Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 19 October 2017

Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 19 October 2017

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We bring together from ICube Research and published news, a summary of 5 items that are contemporary. The news is curated from more than 50 HR related websites across more than 15 countries including Singapore, USA, UK, Canada, Australia, India, Malaysia and Kenya, among others.

The Daily Digest covers the Global view of latest people practices and technology developments amongst other areas.

1. Does gender limit work opportunities?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – Does your gender hinder your chances to advance at work? The answer probably depends on whether you’re asking a man or a woman.

Around 39 percent of women said their gender “will make it harder to get a raise, a promotion or a step ahead,” according to the 2017 Women in the Workplace report, released by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org. In contrast, just 15 percent of men said the same. Women were also less likely to say they had equal opportunity for growth in the workplace.

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    The survey asked more than 70,000 employees about their workplace experiences.

    And the promotion problem starts early. According to Rachel Thomas, president of LeanIn.org, women face the biggest obstacle when they’re being promoted from entry-level roles to managerial roles. Women in entry-level positions are 18 percent less likely than their male peers to get promoted to the next step up.

    “For the second year in a row, we see women hitting the glass ceiling much earlier than we traditionally thought,” Thomas says. “That has an impact on the entire pipeline. We’re losing so many women at that critical step up. And on average, they never catch up.”

    And this isn’t due to lack of career aspiration from female employees. Women ask for promotions and raises at the same rates as men.

    Thomas says she suspects it’s from seeing a lack of opportunity for women in leadership.

    “Look at the beginning of the pipeline: 18 percent of women aren’t being promoted, and then you look at the end of the pipeline, and in the C-suite only one in five senior leaders are women and less than one in 30 senior leaders are women of color,” Thomas says. “The data tells a pretty sad story.”

    Advancement is particularly challenging for women of color. The report’s findings point out several obstacles: women of color are less likely to be promoted than their white peers, perhaps because they’re also less likely to have contact with senior executives in their organizations.

    A study from iCIMS, a talent acquisition software company, explored a similar phenomenon, looking particularly at women in STEM fields. In their survey, more than 62 percent of female executives they surveyed said they’ve been passed over for a promotion in favor of someone of the opposite gender.

    Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer of iCIMS, says mentorship plays a huge role in this issue.

    “Women felt that they were far less likely to find a mentor than men did, and we see that mentorship could play a tremendous role in career advancement,” she says.

    Vitale says the survey responses pointed to a crucial problem women face once they enter the STEM workforce — one that persists despite women’s career aspirations.

    “You see women coming into the field of STEM and they aren’t finding career advancement, and they feel that they are underpaid more than men are, and they feel if they go out on leave they won’t be promoted anyway — a lot of those barriers are stacking up against them,” she says. “Even though they’re more interested in rising up through the ranks.”


2. The recruitment industry’s technological revolution

Technology is revolutionising the recruitment industry in ways we could have never imagined.

Like each of the revolutions that preceded it, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will completely transform entire industries. Despite only recently being coined a ‘revolution’ we are already seeing the array of technologies driving this new wave of innovation make their way into a number of sectors, transforming the way in which they operate and redefining their destination.

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    Having already started to embrace technological developments, the recruitment sector has started to see changes being made at all stages of the recruitment process, from increasingly efficientback office administration, to managing talent pipelines, and rethinking methods of candidate attraction.

    With venture capitalist investment pouring into the sector, we are seeing a substantial influx of tech start-ups entering into the recruitment arena, with one common goal – to disrupt the market and transform the way it operates. As the recruitment sector continues to become ever more saturated, it’s crucial that recruitment firms and employers understand why these new technologies are beneficial and how they can utilise them to ensure they stay ahead of a fast shifting curve. Companies that capitalise on these new technologies and embrace technology-driven solutions, have a great deal to gain; not least staying competitive in a market increasingly fragmented.

    The ability to profile candidates quickly, managing the talent pipeline and effectively engaging with candidates throughout the assessment and onboarding processes, are all key challenges for in-house HR and recruitment teams. Often the constant drip of new products and services that emerge to measure, track, profile, engage and job match candidates can leave HR teams left behind.

    One new technology which will undoubtedly make a significant impact on the recruitment market is blockchain, a technology which has already proven incredibly beneficial in other broker industries such as financial services. While this technology might not be immediately associated with recruitment, its potential applications, particularly in terms of onboarding and referencing, could significantly improve efficiency and accuracy in the recruitment supply chain. Blockchain start-up APPII, for example, in partnership with Technojobs, is the first in the market to launch blockchain verified CV’s.

    These blockchain-verified CVs allow institutions, companies and other third parties to verify the information on a CV, confirming a candidate’s claim to a degree, qualification or former position. By creating a verified log of a candidate’s professional and academic history, much of the uncertainty involved with checking the validity of candidates’ CVs is eliminated. The referencing and verification process is proving an ever-costlier process for incredibly time-short HR teams.

    Candidates also stand to benefit from blockchain verified CVs, allowing them to apply for jobs in the confidence that the information on their CV won’t be misinterpreted or questioned. It also reassures candidates that they are not going to be competing against applicants who claim to have qualifications or experience which have been fabricated. The increased transparency associated with blockchain verified credentials is critical in helping reduce inefficiencies on both sides of the application process.

    Data analytics and data management are two additional technologies driving the fourth industrial revolution, and in turn, revolutionising the recruitment process. Where the UK’s recruitment industry has previously encountered challenges when it comes to successfully targeting candidates, industry leaders are now using data analytics and Artificial Intelligence to craft highly targeted and measured approaches.

    Harnessing and interpreting big data allows recruiters to better understand their candidates’ requirements, and also improves profiling of prospective applicants. Data analytics can also allow recruiters to reach untapped passive candidate audiences through social media and programmatic advertising – both of which have proven increasingly effective in recent years.

    Some recruitment companies are even beginning to utilise artificial intelligence (AI) to attract and profile prospective candidates. By harnessing state of the art machine learning technology, recruiters are able to match relevant candidates to job roles more efficiently and accurately than ever before. The ability to effectively identify relevant talent is fundamental to the success of any recruitment company. Those who embrace AI will see huge improvements in terms of quality of search allowing them to pipeline more quality candidates.

    Technology is revolutionising the recruitment industry in ways we could have never imagined, and as this new revolution continues to drive greater innovation across the sector, it is becoming clear that those embrace change stand to benefit the most. Ultimately, these new technologies will create in a candidate-centric marketplace, that works more efficiently and effectively for all stakeholders in the process.



On move-in day at Michigan State University’s College of Engineering, freshmen and their parents discover something surprising. Mingling among the families and faculty are teams of volunteers from major companies like General Electric and Consumers Energy, helping students move in. Even more surprising, there’s a good chance the person schlepping futons up four flights of stairs is a vice president or chief engineer. That’s how hard employers are working to develop relationships with students from day one.

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    “Large companies used to feel they could go to the career fair and hire 30 seniors and get top talent,” says Jason Weingarten, co-founder and CEO of Yello, a Chicago-based startup that builds talent-acquisition software. “Now students have been picked away through internships, externships, faculty referrals — when you get to senior year, the cream of the crop is gone.”

    That doesn’t mean employers are turning up on the first day of freshman year and asking for résumés. “Showing up simply as a recruiter is not going to work in today’s environment,” says Farouk Dey, dean of experiential education at Stanford University, where he oversees BEAM (Bridging Education, Ambition & Meaningful Work) career education. “Engaging in campus activities, serving as a partner and educator — those are some of the smartest things an employer can do.” Especially since, as Dey points out, students have a lot of options. They might go to graduate school, join the gig economy, even drive for Lyft for six months before traveling. Companies have to work hard to get them.

    So what does this look like? Well, take General Electric. The 125-year-old corporate giant is now using virtual reality to showcase its products and technology on campus and hosting hackathons as a way to connect with students. GE reps also mentor undergraduates and run résumé workshops — all very different from a guy in a tie shaking your hand from a kiosk at the senior year career fair.

    Companies that can’t send armies of recruiters are finding ways to compete too. Yello’s mobile app allows employers to track students who show interest at an event, giving organizations information on which campuses they do well on. Then, through a digital platform, they invite students to next steps: interviews, applications or — the golden ticket — an internship offer. Social media amplifies their reach as well.

    Meanwhile, universities are also rethinking their approach to career services. Garth Motschenbacher, director of employer relations at MSU College of Engineering, has his team sit in a bullpen and hires students — “career peers” — to work the front desk, so that all initial engagement with employers and students goes through them. A career consultant is embedded in the college, serving as a direct link between engineering students and the MSU Career Services Network. Formality is ditched as well; instead, employers are invited for informal meet-ups. “I realized if I put ‘business casual’ on an event, students froze,” says Motschenbacher. “The more casual you make things, the more students start letting their hair down and talking about what they really want.”

    The whole idea is to create a career education experience that feels baked into student life, not ringed off and intimidating. And it starts early. At MSU’s Freshman Extravaganza, a résumé-free event for engineering students and employers, many first-years have never interacted with a company before. “I came for the free food,” says Arielle Tolbert, now a junior majoring in computer engineering who’s already locked in a summer internship. “But it was great exposure. I realized what skills I was lacking and that I needed to work on my elevator speech. I also got to know employers.”

    Of course, a lot of the college experience is lost if students spend four years thinking about how to land a job. Part of the problem is massive student debt. Undergrads worried about paying back six figures “aren’t thinking about what sorority to join or making friends,” says Weingarten. “They’re thinking, how am I going to pay this back?” And internships, especially at top tech firms, are pretty lucrative. (Many pay upward of $6,000 per month.) Which brings up another issue: Early recruiting tends to favor STEM students and chokes off other paths of study, like liberal arts.

    Many educators understand this risk. At MSU, engineering students are required to take humanities classes. Colleges and universities such as George Mason, Miami University of Ohio, Stanford and William & Mary are pivoting from transactional, brick-and-mortar career centers to an embedded, community approach. And while Dey acknowledges that some would say any kind of freshman/sophomore career education pushes students too early toward vocational thinking, “We’re not here to talk to freshmen about what job they should have when they graduate,” he says. “We want to know what they value in life and what kind of impact they want to have on their community.”

    As part of the shift from job placement to career education, Stanford students interested in similar things — a specific major, say, or the nonprofit sector or working in a creative field — come together in community settings and interact with alums and employers. And while Stanford’s largest student/employer meet-up hosts about 300 employers and thousands of students, it isn’t called a career fair. “We have photo booths, party tricks — lots of activities that force you to get to know each other,” Dey says.

    The idea is to create connections that increase a student’s chances of stumbling in front of that lucky moment at the right time. Because behind every dream job, there’s usually a mix of perfect timing and happenstance. Maybe in 10 years we’ll have an app for that too.


4. Getting right talent is major HR challenge: Jaya Jacob Alexander

KOCHI: Although economists and recruitment firms are constantly warning about the shrinking job markets, the human resources professionals lament about getting the right talent. Identifying the right talent and retaining the same is the biggest challenge facing human resource professionals in the era of knowledge-driven business, says Jaya Jacob Alexander, heading the HR department in Geojit Geojit Financial Services having over three decades of experience. She says getting the right person is the most critical task. “In a process-driven business ecosystem, the knowledge-base of the individual concerned is the crucial determinant in shaping the performance. The job of the HR professional is identifying the people with that fire in their belly and nurture them,” she told DC.

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    In an industry like financial services we needed people with an understanding of financial markets and excellent interpersonal communication skills, she said. “Our staff is expected to have 24/7 interaction with the clients who are entrusting their hard earned money with us for a better return. So we needed to have people who should be able to explain and convince a potential investor on how their investment will be safe with us. So the knowledge base of the individual concerned is a primary criterion in the selection process, she said. “The second important challenge is to retain the people,” she said. “It is challenging to keep the flocks in a knowledge-driven ecosystem when the attrition rate can be as high as 30 percent. The HR person needed to design innovative schemes and incentives to keep the people together.”

    Ms Jacob who took VRS from fertiliser major FACT in 2004 to join the brokerage firm says that the HR professionals are also required to remain up-to-date on the world of knowledge. “We needed to be one-step ahead so that we can devise innovative strategies to keep the flock together,” she said. The other major issue facing the HR professional is to have a transparent intra-office communication system. “The generation today is extremely competitive and self-centred, and everyone is constantly striving to be better than the other person. There is no doubt that the competitive spirit helps in bringing out the best in every individual. But it also provides the ideal ground for intense personal rivalries that can derail the very idea of a congenial work environment. The HR professional needed to be constantly on guard to prevent such unhealthy trends,” she said. “A slew of group activities are regularly held to prevent such unpleasant trends.”


5. Why India needs skilled migrants who can come back one day to Make in India

The World Bank recently declared India as the world’s leading receiver of remittances. Last year alone, these stood at a whopping $62.7 billion—nearly three times the size of the BPO industry in the country! India steadily holds this top spot since 2009, contributing to more than 10% of the world’s remittances. While some oppose migration of workforce, often labelling it as ‘brain drain’, it’s definitely a boon for the country. In fact, the Prime Minister’s vision of Skill India and Make-in-India revolve strongly around enabling our potential workforce to be trained as per global standards—making India both the top talent-exporting country and top manufacturing hub. After all, ‘skilled migrants’ are any day better than ‘skilled, unemployed people’ at home! And they come back to ‘make in India’. The

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    two key driving factors for migration of talent are: significantly better wages and abundance of opportunities across a spectrum of geographies. Migration-driven remittances have a profound impact on families, villages and has a generational impact—a discussion for a later date. While talent has been migrating for a long time, especially to the Gulf region, the ecosystem is plagued with inefficiencies, leading to lack of transparency and merit for people to get their aspirational jobs. It is further compounded by differential waging and the reported cases of exploitation of workers. There is also considerable lack of access to information around job opportunities.

    Recent initiatives by the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) around skill assessments and international certifications can go a long way in addressing these problems. These pave the path for a stronger, efficient and, more importantly, merit-driven talent ecosystem. Certification is a strong credential that illustrates the holder’s knowledge and skill in a domain and gives the holder a sense of accomplishment, something that is missing in this ecosystem. And if it’s an international one, it makes candidates more acceptable globally and better enabled to pursue their dream opportunities sans fear of underemployment and other forms of exploitation. Countries receiving our talent also recognise the challenges and have shown great interest in these initiatives along with their own efforts to standardise and certify talent. In India, NSDC continues to build skill centres for trainings and certification benchmarked to international standards. Through their public-private partnership models with skilling bodies across the country, they run vocational certification programmes which comply with skill standards that match global benchmarks across the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the US. In fact, recognising Aspiring Minds’ extensive international presence (beyond India) in the Middle East, China, the Philippines and the US, NSDC recently appointed them as its only international certification provider. Such efforts have created an opportunity for our talent to get internationally recognised certificates in India that are fully sponsored by the government or are at affordable prices.

    Globally, there is an increased emphasis on international skill certification—with the objective that the assessment has verified an individual’s ability to perform his or her job in the conditions and expectations of the receiving country. Organisations such as Aspiring Minds, ACT WorkKeys (the US) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, TESDA (the Philippines) are some key players that have been working towards making international skill certification and third-party assessments relevant and available. Employers benefit from these objective assessments as they bring efficiency and quality to their talent acquisition process. Certified migrants can also smoothly transition from one job to another and sometimes even from one industry to another. Every year, 8-9 lakh Indian workers seek overseas employment. A robust and effective skill assessment and certification system is a critical building block for this ecosystem, and international skill certificates are their passport to global opportunities and success.


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(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)

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