The HR I.Q. Test: March '15

Here's our monthly quiz on your knowledge of HR law, news and issues.

JOLTS report shows details of economic recovery


The unemployment rate—now 5.7%, compared to 10% in October 2009—is one measure of how well the economy is rebounding. But labor economists often note that the unemployment rate is something of a statistical blunt instrument that fails to capture the nuances of what’s really happening in the job market. Economists increasingly turn to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey to spotlight the detail in the broader employment picture.

Make sure you can authenticate e-signatures on applications and arbitration agreements


These days, many employers don’t bother to print employee handbooks, arbitration agreements and other employment documents. Instead, they exist solely in electronic form, acknowledged by so-called electronic signatures instead of written ones. That’s fine, as long as you have a system for authenticating those e-signatures.

How many baby boomers are still working?

The first baby boomers reached retirement age five years ago, and now they’ve started leaving the workforce in droves.

Oil firm turns employees into decision-makers


Engineers and others who work for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in The Woodlands, Texas, are expected to make decisions that will help the company profit and grow. Not all of them are used to that. So when any of its 3,500 employ­­ees expresses a lack of confidence about reaching beyond his or her comfort zone, the organization teaches the would-be decision-maker how.

Poll: Women qualified for top jobs but are held back

Women are perfectly capable of succeeding in senior executive jobs, but factors largely beyond their control have kept them from achieving more corporate success. That’s the attitude pollsters at the Pew Research Center uncovered when they asked 1,835 randomly selected adults what keeps more business women from holding leadership positions.

Spring cleaning: It's time to freshen up your job descriptions

Do they bear enough relation to what your employees are actually doing every day?

Perks at digital marketing firm encourage employee creativity


Employees of Boston-based C-4 Analytics joke that they “already get to play on Facebook all day” as part of their work as digital marketers, says managing partner Michael Weiss. Yet execs have woven time into employee schedules to get them away from their workstations to “recharge their creativity and focus.”

2015's in-demand HR jobs

Twenty-seven percent of HR pros say their employers are looking to hire more HR pros this year. That’s up from 20% in January 2014. Here’s who they’re looking for.

7 steps to protect against electronic sabotage by former employees

Not all terminated employees go quietly. Some rant and rave about unfairness. Others plead for a second chance. So when an employee seemingly accepts his or her termination without protest, employers typically let out a sigh of relief. Not so fast. Just a few taps on the keyboard by a vengeful former employee can cause crippling damage to your workplace.

Follow these guidelines to protect your trade secrets

As the economy heats up and employees start exploring greener pastures, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you implement iron-clad confidentiality agreements to make sure your intellectual property doesn’t walk out the door with them if they change jobs.

When briefing your boss, make every minute matter


When your supervisor asks for your take on an important business matter, deliver a tidy, easy-to-follow summary. Here’s how to help listeners understand what they need to know quickly.

More than a matter of style: Grooming rules can differ based on gender


If you have a dress and grooming policy that sets out different rules for men and women, you aren’t necessarily setting yourself up for a sex discrimination lawsuit. As several court rulings have shown, you can have different rules based on gender—as long as you enforce those rules even-handedly.

For the good of the group: Run meetings with social grace

The etiquette of a meeting counts. Think of it as a performance with no faux pas. Follow these rules when leading your next meeting.

The HR I.Q. Test: February '15

This month's quiz topics include pay raises for HR, Coca-Cola's daring workplace ban, and the most depressing job in America.
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