Employment Hero

6 Must-Read Articles In The News This Week

There’s been a lot going on in the world of business and HR lately and so we thought we’d round up a list of must-read articles. Our inboxes and social media feeds are always jam packed and chances are one of these articles slipped into digital oblivion. Until now that is, thanks to our shining spotlight a.k.a this blog.

Here’s the news in summary.

1. There’s been another payroll scandal

And this one is super ironic. Law firm, Maurice Blackburn (self-dubbed champion of worker’s rights) has underpaid hundreds of staff almost 1 million dollars, collectively. Journalists have gleefully pointed out that the Maurice Blackburn has been vocal in its criticism of other companies caught underpaying staff and now they themselves are the culprit. Maurice Blackburn’s website tagline, “We Fight For Fair” has also been thrust into the spotlight.

Four hundred current and former part-time employees were found to have been underpaid up to 1 million dollars. The Australian Services Union (ASU) brought the case to Maurice Blackburn’s attention in February of this year and a restitution deal was struck at the end of June.

2. Fairfax and Channel 9 have announced a merger

And it’s been dubbed a “modern tragedy” by Denis Muller in an opinion piece for Mumbrella.

In a move to remain profitable in the digital age Fairfax and Channel 9 have planned to merge. Fairfax will be absorbed into Channel 9 with both companies operating under the Nine name. The merge will cause a  significant change Australia’s media landscape and be the death of Fairfax, a company that has been prominent in Australian media for more than a century.

Almost all mergers lead to job losses so this will pose a challenge to management and HR at both companies and their affiliates.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and shareholders still need to formally approve the deal.

3. Clueless companies are leaving their customers open to cyber crime

Tony Featherstone writes for the Sydney Morning Herald, outlining simple ways we can keep our customers trust online and protect them from fraud.

Many companies, big and small, are failing to protect their customers from cybercrime because they are failing to explain communication protocols. Do you tell your customers how often they should expect to hear from you and inform them about the kind of information you will and WILL NOT ask for via email or phone? We know banks never ask for account details through email, do customers know your company won’t ask for this information either?

4. The jobs that are in short supply in Australia’s tech scene

StartupAUS has released a Startup Talent Gap report in association with Google, UTS and Microsoft. The five jobs that are in short supply (and consequently in the highest demand) are coders, data scientists, project managers, user experience (UX) designers and business development managers.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Anastasia Volkova founder of startup FluroSat has said , “We cannot hire the right people, the main challenge is we can’t build quickly enough in Australia…There are not enough experienced people at an affordable price for a startup.”

Employment Hero is a tech startup and we agree that it can be difficult to find the talent to fit pivotal roles in our company. That’s why we focus on building a strong, employee-centric company culture, to create a workplace people love to engage with.

This brings us to our next two articles.

5. LinkedIn says novelty perks are not hugely appealing to employees

LinkedIn has released a research report revealing employees do not care about novelty perks. What they do care about are substantial benefits like paid time off and a healthy workplace culture.

This is a U.S-based study but we believe it’s reflective of trends occurring worldwide, including in Australia. Good work-life balance and flexibility are what most respondents cited as being important and impacting perception of the company they work for. This is good news as it means even though we smaller companies can’t afford extravagant perks, we don’t need to. Focussing on what we can impact: a employee-centric work culture that values work-life balance, will keep us competitive in the market.

6. LinkedIn also lists 3 overused interview questions

We totally agree. Asking these questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Why are you interested in our company/this role?
  3. What would you do in your first (x days/months) on the job?

Does not always give a proper insight into a candidate. These questions can work in the right context but using them without strategy can lead to overly rehearsed or fumbled responses from both weak and strong candidates. Feedback from our staff has also been that “tell me about yourself” questions feel broad and leave them confused as to what information they should convey. Does the interviewer want to know about the candidate professionally? Personally? Both?

Depending on your intent, a better question can be something like “Take me through your resume, starting with your first job”. This gives the candidate the chance to discuss their professional life highlighting milestones upon the way and giving you a good understanding of their career journey to date.

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