What We're Reading: New Skills, Talent and Employment Edition

Top Highlights

Nike and MailChimp are among employers sourcing talent from TalentPath, a new initiative from Treehouse (a code academy) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, with the hopes of increasing diversity in their talent pools.  Employers sponsor Boys and Girls Clubs participants or alumni in the nine-month online coding program, then provide them with a three-month apprenticeship with their engineering teams, with the hopes of finding full-time employees.  

The Wall Street Journal discusses how employers are working to close the skills gap by leveraging alternative pathways to help employees gain the skills they need. (The Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Jeff Selingo explores the movement toward continuous, lifelong learning in The Atlantic, driven by increases in automation and a growing opportunity gap in the labor market between those with college degrees and those without.

Following a handful of recent municipal decisions to prohibit employers from asking candidates about salary history, new data from World at Work indicates that 37% of employers have already implemented a policy prohibiting recruiters from doing so.

According to Quartzemployers are indeed looking to robots to fill jobs as they prepare for a scarcity of workers in the coming years.  Unfortunately, this automation is disproportionately impacting workers in the middle of their career - most often aged 36-55 - rather than those at the end of their career.  

On March 25, the Workforce Development Institute and Innovate+Educate announced a collaboration to develop Future Skills Exchange, an online resource hub for competency-based training and hiring resources in New York state.

 

Corporate Learning and Development News

The Wall Street Journal discusses how employers are working to close the skills gap by leveraging alternative pathways to help employees gain the skills they need. (The Wall Street Journal, subscription required).

Jeff Selingo explores the movement toward continuous, lifelong learning in The Atlantic, driven by increases in automation and a growing opportunity gap in the labor market between those with college degrees and those without.

Chief Learning Officer suggests that leaders make the case that tax savings be used for leadership development by emphasizing the increase in revenue from development programs, the possible reduction in costs from effective leadership, and the potential increase in productivity and growth among employees.  

Chief Learning Officer recently honored more than 80 organizations for their outstanding corporate education strategies. The top five honorees include Accenture, AT&T, Vi, Nationwide and Deloitte.

 

Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News

According to Quartzemployers are indeed looking to robots to fill jobs, as they prepare for a scarcity of workers in the coming years.  Unfortunately, automation is disproportionately impacting workers in the middle of their career - most often aged 36-55 - rather than those at the end of their career.  

As allegations of age discrimination at IBM circulate, HR Dive reports more potential dangers of age discrimination when recruiting from college campuses for entry-level positions, citing recent findings that younger applicants had a 538% greater chance of being hired than candidates 40 and older.

Fast Company suggests that employers are overlooking 70 million working-age Americans who can offer valuable skills but are held back due to criminal records. The “fair chance hiring” method is an opportunity to address this. 

Despite arguments that women lag men in pay or promotions due to a lack of self-confidence (or that they don’t get raises simply because they don’t ask), a recent study shows a lack of consistent differences across gender in a self-reported self-confidence survey. Harvard Business Reviewconcludes that organizational practices must change so that women are given equal opportunities. (Harvard Business Review, subscription required)

 

General HR News

Following a handful of recent municipal decisions to prohibit employers from asking candidates about salary history, new data from World at Work indicates that 37% of employers have already implemented a policy prohibiting recruiters from doing so.

A recent poll finds that 49% of employed women in the U.S. report working primarily because they are their family’s main breadwinner at home, but 61% say that their male counterparts fail to treat them as equals in the workplace. 

Companies that fail to recognize the importance of diversity and inclusivity may have trouble attracting and retaining talent, according to Human Resources Director Magazine. The piece suggests that organizations should focus on fostering a culture of inclusivity to achieve workplace diversity rather than chasing numbers.

According to a recent study, 71% of American employees felt their performance reviews were unfair because they were compared to other employees’ performances. Harvard Business Reviewsuggests that temporal comparison evaluations, which look at employee progress compared to their own past performance, are more fair and preferred over social comparison evaluations. (Harvard Business Review, subscription required) 

 

Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation

Nike and MailChimp are among employers sourcing talent from TalentPath, a new initiative from Treehouse (a code academy) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, with the hopes of increasing diversity in their talent pools.  Employers sponsor Boys and Girls Clubs participants or alumni in the nine-month, online coding program, then provide them with a three-month apprenticeship with their engineering teams, with the hopes of finding full-time employees.  

On March 25, the Workforce Development Institute and Innovate+Educate announced a collaboration to develop Future Skills Exchange, an online resource hub for competency-based training and hiring resources in New York state.

 

Startups, Innovation, and Investment News

The private career insights platform Randrr announced the acquisition of Anthology, an anonymous career-matching platform. The company plans to leverage Anthology’s technology and member base to expand its reach and enhance its list of offerings to users.

Hive Learning has raised £3.5 million in a round led by existing funder Blenheim Chalcot. Funding will be used to fuel the company’s AI-driven product development and international expansion.

Employment Hero, an Australian human resources technology start-up, has ended an $8 million funding round led by SEEK and OneVentures. Funding will be used to build its executive leadership team and to expand its products to make the challenges of the employment cycle easier for businesses and employees.

 

Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy

Despite the fact that the nation’s unemployment rate remains stable, there has been an increase in retail hiringThe Washington Post suggests that this is due to more Americans renovating their homes instead of buying new ones, helping create thousands of retail jobs at companies like Home Depot and Lowes. (The Washington Post, subscription required)

The Washington State Legislature passed a bill that would broaden the state’s Equal Pay and Opportunity Act. Provisions include gender pay equity, salary history, advancement opportunities and pay transparency and retaliation.

 

Other

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes proposed a universal basic income system for working Americans to address the wealth gap. His system proposes an Earned Income Tax Credit that would provide $500 per month to every working adult who makes less than $50,000 a year.