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

Highlights
New market forecasts suggest that the e-learning field will grow to $325 billion by 2025, reports Forbes. LinkedIn’s acquisition of Lynda to create LinkedIn Learning was cited as a primary driver, as online courses alone brought in $46 billion.
 
Atlassian Corp. is selling its chat software, HipChat, to Slack Technologies Inc. The deal gives Slack more customers and allows Atlassian to exit a business that was getting shadowed by competition.
 
According to a recent survey by Challenger, Gray and Christmas, 64% of employers report that they are currently hiring.
 
Prompted by the President’s recent Executive Order on expanding apprenticeships, the Department of Labor has announced a framework for high quality apprenticeship, known as aTraining and Employment Notice or TEN. By encouraging industry-recognized apprenticeship programs, the Department hopes to bolster existing programs and inspire organizations from unions to corporations to create such opportunities.
 
A new report from Axonify suggests that microlearning is most effective and valuable for providing training to frontline workers in fast-paced, or agile, workplaces. The survey found that three quarters of employees participate in microlearning training sessions 2-3 times each week – over one hundred trainings in year.
 
According to a study from Enterprise Bank and Trust, recruiting and retention are the top issues facing small and mid-sized businesses. Eighty-three percent of clients with less than $1 million in annual revenue reported that their biggest issue was finding the right candidates. Additionally, 53% of respondents said that salary and bonus are the most effective ways to address staffing needs.
 
Learning and development expert Josh Bersin shared his perspective on the success of LinkedIn’s entry into the online learning field with the acquisition of Lynda.com in 2015. With LinkedIn Learning’s strong start and promising future through the development of LinkedIn Learning Pro and other responsive innovation, Bersin states that LinkedIn Learning is the e-learning platform to watch.

Corporate Learning and Development News
An op-ed in The Wall Street Journal discusses “down-skilling” or the increasing trend by employers to adjust hiring requirements to increase access to candidates as the labor market tightens. Recent research from Burning Glass found that the number of employers requiring a college degree dropped from 2 percentage points between 2017 (32%) and the beginning of 2018 (30%). According to experts, these new considerations will allow for employers to meet their workplace needs.
 
Learning and development expert Josh Bersin shared his perspective on the success of LinkedIn’s entry into the online learning field with the acquisition of Lynda.com in 2015. With LinkedIn Learning’s strong start and promising future through the development of LinkedIn Learning Pro and other responsive innovation, Bersin states that LinkedIn Learning is the e-learning platform to watch.
 
A new survey from Axonify suggests that microlearning is most effective and valuable for providing training to frontline workers in fast-paced, or agile, workplaces. The survey found that three quarters of employees participate in microlearning training sessions at a rate of two to three times weekly – over one hundred trainings in year.
 
SmartBrief suggests that while collaboration is beneficial in the workplace, it is important for leaders to recognize the ways in which working independently can also contribute to the overall productivity of the organization.
 
Harvard Business Review analyzes a survey that suggests that the greatest obstacles to innovation include internal competitions and “turf wars” for resources, differences related to company culture as well as lack of diverse perspectives; lack of budget, and lack of vision. The author suggests that clear expectations and long term commitment to innovation can help address these challenges.
 
A survey released by Coding Dojo finds that a vast majority (90%) of those surveyed believe that employers should be responsible for the upskilling initiatives for their employees. More than half, or 56% of those surveyed, believe that they are not properly prepared with the skills needed for the future. 39% suggest that a possible solution is for employers to offer incentives for employees who proactively sign up for training outside of work.
 
A new report from KPMG finds that while employers understand the impact of intelligent automation (IA) on their businesses, many of them are not prepared to make the digital transition. While they may have plans to invest more in the digital transition within the next three to five years, researchers suggest that unless decisions about implementation are incorporated at a high level, employers will not have a high return on investment.
 
The impending flood of workplace automation will improve efficiency and enable innovation in corporate communication, says a People Matters contributor. Attracting, developing, and retaining talent will be easier in a workforce that allows employees to focus on problem-solving tasks. Automation will also reduce workers’ dependency on one another for information needed for their workload.
 

Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News
In a survey of more than 1,000 Americans, Comet found that 18.4% of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs and 65.8% have considered leaving. Of these responses, 15% of education workers are dissatisfied with their jobs, citing low salary and high workload as two leading causes of discontent.
 
According to Enterprise Bank and Trust’s survey of 100 corporate clients, recruiting and retention are top issues facing small and mid-sized businesses. Eighty-three percent of clients with less than $1 million in annual revenue reported that their biggest issue was finding the right candidates. Additionally, 53% of respondents said that salary and bonus are the most effective ways to address staffing needs.
 
This year contracted employees outnumbered Google’s direct employees for the first time ever. These contracted employees work alongside the other employees - but are missing out on many of the benefits. For example, they aren’t entitled to stock and many don’t have health insurance.
 
An op-ed in Tes argues that in order for colleges to adjust to the changing rules ofapprenticeships, they will need to offer more flexibility to the students pursuing them. This includes offering flexible learning and embedding digital technology to meet the student-apprentices’ needs.
 
According to the ADP Research Institute’s Workforce Vitality Report, U.S. wages have increased 3% in the past year - bringing the average hourly salary up to $27.46. This growth was led by increases for workers in the professional and business services industry who saw a 3.4% wage growth, averaging $35.04 per hour.
 
According to Chief Learning Officermicrocredentialing programs are increasing in popularity among executives who do not have time to return to school in order to earn full MBAs. While there is uncertainty about employers’ impression of these programs, the trend could prove to be a more efficient employment pipeline than traditional graduate degrees which are costly, both literally and in their inherent time commitment.
 
Hiring committees could be beneficial to organizations searching for improved recruiting strategies. As a testament to their efficiency and positive outcomes, research shows that 40% of hiring decisions across all industries are made by hiring committees. Multiple viewpoints allow those hiring to think strategically and expedite the process.
 
An op-ed from Harvard Business Review suggests that rather than attracting big business deals such as the Amazon HQ2, cities focus on developing support for start-ups, offer resources for small and mid-sized businesses to help them scale, and deepen their focus on some of the unique specializations that public-private partnerships created as competitive advantages for the city.
 
According to a new study by Glassdoor, benefits are still less enticing to applicants than salaries. The survey found that 67% of respondents report focusing on salary when applying for new positions while 63% look for benefits like paid time off and the ability to work remotely. 48% of respondents said that benefits and perks would make them more likely to apply for a job, while an easy commute attracts 47% of applicants.
 

General HR News
According to Forbes, most workplaces are not disability-friendly. Some suggestions to make your workplace more disability-friendly are to learn more about disabilities, find out what services you can provide and how much they cost, understand the power of assistive technology, and put your company to the test (using the Disability Equality Index).
 
Twenty years ago, Hawaii became the first state to adopt a fair-chance law to give applicants with a criminal record a chance at better jobs. Since then, thirty states have joined Hawaii with this "ban-the-box" legislation initiative in some form. HR Dive met with three employment law attorneys to understand how to properly "ban-the-box".
 
According to recent research by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, financial stress is taking its toll on employees - and affecting the workplace in turn. In order to fix this issue, many employers are improving their financial wellness benefits and offering financial education to their employees. Currently, 63% of employers offer financial education to their employees and 19% are considering offering financial education.
 
 
Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation
With 85% of its employees reporting a ‘high’ pay transparency rating in a recent survey by PayScale, Aldi, the grocery store chain, ranked first on PayScale's Hero Awards for Pay Transparency. McKinsey & Company and Sanderson Farms received second place with a 70% rating from the employee survey, followed by Trader Joe's at 69% and Texas Roadhouse at 61%.
 
WeWork has announced it will be launching a standalone WeWork China business. This investment is backed by pre-existing investors SoftBank, Hony Capital and other undisclosed investors amounting to $500 million.
 

Startups, Innovation, and Investment News
Atlassian Corp. is selling its chat software, HipChat, to Slack Technologies Inc. The deal gives Slack more customers and allows Atlassian to exit a business that was getting shadowed by competition.
 
Bright Network, the media technology platform, has raised £2.5 million in its latest funding round. Funding was lead by Maven Capital Partners with an investment of £2.15 million.
 
Gusto, the online payroll, benefits, and HR management company, has raised $140 million from investors in its latest funding round. After this funding by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., Y Combinator Continuity Fund and General Catalyst, Gusto is now valued at around $2 billion.
 
The online provider of compensation data and analytics, Salary.com, has announced it will bemerging with Compdata Surveys & Consulting, the national compensation survey data and consulting firm. The merger will allow the companies to deliver an improved set of vertical market jobs and pricing across 100 countries and 14 industries.
 

Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy
Prompted by the President’s recent Executive Order on expanding apprenticeships, the Department of Labor has announced a framework for high quality apprenticeships, known as aTraining and Employment Notice or TEN. By encouraging industry-recognized apprenticeship programs, the Department hopes to bolster existing programs and inspire organizations from unions to corporations to create such opportunities.
 
SHRM reports that the California Supreme Court has ruled that Starbucks and other companies are required to pay workers for off-the-clock routines. While a federal regulation allows businesses to not pay employees for activities which take less than 10 minutes, the California Supreme Court unanimously decided that this rule is not a part of California’s wage standards.
 

Other
study commissioned by Access Commercial Finance found that two out of three women in the United Kingdom have “imposter syndrome”. This is defined as when a person feels they are not as good at their work as others around them believe. The largest contributing factor was receiving criticism, which many report causing them to doubt their own abilities. Men are 18% less likely to feel this way.
 
Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford, told The Atlantic about a recent study she performed which found that the advice “follow your passion” is not helpful because it discourages individuals from developing interests. The advice, which has exponentially increased in popularity in recent decades, leads students to continuously jump from professional aspiration to professional aspiration searching for an instant fit.