Job Rejection Doesn’t Have to Sting

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When you apply for a job at your dream company, you’re hoping, maybe even praying, that you’ll be successful in the interview process and receive an offer. After all, it’s the company you’ve always wanted to work for. So when you don’t get an offer, it can feel devastating — but it doesn’t have to. Here’s why rejection happens and how you can learn from it to position yourself for success in future interviews.

Why rejection happens

The second you receive the rejection phone call or email, you immediately try to figure out why. But the answer may be elusive, especially if the person on the other end doesn’t give you much information to go on. There are a few possible reasons why you didn’t receive an offer:

There was a “better” candidate.

This may seem like the most obvious reason, but “better” doesn’t always mean better than you. Sometimes it just means different. Once a job is posted and candidates are interviewed, hiring managers sometimes realize they could use skills or experience they didn’t know they needed.

Or, your skills and capabilities may be right in line with what the hiring manager needs, but there are always intangibles that aren’t listed, like wanting a product manager who has worked on a novel product or wanting someone who is insatiably curious about the world around them. If another candidate demonstrates those intangibles during the interview process, they may be “better” because they can contribute and bring value in a different way.

You didn’t tie your skills and experience to the role.

You may have all the necessary capabilities and experience, but the hiring manager needs to understand how you’ll apply them to this particular role. Too many people focus on making sure they talk about their accomplishments but ignore the actual job description. Truly understanding the role and articulating how you would apply your skills and capabilities to it is key to helping the hiring manager visualize how you can bring value to the team and organization.

You have a mismatch with the culture.

This doesn’t mean you’re a bad person! Every company has a specific culture. For example, if your success has come from making unilateral decisions but this company makes all decisions through consensus, you may become frustrated quickly. The last thing a hiring manager wants to do is hire someone who doesn’t fit in with the team or company culture.

While you may believe you can adapt to fit the environment, the hiring manager will predict your success based on how you describe your work style and preferences during the interview process. There is nothing you can do if they don’t believe you’d fit in with the team or overall company culture.

The job scope changed.

Once a job is posted, changes at the company could change the scope of the job — for example, maybe someone departed the team or there was a reorganization of functions. While a company should update and repost the job accordingly, not all of them do.

The job was paused or cancelled.

In uncertain economic times, hiring for new roles can be placed on hold or even canceled as companies figure out their short- and long-term strategies. While the job may still be posted, a company may not be interviewing for it or may stop the process after you’ve already interviewed. Some companies have been rescinding offers after making them, essentially firing employees before they even start. It’s not personal or a reflection of your skills and capabilities — it’s the business resetting itself.

Learning from rejection

Rejection stings, and not knowing why you were rejected can cause you to engage in negative self-talk about your skills and capabilities. Here are some ways to learn from the rejection and move forward:

Understand that the perfect job isn’t always perfect.

It’s normal to romanticize a job and company based on what we read or hear about them. And part of an interviewer’s role is to sell you on the job and make it seem amazing and exciting from their first contact with you.

If you weren’t selected for whatever reason, use the rejection to reset that romanticized vision and remind yourself that no company or job is as perfect as described. To get a more realistic view of a prospective employer next time around, take time in advance to think through deeper questions than, “Tell me about the culture.”

For example, during your next interview, ask the hiring manager, “Can you give me an example of how you developed an employee?” or “Is there one common thread to being a stellar performer on your team?” This will help you assess whether a company will take your development seriously and how the company assesses and appreciates its employees.

Reflect on your values.

When we’re desperate to find a job — any job — we don’t focus on what’s important to us and whether the role will contribute to our overall fulfillment. Take a step back and reflect on the job you didn’t get and whether it truly aligned with your values. This exercise will help ensure that when you do land a job, it will be fulfilling.

Sharpen your interviewing skills.

Going through any interview process allows you to practice your interviewing skills and messaging for the next job interview. When I was trying to change careers from entertainment lawyer to human resources professional, I was asked why I wanted to make the change. I would say, “I want to help people.” One hiring manager said that’s not the role of HR; the role is to align people’s skills and capabilities to business goals. I knew that but had never said it in an interview.

So, in the next one, I changed my core messaging and landed the job. Think back to the questions you were asked and how your counterpart reacted to your answers. Which responses landed and which didn’t? Did the hiring manager rephrase what you said more succinctly? Do you have an opportunity to make your message crisper or change your messaging completely?

Incorporate feedback.

If you can obtain feedback from your interviewer, you’ll have some actionable information to apply to your next interviews. This is a neutral party’s perspective on how you were perceived in that short period of time they interacted with you. Even if you don’t agree with the feedback or it doesn’t resonate with who you are, consider the 2% rule: What if 2% of it was true? Use the feedback as fuel to advance your skills or change your interview approach.

Develop resilience.

The more you’re rejected, the more resilient you’ll become as you learn to recover from the disappointment. After finding out you didn’t get the job, figure out what kind of self-care you need to heal — for example, doing an activity you’re great at and enjoy, like bowling, drawing, or exercising. Knowing how you feel in that moment and what it takes to move forward will give you a formula you can apply when faced with any failure.

Hiring managers can sense negative energy during the interview process. Making rejection a part of your learning will help reframe it as taking one step closer to job that’s right for you. The quicker you learn what helps you move forward, the easier it will be to look at the next round of interviews as the next challenge to conquer.

By: Marlo Lyons

Marlo Lyons is a certified career coach and strategist, HR executive, and the author of Wanted – A New Career: The Definitive Playbook for Transitioning to a New Career or Finding Your Dream Job.

Source: Job Rejection Doesn’t Have to Sting


Critics by Julia Hurtado

A job rejection can be hard, especially if you are trying to break into a competitive job market. It can make you feel deflated, angry, and cause you to lose your motivation and desire to keep interviewing for other career opportunities. We understand that and have experienced this disappointment throughout our careers as well.

However, it’s important not to let a job rejection keep you from applying for other opportunities. So, this week, we’ve put together some of our best advice on how you can not only deal with job rejection but also use it to improve yourself and future career prospects.

Let’s get started.

#1 Take some time out and get your emotions in place

After any rejection, you are likely to have many different emotions, and therefore we encourage you to take some time out to allow you to process your feelings.

Being rejected doesn’t mean that your attributes and professional qualifications aren’t remarkable. When it comes to hiring, employers weigh numerous considerations. Many factors may have led to your job rejection, including being under-qualified or over-qualified, your attitude towards the job and the company, your interview experience and many more.

Often some of these factors may be beyond your control. You have to understand that in today’s competitive job market, there are often hundreds of applicants for a role, so for an employer to pick just one person is a very challenging decision. As a result, even if you are not offered the job, it may not mean that the employer didn’t like you.

Whenever you receive a rejection, start by thanking the employer for their time and follow by asking if they can give you some feedback. If feedback is not an option, begin by evaluating how you thought you did in the interview. Did you cut off the interviewer? Did you not answer questions as well as you could do?

By identifying areas of weakness, you can then focus on learning how to improve yourself in these areas.

#2 Understand that you are not alone

Every day, countless others face job rejection. If you are dealing with job rejection, the best thing you can do is reach out to others who are currently, or have previously been in similar situations.

This way, you can share your experience and emotions and get mutual support that will be enormously beneficial. They can tell you how to deal with job rejection, and you can ask them what they did to overcome this phase.

There are also various books, podcasts and youtube videos on how to handle job rejection. Hearing how others were able to bounce back from a significant job rejection can help you feel less alone and more confident when you are ready to start reapplying again.

#3 Send a thank you email to the interviewer the day you get the job rejection mail

Sending a thank-you email after a job rejection sounds odd. However, it can help your career in the long run. You can use your thank you letter as an opportunity to build your network, receive feedback and ask to be considered for future opportunities.

After you have received the outcome of your interview, respond by thanking the employer for their time and giving you insight into the company. You can also highlight that although you are disappointed to have not been offered the role, you are excited to see how the company develops and would like to be considered for any future opportunities that may become available. Lastly, you can ask for feedback so that you can find out what you did well and areas you may need to improve.

By taking a few minutes out of your day to write this email, you will leave your interviewer with a positive impression of yourself and therefore increase your chances of receiving constructive feedback or even the possibility of being considered for another role in the future

#4 Think about what you could have done differently

After every interview, sit down for a few minutes and consider what you thought you could do better. This could be from how you answered their questions to your presentation skills and even your posture.

If you felt that you were a bit shaky with your presentation skills, work on presenting to others before your next interview to help reduce your nerves. The same idea applies to answering interview questions, write down some of the questions that you struggled with and do some research into how you may have been able to respond better to them. By doing this, you will create stronger responses that you can call upon in your next interview.

The point of thinking about what you could have done differently is not so you can beat yourself up over what you did wrong, but so that you can learn from it. Take each interview and each job rejection as an opportunity to grow stronger for the next interview.

#5 Focus on your strengths

Although you didn’t get the role, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you did not have any areas that you excelled in. So, take some time to reevaluate what you thought went well in the interview. If you were able to receive feedback, ask what areas they believed you did well in. It’s just as important to focus on your areas of strength as it is to focus on your areas of weakness.

By focusing on your strengths and highlighting them in future interviews, you’ll be able to show employers why you’re the best candidate. It can also help you improve your interviews and even help you land your dream role….To be continued..


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Why Chief Human Resources Officers Make Great CEOs

For decades the corporate HR department was seen as a back-office function, a cost center focused on mundane administrative tasks such as managing compensation and benefits plans. But over the past 15 years Ellie Filler has noticed a dramatic change. Filler, a senior client partner in the Swiss office of the executive recruiting firm Korn Ferry, specializes in placing chief human resources officers (CHROs) with global companies. For years many of the HR chiefs she recruited reported to the COO or the CFO and complained that they lacked real influence in the C-suite.

Today, she says, they often report directly to the CEO, serve as the CEO’s key adviser, and make frequent presentations to the board. And when companies search for new CHROs, many now focus on higher-level leadership abilities and strategy implementation skills. “This role is gaining importance like never before,” Filler says. “It’s moved away from a support or administrative function to become much more of a game changer and the person who enables the business strategy.”

To investigate the CHRO role within the C-suite, Filler worked with Dave Ulrich, a University of Michigan professor and a leading consultant on organization and talent issues. In looking at several sets of data, they found surprising evidence of the increasing responsibility and potential of CHROs.

First, in order to understand the importance of the CHRO relative to other C-suite positions, including CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, and CIO, Filler and Ulrich looked at salaries. To identify the best performers, they found the top decile of earners in each role. Then they averaged the annual base compensation of each group. No surprise: CEOs and COOs are the highest-paid executives. But CHROs are next, with an average base pay of $574,000—33% more than CMOs, the lowest earners on the list. “Great CHROs are very highly paid because they’re very hard to find,” Ulrich says.

The researchers also studied proprietary assessments administered by Korn Ferry to C-suite candidates over more than a decade. They examined scores on 14 aspects of leadership, grouped into three categories: leadership style, or how executives behave and want to be perceived in group settings; thinking style, or how they approach situations in private; and emotional competency, or how they deal with such things as ambiguity, pressure, and risk taking. The researchers then assessed the prevalence of these traits among the different types of executives and compared the results.

Their conclusion: Except for the COO (whose role and responsibilities often overlap with the CEO’s), the executive whose traits were most similar to those of the CEO was the CHRO. “This finding is very counterintuitive—nobody would have predicted it,” Ulrich says.

The discovery led Filler and Ulrich to a provocative prescription: More companies should consider CHROs when looking to fill the CEO position. In the modern economy, they say, attracting the right talent, creating the right organizational structure, and building the right culture are essential for driving strategy—and experience as a CHRO makes a leader more likely to succeed at those tasks.

The advice comes with some caveats. First, Filler and Ulrich studied only the best performers, so they’re pointing to a small subset of CHROs as having corner-office potential. They don’t see a path to the top job among people who have spent their careers in HR; instead, they are touting the prospects of executives who have had broad managerial experience (and P&L responsibility) that includes a developmental stint running the HR department. They emphasize that any CHRO who aspires to become a CEO must demonstrate capabilities in a host of skills required of top leaders.

“The challenge for CHROs is to…acquire sufficient technical and financial skills, in early education and in career steps along the way, if succession to CEO is a desired outcome,” they write in a white paper about their research. Indeed, some companies, including Zurich Insurance, Nestlé, Philip Morris, and Deutsche Bank, do put high-potential executives through a developmental rotation in a high-level HR job. (For one view on facilitating such developmental opportunities, see “It’s Time to Split HR,” by Ram Charan, HBR, July–August 2014.)

Filler and Ulrich highlight two examples of prominent CEOs who had developmental stints in HR earlier in their careers. Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, served as the carmaker’s vice president of HR for 18 months, and Anne Mulcahy, Xerox’s CEO from 2001 to 2009, ran that company’s HR operations for several years in the early 1990s. It’s no coincidence that both are women: According to the researchers’ data, 42% of high-performing CHROs are female—more than double the share in the CMO position, the next highest (16%). One implication: If more companies envisioned CHROs as potential CEOs, the number of female CEOs could dramatically increase.

In their white paper Ulrich and Filler also report on what CEOs and CHROs have to say about the changing nature of the top HR role. Several CEOs see the CHRO as C-suite consigliere. “It is almost impossible to achieve sustainable success without an outstanding CHRO,” says Thomas Ebeling, the CEO of the German media company ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG and a former CEO of Novartis. “[The CHRO] should be a key sparring partner for a CEO on topics like talent development, team composition, [and] managing culture.”

Peter Goerke, the London-based group director for HR at Prudential, agrees with Filler and Ulrich that although deep skills in marketing or finance might once have given CEO aspirants a significant competitive advantage, today a broader set of people-focused skills can be more useful. “Succession to a CEO role requires a balance of technical and people skills,” he says. “For all C-suite roles, and often at least one level down, there has been a gradual shift in requirements toward business acumen and ‘softer’ leadership skills. Technical skills are merely a starting point.”

In spite of the historic bias against the CHRO function, the rising status of HR leaders is not entirely surprising. Over the past 20 years Jim Collins and other management theorists have focused on talent strategy as the prime determinant of corporate success—an idea Collins popularized in phrases such as “Get the right people on the bus” and “First who, then what.”

In her work recruiting CHROs, Filler has seen a growing recognition that those aphorisms hold true. “If you don’t have the right people in the right places—the right talent strategy, the right team dynamics, the right culture—and if you don’t proactively manage how an organization works from a culture and a people perspective, you’re on a serious path to disaster,” she says. Conversely, a top-notch CHRO can help a company plot a more successful future.

Source: Why Chief Human Resources Officers Make Great CEOs

Critics: by MasterClass staff

A chief human resources officer (CHRO) is an executive-level position that oversees human resources management for a business or organization. The CHRO—sometimes referred to as the chief people officer (CPO) or executive vice president of human resources—directs the HR department and carries out HR policies. Some of the HR functions that CHROs oversee include talent acquisition and retention, performance management, and employee engagement. As the chief HR officer, a CHRO also helps to develop the workplace culture and supports business goals and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

As a leadership role, the CHRO job description includes overseeing the HR directors and HR team carrying out the company’s employee-based initiatives. The CHRO reports directly to members of the top C-suite executive team—often the chief executive officer (CEO) or chief operating officer (COO)—and works to align the HR strategy with the company’s strategic plan and business objectives.

A few of the responsibilities of a CHRO include:

  1. Benefits and labor relations management: A CHRO oversees the implementation of HR software to streamline healthcare and retirement programs, government compliance requirements, and employee relations. They explore partnerships to offer employees new benefits such as wellness programs or professional development opportunities.
  2. Guides company culture: This role in HR leadership includes helping to define and develop company culture for the workforce, executive leadership team, and other stakeholders. Maintaining employee engagement and productivity through incentives, clearly defined career paths and equitable compensation packages, and a commitment to diversity in hiring practices are core components of this human resources function.
  3. Oversees talent recruitment and retention: Talent management is another cornerstone of human capital management and the CHRO role. A CHRO develops and adopts a talent strategy that outlines how to recruit, hire, develop, and retain employees. The talent strategy includes offering equal opportunities to all candidates, employee training initiatives, career development programs, and succession planning, which is a strategy to identify potential leaders when companies change management.

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Bitcoin Veteran Raises $150 Million To Bring DAOs And NFTs To The Blockchain That Started It All

It’s summer 2017. Muneeb Ali, a PhD candidate in computer science at Princeton, is finishing his thesis, detailing his experience of building Blockstack—a decentralized blockchain-based internet, enabling users to own their data. Inspired by the founding father of modern computers and fellow Princeton graduate, Alan Turing, and the work of Bitcoin’s anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, Ali was exploring applications beyond financial use cases that could be built atop the largest decentralized payments network.

Fast forward to the present day. Dr. Ali has just raised $150 million to build New York-based Trust Machines, a company he co-founded with Princeton computer science professor Dr. JP Singh, which seeks to unleash what they consider “the true potential of bitcoin” by developing decentralized finance applications, DAOs and NFTs on the rebranded Blockstack, now called Stacks, a smart contracts network linked to bitcoin.

Investors in the round include Breyer Capital, Union Square Ventures, Digital Currency Group, GoldenTree, Hivemind, among others. The valuation was not disclosed. At stake is the potential for bitcoin to thrive in Web3.

“We believe that bitcoin can be more than a store of value; it can also be the settlement layer and platform for Web 3,” said Jim Breyer, founder and CEO of Breyer Capital and early Facebook investor. “We’re excited to support Trust Machines and their mission to help bitcoin reach its potential.”

The participation of high-profile investors like Breyer is a vote of confidence to bitcoin’s growth prospects. Despite its success, bitcoin’s ecosystem has seen slower development than other so-called Layer-1 chains, such as Ethereum and Solana, as of late. Unlike these networks and their respective assets, bitcoin has gained mainstream support as a “store of value” due to its scarcity. But this narrative is presently being challenged by bitcoin’s increasing correlation with risky assets like stocks.

Trust Machines aims to convert bitcoin’s trillion-dollar value into more productive capital and grow an economy of bitcoin applications, according to Ali. “Bitcoin as a programmable Layer 1 is so underappreciated,” he laments.

With raised capital, Trust Machines plans to aggressively hire bitcoin core developers to build products that would enable bitcoin investors to participate in the budding sector of decentralized finance, though the lion’s share of its value is currently locked in Ethereum. Think yield-bearing opportunities for bitcoin holders, social applications, DAOs, bitcoin-native NFT experiences and swaps, to name a few.

“Over the last four or five years, we’ve been building the infrastructure (Stacks) to make it possible to build those applications,” says Ali. “And now that the infrastructure has matured, we’re building these applications.”

Ali after his PhD thesis defense at Princeton University in 2017 standing next to Brian Kernighan, an early developer of the C programming language and UNIX operating system.

Ali had first heard of bitcoin in 2011 from Princeton professor Arvind Narayanan, who later wrote one of the most popular college textbooks on the subject and served on Ali’s thesis committee, but had not read Satoshi’s white paper for another two years. “One thing that really fascinated me,” he recounts, reflecting on Stacks’ beginnings, was “What else can we do with this technology?”

To answer that question, Hiro, a New-York based company he cofounded to build developer tools for Stacks, has raised a combined $75 million from investors including Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator, Winklevoss Capital, and even Harvard Management Co., the firm managing the university’s $41.9 billion endowment, which bought a cumulative $11.5 million in Stacks tokens in 2019. Last month, the Stacks mainnet celebrated its one-year anniversary with over 2,500 smart contract deployments and 50,000 wallet downloads.

In many ways, bitcoin smart contracts could be considered the Holy Grail of crypto. Platforms like Stacks or RSK, another network supporting bitcoin smart contracts developed by Argentina-based IOVLavs, show that the developer ecosystem around bitcoin can innovate and enable support for Web 3.

Hiro, which Ali has until now headed, will from now on be led by Alex Miller, currently Hiro’s Chief Operating Officer, though Ali will stay on as chairman of the board. Diwaker Gupta, currently VP of Technology, will take on the role of Hiro’s Chief Technology Officer.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

I report on cryptocurrencies and other applications of blockchain technology. I also write the weekly Forbes Crypto Confidential newsletter and contribute to our premium research service Forbes CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor. A Russia native, I am a graduate of NYU Abu Dhabi and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Source: Bitcoin Veteran Raises $150 Million To Bring DAOs And NFTs To The Blockchain That Started It All


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Popper, Nathaniel (17 June 2016). “Hacker May Have Taken $50 Million From Cybercurrency Project”. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 June 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.

 The “Autonomous Corporation” Called the DAO Is Not a Good Way to Spend $130 Million Archived 2016-06-02 at the Wayback Machine

The DAO: How the Employeeless Company Has Already Made a Boatload of Money

The Decentralized Autonomous Organization and Governance Issues. Archived 2018-06-04 at the Wayback Machine Regulation of Financial Institutions eJournal: Social Science Research Network (SSRN). 5 December 2017.

Automated company raises equivalent of $120M in digital currency”. Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2020-11-08. Retrieved 2016-05-17.

The radical DAO experiment”. Swinburne News. Swinburne University of Technology. Archived from the original on 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2016-05-12.

Ethereum reinvents companies with launch of The DAO”. International Business Times. Archived from the original on 2016-05-01. Retrieved 2016-05-01.

“The DAO: How the Employeeless Company Has Already Made a Boatload of Money”. 20 May 2016. Archived from the original on 23 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.

“Hard Fork Completed”. 20 July 2016. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016.

“Poloniex to delist 27 altcoins including DSH and DA”. Economic Times. 24 August 2016. Archived from the original on 4 October 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2017.

“DAO Delisting”. Kraken website. 18 December 2016. Archived from the original on 12 October 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2017.

“Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2018-01-25. Retrieved 2018-01-24.

Chiefless Company Rakes In More Than $100 Million”. Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2017-06-25. Retrieved 2016-05-16.

Leaderless, Blockchain-Based Venture Capital Fund Raises $100 Million, And Counting”. Fortune. Retrieved 2016-05-16.

Virtual company may raise $200 million, largest in crowdfunding”. 17 May 2016. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017 – via Reuters.

Google Accidentally Enables Pixel 6 Feature On Older Phones

One of Google’s most talked-about Pixel 6 exclusives may not be so exclusive after all.The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are packed with exclusive features enabled by Google’s new Tensor processor. However, it appears that at least one of these new features may not be so exclusive after all.

According to former Xda Developers Editor-in-Chief, Mishaal Rahman, and backed up by several Twitter users, Google’s much-vaunted ‘Magic Eraser’ tool, which uses machine learning to automatically remove unwanted items from your photos, can be enabled on older Pixel models simply by installing an updated version of the Google Photos app (APK link).

According to the above Twitter thread, some have successfully enabled the feature on a Pixel 4a and a Pixel 3XL, and others have even enabled the feature on non-Google devices by rooting their smartphones and spoofing Pixel credentials with Pixel Props. However, others have so far failed to make the feature work.

Based on these reports, it appears Google has accidentally enabled this premium pixel 6 feature on older models. But perhaps the biggest takeaway is that the company’s much-vaunted tensor ship clearly is not required for magic erase to operate. That said, we don’t know yet whether there are any significant differences in quality when used on non-Pixel-6 devices.

It does give us hope, however, that Magic Erase might eventually see official support on other devices. It’s definitely a prime candidate for Google’s library of premium Google Photos features available to paying subscribers.

Follow @paul_monckton on Instagram

I’ve been working as a technology journalist since the early nineties. My passion is photography and the ever-changing hardware and software that we use to create it, be it traditional cameras and Photoshop or smartphones and tablets with their numerous apps. I have also worked extensively on computing titles such as PC Magazine and Personal Computer World and managed the PCW hardware testing labs. This has seen me testing and reviewing all manner of technologies in print and on line. I take on both written and photographic assignments and you can get in touch with questions, tips or pitches via email. Find me on Instagram @paul_monckton.

Source: Google Accidentally Enables Pixel 6 Feature On Older Phones


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Chokkattu, Julian (October 26, 2018). “Google Pixel Stand Review”. Digital Trends. Retrieved January 4, 2019.

How to Hire With a Vaccine Mandate in Place

Asking prospective employees about their vaccination status can be awkward–and possibly lead to legally sticky situations. Some prospective employees will appreciate it if your company is mandating Covid-19 vaccinations. While surgical-grade facemasks have proven somewhat effective at preventing the spread of Covid-19, a vaccine is currently the only true way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

Others are less convinced. And if your company is in a hiring bind, as many are these days, you might need to codify and justify your safety policies. Here’s a primer on how to hire with a vaccine mandate in place.

Be transparent.

Nicolas Holand–founder of GooseSmurfs, a gaming company based in Indianapolis–has needed to hire nine new workers since July, when he added the vaccine to his company’s job requirements. He wants to avoid compromising the safety of his existing 46 employees.

“We also emphasize that this is a good thing for the candidates who may soon work in the workplace,” says Holand, noting that employees who are vaccinated are at a lower risk of contracting Covid-19 than those who remain unvaccinated. “They are more protected and resistant to any potential infection of Covid and therefore their workdays won’t be affected,” he adds.

While Holand says that so far, all of the candidates he’s hired has agreed to GooseSmurfs’s vaccination policy and most of them already had their full dose. The founder suspects he’s had a smoother time with the process because the company has been transparent and direct with its requirements on the job post itself. He says most candidates who were hesitant about the mandate likely didn’t apply. “Overall, being straightforward about the policy made the hiring process easier and seamless,” he says.

Make the vaccine a condition of employment.

When people take a job, they do so with an understanding of a job’s requirements. As an employer, you don’t want to violate that contractual agreement because it could lead to turnover. That’s why it’s crucial to outline any vaccine policies with candidates before they accept the position, says John Hooker, professor of business ethics and social responsibility at Carnegie Mellon University.

Additionally, if you have a policy in which some workers are required to be vaccinated, such as those in the office, and others are not, that rationale should be clear upfront. “It’s critical to have these kind of [policies] run across the entire company, as opposed to allowing them for some people and not for others,” says Hooker.

And if you do require a vaccine for some and not others, Hooker suggests making your reasoning known: “There must be a reason for that distinction and it shouldn’t be arbitrary.” Employees are less likely to push back on policies when they understand the rationale behind them, he says.

Don’t ask about a prospective worker’s vaccination status.

If you have a mandate in place, you likely want to know whether you will have to accommodate a new employee who isn’t vaccinated. While it’s fine to ask about a person’s vaccination status, you can’t make your hiring decision based on that person’s status alone. If a candidate is turned down for a job, and is told it is because he or she won’t receive the vaccine, they can file a discrimination lawsuit.

It is illegal both under federal and state laws to discriminate against an employee based on his or her medical condition with regard to employment decisions. It is, however, difficult for applicants to prove that a company didn’t hire them because of a health condition, says Jared Pope, HR law specialist CEO of Work Shield, a Dallas-based HR software company.

If you do decide to pass on candidates after having a conversation about their vaccination status, be cordial. Thank them for applying and let them know that you’ll keep them in mind should a position open up that would be a better fit.

An even better idea? Don’t ask at all. Talk about the company’s policy regarding vaccines during the interview process. Let the candidate know if any exceptions can be made if they choose to move forward. “Questions about the workplace can be asked and answered in an interview, and are not discriminatory or illegal in nature,” says Pope. Down the line, you can require proof of vaccination, he adds.

By Brit Morse, Assistant editor, Inc.@britnmorse


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