Returnships: Don’t Call It a Comeback! They’ve been here for years.

I keep buying them beer so, Chad and Cheese keeps letting me appear on their blog. May the tap never run dry. 😉

Here’s a bit of news from the political blog – Roll Call.

“A pair of Democratic senators introduced legislation Thursday that would offer subsidies to employers who hire longtime unemployed workers. The draft bill, sponsored by Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and backed by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, aims to assist an estimated 1.3 million people who have been out of work for at least six months. The government would offer one-year subsidies to cover two-thirds of the cost of a new hire’s wages and benefits, although the subsidy could be increased in times of high unemployment.”

I think this is a well-intentioned effort to get people who have been out of the labor force for a while, back in the game. However, its not a new idea. There already is a trend of companies reaching back to experienced workers, its called – Returnships. Returnships are like internships for experienced workers looking to re-enter the workforce. Jason Wingard on Forbes explains how they work:

 “Modeled after traditional student internships, organizations hire individuals for a few months to a year during which they pair employment with mentoring and training. The benefits are twofold: returners gain skills, confidence, and connections, and employers evaluate prospective candidates risk-free. Returnships can provide an excellent segue back into the working world.”

Here are three examples of companies with returnship programs.

  • Example 1 – “The Goldman Sachs Returnship program helps to develop talented professionals who are looking to restart their careers after an extended absence from the workforce. This paid program offers opportunities in a variety of divisions and the chance to experience the vast network of resources at Goldman Sachs.”
  • Example 2 – “Increasing numbers of physicians are confronted with the problem of obtaining hospital staff privileges after extended absences from the practice of clinical medicine. The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Physician Reentry Program provides hospital credentialing committees with a convenient pathway to help reinstate physicians who have been denied privileges. The Reentry Program designs a course of participatory study that is intended to fulfill the specific needs of the reentering physician’s planned practice.”
  • Example 3 – “The Real Returns program at Credit Suisse is paid and runs for approximately 12 weeks. You’ll have the opportunity to work on projects that match your skills and expertise, and tap into a support network of like-minded professionals. You will participate in a variety of orientation events and training sessions throughout the program that are designed to help you transition back into the work environment. You will also receive information about changes in the financial services industry, improve your technology skills and participate in workshops.”

With a national unemployment rate of 3.6%, expect companies to do more creative strategies like this in the ongoing war for talent.


I was a guest on Chad and Cheese’s “The Shred” Podcast today. Listen to it now, read the transcript below or, do both. Yes, both would be good. 😉

Housebill 2557 is now an ACT. Housebill 2557 was passed May 29th by the Illinois House of Representatives and it sailed through the Illinois Senate without anyone voting – no. That kind of unanimous political bipartisanship almost never happens, especially in these days and times. So, why is it happening now? What is the act that once was Housebill 2557? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Housebill 2557 is now known as the “Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act.”

The Act prohibits Illinois employers from using “artificial intelligence” to evaluate a job applicant’s video interview unless the employer does three things first:

  • 1 – employer notifies the applicant that they will be using AI in the video interview process,
  • 2 – employer explains to the applicant “how the artificial intelligence works”
  • 3 – employer obtains consent from the applicant to use artificial intelligence in the video interview; before the interview begins

The Act also also requires employers to delete the video interviews within 30 days of request by the applicant.


Now, I imagine companies like Hirevue are quite concerned about this little development as it seems that this bit of legislation is targeting them specifically, and maybe other video interviewing platforms in the space like Montage, Gecko, Panna and Autoview

Does this legislation spell doom to them all, at least in Illinois? Umm… I doubt it. I imagine lawyers having a field day with this one based on what I read in JDSupra. For those who don’t know, JDSupra is a website that does legal analysis and it had a field day tearing this ACT apart. Here are three quotes that caught most of my attention:

  1. “[Artificial Intelligence]” is not defined in the Act. Here, Illinois assumes that the term is self-evident, which is not necessarily true. For instance, would assigning scores to an applicant based on tone of voice, facial expressions and word choice via algorithmic means count? (seems like “yes”) What about using an algorithm to automatically create a transcript of the interview? (seems like “maybe”) What about use of an algorithm to smooth and/or edit the video to key moments? (seems like “possibly”)
  2. The Act vaguely requires the employer to describe “how the artificial intelligence works” as well as “what general types of characteristics” the AI uses to evaluate applicants. We would expect describing the “how” would be challenging to do with any degree of specificity, particularly since the details of the algorithm are likely not fully-known to the employer…
  3. The law requires all copies of videos (expressly “including all … backups”) to be deleted within 30 days of the request. While sounding simple in concept, the vendors and customers in this space may have difficulty actually implementing this, particularly if third party cloud providers or similar are used, which may not allow complete deletion of all backups…

That’s the end of all my JDSupra quotes. Hmm… What to do, what to do?

Maybe the hrtech industry should pool their resources and hire lobbyists to explain the benefits of AI and other emerging technologies in the recruitment process; because judging by this Act, which may or may not be ready for prime time, politicians are swift to react to the fear inherent in the rapid pace of technological change. Or rather, the fears of their voting constituents.


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THE SHRED – What’s Scarier than a Chucky Doll? Early retirement!

I found a keg of beer and used it to bribe Chad and Cheese to let me back on their show. Enjoy…

THE SHRED – What’s Scarier than a Chucky Doll?

Hollywood is rebooting the “Child’s Play” horror movie franchise. That’s right coming soon to a theatre near you, the doll Chucky will be wisecracking and stabbing his way into your heart; figuratively, not literally speaking. That would hurt. As scary as the new Chucky doll will surely be, I read something today that was even more frightening.

Americans increasingly say that they are unprepared for retirement, with about 25% of retirees forced to stop working because they can’t find jobs or they are in poor health, according to a Bloomberg report that cites Federal Reserve data. That same Bloomberg report pointed out nearly half of those who retired in 2018 did so before the age of 62; which is really scary when you consider that the official retirement age to collect social security is 67.

Now if the retirement train is chugging down your track and your retirement funds are looking mighty, mighty low, you are not alone.

According to Bankrate’s May Financial Security Index survey, 76% of Americans say that when it comes to their finances, the #1 Regret is – Not saving for retirement early enough.

So, what’s the problem America. How did we get into this mess? Was it…?

  • School loan debt
  • Credit card debt
  • Irresponsible spending (I’m guilty of some of that.)
  • Ridiculous healthcare costs
  • Overly optimistic that your Uncle Sam will bail you out
  • Rapidly increasing cost of housing

Probably all of the above and more, whatever, its water under the bridge now. Where do we go from here? Because, we have to do something America. And right off the bat, I can think of 2 options. Option one, start a new career.

Don’t let the idea of starting a new career overwhelm you. After all, you don’t have to teach an old dog new tricks. The old dogs can do the same tricks, just in a different arena. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.

    • Start a Mentorship Firm – Someone could start a company matchmaking young entrepreneurs with retired captains of industry; people with connections and experience to guide entrepreneurs on their journey. What inexperienced entrepreneur would not take advantage of that?
    • Start a charm School – If I search on Indeed for jobs that include the word “interpersonal,” there are over 600,000 jobs available. A search on “empathy” returns 37,000+ results. The word “collaborate?” Over 320,000 jobs had that desired ability. Somebody needs to teach today’s generation how to connect and work with people. Who better than the a generation of retirees for whom these skills tend to come naturally? I imagine there’s a lot of money in that.
    • Start life coaching – If you are good at giving advice, helping people identify goals and developing an action plan to achieve them then, you could be a life coach. In case you’re curious, there’s never been a better time to be a lifecoach.

Consider these stats

    • The International Coach Federation boasts a whopping 53,300 members and is on a steady growth trend.
    • Average income for life coaches ranges from $27,100 to $73,100, with specialty coaches commanding greater than $100,000 annually.
    • Growth projections for the life coaching industry are an estimated 6.7%, taking revenue to $1.34 billion by 2022.
    • More and more corporations are hiring life coaches instead of mental health counselors to work in-house with employees (no stigma). Zappos and Shopify comes to mind.

Okay, all of those ideas were under option one, of things to consider, if you are approaching retirement age with little to no retirement funds. Option two is this… buy a lottery ticket.

Jim Stroud, Bruce Willis and Talent Acquisition

I was privileged to be a featured speaker on the ClickIQ Academy discussing current events and how they relate to the recruitment industry. Good times! Tune in to hear all the fun.

Topics include: 

  • How Bank of America increasing their minimum wage may have some unintended consequences
  • What IBM’s ability to predict whether someone is leaving – via AI – means for employees
  • Whether AI can be truly unbiased, and if it can be more or less human than humans
  • How a restaurant chain accidentally discriminated against certain communities
  • Why New York State barring marijuana testing is as much about a talent shortage as it is about relaxing drug laws

Please like, share and comment on this post. Thanks in advance.


The College Fix Was In But, It Was a Waste of Time

Call me butter because I’m on a roll. Check out my very first “Shred” appearance where I discuss the infamous “College Admissions Scandal” and its ramifications. And if you have not already, subscribe to the Chad and Cheese Podcast! Its HR’s most dangerous podcast for a reason.

Estimating the Return to College Selectivity over the Career Using Administrative Earnings Data
Is Elite College Worth It? Maybe Not
U.S. Charges Dozens Of Parents, Coaches In Massive College Admissions Scandal
College admissions scandal: Lincoln’s land-grant colleges are still helping students grow
Mastery Transcript – Join the effort to create a high school transcript to transform high school.
A movement to prepare students for the future of work