The Week That Was

It’s the last weekend before football starts — well, at least college — so occupy your time with these top five stories from Talentmgt.com for the week of Aug. 19.

1. Four Steps to Narrow the Skills Gap: The war for talent is fierce in key industries. But research reveals opportunities to close skills gaps within organizations, writes Jason Corsello, vice president of corporate strategy and marketing for Cornerstone OnDemand.

2. Employers Miss the Mark on Bonuses: For the third straight year, employers do not expect to fully fund their annual employee bonus pools, according to a new survey. Talent Management editor Frank Kalman has the story.

3. How to Spark Culture Change: Changing employees’ behaviors can be hard without the proper guidance and incentives. To produce high value and sustainable change, connect new behaviors with measurable business goals, writes Claudio Avila Tobias, a partner at global management consulting firm Schaffer Consulting.

4. Social Recruitment Delivers Results for UPS: Realizing candidates are embracing social technologies, the package delivery firm sought to bring similar techniques to its talent acquisition function. Mike Vangel, vice president of talent acquisition strategy at recruitment advertising agency TMP Worldwide, has more.

5. You’re Fired!: Companies can’t afford to keep underperforming employees around — but the firing process can be complicated and emotionally charged. Here’s how to do it right. Talent Management editor Jessica DuBois-Maahs has this issue’s Insight interview.

In Other News …

Ever wonder why hiring managers ask certain interview questions? Business Insider clarifies the meaning behind each question and what job seekers should be prepared to respond with.

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Also, need help being better at small talk? As The Wall Street Journal reports, being a good conversationalist is a skill — and one that is increasingly important in business. Read more here.