What We’re Reading: New Skills, Talent and Employment

Highlights
 
Randstad’s Workplace 2025 study shows that 62% of job seekers say a company’s reputation as a digital leader greatly influences their desire to join them and 66% of workers say the speed of their employers' digital transformation isn't meeting their expectations.
 
Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina has announced Finish Line Grants, a program comprised of $7 million in federal funds to assist students in completing community college. These funds will be available to students in the coming 2018-2019 school year in amounts of up to $1,000 per student per semester.
 
According to Venture Beat, HR acquisitions will be on the rise as larger companies begin to see the value and innovative potential of HR technology start-ups. The HR technology market is now thought to be worth $400 billion.
 
An upcoming report from World at Work shows that the U.S. national salary budget increase average in 2018 is higher at 3.1%, exceeding 3% for the first time in 4 years. This is also the first time in 4 years that the increase actually met projections. More information will be available on July 31st.
 
After researching 7,000 salaries of C-suite and VPs of U.S. tech companies, Comparably found that women and African Americans are both paid less across the board. On the other hand, Caucasians and Asian/Pacific Islanders are paid the most.
 
An article in SHRM suggests that when hiring new candidates, emphasizing years of work experience as an indicator for success is misinformed, and that employers should consider transferrable skills and other indicators as well as consider what can also be taught on the job.
 
A recent study by Stanford University found that employers are likely to favor excited candidates over those who appear calm and relaxed. Experts conclude that cultural differences affect individuals’ outward expression of emotions and could contribute to hiring discrepancies among ethnic and cultural groups.
 
Some companies have made efforts to recruit high school students as job openings outnumber unemployed workers. P-Tech is a six year program adopted by 79 school districts and more than 400 companies. The program enables students in grades 9 through 12 to obtain a high school degree while completing an associates degree in a STEM related field.
 
Greenhouse, a recruiting platform out of India, raised $50 million in series D funding, led by Riverwood Capital. The company attracted attention for its plans to use the funding for a diversity and inclusion feature which will seek to overcome unconscious biases during the hiring process.
 
A collaborative study between SurveyMonkey and Fortune shows that Google and Microsoft are the top two companies Americans are excited to work for, followed by Boeing, Apple, Disney, Intel, and Amazon.

 
Corporate Learning and Development News

Randstad’s Workplace 2025 study shows that 62% of job seekers say a company’s reputation as a digital leader greatly influences their desire to join them and 66% of workers say the speed of their employers' digital transformation isn't meeting their expectations.
 
Recent research done by the Harvard Business Review reveals that women are more often volunteering for projects regardless of whether or not those projects will advance their careers. In a study, they found that women were 44% more likely to be asked to volunteer than men and 25% more likely to agree. Across occupations, these “non-promotable” undertakings are typically menial and unlikely to highlight the employee’s qualifications for higher level positions.
 
In a recent article analyzing the return on investment of learning, Chief Learning Officer pushed back against experts who have been discussing the subjectivity of learning outcome measurements. Rather than seeing attempts at such measurements as futile, HR professional should recognize the importance of evaluation for making decisions about how to improve their company’s learning and development programs.
 
In a recent report, analysts at Boston Consulting Group said a digital culture is necessary for any company seeking to create a digital transformation. By making culture central to company changes, organizations were five times as successful in making the transition than those that did not. Additionally, of organizations that focused on digital culture, 80% reported breakthrough performance in the transformation.
 
According to the Association for Talent Development, current trends in corporate education include storytelling in e-learning, utilizing mobile phones for training, customizing learning for each employee, gamification of training, hybrid learning, continuous learning, and learning alchemy.
 
According to research by Rescue Time, the average worker checks his or her email or instant messages every six minutes. Although these quick forms of communication spread knowledge faster, constantly checking disrupts workers’ concentration.
 
Technology is continually evolving workforce needs. With this in mind, HBR suggests that employers create learning cultures in the workplace that encourage employees to want to improve.
 
According to the Pensacola News Journal, professional development and training is important, that is, if employees believe so as well. When training is done well it attracts new employees and keeps the company up to date.

 
Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News
 
Rising wages have resulted in significant increases in labor costs to industries already feeling the effects of tariffs. Economists are predicting that labor costs equate to 13% of revenue for companies in the S&P 500. A National Association for Business Economics survey showed 56% of respondents reported rising wage costs.
 
An upcoming report from World at Work shows that the U.S. national salary budget increase average in 2018 is higher at 3.1%, exceeding 3% for the first time in 4 years. This is also the first time in 4 years that the increase actually met projections. More information will be available on July 31st.
 
Recruiters strive to find applicants with the most potential. According to Fast Company, veteran recruiters say determination, passion, self-awareness, and aptitude are the four traits that most accurately predict an employee’s potential.
 
A recent study by Stanford University found that employers are likely to favor excited candidates over those who appear calm and relaxed. Experts conclude that cultural differences affect individuals’ outward expression of emotions and could contribute to hiring discrepancies among ethnic and cultural groups.
 
An article in SHRM suggests that when hiring new candidates, emphasizing years of work experience as an indicator for success is misinformed, and that employers consider transferrable skills and other indicators as well as consider what can also be taught on the job.
 
An article in Workforce discusses how using a candidate screening program can accelerate the onboarding process. Putting careful thought into programs that consider unique needs and can comply with equal employment opportunity laws while being integrated into existing ATS or onboarding products can be beneficial to help the hiring process.
 
An article in SHRM discusses the decrease in salesperson roles and an increase in software development roles within the retail sector due to the growing dependence on e-commerce. The author concludes that retail is not disappearing as many believe, but instead shifting to meet different needs.
 
A recent report from MBO Partners finds that though traditional jobs are continuing to grow, there is still room for the independent worker. Experts predict that the future does not include traditional workers overtaking independent workers or vice-versa, but instead suggests a mixture of both.
 
Though the recent report on the gig economy from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the numbers were decreasing, an article from Quartz argues that the report didn’t properly account for all considered freelance workers, and offered numbers that where misleading. The author suggests that if read wrong, the information could cause business leaders to make bad decisions.

General HR News
 
In recent years, employee background checks have become much more common. Companies like Uber are wanting to know who is working for them in order to prevent bad situations before they happen. Especially after the #MeToo movement, large companies are realizing the importance of hiring employees with less risk.
 
study from London Business School found that male undergraduates who reviewed CVs of multiple candidates evaluated women as less skilled and less hireable when they focused on gender. As other studies have produced similar results, many companies are looking to reduce bias from their recruitment and hiring process through technology and performance-based standards.
 
According to The Wall Street Journal, more companies are offering paid paternity leave to fathers - but they aren’t all taking it. Men are afraid that taking the time off will jeopardize their careers or set them back. Companies like Facebook are trying to persuade more dads to take the given time to be with their families.
 
After researching 7,000 salaries of C-suite and VPs of U.S. tech companies, Comparably found that women and African Americans are both paid less across the board. On the other hand, Caucasians and Asian/Pacific Islanders are paid the most.
 
According to VentureBeat, HR acquisitions will be on the rise as larger companies begin to see the value and innovative potential of HR technology start-ups. The HR technology market is now thought to be worth $400 billion.

 
Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation
 
Some companies have made efforts to recruit high school students as job openings outnumber unemployed workers. P-Tech is a six year program adopted by 79 school districts and more than 400 companies. The program enables students in grades 9 through 12 to obtain a high school degree while completing a associates degree in a STEM related field.
 
The city of Richmond in California launched the Digital Workforce Development Initiative pilot program which aims to provide support for those who are unemployed, underemployed, or in transition. The initiative is supported by a coalition of organizations including Fiverr, Udemy, and Samaschool, a San Francisco-based non-profit that helps people earn a living wage as a freelancer.

 
Startups, Innovation, and Investment News
 
Greenhouse, a recruiting platform out of India, raised $50 million in series D funding, led by Riverwood Capital. The company attracted attention for its plans to use the funding for a diversity and inclusion feature which will seek to overcome unconscious biases during the hiring process.
 
Led by Randstad Innovation Fund and Manixer, Goodwall’s Series A fundinground had closed at $10.8 million. The young talent development company offers professional development services for both high school and college-aged people.
 
Arena Analytics, a hiring software developer, raised almost $11 million in a new round of funding. The Baltimore-based company, formerly Pegged Software, plans to use the new funding to expand business and accelerate market traction.

 
Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy
 
Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina has announced Finish Line Grants, a program comprised of $7 million in federal funds to assist students in completing community college. These funds will be available to students in the coming 2018-2019 school year in amounts of up to $1,000 per student per semester.

 
Other
 
A collaborative study between Survey Monkey and Fortune shows that Google and Microsoft are the top two companies Americans are excited to work for, followed by Boeing, Apple, Disney, Intel, and Amazon. Companies with the most negative change in the public’s view were Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bank of America. Changes in Fortune 500 companies’ standings over the years speak to the impact of negative press and employer branding.
 
According to Facebook’s 2018 Diversity Report, women at the company have increased from 31% of employees in 2014 to 36% today. The company made smaller gains in hiring other underrepresented groups such as African American and Hispanic employees which increased from 2% to 4%, and 4% to 5% respectively. Facebook acknowledges that they have room to improve; Black employees in technical and leadership roles and Hispanic employees in technical roles remained steady.