The tragedy at Emanuel AME

by Rick Morgan

Today’s current events are rife with bad news. The despicable and senseless murders at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, do not end at the doors of this historical house of worship. The event, however, does bring into focus an issue that our country and workplaces continue to wrestle with on a daily basis—that of race.  Stop Hate

I will digress for a moment to talk about two points. In 1968, as a college freshman, I was fortunate to be able to earn a spot on our college’s basketball team. I was one of the 12 who got to travel and dress for away games. When we traveled, our coach would pair up players to share rooms for the night. One time, he came to me and told me he needed me to share a room with one of my teammates, which I was happy to do. The coach explained he was pairing us together because I was the only one who he felt would have no objections to the room assignment, which I did not. My teammate was black, and I am white. It really shouldn’t have mattered, but that was the unfortunate state of race relations in the 1960s.

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Military downsizing and recruiting opportunities: What HR should know

June 14, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

As the nation’s military continues its downsizing phase and unemployment statistics for veterans remain significant, attention is turning to efforts intended to help veterans find jobs. Civilian employers have been focusing on ways to recruit former service members, and more than a handful of states have passed laws in recent months to allow employers to give preference to veterans not just in government jobs but in the private sector as well.  Portrait of a young man with split careers businessman and soldi

Steven Parker, vice president of customer success and business transformation at Achievers, an employee rewards and recognition platform, has a message for human resources professionals trying to bring veterans into their ranks: Change your focus.

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Risk or reward? Ex-offenders present challenge to employers

May 17, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

In a quest for workforce diversity, employers go to great lengths to reach out to people of various races, ethnicities, genders, ages, and backgrounds. But they’re not so likely to reach out to those who have spent time in prison. Yet employers often express a desire to be good corporate citizens that “give back” to their communities. Businessman chained to a large ball

So to hire someone once incarcerated for a crime represents a risk since ex-offenders may slip back into their old ways. But to hire people struggling to get back on their feet, support themselves and their families, and generally contribute to their community can be a risk worth taking, even rewarding for employers.

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Women at work: Exploring pay equity, making work and life mesh, and HR’s role

April 19, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Nobody expects climbing the corporate ladder and earning a top-tier paycheck to be easy for anybody. But an array of statistics shows that fewer women than men get to the top rungs and that accounts for part of the reason women earn less.  Portrait of modern graphic designer woman

Statistics showing that women make up half the workforce without achieving half the top-level positions spark at least three important questions for employers and their human resources professionals: Why are women not making it to the corner office, how can the pay gap be addressed, and should HR be doing more?

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Staying on solid legal ground when seeking brain diversity in the workforce

March 15, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 3 COMMENTS

The benefits of diversity in the workplace are nearly universally touted. Human resources professionals are eager to assemble teams representing a variety of races, ethnicities, genders, and ages. But now another kind of diversity is gaining recruiters’ attention: brain diversity.  Male and female brains

A December 2014 article on the Fortune website reports that companies are beginning to seek out candidates with conditions such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and dyslexia for jobs that are particularly well-suited to the abilities and strengths people with those conditions often exhibit. For example, people with ADHD often excel at jobs requiring energetic, creative individuals, and people with autism often excel at detail-oriented jobs dealing with large amounts of data.

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Solid job descriptions can ease ADA worries

February 15, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 1 COMMENTS

Good job descriptions are vital in keeping employers and employees on the same page, but they take on added importance when an employee with a disability needs help being productive. And for employers facing disability discrimination claims, job descriptions that clearly outline the essential and nonessential functions of the job can be crucial.  Job Description

Although the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t require employers to have written job descriptions, they are practical, according to Mary Topliff, a San Francisco attorney specializing in employment law, counseling, training, and compliance. She gave employers tips on job descriptions during a recent Business & Legal Resources webinar and emphasized the importance of carefully considering how the ADA affects job descriptions.

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Tech giants exploring gender gap within their ranks

January 18, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

What gives? The number of women graduating from college each year passed the number of men marking the same achievement years ago, but women remain underrepresented in the college majors sought by technology employers. That surely accounts for part of the gender gap afflicting tech employers, but corporate culture also is often seen as a culprit.

While it’s still largely a man’s world at the big tech companies in Silicon Valley and beyond, those employers are at least becoming self-conscious about the gender gap in their ranks. Last summer, tech leaders including Yahoo, Facebook, and Google joined the list of tech companies releasing figures showing how they lack diversity.  Gender gap

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Guidance for HR when racial tension spreads from streets to workplace

December 14, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

As protests rage around the country following recent grand jury decisions in Missouri and New York not to indict police officers involved in the deaths of two unarmed black men, employers may find tension spilling into the workplace.

In November, a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb. Witnesses claim the 18-year-old unarmed Brown was trying to surrender when the officer shot him, but the officer claimed Brown was the aggressor.Workplace Argument

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Putting tests to the test: Exploring personality assessments and discrimination

November 16, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A quest to find and hire the best applicants prompts many employers to look for ways to quickly eliminate all but the most promising candidates. When online job postings unleash a flood of applications, many employers turn to software that includes personality testing as a way to reduce the amount of valuable time needed to pore over resumes.  Personlaity Tests

A recent report in The Wall Street Journal exploring whether personality tests discriminate against applicants with disabilities is garnering a lot of attention. And in the face of lawsuits and an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), some employers are changing their tests or rejecting them altogether.

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Measuring the impact of your diversity and inclusion investments

October 19, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Diversity, inclusion, metrics. In the world of human resources, those are buzzwords to be taken seriously. But to truly make a contribution to an organization, HR needs to analyze the meaning of each one. Mary L. Martinez, director of diversity and inclusion practice at APTMetrics, Inc., advises organizations on how to benefit from diversity and inclusion efforts through assessment, engagement, and measurement. On November 18, she will be leading a Business & Legal Resources webinar titled “Maturing Your Diversity & Inclusion Metrics: Measure What Matters.”  Metrics

Employers have found that having a diverse group of employees where various races, cultures, ages, and genders are represented and feel included can lead to a productive, cooperative workplace. And devising the right metrics helps organizations achieve goals.

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