As COVID-19 recovery continues, those who are still working from home are best served by making some upgrades or changes to their routines.For many workers suddenly shifting from home, any space from the kitchen table to a spare bedroom would do. Now as the pandemic-induced spike in working remotely goes beyond temporary, here is how to organize a home workspace to optimize productivity. Speed up your wifiHas your internet speed slowed to a crawl with the stress of Teams calls, multiple devices and virtual learning happening at the same time? There are steps you can take so you won’t have to wait painfully like the days of dial-up. Talk to your organization about helping make investments in a home office, which could include upgrading and customizing your network.Set up boundariesWhen you work from home, it can sometimes feel like you live at work. Having ready access to work can provide flexibility, but it can also create an always-on mentality that can lead to burn out. Remember to set up boundaries to designate a workspace with a living space, whether that’s a physical environment or a set time to step away from a workspace. You can even put up a sign or a post-it reminder at a boundary that outside these parameters, you are off duty. Designate work devicesWhile working from home, it can help create a more work-like environment with specific devices that are devoted to only to work. For example, an author might have a low-cost Chromebook that only includes the files to their book without web browsers or other apps that have distractions. Especially for bigger assignments, this can help put everything in one place while minimizing the digital distractions of what else might be on your laptop or phone. Go on the gridThere’s no way we could do our work without interacting with others, but sometimes that interaction in person or virtually can be detrimental to productivity. This is especially true if it’s a significant other or family member that needs something. When you need to really focus, put an in-the-office message on your chair or workspace to let others know you are unavailable -- the WFH equivalent of an out-of-office responder. Any home office is a balance between flexibility and productivity. Give yourself permission to adjust that equation as needed, and your workspace will benefit you in the long term.
How to Organize Your Home Workspace For Productivity
Planning for Job Change
Will this new year bring another transition for you? Here are strategies and skills to help you during potential career transitions in the coming year. Assess your goals A new year can be an opportunity to assess what you want out of work and your life, including perks like flexible scheduling or remote work. Rather than immediately falling into a job search, evaluate your last or current job: What aspects did you like or dislike? Is it time to make a change? Where do you want to go next? Is entrepreneurship an option? Create a life map of where you would like to be in three to five years. Feeling like you have more control over the situation will lessen your perception of stress. Manage your timeSearching for a job is more than a full-time job. Sometimes it feels like you can’t keep up, and other times it feels like all you do is wait. It can help with peace of mind to set aside times to actively search, to write follow-ups, and even to wait guilt-free. Don’t let the job search take up your entire life. Set incremental goalsA new role or career may be your ultimate goal, and achieving that end can sometimes feel overwhelming. To help you get there, set incremental and smaller steps to achieve. You can also pick up freelance work, consulting, contract jobs or even volunteer positions. This part-time or temporary work can help pay bills or bolster your resume while your searching for a permanent job. Don’t overlook these opportunities while continuing to pursue full-time work. Finally, remember that whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or like you have lost control of the process, take a break. Go for a walk or perform an activity that you enjoy.You need downtime to help maintain your mental health, and you can always resume again later.
In an increasingly digital world, human skills are needed now more than ever.
“Schooling doesn't assure employment but skill does.”― Amit Kalantri, Wealth of WordsPay attention to the news stories about the hiring challenges facing companies around the world and a common narrative emerges. Loads of jobs, in virtually every industry, but a lack of talent hampering recruiting efforts. And the situation appears even more daunting in the tech sector given the competition for talent. Why? Because every company is now a tech/digital company. If they hadn’t already, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated efforts to adopt and deploy new technologies to help businesses pivot and stay afloat over the last year and a half. According to our latest report, Stack It Up: Tech Skills in Demand, we found tech-related jobs make up more than 50% of the top 20 in-demand roles. Some examples of the most in-demand tech jobs include: Data analysts and scientists AI and machine learning specialists Big data specialists Digital marketing and strategy specialists Digital transformation specialists Information security analysts Software and application developers Database and network professionals While the search for qualified talent checking those skills’ boxes is ongoing, and an uphill battle, getting talent with the necessary tech skills is just one side of the coin. It’s not enough to just have the right technical skills anymoreThose roles are in demand at companies across a variety of sectors, from financial and professional services to healthcare to retail and e-commerce, government to logistics, advanced manufacturing, and more, and job functions. And when you couple that with the growing need for human soft skills to effectively execute these roles, demand for talent is going to continue to skyrocket and finding the right combo of skills is increasingly competitive. Some of the top soft skills that are desired are: Analytical thinking and innovation Active learning Complex problem solving Critical thinking and analysis Creativity Leadership and social influence Resilience/stress tolerance/flexibility Reasoning/problem solving/ideation Emotional intelligence Persuasion and negotiationAs tech evolves towards 5G driven by the rapid rise in remote and mobile work, and demand for cybersecurity and cloud engineering continues at pace, the future profile of talent is morphing. Two-thirds (64%)of companies do not have the skills required to implement their digital transformation strategy and capitalize on growth potential. What’s an organization to do?Build, Buy, Borrow and Bridge Changing workforce dynamics and the acceleration of tech adoption are forcing organizations across all industries to redesign their workforce composition and rethink their skills mix. Companies want to be employers of choice, achieve the first-mover advantage on scarce and in-demand talent, and ensure a durable competitive edge in the market.Companies must develop sophisticated, competitive workforce strategies to Build, Buy, Borrow and Bridge to ensure they have the specialized IT talent and increasingly in-demand skills their organizations need. What do the 4 B’s entail? We’re glad you asked:BUILD- Invest in learning and development to grow your tech talent pipelineBUY- Go to external market to find the best tech talent that cannot be built in-house in the timeframe requiredBORROW- Cultivate tech talent outside the organization, including part-time, freelance, contract and temporary workers to complement existing and emerging skillsBRIDGE - Help people move on and move up to take on new tech roles and acquire new technical and soft skills inside or outside the organizationHow Experis can helpTo maximize the return on digital investments companies need a forward-looking skills agenda: infusing a digital mindset in the workforce and making technical and soft skills development the focus of training and hiring programs. As a global leader in IT professional resourcing, project solutions, and managed services specializing in Business Transformation, Cloud and Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, Digital Workspace and Enterprise Applications, Experis supports companies to build a skilled talent pipeline with the powerful combination of in-demand technical and soft skills that are critical for business success. Our team has the data, insight and expertise to bridge the tech talent and skills gap with leading IT professional staffing (permanent and contract), innovative training and data-driven workforce solutions. To learn more about Experis, visit: www.experis.com.sg
Neurodiversity and Bridging The Skills Gap
Diversity has been a business watchword for many years. However, in 2020 many organizations had to take a hard look at how they defined diversity and practiced inclusion and be honest about their progress, even while they expanded their understanding of the term. Inclusion encompasses a wide variety of aspects in the quest to broaden talent pools, including neurodiversity. In a new episode of The Transform Talent Podcast, hosts Roberta Cucchiaro and Dominika Gałusa talk with Kate Griggs, Founder and CEO of Made By Dyslexia, about closing the growing skills gap for Gen-Z, the generation expected to bear the worst impact of workplace shifts due to the pandemic. Here’s why the link between dyslexia and the in-demand soft skills such as creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and emotional intelligence is so important now.The need to think differently As Griggs shared, in an era of automation where facts can be Googled and spelling can be corrected at the touch of the button, it’s creativity, imagination and intuition that sets us apart from machines, and that’s Dyslexic Thinking. Dyslexia is literally a different way of processing information, and with that different way of thinking comes a pattern of strengths; creativity, innovation, and big picture thinking. The latest Future of Jobs Report published by the World Economic Forum highlights how exactly these social and emotional skills are the top in-demand competencies for the next five years. For organizations, understanding and valuing dyslexic thinking and neurodiversity can be an opportunity to bridge the skills gap of the future.A range of abilities As businesses tackle a variety of problems, they need people who have exceptional skills in certain areas. As Griggs explained, that is true of people with dyslexia, who have “spikes” of skills they have highly developed to succeed in the world. In other words, if some with dyslexia excel in the area of a soft skill like public speaking, he or she may double down in practicing that skill in order to be especially high performing in that area. “What dyslexics also tend to do, if they really focus on their strengths, is hone in and become much better at them,” Griggs said. “So, a lot of people refer to them as superpowers, which is a nice way of thinking about it.” Value cognitive diversity Along with neurodiversity –– different ways of processing thought –– Griggs prefers the term cognitive diversity, or diversity of thought. Teams shouldn’t all think the same way. With the recruitment process, inclusion means screening in rather than screening out with standardized barriers to entry. People with dyslexia may have brilliant ideas that will be filtered out at the first step if assessments aren’t rethought to include diversity, which can be overlooked in traditional reviews of resumes. An example of being inclusive for cognitive diversity comes from the UK Government Communications Headquarters, that has been targeting dyslexic and neurodiverse people in their recruitment strategy as the dyslexic workforce is particularly good at connecting the dots, simplification, seeing the bigger picture as well as work as a team.The Value of Dyslexia report shows how dyslexic thinking produces creativity that won't be able to be replaced by automation. Inclusion is critical because workforces are more productive when people feel like they can bring their talents to a team and belong –– and produce important results. Hear more on the podcast.
How Organizations Can Promote Employee Wellbeing
Across the globe, every workforce has been affected by the changing working conditions in a pandemic. Workers on the front lines face real physical health concerns, while remote workers face isolation that can lead to mental health challenges and burnout. In response, organizations have learned how to cope and adapt to help their employees. According to a new report from the World Economic Forum, business leaders can care for the health and wellbeing of employees as we start the new year in the following ways. Adapting to the expansion of remote work The future of work has already arrived for a majority of the online white-collar workforce. Eighty-four percent of employers are set to rapidly digitalize working processes, including a significant expansion of remote work—with the potential to move 44% of their workforce to operate remotely. To address concerns about employee well-being, 34% of leaders report that they are taking steps to create a sense of community among employees online and also looking to tackle other challenges posed by the shift to remote work.Providing upskilling and technology mastery Developing and enhancing human skills drives economic success, individual wellbeing and societal cohesion. That said, the past decade of technological advancement has also brought about the looming possibility of mass job displacement by technologies. What is needed is a revolution in education, and in continually training the workforce for transitions. The coming decade will require purposeful leadership to fulfill human potential, which leads to a confident and productive workforce.Creating frameworks for human capital Over time, a business may lose sight of just how valuable employees are to the organization, so the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum recommends creating a set of metrics and framework to track the value of human capital. A successful workforce investment strategy includes identifying workers being displaced from their roles, managing the displacement, funding reskilling and upskilling, motivating employee engagement in this process and tracking the long-term success of such transitions.Ultimately, the World Economic Forum asserts that “no firm can prosper for long if it proves damaging to the social fabric around it.” In a time of extraordinary challenges, the success of a workforce is the success of the organization.1.The Future of Jobs Report 2020, World Economic Forum
How to Reframe Career Gaps
For the first time in more than a decade, a single historical event has affected millions of careers at once. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted not just jobs lost, but also career trajectories for those who were expecting to move up in their organizations or find new responsibilities.The good news is that the large-scale change in work situations has helped change how employers think about “career gaps” on the resume. It’s no longer just about taking a step back in a career –– it can also be seen as stepping up to help families and communities. As a result, LinkedIn has updated profile options to elevate “stay at home parent” roles or sabbaticals for family leave. Here are other ways job candidates can rethink and reframe their job gaps, especially in light of the COVID-19 impact. Become a mentor You can continue to show leadership skills beyond a job title, such as signing on to be a mentor for an organization or an advisor to a start-up. If you want to be a mentor, finding the right mentee is a lot like the other side of the equation. Network and talk to key people in your company or network about the type of person you want to be a mentor to, and be specific. You can also check with your alma mater about alumni/student mentoring programs you can join. Becoming a mentor can be a valuable addition to your experience and resume.Keep improving job skillsThere are no shortage of ways to re-skill and upskill with online education and courses, and not having a full-time job can provide more opportunity for growth in soft skills. This includes communicating, critical thinking, meeting deadlines, being well-organized, collaborating and the ability to analyze and innovate. Employers are seeking these skills more than ever as they are broadly applicable across job titles.Step into volunteer rolesConsider volunteer roles that add expertise and knowledge to your tool kit. Use volunteering as an opportunity to try something new, perhaps a career you always wanted to explore. You may find it as exciting as you dreamed, or it may lack the glamour or fulfillment you envisioned. Follow your passion – when you are giving back to something you believe, it is much easier to learn new skills.Ultimately, employers will be much more understanding of gaps in your resume during this past year, given the circumstances. At the same time, this is an opportunity to keep learning and growing –– and find what you really want to do in your career.
How Online Gaming Attracts and Guides Younger Job Candidates
Attracting top talent, especially younger candidates, is an ongoing challenge for companies, in today’s fast-changing market. Employers are searching for the right fit, something that many are prioritizing over a specific set of hard skills while first-time job hunters may not know how their skills apply.One of the most effective ways for employers and candidates to learn more about each other is by gamifying recruitment. This enables employers to attract younger and more diverse candidates with a memorable recruitment experience while simultaneously allowing candidates to gain insight on how they might fit into a potential role.Here are some ways that online assessments, like gaming, can attract new candidates and help guide them on their career path.Evaluating for skills and fitGaming presents a creative way to showcase skills and knowledge to prospective employers through simple quizzes, thought-provoking scenarios, and unique forms of content. Simultaneously, organizations gain practical data that help them make informed hiring decisions within the framework of a unique experience that also boosts their brand – whether or not the candidate is hired. Companies who incorporate strong talent assessments up front, also have higher retention and increased productivity.ManpowerGroup recently developed a fun interactive assessment tool that enhances the overall candidate experience. Game to Work helps companies to engage with job seekers who may have a difficult job search due to lack of experience or who struggle to stand out in the applicant pool. The Shorty Award-winning campaign encourages candidates to emphasize gaming experience within their resumes and demonstrate vital workplace skills such as critical thinking and complex problem solving, which can be acquired through recreational gaming. Gaming also cultivates competencies like creativity and emotional intelligence that are increasing in value as machines perform routine tasks. 43% of employers say it is more difficult to teach the soft skills they are seeking.Looking beyond age and experienceFor job candidates previously overlooked due to youth and inexperience, online gaming can help them explore areas they thought they might not be qualified for.Magyar Telekom in Hungary, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom (the parent company of T-Mobile USA) used gamification to attract millennials and candidates with limited work experience for sales roles. These candidates usually don’t have much experience so their resumes couldn’t showcase their abilities. By removing resumes as a screening factor using Benchmark Games, Telekom evaluated candidates’ competencies such as goal orientation, endurance and problem-solving skills.The company noticed that some people who had been rejected because of their resumes were hired a year later because they scored really high on games – and then became high performers. Candidates hired through games reached 95% of the KPI levels of high performers just after three months.Game-to-Work similarly tapped into younger gamers with a Gaming Skills Translator that enables candidates to enter the specific games they play, their experience and skill level and the amount of time they spend gaming. It then translates the data into workplace skills that applicants can add to their resumes, helping them understand how their skills translate into real-world career paths.Salvatore Cammarata, a 27-year-old sales professional from France and avid gamer since 6-years-old, used the Gaming Skills Translator by encoding three of his favorite games – World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy and League of Legend. Through a relatable and engaging experience, he discovered a variety of soft skills that helped him reimagine his career possibilities, ultimately leaving sales to train for a developer position. “This tool is a good springboard for young people looking for a job to help them become more aware of their abilities,” he said. Fostering continuous learningAn individual’s learning quotient (LQ) helps determine their workplace success over time and gaming helps the brain create better cognitive models, making it easier to predict and react to new situations. Assessments like ManpowerGroup’s Learnability Quotient (LQ) help people identify their learning style and offer feedback on how to keep developing their skills and employability.“Gaming fosters the skills of continuous learning and the ability to adapt one’s skill set is increasingly critical as people adjust to the ever-changing landscape of work,” said Luca Giovannini, V.P. Global Innovation and Analytics, ManpowerGroup.Creating more engaging assessmentsGoogle learned early with its famous billboard mathematical riddle, that using appealing gaming techniques to assess talent can reap major rewards. Assessments like ManpowerGroup’s Game to Work, not only attract candidates with creative content, they also offer quantifiable data to help employers identify talent who are well-suited to the organization. They also provide younger candidates with a personalized guide to understanding their own interests and work preferences.SkillsInSight is another assessment tool that engages candidates with a 10-minute cognitive game that helps determine likeability, ability and drive.It also provides immediate feedback that supports talent decisions, aligns capabilities and potential for filling a company’s gaps. These data-based insights can help provide workplace advice for talent and indicate a good match for employers.Online tools like Game to Work and SkillsInSight offer a fun way to put individuals at ease which ultimately makes for a more accurate assessment of their potential fit for an employer. Enthusiastic and skilled gamers have developed a wide set of skills needed to thrive, including communication, reasoning, and collaboration. These soft skills are just as important as quantifiable skills that are typically learned in the classroom, such as math, literacy, and computer proficiencies.Download a free whitepaper Game to Work: How Gamers Are Developing the Soft Skills Employers Need for more examples and insights. To learn more about ManpowerGroup’s data assessment capabilities for candidate recruiting, visit Talent Solutions.References Recruiting a Competitive Workforce: Should Needed Skills be Built or Bought?, ManpowerGroup https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/special-reports-and-expert-views/documents/effective-talent-assessments.pdf https://go.manpowergroup.com/game2work Humans Wanted: Robots Need You ManpowerGroup, 2019 https://resources.workable.com/stories-and-insights/gamification-in-recruiting-effectiveness https://www.lecho.be/economie-politique/belgique/general/le-gaming-le-yoga-le-running-boosters-de-cv/10302650.html https://manpowergroup.com/workforce-insights/expertise/learnability-quotient https://www.pnas.org/content/111/47/16961
How Job Candidates Shape an Organization’s Brand
One bad experience can tarnish a brand’s reputation. That’s true of a product failure or poor customer experience. For organizations, how candidates are treated in the job application process also creates a feedback loop that can be positive or negative. A recent episode of the Transform Talent podcast outlined how organizations can minimize negativity for job applicants who don’t get hired, and even enhance their reputation through a thoughtful job process. Have a plan for non-hiresIn any hiring pool, up to 98% of those who apply aren’t going to be selected for the role. And the more popular the brand, the more people will likely apply and be disappointed. That means the vast majority of those who have touchpoints with your organizations will not hear what they want, or even have a lasting negative impression of your brand. Organizations can get out in front of this by preparing a communication plan with timeliness, respect and that values the intelligence of the applicant. Putting a plan in place to communicate with each applicant will help mitigate negative perceptions. Be responsive The biggest thing a company can do with candidates is simple: Be upfront. Companies create self-inflicted damage if they do not communicate with an applicant at all, especially if candidates spent hours applying. “Some of the worst stories is just candidates not getting any information," says Daniel Birkholm, CEO & Co-founder of candidate feedback platform Talenthub.io. “The least you can do as a company when a candidate applies for a job, is getting back to them.” Enhance the application process Organizations go a long way to make sure customers have a positive experience with their products, whether that’s building an easy-to-navigate website or providing quick responses to questions from customers. Job candidates are also potential (or current) customers, so putting the same care into the job applications process can also enhance (or detract) from a brand reputation. “Things from the ease of use when you apply to the transparency during the process, the expectations setting” are all important to candidate perceptions, says Birkholm. Provide VIP treatment to finalists The candidates that make it to the final round –– but just aren’t the right fit at the moment –– have the most potential affinity and fit for your organization. They may even come back to fill another role in the future. Because of this, these elevated candidates require even more personal treatment, which may include personal feedback. One company, for example, gave vouchers for shopping to all of its finalists, in recognition of the value and time they provided. For more strategies, read more in the ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions report Add to Cart: Candidates Are Consumers, Too. The report sheds light on how negative hiring experiences can change future purchasing decisions, as well as help employers more effectively attract and retain the best candidates.
Actions Businesses Must Take to Become Diverse and Inclusive
A commitment to diversity and inclusion takes deliberate steps beyond willingness and words. For many years, hiring and maintaining a diverse workforce has become a moral imperative for businesses. Now it’s also an economic necessity as businesses face a record high global talent shortage. In today’s war for talent, the strongest businesses will also be the most diverse and inclusive. Fostering a diverse workforce takes more than words and a willingness to grow. It takes deliberate actions and a strategy from business leaders. Below are steps that businesses can take to become more inclusive now and into the future. Use assessment for hiring and promoting The traditional ways of building and promoting a workforce based on gut instincts can be riddled with unconscious bias. A more equitable way to level the playing field is to assess candidates with data. “Science-based assessments are the most accurate and reliable tool for placing the right person in the right job,” says Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup. “As well as testing technical skills, assessments measure human strengths that are critical predictors of success such as how rewarding someone is to deal with, their ability to do the job and their willingness to work hard.” Businesses have a long way to go on this front, with only 49% of workers globally have been assessed, according to ManpowerGroup research, Closing the Skills Gap: Know What Workers Want. Furthermore, 81% of those who have been assessed report higher job satisfaction versus 65% of those who have not. Offer schedule flexibility For hiring and promoting women into leadership, this is especially key. Workers want flexibility — and that means all things to all women and men. This can mean nontraditional work hours with flexible start and end times that counter the rush hour, options to Work from Home (WFH) or Work from Wherever (WFW), condensed four-day work weeks or five-hour workdays that peak productivity and preserve the weekend, and parental leave that balances family and care and can be worth more than pay. Especially in the digital age, work can get done in so many ways. Productivity beats presenteeism. Businesses can attract top talent by asking what type of schedule works best for them. Provide training for growth The next generation of leaders are already in the workforce. But are businesses training and preparing to create more diversity at the top of their organizations? By 2050, there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the United States—diversity will be the norm. If an organization wants to be competitive in this landscape 30 years from now, they need to start thinking about creating a more inclusive culture through mentorship programs, hiring beyond traditional talent pools and widening their pipelines, and preparing for the new future of jobs. Click here for more resources on diversity and inclusion.
Why Having the Right Soft Skills is Essential
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, soft skills had been growing in demand to fill new roles that complement automation and new kinds of work. Today, that acceleration has only magnified the need for businesses to hire for, train and cultivate the right kind of skills among their workforces.According to new ManpowerGroup research, a K-shaped, two-speed recovery is emerging. Some industries and people are bouncing back faster and better – those in growth sectors and with high demand skills –while others are at risk of falling further behind. By 2025, humans and machines will split work-related tasks 50-50, while 97 million new jobs will emerge in AI, the Green economy and Care economy.1As the workforce moves quickly into a new chapter in the digital era, here are soft skills that employers today need most.Collaboration, communication and teamworkDrawing on multiple people’s talents from diverse backgrounds is the best way to foster the creativity and innovation needed to find solutions to today’s complex challenges. This includes the soft skills of being able to connect people between a variety of styles, generations and work environments. And, as the business environment becomes more complex and flexible work arrangements continue, effective communication skills will be even more essential. The collaborative nature of leaders and workers will be able to add value and glue together disparate elements to create more than the sum of their parts.Critical thinking and analysisComputers can generate big data. Spreadsheets can help analyze numbers. Machines can help automate responses and generate outcomes. But at the end of the day, humans are still needed to see the big picture, communicate effectively, incorporate data, feedback and insights to solve problems and make sound decisions. When there isn’t always a clear road map, the ability to think holistically and consider long-term implications is essential.Leadership and influenceWith uncertainty the norm, organizations need employees who can effectively navigate challenging environments, motivate teams and produce results. That is why transparency, resilience, and optimism are such essential traits of today’s leader.While automation is augmenting work, effective teamwork and collaboration among humans will only increase in importance. A leader must, therefore, possess the interpersonal skills to guide and motivate teams to deliver results even in the midst of change and ambiguity.Having the right soft skills will be even more essential as organizations transform and digitize at speed and scale. The biggest challenge, however, will be to bring all people on this transformation so that nobody is left behind.Download the report,Skills Revolution Reboot: The 3Rs - Renew, Reskill, Redeployfor more insights on today’s soft skills and how to assess for them.1 The Future of Jobs Report 2020. World Economic Forum, October 2020.