The Week That Was

Was your New Year’s resolution to read more? Wow. That is such a coincidence — because I happen to have some great reading material lined up just for you. Here are the top five stories from Talentmgt.com for the week of Jan. 6.

1. Five Steps to Effective Stay Interviews: Stay interviews offer managers the opportunity to identify and correct employee problems before top performers walk out the door. Follow these steps to get the most out of the management tool. Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, a staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of administrative and office support professionals, has more.

2. Engaging in Wellness Leads to Happiness, Productivity | Video: Editor Ladan Nikravan interviews Josh Stevens, the CEO of engagement provider Keas, on the importance of driving wellness and happiness in the workplace.

3. Want Discretionary Effort? 10 Things to Avoid in the New Year: Leaders who want to get the most from their employees in 2014 should avoid statements that discourage creativity and idea sharing.

4. Survey: Mid-Management Jobs Phasing Out: Within the top 10 percent of growing jobs, less than 2 percent of titles contain the word “manager” or “director,” a recent survey shows.

5. Trends in Background Checks for 2014: Knowing the right way to conduct background checks is critical to both keeping the workplace safe and avoiding legal entanglements. Lester S. Rosen, CEO of background checking firm Employment Screening Resources, has the story.

On Another Note …

As if getting a job at one of the big technology and e-commerce companies wasn’t hard enough.

The Wall Street Journal reports this week of an interesting hiring practice used by e-retailer Amazon, in which employees called “bar raisers” take part in an extensive vetting of every Amazon potential hire.

The report describes the extent of so-called bar raisers:

“Bar raisers are skilled evaluators who, while holding full-time jobs at the company in a range of departments, play a crucial role in Amazon’s hiring process, interviewing job candidates in other parts of the company. With a word, they can veto any candidate, even if their expertise is in an area that has nothing to do with the prospective employee’s.”

To read more, click here.

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Also, the plight of recent law school graduates has been well publicized. Many would-be lawyers are still out looking for jobs even though they have a high-level degree and a tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.

Business Insider has the story of one recent law graduate who has found an interesting way of paying back her debt, even though she isn’t working in the legal industry. As the article notes, most of her lawyer friends who found jobs not only are not paying off their debt as quickly as she is, but are already looking to escape the profession. Read the entire story here.