People and Technology: The Next Generation of HR

There was a time — and not too long ago — when punching the clock literally meant punching the clock. Inserting a time card into a machine and getting it stamped was once the height of HR technology. The punch-clock, along with the steam whistle that signaled the end of a shift, reigned for decades as among the most ubiquitous and technology-forward workforce management tools. Payrolls were still kept in paper ledgers and applicants all handed in resumes on paper, only to be filed away (if they were lucky) into sprawling cabinets. Fortunately, HR technology has reached a pinnacle of sorts, with innovation occurring in almost every facet of human resources.

Technologies to Watch

There are a number of innovators in the HR space, both from established companies making new forays into mobile apps, and from scrappy start-ups with much to prove. Here are some of the hottest areas for technological growth in the HR space:
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Vacation Investigation Infographic: How much vacation time do Americans receive

During the holidays, many folks take time off from work. We recently conducted a survey on how much vacation time American workers receive, how they use their time off and their perceptions of how their colleagues use those coveted vacation days.

Check out the infographic below to get the scoop!

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What a second Obama term may mean for hiring, job growth

Presidential elections – particularly when an incumbent wins a second term — typically provide companies and organizations one thing they crave as they assess future investment and hiring plans: A respite from political uncertainty.

Yet 2012 is not your typical year. While the re-election of Barack Obama likely rules out any radical departure from policies of the last four years, adding complexity to assessing the post-election landscape for job growth and hiring is the very ominous “fiscal cliff.”

Economists warn that fiscal cliff — the blend of tax hikes and spending cuts set to go into effect in January — could slow growth, dampen hiring, and even push the economy back into recession if lawmakers do not hammer out a compromise. The fiscal cliff complicates any analysis of how a second Obama term will likely impact job growth and hiring moving forward. Some companies have already reported they are cutting back on spending and delaying hiring until there is more clarity.

The fiscal cliff is term used to describe the dilemma the U.S. government faces at the end of 2012, when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are scheduled to go into effect. Among the changes set to go into effect at midnight on December 31, 2012 if lawmakers don’t act:
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Hurricane Sandy Three Weeks Later: How Its Impacting Jobs

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The monster super-storm that rampaged through much of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast in late October not only left thousands homeless, but also has led to a surge of new claims for jobless benefits, according to Labor Department figures released late last week.

While the aftermath has spawned some employment opportunities related to cleanup and relief efforts, so far any of those gains have been outweighed by the negative impact on the workforce. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 78,000 to a seasonally adjusted 439,000, the highest level since April 2011. Labor Department analysts confirmed that several states from the mid-Atlantic and Northeast reported large increases in claims due to Sandy.

The storm surely served as major distraction to some involved with hiring, particularly for companies located in Lower Manhattan or some of the other hard-hit areas of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.  And countless job seekers may have been forced to put their search on hold to deal with damage or loss of power in the wake of the storm.  With the job market still tight and the so-called Fiscal Cliff  looming,  Sandy just adds to the challenge lawmakers and business leaders face with getting consistent job growth back on track.
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“Integrators” Get Ahead: Skillfully blending your online personal image and professional life

You’ve surely heard the ominous and endless warnings about how reckless social media activity can jeopardize your job or throw a wrench into your career search. And, indeed, unflattering pictures from a late-night binge, profanity laced-tirades and off-color jokes can earn you a pink slip or rejection letter.

Yet more social media researchers and experts are beginning to emphasize the upside of a savvy and well-managed online image that complements your professional life, potentially strengthening your value as an employee and your marketability as a job candidate.

The people who do that skillfully are what Wharton School of Business researcher Nancy Rothbard has now termed “Integrators.”  Rothbard defines an Integrator as someone who successfully blends his or her personal online image and professional in-person image. In a study she is currently working on, Rothbard found that integrators are viewed as better performers in the workplace.

In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Rothbard explained that research indicates that consistent exchange of information – as long as it is deemed appropriate – leads people to develop stronger bonds with each other.  “If I share more with you, you like me better,” Rothbard told writer Lillian Cunningham. “And if you share more with me then I like you better. It’s a cycle.”
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Obama vs. Romney: Creating Jobs for American Workers

It’s Election Day and with Americans casting their votes, many of them have the same question in mind: How do the presidential candidates intend to improve America’s job market?

Barack Obama (Democrat) and Mitt Romney (Republican) have each proposed jobs plans that could impact Americans significantly over the next four years. Interestingly enough, the plans share some similarities.

Below are the details of each plan to help you make an informed decision as you hit the polls today.
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