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Hiring is becoming a four-dimensional entity in a market that is fraught with disruption. The three dimensions, qualifications, experience, and soft skills are getting a facelift, while a brand new dimension, a potential is creating ripples to waves in the hiring ocean. Qualifications are now more about learnability as 76% of U.S. employers want to upskill there workforce by 2020. Exact experience is tough to come by without poaching and this dimension has evolved in finding a person who has been in similar and not the same situation before. Soft skills are getting compartmentalized, employers are asking whether the candidate has soft skills relevant to the job. Potential, the newest entrant takes more than one interactions to gauge and goes beyond the previous experience or qualification to understand the core aptitude.
Honda, the Japanese carmaker has decided to bow out of Britain with the closing of its Swindon factory, its sole manufacturing unit in the country. The decision that will result in the loss of 3,500 jobs comes just before the Brexit uncertainty, but as per conservative lawmaker from Swindon, Justin Tomlinson “is not Brexit related.” The closure of the Swindon plant that makes the hatchback version of Honda's Civic model will be the second one in 2022 as the company plans to close one of its Japan plans in 2022. The move is towards consolidating production as Honda focusses on new vehicle technologies. Honda’s Swindon plant had built 160,000 at its South England plant that is just 10% of the country’s total output in cars but is now struggling in face of heightened regulations and decreasing demand for a diesel model.
The gender discrimination monster is back at Walmart with nearly 100 workers filing lawsuits against the retailer alleging disparity in pay and promotion for certain managerial positions. The retail giant has an earlier reputation of gender discrimination as eight years back the Supreme Court blocked the company from facing the largest sexual discrimination case brought against an employer ever in history. The plaintiffs are either working for Walmart or were employed between the early and late 2000s. The current lawsuits come after the 2011 ruling in the Walmart Stores v. Duke Case that was filed way back in 2001 and represented 1.5 million previous women employees. It was ruled too large a number to qualify as a class action lawsuit leading to these individual lawsuits.
Congress is investing some serious thought towards gender pay parity as The Paycheck Fairness Act, which holds employers accountable for pay parity becomes the latest in the league of legislatures enforced in the past few years to eradicate gender wage gap. The state legislature has introduced 40 pay-equity bills in 2017 and at least five of the states have passed pay-equity laws, but many of them were stalled at the federal level. The latest legislation is however at the federal level and intends to correct the shortfalls of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. 2018 saw a common theme of banning the practice of asking an applicant’s salary to determine the pay in the next organization by the lawmakers.
British businesses are feeling generous just before Brexit as they raise the basic wages by 2.5% on average, its highest since 2012. The findings are from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a human resources professional body who takes this survey every year since 2012. The rise can be attributed to the difficulties in recruitment and keeping up with the competitors and is an indicator of a strong British job market. Inflation is a major factor in pay rises higher than 2% and it remains to see what will the current rise sustain as the inflation fell below the required level. Bank of England policy maker Gertjan Vlieghe says that forms are choosing easy to fire workers over hard to sell unwanted machinery as there is a potential for a no-deal Brexit.
Professionals are growing in confidence and negotiation skills as a Robert Half survey find 55% of candidates negotiating for a higher salary with their last job offer. This number is 16-point rise from its 2018 numbers. The survey that included 2,800 workers and as many senior managers found that respondents from San Diego, San Francisco, and Miami are the most likely to negotiate for a higher salary, while those from Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minneapolis are the least likely to go for negotiations. Men (68%) will negotiate more compared to women (45%), and the young professionals from 18-35 years are keener on negotiation than their older counterparts. Most of the senior managers expected that the candidate will negotiate, with 80% managers in Boston and 78% managers in Denver and Washington DC believing the same.
The athletics wear brand, Lululemon has a new ace up its sleeve to retain old and attract new employees and it is gender-biased paid parental leave of up to 6 months for all its full-timers. The company’s definition of full-timers are the employees who clock 24 hours per week and those who have been with the company for 2 years or more will be eligible for 3 months of paid leave. The ones who are with the company as full-timers for five years or more will be eligible for 6 months of paid parental leave irrespective of the gender. The company said that 60% of its 13,400 staff are based in the U.S. and a majority of them are there with them for 2 years or more and a one-fifth of them are five years or older.
Amazon’s scrapping of the plans of a second headquarters in the Queens has initiated a heap of debate as New Yorkers took to Twitter to both welcome and frown upon the move. Many, including the politicians who were against the move, are calling the decision as their “victory”. The opposing view is of the people is that the scrapping of a proposed headquarter will mean fewer jobs. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Governor and Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor had negotiated a deal with Amazon, where they had offered the retailer an incentive of $3 billion for the company’s promise of 25,000 new jobs. While United Food and Commercial Workers union said the decision ignored the voices of working families across New York, The New York Building Trades said: “Politics and pandering have won out over a once-in-a-generation investment in New York City's economy, bringing with it tens of thousands of solid middle-class jobs.”
Almost half of the employers, i.e. 42% may not have the number right when it comes to the presence of prescription drug addiction and substance abuse in their organizations as per a report by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans. The way out of this dilemma is to conduct claim analysis, but so far just 30% of employers have done so. Out of the people who have done the claim analysis, just 3% reported a significant increase in the claim from the previous year and 8% reported significant growth over the past 5 years. 51% of businesses say that they have taken to drug monitoring program or a pharmacy benefit manager to curb the number of claims. The biggest hurdle towards these initiatives are workers who deny the problem out of fear or the lack of readiness and a lack of confidentiality.
Autumn Lampkins, a manager trainee with Mitra QSR, the fourth largest domestic KFC Franchisee got awarded $ 1.5 million in damages by a jury for claims related to a non-private lactation room. Lampkins sued her employer who, as per her claims refused to allow a private lactation room. She was forced to use a breast pump in the bathroom and later in a non-private room with cameras on and a supervisor seating. She was discouraged from using a breast pump and even demoted and transferred so claiming ‘it would be easier” for her to pump. She filed a case against the company for both gender discrimination and wage and hour violations citing that the employer made it difficult for her to pump milk and it dried up, preventing her from feeding the baby. The Court, however, denied the gender discrimination charges and granted a summary judgment based on the Fair Labor Standards Act, awarding her $25,000 in compensatory damages and $ 1.5 million in punitive damages.
With all eyes set to March 30 and Brexit, Switzerland announced a quota that will allow Britons to work, reside and travel in the country if Britain leaves the EU without an exit deal. The quota will apply from March 30 to December 31 and will allow 3,500 thousand first time visitors to Switzerland with a British passport to hold a job. The residence permit will have the maximum limit of 2,100, while an additional 1,400 short stay permits will be feasible. This quota is aimed to replace the current Agreement of Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and Britain that will breathe its last on March 30.
Labor leaders and Union may be the spoilsport in the proposed joint venture between ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel if concessions in the antitrust proceedings go too far. Labor leaders hold half the seats on the ThyssenKrupp supervisory board are opposed to the merger that plans to bring together Thyssenkrupp’s and Tata Steel’s European operations under the same roof making it one of the largest steelmakers in the continent second only to ArcelorMittal. Markus Grolms, vice chairman of ThyssenKrupp's supervisory board and secretary at IG Metall, Germany’s biggest labor union said: “We won’t support a merger at any price.” The labor union holds 10 out of 20 seats and the situation may escalate to a possible veto. The steel-to-submarine group looked confident about the merger that forms a key ingredient of the company’s transformational plans that will see its elevator, car parts and plant engineering units listed as separate entities.
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Apple CEO Tim Cook will be a part of President Donald Trump’s business advisory board that aims to help the current U.S. workforce to be automation and artificial intelligence ready. The National Council for American Worker was established by the President by executive order last July and called out to create an environment of lifelong learning and upskilling. The U.S. Department of Commerce began accepting nominations for the Advisory Board in August and now has a list of 25 members that includes CEOs of Home Depot, Walmart, Lockheed Martin along with Cook and Rometty.
Alphabet Inc. that is virtually all Google released an annual 10-K report saying it has 98,771 employees which are close to touching the 139,900 employees of the entire U.S. Newspaper industry. The comparison is not fair as Google’s operations are global as opposed to the national nature of newspaper operations, but the revelation is unsettling. It is noteworthy to see that Alphabet has many contractors or the red-badged workers who may very well exceed the employees or white-badged full benefits staff. If this is the case then their number will exceed that of the U.S. newspaper staff, though they have many stringers and contract workers who go unaccounted.
Wall Street seems happy about the upcoming SunTrust and BB&T merger as stocks went anti-gravity after the announcement. The baby boomers working for both the banks did not take the news as a welcome change as it may mean merger layoffs. The merger is a pragmatic move in pooling resources together to invest in technology to stay relevant in the race that has bigger names like JPMorgan. The companies target at least $1.6 billion in annual cost saving by 2022, the money will be directed towards technology or to return more capital to the shareholders. The banks are shrinking their headcount ever since 2008, SunTrust shrunk to 24,000 from its earlier 34,000 in 2006. Shrinking due to retirement and attrition leaves an older pool of employees in the company those are not always ready to take up current challenges. The banks need to come up with better unemployment clauses for older employees as the job market is not very friendly towards them.
Monster’s latest State of Candidate Report found that workers will like to see the recruitment process go video. A good three-fourths of people believed that recruitment drives and their search should have increased video presence. Though younger candidates preferred a video by the recruiter explaining the job as a better medium of understanding the profile, a total of 80% in the mixed age survey agreed on the similar lines. The video mediums that found the mentions were, video call with the recruiter, a video resume and video job description. Video resumes may soon become the trend and may develop into a norm as a third of respondents feel that traditional resumes did an incomplete task of representing them.
The recession may be or may not be in the cards, but the HT needs to gear up for a downturn. A Wall Street Journal poll found that while only 4.3% economists believed that the recession wave will hit shores by 2019, a good 45.7% of them believed that there will be a downturn by 2020. The current turmoil around the U.S.- China trade negotiations and Brexit will reflect poorly on the economy, even if there is no global recession, wrote Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics at NYU Stern School of business in a Guardian article. The U.S. businesses may not yet be ready for a downturn in the wake of a strong labor market and HR operating in a candidate’s market.
UBS Group AG, the multinational investment bank and financial services company is bidding adieu to individual bonuses and will, from now pay its staff at its corporate center a percentage of their annual salary. Igor Moser, a spokesperson speaking on the behalf of the bank declined to state a figure and said the confirmation for the same will be made public by March. He further said that the employees who have a chance to see a dip in salary because of the move will have a top up on their fixed pay and the payout will be roughly half a month’s salary. The move will affect about 10,000 staff at their corporate center, but as per CEO Sergio Ermotti that UBS’s total bonus pool of 3.1 billion francs will stay the same this year and hence he does not expect “many big movements.”
Monday morning saw about half of the public school teachers amounting to 2,100 calling in absent as they picketed outside before the start of the school day in a strike over pay. Several students joined their teachers outside in the strike that was called after a year of negotiations between The Denver Classroom Teachers Association and Denver Public school ended in Saturday with disappointment for both the parties. This comes as an addition to the wave of teacher activism that the U.S. is seeing since the last spring. Alec Garnett, the majority leader in the Colorado house said that the strike undermined the need to boost funds for the public school and said the lawmakers should focus towards putting more money into the class than in administration. The schools barring preschools remained open with administrators and substitute teachers staffing them.
January saw a spike in CEO exits for the U.S. based companies says a report by the HR firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. The last month saw 157 heads of the companies step down from the helm, a 22% growth from the December number of 129 and a 19% boom from the January 2018 figures of 132. Challenger, the publisher of the report put the onus of these exits on the lookout for new leadership in an economy which is, “strong but uncertain”. Most of the CEOs stepped down to take other roles like chairperson or other executive ranks within the company. Some of them hung their hats in retirement, while the others left for what they assume greener pastures. A third of them left due to an internal investigation. Non-profit sector followed by healthcare and finance saw the most number of CEO exits.