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People Geekly #31

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Issue No. 31, brought to you by Culture Amp
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Welcome

This is the thirty-first issue of Culture Amp's weekly email updating you on all the best #peoplegeek news around.

"HR shouldn't own engagement. We should facilitate it." #HCIevents

jeanne schad  (@jeanneschad)
HR Experts (3 min)

Peter Cappelli argues that a few years ago companies were making progress on the organizational front, but it appears to have dropped off their radar. Cappelli writes that "Typically, management is based on a model of formal authority and ‘hard' incentives: Bosses get bonuses when their units succeed, they get fired when their units fail, and they push employees to hit the numbers in whatever way they see fit.” He suggests that business schools should do their part in creating HR-dedicated faculties.

As children, we are encouraged and even rewarded for asking questions. This practice seems to fall to the wayside during adulthood and there are staggering statistics to prove it. Thomas Pohlmann and Neethi Mary Thomas reveal that “In a recent poll of more than 200 of our clients, we found that those with children estimated that 70-80% of their kids’ dialogues with others were comprised of questions. But those same clients said that only 15-25% of their own interactions consisted of questions.” They suspect the reason for this is that questions in the workplace are often misconstrued as threats. Pohlmann and Thomas insist that if employees take time to reflect and to ask the appropriate questions, they will be less likely to run into obstacles later down the line, thereby increasing workflow productivity overall.

Pinterest is doing some interesting work around diversity that's worth taking note of. It's opening an experimental lab inside the walls of the company to test new strategies for building more diverse and inclusive companies. Better still the company plans to share what works and what doesn't so the tech industry at large can learn from the effort. Pinterest has also invested in anti-bias training for its managers, plans to increase the number of universities it recruits from, and implement "a Rooney Rule requirement similar to the NFL where at least one minority and one female candidate is interviewed for every open leadership position". 

How to read resumes (6 min) PICK OF THE WEEK

When it comes to hiring and assessing candidates from top schools Jocelyn Goldfein points out that "the utility of looking at pedigree stems mainly from correlation, not causation.” The assumption is that a student from a good school has already been identified as outstanding and therefore has a high chance of turning out to be a strong candidate (she talks about engineers specifically, but this really applies to all areas). This is not actually the reality with the real numbers of incredibly talented engineers coming from this group being more like 50/50, says Goldfein. Her solution to being better recruiters? To retrace the candidate’s narrative by literally reading the resume backwards. This approach allows the recruiter to ask important questions that will determine if the candidate is worth pursuing further. Does the individual’s narrative match up with their job history?  Has the candidate been able to move laterally or scale upwards since the beginning of his or her career?

Managing bias (Long-term resource)

Facebook has just released a resource that might come in handy for people geeks. As of this year, every Facebook employee has the chance to attend managing bias training. They’ve recently filmed all of the modules that are part of the one hour training session and made them available for anyone to watch. As well as the six modules that focus on topics like unconscious bias and performance attribution bias, Facebook has also filmed a module that looks at the business case for diversity and inclusion.

Events

Udemy for Business is tackling the topic of HR innovation with a focus on data, analytics and people. It's on in San Francisco on the 6th of August where a panel of experts from organizations such as Pinterest, Twitter and Zendesk discuss the latest big-data applications that are making HR more innovative and efficient.

On the 11th of August in San Francisco CULTURE LABx is tackling the subject of ‘building a culture of innovation' for their culture design series. Tatyana Mamut, a design leader, organizational designer and cultural anthropologist, will be speaking about her time at IDEO where she co-led the Org Design Practice, and at Salesforce where she is currently a Senior Director.

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