Aquire and #HRevolution

by Matthew Stollak on Friday, September 28, 2012

In a little over a week, many great HR professionals and thought leaders will be heading to Chicago to attend the fifth iteration of HRevolution.  This can't miss event continues to challenge attendees to look at human resources in a new way.  One of the companies that make such an event possible is Aquire.  Here are three things Aquire is currently doing that truly improve HR:

  1. Hire the greatest employees with a passion to solve customers problems.  Aquire has a dedication to its employees that has placed it on several"Best Places to Work lists."  In addition, through initiatives such as the "Aquire culture club," employees can give back to the community.   This has enabled Aquire to not only maintain a strong retention rate, but serve the customer in a meaningful fashion.  Click here to learn more about working at Aquire.
  2. Aquire InSight - Taking workforce planning and analytics to the leaders of organizations in a visual and powerful way, Insight allows individuals to determine the root cause of performance issues, without keeping that valuable information and knowledge in a back room with only the data crunchers.  Click here to learn more about InSight.
  3. OrgPublisher mobility - Aquire's OrgPublisher has long been a leader in organizational charting and workforce reporting software.  Now, like the Who, it is "Goin' Mobile" by enabling OrgPublisher to be used in on the iPad and putting talent data in the executives hands.
In addition, if you are attending the HR Technology Conference and view a demo of OrgPublisher Executive or InSight Executive at the Peoplefluent/Aquire booths, Founders Ross and Lois Melbourne will donate $10 per company viewing to No Kid Hungry.

Note that tickets are still available for the HRevolution event on October 7th.  Register now and not only do you get to attend a great event, but you get a code for $600 off registration for the HR Technology Conference. 

Hope to see you there.

The Academic Version of "Unemployed Need Not Apply"

by Matthew Stollak on Monday, September 24, 2012

Check out this recent ad for a Humanities position at Colorado State University.   Focus on the following:

Required qualifications:
1. Ph.D. in English or American Studies or closely related area awarded between 2010 and time of appointment.
2. A promising record of scholarship/research in pre-1900 American literature and culture.
3. Ability to teach a range of subjects in American literature and culture between 1600 and 1900.

A similar recent job posting at Harvard University for an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, “Applicants must have received the PhD or equivalent degree in the past three years (2009 or later), or show clear evidence of planned receipt of the degree by the beginning of employment.” 

What do you notice? Go ahead...take a minute....
Well, items #2 and #3 do not seem out of the ordinary - these seem like reasonable requirements for the position.  However, #1 for CSU, as well as the Harvard ad, is interesting and has ginned up a little controversy (note...both ads have changed).

Much like we've seen in the private sector, academics were not immune to the vagaries of the economy.  If you completed your Ph.D., and entered the job market in 2007, 2008, or 2009, you may have had difficulty finding a tenure track academic position.  Now, with ads such as those filed above, we have the academic equivalent of "unemployed need not apply."

Are there reasons to narrow the candidate search in such a manner?  It could be economic.  Someone with 3 or less years of academic experience will take longer to apply for tenure and promotion, and the accompanying bump in salary.  With an average salary increase of 1.4% from 2009-2010 to 2010-2011, earning tenure and promotion is often the only way for professors to see a significant bump in compensation.  As a result, delaying the promotion decision can positively affect the bottom line for colleges and universities.

Another reason may be that CSU or Harvard might already have an internal candidate, such as a visiting assistant professor, and are trying to keep the applicant pool small.  

A third reason might be similar to the NBA draft, where a team would rather take a chance on a college sophomore's "tremendous upside potential," than a college senior's "experience" that's good, but not great.  In this instance, a college might prefer the freshly minted graduate, than a less malleable individual with a couple of academic years under his or her belt.

However, the start of such a trend is worrisome for an already difficult job market, where it might take as many as 3 years to land a tenure track position.  One might have spent two or three years serving as an adjunct while trying to publish an article or two.  I might be a promising academic who might have had an illness, or family issues (such as caring for a sick parent), or served in the military that might adjust one's tenure clock.  Or, I might have found a tenure track position, and simply want to relocate to another area of the country.

It also affects the time one spends in graduate school.  Future academicians may delay the time that they finish so they will have a more established publication record, to, subsequently, become more competitive in the job market. 

When I entered the academic job market in 1994, supply of labor exceeded the number of jobs available, and it took 6 months to find a visiting position. When I finally found a tenure track position, and built up a number of years of experience, I wanted to find a job a little closer to my parents. Such mobility may be a thing of the past.

What we learn about replacement labor from the NFL

by Matthew Stollak on Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Two weeks of the NFL season are in the books.  Are you enjoying the slow-paced action as replacement refs try to figure out what is going on?   Difficulty spotting the ball, clock operation mishaps, and some basic misunderstanding of the rule book have made a typical fall Sunday afternoon somewhat less enjoyable....particularly if your team is on the losing end of a bad call.  I believe there is almost universal accord that the current replacement refs are not working.

But, a larger lesson to be drawn is that, perhaps, not all human resources are easily replaceable.  That a race to the bottom in terms of labor might not be the wise path to take.  Certainly the "scab" refs are cheaper than the refs that are striking, but they are also pretty bad.

So, I wonder how many of those who are disgusted with the incompetence being displayed by the replacements are still looking at Chicago and the teachers strike thinking, fire them and bring in someone new?  There are so many unemployed, and, hey, anyone can teach 3rd grade.

Be careful what you wish for.

September 12 Carnival of HR

by Matthew Stollak on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Welcome to the latest edition of the Carnival of HR.  There is a veritable cavalcade of HR knowledge provided from a bevy of HR Subject Matter Experts ready for your perusal.  Cue the Deer.

Some Questions

Mervyn Dinnen at T Recs wonders "Is Success Overrated?"  Check out the link to find out his perspective.

Chris Young at the Rainmaker Group asks "Employee Engagement: Just How Screwed Up Is Your Team?" 

Ian Welsh at wonders "Could We Improve Recruiting Quality By Recording Interviews?"

Our own HR Minion, Shauna Moerke, examines career transitions and queries "Who Do You Want To be Tomorrow?"

At Lean HR, Dwane Lay asks "The Santa Claus Question."

Some Answers

At Envisia Learning, Wally Bock gives us "Two Simple Ways to Help Managers"
At the HR Schoolhouse, Robin Schooling gives us the skinny on "What the 'HR Community' is REALLY Talking About."

At the HR reMix, Melissa Fairman provides some life lessons in "Everyone Should Get Laid Off Once."

At Insight, Nancy Saperstone looks at "Office Politics that Work - Improve Employee Productivity."

With the 2012 American football season in full swing, Tim Gardner, in his The HR Introvert blog, looks at "One Employee's Passion is Another's Loss of Inclusion."

At Upstart HR, Ben Eubanks examines the "Benefits of Team Building."

At Julie WG, Julie Winkle Giuloni gives us the lowdown on "Creative Crossings: Where Employee Development and Career Development Converge."

At Canadian HR Reporter, Stuart Rudner warns us to "Beware the Dangers of Templates."

At Everyday People, the Godfather Steve Browne tells us to ditch the labels and "Go Tagless!!"

At Great Leadership, Dan McCarthy gives us some history in "Managing Remote Employees: Lessons from Ancient Rome and Today."

At the Curious Cat blog, John Hunter wants us to "Manage Better By Managing Less."

At Mentoring Mullarkey, Patrick Mullarkey gleans some good HR info from the Police Academy movies in "Carey Mahoney: The L&D Professional That We All Want To Be."

Some Numbers

At her self-titled blog, Jesse Stoner gives us "The Five Steps of CRISP Decision-Making."

At Thin Difference, Jon Mertz examines "How to Navigate Life in Work - Six Considerations."

At the Inflexion Advisors blog, Mark Stelzner provides us with "7 Steps to Surviving HR Vendor Consolidation."

At Tribe HR, Paul Baribeau demonstrates no triskaidekaphobia with "13 Ways to Get Your Employees To Tune Out."

At People Equation, Jennifer Miller goes from A to Z in "26 Ways To Be A Better Boss."


Don't forget - there is a special Carnival of HR next Wednesday, September 19.  It is being hosted by Ann Bares at the Compensation Cafe.  So tune in next week....same time, different channel.