September #SHRMChat on College Relations Recap

by Matthew Stollak on Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On Tuesday, September 10, a lively chat was held regarding the relationship between SHRM professional chapters and volunteers, and student programs.  Nearly 129,000 impressions were made, and nearly 36,000 accounts were reached according to

Here are the questions and answers that took place:

Q1 - What are the benefits of working with a SHRM student chapter? 

The participants found a number of reasons to engage with student chapters:

  • Students were going to be their future peers; the professional chapter's future depended on them
  • Student chapters provide quality access to interns, as well as served as a source to fill future vacancies
  • To break down generational barriers
  • To fill a programming niche at the professional chapter, as students choose and present a topic of interest to professionals

Q2 - What are you, your professional chapter or State Council doing to support your SHRM student chapter?

  • Providing free professional chapter membership to students
  • Mentoring
  • Providing for discounted, or free, registration at chapter meetings, or the state conference
  • Providing speakers
  • Job shadowing opportunities
  • Offering the opportunity to tour a company's plant or workplace
  • Financial support - $500 if the chapter earns a Superior Merit Award, $250 if they earn a merit award
  • State Council offers $100 to each student chapter that submits a merit award

Q3 - What are the biggest challenges you face in working with a SHRM student chapter?

  • The schedule often made planning difficult with the academic calendar running from August-May, which the professional chapter goes from January to December.
  • Student turnover made building relationships difficult
  • Students often lacking the time to connect or showing interest in the professional chapter 
Q4 - What could SHRM be doing to help address those challenges?

  • Make working with student chapters a bigger part of SHAPE
  • Address current chapter bylaws to create a student member category
  • Examine new ways for chapters to communicate with students
  • Be clearer with professional chapters about the challenges inherent in working with student chapters

Q5 - Based on tonight’s discussion, what is one thing you will do to help your student chapter this year? 
  • Create a Student Core Leadership Area representative for the chapter
  • Create a membership category for students
  • Be more aggressive in connecting with the student chapter(s) in the area
  • Expand opportunities for students at the state level
  • Encourage greater volunteering among professionals with the student chapter
  • Utilize Tara Fournier, SHRM's Manager of Member Engagement, as a resource 
Per usual, SHRMChats will take place at 8PM EDT, 7 PM CDT, 6 PM MDT and 5 PM PDT on the second Tuesday of the month.  Look for the next SHRMChat to be held October 10, where the focus will be on SHRM Chapter Membership issues.

September #SHRMChat on College Relations

by Matthew Stollak on Friday, September 6, 2013

With September in full swing, it means a return to campus for students.  And, for some, it means getting ready for year with their SHRM student chapter.   Student leaders are perusing their 2013-2014 Student Chapter Merit Award planning guide in an effort to not only provide quality programming and services to interested students, but to earn recognition for their efforts as well. 

Some of the critical components for the success of a student SHRM chapter include a dedicated advisor, a supportive professional chapter (with a dedicated liaison), and State Council support.  From assisting student chapters with speakers sharing insights on the HR profession to providing mentors or financial support, SHRM volunteers play a crucial role in developing student leaders and future HR professionals.

With that in mind, here are the questions for the College Relations #SHRMChat

 Q1 - What are the benefits of working with a SHRM student chapter?

Q2 - What are you, your professional chapter or State Council doing to support your SHRM student chapter?
Q3 - What are the biggest challenges you face in working with a SHRM student chapter?

Q4 - What could SHRM be doing to help address those challenges?

Q5 - Based on tonight’s discussion, what is one thing you will do to help your student chapter this year?

Per usual, our chat will take place at 8PM EDT, 7 PM CDT, 6 PM MDT and 5 PM PDT on the second Tuesday of the month (in this case, September 10, 2013).

Monitoring Employees? Big Data? The NBA Has You Beat

by Matthew Stollak on Thursday, September 5, 2013

Watching the number of keystrokes your data entry operator makes?  Scouring Foursquare or Facebook place check-ins to see if employees are honestly missing work?

Well, the NBA is taking employee monitoring to a whole new level.

They are installing data-tracking cameras in all 29 arenas that will enable them to gather intriguing information.

If you are a referee, you will be monitored to see whether you are getting in position as well as making the right call:

one reason the league acted fast was to immediately enhance its ability to monitor referees — always a touchy subject. The cameras represent the most precise way to grade the three on-court officials based on how consistently and early they get into the league’s three set positions — called “lead,” “slot,” and “trail” — and whether they make appropriate calls from those positions based on their exact sight lines. This is the next stage in seeing which officials are the best, and thus deserving of high-stakes assignments, and in quantifying that in ways that are hard to dispute.

The league has already started using the cameras to check on the enforcement of defensive three-second violations out of concern that defensive players routinely break the rule by lingering in the lane too long. (The results of said studies are inconclusive so far, say several sources familiar with the inquiry.)

What about player performance?  In "Airplane," when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (as Roger Murdock) was questioned on his effort, he said,

"LISTEN, KID! I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes" 

Now, with the installation of the data-tracking cameras, NBA teams can now measure work-related hustle:

Teams can pay up to $40,000 extra to purchase (among other goodies) software that helps track a player’s physical exertion. The in-game cameras represent one piece of that. They can tell you how fast a player runs, how often he accelerates on cuts, how often those accelerations end with him reaching top speed, and the height of a player’s release point on jump shots. Some players recovering from injury, including Ricky Rubio last season, have taken significant game time to get back to their previous speed and fitness baselines. And an injury to one star, Manu Ginobili early in the 2011-12 season, resulted in the other San Antonio starters exerting more physical effort with a standstill shooter (Danny Green) in Ginobili’s place.

The other pieces, and perhaps the most important ones in determining a player’s condition, come outside those 82 games and require the use of other forms of technology: sleep and heart-rate monitors, GPS devices and accelerometers players can wear during practice, and the careful tracking of weightlifting, diet, and other day-to-day stuff. Put all that data together, and you can get a fairly complete picture of a player’s condition, and of how indicators of his condition — running speed, jumping ability, etc. — change over the course of a season. “This is where you can start to measure fatigue,” says Brian Kopp, executive vice-president at STATS.

A revealing nugget: Teams really want the SportVU cameras to monitor their practices, Kopp says. That’s difficult, since most teams practice somewhere other than their game arenas. Some coaches and GMs might want the practice data simply to check on which players work hard, and which loaf.

But others will want it to change the very concept of practice. How much practice time do teams really need? And how taxing should those practices be? How should that change during the season? There are higher-ups around the league who are ready to radically rethink these things, provided the next-level data indicates they should.

And, think of the impact these measures can have on contract negotiations:

So imagine a player entering the final year of his rookie-scale contract and his agent beginning contract talks only to hear a team official open with something like, “Our camera data shows you really don’t hustle in the fourth quarter. Your running speed slows down. You just stand around instead of going for rebounds. These are some of the reasons we are offering you only $7 million per year.”

Wouldn’t that agent want to at least cross-check that data, to make sure it’s not B.S.? The players union has already started the fight for access to that data. “All we want is to make sure access is available,” says Ron Klempner, the union’s executive director. “If teams are forming impressions about players that players are not in position to defend, we want to make sure everyone is operating on an even scale.”

New technologies transforming how the NBA does business.  Even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar should be impressed.

Labor Day and the NFL

by Matthew Stollak on Monday, September 2, 2013

Its tough to be a NFL player this time of year.

Teams must reduce their rosters to a limit of 53 players.   Those individuals who made it through training camp and 4 preseason games may have found themselves looking for work.

The 2006 Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow, is unemployed.

The #3 pick in the 2007 NFL draft, Vince Young, was cut by the Green Bay Packers.

According to Peter King,
Five quarterbacks picked in the top 50 of the last seven drafts were cut: Vince Young and Matt Leinart (2006), Brady Quinn (2007) and Tim Tebow and Jimmy Clausen (2010). Brian Billick says picking a quarterback is no better than a 50-50 proposition between success and failure. Let’s see, based on the five drafts between 2006 and 2010. (It’s too early to make definitive judgments on quarterbacks in the league for two or fewer years.) Let’s look at the quarterbacks picked in the top two rounds from 2006 to 2010, and their fate:
Of the 21 quarterbacks drafted in the top two rounds of these five drafts, six are solid starters, and eight are out of football.

Let’s now cut it down to first-rounders only. Billick, it turns out, is prescient. If you don’t count Sanchez as a starter—and I don’t see how you can term him a starter right now—six of the 12 first-round picks over a five-year period are starting in the league. So it’s still a crapshoot.

Meanwhile, despite hundreds of hours of scouting, observation, and interviews, 78 undrafted players from the 2013 NFL draft made active rosters.

As screenwriter William Goldman says, "nobody knows anything."

3 days until kickoff!

Happy Labor Day everyone.