HR Heartbeat: AI interviews, rising expenses, and...

The unexpected way AI has changed recruitment and all the ways it could backfire on employers, another underpayment fiasco, and an unfair dismissal case that was never a dismissal. See it all in this week’s Heartbeat.

First published on Monday, Nov 06, 2023

Last updated on Friday, Nov 03, 2023

7 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Everything you need to know about the latest trends impacting employers all over Australia. Keep up to date with the HR Heartbeat.

Let’s get into the headlines.

Up in the AIr

The 2009 film, Up in the Air, saw a young upstart replace in-person employment termination assistance with a remote video-calling alternative.

Well replace that young, human upstart with AI and employment termination with hiring new employees and you’ll have a pretty good idea about the new hiring practice sweeping the nation.

Some recruiters and employers have started rolling out AI interview rounds and requiring candidates to complete an online, AI-conducted interview. The interviewee is given 60 seconds to record a video response to each question before the AI assess their responses.

Needless to say, there’s a lot to unpack.

For candidates:

  • Some are horrified about the one-sided experience and their inability to learn more about the business at the interview stage.
  • They can feed the system AI-generated responses, resumes, and cover letters, which will make the AI screening redundant.

And those aren’t the only holes in the system for employers looking for effective recruitment processes. The AI recruitment system could also subscribe to discriminatory hiring practices. For example, one system trained on male resumes led to female-presenting names being screened out of the running.

Employers need employees and vice versa—it’s important that this relationship starts strong. And there’s (still) nothing better than a human touch to make a promising candidate a loyal employee.

Don’t let these risks get the better of you. There are still multiple ways to modernise your recruitment process without it backfiring on you. See how our Turbo Talent Navigator makes hiring new talent easier than ever.

Another day, another underpayment

The Fair Work Ombudsman have yet another underpayment under their belt.

Calvary Administration Pty Ltd, an aged care services provider, has signed an Enforceable Undertaking (usually a promise to the Ombudsman to do certain things) and back-paid their current and former employees to the tune of $2.1 million including superannuation and interest.

The Ombudsman has recovered over half a billion dollars in underpayments from 2022 to 2023—for the second year.

These numbers will likely motivate the Federal Government even more to have Parliament pass its proposed Closing Loopholes laws that will criminalise underpayments.

Given how many massive underpayment cases have hit the headlines in recent years, it’s clear that the problem isn’t going away.

Make sure you’re keeping your payroll in check with our Payroll Navigator that helps you generate accurate payroll reports showing you all the information you need to know. Plus, our 24/7 employment relations support line BrightAdvice has your back with prompt support to help you understand the laws and award changes you need to know.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s expenses!

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% for September. Making finding new talent harder than ever for businesses.

Supermarkets and other retailers are also seeing rising theft as Australians go head-to-head with the cost-of-living crisis. You know the drill—theft on the rise means more sales to cover losses and still pay wages, which means the pressure is rising.

Employment figures are compounding the pressure of inflation, driving up the costs of goods and services, and re-sparking the possibility of the Reserve Bank raising interest rates in November. So, business loans may soon cost extra repayments.

There’s a lot going on and an increasingly complex landscape for businesses to navigate. Add value to your employee experience with staff perk platforms like BrightExchange, which works both ways. Not only do your staff get access to thousands of cash-saving discounts from leading brands, but you also save on advertising costs by creating an unlimited number of ads that reach over a million potential customers for free.

It’s not you...or me

This recent unfair dismissal case the Fair Work Commission (FWC) dealt with resulted in the discovery that a dismissal hadn’t taken place at all for the purpose of the Fair Work Act 2009.

The case involved a security officer who missed several shifts after being detained, and an employer who argued that he was never dismissed in the first place. The employer insisted his employment came to an end at the initiative of the employee when he failed to attend his shifts and offered no notice.

It was noted by the Commission that the employee, “did not intend to fail to attend for work and that he made reasonable efforts when in remand to notify his employer.” But it was also observed that “the obligation to turn up to work at the appointed place and time was an essential feature of his employment as a security officer.”

A real headscratcher.

Because the employee’s failure to notify his employer resulted from restrictions placed on him, it was determined that the case was not an employment-related fault from either side of the employer-employee relationship. So, the employee’s circumstances are what terminated his employment contract and no action from the employer themselves.

That wraps up this edition of HR Heartbeat. Stay tuned for more headlines and all the latest updates that will keep you in the know with all the major employment changes coming your way.

If you’ve got questions about the top HR headlines from this week, ask BrightLightning:

What to do if an employee lied in their job interview?

If an employee has lied to you about having a necessary qualification for a job, or otherwise lied in their job interview, CV, resume, or falsified documents/records, then disciplining the employee or even dismissing them is an option due to the inherent requirements of trust and honesty in the employment relationship.

What is a minimum wage?

All employees in Australia are entitled to a minimum wage. This refers to a pre-tax amount of pay each employee receives. The minimum wage can be set by the National Minimum Wage Order or a minimum wage set out in an award or negotiated under an enterprise agreement. Wages may vary depending on factors including age, classification type and experience.

Who is excluded from unfair dismissal?

Some employees are not eligible to claim unfair dismissal. For example, if:

-the employee is not protected by law from dismissal (eg irregular casual or fixed term contract)

-the employee applied more than 21 days after you dismissed them

-the employer ended their employment because of a genuine redundancy

-the employer is a small business and followed the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code.
The employee may also not be eligible if you did not dismiss them. This could be because the employee is still employed, they resigned (and were not dismissed by you) or they were an independent contractor and not an employee for example. For more assistance with unfair dismissal please contact the Advice team.

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