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  • #8: To hire or not to hire baby boomers?; Calling in sick when you’re not; ChatGPT - the new interviewer; Good leaders put themselves in their employees' shoes.

#8: To hire or not to hire baby boomers?; Calling in sick when you’re not; ChatGPT - the new interviewer; Good leaders put themselves in their employees' shoes.

BONUS: Workplace etiquette; The layoff saga continues; Don’t let me “Hey-hanging”; Getting fired was a good thing.

Welcome to the newest edition of Hacking Work International Newsletter!

Here’s what you can expect every Thursday:
Updates on the global job market; the latest developments in leadership and organisational culture; valuable insights into professional and educational landscapes; modern perspectives on careers; and the evolving nature of work.

In today's email:

Elderly people at work: two contrasting perspectives

The manager of Italy's oldest dairy factory has decided to exclusively recruit individuals aged over 60 for a new project. Roberto Brazzale, aged 61 himself, says that employees over 60 are reliable and have the experience, passion and energy of the employees in their 40s from the past. This stands in contrast to previous encounters with younger employees, which concluded with “unsatisfactory outcomes.”

On the other hand, Sara Holcomb, a millennial boss explains that she will stop hiring baby boomers after an unfortunate experience regarding the use of technology with an elderly employee. She shared the experience on social media. According to Sara, the person was not qualified for the role and was "too old to work". This story raises questions about age discrimination and adaptability to technology in today's workplace and has sparked widespread debate online.

What do you think?

an illustration with elderly employees working in a factory

Source: Dalle 3. Prompt provided by the Hacking Work team

ChatGPT helps you prepare for your interview

Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has expanded its features - it allows you to upload a picture and start a conversation based on it or have a verbal dialogue. Simon Taylor, a former Disney recruiter, recommends using this feature of ChatGPT when preparing for an interview. Here's how to do it:

  • Copy the job description into ChatGPT;

  • Say you want to do a mock interview based on this description;

  • Select "voice mode". You can exit voice mode at any time and even ask ChatGPT to analyse your answers.

Of course, every recruiter has their interviewing methods and ChatGPT will not know what they will focus on, but it can give you a valuable and useful starting point in preparing for the interview.

A good leader understands what is happening at the base of the organisation

Mindaugas Paulauskas, CEO of Lithuanian company Girteka Transport, spent 15 days in the driver's seat to better understand drivers' routines, needs, challenges and opportunities. Despite years of experience and knowledge of the challenges, Paulauskas decided to personally experience every aspect of his colleagues' work.

"The project I am embarking on aims to bring us closer to the drivers’ community: to understand their lifestyle by participating in cargo deliveries, navigating European roads, and tackling daily challenges such as parking, cargo security, and utilising digital tools, just as they do on a typical working day,” he says.

The entire journey will be published on the company's social media to raise awareness of the current challenges and opportunities for drivers in the logistics sector. The Mindaugas on the Road project also aims to promote the profession among young people.

Byte-sized news

One kick in the butt, one step forward. Alaa El Ghatit is just one example of an employee for whom getting fired was a good thing - it allowed them to focus on a dream and turn it into a successful business that will earn them over $700,000 in 2024.
This month, Swiss authorities in Zurich mistakenly paid over 30,000 employees double salaries due to faulty software. The institutions are now attempting to recover the excess payments. Some employees have expressed concern about the extra money, while others have requested more frequent double payments. 
Yelp says the decision for employees to work remotely led to a 43% increase in job applications. The number of applications for sales positions increased by 103% and interest in general and administrative roles increased by 53% over the same period.
Resistance from Deutsche Bank staff to return to the office. The company recently introduced a requirement for employees to be in the office at least three days a week starting in June, a change from a pandemic-era policy that allowed up to 60% remote work to increase flexibility and reduce office space. Employees expressed their disapproval of Deutsche Bank's remote working policy on an internal message board, according to a memo from CEO Christian Sewing and COO Rebecca Short. 
You want to revolutionize your team dynamics? Our new article, "5 Easy Steps to Build Trust in Your Team" by Tibi Grecu, unveils practical techniques to cultivate trust and boost productivity. Don't miss out on valuable insights to enhance collaboration and achieve outstanding results. Stay tuned for the ultimate guide to building a high-trust workplace environment.
Eliminating gender inequality could boost global GDP by more than 20%, according to a World Bank report. For the first time, the report looked at how 190 countries implement existing laws to protect women. The conclusion: there is a "shocking" gap between policy and practice.
Hungary adopts the most restrictive immigration legislation in the EU. During his speech, the Parliamentary Secretary of State of the Ministry of Interior Affairs emphasised that the new legislation would prioritise Hungarian workers for Hungarian jobs, with third-country nationals only being employed if no local workers are available.

3 out of 10 employees would call in sick when they're not

Nearly a third (30%) of employees admit to taking sick leave when they're not sick or would do so, according to a recent survey by employee benefits provider MetLife UK.

The research also highlights that most employees use their sick leave for important things: 40% called in sick because they felt exhausted; 31% needed a break from work; 23% to attend an appointment; 17% to care for children or a sick relative; and only 8% used it to get out of a presentation they didn't feel ready for or to avoid a deadline.

Adrian Matthews, Head of Employee Benefits at MetLife UK, points out that stress, reduced productivity and lack of engagement are common signs of employee burnout, and employers should pay close attention to these issues before throwing their staff into real illness.

The Secrets of Successful Growth: What Mistakes to Avoid?

Two of the biggest mistakes founders make that jeopardise the growth of their companies are underestimating the value of expertise in favour of cost and failing to cultivate a culture of sustainable growth.

When we prioritise cost over expertise by choosing cheaper alternatives over experienced professionals or cutting back on investments in appropriate technology, we undermine our long-term progress. Additionally, by ignoring the importance of building a unified organisational culture and collaboration between departments, we risk fragmenting teams and hindering the efficiency and scalability of the business.

To avoid these pitfalls, founders should invest in expertise and appropriate technology, and foster collaboration and cohesion among teams to ensure sustainable and successful growth.

News on Layoffs

The "Hey-hanging" phenomenon - rude behaviour that increases stress

"Hey-hanging" refers to situations where a manager or colleague sends a simple "hey" or "hi" and doesn't explain the reason for the writing. Experts say the practice causes unnecessary anxiety among employees.

"In the workplace, so much of our day takes place over messaging platforms such as Slack, especially for those that remain remote or in hybrid teams who don’t meet each other face-to-face. Given this, a ‘hanging’ exchange can leave recipient employees feeling unsettled and uncomfortable.” says Jared Pope, founder and CEO of Work Shield.

The illustration below highlights this habit. Did it happen to you?

The Unspoken Rules of Workplace Etiquette — Three Mistakes to Avoid

During a recent interview, Valerie Rodriguez, a seasoned HR specialist,  sheds light on behaviours best avoided in professional settings. To sum up:

  • Avoid excessive talking — It's advisable to judiciously filter what and when we share about ourselves, refrain from divulging irrelevant information excessively, and always be mindful of the context to safeguard our integrity and opportunities. Despite spending extended hours with colleagues, certain personal details could potentially be used against us.

  • Refrain from downplaying your accomplishments — Overly modest behaviour might obscure our talents and could be misconstrued as insecurity or a lack of expertise. While it's not necessary to project arrogance or claim superiority, maintaining a kind and empathetic demeanour can pave the way for success. It's crucial to assertively uphold personal boundaries and stay true to core values.

  • Exercise moderation at company gatherings — Strive to maintain composure, avoid consistently being the last to depart, and refrain from emptying glasses left behind by departing colleagues. Even seemingly innocuous social behaviours can impact your professional reputation.


Social Media Today is an excellent resource for marketers, businesspeople, and anyone who needs to stay up-to-date with social media.
The Daily Good newsletter provides a positive start to your day, offering a refreshing break from the chaos of the world.

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The newsletter is written by the Hacking Work team: Cristina, IoanaIzabellaAndreea, Ionuț, Loredana, Tibi, Iulia, Alexia and Doru.

Follow us on X @hackingwork_net.

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