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

Highlights
 
President Trump has established a task force aimed at tackling the skill gap between available jobs and the American workforce via executive order. The President’s National Council for the American Worker will work with private employers, educational institutions, labor unions, non-profits, and other levels of government to redesign education and job training to meet the needs of the economy. Trump say the council will help to fill 3.7 million jobs.
 
After an internal pay review, 10% of Nike’s 74,000 employees around the world will receive a pay raise. This effort will address concerns about pay equity at the sportswear provider’s locations worldwide.
 
Guild Education, an education benefits platform, raised $40 million in Series C funding round led by Felicis Ventures with additional investments from investors including Salesforce Ventures, Workday Ventures, Rethink Impact & Education and Silicon Valley Bank.
 
According to Forbes, today’s employees expect their employers to offer them career developmentopportunities. LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report shows that 93% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. Effective strategies in professional development include developing critical soft skills, offering micro-learning, getting managers involved, and integrating learning into the employee experience.
 
According to an online survey by Robert Half of more than 5,500 hiring decision makers in the United States, 58% of senior managers reported offering departing employees counteroffers of higher salaries to keep them from leaving. Often times these counteroffers are given to prevent having to spend resources hiring a replacement; however, employees who accept counter offers tend to remain at the company for only 1.7 additional years.
 
survey by specialty recruitment firms, Accounting Principals and Ajilon, exploring job search trends of more than 1,000 U.S. full-time workers in sales, office, and management/professional occupations found that more than 80% of workers are actively seeking or passively open to new job opportunities. The survey shows 25.7% of respondents are actively seeking new job opportunities and 55.5% are passively open to new job opportunities.
 
According to Harvard Business Publishing’s 2018 State of Leadership Development Report, 67% of baby boomer employees surveyed were completely satisfied with their companies' L&D programs, only 40% of millennial employees agreed. In addition, only half of millennials surveyed think program content is strongly aligned with business issues, compared to 75% of baby boomers. Overall, millennials are looking for more innovation in L&D programs.
 
According to a survey by West Monroe, between 40% and 59% of the 500 managers surveyed report having no training at all and 44% feel overwhelmed at work. As a result and as Gartner recently reports, only 40% of employees say that their manager are helping them develop the skills they need. With these statistics in mind, managerial training is more important than ever.
 
Three Missouri organizations have partnered to transform workforce development in the state. The initiative, Talent for Tomorrow, will assess Missouri’s workforce competencies and compare them to employer needs. By analyzing economic scenarios, the initiative will build a pilot program which will ultimately lead to a set of policy recommendations to align secondary and post-secondary education with employer needs.
 
Culture Amp, the employee feedback platform, has announced it raised $40 million in a Series D funding round. Culture Amp will use the money to grow its global team and invest further in its Collective Intelligence framework.
 
Galvanize, the collection of campuses which offers programs in web development and data science, will acquire Hack Reactor, which offers online coding bootcamp programs. The acquisition was funded by Galvanizes’ recent Series C round that raised $32 million.

 
Corporate Learning and Development News
 
According to Harvard Business Publishing’s 2018 State of Leadership Development Report, 67% of baby boomer employees surveyed were completely satisfied with their companies' L&D programs, only 40% of millennial employees agreed. In addition, only half of millennials surveyed think program content is strongly aligned with business issues, compared to 75% of baby boomers. Overall, millennials are looking for more innovation in L&D programs.
 
According to a survey by West Monroe, between 40% and 59% of the 500 managers surveyed report having no training at all and 44% feel overwhelmed at work. As a result and as Gartner recently reports, This lack of training has resulted in only 40% of employees say that their manager are was helping them develop the skills they needed according to a report by Gartner. With these statistics in mind, managerial training is more important than ever.
 
A recent report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that employers spend an average of $825 per month on benefits per employee, which comprises 30% of the average worker's paycheck. When over 60% of employees value their benefits over pay, employers should ensure that their workers understand what benefits they do have. According to HR Dive, a mobile employee benefits app will make benefits more accessible for employees, increase employee engagement, boost employee retention, and consolidate data to contain costs.
 
Corporate leaders are increasingly recognizing the importance of mastering critical conversation skills and want professional development on the subject. Improvements in Artificial Intelligence are taking conversational skill development to a new level with constructive simulated conversations using AI’s adaptive learning followed by delivering precise metrics that measure the quality of the leader's conversational manner while providing hints on how to improve.
 
ICF’s 2018 Federal Digital Trends Report on how digital transformation is affecting government agencies highlights interesting opinions on the topic. For example, 92% of respondents believe that improving usability of technology should be prioritized over technology development in their workplace. Additionally, 88% of respondents believe that federal security and privacy requirements undoubtedly delay technological innovation.
 
According to Randstad’s latest employer brand research, atmosphere and work-life balance are crucial factors in attracting and retaining talent. The research shows that 45% of the 175,000 working-age adults from 30 countries surveyed believe work-life balance is a good reason to choose an employer and 28% believe bad work-life balance is a reason to quit.
 
SHRM argues that while it is natural for leaders to elevate their most productive employees, it is not always the best strategy. The author suggests that leaders instead look for employees with skills such as communication, being innovative, and being open to feedback to take on the role as manager. Additionally, the author urges leaders to begin leadership development sooner than later.
 
According to an op-ed in Forbes, today’s employees expect their employer to offer them career development opportunities. LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report shows that 93% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. Effective strategies in professional development include developing the soft skills, offering micro-learning, getting managers involved, and integrating learning into the employee experience.
 
According to an article in VentureBeat, technology officers must encourage ongoing learning opportunities for employees to remain in line with the constant evolution of technology in the workplace. The author suggests that leaders invest time and resources into developing a culture that values constant learning.
 
Employee engagement plays a critical role in workplace success - engaged employees will go the extra mile to ensure their company is successful. According to the author, community involvement or corporate social responsibility programs engage employees on many different levels.

 
Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News
 
According to an online survey by Robert Half of more than 5,500 hiring decision makers in the United States, 58% of senior managers surveyed reported offering departing employees counter offers of higher salaries to keep them from leaving. Often times these counter offers are given to prevent having to spend resources hiring a replacement; however, employees who accept counter offers tend to remain at the company for only 1.7 additional years. , but only put the problem off because the average time employees who accept counter offers remain at their company is 1.7 years.
 
survey by specialty recruitment firms, Accounting Principals and Ajilon, exploring job search trends of over 1,000 US full-time workers in sales, office, and management/professional occupations found that more than 80% of workers are actively seeking or passively open to new job opportunities. The survey shows 25.7% of respondents are actively seeking new job opportunities and 55.5% are passively open to new job opportunities.
 
According to reviews posted on the website Comparably, interviewing at companies like Amazon and Google is exhausting and requires perseverance. Some applicants report having been turned away several times and others say interviews can last hours. When asked to review their interview experience, 90% of applicants had positive experiences with Apple and Microsoft while 83% felt the same way about interviewing at Facebook.
 
In a recent interview with Gallup, Microsoft Chief Human Resources Officer, Kathleen Hogan discussed her succession management framework – which garners timely future talent planning conversations – called Talent Talks. Previous talent discussions had caused anxiety and prevented participants from benefitting from new talent. As Talent Talks have continued, they have been able to look at topics beyond succession management.
 
Ghosting’ has come full circle - employers are being ghosted by potential job candidates. HR Dive suggests that some employers are fighting this by double scheduling interviews and others are continuously recruiting.
 
The gig economy, where employees participate in short-term work as independent contractors or freelancers, employs around 16.5 million Americans. Although working in the gig economy has many benefits such as setting one’s own schedule, Tech Republic argues that there are still some drawbacks such as inconsistency, poor pay, no benefits, taxes, and technological difficulties.
 
Facebook recently announced that it will be opening a new AI lab in London and hiring robotics professionals at many of its research locations. That said, Facebook has made clear that most of its researchers also teach at universities - thus not taking talent away from academia.
 
Ken Lazarus, the CEO of recruiting platform Scout Exchange, argues that, in the wake of online job boards, machine learning and big data are the new forces transforming talent acquisition. Machines are able to do everything from resume screening to correcting unconscious hiring bias. 
 
New research published in Science Advances explores how the demand for specialized skills perpetuates and even deepens existing wage disparities. High-  and low-wage occupations are becoming polarized to the point where the middle class is “hollowing-out”.

 
General HR News
 
After an internal pay review, 10% of Nike’s 74,000 employees around the world will receive a pay raise. This effort will address concerns about pay equity at the sportswear provider’s locations worldwide.
 
According to a survey by TeamBlind, 60% of tech workers have been discouraged by current HR or management from discussing their compensation with other employees. However, many workers are unaware of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 which prohibits employers from discouraging employees from discussing pay.
 
to a new survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 63% of surveyed employers said they're offering and 19% are thinking about offering financial education. Financial education will help employees manage money, improve their investment decisions, and understand their benefits.
 
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is coming to HR - and bringing increased efficiency with it. According to Forbes, RPA will personalize and compress the onboarding process while double-checking HR compliance.
 
According to a recent analysis from Heidrick and Struggles, there was a 10% increase in the number of  women appointed board seats from 2016 to 2017. In 2017, Fortune 500 companiesfilled 358 board seats with independent directors. Of those seats, 137 seats (about 38%) went to women.
 
A post from the Bersin by Deloitte blog discusses the importance of leveraging rewards in order to enhance employee experiences. The author suggests that beyond general compensation that tends to be automatic, rewards that focus on health benefits and well-being that require more regular interactions could be an opportunity to improve the employee experience.

 
Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation
 
Three Missouri organizations have partnered to transform workforce development in the state. The initiative, Talent for Tomorrow, will assess Missouri’s workforce competencies and compare them to employer needs. By analyzing economic scenarios, the initiative will build a pilot program which will ultimately lead to a set of policy recommendations to align secondary and post-secondary education with employer needs.
 
Drew University, the small liberal arts college in Madison, New Jersey, has taken an innovativeapproach to career preparedness. Drew’s RISE (Research Institute for Scientists Emeriti) program invites highly recognized retired industrial scientists to teach undergraduate students the skills they need to go onto a PhD and enter a career in drug discovery.
 
The National Retail Federation recently signed a “Pledge to America’s Workers”. This commitmentrequires the NRF to create career opportunities for 250,000 people within the next five years through the NRF’s RISE Up and student programs.
 
According to The Washington Post, Omaha, Nebraska may have a program that succeeds in eliminating the race gap in unemployment statistics. In the last decade, the city has been able to land jobs for more than 1,000 African American and low-income residents. In 2007, black and white unemployment rates had been 17.2% and 4.7%, respectively. Today, those numbers are 8.9% and 3.9%.
 
This week, the Ohio Library Council and the Ohio Public Library Information Network announcedplans to offer free access to online courses through the LinkedIn Learning platform. Members of the over 251 library system will have access to over 12,000 self-guided courses. The contract will be for three years, and will cost $710,000 per year.

 
Startups, Innovation, and Investment News
 
Guild Education, an education benefits platform, raised $40 million in Series C funding round led by Felicis Ventures with additional investments from investors including Salesforce Ventures, Workday Ventures, Rethink Impact & Education and Silicon Valley Bank.
 
Culture Amp, the employee feedback platform, has announced it raised $40 million in a Series D funding round. Culture Amp will use the money to grow its global team and invest further in its Collective Intelligence framework.
 
Galvanize, the collection of campuses which offer programs in web development and data science, will acquire Hack Reactor, which provides  online coding bootcamp programs. The acquisition was funded by Galvanizes’ recent Series C round that raised $32 million.
 
Alternative coding and design school, Kenzie Academyraised $4.2 million in its latest seed round. The investment was led by ReThink Ventures and Butler University. Kenzie Academy offers alternative methods of skills training programs including tech training and apprenticeship opportunities.
 
JPMorgan Chase & Co has invested in Volley, the artificial intelligence startup that assists companies by automatically generating training content for employees. Volley disclosed that the funding will be used to add employees to its ranks over the next nine months.
 
Recruiter.com and Genesys Talent have announced a partnership to bring improved and expanded opportunities to recruiters, candidates, and talent seekers. Genesys Talent’s web-based talent cloud portal will integrate with Recruiter.com’s publishing engine and recruiter and candidate communities to improve the overall recruitment experience.

 
Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy
 
President Trump has established a task force aimed at tackling the skill gap between available jobs and the American workforce via executive order. The President’s National Council for the American Worker will work with private employers, educational institutions, labor unions, non-profits, and other levels of government to redesign education and job training to meet the needs of the economy. Trump say the council will help to fill 3.7 million jobs.
 
A bipartisan group of four Senators have introduced retirement savings legislation. This bipartisan group’s collection of legislation includes measures for pooled employer plans for small businesses, automotive retirement savings accounts that individuals could opt out of, emergency savings accounts, and the option for tax refunds to be directed to a savings account.
 
The U.S. Department of Labor will implement Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grants to recruit, train, and retain women in apprenticeship programs for careers in industries such as cybersecurity and manufacturing. The grant program is budgeted to provide nearly $1 million to up to six community based organizations.
 
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 3.6% increase in demand for temporary workers in the third quarter of 2018 due to higher than predicted GDP growth. The G. Palmer & Associates’ Palmer Forecast, an independent human capital advisory firm’s publication predicts that the increase will be closer to 3.4%.

 
Other
 
Perpetual Guardian, the New Zealand based trust management company, has tried implementing a four day work week with impressive results. Compared to a survey given to the 240 employees the year before, the number of respondents who reported being able to manage their work-life balance jumped from 54% to 78%. Additionally, stress levels reportedly decreased 7% and team engagement increased 20%.