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Teens Out-Earning Adults, the Return of Job-Hunting Woes, and More!

Is your teenager earning more than you?

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Jun 16, 2023

Welcome to “The Most Interesting Recruiting Stories of the Week,” a weekly post that features talent acquisition insights and information from around the web to kick off your weekend. Here’s what’s of interest this week:

Average Wages for Teens Skyrocket

“Employment rates for teens are expected to rise this summer from last year, according to a team of labor economists who put out an annual summer job forecast,” Axios reports. “Wage growth among the youngest workers has been steeper than for other age groups. In April, wages for those aged 16-24 were up 11.5% from last year, compared to 6.6% for those 25-54, according to data from the Atlanta Fed.”

Job Hunting Is Getting Worse for Candidates

“There was a time, not too long ago, when employers were in such a rush to hire workers that they were doing anything they could to make it easier for people to apply,” Time reports. “Job hunting was becoming more miserable even before the pandemic, as the amount of time companies took to hire stretched out and as they asked candidates to undergo more and more interviews. Labor shortages during the pandemic gave a temporary reprieve, but now, as fears about a recession grow, companies are going back to their old habits of putting candidates through a grueling process.”

A New Chapter in the Independent Contractor Classification Saga

“The U.S. National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday made it more difficult for companies to treat workers as independent contractors rather than employees, handing workers in the gig economy and other industries a potential path to join unions,” according to Reuters. “The Democrat-led board threw out a more business-friendly standard for classifying workers adopted during the Trump administration, which had said workers who operate their own businesses should generally be considered independent contractors who cannot join unions.”

A Look Inside Tulsa’s Remote Work Initiative

“The truth is that Tulsa overall is doing a surprisingly good job of making itself a place where young tech and other knowledge workers and their growing families want to be,” according to Vox. “Tulsa Remote started offering remote workers the headline-grabbing $10,000 sum to move to the city back in 2018. The program also offered a place where they could find relatively affordable housing, access to free coworking space, and the subsidized opportunity to reimagine their lives anew somewhere else. So far, the program says it has brought 2,400 people from places like New York and New Orleans, from San Francisco and San Antonio, from Omaha and even Americans from abroad to relocate smack-dab in the middle of the country.”

Technologically Transforming Employee Referral Programs

“Employee referral programs continue to be one of the most effective ways to recruit new workers amid ongoing labor shortages,” says this SHRM piece. “Studies show getting employees to refer candidates from their own networks results in lower recruiting costs, improved hiring rates and new employees who stay longer with a company. But the effectiveness of employee referral programs increasingly depends on the quality of the technology platform chosen to administer the process.”

Is Gender-Equal Parental Leave the Fairest Policy?

“In regions all over the world, mothers are more likely than fathers to leave their jobs or reduce their hours at some point after having kids, which significantly reduces their lifetime earnings,” this Atlantic piece points out. “The hope is that if more fathers take leave, employers will be less likely to discriminate against women in hiring and promotions, and men will contribute more at home, freeing up mothers to give more time and energy to work.” But hope and reality are not the same.

The Problem With Rhetoric About Loving Your Work

From The New York Times: “[T]he rhetoric that a job is a passion or a ‘labor of love’ obfuscates the reality that a job is an economic contract. The assumption that it isn’t sets up the conditions for exploitation. Indeed, creative, mission-driven and prestigious jobs often take advantage of employees’ love for what they do. According to one 2020 study, employers see poor treatment of workers — such as expecting overtime work without pay or asking people to do demeaning tasks that aren’t part of their job descriptions — as more acceptable if the workers are thought to be passionate about what they do.”

The Misplaced Focus on Gendered Language in Job Posts

“New research debunks the commonly held belief that tailored language increases gender diversity,” reports this ERE.net story. “Contrary to popular belief, the research suggests that simply changing the language used in job advertisements does not significantly contribute to attracting more women to male-dominated industries.”

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