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Written by Kieran Delamont, Associate Editor, London Inc.


What is hey-hanging and why is it driving people nuts?

Messages with nothing more than a quick greeting are leaving receivers confused, anxious and more than a little miffed

IT SEEMS LIKE such a straightforward, harmless message for a manager or boss to send to an employee over Teams or Slack: “Hey,” you write. Or maybe just “Hi.” A pleasant greeting, you tell yourself, inviting an equally pleasant response.


Or so you thought ― on the other end of that simple salutation lies nothing but worry, anxiety and dread.


You’ve just been guilty of ‘hey-hanging,’ a practice “in which a coworker sends a brief greeting in an instant message, but does not actually tell you what they want ― leading you to, naturally, enter an anxiety spiral of speculation about whether you’ve done something horribly wrong,” explains Business Insider.


“My mind goes to the worst places,” one 31-year-old account director told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s like, ‘Am I fired? Am I in trouble? Is your mom okay?’”


The experience has become so dreaded that someone out there in cyberspace set up, a tongue-in-cheek plea to bosses, managers and coworkers everywhere to, essentially, cut to the chase. “People who do this are generally trying to be polite by not jumping right into the request, like one would in person or on the phone,” they write. “You’re actually just making the other person wait for you to phrase your question, which is lost productivity, and kinda annoying.”


The annoyance around hey-hanging is a manifestation of two things. The first is a state of anxiety among the workforce, especially younger workers who report higher levels of workplace anxiety than older workers. (“The brain has to know what’s going to happen, for survival,” pointed out psychotherapist Bryan Robinson.)


The second is generational differences in workplace communication, suggest experts. “Hey-hanging is a direct response to communication overload ― it’s an attempt to break through the distractions and have a connected, collaborative human moment,” said Grammarly’s Courtney Napoles, who works on their language research team. “Reaching out with a quick ‘hey’ is an understandable impulse, but trying to cut through the noise with ambiguity doesn’t ease the overwhelm.”


What’s the solution? It would seem a workplace version of ‘please don’t bore us, get to the chorus’ is perhaps the best fit.  


“Just ask the question!” advised the writer of “If you feel it's a bit brusque to simply say "Hi" and ask the question, you can still preface your message with as many pleasantries as you see fit.”


A whirlwind of attention and promises

In the fiercely competitive world of talent acquisition, some recruiters are resorting to bad behaviour from the dating world

IF YOU’RE SINGLE and out in the dating world, maybe you’ve experienced someone who comes on way, way too strong, moves too fast and ultimately turns you off the notion of any sort of relationship. You have been, as the kids would say these days, “love-bombed.”


Well, it turns out that dynamic is seeping into the job market, too, with more candidates reporting that hiring practices of large companies are increasingly mirroring bad dating habits, according to a new report from hiring platform Greenhouse.


Over half of all candidates described being love-bombed by companies and recruiters, the report found. Fifty-three per cent of jobseekers said they “received excessive praise and flattery during the hiring process, only to be lowballed with a salary and title that didn’t match their qualifications, skills and experience.”


Some may not even realize they are doing it. “Recruiters are natural salespeople and optimists, so these behaviours come from a well-intended place,” Sally Hunter, a managing director at hiring firm Cielo, told the BBC. Others are overselling on purpose. “If recruiters are on a low base salary and living through commission, it can drive love-bomb behaviour in order to have the maximum opportunity of filling the role.”


But on the whole, it is driving jobseekers and companies looking for quality hires further and further apart. With a lot of employees in Canada and elsewhere feeling restless and looking to move, there is a ton of talent available, but survey findings suggest that companies are doing a poor job of actually tapping that talent.


“Big companies are making basic and costly mistakes. From baiting and switching to ghosting, the trust between employers and applicants has been put at risk,” Greenhouse’s CEO Daniel Chair told Fortune. For recruiters and companies, the prevalence of these kinds of practices represents a real liability, not only for their current round of hiring, but for all hiring they do in the future.


“The difference between doing a good and a bad job comes down to those who aren’t going to get the job,” reasoned Chair. “What do they say about you afterwards? What do they tell their friends? If you’re turning off a potential talent pool ― or potential customers ― that’s a big disservice.”

Terry Talks: How to outpace the competition and secure top talent

The impact of aging and retiring Baby Boomers in the workplace is changing the way many organizations approach hiring and talent management. After all, in an era where the landscape of talent is experiencing unprecedented changes, leaving your organization’s talent strategy to chance is not an option. If you’re concerned about how your organization stacks up in the fiercely competitive arena of talent acquisition and retention, we have a solution designed to empower you. Ahria’s People Power Index is an innovative tool crafter to assist organizations in navigating the complexities of the talent war. 



Moving forward, moving back

Many Canadian women in higher-paying jobs are now doing better than before the pandemic. Others, not so much

WHETHER THE POST-COVID economy as a whole followed a K-shaped recovery path (an economic model where some sectors rebound, while others lag) is something that economists are still debating, but a new report suggests that for one group of workers ― Canadian women ― it’s exactly what happened.


A report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives looked at how women fared coming out of the pandemic, assessing how factors like hybrid work, a tighter and more worker-friendly labour market and rising average wages affected working women, and broadly found markers of a K-shaped recovery.


“Many women in higher-paying jobs are now doing better than before the pandemic,” reads the report. “However, women in low-paying, pandemic-vulnerable jobs in the care economy are still having a rough time of things.”


“I think we’re going to look back on 2021 and 2022 as really pivotal and unique years in the labour market,” the report’s author, Katherine Scott, told The Orchard. She said that women who had the right mix of timing, qualifications and experience were able to pivot into higher-paid work with better work-life balance. But those who didn’t experienced “much more strenuous, precarious circumstances while getting hammered by the current cost of living crisis.”


Women in the care economy ― nursing, hospitals, childcare ― have, on the whole, struggled, while women in professional services ― finance, technical services, etc. ― have seen the gender gap in those professions close and employment rates increase.


For Canadian women in the workforce, and policymakers who would like to see broader improvements, the report suggests that we need to navigate a tricky environment, protecting some post-Covid trends while trying to reverse others. There has been greater demand in traditionally female-dominated fields, wage growth has picked up and remote working options continue to open new doors. But at the same time, Scott argued that more attention needs to be paid to the long-term outlook of women’s work.


“A question now hangs over the future of pandemic-vulnerable industries, which account for over one-quarter of total female employment,” she wrote. “Will the relative size of these industries be smaller in the future? Will low-wage women workers again benefit from opportunities to move up the wage ladder, as they did through the employment recovery of 2021-22? Or has the door slammed shut?”  


Congratulations on getting your degree. Now good luck getting a gig

The class of 2024 is jumping into a sluggish market for entry-level jobs

MANY CANADIAN STUDENTS will be having their post-secondary graduations in the coming weeks and months ― a joyful, celebratory time, no doubt. But that jubilation might only last until they receive their big gift from the Canadian economy: a stinker of an entry-level job market.


“The graduating class of 2024 should expect to spend a little extra time applying for jobs compared to those who graduated in the last few years, as economists warn of a sluggish market for entry-level talent,” reported The Globe and Mail.


The Canadian economy may not (officially) be in recession, but for new grads, the job market looks eerily similar to one.


“It is not unusual for younger workers to bear the brunt of a labour market slowdown,” reads a report from RBC. “But there is something more happening, and it has to do with younger people who are about to enter the labour market. The share of younger Canadians with post-secondary education has continued to rise, and hiring demand has softened sharply in industries like professional services and finance jobs.”


Even STEM jobs ― considered for the last decade or so one of the more stable career paths ― are feeling the pinch. The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers recently estimated that an engineering grad in Canada now has “about a four in 10 chance of working in engineering.”


The upside? These things are cyclical, and conditions won’t last forever, experts advise. It’s not necessarily the message a lot of new grads will want to hear, but with interest rate cuts expected in the not-too-distant future, analysts expect hiring to pick up towards the end of this year. Patience will probably pay off.


“When the market is tighter, it’s an opportunity to show your resilience,” Mike Shekhtman of Robert Half Canada told The Globe and Mail. “It’s easy to show a level of frustration when you are putting in applications and not hearing back, but building up a level of resilience and determination is crucial; as is not showing signs of frustration.”


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