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

Highlights

The U.S. unemployment rate fell from 4.1% to 3.9% in April, marking the first dip below 4% in almost two decades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers also added 164,000 jobs last month and the average hourly wage increased by four cents to $26.84.

With the unemployment rate dropping below 4%, expert Josh Bersin paints the opportune, yet volatile picture of the presently tightening labor market – which he calls a “war for talent.”

recent study from Korn Ferry reveals that by 2030 the skills gap, if left unaddressed, will grow sizably, leading to a potential deficit to 10.7 million workers in financial and business services, a shortage of 4.3 million workers in the technology, media and telecommunications, and manufacturing can see a deficit of 7.9 million workers.

new report from American Express and Institutional Investor finds that 71% employers plan to increase headcount by more than 6% and they plan to retain these employees by improving the work environment (56%), allowing flexible work arrangements (54%) and expanding career development opportunities (51%). Additionally, more than half (57%) of the companies surveyed plan to make greater use of temporary and contract workers.

Glassdoor, the leading job and recruiting company, announced that it is being acquired by Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd, a Japan-based HR company in $1.2 billion cash transaction. Glassdoor will remain a separate part of Recruit’s HR technology division under the leadership of its current CEO, Robert Hohman. (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

LinkedIn and the government in Ontario, Canada recently announced plans to partner to provide access to Lynda.com to all students at each of Ontario’s 44 post-secondary institutions through their eCampusOntario platform.

EdSurge discusses the impacts of the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) on MOOCs (massive open online courses). The E.U. regulation, while broad, will require any entity that processes personal data to honor individuals’ rights to have information removed. Organizations such as Coursera are starting to review their terms of use and privacy policies to be more transparent with users. GDPR will go into effect on May 25.

The May edition of the LinkedIn Workforce Report offers three key insights into hiring, skills gaps, and migration trends across the country: hiring trends were strong and stable through April; the U.S. needs 230,000 more people with marketing skills; and Americans are moving from high-tax states to low-tax states (with cities rich in economic opportunities--those with strong hiring and relatively affordable housing--gaining the most people).

Corporate Learning and Development News

With workplace bias in the spotlight in recent months, more businesses are turning to unconscious bias training to address issues like affinity bias (which lets us feel more comfortable around people similar to ourselves) and perception bias (through which we form assumptions about people who are different). While businesses may see these trainings as a means for reducing bias in the workplace, experts say they must be accompanied by strong and inclusive cultures, policies, and procedures to be effective.

An article in Chief Learning Officer magazine discusses the growing relevance of “point-of-need” learning solutions, such as Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant and other programs that allow employees to access on the spot information with minimal disruption to their workflow. The author suggests that these types of solutions can scale upskilling and reskilling opportunities.

Business Insider discusses the impact of adding new technologies without providing sufficient training for employees. This problem, especially pervasive in the fast food industry, often lowers employee satisfaction and causes employees to seek other work. Employers have tried to address the challenge through providing more flexible hours and training opportunities, however the author suggests that the best solution to attracting more workers and increasing satisfaction is increased pay.

CLO magazine shares best practices for using learning and development to help an organization improve its performance. The author states that success includes a well-defined strategy for progress; a solid foundation of experience for those implementing the programming as well as skills and methods from which to build; and an integrated communication and advocacy network among influential leaders in the organization.

Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News

recent study from Korn Ferry reveals that by 2030 the skills gap, if left unaddressed, will grow sizably, leading to a potential deficit to 10.7 million workers in financial and business services, a shortage of 4.3 million workers in the technology, media and telecommunications, and manufacturing can see a deficit of 7.9 million workers.

With the unemployment rate dropping below 4%, expert Josh Bersin paints the opportune, yet volatile picture of the tightening labor market – which he calls a “war for talent”.

new report from American Express and Institutional Investor finds that 71% employers plan to increase headcount by more than 6% and they plan to retain these employees by improving the work environment (56%), allowing flexible work arrangements (54%) and expanding career development opportunities (51%). Additionally, more than half (57%) of the companies surveyed plan to make greater use of temporary and contract workers.

Workforce highlights the fact that many qualified candidates are often misseddue to the length and content of frequently used online assessments. The author suggests that employers more carefully evaluate whether assessments are an effective resource, or a barrier to finding potential employees.

New research from Digitate finds that employees who had a negative onboarding experience are twice as likely to search for a new job and that one in five are less likely to recommend the company to a family or friend. The report explores the use of automation to help improve the process, finding that reduced new hire onboarding time can translate to increased returns for a company.

According to SHRM, a “gut” decision when conducting interviews often favors style over substance and can become subject to unconscious biases. The author suggests that hiring managers use a structured, objective approach which is more data-driven and outcome-based. (SHRM, subscription required)

The Q1 2018 Skills Index released by Upworks ranks the 20 fastest growing skills for freelancers. According to the survey, employers are looking for people who can work with Blockchain, Google’s Tensorflow, and Amazon’s DynamoDB.

General HR News

New research out of the University of Michigan and California State University Channel Islands found that nearly 40% of employees surveyed felt they were unlikely to get ahead at work if they asked for time off. Researchers suggest that the need for work-life flexibility is not exclusive to women and that employers should create a culture that ensures employees that their ability to progress will not be affected by seeking work-life balance.

A report commissioned by Australian enterprise software company Atlassian offers key comparisons between tech workers in Silicon Valley and the United States overall regarding attitudes and behaviors toward “Diversity & Inclusion” efforts. Survey results from 1,500 tech workers in the United States and 400 tech workers in Silicon Valley show that while 80% of respondents agree that D&I is important, individual participation in D&I programming has fallen and adoption of company-wide initiatives remains flat, indicating fatigue has set in and progress has stalled.

A survey of workers across the technology industry solicited information about stress, burnout, and work-life balance. According to the findings, the top sources of stress reported by respondents is “unclear goals,” followed by “commute” and a “bad manager.” More than half of respondents say they feel burned out at work, and minorities had the highest rates of reporting burnout. Findings also indicate that women are slightly less satisfied with their work-life balance.

new study from CommonBond found that student debt cuts across all age groups, including parents who are taking out loans for their children. Additionally, student loan benefits may help to attract talent, retain employees, and improve work performance. A recent panel discussion around the findings revealed that experts agree that offering student loan benefits could increase employee retention.

More than half of Chief HR Officers believe HR is a driver of digital transformation in the workplace, according to a new survey conducted by ServiceNow. In the next three years, 48% expect to use an HR platform, versus an application, to automate a more comprehensive HR experience.

survey of U.S. workers finds that while a large majority (82%) enjoy the flexibility to work anywhere, 62% overall still prefer to work in a traditional office setting, 65% for employees between 18-24 years old. Most employees feel like having the option to work from anywhere, anytime increases their productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction.

Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation

Since CareerBuilder collaborated with Google Cloud Job Discovery, the number of people who have viewed jobs on the site has increased by 40 percent. The partnership with Google Cloud improves the relevancy of job search results and thus increases the number of applications for the site’s clients.

Las Vegas public schools partnered with the Nevada Learning Academy, allowing students to enroll in affordable, online courses to prepare for certifications in fields such as Health Science, Information Technology, and Business Management, among others. This partnership supports Governor Sandoval’s ambition to strengthen workforce development across the state.

LinkedIn and the government in Ontario, Canada recently announced plans to partner to provide access to Lynda.com to all students at each of Ontario’s 44 post-secondary institutions through the eCampusOntario platform.

Startups, Innovation, and Investment News

Glassdoor, the leading job and recruiting company, announced that it is being acquired by Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd, a Japan-based HR company in $1.2 billion cash transaction. Glassdoor will remain a separate part of Recruit’s HR technology division under the leadership of its current CEO, Robert Hohman. (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

As part of a new program focused on supporting early-stage companies, Google is investing in an education startup called Edwin that is leveraging AI to support English language learners. The San Francisco-based company, which uses an “AI chatbot” to gauge student proficiency and create personalized lesson plans, will use the recent funding to make its curriculum and software compatible with Google Assistant.

Axonify, a corporate microlearning platform, announced the launch of Axonify Impact to better understand the link between employee learning, behavior change, and business results. The new learning attribution engine uses data and machine learning to show the relationship between employee learning and business results.

HR Path, a global human resources services provider, will acquire Belgium-based Ataraxis. Ataraxis will become HR Path’s dedicated Workday service partner.

Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy

The U.S. unemployment rate fell from 4.1% to 3.9% in April, marking the first dip below 4% in almost two decades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers also added 164,000 jobs last month and the average hourly wage increased by four cents to $26.84.

The City of Philadelphia’s ban preventing employers from asking job applicants about past salaries violates the First Amendment’s free speech clause, according to U.S. District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg. In a lawsuit against the city, Goldberg ruled the ban unconstitutional but noted that companies are prohibited from underpaying new hires based on wage history.

EdSurge discusses the impacts of the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) on MOOCs (massive open online courses). The E.U. regulation, while broad, will require any entity that processes personal data to honor individuals’ rights to have information removed. Organizations such as Coursera are starting to review their terms of use and privacy policies to be more transparent with users. GDPR will go into effect on May 25.

The May edition of the LinkedIn Workforce Report offers three key insights into hiring, skills gaps, and migration trends across the country: hiring trends were strong and stable through April; the U.S. needs 230,000 more people with marketing skills; and Americans are moving from high-tax states to low-tax states (with cities rich in economic opportunities--those with strong hiring and relatively affordable housing--gaining the most people).

Other

Members of the Forbes Human Resources Council, an organization of HR executives across industries offering leadership and management insights, advises employers on ways to improve retention rates in a variety of ways, including: by engaging in open and proactive dialogue about how to improve employee experiences; by actively learning about and supporting employee goals; by ensuring managers are properly trained to onboard, coach, train and develop their staff; and by creating a culture of transparency, care, dignity, respect and inclusion.