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

Highlights
Workplace learning integrated with the day-to-day context is more beneficial to the employee than traditional learning experiences, according to a piece in CLO Magazine. The author encourages employers to consider the latest trend to provide training within the workflow to improve the experience for learners.
 
A new report from SkillSurvey finds that the most common feedback given across a number of entry level positions that were not offered jobs was related to the candidates’ lack of effective communication skills. This research supports past research from LinkedIn and National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) which point out that soft skills, such as communication, are increasingly becoming a major factor for hiring.
 
new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. workers from Intermedia explains how technology is changing the way we define and experience work -- including more work taking place outside the office thanks to the advent of mobile. According to the research, 51% of respondents begin their workday on their commutes to the office, and 75% of respondents said their work travel has been reduced over the last three years due to video conference capabilities.
 
According to a survey conducted by CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and SurveyMonkey, more than half (58%) of small business owners say that overall business conditions are good–up from 39% last year. Additionally, more than one third of small business owners reported that they plan to increase their headcount over the next 12 months.
 
The Walt Disney Co. has offered to pay full tuition for hourly workers seeking to earn a college degree, finish a high school diploma, or learn new skills.
 
MGM Resorts International partnered with the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) to create the College Opportunity Program. The program provides MGM Resorts employees in Nevada and throughout the country a free online education through NSHE.
 
MaiMai, a Chinese professional learning network received $200 million in investment in a Series D funding round led by DST with participation form IDG, Morningside Venture Capital, and DCM.
 
A U.S. District judge issued a ruling on August 25 striking down key provisions of a set of Trump Administration Executive Orders that made it easier for corporations and employers to remove employees and weaken their union representation.

 
Corporate Learning and Development News
An article in Training Magazine offers examples of how L&D can support change in the workplace. Experts suggest that one way to overcome hurdles is to more clearly establish the objectives of change and to provide a clear vision and strategy to be executed.
 
Workplace learning integrated with the day-to-day context is more beneficial to the employee than traditional learning experiences, according to a piece in CLO Magazine. The author encourages employers to consider the latest trend to provide training within the workflow to improve the experience for learners.
 
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) shares the top 5 benefits of using a full serviceLMS for workplace based learning experiences – including that it saves time and provides additional expert support in curating the courses for employees.
 
Workplace learning integrated with day-to-day context is more beneficial to the employee than traditional learning experiences, according to a piece in CLO Magazine. The author encourages employers to consider the latest trend to provide training within the workflow to improve the experience for learners.
 
A piece in Harvard Business Review argues that encouraging curiosity is beneficial in the workplace. The author suggests that being intentional about encouraging curiosity can improve innovation and overall creativity within the company. (subscription required)

Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News
 
new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. workers from Intermedia explains how technology is changing the way we define and experience work including more work taking place outside the office thanks to the advent of mobile. According to the research, 51% of respondents begin their workday on their commutes to the office, and 75% of respondents said their work travel has been reduced over the last three years due to video conference capabilities. 
 
A new report from SkillSurvey finds that the most common feedback given across a number of entry level positions that were not offered jobs was related to the candidates’ lack of effectivecommunication skills. This research supports past research from LinkedIn and National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) which point out that soft skills, such as communication, are increasingly becoming a major factor for hiring.
 
A recent MNI Targeted Media survey of college students belonging to Gen Z (born between the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s) revealed that purpose, passion, and values are central to how the generation views employers and careers. SmartBrief highlighted key takeaways from the survey results for employers, including, among others: 1) define a purpose-focused business mission; 2) establish an empowering work culture; and 3) make diversity and inclusion a priority.
 
Google launched a new feature designed to help U.S. military veterans find jobs and promote businesses as part of their Grow with Google career development program. Among other tools, the feature supports veteran job-seekers by allowing searches to be tailored to military job codes and skills acquired while serving. (TechCrunch
 
As corporations make a more concerted effort to improve racial and gender diversity up the leadership ladder, recent studies point to the promise of artificial intelligence (AI) in helping eliminate unconscious biases and assumptions in the hiring and promotion process. Some question the neutrality of artificial due to the fact that programmers may transfer their own implicit biases into the algorithms used to carry out hiring and promotion.

 
General HR News
 
In today’s business environment, employers need to build a management pipeline that ensures a bench of employees is ready to step into management. According to HR Dive, employees and employers both benefit from a strong management pipeline. It provides employees who are early in their career with a visible path for career development and provides retiring employees the opportunity to share crucial institutional information.
 
According to a survey conducted by CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and SurveyMonkey, more than half (58%) of small business owners say that overall business conditions are good–up from 39% last year. Additionally, more than one third of small business owners reported that they plan to increase their headcount over the next 12 months.

 
Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation
 
The Walt Disney Co. has offered to pay full tuition for hourly workers seeking to earn a college degree, finish a high school diploma, or learn new skills. CBS News reports that Disney currently employs 80,000 hourly workers in the U.S. who would be eligible to begin taking classes online this fall. To date, Disney has invested $50 million into the “Disney Aspire” program, and will continue to invest up to $25 million each year moving forward.
 
MGM Resorts International partnered with the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) to create the College Opportunity Program. The program provides MGM Resorts employees in Nevada and throughout the country a free online education through NSHE. The partnership will become finalized once the Nevada Board of Regents approves the program at their upcoming meeting on September 7, 2018.
 
Starbucks is piloting a program with Points of Light, a nonprofit service organization to begin a pilot program, that allows Starbucks employees to spend half of their workweek volunteering at a local nonprofit. According to CNN Money, the employees will be working with nonprofits align with their philanthropic priorities including -- supporting refugees, veterans and military families and youth, eliminating hunger, protecting the environment and offering disaster relief.
 
Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company recently joined the Paradigm for Parity Movement, a coalition of business leaders dedicated to addressing the leadership gender gap. The partnership will advocate for equal employment opportunities for all genders specific to leadership roles. Sodexo has been recognized by Bloomberg’s 2018 Gender-Equality Index (GEI) and FORTUNE magazine’s 2017 World’s Most Admired Companies.

 
Startups, Innovation, and Investment News

Maimai, a Chinese professional learning network received $200 million in investment in a Series D funding round led by DST with participation form IDG, Morningside Venture Capital, and DCM. This new funding will support the overseas expansion of the company, with a U.S. IPO set for 2019.
 
WeWork’s Flatiron School, a coding boot camp, acquired Designation, a for-profit design education school based in Chicago.
 
3Pillar Global partnered with Capango to help the retail job-matching platform launch its first mobile app. The Capango app uses machine learning to connect job seekers with employers and job opportunities that match their interests, talents, and abilities.
 
Flare, an Australian human resources and payroll start-up recently received $21 million in funding from Point72 Ventures. Flare, provides businesses with a software that manages the onboarding of new employees, payroll, and various human resources function.

Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy
 
A U.S. District judge issued a ruling on August 25 striking down key provisions of a set of Trump Administration Executive Orders that made it easier for corporations and employers to remove employees and weaken their union representation. David Borer, general counsel for the American Federation of Government Employees (the largest of the approximately dozen unions who sued the administration over the orders), called the ruling a “big win” for the 2.1 million civil servants who had been subject to the new rules and is calling for an immediate reversal of the order.
 
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division announced on August 27 that it would hold listening sessions over the upcoming weeks in Atlanta, Seattle, Kansas City (MO), Denver, and Providence to garner feedback before revising and updating what are commonly referred to as the “overtime rules.” These regulations, which were issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act, implement exemptions from the overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, professional, and certain other employees.

Other

In order to help parents cope with rising costs of childcare, startup company Helpr, which provides on-demand screened babysitters, has partnered with employers to provide subsidized child-care services for employees in the same manner as health insurance or other benefits. According to Fast Company, Recent studies estimate that one-third of American families spend at least 20% of their annual household income on childcare - often forcing parents to choose between their career or being caregivers. Helpr, which is currently operating seven cities, recently received $1.7 million in round of funding and hopes to expand to more areas.