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

Corporate Learning and Development News
Chief Learning Officer magazine highlights 60 companies that have exemplary corporate education programs. The top 5 companies for corporate education were Nationwide, AT&T, EY, Vi, and KPMG.
Apprenticeships are being modernized to train workers in a range of industries, according to a new IWSI America report. Over 200,000 people began apprenticeship programs in 2017 alone, and companies like Adobe, CVS Health, JPMorgan Chase and LinkedIn have invested in apprenticeships.
Seaborn Cruise Line is using virtual technology to help train restaurant staff. Pixvana, the company providing the VR technology, also has a feature that allows the cruise line to download the training to VR headsets for use without an Internet connection.
KnowledgeCity, a company that provides online job training, is partnering with public libraries to give more people access to its courses. In 10 libraries in as many states, anyone with a library card can now access over 13,000 KnowledgeCity courses on topics including marketing, communication, and career development.
Cognizant, a technology services company, has partnered with Per Scholas, an IT training program, to train adults from underserved communities for technology jobs. The three-month program includes 40 hours a week of on-site training in technical skills as well as soft skills.
Fortune profiles Pluralsight’s growth, including the rapid expansion of their B2B business.
A new survey finds that three-quarters of employees believe that company culture impacts their productivity and ability to do their best work. However, one-quarter of employees don’t know their company’s core values and one-third say that their personal values do not align with their company’s values.
According to a recent report, a majority of business leaders believe that being competitive in inclusion and diversity will benefit their company financially. However, only 43% companies are taking action to address diversity and 29% are taking action to address inclusion. (Greenhouse, sign-up required)
Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News
A new report by the U.S. Department of Education shows that adults who earned a degree after high school are much less likely to be underemployed or unemployed than adults without a postsecondary credential. Only 14 percent of adults with a bachelor’s degree were underemployed or unemployed in 2016, compared to 23 percent of adults with just a high school diploma.
New research from Glassdoor shows that the gender pay gap in the United States is only 4.9% among workers with the same job title, employer, and location. “Occupational and industry sorting” accounts for over half of the unadjusted gender pay gap of 21.4%. That sorting also contributes to the finding that men apply for jobs that pay an average of $13,635 more than the jobs for which women apply.
70% of people reported that the recruitment process was positive during their most recent job search, according to a survey by Indeed. Enjoyable conversations, transparency around compensation, and respect for the interviewee’s time were most commonly cited as factors that contribute to a positive candidate experience. Additionally, over two-thirds of candidates factor their experience—positive or negative—into future business dealings with the company.
According to a report from MBO Partners, independent contracting is becoming increasingly common and attracting more skilled workers. Today, 40% of the average company’s workforce are not employees, up from 16% in 2009, and 7.4 million Americans are full-time contingent workers.
ResumeGo, a resume-writing service, found that job applicants with fully developed LinkedIn profiles were 71% more likely to be invited to interview than applicants without profiles at all. This difference was especially large for entry-level jobs, but existed even for managerial positions.
Abhishek Agarwal, senior vice president of the Judge Group, details the potential effects of artificial intelligence on employee recruitment. Agarwal argues that AI can make it easier for employers to post jobs that reach qualified candidates, schedule interviews and collect data from candidate interactions, and avoid conscious or unconscious bias in the hiring process.
Companies have increasingly stepped in to help recent graduates navigate the entry-level job market, but soon, they could replace career counseling at universities entirely.
Future of Work and General HR News
A new white paper argues that the market for providing services to employees is rapidly growing, ushering in “HR 3.0.” As employees work longer hours and feel increasingly stressed, they need more support services. In the past, multiple apps have helped companies provide these services, but now a single “Employee Experience Platform,” or EXP, can provide an integrated user experience.
Carrie Altieri, vice president of communications for people and culture at IBM, explains how the company overhauled its HR department to make it more flexible, open to employee feedback, and useful for employees.
A survey by Capterra about employers’ use of talent management software found that functionality, price, and ease of use were employers’ top three considerations in choosing a software. Nearly half of employers took at least 10 months to choose their software, and 80% are satisfied with their choice.
Harvard Business Review explains that having diversity on corporate boards is a laudable goal but does not guarantee that the board will perform better. To reap the benefits of diversity, board leadership needs to consider multiple forms of diversity (e.g., gender, race, age, experience), avoid tokenism, and develop cultures that value and encourage differences in opinion. (Harvard Business Review, subscription required)
A recent poll found that 79% of full-time workers take pride in their skill level and 74% take pride in their reputation, but only 46% take pride in their compensation. Among business owners, men were more likely to be proud of their career accomplishments than women, while among all respondents, those who were satisfied with their personal lives were more likely to be proud of their career accomplishments than those who were dissatisfied.
Many employers are creating “People Operations” positions or departments that combine the responsibilities of human resources and operations. These positions focus on project management, culture development, change management, and goal setting.
Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation
Walmart has expanded “Live Better U,” its portfolio of education benefits for employees. 1.4 million employees can now finish high school and earn college credits at a Walmart Academy, take courses at one of three universities for $1 a day, and enroll in discounted master’s degree programs.
Google has formed an Advanced Technology External Advisory Council to advise Google and the tech industry as a whole in the development and use of artificial intelligence products. The council will meet four times this year, starting this month, and includes academics and experts in privacy, ethics, and policy from around the world.
Microsoft has partnered with OpenClassrooms to design an online master’s degree program that will prepare students for jobs in artificial intelligence. If students complete the program but are not employed within six months, OpenClassrooms promises to refund the cost of the program.
H&M announced a new campaign called “Place of Possible” that aims to recruit the best entry-level talent for retail careers. H&M is also expanding its part-time benefits, including paid parental leave and a minimum guaranteed number of hours per week.
U.S. News & World Report reviewed the benefits and trade-offs of education assistance programs at companies like Starbucks, JetBlue, and UPS. These programs have become more common and less restrictive in recent years, and some have even added an academic advising component.
Google recently announced that it will require companies that it works with to find temporary and contract workers to provide benefits to those workers. The required benefits include health care, sick leave, a $15 minimum wage, parental leave, and tuition reimbursement. The minimum wage requirement will go into effect next January, while the health care requirement will not be in effect until 2022.
 Startups, Innovation, and Investment News
Goodly, a company that helps employers offer student loan repayment as an employee benefit, has received $1.3 million in seed funding from Norwest Venture Partners, Y Combinator, Ace & Company, Zeno Ventures, and various angel investors.
EmployStream, a company that helps automate employee onboarding, has received $3.5 million in Series A funding. Its investors include JumpStart Inc., Ohio Innovation Fund, North Coast Angel Fund, and Rev1 Ventures.
Credential Engine has recruited six organizations to help add credentials to its national directory. Credential Engine works with states, universities, and employers to promote transparency around credentials.
Xing, a German website for business networking (and competitor to LinkedIn), has acquired Honeypot, a startup that facilitates job searching for technology professionals. Xing also announced that it will rebrand itself as “New Work” by the end of 2019.
Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on a pay discrimination case last week. A female professor sued Virginia State University because her salary was 40% lower than two male colleagues’, but the court ruled in favor of the university’s argument that the male professors had different backgrounds and job histories than the female professor that justified the pay disparity.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to close the gender pay gap. The bill would increase penalties for gender-based discrimination by employers, prohibit employers from interfering in employees’ discussions about their salaries, and prohibit retaliation for such discussions. The bill is not expected to pass the Senate, and House Republicans introduced a different version of the bill that they say has lower compliance costs.
65% of voters in battleground Congressional districts support a $15 federal minimum wage, according to a recent poll conducted by Hart Research Associates. The idea received majority approval among all subgroups of voters except for Republicans, who are about evenly split on the issue (46% support).
Maryland will adopt a $15 minimum wage by 2025 after lawmakers overrode a veto by Governor Larry Hogan. The current minimum wage in the state is$10.10; the new legislation will increase the minimum wage to $11 on January 1 and to $15 over the next five years.
McDonald’s employees plan to protest the current minimum wage during the Wednesday lunch hour. McDonald’s recently announced that the company would stop lobbying against a $15 minimum wage, but workers want the company to fight to increase the minimum wage.
Find out how likely it is that robots will take your job on this website.
An op-ed about NASA’s cancelled all-women spacewalk ties the news to the professional discrimination that women continue to face and the ongoing need to encourage women to pursue STEM careers.
37% of college students switch majors at least once. This may be partly because they often lack strong reasons behind their decision: students are more likely to major in a subject they’re studying at the time of their decision, and they are less likely to major in subjects that they take first thing in the morning or late in the day.
An Associated Press analysis dispels the idea that teamwork is the key to success in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament (“March Madness”). Instead, title contenders tend to have players who are talented enough to enter the NBA Draft after playing less than four seasons in college.