Welcome to this week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup. What's been happening this week as it relates to employment and the workforce was pretty grim, until today's jobs report was released. The unemployment rate is at a seven-year low at 5.4%. Have a drink to celebrate this weekend!

1) Google is planning to spend $150 million to make its workforce more diverse from Mashable

"If there's one consistent complaint about Silicon Valley, it's that all the people working there tend to look remarkably similar. Those who try to change things, however, including Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao, don't get very far. Google, one of the largest employers in the value, is planning to change that. The company is committing to spend $150 million in 2015 to recruit more women and minorities, according to an interview Google's vice president of people operations gave to USA Today. Nancy Lee, Google's vice president of people operations, told the paper that the money is part of a broader program aimed at changing the company to better reflect its consumers."

2) Worker Productivity Sees First Back to Back Drop Since 2006 from Market Watch

"American employees and companies evidently are not as productive at work as they used to be. U.S. productivity fell by a 1.9% annual pace in the first quarter, resulting in the first back-to-back drop since 2006, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. Over the past four quarters productivity has risen at a scant 0.6% rate, just one-fourth the nation’s average since the end of World War Two. The decline in productivity stemmed from companies hiring more workers and employees working longer hours even as the production of goods and services declined."

3) Only 169,000 Jobs Added in April, Says ADP from US News & World Report

"Many economists expected a rebound after last month’s soft jobs numbers, but the ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday shows little sign of such a turnaround. The domestic economy added only 169,000 jobs in April, according to the Wednesday report, and March additions were revised down from an original 189,000 to 175,000. This is the second consecutive month of sub-200,000 job additions, which previously hadn’t happened in a single month since January 2014. Service-providing firms added 170,000 positions last month, with the most pronounced month-over-month gains seen in the professional/business services and trade/transportation/utilities sectors."

4) Simple Tools to Make Hiring Easier from Harvard Business Review

"Running an open recruitment process – one where the position is openly advertised – can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have at your disposal an HR department that’s organized to handle the process. This is often the case in small businesses, volunteer organizations, and some government branches. I’ve often seen recruitment calls receiving too little interest, or, worse, paper CVs piling up on a desk, with no clear plan on how to deal with them."

5) The Coming Workforce Crisis from Huffington Post

"This may be counterintuitive, but we're running out of trained talent. I'm sure you noticed that I inserted the word "trained" before the word "talent." When my brother's son was a young boy, he had a talent for drawing, but without the skills and insights that education and training can bring, his talent was undeveloped. I'm happy to report that he will be graduating from college with honors in a few months as a graphic artist. Now that his talent has been developed, and he knows how to use a wide pallet of tools to bring his visions to life on a page, or on a screen, with or without 3D animation, he can go out into the world and make a difference, and a living."

6) Good News: US Economy Adds 223,000 Jobs from CNN Money

"America can breathe a sigh of relief. The economy is improving with the spring weather. The U.S. added 223,000 jobs in April, a healthy pick up after a disappointing March and about in line with what economists surveyed by CNNMoney projected. April's strong job gains reflect a trend the country saw last year: job growth cooling in the winter months, then gaining momentum into the spring. "They are good numbers," says Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones. "It's reassuring that we saw job growth rebound to above 200,000." The good news doesn't stop there. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%, its lowest mark since May 2008. This is likely to be helpful to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Many believe she needs the economy to keep growing until Election Day in order for her to win the presidency."

Lexi Gordon is a Lead Consultant for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps organizations build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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