Inside Human Resources - April 24th, 2019

Inside Human Resources (Apr 24th, 2019)

Google's Unethical Practices / Staffing Agency for Ex-Cons / Blockchain in HR Tech

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Hi! I’m Nick, a writer at On behalf of our publication, I want to thank you for being a subscriber. I recently launched the Inside HR newsletter to bring you the top stories about human resources. I see that you recently took a look at one the Inside HR newsletters, which is why I’d like to personally invite you to join the newsletter. Please feel free to send me any interesting news you would like to see covered in this newsletter. You can reach me directly at I look forward to adding exciting local news to your inbox each week!— Nick Shekeryk

1. Prison-release job board company 70 Million Jobs said it would shift focus to becoming a staffing agency. The for-profit organization that helps former inmates find work said the change would help create more job opportunities. As a staffing agency, 70 Million Jobs will handle duties such as paying salaries, taxes, insurance and administering background checks, which some companies might feel uncomfortable doing for former criminals. - HR DIVE

2. In an attempt to improve its campus safety for both students and employees, the University of Oregon now requires all employees to complete a sexual harassment and discrimination prevention training course. About 55 percent of the school’s employees have already completed the training, which has a completion deadline of June 30th. Student workers and temporary employees are not required to attend the training, but the school encourages as many employees as possible to attend. – AROUND THE O

3. An internal open letter accused Google of retaliating against employees for pushing back on unethical business practices and organizing a walkout last year. Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton, who staged a nearly 20,000-employee protest over sexual misconduct inaction, wrote about ways in which the tech giant threatened them with demotions and other work disruptions for not blindly following orders— such as Whittaker’s AI team refusing to work with a think tank leader who was allegedly vocally bigoted towards many marginalized groups. A Google spokesperson said the company “prohibit(s) retaliation in the workplace, and (will) investigate all allegations.” – FORTUNE

Note: This article originally appeared in a recent issue of Inside Google/Alphabet.


Workforce Wednesday: Right of First Refusal
By Nick Shekeryk

When someone helps to build a company from the ground up, they can’t help but have a sense of pride in seeing it become successful. In fact, some businesses become so successful and profitable (or potentially so) that they get bought out by other companies. This might be enticing to the pockets of the company owners, but for the employees, it can mean unfavorable policy changes or even being replaced by new workers. For these reasons, it’s vital to allow employees to act on right of first refusal policies.

The right of first refusal is a contract that gives workers the chance to buy ownership in a company before it gets sold or shut down. The policy was set in place to prevent both the monopolization of industries and mass layoffs that could potentially destroy entire communities.

In a recent research survey conducted by progressive research firm, Democracy Collaborative, 69 percent of participants said they would be in favor of being offered the first right of refusal contract. The contract offer was also shown to be important to people across all ethnic backgrounds and age groups— especially those 65 and older, who showed an 81 percent interest in supporting the contract.

Though our capitalist society urges people to desire power and often places profit over civility, it appears as if the majority of people just want to be able to make an honest living and support their families. For these reasons, the first right of refusal contracts for employees is key to keeping the hard-working and opportunistic spirit of America intact.

Every Wednesday we'll feature an aspect of the workforce that is relevant to the world of human resources. We will include links to resources for learning more. If you have ideas for an interesting HR-related story we can feature, or anything else you'd like to see us cover, hit reply to this email!

5. Vacation days are necessary for personal health, but if none of your coworkers are taking time off, you might be working in a toxic environment. HR Dive reveals seven telltale signs that it might be time for you to start looking for a new job. – HR DIVE

6. Some companies don’t have the bandwidth or money to handle every task internally, which is why outsourcing has become so popular among businesses. Tech Radar complied a list of the top long-term and short-term outsourcing options for HR departments. – TECH RADAR

7. Employees look for more than just compensation from jobs— they need inviting work cultures. HR tech helps businesses give employees a well-rounded experience that might keep them from leaving for other companies. – CMS WIRE

8. According to a recent survey from Kforce, 80 percent of employees gave their jobs a B-minus grade for factors such as day-to-day tasks, work-life balance, benefits, and company morale. - HR DIVE

9. The most effective HR professionals are the ones who have experience working in positions other than HR. Forbes makes a case for the need of HR professional to build true employee empathy by spending time in positions that require the assistance of HR departments. – FORBES

10. Blockchain helps with organization, transparency and turning complex information into data, but they are usually associated with complex technology such as cryptocurrency. SHRM believes that blockchain capabilities might be a promising addition that makes HR technology even more robust. – SHRM

11. Editor’s Note: JargonWatch

Earlier this month, we asked all our newsletter writers to write about a buzzword relevant to their readers. We’re planning to make this a regular monthly feature and we’re calling it JargonWatch (as a tribute to the WIRED feature). Our writers rose to the occasion with some fascinating inside info. Here are the top 10 in no particular order:

If you have suggestions for future installments of JargonWatch, hit reply to this email and let us know. And look for next month’s installment across Inside newsletters next Wednesday.

Nick Shekeryk has a professional background rich in digital marketing and media. His work has appeared in The Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, New York Post, The Post-Standard, and on, among others. He has a graduate degree in journalism from Syracuse University, as well as creative writing and philosophy degrees from Seattle University. He lives in Seattle, WA, and spends his spare time playing and coaching baseball, running half marathons, and seeing as much live music as possible. You can follow Nick on Twitter at @NickShekeryk.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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