See you at #SHRM19?

by Michael Haberman on June 20, 2019 · 0 comments

I am packing my bags and heading to Las Vegas to join approximately 19,000 people with an interest in HR. Once again I am an official blogger and tweeter, though there are so many people tweeting that is almost redundant, or is it?

An invitation

If you see me please connect with me. Stop me and say hello. You will find me at the general sessions, at some concurrent sessions, in the Expo or in the blogger’s lounge (you will have to ask directions to get there.) One session early on Monday where you can find me is at Ira Wolfe’s session, which I wrote about in Are you using your data collected by AI ethically? Probably not! A #SHRM19 interview. It is at 7:15 am in LVCC N201-204.  I know it is early but it is the first day, so you can do it. It will be worth your effort.


The keynote speakers are always good. This year will be no exception. Kicking off on Sunday is Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart you say? What does she offer to HR? Well she runs a very large organization and has been to prison. That should give her a perspective that most executives don’t have.

On Monday the keynote speaker is Brené Brown. I have not heard her speak before but I understand she is outstanding. She is talking on leadership courage, a dearth of which we have in this modern world. I am expecting great things from this presentation.

Speaking of leadership, Vineet Nayar, Founder Chairman of Sampark Foundation, will tell us how he defied the conventional wisdom that companies must put customers first by putting employees first and making it work. This will be a message that will be close to the heart of many in HR.

Closing out the conference will be Blake Mycoskie is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the person behind the idea of One for One®, a business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased. Mycoskie made a major splash as a keynoter in Chicago, as I wrote in this post Giving is good for your soul and your business at SHRM13. I did not know about TOMS at that time, but I am very aware of their business model now. I am looking forward to hearing the update.

See you there.

Hope to see you in Vegas at #SHRM19


Today’s post is brought to you by my friends at

When you were in school, you probably questioned how a certain subject would ever help you later on in life. “When will I ever even use calculus?” you might have protested at 10 p.m., after spending hours on an impossible homework assignment.

While you might not use calculus at your job in the HR department or when puttering around your home, that ability to stick with and learn tough materials is a solid skill that you gained from that tough math class.

As it turns out, there are a number of leadership skills that students learn when they were in high school or college that can translate into them being a great employee. As someone who works in the HR department, it’s important to be aware of these skills, and how what a job candidate accomplished in school is a good indication that they will succeed in your company. For examples of this phenomenon, please consider the following:

Debate Club Teaches Much More than Arguing Skills

If you were in the debate club in high school, your parents may have questioned why a prone-to-arguing teenager would need assistance honing this skill. However, being in speech and debate clubs helps students to not only explain their own ideas, but those of others. Students who were on the debate team also learn to be comfortable with public speaking and communicating with people they do not know well. If you see that a job candidate took part in this extracurricular activity in school, he or she may excel in positions like sales that involve a lot of clear communication with a touch of persuasion.

Being in Sports Teaches Teamwork

For job candidates who list sports on their resumes, or talk about it during an interview, you can rest assured that you are speaking with someone who has a solid team mentality. People who played sports in school often made personal sacrifices for the good of their teams, and they will probably apply this unselfish approach to their work. Interestingly, a number of successful companies have also adopted a “all for one and one for all†approach to running their businesses. For instance, Amway promotes mentorships, training and team communication despite the fact that it enables people to become Independent Business Owners. To expand upon this point even further, the company has used social media to explain what Amway is, how the business model works and how its partners are part of a larger group that exhibits the power of teamwork.

Student Government Translates into Solid Time Management

If a resume falls on your desk and you notice “Student Body Vice President†as one of the educational achievements, chances are good this potential employee will be exceptionally responsible on the job. In that role, the applicant had to make decisions for the good of a large group of people, which is a lot of responsibility for any one person. Job applicants who were in student government are also typically very good at time management; in addition to managing their homework and other extracurricular activities, they had to attend a number of after school meetings and likely some of the PTO and school board get-togethers.

There’s a Lot of Leadership Potential on Those Resumes

While it may be tempting to look at job experience as the key factor in determining if someone is qualified for a position in your company, certain activities in high school and college are also great indicators. By watching for the aforementioned extracurriculars, chances are good these applicants have learned important leadership skills that will translate into them being great employees.


Ira Wolfe will be speaking on Monday, June 24th at 7:15 am in
LVCC N201-204

Ira Wolfe is well versed in the challenges of collecting data and using it ethically. At SHRM19 in Las Vegas, he will talk about the challenges HR is facing in collecting data and properly using that data. Wolfe is the author of
Recruiting in the Age of Googlization: When The SHIFT Hits Your Plan and I have interviewed him in the past in Future Friday: Redefining how we see this crazy world. His message and the warnings he gives, as well as the advice he offers, is today more important than ever. As more and more companies move forward with the use of artificial intelligence and collection of applicant data we are facing problems that may cause us problems that may result in ethical issues.

Technology is running away from HR

HR and technology are rapidly changing. Unfortunately technology is changing much faster than HR can keep up. The impact of technology on HR is far reaching according to Wolfe. The impact includes:

  • A new definition of work
  • A new organization of work
  • Personalization
  • New/emerging data sources
  • New ways to analyze data
  • Democratization of data
  • Ethics, privacy & trust

The problem is that we don’t ask enough questions about the data we collect, such as:

  • What employee data do we collect?
  • What employee data should we collect?
  • What data should be off limits?
  • Who should collect the data?
  • When should we collect the data?
  • How should we collect the data?

Data has biases

There have been several reports about the bias inherent in data, causing great embarrassment for Google. If a company as data sophisticated as Google gets it wrong who says smaller HR departments can’t. In an article author Ben Dattner says “… used the wrong way, people analytics can be just as blind and biased as human beings have always been.

Wolfe’s message

Ira’s message is just that and many HR departments are totally unaware that they are making this mistake. He talks in his session about how we can use technology to keep the HUMAN in HR and what the future role of HR technology will be.

There will be many speakers and vendors talking about artificial intelligence (AI) at the conference. I would suggest you start off listening to Ira Wolfe so you will be in a better position to evaluate what you hear everyone else saying.

Ira’s session is at 7:15 am on Monday in LVCC N201-204. DON’T MISS IT. I will be there.


According to one study this picture is very unlikely!

Are you an older worker in tech and have wondered why you are not getting ahead in your job? A recent study, reported on by Valerie Bolden-Barrett in the HR Dive, shows that age discrimination is alive and well in the tech industry. That is probably not earth-shattering news, but the extent is bigger than I expected.

Older workers

Under the EEOC and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, workers over the age of 40 are protected from discrimination by their employers. Unfortunately, in the tech industry, that affords no protection to some workers who have already been discriminated against. The report shows that if you reach the age of 36 in tech you are already on a downward spiral.

“According to Visier Insights Database: Ageism in Tech; the frequency of promotions in tech declines rapidly after age 36.”

At 36 those workers have no recourse under the ADEA which only covers workers age 40 or older.

Why does discrimination occur?

Discrimination occurs because it is done under the guise of not keeping up with technology skills. If people are deemed to be behind the “times” they are often thought to be of no value to the organizations.

The EEOC wants you to be a better employer than that. You need to realize that age discrimination often goes unchallenged because stereotypes about older workers such as not being tech savvy are often considered acceptable. Still, EEOC has pledged to step up its enforcement efforts in that area. However, this won’t do any good for the under 40 worker.

Companies need to monitor

HR needs to monitor how workers in their late-30s are dealt with. To avoid losing talented workers companies need to pay attention to the skills those workers have and whether they staying up-to-date on what is needed. Consistent training and up-skilling will keep your talent in place and help avoid potential discrimination problems as your workforce ages.

Unfortunately the older guy in the picture will never have a chance in tech unless that happens.


A Guest Post: Why Should Restaurant Companies Have HR Departments?

by Michael Haberman June 11, 2019

Tweet Today’s guest post focuses on the restaurant industry. Valmira Rashiti is a practical mystic, book worm and very much fond of words, whether written or spoken. She currently writes for Kiwi, which is a restaurant LMS that aims to help restaurant owners train their staff in an easier and more effective way. In addition, they offer […]

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Future Friday: Thought for the day.

by Michael Haberman June 7, 2019

Tweet I came across this statement that I thought was profound enough to stand on its own. “Your first impression isn’t a handshake anymore. It’s your online presence that will decide the fate of your career.” This is a quote by personal branding guru Dan Schawbel. Next time you tweet or post something on Instagram […]

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Democrat Attorneys General Seemed Ready to Challenge the DOL on the Overtime Regulations

by Michael Haberman June 5, 2019

Tweet According to attorney Eric B. Meyer, 15 states seem poised to challenge the recently released proposed overtime rules that had replaced the 2016 proposed overtime rules. The result of this action may further deny overtime opportunities for workers who have long awaited these changes. Let’s review You may recall that in late 2016 the […]

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Future Friday: Research Shows People are Important in Effective Artificial Intelligence

by Michael Haberman May 31, 2019

Tweet It turns out that research has discovered that the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in HR systems is very dependent on the people involved, particularly the quality of the managers involved in delivering performance feedback. In an article by Michael Schrage, published in MIT Sloan Management Review, he quotes McKinsey & Co. partner Bryan […]

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Helping Workers Survive the Heat

by Michael Haberman May 30, 2019

Tweet Here in the Southeast we have now hit a week where temperatures have exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As I drive from location to location I watch workers toil in the heat to complete many different outside jobs. Should you be protecting these workers and insuring they don’t wilt or collapse under the intense heat? […]

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Top 10 Technology Skills Every HR Professional Needs Today: A Guest Post

by Michael Haberman May 29, 2019

Tweet Today’s post is authored by A. P. Samuel, the founder – editor of, that offers online video-based training in the areas of IT, Communication, and Business Skills The tedious job of an HR professional in today’s modern disposition spans across a multitude of responsibilities tied around human engagement administration and management of organizational […]

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