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

Top Highlights

Kroger introduced Feed Your Future, an education program to encourage lifelong learning and to strengthen the company’s opportunity culture. The new program will offer full-time and part-time employees $3,500 each year toward continuing education and development opportunities ranging from earning a GED to working toward advanced degrees.

General Assembly was acquired for $412.5 million by Swiss human resources and staffing firm Adecco. The company will function as a separate division with the Adecco Group, remaining under the leadership of CEO Jake Schwartz and continuing to provide experiential education in the areas of  web development, data, design, and business.

new study from LinkedIn Learning revealed that a higher salary does not lead to increased job satisfaction. Of those surveyed, 68% of individuals making over $200,000 reported feeling stress on the job, compared to 38% of individuals earning $50-$75,000. Those making between $50,000 and $75,000 also reported the highest job satisfaction at 81%.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced $7.5 million in grant funding to encourage certification reform in high-demand occupations such as transportation, healthcare, protective service, and construction. In 1950, only 1 in 20 jobs required an occupational license, but today, more than 1 in 4 require a license to work. These grants are aimed to eliminate and streamline excessive licensing requirements.

A new study reveals a major gap between employees’ and executives’ perspectives on the current state of performance feedback. While 94% of executives are satisfied with their company’s performance review process, 61% of employees feel that it is outdated. Most employees (94%) prefer real-time feedback to annual or bi-annual performance reviews.. 

HR Dive reviews the impact of new Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn recruitment tools on traditional talent acquisition platforms and forums.

 

Corporate Learning and Development News

Trucker deaths accounted for 40% of all worker fatalities in 2016, leading several companies to initiate VR training simulations for truck drivers to increase safety on the roads. Early results suggest time-to-mastery relevant skills to be accelerated by two thirds which will lead to a reduction of training times and an increase in driver safety.

According to Bloomberg Markets, automation will require companies and governments to come up with imaginative solutions that will successfully adjust training methods and may even require workers to extend or return to education in preparation for the new world of labor.

As voluntary benefits become staples in the struggle to attract and retain employees, companies are increasingly investing in professional development and education. Employers hope to become competitive by offering employee development programs, education certifications, tuition assistance, 529 plans and loan repayment offers. Google and Taco Bell are two companies among a growing group of large organizations that are making these investments.

A new study reveals a major gap between employees’ and executives’ perspectives on the current state of performance feedback. While 94% of executives are satisfied with their company’s performance review process, 61% of employees feel that it is outdated. Most employees (94%) prefer real-time feedback. Employee dissatisfaction with bi-annual and annual performance reviews and performance feedback soars and this report outlines why and what needs to change.

Cloud learning management systems, compared to traditional learning management systems, provide greater accessibility, ease of use and improved maintenance, according to HR Dive.

 

Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News

As the U.S. Office of Personnel recently released guidance for candidate engagement during the hiring process, HR Dive suggests ways to reduce time-to-hire while selecting high quality candidates, including identifying areas for improvement of the current process, personalizing the experience, and using available technologies to support the process.

HR Dive reviews the impact of new Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn recruitment tools on traditional talent acquisition platforms and forums.

new report from The Conference Board shares insights into global workforce trends that are gaining momentum including hiring workers with lower educational requirements, being more amenable to teleworking, recruiting for a more diverse workforce, and cautiously adjusting compensation as data shows that employers who are not making efforts to increase wages are at greater risk for higher turnover rates, less success in recruitment, and less employee satisfaction.

 

General HR News

According to The Wall Street Journal, contracting companies are paying millions in overtime wages because the industry is near full employment. In 2017, 28% of all hours worked at two company plants cost at least time-and-a-half pay. (The Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Since manager wages are about twice those of nonmanagerial wages, underrepresentation of women managers contributes to the wage gap. SHRM notes that companies can mitigate the problems of a manager divide by correcting gender inequalities in its workforce. (SHRM, subscription required)

A new study finds that more than three-quarters of workers believe employers have a role in providing access and opportunities to help employees succeed; the price of higher education, a lack of job prospects, and slow wage growth are the top 3 concerns for all generations of American workers.

 

Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation

Kroger introduced Feed Your Future, an education program to encourage lifelong learning and strengthen the company’s opportunity culture. The new program will offer full time and part time employees $3,500 each year toward continuing education and development opportunities ranging from earning a GED to advanced degrees.

 

Startups, Innovation, and Investment News

General Assembly has been acquired for $412.5 million by Swiss human resources and staffing firm, Adecco. The company will function as a separate division with the Adecco Group, remaining under the leadership of CEO Jake Schwartz and continuing to provide experiential education in the areas of  web development, data, design, and business.

Credly, a New York-based digital credentialing platform, announced the acquisition of the Acclaim badging platform from Pearson. Financial terms were not disclosed, however Pearson will have a minority stake in Credly.

Utah-based online training company, Pluralsight, filed for their IPO. The company plans to sell up to $100 million in shares. 

SkillSurvey, a provider of cloud-based hiring solutions, announced the launch of new texting capabilities, allowing recruiters, job candidates, and references to communicate via text messaging in order to complete reference check requests more efficiently.

 

Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy

The U.S. Department of Labor announced $7.5 million in grants to encourage occupational licensing reform in high-demand occupations such as transportation, healthcare, protective service, and mechanical/construction occupations. Funding is available for 20 states in amount of up $450,000, and for one association, which could apply for up to $1 million. DOL recommends that funding be used to analyze and improve current licensing requirements as well as address barriers for veterans and transitioning military service members. In 1950, only 1 in 20 jobs required an occupational license, but today, more than 1 in 4 require a license to work. These grants are aimed to eliminate and streamline excessive licensing requirements.

 

Other

After the arrest of two black men sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks store led to massive protests over this past weekend, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson announced the company’s intentions to add “unconscious bias” training for store managers to prevent such an incident from occurring again. On May 29, the company plans to close 8,000 stores in order to facilitate the training.