The GetFive Blog

Most Important Developments in HR for February 1st

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On the heels of the new H-1B visa rules favoring people with advanced degrees, this: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has found a way to make life more difficult for immigrants, and by extension, their employers. As a result of longer processing times, which have almost doubled in the past two years under this administration, employers and high-skilled foreign nationals are less likely to view America as a great place to work. It can take more than a year for USCIS to make a decision on an H-1B application, and in the wake of Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” order, the number of applications denied by USCIS increased by 41 percent. It’s all adding up to current H-1B workers being afraid to change jobs, even if their employment situation isn’t great. Forbes

Has anybody else noticed who’s keynoting some of the big HR conferences this year? It looks more like the line-up on the red carpet than a conference speaker roster. At Indeed Interactive, (May 13-15 in Austin) it’s Amy Poehler. At WorkHuman (March 18-21 in Nashville) it’s Viola Davis and — for crying out loud — Mr. George Clooney. What this says to us is something bigger than celebs wanting to party with HR pros at the conference hotel bar, although, who wouldn’t? It shows that #MeToo’s huge influence on the workplace in diversity, inclusion, pay equity, an end to workplace harassment in all forms, and more has captured the attention of celebrities known for championing humanitarian and inclusive causes, and they understand HR is at ground zero of it all. Hence, George Clooney is coming to speak to YOU about how important it is. Take that, sales and marketing. Indeed

According to new research by ServiceNow, one in three employees would rather go on an awkward first date than attend an onboarding or orientation session for a new job. While it’s amusing to think of the meeting in which ServiceNow thought up that survey question, the answers they got were pretty troubling. The vast majority of respondents, 80 percent, experienced some “issues” when starting a new job. A third didn’t get the training they needed, and 28 percent were unsure about their responsibilities. One in 10 said their new employer forgot it was their first day. Whoa. Clearly companies need to up their onboarding game. HR can help by using technology to automate the endless forms new hires need to fill out, and spend those first days welcoming and training the newbie instead. HR Dive

Have you caught wind of the latest HR firestorm on Twitter? It’s about SHRM’s new initiative, Getting Talent Back to Work, which encourages companies to hire people with criminal backgrounds. The idea is, one in three adults in the U.S. has some kind of blemish on their record and companies have shied away from even considering them. The program encourages companies to give ex-cons a shot, not only because giving someone a second chance is the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense in this tight hiring market. Nobody has a problem with that; it’s who SHRM is partnering with that ruffled feathers in the HR Twitterverse: Koch Industries. SHRM responded to the backlash by basically saying, hey, we need businesses, left, right, and center, to support this thing because people who have served their time deserve the dignity of a job. SHRM

Last week, BuzzFeed announced it was cutting its workforce by 15 percent. Then, those employees got even more good news: They would not get paid for the PTO they had earned unless — this takes the cake, it really does — the staffers lived in states that had laws forcing the company to pay it. There is so much wrong with that from an HR perspective, for both the laid-off employees and survivors, it’s hard to know where to start. BuzzFeed’s own morning show hosts, Isaac Fitzgerald and Saeed Jones, eviscerated the decision, saying that the company puts such an emphasis on the idea that employees are a family, and then does this, calling it shameful and embarrassing. Jones went on to say: “It simply evaporates any trust Jonah (Peretti, BuzzFeed’s founder and CEO) is going to have.” He got that right. Earlier this week, Peretti reversed the decision, but we predict the damage is going to linger at that company for a while. It’ll be up to HR to step in and help rebuild that trust. CNN

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