National / International News

Why you've been getting bonuses, not raises, lately

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-29 02:00

Good-bye, annual raises. Hello, bonuses?

In its annual U.S. Salary Increase survey, human resources consulting firm Aon Hewitt found performance-based bonuses were nearly 13 percent of payroll this year. That’s the highest percentage in the 35 years the company has conducted it survey.

University of Wisconsin Business Professor Barry Gerhart says there’s an easy explanation why: “If you put the money into salary, it’s there forever. If you give out money in terms of a bonus, people get it that year and have to re-earn it the following year,” he says.

Bosses' love affair with bonuses began pre-Recession, and even if the economy heats up, Gerhart doubts firms will move back to annual across the board. That's because raises carry fewer fixed costs and give companies flexibility.

Wharton Business School economist Iwan Barankay says if businesses rely on bonuses, they should be careful.

“If they are not designed well. The problem is that it leads to an environment where people are gaming the scheme just to maximize their bonus, but not really creating more value to the company,” he says.

Barankay says incentives are like a meal: what you put in determines whether you get what you want.

Predictions: Lawro v Sarah Harding

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:58
BBC Sport's football expert Mark Lawrenson takes on Tumble's Sarah Harding and Leon Fagbemi in his Premier League predictions.

Abusers 'brazenly targeted girls'

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:55
An ex-care worker in Rotherham, where 1,400 girls were sexually exploited, says men collected victims as young as 11 from a children's home.

Water bills plugged by regulator

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:52
Household water bills in England and Wales will go up less than the rising cost of living in the next five years, under proposals from regulator Ofwat.

Salmond: Eurosceptics 'are damaging'

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:50
The Scottish first minister claims the "politics of Euroscepticism" at Westminster are "deeply damaging" for Scotland.

Man dies after 'street assault'

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:45
A man dies in hospital four days after being allegedly assaulted outside a pub in Caerphilly town centre.

Australian actor Bill Kerr dies

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:44
Australian actor Bill Kerr, "the boy from Wagga Wagga" who became one of Tony Hancock's radio sidekicks in the 1950s, dies in Perth at the age of 92.

VIDEO: Iceland eruption triggers red alert

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:43
The Icelandic Met Office raises its aviation warning level near the Bardarbunga volcano to red after an eruption began overnight.

VIDEO: Tech review: This week's headlines

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:38
A camera harness for dogs from GoPro, plus other tech news.

Gold-diggers returning to beach

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:36
At least one piece of gold is found on a beach in Kent where a German artist has buried £10,000 worth of bullion.

Summer interns as art installation

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:30

The Chicago office of ad agency Havas Worldwide uses its lobby as a gallery, with picture windows facing the street. This summer’s exhibit: The company’s interns, doing their jobs, working around a long black table. Signs in the windows — like the one that said “feeding the interns is permitted and appreciated” — suggested a zoo exhibit as much as performance art.

The interns made out like working in public view was no big deal.

"Like every now and then we’ll look up when there’s like people peering through between the signs, trying to figure out what’s going on," Tori Dubray said.

That might be because they applied for the job — or the right word may be "auditioned" for it — in public.

"This year’s internship program was entirely cast and recruited through Instagram," said Jason Peterson, who runs the 500-person office and designed the internship.

To apply, potential interns posted to Instagram.

"It was a hashtag, Iamheretotakeyourjob," said intern Chris Hainey. That’s I. Am. Here. To. Take. Your. Job. "So, basically you challenged an employee that works here, and kind of posted something on Instagram saying why you would be better-suited for the position."

Hainey posted a stop-motion video — it showed an airplane flying in front of a colorful line of suitcases — with a suggestion that current Havas workers start packing.

Photography student Anna Russett took a different route. Havas offered two internships to people who could show they had more than 50,000 Instagram followers. When we met, she was at 111,000.

"That’s basically my resume," she said. "Showing that I can gain that many followers." 

She applied through a smartphone app called Popular Pays — a startup with offices at Havas. Popular Pays allows users get free stuff from local businesses if they agree to post photos of those rewards to a big enough group of Instagram followers.

"That’s currency," Peterson said, "because I can go into Antique Taco and I can go:  OK,  because I have a thousand followers, I can exchange that currency for a free milkshake."

"You will share that photo with that amount of people," Russett said. "Like, guaranteed."

This prompted a question: "So, you’re saying, like:  I will pimp myself out to a hundred thousand people for a milkshake?"

"Well…" Russett began. 

Peterson interrupted, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. First of all, have you been to Antique Taco? It’s a horchata milkshake? It’s delicious!"

Among the interns’ duties this summer: Coaching Havas employees on making better use of social media.  

Summer interns as art installation

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:30

The Chicago office of ad agency Havas Worldwide uses its lobby as a gallery, with picture windows facing the street. This summer’s exhibit: The company’s interns, doing their jobs, working around a long black table. Signs in the windows — like the one that said “feeding the interns is permitted and appreciated” — suggested a zoo exhibit as much as performance art.

The interns made out like working in public view was no big deal.

"Like every now and then we’ll look up when there’s like people peering through between the signs, trying to figure out what’s going on," Tori Dubray said.

That might be because they applied for the job — or the right word may be "auditioned" for it — in public.

"This year’s internship program was entirely cast and recruited through Instagram," said Jason Peterson, who runs the 500-person office and designed the internship.

To apply, potential interns posted to Instagram.

"It was a hashtag, Iamheretotakeyourjob," said intern Chris Hainey. That’s I. Am. Here. To. Take. Your. Job. "So, basically you challenged an employee that works here, and kind of posted something on Instagram saying why you would be better-suited for the position."

Hainey posted a stop-motion video — it showed an airplane flying in front of a colorful line of suitcases — with a suggestion that current Havas workers start packing.

Photography student Anna Russett took a different route. Havas offered two internships to people who could show they had more than 50,000 Instagram followers. When we met, she was at 111,000.

"That’s basically my resume," she said. "Showing that I can gain that many followers." 

She applied through a smartphone app called Popular Pays — a startup with offices at Havas. Popular Pays allows users get free stuff from local businesses if they agree to post photos of those rewards to a big enough group of Instagram followers.

"That’s currency," Peterson said, "because I can go into Antique Taco and I can go:  OK,  because I have a thousand followers, I can exchange that currency for a free milkshake."

"You will share that photo with that amount of people," Russett said. "Like, guaranteed."

This prompted a question: "So, you’re saying, like:  I will pimp myself out to a hundred thousand people for a milkshake?"

"Well…" Russett began. 

Peterson interrupted, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. First of all, have you been to Antique Taco? It’s a horchata milkshake? It’s delicious!"

Among the interns’ duties this summer: Coaching Havas employees on making better use of social media.  

Two in hospital after collisions

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:18
Two people are taken to hospital, one by air ambulance, after separate serious crashes in the north east of Scotland.

Volcano erupts in Papua New Guinea

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:14
Papua New Guinea's eastern Mount Tavurvur erupts, disrupting flights and spewing rocks and ash into the air.

Hodgson admits Shaw fitness concerns

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:14
Roy Hodgson says he had concerns over Luke Shaw's fitness before Louis van Gaal's criticism of the left-back.

Bus and tram in Edinburgh collision

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:06
A bus and a tram have collided as they travelled east towards Princes Street during the rush hour in Edinburgh.

Rivers 'resting' after health scare

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 00:30
US comedienne Joan Rivers, 81, is "resting comfortably" and with her family after reportedly going into cardiac arrest during surgery on her vocal chords.

Swann denies witch hunt against Cook

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 00:27
Graeme Swann renews his call for former team-mate Alastair Cook to end his captaincy of the England one-day side.

2.6m historic pictures posted online

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 00:18
An academic is posting millions of historic photos and illustrations to Flickr where they can be searched and copied without charge.

More than 3m have fled Syria - UN

BBC - Fri, 2014-08-29 00:02
The UN says Syria is now "the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era" with more than three million Syrians living outside the country as refugees.
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