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Most Important Developments in HR for 10/4

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Integration is the future. That was the takeaway from the 10th annual LinkedIn Talent Connect event for talent acquisition and HR professionals, held last week. LinkedIn executives announced that previously separate products such as Recruiter, Talent Insights, and Jobs will be available on a single platform and integrated with the company’s new applicant tracking system (ATS), to improve user experience and hiring outcomes. John Jersin, vice president of product management for LinkedIn, outlined the company’s vision for the next decade: helping organizations shift away from thinking about talent as a resource and toward putting people at the center of their efforts. SHRM

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“Alexa, help me get a job at McDonald’s.” The Chicago-based burger giant will now let people begin a job application process through Amazon Echo devices or Google Assistant in what the company says is the world’s first voice-activated application process. The addition of voice-activated job applications comes as the restaurant industry is dealing with arguably the worst labor shortage in its history. Low unemployment, fewer teens in the workforce, and growing competition, along with continued industry expansion, have all conspired to limit the available pool of workers. That is driving companies like McDonald’s to look for new strategies to get employees. And while many companies are bolstering their benefits or pay — McDonald’s has an Archways to Opportunity tuition program, for instance, and increased pay at company locations — technology is also playing a growing role. Restaurant Business

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Elon Musk keeps getting into serious legal trouble in 120 characters. A California NLRB judge just ruled the company and Musk specifically broke U.S labor laws with their treatment of workers thinking of organizing a union. Tesla is ordered to cease and desist doing things like blocking off-duty employees from handing out union literature and instituting a dress code after employees began to wear shirts with union insignias to work. Musk’s tweets added fuel to the legal fire. The judge singled out a tweet from May 2018 that read: “Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing?” The judge said the tweet, sent to Musk’s nearly 23 million followers, “can only be read by a reasonable employee to indicate that if the employees vote to unionize they would give up stock options.” Time

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A Virginia high school teacher who was fired for refusing to use a transgender student’s preferred pronouns has filed a lawsuit against school officials and the board. Peter Vlaming, who was a French teacher at West Point High School, said he was fired because he would not use pronouns such as “him” and “his” to refer to a female student who was transitioning to male. Instead, he called the student by his preferred name during class and avoided using pronouns altogether. When the school found out, administrators told Vlaming to either use male pronouns or risk losing his job. The suit alleges that school officials and the board violated Vlaming’s right to freedom of speech. He is seeking $1 million in damages. “He wasn’t fired for something he said,” the lawsuit reads. “He was fired for what he didn’t say.” One of the points at issue: The school didn’t have a written policy about pronoun use. NBC News

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Technological efficiencies will result in the biggest reduction in headcount across the U.S. banking industry in its history, with an estimated 200,000 job cuts over the next decade, Wells Fargo & Co. said in a report. The $150 billion annually that the country’s finance firms are spending on tech — more than any other industry — will lead to lower costs, with employee compensation accounting for half of all bank expenses, said Mike Mayo, a senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities LLC. Back office, bank branch, call center, and corporate employees are being cut by about a fifth to a third, with jobs related to tech, sales, advising, and consulting less affected, according to the study. Mayo joins bank executives, consulting firms, and others in predicting huge cuts to the banking workforce amid the push toward automation. McKinsey & Co. said in May that it expects the headcount for front-office workers — the bankers and traders historically seen as among finance firms’ most valuable assets — to drop by almost a third with the rise of robots. Fortune

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