April Round-up: What’s New and Exciting in HR

[Editor’s Note: Starting this April, our Community Manager, Nora, will be sharing a monthly list of interesting news and articles from the wonderful world of Human Resources. She’ll be compiling relevant articles for HR practitioners, those new to HR, and even members of small teams who find themselves scratching their heads at their unfamiliar HR duties.]

Hey, folks! April was a big month for legal and HR crossover news. There was a lot of discussion around changes to workplaces policies, especially on how to combat discrimination and appropriately respond to our (Canada’s) upcoming marijuana legislation changes. I decided to stay away from sharing posts on the United debacle (their HR dept had a bad enough month as it is!). Also, be sure to check out the more opinion-based articles on best practices for recruiting and motivating teams.

What’s in a name? Name-blind recruitment comes to the Government of Canada 

This one was big for us at Alongside. We’ve been learning a lot about discrimination and bias this month ourselves. Given some of the discouraging race-related events around the world lately, I’m happy that the Canadian government is attempting to be “committed to strengthening diversity and inclusion in the public service by attracting, hiring and retaining the full range of talented people needed to deliver the best possible results for Canadians.” We’re not the first to this initiative, but I’m proud to see inclusive hiring efforts recognized as a need and introduced at the Federal level. Hopefully, the positive effects can influence HR practices in other levels of government and the private sector too!

Building a people and culture function in a growing startup

Great read from Christopher Yeh, CPHR, the Manager of Talent Development at Clio. He accounts his building successful systems and best practices into their workplace culture. I love that they developed their core values collaboratively and that they are intentional about keeping them an integral part of daily life and procedures. Another key takeaway for me was their use of ‘feedforward loops.’ Never heard of that before, it’s quite a cool concept. Read more here.

Want to attract young people to your company? 

Someone in my network just shared this article last week, and of course, I jumped on it. Like many other young people new to our careers, paying off my student loans is an ever-present concern. Having your employer help with your debt would be a wonderful relief and a very attractive benefit for younger job applicants. Definitely a bigger value for us than ping-pong tables (even though I do agree, they’re great as well!). Kudos to Fidelity and Aetna and other companies already offering these benefit options!

How Canada’s marijuana legislation will affect employers

HR managers around the country have watched carefully ever since Justin Trudeau won the Canadian election in 2015 and committed to legalizing marijuana. Many have been wondering about and planning for policies that address conduct, safety, and well, to some degree, productivity. Some of our friends in the US already have some experience building out their policies and adapting to marijuana-friendly laws.

Here’s an interesting commentary from Robert Weir and Adam Pennell of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. on how Canadian marijuana legislation will affect employers. We’ve got until next summer to prepare.

New York City passes law banning prior salary questions in hiring

This month, the New York City Council passed legislation that prevents employers from asking interview questions about past salary. This bill was an effort to address the gender wage gap in NYC which especially affects women of color. Read more here.

Related: Hiring a Sales Rep? Here’s Your (FREE) Interview Toolkit

The despair of learning that experience no longer matters

Quite a thought-provoking read. This piece for the New Yorker by Benjamin Wallace-Wells discusses a growing concern that experience and seniority may no longer carry the same clout that they used to. Wallace-Wells looks at how this affects more senior workers in the labor force, especially in relation to the current US economic climate.

Related questions: In what ways can more experienced jobseekers present themselves as competitive in the job market? How can HR react to provide additional training and support for more senior employees to ensure they have up-to-date skills but feel valued for their experience as well?

Asian job seekers face disadvantage even when they have higher degrees

Some unfortunate (but sadly not surprising) results from recent survey by Ryerson/University of Toronto. Researchers found Asian-named job applicants consistently received fewer calls than Anglo-named applicants, regardless of the size of the companies involved. It’s 2017, people! Let’s work on fixing this quickly.

Group interviews- how to avoid consensus hiring

Here’s a great piece by Brendan Reid at Ceridian on the dangers of consensus hiring. At Alongside, we conduct group interviews and encourage other small teams to do so as well. This helps us maintain team alignment and ensure we pick the best people for the job who also share our values. Reid is right; however, that group interviews need to be approached with strategy and caution. There’s certainly some steps to take and team bias problems to watch for. He suggests a common evaluation framework to guide interviews, and we’d also suggest ensuring an HR-experienced professional (if possible) lead all hiring efforts.

Could “social justice benefits” be the newest employment trend?

According to the LinkedIn Purpose at Work 2016 Global Report, 74% of candidates want to “feel like their work matters.” Employees are becoming more and more engaged in politics and other important issues as our world dramatically changes. Alongside and many other companies offer paid volunteering days, but what do you think of paid leave for social activism?

Related: Hiring and Working with Generation Z (aka Generation Mobile)

The utter uselessness of job interviews

Just when you thought you had it figured out, right? Check out this opinion piece by Jason Dana for the New York Times. It’s pretty clear what Dana thinks of interviews, yet as he accepts, we know they’re not going away anytime soon. Food for thought: How can we take these points into consideration and improve upon our existing interview practices?

Hope you enjoyed this curated list of interesting HR news and articles for April. Let us know what you found most relevant for your HR practices!