The Oswald Letter

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Practical HR Tips, News & Advice. Updated Daily.
Updated: 9 hours 47 min ago

Going Beyond the Interview: Ways to Screen Candidates

12 hours 16 min ago

Typically, a candidate screening process starts with reviewing applications and résumés and deciding which ones are qualified and which are not. It progresses to further narrowing the list (if there are enough qualified candidates) and then contacting the qualified candidates on the shortlist and perhaps conducting phone screening to narrow the...

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Answers to the 10 Most Common Workplace Questions

12 hours 17 min ago

Mark Adams, Editor of the Louisiana Employment Law Letter answers the 10 most common workplace questions. Q We have an employee who currently is salaried. We would like to move him to hourly. Can we do this at any time? A Yes, but if your previously salaried employee was exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) job duties test, he...

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‘Hibernation’ Approach Recommended by Mercer to Wait Out High Demand for DB Plan Derisking Transfers

12 hours 17 min ago

Following a flood of investment derisking activity after the 2008 global financial crisis (see related October 2017 story), defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors now face the fallout from years of rising demand for insurer buyouts of pension benefit obligations (PBOs). kgtoh / iStock / Getty Images Plus Until now, many plans have found it easy to...

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Gaining Traction with Employee Resource Groups

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 09:00

One of the biggest trends in HR today is the development of employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs give employees the opportunity to share their passions and talents with their coworkers. Source: JGalione / E+ / Getty Typically, they’re created based on similar demographic characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation....

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Defamation Claims: Stormy Days and Muddy Waters

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 08:47

Stormy Daniels, an adult film star, is suing a sitting U.S. president for defamation. She claims she had a brief affair with Donald Trump in 2006 and was paid to keep quiet about it on the eve of the 2016 election. President Trump tweeted his thoughts about her credibility, and the defamation lawsuit followed. Roy Moore, the unsuccessful Republican...

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What Is Reskilling?

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 08:34

In today’s workforce, technology seems to be changing the way we work more and more each year. We perform more and more of our work online, and we utilize digital and mobile technologies in new and exciting ways. We’re using artificial intelligence to interact with customers and employees. We’re automating more and more tasks and even entire...

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What Role Does Company Size Play When Changing Company Culture

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 07:51

Many organizations are grappling with the need to alter their company, or corporate culture. There are a lot of factors that can influence whether that is successful, including organization size. Company culture is important for any business, but it can be a bit of a vague concept. As defined by Investopedia, “Corporate culture refers to the...

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The 3 Leadership Imperatives: Interactions that Matter

Mon, 07/16/2018 - 06:00

This is the third in a series of three articles dedicated to the wonderful men and women who likely have not read the latest bestseller on leadership but still get up every morning committed to making a real difference in the work, careers, and lives of others. This series will explore the universal, timeless principles that determine how great...

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Affected Parties Suggest Reasons, Methods for Expanding IRS Determination Letter Program

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 04:00

Retirement plan trade organizations and advocates, law firms, and other affected parties proposed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) an expanded range of circumstances they believe merit review and determination letter judgment by the tax agency. But the recent responses to the IRS’ request for comments on its newly narrowed determination...

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Characteristics of a Positive Workplace Culture

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 04:00

No employer wants to end up with a toxic workplace culture. Negativity spreads, and it can drive employees away quickly. A positive workplace culture, on the other hand, is associated with higher productivity and reduced turnover—a real win-win. Changing the workplace culture takes time and effort, but the payoff can be enormous. tumsasedgars /...

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Just the Icing on the Cake

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 04:00

The U.S. Supreme Court was widely expected to decide between religious rights and LGBTQ rights when it issued its ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case involving a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. But—in the tradition of the Supreme Court—the justices ducked the main issue and...

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The Digital DNA of Job Satisfaction

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 04:00

Randstad just released a report exploring the relationship between job satisfaction and an employer’s use of digital tools for employee development and support. Based on responses from more than 800 C-suite leaders and department heads, as well as nearly 3,000 workers across the U.S., the Workplace 2025: The Post-Digital Frontier study...

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The First Amendment and Burping

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 04:00

At the beginning of one episode of The Simpsons, Bart is seen writing “The First Amendment does not cover burping” on the blackboard. Although the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law abridging” freedom of speech, more than two centuries of practical application have taught us that...

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Encouraging Employees to Be More Active

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:12

Many people today lead inactive lifestyles, and the rates of obesity have been increasing for years. Many chronic conditions can result from or be exacerbated by a lack of physical activity—which means that individuals and employers alike may suffer. Adding physical activity to the day—even in small increments—can help. Better health can...

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Belief That Vaccines Are Harmful Does Not Equal Religious Belief

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:08

The antivaccination movement has been gaining traction in the United States for several years, much to the chagrin of safety-minded employers. While businesses offer ever-broader benefits to limit the business impact of nationwide pandemics, including on-site flu clinics, many employees refuse to participate and lower the efficacy of vaccinations...

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Immigration, Travel Ban Debates Put Focus on National Origin Discrimination

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 04:00

As reports of tense situations related to national origin flood the news—everything from slurs directed toward people from countries included in President Donald Trump’s travel ban to insults aimed at Hispanic people trying to enter the U.S.—employers need to be on notice of the dangers of national origin discrimination. Source: AlxeyPnferov...

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Q&A: Can Software Solve the Recruiting Crisis?

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 04:00

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Zoe Harte, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Talent Innovation at Upwork to discuss the findings in their recently released Future Workforce HR Report 2018. HR Daily Advisor: It’s not surprising to learn that finding talent has gotten harder in the last year given record low unemployment...

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Improving the Workplace for Working Parents

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 04:00

Although this article will be published a good while after Mother’s Day was observed in the United States, at the time I wrote it, the annual holiday on which we celebrate our mothers was just around the corner. Normally, we don’t consider employment issues when we’re honoring our mothers. However, this year I came across a recent...

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Can Allowing Remote Work Improve Productivity?

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 04:00

When employers consider allowing remote work or hiring freelance contractors, they often have the fear that productivity may drop as a result. They fear that allowing someone to work from home will result in more distractions. After all, the TV is there, the laundry needs to be done, the dog needs a walk, etc. They may even fear that less direct...

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Here’s How Office Design Affects Employee Productivity

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 04:00

Running a company is not as simple as it seems even if there is a streamlined process in place. You have a huge responsibility to cover all bases to steer it in the right direction. One of the most important factors to consider here is employee productivity, which involves a number of aspects that have a huge effect on it. If we start from the most...

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