Employment Stories November 12, 2012

Apple adopts two-week program that allows select employees to work on side projects

Adopting a move out of Google’s 20-percent time playbook, Apple has begun a program titled “Blue Sky” that gives select employees two weeks to work on a project not in their normal realm of responsibilities. Jessica Lessin of the Wall Street Journal shared the news on video (via Business Insider), where she said Apple’s two-week program is not as vast as the program Google offers. Instead, Apple’s program is a select amount of employees that get the free time.

Why would a company adopt such program? It gives employees a chance to work on something that interests them, in the hopes of spawning innovation. The program was created earlier this year under CEO Tim Cook, and it may signal an overall culture shift in the company. It will be interesting to see if any projects out of Blue Sky see the light of day, as many Google projects have.

Employment Stories October 11, 2012

Apple lands No. 2 spot for ‘most inDemand employer’ globally, considered desirable among students and recent grads

Apple just landed the No. 2 spot on LinkedIn’s fresh list of most “inDemand” employers from around the world.

The occupation-aimed social network pinpointed the most attractive companies for job seekers, and it subsequently broadcasted the list, along with its new Most InDemand Employers website, at the Talent Connect event in Las Vegas this afternoon. LinkedIn further detailed a few insights regarding the results, including: tech/software as the most represented on the list, consumer brands ranked highly, and 50-percent of the top 100 companies had under 7,000 employees.

Apple also earned third-place in the United States, just behind Walt Disney, and students and recent graduates perceive it as the second-best possible employer after Google.

Check out more details in the infographic below, or read LinkedIn’s blog post to learn more about the list’s ranking metrics.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Google.

Employment Stories August 27, 2012

Reports emerged over the weekend about AT&T forcing its employees into a Sept. 21 to Sept. 30 “Vacation Blackout”.

According to an AT&T sales rep, AT&T staff has been given a vacation blackout from September 21 to September 30, just like Verizon employees. Our source also mentioned that blue carrier employees are undergoing training for an “iconic release.”

“Not true!” we’ve heard. We reached out to AT&T to see what it had to say regarding the above. An AT&T spokesperson told us this morning that there is no company-wide vacation blackout for the end of September.

We also talked to AT&T reps at other stores who implied more people are being put on duty, depending on staffing levels of that particular store, but there is no “blackout.” One New York employee will even sit out the first week of the iPhone launch due to a long-planned vacation.

TechCrunch sourced one rep from a single AT&T store, which may have its own little under-staffed blackout, but, as we heard, the policy is not nationwide.

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Employment Stories August 21, 2012

Every Yahoo employee to get an iPhone under former Google Exec Marissa Mayer?

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According to a report from BusinessInsider, which cited sources close to Yahoo, new CEO Marissa Mayer wants all employees to use an iPhone and is considering having Yahoo purchase the devices to “get consistency across the company.”

Apparently, Yahoo employees use all sorts of different devices – BlackBerrys, iPhones, Androids, whatever – and Mayer believes the company would be better off if it identified one device/platform on which it should make its products really shine, and got employees used to what it’s like living with that platform… The cost to Yahoo would be a couple million dollars or less – chump change for a company that has billions lying around.

Mayer was said to be a huge iPhone fan even in the halls of Google as she demonstrates in the above photo from Flicker user Sl1Very.

Employment Stories June 18, 2012

Did Apple just give every one of its retail employees a $4 raise? (Update: Nope)

Update: BusinessInsider issued the update below confirming our doubts:

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that all Apple Store employees were getting a raise of at least $4 per hour. This is what we were told by a single source at an Apple Retail store. But other Apple Retail store employees say this is not true. It is possible that only employees at one store are getting raises. We don’t know the full story, and we never should have written a story that indicated we did. It was an overreach, and we sincerely apologize for misleading readers.

While we find it a little hard to believe, BusinessInsider reported that a source said all Apple retail employees would receive a $4-per-hour raise starting July 20:

A source tells us that every Apple retail employee will get a $4-per-hour raise… This is based on an internal review process called NetPromoter that lets Apple employees critique the company… It seems that enough Apple employees thought they were underpaid that the company decided to spread some money around.

It is definitely possible that some retail employees will get the $4 raise, but we will wait for confirmation from Apple about all of its nearly 30,000 retail employees seeing the increase in pay. We talked to four different Apple employees from varied locations, but they have not heard anything about a raise. We previously reported that Apple’s recently appointed Senior Vice President of Retail John Browett has promised retail employees a three month advance on raises originally expected in September. We will keep you updated.

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Employment Stories March 30, 2012

If you are wondering why your recent trip to the Apple Store left you loving Apple more than ever or wanting your customers to feel the same way about your company, we got the book for you.

The Apple Experience” by veteran Apple/technology author Carmine Gallo deep dives into the Apple retail experience and breaks down exactly what it is that Apple retail employees are trained to do just to make a customer feel good about an experience (and want to come back). The 235-page book goes through every aspect of employee training and pours through countless hours of interviews with employees and shoppers on Apple’s five-step service: Approach, Probe, Present, Listen, and End.

Even if you do not own a retail business and just want to understand how Apple retail works, there is a lot here for you.

Gallo heeds his own advice by delivering a fun and incredibly insightful book that will help people understand the “magic” of the Apple retail experience.

The Apple Experience is at Amazon. The hardcover is $16.50, and the Kindle version is $9.99. When it hits the iBookstore, it will be available here.

An “Apple Experience” excerpt from “Chapter 10: Sell the Benefit” is below: expand full story

Employment Stories March 29, 2012

We knew the Fair Labor Association would publish the initial findings of its investigation into Apple’s Foxconn facilities, and now the report is officially available through the organization’s website. The full report released today and is here. The press release outlining the investigation is below. According to the recommendations, Foxconn committed to “bring its factories into full compliance with Chinese legal limits and FLA standards on working hours by July 2013.”

The last we heard from the FLA about its audits into Apple’s Foxconn facilities was that it found “tons of issues.” Apple became the first technology company accepted as a member into the organization after controversies surrounding working conditions in Apple’s supply chains abroad became mainstream. As for what the FLA found in its audits of the three Foxconn facilities, here is an excerpt from the report:

FLA’s investigation found that within the last 12 months, all three factories exceeded both the FLA Code standard of 60 hours per week (regular plus overtime) and the Chinese legal limits of 40 hours per week and 36 hours maximum overtime per month. During peak production periods, the average number of hours worked per week exceeded 60 hours per worker. There were periods in which some employees worked more than seven days in a row without the required 24 hours off.

The FLA said Foxconn’s commitment will “reduce working hours to legal limits while protecting pay, improve health and safety conditions, establish a genuine voice for workers, and will monitor on an ongoing basis to verify compliance.” This will lead to a maximum 49-hour workweek, including overtime for employees and a decrease in monthly overtime from 80 hours to 36 hours. While we reported some workers were unhappy with working fewer hours, Foxconn also committed to a compensation package for workers with reduced overtime:

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Employment Stories November 7, 2011

Apple is holding a training session with new managers to address unionizing tomorrow, reports CNet. The session will be held to address unions in the workplace and take any legal questions they might have. The internal document obtained by CNet said the following:

“This course is intended to provide managers with a practical understanding of how unions affect the workplace, how and why employees organize, and the legal do’s and don’ts of dealing with unions. This is a mandatory class for all new managers, and is required biannually for all managers.”

The course will then become a biannual occasion for all of Apple’s retail managers. The push for this course by Apple’s executive team most likely comes after early this year when Apple employees began pushing for the “Apple Retail Workers Union” that would address issues of part-time employees being underpaid. Other issues also included training opportunities and break schedules.

 

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Employment Stories November 1, 2011

What is different about a Tim Cook Apple?

It wasn’t much of a surprise when Tim Cook said “Apple is not going to change” in his letter to employees as newly appointed CEO following Steve Jobs’ resignation. Not long after that, we published a story about what we called Cook’s first “anti-Jobsian move”. Of course many questions arose surrounding how Cook’s sales and […]

Apple likes to maintain tight control over its image and that extends to any outwardly-facing public social network, especially Facebook.

Sure, the Cupertino firm maintains its own Facebook pages and Twitter channels, basically outlets to spread news about new iTunes content, product updates, support documents, etc. in a tightly controlled manner. But If you thought each Apple employees is his or her own person and entitled to express opinion about the brand, you’re in for a surprise: Tweet/post/blog negatively about Apple and you’ll get fired. Period.

One employee in the UK went on to berate Apple “privately on Facebook”, arguing the posts were not public. ifoAppleStore.com has the story of an Apple employee named Crisp who appealed to the UK labor after being fired for “gross misconduct”:

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