If HR Were President: Four Policies That Would Improve America’s Workforce

Thankfully no matter which way you swing politically, the election is now over and Americans will be granted a reprieve from election cycle news until AT LEAST a week from now. (Honestly, it’s like Christmas music in department stores–starting sooner and sooner each year.)

But that hasn’t stopped Fistful of Talent blogger Andy Porter from wondering, what if a president took HR issues to heart? What would our nation’s leader tackle?

Porter says the four issues he’d tackle are paid parental leave, the minimum wage, student loans to encourage STEM careers, and immigration reform.

He writes:

“Paid Parental Leave – We live in the country with the highest standard of living in the world and the best we can do is 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave?? Seriously?… I propose all parents (mothers and fathers) be given up to 12 months of job-protected, paid leave that they can divide up between each other as they see fit. The only requirement is they must have worked for their company for at least one year. Companies who offer this benefit would get a tax credit for the total amount of salary they paid to employees on leave every year.”

As far as minimum wage goes, it should be pegged to both the cost of living and the income of the company paying it, Porter said. “Walmart, for example with 2011 net income of $14.5B shouldn’t pay anyone the federal minimum wage.” Intriguing, but not likely to ever happen.

Finally, he suggests that student loans be forgiven for those who graduate with a STEM degree and work in a related field for five years, and that foreign nationals with hard-to-find skills get a much easier time entering the country to work.

Porter’s day job is in HR with a pharma company, which may explain the focus on STEM, but both major presidential candidates talked about how science and technology was going to be the driver to create jobs and reboot the American economy, so there may be something to these proposals.

What do you think? Any chance of happening? Should Porter be flown out to the White House to meet with Barack and co.?