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

Highlights
Discover announced a tuition-free program to help employees earn a bachelor’s degree. The Discover College Commitment program covers all costs for part-time and full-time employees who work at least 30 hours per week to earn a degree from Wilmington University, University of Florida Online, and Brandman University. The benefits will be administered through Guild Education.
 
Most HR vendors are implementing AI systems, but these systems are just scratching the surface of their potential according to expert Josh Bersin. With time and investment, AI’s capability to interpret large amounts of data without bias will grow to become apps that can help HR make better decisions. These apps will be able to help HR with tasks such as recruiting, employee training, leadership, fraud, and employee engagement.
 
WeWork set a goal to hire 1,500 refugees by 2023, following a successful pilot program with the International Rescue Committee in New York. The company is also putting in place mentorship programs to help refugees settle their work environments through educational and social programs to support advancement.
 
HR Dive reviews the quickly evolving role of L&D in the workplace. Experts suggest that as L&D shifts, professionals pay special attention to the types of training they offer, the specific needs of lifelong learners and those constantly looking for new opportunities to learn, and how what they offer now and in the future continues to support organizational needs.
 
A new survey by Robert Half found that 77% of employees say the option of telecommuting at least some of the time would increase their likelihood of taking a job. Broken down by age, 86% of 18-34 year-olds, 79% of 35-54 year-olds, and 65% of employees 55 and older would be more likely to take such a job. The option is most attractive in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. The downsides include abuse of the option and isolation from team members.
 
In an article in the New York Times, economists consider the role the government should play in ensuring employment as automation threatens to displace jobs. Changing intellectual property laws would prevent monopolies from limiting innovation and expand the market for creativity in manufacturing. Ensuring workers are continuously learning new skills also allows employees to evolve along with their industries.
 
A recent survey by CareerArc found that employers have not adapted to the new ways candidates seek out jobs. According to Entrepreneur, employers should request referrals, look for insightful questions, and ask tailored questions instead of cold emailing, focusing on candidates’ GPA, asking scripted interview questions, and relying on the recruiters’ gut feeling to hire the right workers.
 
A new survey from Randstad finds that 66% of surveyed workers believe benefits and perks are the most important factors of a job offer. When considering a potential employers' benefits, workers prioritize health insurance (75%), followed by retirement and pension funds and/or pensions (21%).
 
Corporate Learning and Development News
Inc. shares analysis of a recent finding that women CEOs perform better when promoted from within an organization. Experts suggest that those who receive a long period of mentorship from the predecessor, and work in an environment with clear expectations for her role in the future, have a better chance of success as a CEO. Additionally, experts found that CEO predecessors who remain involved post-retirement can be beneficial for small organizations, but are proven to be a barrier in larger organizations.
 
SHRM CEO Johnny Taylor encourages HR professionals to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces, create opportunities to upskill younger and inexperienced workers, and to take more ownership of the image they represent for the HR profession during the organizations Annual Conference.
 
While research continues to suggest that automation will both eliminate and create jobs, an article in The Atlantic shares another perspective regarding the impact of automation in the workplace. The author claims that while research suggests that jobs will be created almost as surely as they will be replaced by automation, the impact of automation on physical space can lead to even more reduction of human interaction.
 
TrainingZone discusses the difference between upskilling and reskilling, suggesting that upskilling employees adds value to a company in the short term. The author suggests that companies develop an upskilling campaign that includes a timeline and plan that will help the company reach their goals.
 
HR Dive reviews the quickly evolving role of L&D in the workplace. Experts suggest that as L&D shifts, professionals pay special attention to the types of training they offer, the specific needs of lifelong learners and those constantly looking for new opportunities to learn, and how what they offer now and in the future continues to support organizational needs.
 
An interview with KPMG Principal Advisory Mike Diclaudio discusses the role of Millennials and Generation Z in the evolution of employee engagement. Diclaudio suggests that employers must be more open to the advantages of automation and technology in order to remain prepared for this incoming workforce.
 
A joint report from Pearson and JFF highlights the importance of higher education alignment with the workforce. The report suggests that in order for the future workforce to be properly prepared, institutes of higher education must do more to help develop skills needed for success in the workplace.

Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News
According to tech industry association, TechServe Alliance, there was a 0.003% increase in IT jobs last month. Now, with 5,337,000 jobs, economists consider the industry to be at full employment.
 
According to SHRM, sourcing parties are the newest trend in recruitment. Large corporations such as Netflix have found the strategy effective for finding candidates for their openings. The atmosphere encourages individuals to act more naturally than at interviews which gives employers more insight into how they would interact with colleagues should they be hired.
 
A new survey by Robert Half found that 77% of employees say the option of telecommuting at least some of the time would increase their likelihood of taking a job. Broken down by age, 86% of 18-34 year-olds, 79% of 35-54 year-olds, and 65% of employees 55 and older would be more likely to take such a job. The option is most attractive in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. The downsides include abuse of the option and isolation from team members.
 
A new B2B technology survey reveals that most manufacturing respondents do not use IoT (Internet of Things) solutions, complicating the prediction that the sector is expected to lose 736,400 jobs in the next decade due to automation. Large corporations like Amazon, Walmart, and Lowes are testing the waters of automation.
 
In an article in the New York Times, economists consider the role the government should play in ensuring employment as automation threatens to displace jobs. Changing intellectual property laws would prevent monopolies from limiting innovation and expand the market for creativity in manufacturing. Ensuring workers are continuously learning new skills also allows employees to evolve along with their industries.
 
In order to attract recent graduates to entry level positions, recruiters are calling upon current employees for referrals, emphasizing benefit packages, and focusing on creating appealing work environments.
 
A recent survey by CareerArc found that employers have not adapted to the new ways candidates seek out jobs. According to Entrepreneur, employers should request referrals, look for insightful questions, and ask tailored questions instead of cold emailing, focusing on candidates’ GPA, asking scripted interview questions, and relying on the recruiters’ gut feeling to hire the right workers.
 
new study by Nintex reveals that dysfunctional corporate processes lead to employees searching for positions elsewhere. More than half of employees surveyed report no processes for career advancement and 67% of those employees reported that this failure was standing in the way of reaching their potential. 57% of those surveyed reported annual performance review systems, 55% reported access to tools to improve performance, and 47% reported raise negotiations.
 
ASA’s quarterly staffing employment and sales survey revealed that 3.10 million temporary and contract workers were employed by U.S. staffing companies in the first quarter of 2018. Job seekers recognize that staffing companies can find them short and long term employment and the industry has grown significantly, with sales totaling $32.86 billion in the quarter.
 
Skill-based hiring practices are becoming common as technology streamlines recruitment. Higher education credits do not translate into workplace competencies in the way HR professionals have relied on in the past. Focusing on a candidate’s current skills rather than their past allows employers to better match applicants and positions.
 
General HR News
survey by Paychex Pulse of HR emphasizes the changes in employee engagement and company culture brought to by talent management. The survey reveals 85% of HR decision-makers of U.S. companies are concentrating on improving company culture - resulting in 77% believing their technology solution is bettering their employee work environment. The survey also found that 24% of HR professionals consider themselves strategic partners with their company while only 11% identify themselves as data crunchers.
 
A new survey from Randstad finds that 66% of surveyed workers believe benefits and perks are the most important factors of a job offer. When considering a potential employers' benefits, workers prioritize health insurance (75%), followed by retirement and pension funds and/or pensions (21%).
 
Bias is a subconscious influencer in all decision-making and stereotypes. HR Dive suggests that for a workforce to be successful it should confront bias by creating spaces for decisions to be made without emotion, by considering differing opinions, and by promoting inclusion.
 
Throughout the U.S. there is a pressure for women to be the caregivers and men to stay at work when growing a family. This concept not only counteracts gender equality, but also drives away working fathers who highly value family. According to a survey by Promundo and Dove Men+Care, 73% of working fathers in the U.S. report to have little parental backing from their jobs, leaving them left to decide between their work and family.
 
Most HR vendors are implementing AI systems, but these systems are just scratching the surface of their potential according to expert Josh Bersin. With time and investment, AI’s capability to interpret large amounts of data without bias will grow to become apps that can help HR make better decisions. These apps will be able to help HR with tasks such as recruiting, employee training, leadership, fraud, and employee engagement.
 
According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 78% of respondents agree that it is possible to be successful both in a career and as a parent. Employees able to balance both job and family will be more productive and have better relationships with coworkers according to the vice president of corporate communications for CareerBuilder.

Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation
Discover announced a tuition-free program to help employees earn a bachelor’s degree. The Discover College Commitment program covers all costs for employees who work up to 30 hours per week to earn a degree from Wilmington University, University of Florida Online, and Brandman University. The benefits will be administered through Guild Education.
 
WeWork set a goal to hire 1,500 refugees by 2023, following a successful pilot program with the International Rescue Committee in New York. The company is also putting in place mentorship programs to help refugees settle into the workplace through educational and social programs to support advancement.
 
The Dallas Workforce Board announced the launch of the Retail Skills Digital Academy, a training effort funded through the Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas' Retail Pay$ program, funded by Walmart. The initiative will offer soft skill development as well as high school diploma programs to 850 retail workers free of cost. The learning platform will be the result of a collaboration between the Dallas County Community College District and Penn Foster, who will take the lead on the online element.
 
Startups, Innovation, and Investment News
Unacademy, an education technology company based in India announcedplans to raise $25-$30 million in a Series C funding round led by Sequoia Capital India.
 
Udemy, the online learning and teaching marketplace, announced the opening of a new headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil to support its largest growing market presence in Latin American.
 
Coursera announced that it would extend Coursera for Businesses to small and medium businesses – now offering the same access to upskilling and learning tools for smaller organizations.
 
Degreed announced acquisition of Pathgather, a learning experience platform developer. The combined companies will now service over 200 clients, sharing their learning platform with over 4 million users.
 
Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy
Despite evolving immigration policy on the federal level, anti-discrimination lawsin the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the Department of Justice apply to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and other visa holders. National origin and citizenship status may not be used to treat candidates differently and requesting more documentation than is legally required qualifies as discrimination.
 
Other
Recent interviews with global CEOs reflected the gender gap between males and females in corporate leadership. In a world where only 9% of CEOs are female, such leaders learned to adapt to the corporate space in order to advance. The CEOs learned to own their goals, work proactively, take charge of their professional and social lives, focus on long term goals, and embrace a well-rounded leadership style.
 
recent report from Oxford reveals that 63% of employees and senior executives believe that the increased noise level of open space office plans negatively affects productivity and 75% of employees report avoiding distractions by taking walks. With 77% of millenials reporting decreased productivity, 89% have called upon their employers to address the issue.
 
According to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, only 8% of single mothers receive their degree in 6 years and those who do graduate college earn $600,000 more throughout their careers. This research reinforces the belief among many policy makers that supporting single mothers in obtaining their degrees is an effective way to increasing the mother and children’s social mobility.
 
Labor market analyses indicate that teenagers are seeking summer employment at the lowest rate in decades. In 1978, almost 60% of teenagers had or were looking for summer jobs. Last summer, the rate was down to 43%.SHRM suggests that while gig jobs which are not monitored by federal data, could be contributing to this trend; other factors likely include teens’ greater involvement in extracurricular activities and older individuals taking traditionally summer jobs.