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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.


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 online training courses for different restaurant services.

It is a well-known practice that restaurant employers most of the time do not get any of the social benefits. If you talk to them about health insurance, compensation, improper working hours or other relevant employment policies they will look at you with a peculiar face, thinking you’re being delirious. However, with reforms constantly in demand in the food industry, competition being very high, along with the urgent need to maintain a well-trained staff, Human Resources can just be a lifesaving option for restaurant companies, that of course if they want to maintain their consistency.

Looking at the long term aspects on which a qualified HR team can add value to the continuance of a restaurant, we can think of these key components:

  • Employment benefits
  • Motivated staff
  • Staff development
  • Quality Assurance

Tough to afford insurance

Even with the entering in force of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most small businesses still cannot afford quality healthcare insurance coverage for their employees. For many individuals working in the restaurant industry, even if their employer offers health insurance, many do not enroll because the monthly premiums are still too high, or the coverage includes a huge deductible.

Sick days

According to Worker advocate groups like the Restaurants Opportunities Center – “almost 9 out of 10 restaurant workers lack paid sick days (87.7%) and health insurance from their employer (89.7%). As a result of the fact that workers cannot afford to take care of themselves or stay home when they are sick, two-thirds of restaurant workers (63.6%) working sick, unnecessarily placing co-workers and diners at risk.”

This calls for an urgent need of measures to be taken and a placement of good Human Resources management teams that can add up adequate expertise and develop policies that can improve the company’s responsibility towards their employees, on fulfilling their rights. A proper HR team can set the ground for job descriptions, compensation and health, retirement benefits, risk management, monitoring work-related injuries and mitigating their cost to any business. This will further more reflect on the number of your clients as well, as people nowadays are definitely following the concept of corporate responsibility, whether that be towards the product or towards the employees.

Guidance is needed

Just because the way restaurants work is a fast pace, dynamic one, that does not mean that restaurant workers should be left with no guidance. Other important concerns that may arise and should be foreseen by the HR Team are harassment matters and labor discrimination. These are very common, left without regulating issues which can furthermore reflect your business and ruin the balance. Whereas a good HR team that has the right approach to a variety of cultural and ethnic groups can better manage to diminish the appearance of these cases or regulate them in time.

All the previously mentioned elements lead to a satisfied employer. Providing your staff with the right treatment, having them enjoy their granted benefits, is the right way to keep them motivated and to keep the work flow always productive. You do not want to keep changing employers due to unsatisfactory policies, as it has been proven that keeping the same employers and investing in them is a win-win situation.

A good HR team

Besides investing in them regarding their labor rights, a good HR team can also develop different employment training programs. Considering the fast pace that was previously mentioned, experiencing a burn-out in the food industry is highly likable. Adding constant training can boost employee’s self-esteem, motivation and their level of service offering.

By investing in them in such a manner, we end up to our last component, Quality Assurance. Human Resources management can develop effective strategies that can make employees maintain a desired level of quality in your food service, especially by means of attention to every stage of the process of delivery. After all, that is the purpose of their job, a qualified motivation of employees, delivering efficiency and promoting your restaurant for its best values.


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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Not Going to the SHRM19? How about if I offered you a discount?

by Michael Haberman May 28, 2019

Tweet I have attended many SHRM conferences. I will be in Las Vegas in June to attend #SHRM19. I would like you to join me. I have written in the past the importance of attending. What I said was: When you attend a conference you are there to learn. The sessions this year look spectacular. […]

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