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I’m traveling a lot for work, over the next few months, and I’m sorta worried about my cat.

Jake is 16 years old. He’s nearly deaf. Has a whole host of problems. We’re coming at him twice a day with medicine. And there’s nothing more that he wants to do than crawl up inside of me like a reverse-fetus-kitty.

My other cats are happy when I come home from these trips, but Jake turns into a velcro cat. And I worry about that because I’ve tried to instill “together but separate” in my cats.

We can be together on the couch without you being in my grill. We can be in love with one another without being the same entity. You can sit on my lap, but you can also sit other places, too.

“Together but separate” is of particular importance to me because — if anything happens to me on the road — I want my cats to feel some level of attachment to my husband.

And I take this concept into all of my relationships, by the way. It’s great to hang out with you. I love you a lot. But I’m my own woman. There are no squads.

Jake is beyond annoyed when I enforce the “together but separate” rule. (Like, you know, when I’m eating or peeing.) But that’s okay. A little personal space is a healthy thing.

And I am trying to make sure the “together” part is meaningful. For example, I don’t try to jam a syringe of prednisolone down his throat the moment he wakes up in the morning. Let’s ease into the day and do some rubs before I dose you with medicine.

I’m excited about my upcoming trips. I know my cats will be in good hands. And while I know that Jake will miss me a lot, I know he’ll be happy to receive attention from my husband.

The medication part? Yeah, not so much!

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Hold the phone. You know it’s the 90s when we’re discussing politics and sexual harassment.

I received a barrage of email from disaffected readers who are aggrieved by yesterday’s article on human resources, sexual harassment, and Fox News.

Aggrieved!

The emails fall into one of two categories.

  1. My advice was horrible.
  2. Chicks lie.

Let’s take the first objection first.

I wrote, “for every one victim [of sexual harassment], there are two who haven’t come forward.”

Some readers feel like that guidance is profoundly wrong.

The original bit of advice was bestowed upon me when I was a very young HR professional. It was back in the waning days of the first Clinton administration, which makes me feel very old. Here’s the quick story: I was working with a senior investigator from a prestigious HR consulting firm who was investigating claims against a member of our executive team.

You know what? His math played out.

Some readers weren’t directly offended by the mathematical formula, but rather, the assumption that someone is guilty before an investigation takes place. How can you do the math before you find out more information?

I’m bad at math. But when someone comes to me and tells me that she’s been sexually harassed, I tend to believe her. The burden of proof is so high that nobody in her right mind would make that up.

Is that wrong? I don’t think so. Call me a militant feminist — which is accurate — but I don’t like to hassle potential victims.

Now, on to the second major bucket of complaints: “Chicks lie, Laurie.”

Yeah, okay. Have women lied? Sure. But the rate at which women lie about sexual harassment reminds me of the rate of voter fraud in America: exaggerated.

I don’t find any problem in listening to someone and assuming she’s telling the truth. Then you investigate. And if you discover that someone has surely been sexually harassed, you can expect that two other women are remaining silent.

The math, in my professional opinion, stands.

So you can email me all you want, but I’m immovable on both points. And, for the two readers who accused me of being reverse-sexist, I’m just as supportive of dudes who have been sexually harassed at work.

When we discover that Roger Ailes sexually harassed twenty-five men at Fox News, I’ll criticize him thoroughly.

I totally love reader email messages, but sometimes I forget just how “human” and messy things can get in the world of human resources. I would just say this: if you’re ever in a position where you want to email me and defend Roger Ailes, just don’t. You are busy, and I won’t appreciate your nuanced and hyperbolic point-of-view.

Thanks for reading my blog!

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I’m not surprised by anything, anymore, but I am shocked by the number of women who have been allegedly harassed by Roger Ailes and other members of the Fox News executive team.

Dozens have come forward.

In HR, we have a rule of thumb when it comes to sexual harassment complaints: for every one victim, there are two who haven’t come forward. So we multiply the victim number by three to comprehend how many people were harassed.

And speaking of HR, where the hell were they during the past decade at Fox News?

I know, I know. Most human resources departments operate at the behest of the CEO and executive leadership team. However, at some point, it becomes unethical to sit back and watch company leaders behave in such unscrupulous ways.

There’s a point where HR becomes complicit. That seems to have happened at Fox News. And when HR becomes complicit, it hurts all of us. As I wrote in my book about human resources, you don’t need to be a liberal activist to intervene and protect your workers. Doing the right thing for employees will always benefit the bottom line and enhance the reputation of HR.

So here’s another example where a select group of elitist men operates without regard for company policy or decent human behavior. And it seems like HR did nothing about it.

What’s worse is that some of my friends are defending Roger Ailes. I kid you not. Here is what I’ve heard:

1. “This is political.” While everything always seems political, it’s not always true. Roger Ailes is a grown-ass man. When you violate your company’s harassment policy, you’re living on borrowed time. If anything is political about the story, it’s the fact that it was buried within the RNC convention news cycle. Most people are too stupid to pay attention to more than one news item at a time.

2. “There are two sides to every story.” Are there two sides? To sexual harassment? What if your mom was propositioned by Roger Ailes? Or your wife? Are you the kind of generous person who would patiently listen to Roger Ailes’ menservants explain on national TV that maybe your mom has it wrong? Good for you. You’re a saint.

3. “Bill Clinton sexually harassed his intern.” Yeah, okay, here we go. This is never going away.

4. “It’s not like these women didn’t benefit from working at Fox News.” Is sexual harassment okay as long as women get paid? And exactly how much of a pay differential was earned for getting harassed by Roger Ailes? By the way, is it enough to overcome the wage gap in TV news?

5. “These women could have quit.” Sure, that’s true. Some did quit. I recommended this tactic and was criticized by Jezebel. But leaving doesn’t change the culture or leadership of a company when a confidentiality clause governs employee contracts and separation agreements.

I’ve heard more. So much more. (“He’s not Bill Cosby, Laurie.”) I could write this post for days.

The whole experience reminds me of when I was in Cuba, last year. Our American HR delegation met with a senior leader at The National Union of Jurists of Cuba. We came together to discuss labor laws in a changing economic and political environment.

One of my colleagues asked about sexual harassment in Havana and beyond. An elder statesman, one of the most senior officials of Unión Nacional de Juristas de Cuba, told us that sexual harassment is not a problem in Cuba.

My colleague said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you.”

The esteemed leader doubled down and stated that he can only remember one case in his lifetime: An old, fat woman sexually harassed two young men. She was punished. Otherwise, sexual harassment just doesn’t exist in Cuba.

And — just like in the super transparent and free society of Cuba — some people believe that sexual harassment doesn’t exist at Fox News. Guess what, everybody? HR didn’t let anybody down.

That’s depressing.

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Lifetime Fitness It’s hot in America. Too damn hot. Wildfires are flaring up, asphalt is buckling, and I’m over here trying to figure out ways to beat the heat and train for my GDMF-ing marathon.

Not gonna happen.

Since I pay a monthly fee to Lifetime Fitness, which should be considered a charitable donation, I decided to do my weekly “long run” on a treadmill.

That’s right. I ran for two hours and twenty minutes on a treadmill.

Let me tell you what: it was pretty awful.

I tried to make things easier and break the run into four stages so that I could hydrate and eat something. Didn’t help. I wasn’t going that fast, but the air conditioning could not keep me fresh and clean.

When I finished running, I had salt streaks on my face and a rank body odor. Normally I’m hanging out with other nasty runners, and we cancel our smells out. That’s science. But with Lifetime’s air conditioning and a gentle breeze from overhead fans? Yeah, didn’t do much for my sweatiness. I pretty much infected an entire row of treadmills with my funk.

After my run, I tried to clean up as much as possible. Then I realized I would have a hypoglycemic anxiety attack if I tried to drive home without eating. So I went to the cafeteria and ordered a veggie burger, and I noticed that people kept a healthy distance from me.

I was the most disgusting thing in Raleigh since Donald Trump’s last campaign stop here.

This isn’t my first rodeo, and I’m not put off by an awkward and smelly run. But I’m pretty sure that running the Chicago Marathon in October will be easier than running double-digits on a treadmill.

But thank god for Lifetime Fitness. Boy, it’s hot outside!

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My friends are bad with computers.

It’s interesting because they are the earliest adopters of social media and blogging. They’re not just early adopters in the human resources industry. They’re among the earliest adopters in the world.

But they just don’t do computers. That’s fine. Leave the infrastructure stuff to the experts. 

Unfortunately, they are currently hosting their blogs on some two-bit server in another friend’s basement. And the friend with the server? He’s awesome, but he’s not an IT help desk. He’s got a life.

So my friends need some help moving their blogs to new hosts and doing some routine maintenance. But they’re like, yeah, we’d rather complain than pay someone to fix this for us.

That stops today.

America’s big sister is swooping in to do a job search. I’m now “hiring” someone for myself — reporting to me — who will be an IT/blogging resource to the HR community. And while it won’t be free, it will be a good price because this is not an expensive proposition and we can do this.

So let me know if you’re a web generalist (everybody’s favorite!) who can move blogs, set my friends up with hosting, and provide regular web support. Maybe do a new WordPress theme. Link all that shit to social. You know the drill.

The contact form is below. I’d like to know what you’d charge each blogger for set-up and ongoing support. And please tell me why you’re awesome and/or capable. I’d like to know.

I’ll respond to serious applications within 24 hours.

Thanks for your interest.

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They say that millennials don’t use LinkedIn.

Who says that? Everybody competing against LinkedIn, that’s who.

But I think it’s probably true. Millennials don’t use LinkedIn because they just don’t have time in their lives to look at failed professional dreams, sad profile photos, and mediocre work histories. I don’t have time for that, either. The best part of LinkedIn is getting off LinkedIn and getting back to my pathetic career.

But if millennials don’t use LinkedIn to look for jobs or talk about their careers, what do they use?

1. A parent’s password for Netflix and HBO Go. Nobody under 32 pays for media, so you might as well go to where the kids are. Find a way to reach your target audience on premiere media sites. Yes, I know these are sites that are being hijacked by young adults who can’t pay for those media sites. I know. It’s very confusing.

2. Food. I don’t eat fast food, but I do eat at quick service restaurants and fast casual dining establishments. Those spots are sick with young adults. If everybody is at Moe’s or Pret or Applebees, why are you avoiding a captive audience?

3. Publications. While most people don’t read, young adults consume media beyond Snapchat. I see this when I travel the world. I peer over shoulders and see people under 32 reading comic books, funny articles, life tips, and all sorts of random crap. While the internet seems built for video, the human brain craves a conversation with itself. Words matter. Hire writers who give a damn and write useful content for your audience.

4. Podcasts. I cannot flippin’ believe how many young adults in my life listen to podcasts. They don’t call them podcasts, though. They might say “radio” or “I heard this on the Soundcloud,” but it’s a form of a podcast. What’s your podcast strategy to attract and retain this generation of workers?

If millennials don’t use LinkedIn to talk about work or look for jobs, they have to use something. Why not your stuff? Why not your site? Why not have that conversation with you?

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Most of HR technology is SaaS technology. What is that?

Software as a Service (SaaS; pronounced /sæs/) is a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. It is sometimes referred to as “on-demand software.” SaaS is typically accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser.

Most companies offer their services in SaaS bundles that resemble your cable bill. Sorta.

  1. Basic. This is almost always free and described as “plug-and-play.” Just like Facebook or Pokémon Go, it’s all on you to figure this out. If you need help, you go to the internet. You’re smart. You got this.
  2. Plus. You spend a little cash on a monthly basis, you get enhanced features and services. You still don’t get an account representative, but you can submit a ticket and get some help via email.
  3. Pro. You’re a power user and you need everything — dashboards, analytics, a customized profile, and maybe some pizza. You’ll have access to a 1-800-NUMBER where someone will talk to you when you have problems. Will you ever talk to the same person twice? Probably not. Stop being so greedy.
  4. Premium. This is enterprise-level functionality, baby. You not only get an account representative, but you get someone trying to sell you Premium Pro Plus™® on a regular basis. Good luck with that.

If it feels like you’re being sold a monthly membership package at Massage Envy, you’re not alone. While sales is sales is sales, it’s always nice to see a human face. Even when you’re just a basic HR user like most of us.

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Want to know what’s trending in HR tech?

  1. Big data. Also known as the phrase you’re misusing. It’s the beast that won’t go away. Nobody knows what it is and everybody fears it.
  2. Customer experience. Some call this CX and others call this UX because there are gradations of customer and user experiences. Anyway, I have no idea why it’s trendy to suddenly care about customers and users. I think that’s core and critical to your business.
  3. Simplification. Yeah, no joke. Simple tech is better tech. Also, water is wet.
  4. Legacy thinking. This used to be called knowledge management. If someone important dies, your company can survive. Maybe. TBD.
  5. Integration. It’s not just about integrating your HR product into Slack, although it seems that way.
  6. Labor as supply chain. This is just as gross as it sounds. But labor isn’t just FTEs. It’s anybody who toils for your CEO. This includes consultants, contractors, and Rhonda at the reception desk.
  7. Mobile. Jesus Christ with the mobile. It’s true, though. This is still trending.
  8. Influence. Who matters most to your company? It’s probably somebody who doesn’t work for your company.

You know what isn’t necessarily trending in the world of HR technology? A better procurement and sales process. It’s still awful to demo, buy, and sell HR technology.

I’m not a technologist, but someone should fix that with an app or something.

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Here are 9 steps to streamline the hiring process.

  1. Don’t lose anybody. Make sure your good people don’t quit.
  2. Don’t hire stupid people. Then you don’t have to fire anybody.
  3. Use the internet. People look for jobs on the web.
  4. Read the resumes people send you. I bet there’s a winner in there.
  5. When someone hands you a referral, follow up on it. Yeah, this is important.
  6. When you ask someone to interview for a job, maybe knock out a few interviews for that person at once. Nobody likes taking time off their current job and driving back-and-forth for seventeen interviews.
  7. Check references like it’s your job. It is your job. Get moving.
  8. Make a decent offer. Nothing like the “lowball dance” that goes on for a week to slow things down.
  9. Schedule the start date ASAP. No, the employee can’t start in 45 days after she gives notice and takes a big vacation. That won’t work. That never works.

For more insightful tips like these, talk to a recruiter or human resources professional who’s been doing this job for more than a hot minute. Amazing how the basics are always basics.

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Hi, everybody.

Today is the big day. I’m addressing the graduates of Regent’s University London. I’m excited about my speech. There are almost 200 graduates and about 700 people will attend the ceremony.

Due to time constraints — and faculty who want to wrap this up quickly — my designated time has been reduced considerably. I’m now tasked with being brief, inspirational, and encouraging. The goal? Get these graduates to sign up for the alumni association!

Quite different than the original plan. But I’m honored and humbled to be asked to speak in any capacity.

I thought I’d provide a copy of my original speech as it was written. It takes about ten minutes to say aloud, and I know this because I’ve practiced this speech 17,000 times.

The shorter version will hit the highlights and be just as fun — but brief. And you can follow me on Twitter (or Jennifer McClure) if you’d like to see photos and highlights of the trip.

Wish me luck.

Love,
Laurie

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