Every employee’s worst nightmare, getting outed on Glassdoor, could become a reality
By Michael Grothaus
You’ve left a company that you have legitimate grievances against. As thousands of others do, you go to Glassdoor to leave what you believe is a fair and accurate appraisal of your work experiences at the company. A short while later, you’re notified that your former employer has taken court action to out you, claiming your review breached the company’s severance agreements.
But this is no hypothetical nightmare; it’s what no fewer than 10 former employees of cryptocurrency exchange company Kraken are facing. As EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) Staff Attorney Aaron Mackey says: This litigation is designed to harass and silence current and former Kraken employees for speaking about their experiences at the company.
Glassdoor built a mud pit. It has long profited from employees who enter the pit and sling mud — anonymous negative company reviews. Meanwhile, companies reward HR staff for posting fake positive reviews. (See also: Is wrong information being given out at Glassdoor?) Now companies are conditioning severance packages on no-mud-slinging (non-disparagement) clauses. It was only a matter of time until the splatter triggered lawsuits.
What’s your take?
Once they enter the mud pit, does anyone have a right to complain about getting splattered? Do you have a right to post anonymous complaints about your experience with an employer? Does an employer have a right to stop you from talking about its reputation — in exchange for a payoff in a severance package it gives you?
Amazon Lawsuit: Managers Scoured Job Candidates’ Social Media for Race and Gender Info
It doesn’t matter what your motivation is, illegal discrimination is illegal.
By Suzanne Lucas, aka The EvilHRLady
Lisa McCarrick filed a lawsuit against Amazon on Monday, alleging two significant problems. The first: she’s paid less than her male coworkers. The second: her manager told her to “scour” job candidate’s social media to determine race and gender/ethnicity and then fired her when she complained.
McCarrick claims that her managers wanted her to search out race and gender to increase diversity at Amazon…[but] It doesn’t matter that your goal is to increase your minority or female hires. You cannot discriminate based on race or gender for almost all positions.
This article gave me a headache. Amazon HR instructs managers to use job applicants’ social media footprints to make sure they hire more women and minorities. Is that discrimination or reverse discrimination or just plain illegal any way you slice it? And if a manager refuses to scour a job candidate’s social media for race and gender info, the manager gets fired? You can’t make this stuff up!
What’s your take?
Have your social media tracks ever helped you get a job? Or cost you a job? What will HR and employers think of next to discriminate — and to get their companies sued?
Cost Cutting Algorithms Are Making Your Job Search a Living Hell
More companies are using automated job screening systems to vet candidates, forcing jobseekers to learn new and absurd tricks to have their résumés seen by a human.
Source: Motherboard | Vice
By Nick Keppler
“I’m doing something else while the system is interviewing my candidates,” [a “senior recruiter”] says with a smile. The message is clear: She’s offloaded much of her work to someone else. Ifeoma Ajunwa, an assistant professor of labor and employment law at Cornell University said automated systems will probably continue to amass between jobs and jobseekers. “I think that’s the way it’s going to advance… Companies have come to count on it.” The makers of more advanced applicant tracking systems are acutely aware of the bias problem, but are not certain of a solution. Should job applicants rebel? Should they refuse to take online assessments or to upload video faux interviews or engage the next faceless gatekeeper?
HR tech in your face: Nick’s take
Don’t miss this excellent run-down on the “pseudoscience” and “profoundly disturbing” technology that HR is using in its never-ending battle to turn you into a bucket o’ bits. See also Why does HR waste time, money and the best job candidates?
What’s your take?
Do you let employers put HR tech between you and a job? Between you and the hiring manager? When is this going to stop — and who’s going to stop it?
Dr. Robert Cialdini: The Psychology Powering Influence and Persuasion
Source: Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People Podcast
Bob Cialdini is the “godfather of influence.” He is to changing people’s minds what Martha Stewart is to changing people’s lifestyle.
Bob Cialdini has spent his life studying the parameters of compliance — how we get others to do what we want. And that’s exactly what you need to know to get an employer to hire you.
If you don’t listen to another podcast this year, listen to Dr. Robert Cialdini’s clear, compelling conversation with Guy Kawasaki about how to ethically influence other people to “come in your direction.” Gene Webb, my mentor at the Stanford Business School, gave me Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, while I was a graduate student. I’ve since given the book to my own kids and to many friends.
Robert Cialdini is professor emeritus at Arizona State University and one of the world’s leading researchers in social psychology. He’s probably also the most widely read psychologist in the sphere of sales. But don’t let any of that put you off. This isn’t armchair psychology or cheesy sales training. It’s must-hear information for any job seeker, employer or business person. (Do yourself a favor: Don’t read the transcript. Listen to the audio.)
What’s your take?
Did you find a tip in Cialdini’s podcast that you can put to use immediately? Did you learn something you didn’t know? How do you influence or convince employers to hire you?
Low unemployment isn’t worth much if the jobs barely pay
Source: Brookings Institution
Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its Employment Situation report (better known as the “jobs report”) to outline the latest state of the nation’s economy. And with it, of late, have been plenty of positive headlines. But those numbers don’t tell the whole story. Are these jobs any good? How much do they pay? Do workers make enough to live on? Here, the story is less rosy.
In a recent analysis, we found that 53 million workers ages 18 to 64—or 44% of all workers—earn barely enough to live on. Their median earnings are $10.22 per hour, and about $18,000 per year. Other research suggests that there are not enough decent-paying jobs for people without bachelor’s degrees. This matters—workers without bachelor’s degrees make up not just the majority of the low-wage workforce but the majority of the labor force as a whole, so the shortage of such jobs has wide-ranging consequences. Even with sunny job statistics, the nation’s economy is simply not working well for tens of millions of people.
Jobs Shortage: Nick’s take
While the feds and the media cheer “the great jobs numbers,” the dirty little secret is wages. Brookings scrapes the lipstick off the pig, and all that’s left is a pig. There’s no talent shortage; there’s a good-paying jobs shortage. Brookings focuses on the 44% of all workers who make barely enough to live on — and that’s troubling enough. What Brookings misses is more highly educated workers who are earning less than they used to.
Which one are you?
What’s your take?
Are you earning as much as you used to? What category in the Brookings report do you fall into? Are there really more good-paying jobs than there is talent to fill them? How many lower-paying jobs would you need to have at once, to earn what you once earned?
See also B.S. on the jobs numbers euphoria.
Warren Buffett Says This Is the Rule He Would Live By to Be Happier, if He Could Start All Over Again
Money is important, but not the most important thing.
In a 1998 lecture to University of Florida MBA students, business magnate Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, fielded a host of questions on investments and valuations before a thoughtful student asked, “What would you do to live a happier life if you could live over again?” According to the Oracle of Omaha, “The way to do it is to play out the game and do something you enjoy all your life and be associated with people you like. I work only with people I like.”
This article quoting Warren Buffett has an extremely high ratio of wisdom to words:
- “I work only with people I like” (See also Never work with jerks.)
- “you will move in the direction of the people that you associate with”
- “associate with people who are better than yourself”
- “you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”
- “not having close friends is just as bad for your health as smoking”
- “if you’re still putting up with people you don’t like just for a paycheck, it’s time to make a change”
What’s your take?
Do you agree? Do you walk Buffett’s talk? Or is this easier said than done?
Why aren’t wages rising faster even with low unemployment?
Trade war, weaker economy are among reasons
Source: USA Today
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.
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?
Jobs Are Plentiful. Big Pay Raises Aren’t.
No sign of a recession, but wage growth is flatlining.
Source: The New York Times
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.
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?
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
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.
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?
How a Signing Bonus Can Take Your Recruitment Efforts to the Next Level
Source: Anthem: The Benefits Guide
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.
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?