Insight


exaqueo's weekly blog featuring insight from our team on industry news and trends, our research, client work and lessons learned.

Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: What's Been Happening This Week?

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: What's Been Happening This Week?

It's Friday, and summer is coming to a close. We hope you enjoy this last weekend in August. Before you head out, here's a roundup of some of the week's highlights. There's some news and some other interesting finds sprinkled in our post this week. Enjoy!

1) Chipotle Plans One-Day, 4,000-Worker Hiring Binge from The Wall Street Journal

"Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. plans to hire 4,000 employees in a single day next month, seeking to counter a tightening market for restaurant labor by dangling the possibility that high-performing recruits could someday earn six-figure salaries and stock in the burrito chain. The planned Sept. 9 hiring binge—which would expand Chipotle’s 59,000-member workforce by nearly 7%—is one of the starkest examples yet of restaurant chains stepping up recruitment efforts as the industry struggles to attract and retain employees. A stronger economy, rising demand for restaurant meals and a string of minimum-wage increases imposed by cities and states have shrunk the pool of available workers."

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Staying on Top of It All: My Guide to HR and Business Resources

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Staying on Top of It All: My Guide to HR and Business Resources

We always get asked how we stay on top of the latest human resources and business news. Since the majority of our blog audience works in the HR space, I thought my response would also be valuable to you all. Below are some of the resources I personally use to stay abreast of the latest and greatest in HR and business. There are obvious media outlets I’m not going to list (New York Times, Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, Time, TED) since I am sure most of us check these regularly. With so many to pick from, here are my top choices.

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Amazon Commentary

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Amazon Commentary

This week's New York Times article about the Amazon work culture really shook the working world. Maybe it was unexpected that a super-size tech company - an industry known for its perks, better-than-standard benefits, and quirky offices - manifested such a toxic culture. Or maybe it was CEO, Jeff Bezos, response to the article. With something like this, I don't think outsiders will ever really know the truth. Like any job, there are probably people who love it there, and you'll always find haters. Either way, the article stirred lots of buzz on the Internet, so we're sharing some of the most interesting commentary we could find in this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Update. Happy weekend!

1) The Subtext to That Amazon Story: We're Afraid Our Work is Killing Us, and We Are Right from Fortune

"For a story that was filled with largely mundane descriptions of workplace practices at a large technology company, a recent New York Times feature on Amazon  AMZN -1.09%  has touched off a raging forest fire of responses. Why? Is it because so many people care about how white-collar middle managers are treated at an online retailing company? That seems unlikely. I think it’s because the article tapped into a deep-seated, almost existential fear that runs through many of our lives — not just in the technology world, but elsewhere too: Namely, the fear that the ways we work now are harming and/or killing us."

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You Don't Have to Be Google to Be a 'Best Place to Work'

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You Don't Have to Be Google to Be a 'Best Place to Work'

The other day I heard a knock on my door and when I went to open it, two young gentlemen appeared in collared shirts and khakis. They said they were in the neighborhood working on replacing windows for a neighbor and wanted to know if I would like a free estimate for replacing my windows. They seemed pretty knowledgeable – about the age of my house, the type of trees in my yard, the neighborhood in general. At this point, I normally would have said, “no thank you” but they were nice and eager, so we started chatting. They asked what I do, and I told them “workforce consulting” and explained what that was. The quieter of the two chimed in and said that their company was number one on the “Best Places to Work for Millennials” list. 

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#40ForGood: Reflections

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#40ForGood: Reflections

I turned 40 on Saturday (no looking back now!) and I shamelessly asked people to celebrate with me by doing a good deed for someone and sharing it with the hashtag #40ForGood. And I was humbled by the response. From flowers to movie tickets to sweeping a neighbor's porch--it was exactly what I wanted for my birthday. One mom even engaged her sons in on the action and they enjoyed it so much they asked her to do another deed. 

But I also learned what's at the crux of the way we're living now. So many well-intentioned people said: "hey that's awesome" and nothing else. Some just said "I raised a glass in your honor."  Others told me they were so busy they'd try to get to it later. And that's when I realized--we often prioritize kindness when it suits us.

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#40ForGood

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#40ForGood

At exaqueo, we're obsessive about balancing work with our lives. We work when our clients need us and want us--and we don't have strict rules about vacation or time off.  should know, I just came back from vacation, and everything had been handled in my absence, (beautifully I might add). 

My husband and I took a kid-free vacation to celebrate our 40th birthdays this month. When my parents turned 40, there were "over the hill" gravestone signs for the neighbors to gawk at. Now, there's Facebook, Twitter and this blog for everyone to know: tomorrow, on August 8th, I'm 40.

Exciting right? Well, if you watch TV or read the news, you wouldn't think so. You'd want to run under a rock and hide while you worry about war/health insurance/debt/climate change/hacking/guns/flag flying/borders/reality TV and what the hell happened to Bill Cosby?

So here's the deal. The big ask:

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: What's Been Happening This Week

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: What's Been Happening This Week

This week, there has been a lot of variety when it comes to employment news. The jobs report was released, Netflix goes to the extreme with its parental leave policy, and much more in this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup.

1) US Economy Added 215,000 Jobs in July; Unemployment Still 5.3% from The New York Times

"The American economy added 215,000 jobs in July, a respectable gain that could raise the comfort level of policy makers at the Federal Reserve as they consider the timing of their long-awaited move to raise interest rates. Although slower than the blockbuster pace of hiring in late 2014, the average monthly payroll gain in the first half of 2015 stood at more than 200,000 and the report from the Labor Department on Friday showed employers to be consistent last month. The unemployment rate held steady, after a decrease to 5.3 percent in June, the lowest level in more than seven years. Before the report, economists on Wall Street had been predicting a gain of 225,000 jobs, with no change in the unemployment rate."

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Ever Wonder What Other People Love About Their Jobs?

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Ever Wonder What Other People Love About Their Jobs?

One of the things I love about my job here at exaqueo is the fact that I get to be a fly on the wall at other people’s work. We conduct focus groups with employees all the time. We talk to people of all different levels, job functions, ages, races, backgrounds, and so on. We get the opportunity to dig into their workspace, talk to leadership teams, and understand workplace dynamics.

Work is a part of everyone’s life. It’s where some of us spend the majority of our day. And in some cases, we see or talk to our coworkers more than our own families! We also get caught up in our own work worlds very easily. Wouldn’t it be kind of cool to learn about what other people do and why they love it? Think of it as your own opportunity to be a fly on the wall of someone else’s job.

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Spotlight on Hiring

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: Spotlight on Hiring

In this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Update, we're putting the spotlight on hiring. It's a critical point for any individual and company. There's always the question on both sides if this is the right decision. The timely articles below provide different perspectives when it comes to hiring. Enjoy!

1) The Simple Formula For Hiring And Retaining Top Performers from Inc

Want to attract the best talent and keep them? There’s a simple formula to follow, and it’s not about the money. Perfect Candidate = Ideal Cultural Fit + Proven Ability To Do The Job. There are only three reasons why any hiring manager will hire someone: 1. Best Cultural Fit, 2. Proven Ability, 3. Need For The Role. What Is Your Culture? When you hire for culture first, you’re ensuring that the person you choose will fit in with your existing team. Culture is your unwritten rules, your philosophies, your methods, your beliefs, your way of doing things, even down to your mannerisms and how you dress. When the rock band AC/DC needed a new singer, they didn’t choose a female ballad singer, they chose a hard-rocking, leather-wearing man who fit their style, image and energy. When you’re hiring, whether you are aware of it or not, you’re doing the same thing."

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: What's Been Happening This Week

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: What's Been Happening This Week

he wage wars are heating up this summer. We've talked about companies taking the initiative and raising the minimum they pay their employees, and now the government is taking action too this week. Other employment news to highlight covers women in the workforce, your boss, and one technology company's plans to cut its workforce. Check it all out in this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup!

1) New York Panel Approves $15 Fast-Food Wage from The Wall Street Journal

"Board recommends $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers in NYC by 2018 for establishments that are part of chains with more than 30 locations nationwide. New York state’s fast-food wage board on Wednesday recommended raising the minimum wage for that industry to $15 an hour by 2018 in New York City and by 2021 elsewhere in the state. The move gives Gov. Andrew Cuomo a political gain with labor unions and liberal Democrats who have pushed for higher wages for low-income workers, even as it prompted an immediate backlash from businesses that say higher costs will lead to job losses."

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Lead Inside the Box: You're Leading All Wrong

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Lead Inside the Box: You're Leading All Wrong

Here at exaqueo, we're so often promoting the virtues of understanding your workforce. It's easy to be heads down, making assumptions about people, how they work and what they do. At a macro-level we have to change this and take the time to understand how and why people work. One of the best ways to do this is to start with your leaders--training them to understand how people behave at work, and how to get the best work out of them.

To explore leadership at this level, I sat down with Mike Figliuolo, Managing Director of thoughtLeaders LLC. A veteran leadership trainer and coach, Mike uses his West Point, McKinsey and corporate experience to help leaders think differently about how to lead. 

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: What's Been Happening this Week

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: What's Been Happening this Week

It's been a crazy week for the world economy. Something that employers can't ignore. And even with crises in Greece and China, the past few months for employment in the US have proven strong. This week's Talent and HR News Weekly Update features some of the employment news in the US as well as some other useful HR resources recently posted. Enjoy!

1) Small business hiring stays strong in June from Washington Post

"Small businesses added 120,000 jobs in June, which was a slight drop from the previous month but another strong showing from Main Street, according to the monthly report by payroll processing firm ADP. Nationwide, government data released Thursday showed that the economy added 223,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in seven years, but analysts said the falling rate likely reflected an exodus of workers from the job market rather than strength in the economy. In contrast, small business hiring remains a bright spot , said Ahu Yildirmaz, head of the ADP Research Institute."

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Are Your Talent Decisions Misplaced?

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Are Your Talent Decisions Misplaced?

Assumption—that’s often the name of the game for human resources decisions. After all, HR professionals are employees too, right? They went through the hiring process themselves, they use the benefits, they want career paths—they’re just like the rest of the employees. Except they’re not. And neither are leaders.

Too often we sit around conference room tables making decisions based on our assumptions about employees—what we think they want, what we think they need and where we think they should be placed.  And that often leads to misplacement.

Enter Dr. Joe Ungemah’s new book, Misplaced Talent. A balanced approach to people decisions, it provides a way to consider both science and practice without relying solely on assumptions. And, when Dr. Ungemah asked me to reflect on the importance of making decisions this way in his new book, I gladly agreed. My job is focused on helping my clients find the balance and my career has been a long search for that balance.

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Alternative Work Arrangements

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Alternative Work Arrangements

There are many companies out there challenging the 9-5 mentality and offering different approaches and options for the way its workforce works. Some work environments don't allow for much flexibility, as there are jobs where you must physically be present, such as a shift at a restaurant or a security guard. Where it is possible though, companies are experimenting with what works for their companies and workforce. Here are some recent trends in alternative and flexible work arrangements, that someday may shift from being "alternative" to being the "norm."

1) Leaders Catching on to Four-day Workweeks from Human Capital Online

"For an increasing amount of companies, four-day work weeks have become standard practice – particularly during the summer months – but is a compressed schedule something you should consider? These advocates think so. “Better work gets done in four days than in five,” says Basecamp CEO Jason Fried. “When there’s less time to work, you waste less time.” The software company shifts to a 32-hour work week from May through to October – giving employees the chance to spend long weekends with their families without taking time off."

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: What's Been Happening This Week?

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: What's Been Happening This Week?

We're back with the Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup. There has been a lot going on related to employment news this week, with big names such as Uber, Clinton, and Disney. Check out below for the latest news this week:

1) In a Turnabout, Disney Cancels Tech Worker Layoffs from New York Times

"In late May, about 35 technology employees at Disney/ABC Television in New York and Burbank, Calif., received jarring news. Managers told them that they would all be laid off, and that during their final weeks they would have to train immigrants brought in by an outsourcing company to do their jobs. The training began, but after a few days it was suspended with no explanation. In New York, the immigrants suddenly stopped coming to the offices. Then on June 11, managers summoned the Disney employees with different news: Their layoffs had been canceled."

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Brand Like a CMO: A Recap

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Brand Like a CMO: A Recap

Last week, we hosted our inaugural class - Brand Like a CMO - as part of our learning series. We invited speakers from non-HR functions to educate employer brand practitioners on the fundamentals of consumer marketing. Speakers included: Steve Hoeffler, a marketing professor from Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of ManagementMitzi Gaskins, VP of Luxury Brand Management for Marriott InternationalCaroline Frisbee, VP - General Manager for Delk; and Peter LaMotte, Chief Digital Engagement Officer for Levick. Participants came from all over the country (and Canada!) and from a variety of industries. 

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: The Performance Review

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Talent and HR News Weekly Update: The Performance Review

The performance review. Most people dread them. Some people look forward to them. The intent of performance reviews is worthwhile. It's an opportunity to provide feedback to employees and discuss areas of growth. Sometimes though, employees and managers just go through the motions making performance reviews a pain in the neck rather than a meaningful discussion. We're half-way through the year, which is a time when employees and managers usually "check-in" with each other, so for this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup, we're sharing the latest thinking around performance reviews. 

1) Employee Performance Review: Productive or Destructive? from Findmyshift

"Why do employees overwhelmingly dread their annual performance review with the boss? Quite often, this discussion is tied to the decision of whether an employee will receive a pay raise. What's more, many of the points a manager makes about an employee can feel personal, even subjective, and not reflective of his or her true performance over a year's time. It's up to managers to make the dialogue in the annual performance review as employee-friendly as possible, even though the odds are already stacked against both manager and employee. A different kind of process altogether can benefit employees and empower managers to feel more successful in appraising employee performance."

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Eat My Dust, Policymakers: Take Family Leave Policy Changes into Your Own Hands

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Eat My Dust, Policymakers: Take Family Leave Policy Changes into Your Own Hands

Last year, the Department of Labor created the #LeadOnLeave campaign to encourage states to re-assess their family leave policies and provide paid leave. Some states and cities have taken note and adjusted their policies. Most of the arguments for paid leave are to move the government to modify the policy, which would mandate organizations to change. But why wait for a government policy when companies have the ability to change their own policy? Yes, we’re constrained by what we can’t do according to the law – currently that means not terminating employment for women who take up to twelve weeks off. And of course a government policy would force companies to make the change. 

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Spotlight on Millennials

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Spotlight on Millennials

It's official. Millennials have taken over the workforce. According to Pew Research Center analysis, millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce.  It was inevitable that this would happen, it was just a question of when and that time has come. To help you brush up on the latest millennial news, this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup is putting the spotlight on millennials. 

1) Organizations Concerned About Leadership Programs For Millennials from Forbes

"Organizations worldwide have pinpointed a lack of capability when it comes to providing leadership programs for the millennial generation, according to Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report. The ability to develop leadership programs for millennials is cited as an area of weakness by 60% of HR and business leaders worldwide across all industries, according to a study of 3,300 business and HR leaders from 106 countries. The millennial generation has become an area of focus for organizations, said Tim Clayton-Ball, human capital partner at Deloitte."

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“Practice What You Preach, Sister” and Other Lessons in Selling the Job

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“Practice What You Preach, Sister” and Other Lessons in Selling the Job

Some of you may have heard about the Lilly Pulitzer partnership with Target and the mayhem that ensued when it was launched. I shamefully took part in the mayhem. I’m not a die-hard Lilly Pulitzer fan, but fell victim to their marketing. They had countless media plugs, a pop-up shop in NYC, and a glamorous marketing campaign that consisted of 3-D snapshots sprinkled with models and celebrities oozing the Palm Beach life. My intense desire to take part in this lifestyle mimicked an eight year old child walking down the candy aisle of a grocery store. I had to take part. I scoured the collection and researched blogs with the best strategy to ensure I ended up with my most coveted pieces. On the day of the launch, my friend and I waited in line for the store to open with about 50 people in front of us and 80 more behind us. 

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