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

Corporate Learning and Development News

Elliott Masie shares insight on how blockchain technology can help learning and development professionals connect a range of content (e.g. third-party licensed content, open source content) into a “learning blockchain”.  
85% of Accenture employees voluntarily used the company’s “Job Buddy” tool to identify aspects of their job at risk of automation and enroll in training to upskill, the firm noted at Davos.  Over the past 4 years, Accenture has upskilled or reskilled about 300,000 of their 469,000 global employees.
The Center for Creative Leadership profiles how reverse mentoring can support upskilling, particularly for fast-changing technology. Partnering experienced team members with digital-savvy junior employees provides opportunities for both to learn. 
In a new study, the Center for Talent Innovation, found that 71% of mentors are aware that their proteges are the same race and gender as themselves. The study found that this “mini me” syndrome is particularly disadvantageous for women and minorities, as it may prevent them from advancing in the workplace. 
According to new research by Burning Glass Technologies, hybrid skills-- skills that incorporate both hard and soft job skills-- are needed more than ever as the rise of automation, artificial intelligence, and digital technologies are making jobs more complex. The analysis found that these hybrid jobs are growing twice as fast as jobs in general, and are 20 to 40 percent higher-paying than their more traditional competitors. 
A survey of 700 learning professionals found that 93% of respondents plan to use live online learning in 2019, while 87% plan to use elearning, and 70% plan to use mobile learning. 
According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends Report, 92% of talent professionals and hiring managers agree that soft skills are just as important, if not more important, than hard skills. A piece in Fast Company explores how companies can identify what skills matter and hire individuals with the desired soft skills. 
Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News 
While government intervention to promote greater gender pay equity has generally failed to bring about the desired changes, a Denver based startup,Pipeline, is attempting to improve equity through another route: by using AI in the hiring process to remove bias in promotions, opening more paths to women. 
More than half of companies plan to increase their use of staffing firms over the next five years, according to the 2018 Staffing Buyer Study. Hiring managers who were surveyed said that collaborating with firms will make the hiring process more efficient and enhance the pool of candidates with specialized skills. 
As the hiring process continues to become more time-consuming and expensive, recruitment startups are using AI to help companies find the talent they need.  This represents a shift in customer demand from volume of candidates to quality of candidates.  
Future of Work and General HR News 

Expanding Economic Opportunity for More Americans, a new bipartisan report from the Aspen Institute, highlights the changing nature of the workplace, and offers three areas for policy involvement in training and the workforce: increasing investment in community colleges to promote completion and skill alignment to workforce needs; modifying federal programs to create incentives and opportunities for greater workforce participation; and solutions to drive low-income wage growth, including a wage subsidy.  
ATD notes that the future of healthcare is increasingly technology based, as new tools like telemedicine gain traction.
Robots coming for your job? Maybe not. A new survey by Manpower group finds that 87% of employers intend to maintain or increase their human headcount, even as they adopt automation technologies.
Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation

HireVue, a provider of AI-enabled recruitment and assessment tools, announced the development of an expert advisory board to support their ethical principles, and ensure their AI is secure, private, and promotes diversity.
With a similar goal of promoting diversity in hiring, assessment company pymetrics is partnering with Russell Reynolds on a research project to understand what makes leaders successful, and how to reduce bias in the recruitment process for executive positions.
Online learning provider Penn Foster acquired Ashworth College to expand training opportunities for workers in "middle-skill" occupations requiring postsecondary learning that does not fit into the traditional college model. According to CEO Frank Britt, the acquisition will help scale and expand their career training offerings for fields like allied health and intellectual property law.
Startups, Innovation, and Investment News
Valued, which helps HR leaders proactively address bullying and harassment, announced its official launch with $1.7 million in seed funding led by BootstrapLabs. The platform analyzes communication data from tools like Gmail and Slack in order to help companies flag and address inappropriate behavior.
TalentAlgo unveiled a new recruitment platform specifically designed to help job candidates with IT and quantitative experience identify open job opportunities in the financial services industry.
Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy
In remarks that followed the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address, SHRM President Johnny Taylor called on the President to consider investments in workforce development and immigration policies that help attract talent from overseas.
SHRM has also launched a new campaign, We Are Work, which encourages business leaders to consider job applicants with a criminal record.

89% of Americans think working moms in leadership roles bring out the best in their employees, according to a survey by Bright Horizons.  Working moms were seen as better listeners, calmer in crisis, and more diplomatic than men or workers without kids.