Here are the top news stories in talent and organization from this week.

Support full workforce equality with these three steps

August 26 was Women’s Equality Day in the U.S., commemorating the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. Tanya Tarr, in a piece for Forbes, outlines three negotiation skills that women can use to advance full equality in the workforce: 1) Negotiate for a business loan or line of credit. “Access to capital is crucial and there is still work to be done to close the investment gap,” she writes. 2) Negotiate for a salary, regardless of salary history. Some cities have already banned employers from seeking salary history from applicants, and there is evidence this practice disproportionately affects women. Tarr notes that “focusing on the objective standards like the market value of the job will help job seeker and company succeed, while advancing equality in the workforce.” 3) Negotiate for maternity and family leave. “Come to your employer with a plan that demonstrates how family leave can provide direct value to the company,” she says.

How fintechs can bridge gender gap in small business

Delving deeper into the issue of access to capital for women entrepreneurs, according to an Accion blog post, women own 36 percent of all registered businesses in the U.S., while receiving less than 5 percent of bank financing available for small businesses. Since the 2008 financial crisis, women have been starting businesses five times faster than the national average; yet turn to credit-card financing or predatory loans. Accion highlights the improved data collection and analytics capabilities of fintechs, which may help investors direct more capital to women-owned businesses: “Mobile banking and other fintech delivery channels also increase efficiencies, further expanding investors’ and lenders’ addressable markets.”

Yes, vacation is good for employees, and companies

It’s the end of August, how much of your vacation time did you use this summer? How about your team members? Chances are less than half, according to this post in Engage. Workers in the U.S. use only 51 percent of their available paid time off, and a whopping 40 percent leave unused vacation time on the table. The article breaks down the many reasons for this widespread anti-vacations attitude: the lack of encouragement from management to utilize time off, anxiety over the backlog of work, the absence of a wellness culture. “HR professionals and HR technology both have a role in creating the company-wide message that the organization’s mission and values center on physical and psychological health,” the article notes.

Video screening is the latest trend in HR Tech

According to a guest blog post by Optimize in HR Tech Weekly, video screening may help reduce the cost of interviews, while saving time for HR managers, who spend hours screening candidates via phone and email. Video screening is still relatively new, but the article points out that 50 percent of companies who have implemented it say it improved their hiring cost significantly. It speeds up the interview process and gives HR professionals a better sense of the candidate, resulting in better hires. Last but not the least, “Younger candidates will especially love this method because they are far more comfortable using a smartphone, taking a selfie, seeing themselves on the screen,” the post argues, and adds: “Enabling the next generation of skilled workers to apply in a way that suits them will put you one step ahead of the competition.”

Three ways to improve the candidate experience

If your HR department isn’t quite ready to turn to video screening, there are traditional methods that you can employ to improve the candidate experience. Travis Furlow, WilsonHCG’s VP of Client Solutions, shares three insights from his personal experiences: 1) Be transparent about the candidate’s cultural fit (or lack thereof); 2) Demonstrate a connectedness to each other and your business with a shared vision; 3) Give frequent feedback to candidates after each step of the process. “Creating an experience your candidates appreciate doesn’t have to be complicated or overly sophisticated to be effective,” Furlow says.


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