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

Corporate Learning and Development News
new report from ATD finds that 83% of organizations report having a skills gap. The most common gaps include soft skills like communication and critical thinking.
HR Technologist
 shares eight ways AI will enable the future of work, including streamlining training and onboarding processes.
A piece from Chief Learning Officer argues that companies underinvest in learning and development, despite L&D’s role in closing the gaps created by the increased recruitment of underqualified candidates in order to fill open positions in the organization.
ATD suggests that the wealth of available content, the fast-paced work environment, the heightened stresses of employees and the unpredictable future of work, means that learning and development strategies must be agile and innovative to keep up.
In an interview published on Forbes, Kelly Palmer, Chief Learning Officer at Degreed, discusses ways organizations can leverage learning and create a culture of ongoing development.
Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News
A new report finds that 52% of Gen Zers – who will make up 20% of the workforce by 2020 – said they are more confident in the tech skills employers are looking for than the non-tech skills. Additionally, 91% said that technology would influence the final choice between similar employers.
A piece from PE Hub Network discusses the increased interest and investment in alternative learning pathways as skills gaps continue to grow and employees need to quickly gain new skills. 
According to a recent study, companies that champion employees with disabilities perform better than others and see an increase in revenue – 28 percent higher – with a net income that was 200 percent higher, and profit margins that were 30 percent higher. According to The New York Times, companies like Bank of America, Microsoft, and CVS Health have five common denominators including increasing representation by hiring people with disabilities, creating opportunities for advancement, and fostering a welcoming environment. (subscription required)
Entrepreneur discusses the opportunity created by the combination of a tight labor market, shifting requirements from employers, and increased access to educational opportunities.
General HR News
As an article from Quartz at Work finds that the greatest beneficiaries from pay inequities in the U.S. are married men, a recent report from the World Economic Forum finds that globally, the overall gender equity gap will take nearly 108 years to close.
According to The HR Director, trends in 2019 will include an increase in representation of both women and HR and talent management experts on the boards of organizations. They also predict increased use of AI in recruitment.
The Washington Post shares five workplace predictions for 2019, including increases in family leave for non-parents, a widening pay gap between new and old employees, higher demand for privacy in the workplace – both for data and physical space – and a decrease in the use of email. (subscription required)
Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation
Facebook recently announced a $1 million investment to diversify its tech talent pool through a partnership with CodePath.org, an organization that works with colleges and universities to help prepare students, particularly underrepresented minorities, for careers in technology.
Startups, Innovation, and Investment News
Gamelearn, developer of video games for corporate training, raised $5 million in a Series A round which included existing funder Kibo Ventures, and new investors Oak3Capital, All Iron Ventures, UL Invest, and Inveready.
EdCast, developers of a platform for corporate learning, received $34 million in funding from investors including Softbank, REV Venture Partners, The London Fund, Crescent Enterprises, and Mistletoe, along with existing investors SSGA, Stanford University and Cervin Ventures.
Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy
According to reporting from MarketWatch, 5.3 million workers will receive pay increases as a result of inflation increases or policy changes that will go into effect beginning in January. Workers are from a number of states including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York.
The Washington Post discusses the slowing economic growth taking place across the globe including in Europe and China, and the potential implications on the United States – including decreased consumer confidence according to Reuters. (subscription required)
Cato Institute policy analyst Vanessa Brown Calder wrote an article for The Hillarguing that paid family leave proposals like the FAMILY Act are unpopular with Americans once they consider the costs, and the role of the federal government as the payer. As alternatives to the FAMILY Act, Calder proposes Universal Savings Accounts, affordable daycare, and more flexible schedules or telework.