee salary here?

How else can we use this news?

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